- The Ravenna Kibbutz: I've been going to potlucks at the Kibbutz for more than three years, and it's been a time of great personal growth. I've met more wonderful people there, and eaten more amazing food, than I could ever have expected. Plus, for the first time since college, I found a community I loved, where I felt like I belonged. That's a big deal.
- My friends: From Reed and Judith, whom I met soon after moving to Seattle in January of 2002, to Ria, whom I just met recently, I've made lovely and lasting friendships here. Seattle is known for being hard to break into socially, but serendipity introduced me to people like Angela, still one of my best friends, and Patty, whom I met in 2005 at a coffee shop, re-met last year on Facebook, and keep close to my heart even though she lives far away.
- Saaz: My feline housemate, pictured above, has convinced me that I'm as much a cat person as a dog person, and that at some point, maybe even in Spokane, I should adopt a cat of my own.
- Smartness: People here are smart. Some are tech-savvy, some are socially adept (yes, even in Asperger's-prone Seattle), and some spent a lot of time on their Ph.D.s, work at Microsoft Research, and have intellects the size of newly discovered diamond planets. When a friend moved from Seattle to L.A. years ago, she called me and said: "Neal, where are all the smart people?" Say what you will about Seattle -- we have smarties in spades.
- The weather: Not the gray skies and spitting rain, but the moderate temperatures. Not too hot in the summer, almost never muggy, not too cold in the winter. Few places in America can boast such meteorological restraint. And yes, we don't get the dramatic thunderstorms of the Midwest and East Coast, but the abiding mellowness almost makes up for that. Spokane reminds me of my native Michigan, with its freezing winters and hot summers. That's good practice for a future outside the Pacific Northwest, but there's no question that as soon as I'm outside Seattle's marine climate, I'll miss the heck out of it.
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Top 5 things I'm going to miss about Seattle: