Photo Diary | Up North Part 1 |

Tuesday, March 31, 2015


My, our spring break went by much too quickly! After hunkering down with spring cleaning for the better part of the break I decided we should have a little fun before the break was over and so we headed up north to Seattle for the weekend. Being a Portland native there's always been a bit of a comparison (rivalry?) between Portland and Seattle. The latter always beating out the former in one way or another. Seattle is bigger, they have Bill Gates, Amazon, the Seahawks, and Starbucks. They had Frazier, Sleepless in Seattle, and Nirvana. And being quite into the local music scene in my 1990's days of youth (i.e. the grunge era) somewhere in my teenage mind I decided that Seattle was totally overrated. And, with that, even though it's only a few hours a way and I have had both family and friends that live in the area, I could count on two hands the number of times I have gone into the city. And I can't even remember what decade it was the last time I did. So this time I did all the touristy things I balked at in my younger years: Pike Place, the gum wall, Fremont district, Capitol Hill, the Space Needle and so on. 

I have to admit the whole time I was there my mind was a ticker of comparisons between these two northwest cities (you can see a hipster-city showdown chart here). The first thing I thought on this visit is how picturesque Seattle is. Portland is beautiful but I do believe Seattle has us beat. The city from a distance (and I mean every single direction you could possibly be looking from) there is an amazing, breathtaking, I-can't-believe-this-exists view. Seattle is like Barbie and Portland is like her awkward, not-quite-fully-developed little sister Skipper. Seattle is blue and Portland is green. Seattle smells like salt water and Portland smells like the forest. Seattle feels older and grittier and more diverse (which I like). It also feels much busier, grayer, and a lot dirtier (which I don't like so much). Seattle is about the city and portland is about the neighborhoods. The one thing I will say they have in common (besides the rain people) is both cities are incredibly friendly, progressive, and proud. I did feel some pangs of jealousy while I was there, but in the end I suppose I am more stumptown than starbucks, more land than sea and I was happy to come home to all the parking spaces you could ever dream of. 

P.S. I'll be back with some of those amazing views later this week. 


  1. I still haven't been to Seattle but that's on my list for the next time I'm up there. I'm glad you guys got a little bit of a break and had some time to do some exploring as well :)

  2. that hipster showdown chart is hilarious. i'm thankful to live in a world where humor like that exists.

    also, i had a dream that i met you and the boys, on a train, on your way back to portland. strange, right? i suppose i was following your seattle visit a little too intensely!

  3. Oh, I could just sink into the muted tones of all your photos. LoveloveLOVE them all. Neel spent a summer in college making up some credits at UW (long story) and he LOVED Seattle. Loved. It. Like he'd go back to the PNW in a heartbeat. Oddly enough it was a sunny summer and he could see the mountains every day. I've never been, but he's convinced that it's home to my soul too.

    And isn't it funny what we learn about ourselves? More land than sea? What a thing to discover. XO

  4. sounds to me like both places are great. and how good that you have the opportunity to go to Seattle without having to plan it or make a huge production out of it. I start to appreciate that more and more. having places that are different and yet comfortable nearby. places I've been to before and therefore feel accessible while at the same time giving me some new input and inspiration.

    oh, and great pictures. film?

  5. the comparison of the two cities is great. I can see the appeal in both, but you had me sold at "Portland smells like the forest". I am definitely more land than sea. that said, these photos are so enticing and I'd be happy to visit either city (or both!) xo

  6. I love that comparison between cities. If I were to take a tour of America I would want you to be my guide, because I know you would show me the America I wanted to see, the real one.

  7. These photos are beautiful! I have never been to Seattle, but it is a place I want to visit very looks like such an amazing place!

  8. Oh, yay! Thank you for the virtual visit to Seattle. I've only been once, my godparents moved out there several years ago and I finally went to visit, and it rained the. entire. time. They even commented that it normally doesn't rain so much, that yes, the reputation was earned for a reason, but that was stretch I was there was an anomaly. Your photos make me want to go back tout de suite! I think I have a soft spot for Portland, even having never visited; Philly is all about the neighborhoods, too. :) xo


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