Impressions of Redmond—Part I

Saturday, September 01, 2007

For each place I have lived in the US, September is a beautiful month. Redmond is no different. The fruit is literally dropping off the vines on the trail behind my house. The fish are jumping and the weather is fine. So far, it's clearly the best place to live in the United States that I have ever come across. Cool summers with lots of trees and lots of green, lots of lakes and oceans and lots of mountains.

Pluses. This place really has it all. Mountains, ocean, volcanoes, earthquakes, ferry rides, concerts, cutting-edge music scene, great bookstores, great coffee, great seafood.

Minuses. Traffic is horrendous. It is really really hard to get practically anywhere during the day. Mass-transit is limited to buses. Prices are significantly higher here than in Boulder. It appears that I have just taken a sudden 25% cut in pay.

All in all, it feels like a weird mix between Colorado and Florida. Ocean and rain forest with occasional snow and mountains. I'll keep updating in coming days.

10 comments:

Skookumchuk said...

Howdy, neighbor!

jlbussey said...

Ditto the howdy!

(Unfortunately, along with the natural beauty, you will find Washington to be one of the most incompetently managed states in the union...)

Skookumchuk said...

Traffic is horrendous.

Yes. The glaciers were not kind. Lakes and bodies of salt water running north-south across a growing urban area, with all the bridge and ferry bottlenecks that result. And if you are in or near Redmond, then you are in the thick of it. You must carefully plan. After you are here a while, you may discover various alternates and back routes that - while they too may be crowded - are often better than the freeways and arterials.

Now, the incompetence of state and various local governments could be the subject of another 100 posts...

I think it was the novelist Jonathan Rabin who said something to the effect that Seattle is a city of people who imagine they aren't living in a city.

Rick Ballard said...

"(Unfortunately, along with the natural beauty, you will find Washington to be one of the most incompetently managed states in the union...)"

Having recently moved here from CA, I've been struck by the competence exhibited regarding road maintenance and general cleanliness. I'm sure jlbussey is correct - it is, after all, a blue state, but it's sure nice not to have to dodge potholes while looking at trash piles.

I'm outside the metro area so I can't comment much on traffic. I've been to Seatac early in the morning a few times and 5 doesn't look much different than 580 heading into the Bay area. I'm not sure that situation is any different in any 'edge' condition.

Skookumchuk said...

Rick:

Having recently moved here from CA, I've been struck by the competence exhibited regarding road maintenance and general cleanliness.

As a rule, yes. When I go back to CA I am still stunned by the decline in comparison to conditions of 20 to 30 years ago. Washington is in general much better.

loner said...

Traffic is horrendous.

I've only been in Seattle three times since I arrived in Vancouver: an animation convention downtown on a rainy Saturday, sightseeing with mom on a Tuesday towards the end of the school year, and a Mariners game on a Saturday afternoon recently. If I were basing my opinion on what I've experienced, I'd say Seattle has the best roads and traffic flow of the major cities on the West Coast.

I still think that, by necessity, the best roads and driving are in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernadino and Ventura counties despite the significant falloff in driver training and testing, enforcement of the laws governing who can drive and what can be driven where and, perhaps, road repair/construction (which more probably just goes through cycles and political transitions) during the past 25 years.

Skookumchuk said...

So by now you have probably seen downtown Seattle, plus downtown Bellevue, and Lake Washington, and perhaps Lake Sammamish. Next, try this. Get on Avondale Road, head east and north, turn west on the Woodinville-Duvall Road, then take the road past Crystal Lake north to Maltby. Have brunch at The Maltby Cafe. Then drive north from Maltby on 98th Ave SE to Snohomish and bum around the antique shops and the riverfront. Go home on 9 and 202 via the wineries, if you can stand the traffic...

Buddy Larsen said...

Wow --you PacNorWesters are a first-rate travelogue. Nice to read of the beauty, and nice to read people who love their land.

Nick said...

Hey....

I live in Redmond up on Union Hill. Stop giving us away! We need to keep it a secret!

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