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.