The Beautiful Northwest at its Best - 10/15/2012
I read ALL of the comments about Spokane and had to write my own review of my beautiful city. Spokane has alot to offer--but even that is very subjective. It depends where you are in your journey,what you are looking for and why you want to be here.
I have lived in Spokane for 49 years--born, grew up, started off on my own, had my family, went to school, worked, stayed home, professional in emergency services and academia, a single parent, and now in grad school, an empty nester, looking for that "good career" in mid-life. I think I can offer a wide view of the area.
Spokane and its surrounding area's are BEAUTIFUL. Hot/warm summer, cool, brisk fall with beautiful foliage and canopied treed streets, cold winters, wet winters, mild-severe winters. Beautiful Spring. It's here. Over 76 lakes in the area, snow skiing and snow sports close by, hiking, camping--we are within 20 miles of the Idaho border for additional hunting, camping fishing, shooting, whatever outdoor sport you like, we have it, from expensive to free. Museums, civic theatre's, casino's, fairs, small business venues, local music and artists, many cafe-style bookstores, fine, 4-5 star hotels, mom and pop diners, many places to walk the puppies, or stay home and have a warm fire because MANY apartments have fireplaces as well as homes here.
Spokane has diversity--but one has to understand the majority of the population is white, unfortunately. We have many churches of different denominations, spiritual events and spiritual stores to purchase goodies--organic neighborhoods with street vendors indoors and out. Rural areas known for picking your own fruit--or not--some of the best and biggest organic peaches and nectarines I have ever seen. You can cut down your own holiday tree or purchase--ride a motorcycle on the freeway and still be reasonably safe--AND you get home from anywhere in the city in about 15-20 minutes.
We also boast many natural areas still within the city limits. County and state parks are just 5 minutes right outside of town if you want something close.
The best market for a career position here, I feel, are in the medical and emergency services fields. Alot of unskilled labor, government jobs, and administrative positions.
Spokane is "old money"--our Kirkland Cutter mansions boast the days of the great Railroad here and the grounds where they exist are pristine. Topography was designed with keeping alot of its naturalness so the south side of our town is hilly and provides a beautiful view to many. Trees literally canopy the streets. So beautiful!
Rentals are relatively inexpensive still comparatively. An 800 sq. ft, 2bd. apt. in a decent neighborhood should go for under $700. A 800-1100 sq. ft apartment in an older home can be had for around $600+. Because of our "old money", we have tons of huge houses that have been transformed into mega-apartments. These give the character of the late 1800's and early 1900's with the storage that goes with it. We have new and modern buildings as well. Homes are very inexpensive to purchase here with our minimum wage being as high as it is currently. (Over $9.00 per hr.).
Cons: The crime rate has risen. We have a new Chief of Police and a new Mayor who is doing well so far. Yes, there have been police involved shootings. Yes, we have meth and drugs. We have gangs. Are we over-ridden? NO. Are some area's not ok to walk in wearing expensive clothes with your expensive phone and your expensive watch and diamond rings? Yep. Ghetto's? No. Low income areas, middle income and upper all exist.
My answer to the former review slamming our police department? Be respectful on traffic stops--if the police have to come to your house for something that you did, do what they tell you to do. Pretty simple for the most part.
Con: Some of our streets are rutted--true. Con: We do have some fun clubs and excellent restaurants but we are NOT Seattle. We have excellent resources for low-income.
We have excellent community colleges (2) and top rated Universities (3) and at least 2 more with a little bit of driving. We have been hit by the economy and seen businesses close as well. However, this is an excellent place if you don't want to give your money to big box stores and want to instead support small business.
I hope this helps. Please contact our Chamber of Commerce and they can also email and mail information to you at www.greaterspokane.org.