Sunday, February 12, 2006

Seattle rocks my world

Some years ago I visited Seattle for the first time. On that occasion, much of my time was spent near the Microsoft campus, which while nice, is still a corporate campus.

Right now, I'm sitting in my hotel room in Seattle, amazed at how livable this city really is.

First of all - it's yuppy enough for me but also genuine and alternative enough for me. I'm yuppy in that I love esoteric cooking ingredients, fancy restaurants, and all things gourmet. But I've also got an alternative streak - I love the grunge factor in Seattle, particularly in that people here don't appear to be dressing a certain way to fit in some aesthetic niche, but rather because they feel like it. I also love the genuineness - the ability to eat raw oysters off a styrofoam plate not because that's chic, but because you're in a fish market and really close to where oysters live.

But the most amazing part of Seattle is its bus system. First of all - for $1.25 you can ride the bus all day long - you get a day pass for that. Moreover, during certain hours, you ride free around the downtown area. It's truly mass transportation. The buses are all trolley-buses, hooked into wires overhead, and go everywhere. I've never been a huge bus afficionado - but the Seattle buses are amazing.

Most importantly, the King County transportation webpage (which includes Seattle) has an amazingly useful website that allows you to input starting and ending addresses, and desired time of either departure or arrival. The website will then tell you what bus to catch where and at what time and how far you have to walk to get to your destination. This is possibly the most useful tool ever.

I adore good public transportation, and while Seattle lacks in subways and trams (it is significantly hilly), it more than makes up for it with its bus system.

Having had the chance to ride buses all around Seattle today, I can honestly say that it is among my favorite U.S. cities - up there with DC, New York, and even higher in my esteem than Chicago.


Blogger satmandu said...

Have you been to Portland?

12:32 PM  

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