A Comprehensive Guide to Seattle’s Good and Bad


Connor McKee-Sargent

NIGHT AT PIER 55: Pier 55 is one of the many popular destinations in Seattle and is home to restaurants, the Seattle Great Wheel, and the Seattle aquarium.

Lucian Cosson, Staff Writer

Unique, pretty, modernized, exciting. As a nearby city, Seattle serves as a destination for tourists, a great place to hangout with friends, and a city to explore and discover. Seattle was initially created as a stop for gold miners on the way to Alaska, but burned down early on in a huge fire and another city was built on top. Seattle grew quickly after the newly built city was completed and found more success in the lumber and shipbuilding industries.

Today Seattle’s growth can be attributed to the creation of Boeing, Microsoft, Amazon and Starbucks. Additionally, Seattle has become a cultural center with the Space Needle created in the sixties for the world fair, and musical artists like Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana, and Macklemore all coming out of the city. It is because of all of Seattle’s interesting history that it has become the unique city that it is today.

Some of the best things about Seattle are the many little places that visitors can discover and enjoy. Many students of IHS enjoy going to Seattle for taking pictures and looking for new spots to get good photos of the city. Junior Elizabeth Chang says that Seattle is a “fun place to hang out and take pictures.” It can be interesting to discover the cool little things about Seattle when searching for new spots and learning more about the city.

In addition, Seattle also has an extensive variety of food options for people to enjoy. One of the most distinct restaurants is Neko, which is a cat cafe where customers can go to enjoy a cup of coffee alongside several cats that stay in the store. The experience has been said to be great for relieving stress and relaxing away from the noise of the city. However there are also plenty more traditional coffee places for those not interested in drinking coffee with cats. When walking through Seattle it can feel like there is a Starbucks located on almost every block, so one would be hard pressed to not find a Starbucks or cafe. In addition, the first Starbucks is located across from Pike Place market on 1st and Pike. Most days, it is surrounded by a line of people waiting to get in even though there is another Starbucks just one block away. Besides coffee, Seattle has a lot of great seafood options and access to fresh salmon which is unique to the Pacific Northwest. Restaurants like Ivar’s and Elliots which are located right on the pier, have gained a lot of popularity for their seafood, and Pike Place market is famous for its fresh fish that are thrown across the market. Students also mentioned hot dog stands, bakeries, and Dick’s Burgers as good food options in Seattle as well. At most hot dogs stands in Seattle, whether at a sporting event or on the street, one of the options will likely be a “Seattle Dog,” which is an interesting mix of a hotdog with cream cheese and sauteed onions.

But, like every city, Seattle has its problems, too. Senior Christoph Belford describes Seattle as “a competitive environment with challenges all around. [It is] expensive, and hard to live in.” While Seattle certainly is not the most expensive city to live in, it is definitely among the most expensive cities in the U.S., with the cost of living being 10.5 percent more than the national average. The multitude of high paying jobs near the Seattle area brings up the cost of housing and even affects the prices of other goods like food. It can make it difficult for people to live in the city, especially for families that need to provide for others besides themselves, too. In addition, the high cost of living in the city has not helped the homeless problem, which upsets many people who go to Seattle. When asked about her least favorite thing about Seattle, freshman Sarah Charlebois immediately responded, “Homeless people. It makes me feel bad, I wish I could do something to help.” Other students feel the same about the homeless in Seattle and sophomore Gordon Chan worries about “what the government is doing to help with homelessness.” While certainly not as big of a problem, another common criticism of Seattle is that people are less friendly in the city and often seem uninterested in talking with strangers. Chang comments that “Seattle is kind of mysterious and independent. You see a lot of different groups of people but [they] are not very socialized”. This idea is commonly referred to as the Seattle Freeze and describes how Seattle residents can feel cold and unfriendly and that it can be difficult for newcomers to make friends.

As a relatively small city, Seattle still has a lot to provide and a lot of interesting history that makes Seattle the city it is. While to some extent Seattle does fit the stereotypes about the northwest as being coffee obsessed and somewhat unfriendly, it stands out in many other ways with its unique culture and traditions.