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An Expat Talks about Living in Seattle, Washington

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Seattle

What activities, clubs and organizations would you recommend to newcomers to help them meet others?

My wife & I have signed up & taken a variety of classes that are available at local community centers in & near our neighborhood in N. Seattle. These reflect our interests and are:

1.) Inexpensive dance classes ($45/6wks) – "Living Traditions" & inexpensive dances/socials on weekends at the Swedish Club (Queen Anne) & Leif Erickson Ballroom (Ballard).

2.) Inexpensive Chi gung exercise classes – U. Dist. Community Center

3.) Inexpensive Karate classes – contact Dennis at the Phinney Ridge Community Center.

4.) OSAT Climbing Club – a group/club with a passion for mountain climbing, biking, hiking, etc. Contact the local REI for their number.

5.) Green Lake Basketball League – pickup league in the winter at Green Lake Community Center. There is also a softball league, etc., but, we haven’t played in that.

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In terms of religious, racial, economic and cultural diversity, are the people of this city or town diverse? Are they accepting of differences? Describe.

I suppose this depends on your life experiences. I do know some statistics. There is a very high Asian population in this city. There is not a high African American population (8% & only Portland is lower in the US). The Latino population is also not large; but, is more than the African American. A majority of the city has descent from the Scandinavian region.

What are the main industries in this city? What types of career opportunities commonly exist? How do most people find new jobs?

Microsoft & Boeing are the largest employers although Boeing may be changing their approach. Recently, some more biotech startups are popping up. I’m not sure how most people find their jobs. I had secured my present job before arriving through the paper. Headhunters place alot of people.

In general, what are peoples' priorities in this city? For example, do lives revolve around work, family, socializing, sports, etc.?

Yes! The order may be different depending on the time of year, time of life, etc. To generalize, I’d say personally I work harder in the Winter when the weather is more likely to be very rainy. In the Spring, Summer & Fall, great weather tends to put a damper on working ;-) There are so many things to do & not enough time. Sports everywhere. The outdoors is the great attraction. Bicycling, climbing, hiking, camping, bike camping in the islands, etc. Music! The Seattle Symphony is one of our favorites. There are alot of musicians living & making their living here in city – some at their profession solely & some supplementing their income by other means (as everywhere). There are summer music camps for children on both sides of Lake WA & across the Sound.

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If a friend of yours was thinking of moving to this city or town from far away, what other advice would you give them.

Bring a lot of money if you want to own your own home. Basically, the real estate market has rocketed (like everywhere) and it is now especially difficult to find reasonably priced homes in the city. This doesn’t mean that we have a lot; but, that both of us work in order to pay the bills.

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