Seattle Travelog, Observations

Part of a series from the travelog of my trip to Seattle in October 2022. This is a reflection written a few days after the trip.

A cool thing about Seattle is how they treat pedestrians. Just like Portland, drivers will slam their brakes and wait patiently for people to walk across. That’s not to say you should blaze across every intersection; even on the non-signalized intersections, it’s smart to look before crossing. I assume that drivers are also pedestrians when they’re not behind the wheel. So they know. That’s nice.

Not so many bikes, oddly. Too many hills and mountains. More electric scooters. I’d need one if I lived there. More people owning their own electric kick scooters. Nice. Even the rental Lime scooters are beefier than ours — bigger motors, removable battery packs. Smart. These are geofenced though, so you can’t ride them through parks. Found that out.

But walking without fear from drivers is nice. Super nice. Austin proves we are still in Texas. The driver culture here blames pedestrians for not walking correctly. It only takes the stroke of a legislator’s pen to fix this.

Until then, I long for the safety of the Pacific Northwest.

Despite being a bigger city than Austin, and significantly more diverse, from what I saw, the people are just as tired, but more hopeful, and definitely more willing to keep to themselves when out in public. I walked past heated arguments, shady deals, sketchy people just chillin’, people crying, lovers swooning, whatever, and the spirit there is, “eh, that’s not my problem.” And, to be honest, I kinda like that.

I came from small towns where anybody at any time could be the target of fuckwith for absolutely no reason other than just existing. Happened to me plenty. Big cities, everybody’s too busy getting there to bother. There’s a yarn about NYC being the city where you can go walk down a crowded street just to be alone. That’s a big-city adaptation, or else people will go insane.

People in Seattle are diverse, scattered, collected into buses, jostled together, and at the end of the day, they’re just trying to get to where they’re going. Once they get there, they’re chatty, friendly, and interesting. It’s a hard-soft balance.

He is no man who returns from a journey unchanged. I’m still overwhelmed. Still silent. Still processing. This is a good break from my habits. I need them to stay broken. Open up to other places to be, other modes, other thoughts. After a week of this fresh air, I need more freshness.

Fuckin’ Seattle.

Worth the experience.

Published by Shawn

He's just this guy, you know?