Washington

Have you lived in or visited the state of Washington? Tell us about it!

 

Burien

King County, Washington, USA (North America) — March 2019 — I grew up in Burien, Washington suburb right outside of Seattle in the King County district in the 2000’s. Although I’ve visited many other suburbs throughout my life, Burien has an authentic charm which sets it apart. Perhaps I’m seeing the city through rose-colored glasses, but the various events put on by the city are often met with genuine enthusiasm. Burien’s diverse population created a community focused around diversity and inclusion. Burien often takes pride in its downtown area, known as “Olde Burien”, in which various independent shops are located. There was no place I would rather study than in the coffee shops or the library located in Olde Burien. While walking around downtown Burien, I was always guaranteed to be met with smiles by other pedestrians. My most fond memories of the city takes place within downtown Burien, where many of the events were held. The two day Strawberry Festival, for example, filled the air with the smell of kettle corn and sounds of children playing. The event allowed community members to set up arts and crafts booths, farmer market stands, food vendors, and other miscellaneous projects. It is during these two days, right in the middle of a pleasant summer, that Burien’s zany, diverse, and friendly character truly shines. My favorite event takes place towards the end of the Summer, known as the Lantern Festival; the festival took place at the end of August or beginning of September and was always a perfect way to reflect on the Summer before the next year of school. At this event, everyone would bring tiny LED lights or lanterns and wait until the sun went down before parading around town the marching band. There’s something very powerful and empowering about walking around town like this, it always reminded me that I am not alone in my struggles.

Seattle

King County, Washington, USA (North America) — April 2018 — I live in Seattle, Washington. The city that I’ve settled down in gives me lots of mix feelings but I also really enjoy living here. There’s no other place like Seattle because it is very diverse. The big three companies are here (Boeing, Microsoft, Amazon) so there are many people moving here for work. Our city is becoming more modernized and gentrified over the years but still has it’s own little touches to make Seattle unique. To travel around Seattle is pretty easy because our city is pushing for our people to go more green to help the environment. Taking public transportation in Seattle is very easy and it’s efficient. If it’s a nice day out, you can even rent a bike out if you see one of them just laying around on the streets. It’s easy traveling in Seattle. Seattle has a little bit of everything, urban and non urban areas. For instance, Broadway, downtown Seattle, and the area around University of Washington has a lot of new high rises that were built over the last couple of years. Even the suburbs looks very different from how it did when I was growing up as a kid. It’s kind of sad because it feels like my childhood is being erased from the city. For a person who never been to Seattle, must dos are mostly in downtown. Pike Place Market is a historic area that everyone has to visit. There are many restaurants to eat and lots of places you can take photos at. For instance, the gum wall, the pig, and the waterfront are great places to take photos to post onto Facebook, Instagram and etc. Many states don’t have it’s own China town but in Seattle there’s International District where you can come try many different Asian cuisines. There’s many different places to explore.

Vancouver

Clark County, Washington, USA (North America) – March 2018 —  I’ve lived here since September of 2012, coming from California. The first thing I appreciate about Washington and the Pacific Northwest in general is the huge assortment of trees. I’m a tree lover. They have so many gorgeous varieties and the forests!!!! Just beautiful…. The moss on trees is also something I don’t have in Cali but love immensely. The biome of the forest is so magical to me…. Immensely secretive and enclosed and almost warm, even if it’s cold. The little animals in Vancouver is comforting; you can sometimes hear the frogs in the marsh or the ducks running around. Winters are hard for me.

My biggest complaint for this area is the lack of sun. I mean, sure, we have sun but particularly during the winter, the sun is hidden by a lot of gloom and gray. I tend to start feeling like I have S.A.D. and have started using “happy bulbs” to help with that. They are full-spectrum bulbs to replace that missing sun! I always make a point of getting out when the sun IS out to keep that Vit D up as well. However, spring and summer are awesome, not too hot like the desert. The outdoors here, I mean, besides the trees alone, is an invitation to fun and health. Awesome hikes can be had to little creeks, forests, watering holes or even waterfalls…. stunning!!!!

The people seem average, predominately Caucasian but growing leaps and bounds the last few years, more and more harried drivers, and friendly enough. We are clearly receiving transplants from Portland where the “weird” or eclectic vibe comes across the bridge of late (short drive, ten minutes to PDX from my house) — you can often tell a Portlander from an average ‘Couv resident. Usually it’s the haircuts (or man buns) or clothes but people are usually nice to one another. The HUGE rental increases has been taxing so that may explain some of it – we are less expensive. The economy isn’t great but I am a stay-at-home mom, so, my skills are lacking. The homelessness is another big issue to me and my heart goes out every day – “there but for the grace of God, go I”…. same with Portland (we must get some of those transplants too, maybe). There are few programs I’ve heard of to ease this issue. Drugs, particularly meth, are big too I’ve heard. On a good note, I’ve had assistance paying my electricity before here, which, though based on economic hardship, was a huge aid and offered through a program at the electric company. I’ve seen several food banks and churches and watched good people reach out to others.

So, although Vancouver has its share of problems, like every city, this small city is for me about a 7/10 and as good as any – despite the lack of sun and meth/homeless presence. The prices will keep rising and I may head back to the desert for the sun but I will always remember and love the forests and beauty here.

Spokane

Spokane County, Washington, USA (North America) – March 2018 — t’s great, there isn’t a single thing I don’t like about it. A river runs through it. Urban sprawl. Spokane is an awesome community where you can raise a comfortable family. A small town located east of Seattle, WA with more than 6 colleges within a 100 mile radius. Plenty of open parks and lakes to attend almost everyday of the summer. Traffic is never backed up and you could literally drive anywhere within 20mins of each direction. The downtown atmosphere is very peaceful where rivers and waterfalls create a relaxed and serene environment. In Spokane you can count on; Great outdoor trails riverside, quiet neighborhoods and skiing in the wintertime. And of course my favorite, Hoopfest!

Bellevue

King County, Washington, USA — January 15, 2018 — I grew up in Bellevue, Washington, a small city about 20 minutes east of Seattle. I lived there from 2000-2014, and moved back in 2018 after college. The city of Bellevue is quite affluent, which lots of luxurious high-rises and office buildings downtown. From the time I grew up to now, there have been significant increases in housing, and the housing has also become much more expensive. This is due to the influx of tech companies and tech workers, which is driving up the prices in the Greater Seattle Area. This is definitely one aspect that has changed my perspective toward this city because it used to be a more laid back, and family-friendly area, as compared to the hustle and bustle of a busy city like Seattle. However, now there are more people living here and more companies opening up offices that downtown is becoming busier and busier.

What I did enjoy about growing up in Bellevue, and still enjoy now is the accessibility of amazing nature spots. Just 30 minutes east, one can reach plenty of hiking spots, such as Rattlesnake Lake, Mount Si, etc. To the north, one can reach Mt. Baker and it’s only a 2.5 hour drive to Vancouver, Canada. To the south, one can reach the Mount Rainier National Park, as well as Mount St. Helens, which is still an active volcano after erupting almost 40 years ago. Just 3.5 hours south, Portland is also within reach. West of Bellevue is the city of Seattle, as well as the beautiful Lake Washington, and even further is the Olympic Peninsula, home of the Olympic Mountain range. The beauty and serenity of the Peninsula acts as an amazing escape from city life, and it is amazing that it is only a few hours’ drive away.

Bellevue has definitely been growing a lot over the past decade or so, and it doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. While the influx of crowds and increase in cost of living is frustrating and hard to handle, the temperate climate and accessibility to beautiful nature spots is what has brought me back.

 

Colfax

Whitman County, Washington, USA — January 9, 2018 — I grew up in Colfax, Washington (99111), United States in the 1990s. It’s a small rural farming town in Eastern Washington that sits right in-between two larger areas of Washington, Pullman and Spokane. Unlike many rural country kids, I loved growing up in Colfax. I had a sense of security from an early age. Everywhere I went I ran into someone I was related to, or someone who was a friend of the family. I worried about many things that “city kids” worry about and I had a very carefree existence. For example, even at the age of 8 or 9, my parents would let me wake up in the morning, hop on my horse, and they wouldn’t see me again until supper. Myself and my friends were able to explore acre after acre of the Palouse region with nothing but a lunch sack and a pocket knife. I wouldn’t change growing up in that area or in that way for anything. I believe it instilled a deep sense of appreciation for my roots that isn’t very common anymore.

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