In reply to one of my recent Facebook posts about living downtown Seattle during the protests and pandemic, someone said they would NEVER live downtown Seattle. There is no infrastructure — grocery stores, dry cleaners, schools etc to support families living downtown.
People, of course, like different places. I have lived on seven acres on the edge of a small town, in the heart of a town on a park and on an island, where my five kids walked four blocks to school – and to a ferry to catch a major league ballgame downtown, while in their early teens.
But downtown Seattle is a great place to live.
I have a top of the line grocery store six blocks away – I walk to it. Another tier one grocer is opening two blocks away. If I need something faster, AmazonGo is across the street and Bartells, a large drugstore ala Walgreens, is under me.
My dry cleaner is one block away – or my dry cleaning is picked up and delivered back, at no extra cost, with everyone else’s in my building.
Restaurants, coffee shops, shopping, theatre and the arts are all a short walk away. A ten minute walk up to Capitol Hill opens up even more.
World class healthcare is five blocks away. I walk to all of my doctor’s appointments.
Running is great – up Fifth Avenue around the Seattle Center, along the waterfront through the Sculpture Park, around Pioneer Square or through Volunteer Park or the Arboretum. My health club is one floor down.
Out of town guests, business or personal, stay in the heart of town where they, too, can walk out the door to get everywhere they want to go.
My five kids, all living in Seattle, but a little further out, can get to my place in ten or fifteen minutes.
Business meetings and the office are within blocks.
I walk out the door and I am at the airport in 15 minutes via Lyft, or 35 minutes via light rail.
Major league sports are a ten minute walk.
I have come to enjoy life mostly without a car while people living out of the city center seem to drive everywhere, sitting at red lights and in traffic.
I enjoy the diversity of the people and their economic status. It’s opening my eyes to things I did not appreciate.
We’ve hit a hard time downtown. Seattle has never in its history seen anything like the pandemic, the protests and the riots. No question downtown is different than four months ago – a lot of places are, for today.
But downtown Seattle can be a very nice place to live – and I’ll confess I’m proud to call it home.