My silver platter - 2/8/2011
For 30 years I have lived in Seattle and love it here. There are no deep snows, no dehydrating sun, fresh air to breath, tons of beaches, outstanding restaurants, and people that are relaxed (except for some of the status-seeking East Siders and financially stressed South Enders).
It's possible to become the kind of person you want to be here, like having chickens in your yard in Ballard, listening to International lectures at Kane Hall at the UW, visiting 100 artists in one residence at Western Studios on First Thursdays, or just hanging out on the waterfront while pretending to be a tourist. Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to drink coffee. There are an incredible array of tea houses that cater to those who like to get out and not get buzzy. Yes, grunge was here, and mostly it's gone. House music is prevalent, but you can always go to Neighbors for the best sound system, and dance like a maniac until 4:00 am.
Personally, I've explored many types of churches: Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim, Catholic, New Age, Evangalist and the list goes on and on. Never have I been made to feel like an outsider. It's easy to talk to anyone on the street, but yes, I do reserve the long conversations for my tight friends. The closeness that we have fills my mind and heart. My friends are few in number, but very dedicated to my personal happiness.
For the socially inclined, the Meet-up Groups have been very helpful. OK Cupid is pretty good for date-ups. Just google Burning Man Seattle to find a wonderful way to find cool parties with entertainment like fire spinners and acrobats. There are also a lot of sponsored team sports you can join in on, like volleyball tournaments on Alki Beach, or soccer at Greenlake. There is an extensive array of bike trails, and that seems to be a good way to meet new friends.
The people that complain that Seattle sucks, I wonder if perhaps this would be their view no matter where they lived. Because life doesn't come on a silver platter - it's your personal creation for good or bad. The expectation of the quality of life improving is always why anyone leaves current friends and family behind, to venture to a new place. Seattle offers a lot and introspection is one attribute. Once I watched the sun rise while camped on a alpine mountain top, sipping tea, and observed the morning mist evaporating into the day. This is the day I came to love the Seattle area, and I can never think of any place better.