Experiencing Seattle and San Francisco from a Distance

New Perspective on San Francisco

I lived in the heart of San Francisco for seven years. The bustling, noisy part of North Beach just a few minute walk from downtown. I loved it there. It stole my heart in every way.

Since moving to Seattle in May, I've felt a shift in perspective. I'm experiencing San Francisco in fresh ways from this distance.

I'm acknowledging it for two simple things:

  1. It's majesty

  2. It's pressure and competitive nature

More than anything I miss San Francisco's sweeping charm and natural beauty, the smell of the pacific ocean - though I also truly feel gratefully relaxed to be a good arms-length away from Silicon Valley. I feel relaxed to have conversations without subtle competition, I feel relaxed to move slower and soak up time, rather than rush to fill it productively. 

But damn do I miss views like the one at Broadway and Divisidero in Pacific Heights. Nothing tops those sweeping views towards the Golden Gate Bridge - literally nothing.

New Perspective on Seattle

When I make it back home to the Bay Area from time to time, to visit family and friends, I have a new perspective of Seattle from the distance too. It's retro, it's cozy, it's understated, it's nostalgic - even though still brand new to me. I don't know if it's hearing Eddie Vedder and Chris Cornell frequently on the radio, the live-able coffee shops, or my memory of PNW rain from college. But, Seattle is special. It's beautiful in a different way.

Seattle natives don't quite see it this way .... because of Amazon. They feel Seattle's change deeply, as I saw San Francisco's. Some people like how Seattle is growing up and becoming less gritty than before. Others are saddened to see their spots turn over ownership for cleaner curb appeal. I can relate to this having seen the Bay Area change so drastically throughout my life. But overall Seattle feels more conducive to enjoying simple pleasures.

My summer runs and bike rides rule, the ones along the water past the Ballard Locks through the Botanical gardens with snow capped mountain ranges in the background. Even the rainy ones are alivening and magical. It's a different kind of gorgeous here. It doesn't have the majesty of the Golden Gate Bridge but many locals would say Mt. Ranier, the Space Needle and the snow capped mountain ranges do something very similar for them. I know these iconic landmarks put that pitter patter of home love in their hearts. 

This winter has brought me a newfound love for beanies, cold fresh air, hidden rough edges, mellower music and Patagonia jackets every day. I'm loving the surprises around every corner in discovering new special pieces of nature, live music, restaurants, and more than anything the PNW people. Good flannel wearing folks out here, but you already knew that.