Suggestions when Dealing with Friends in Seattle (or any large city)

I’ve started writing, and almost finished, a number of posts over the past few months. For whatever reason I never got around to finishing them, or didn’t feel like publishing them at the time. Congratulations! It’s your lucky day: time to read some of Nikky’s drafts and things that never quite made it before! Yayyy!

So I guess this post was going to be something about “what to do when dealing with a Seattleite, or any urban dweller.” But I could never really get it all threaded into one cohesive post without sounding like a pretentious douchebag. They aren’t really interesting enough to be split up into individual posts, so they languished around until I decided to release as-is.

What I’d like to talk about today is some general guidelines that I’ve accumulated the past few years (gosh, has it been SIX years?) living in Seattle. They’re things I’ve seen, experienced, and thought about quite a bit.

Don’t Assume We Own Cars

Chances are, your Seattle friend doesn’t own a car. We get around by walking, biking, and riding the bus to most places. The transit system is pretty swell here too, and we can go all around Seattle in our public chariots. And we can usually even go to the suburbs if required!

Now, making plans outside of Seattle is weird for us (why would you want to leave the city?), but okay, I suppose that happens sometimes. But if you do invite your Seattle buddy along to a place where transit doesn’t exist all the time, it’d be just super if you offered to give them a ride.

And in return? We let you sleep in our dwellings when you’re in our city overnight.

Suburbs are Scary

Now, some of you may like thin-walled townhomes, endless stripmalls, and medium population density. We don’t like any of these things, and that’s why we choose to live in Seattle City limits. The suburbs are outlying culture-free zones, and seem to resemble a place where fun goes to die.

I’m not talking about seanic places here, or the country. I’m talking about the suburbs where everyone looks the same, does the same thing, and has the same job. This culture (or lack thereof) scares the hell out of us.

We also have a very hazy idea of where outlying cities are: they’re all kind of a blurry spot on the map where IKEA lives.

Stop Saying the City is Dangerous and Full of Crazy People

Protip: crazy people exist everywhere, we just don’t see them as much. And violence? Hey guess what! It happens everywhere too! Wow! It’s just that cities have a) effective newspapers, b) crime blogs, and c) more freaking people. We live in a city and we know what is and isn’t dangerous. If we’re with you and we seem nonplussed that some shirtless dude is karate kicking the phone pole, it’s because that’s pretty much the norm. He won’t hurt anyone.

The beauty of urban living is that you’re exposed to all walks of humanity, not just the hand-curated circle of friends that you see on a daily basis.

Okay, I guess that’s it


2 thoughts on “Suggestions when Dealing with Friends in Seattle (or any large city)

  1. I guess it’s not the case with you, but even the Seattle-dwelling people I know own cars. The not-so-great thing about Seattle is that it is far more spread out than a lot of other cities. It’s true that we have bus routes that’ll do the job, but most people [that I know] are only willing to bus if they’re students and have plans to buy a car immediately after school.

    Couldn’t agree more about the crazies, though. Even in suburban areas of Burien, we still have No Shoes Guy, Quarter Man, and Face-Making Scary Jogger.


    1. That’s a good point. I guess most of the people I hang out with don’t really have cars, even though they can afford them. I was actually thinking a bit last night about changing it from “don’t assume we have cars” to something like “don’t assume we want to drive our cars.”

      But yeah, selection bias and all!


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