It’s been over two years since we moved from New York to Seattle. I figured this would be as good a time as any to share a little bit about our neighborhood of West Seattle for anyone who’s not familiar with the city.
Our Neighborhood – West Seattle
West Seattle is a part of the city separated from downtown Seattle by a tiny slice of the Duwamish River. Because of this separation, many downtown Seattle residents consider West Seattle to be a distant planet. Geographically, the relationship between West Seattle and downtown Seattle is similar to the relationship between Russia and Sarah Palin’s Alaska home. You can see downtown Seattle from West Seattle, it’s just work to get there.
One of the biggest reasons I enjoy West Seattle is the easy access to BEACHES. There are sandy beaches, rocky beaches, driftwood-covered beaches, paved-walkways-by-the-water beaches, etc. Basically, everybody gets a beach and the beaches are rarely ever crowded. If you’ve ever looked at a map of Seattle you may notice there are a lot of bodies of water around here and West Seattle is surrounded on 3 sides by water.
During the summer, almost every Friday after work we pick a beach and hang out with our dog and a view of the Puget Sound. The Sound is, for me, a huge perk of living in Seattle because I’m a person that enjoys relaxing by a body of water.
Proximity to downtown Seattle is another reason we enjoy West Seattle. We are, technically, close enough to make the drive to downtown Seattle in under 20 mins. However, that timing only applies outside rush hour. Traffic in Seattle is hilariously bad during rush hour OR when there’s an accident on I-5 OR when there’s a Mariners game and a Sounders game at the same time. The reality is that our daily commute usually takes 40 minutes one-way by car. This can be very annoying when you can see your neighborhood from the office but it still takes that much time to get home in the evening.
Many residents of West Seattle will tell you they rarely leave the area on weekends. This isn’t surprising because many Seattle neighborhoods operate in a “self-contained” way. There’s usually a grocery store, park, etc within a reasonable distance. This is in stark contrast to the last place we lived, Manhattan, where it wasn’t odd to have to take 2 trains, a sailboat, and a buggy to get to the (one) reasonably priced grocery store. This is also why people in Manhattan order their groceries online. From grocery shopping to hardware stores to restaurants to BEACHES (yes, those again) you don’t really have to leave the area. We do leave for important reasons outside work. After all, we went to see the eclipse in Oregon.
West Seattle has a number of decent to great restaurants. However, if you’re looking for fancy dining then this is probably not the place for you. There are great casual places to eat without having to head downtown. Our favorites so far: Ma’Ono (Hawaiian), Buddha Ruksa (Thai), Raccolto (Italian), Marination Ma Kai (Hawaiian-Korean), Maharaja Cuisine (Indian).
When we made the move from Manhattan, we ended up renting in West Seattle purely by chance. Just like the members of the Denny party who landed here hundreds of years ago, we’ve made this part of Seattle our home since we moved here.
When it was time to purchase, we looked all over the city but kept coming back to properties in West Seattle. Luckily, we ended up finding a home here only 10 minutes away from our rental apartment! That definitely made moving much easier.
If anyone is considering moving to or buying in Seattle, I would happily recommend West Seattle. However, you will want to develop the patience to deal with the daily commute. You’ll know you’re a local when you develop creative shortcuts for the drive and/or begin to use the morning traffic as valuable self-meditation time.