Seattle: The West Coaster’s New York

Story and photo by Patrick Wong

USA Seattle Patrick Wong

Outsiders may think of Seattle as the birthplace of grunge music, emo hipsters, tree-hugging liberals and Starbucks.  Yet, beneath the surface, the Emerald City is home to a diverse population, making it a great place to live and visit. It is true that Seattle clouds rain a bit more than necessary, but there is, in fact, sunshine and plenty to do.

Pike Place Market is a historical landmark infused with the history of German, Italian, Chinese, and Japanese immigrants. Today, Pike Place is a rich center of vendors and shops. Located by the Elliot Bay Waterfront, shoppers can find great deals and a gorgeous view of the water. Among the list of items to buy and eat at Pike Place: beautiful flowers, fresh fruit, piping hot funnel cakes, and icy-cold fish that you can literally catch from the fish mongers.

If catching dead sea creatures isn’t your thing, walk down the cobblestone roads to craft stores, quaint cafes, arcades and independent theaters. And do not forget to taste some of the original Starbucks’ coffee at the first—yeah, that’s right—Starbucks location in the world. It still remains in the same style as when it was first built.

If you want to venture away from Pike Place, go to Broadway. Like New York’s Broadway, Seattle’s is just as vibrant and alive. With a large LGBT community and several universities, you will not be bored with the motley crowd that passes you by as you walk down the street.

Try going to Volunteer Park. If you ignore the smooching couples, you get a stellar view of the Space Needle, which is a must see, even if you can’t enter and explore the nearby restaurants. You can also see great views of Seattle from the small man-made sculpture or the spooky watchtower. Plus, there is an Asian Art Museum with a large field, where you can play a killer game of Ultimate Frisbee.

The list goes on.  From really cheap conveyor belt sushi bars and never-ending running trails, to accessible skiing and snowboarding, Seattle has a quirkiness. As a native Seattleite, I think Seattle is, in many ways, a western NYC. They may be miles apart, but both are amazing in their own respects.
And no, there is no Seattle Grace Hospital.

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