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Seattle, WA

Seattle is great city overall - 7/26/2008
The important thing to keep in mind is that everyone is going to have their own experiences and that they are going to base their opinion on this perspective. I moved to Seattle from the Midwest about a year and half ago to be closer to my dad and brother.

I would say that many people that I have met in Seattle are not socially aggressive; you have to say hi and initiate conversations not expect others to do so. I would say that the average Seattlite is well-read and conscientious though. I have seen random pedestrians picking up trash on the street here and not I'm talking about some organized clean-up. There's a charming spirit in Seattle: neighborhood businesses set out water bowls for pedestrians' dogs to lap from, there are street musicians and artists all over town, plenty of quirky coffee shops and bookstores, Pike Place market, lots of block parties in the summer months.

Seattle is a liberal city. Gay and lesbian couples hold hands and kiss publicly here without issue. Anti-war protests close down city streets. Everyone recycles. During the Solstice Parade naked people ride bicycles through streets of Fremont. I would say that a social conservative would find Seattle unsettling and the Capitol Hill district the very epicenter of moral depravity.

It is overcast most days from October to April with an occasional sun break. The cloud cover keeps the temperatures moderate in the winter for how far north Seattle is. I'll take a Seattle winter over a Midwest winter any day. While it does rain frequently, it is more of a mist-rain than a down pour. I think that the fog and rain creates a cool feel to the city not to mention keeps the landscape lush. The summers are dry and almost San Diego-like. Yesterday it was 79 degrees with a light breeze.

A serious drawback is the cost of living, specifically property values. There are plenty of good paying jobs in Seattle though in contrast to the town I that I am from in the Midwest.

Champaign, IL

Good and bad
- 3/5/2006
Pros: Low cost of living, educated population, improved downtown nightlife, the Krannert Center of the Performing Arts is very nice, there are university related sporting events, some interesting neighborhoods in the downtown area with brick-paved streets and large hardwood trees.
Cons: Lack of interesting outdoor recreation, the southern U of I campus smells like cow feces, the Northwest part of town has a putrid, rot smell that comes from A.C. Humco (a local soybean processing plant), lack of gainful employment despite the presence of the University, the weather can be harsh if you are not used to winters in the midwest.

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