T Nation

Geographic Info


#1

I'm in the very preliminary stages of trying to figure out where I want to move next, as I'm not a huge fan of the Northeast -- had to try it for a while to check it out, but it's not for me.

I need to stick to major metropolitan areas in order to do my job, corporate law. Two areas are very high on my list of possibilities: Denver and Seattle. I've never lived in either -- my closest experiences have been Salt Lake City and the Bay Area, respectively. Thus, I would like to beg some info from those of you on the T-Forum who live in the Seattle and Denver areas. Please sing the praises of, or talk smack about, these areas in terms of quality of life, major likes and dislikes, and all the good stuff you can't get on a cost-of-living comparison website.

Thanks in advance.


#2

Never lived in either but I have traveled to Denver on business and loved it there. Even better if you are an outdoors kind of guy. That being said, Houston is a great city with a reasonable cost of living and no state income tax. Dallas is great also. That being said, I am not sure I would ever turn down a transfer to Denver. Good luck.


#3

Thanks Kayrob. Actually, Austin and Dallas, as well as Atlanta, are also on my list of possibilities, but just not quite as high as Denver and Seattle.

Texas is definitely the winner in terms of pure economics though. Corporate firms there pay almost as much as in the Northeast, but the cost of living is much, much lower.


#4

I live in the Seattle area. I can say a few things about Washington in general. City life is endless. There's always something going on or something to do. I really enjoy the area and the seasons are fairly mild throughout the year. We're now having some unseasonably cold weather, however, generally speaking it's not too extreme. Traffic sucks. One of the worst in the nation.

The Cascades are OK for snow sports. We definitely get the snow, although it's wet snow. We call it Cascade cement. We really enjoy skiing at Mt. Bachelor in Oregon, which is about 6 hours away. It's probably one of the best kept secrets in the ski industry. It's a world class resort that never makes the top 25.


#5

Seattle is very nice. I have only ever visited there but I was right downtown and I enjoyed it alot.
Luke


#6

It's hard to say enough good things about the weather in Denver. I lived there for years and traveled all over the country. Me and a coworker used to joke about not realizing how sweet we had it at home until we had to spend time in Minnecrapolis, Houston and "other-places-that-suck".

BUT! Denver is now rated as the 3rd worst traffic in the country. Even though they have things totally fucked up right now with the T-rex project it's still not going to be enough. They have the beginnings of a beltway, but no good radial artery system to connect to it.

I lived there for 15 years and it finally got to the point that I couldn't take it anymore. Some of it will depend on where you live in relation to your work and what your lifestyle is like.


#7

I live in Auburn, about 30 miles south of Seattle. Seattle has good culture, almost a culture of its own. People are more open than east coasters. Weather can be a concern for some people, not because of the extremes that the east sees, but the reputation of "rains a LOT" is true. Not that we get a lot of torrential downpours, it's the constant grey and drizzle... In fact, 4 years ago, my wife and I were seriously considering moving to God's Waiting Room (Arizona) for some sun, as we'd had 100 straight days of clouds or rain, and no sun. But this past summer has been one that I dream about. Though we're 3 inches ahead for annual rainfall, due to a very wet February, and a lot of rain in October, we had very little rain throughout the summer. Doesn't get over 90 very often. And though this morning was cold (18 degrees at my house), freezing temperatures are actually pretty rare. Snow WILL shut the city down -- people just don't know how to handle it.

Now also realize that Seattle has been near the top of the "worst traffic" list for some time. Unemployment is pretty high, mainly due to Boeing dumping its workforce. But tech industries and law is pretty strong here (Preston, Gates, and Ellis being one of the largest firms).

Housing prices are pretty high near Seattle proper, but taper off fairly quickly once you get 40 miles from the city. Luxury housing is VERY available now, as so many tech tycoons are finding their stocks tanking.

Hmmm.... Anything I missed?


#8

I grew up in the Northeast, have lived in Chicago, South Carolina, Virginia, the Bay Area, San Diego, and Seattle. I agree with the others, Seattle has been the the best place so far.


#9

Wow Tri: Better than San Diego? I lived there for 7 years, and it is a great place to be. I left 'cause there were no good law schools there, and I dislike L.A.

Brider: What's the commute like from somewhere relatively affordable to downtown (where I assume I would work)? Is that too variable a question? In terms of real estate, does it pretty well get progressively cheaper as one moves further out? There is nothing affordable in Boston (at least nothing worth the money) until you hit New Hampshire...


#10

Corporate law eh? There's a new documentary coming out about corporations based on a book written by a UBC law prof who says a corporation are required by law to behave in a psychopathic manner (if viewed as a legal person). Check it out:
http://www.thecorporation.tv/filingcabinet.html#book

www.thecorporation.tv

It's going to be awesome!


#11

Texas companis may pay well, but then again you have to live in Texas...


#12

I have never been to Denver, but used to go up to Seattle to play. Seattle is definitely a fun town. Portland is a 2-3 hour drive south, and Vancouver B.C. a few hours north if you get bored. If skiing is your thing, and the Washington/Oregon resorts don't do it for you, Whistler is not that far away.

I don't think that I could ever live in Denver as I would hate the thought of being that far from the ocean.


#13

What is your price range? What are you looking for -- house or apartment? Size?

A lot of high end stuff going up in Issaquah, which is at the base of the Cascades. Good commute into Bellevue (the "east side" of Seattle), sucky commute into Seattle. Takes longer to make the trek across Lake Washington than from Isaquah to Bellevue (at a third the distance).

West Seattle has a lot to offer -- nice Puget Sound views, and a broad range of housing. Anything close to the water (either lake or sound) will be ultra expensive.

Going north of Seattle seems to have the best cost/distance ratio, as south becomes more suburbs of Seattle than separate cities. There's areas east of Renton that are still reasonable and close. East Kent still is okay. Federal Way is good too (just west of Auburn).

It does depend a bit on what you're looking for. Broad expanses of land are pretty scarce until you get east of the cascade crest (and that's not a commute I'd do). In fact, just this past weekend I saw an ad for 1585 acres near Yakima for only $1.5 mill.


#14

Ko: I would definitely miss the ocean, but I'm not nearly as entranced with the Atlantic as I was with the Pacific -- especially as there are no good beaches within what I would consider to be a short drive from Beantown. I was spoiled by my time in SD -- the beach was 10 min. away...

Also, I've lived in Atlanta, Nashville and Salt Lake City, all of which were isolated from the ocean. SLC was great, except for the weird dominant-religion thing. I imagine Denver having all the good things about SLC, but without the silly Mormon laws.

Brider: I rent now, so I would probably be looking to start with a rental, with perhaps an eye to buy once I got a better feel for the market. I don't know about Seattle, but the prices around here make me nervous -- I could never see buying in at this level.

As for Yakima, I don't know what I would do with 1500 acres, but I'm sure you could fit a lot of barbells out there... Is that is wine country? (Not that I have $1.5M, but you know...).


#15

Oh, almost forgot (since it's not really my thing), Seattle is a micro-brew town. Lots of micro-brews available (Patricia could probably expound on that better than me). Also, several good vintners.


#16

Lot's of good beers and wines. And like I mentioned earlier, you are 2-3 hours from Oregon's wine country.

Pinot Noir and fresh, wild salmon, perfect.


#17

Hmmm...Well, "BostonBarister" in accordance with your chosen handle, you are limited to the following choices...

Amarillo Advocate

Austin Attorney

Arkansas Attorney-at-Law

Alabama Attorney-in-Fact

Burbank Barrister

Carolina Counsel

California Counsellor

Cincinnati Counsellor-at-Law

Syracuse Solicitor

Louisiana Legal Beagle

Lancaster Legal Representative

Louisville Lawyer

Any additional names/handles/misnomers that are intended to be considered for lawful use in description of, or in reference to the applicant (hereinafter referred to as "that guy, the applicant") shall be presented for approval contingent to successful corroboration of adherence to the articles and sub-articles as pertaining to Chapter 7, section 43 sub-paragraph 4 million and ten.

Failure to meet this criteria prior to application for said reference shall result in the legal change of name to "Larry and/or Earl".

Let it also be known that time spent on the toilet while picking my nose and having random, discordant thoughts about this case flit across my consciousness like Autumn leaves dancing towards certain doom at the end of a gutter count as billable time and the appropriate time charges apply.

Extra if I am forced to re-read that damn Readers Digest story about Mr. "Ohhh, I got trapped in a Car crash/Plane crash/Boat wreck/Train wreck/Traffic jam and had to eat my Pancreas and a large part of my Scrotum to survive".

Cupcake, Esq.

"A man may as well open an oyster without a knife, as a lawyer's mouth without a fee"

~ Barton Holyday


#18

I would move to Denver. The suicide rate in Seattle is unbelievable, and the weather is usually rainy. That's just from the published reports.

Colorado itself is absolutely beautiful, let alone Denver.


#19

Reasons to live in Denver:
Boulder
Vail
Keystone
Breckenridge
Arapahoe Basin
Durango
300 days of sun
Bally's
The best mountain biking, rafting, rock climbing, snowboarding/skiiing
and in conclusion: Fuck Rain


#20

To add to RickBravo's reasons for living in Denver:

ME! :wink:

Oh, wait. That may be a deterrent.

Either way... I've lived in both cities and surrounding suburbs. Seattle - age 5-21, Denver - 22-30 (gasp!). I am not going to break down all the lovely factors for one or the other but will just quickly point out the most obvious differences from my perspective.

Seattle:
Insanely naturally beautiful during the 4 weeks of "summer" where temps rarely hit 80 (and even if they do you'll find chicken teeth quicker than a cloud break). The average Joe on the street is not overly friendly. Great for lovers of coffee, burned out garage band groupies, and those addicted to hemp, keeping up with the Jones' urbane yuppie life. I really do miss being able to satisfy a craving for crab at 10pm by driving a few hours, dropping the pots off in Westport and having steaming, fresh-caught crab to munch on by midnight. But that's about the only thing I miss from Seattle.

Denver: SUNSHINE!! I LOVE having 4 distinct seasons. Sometimes, it's even sunny when it's raining here (don't ask me how). The rain usually comes in torrential, gulley washing downpours - lasts 45 min at most - and you're back to sweet sunshine within the hour. I live right against the foothills so my weather is a bit different than those that live in the high country or on the plains. During winter, I'll get 3-6 inches of snow in a couple hours which will last one or two days tops and by the third day you can wear your shorts and t-shirt. Did I happen to mention I love the weather here?

People: If you can stomach the occasional cowboy (took me a while to build the immunity to it) then the people are more friendly (in general) than up north. Seem to be less self-involved.

Outdoor activites: Where to begin... Snow skiing is some of the best to be had in the world. Whether you're into posh commercialism or small, hidden local's runs you can find skiing to suit your tastes. Watersports (no, not that kind): We're not big on those lake things locally, but within a couple hours driving time you can be at 4-5 substantial lakes/reseviors for all the boating/wakeboarding/skiing/nudity (wait, that's only if you're with me) you can handle. For hiking, camping, hunting, fishing, motorcycle riding, mountain biking, kayaking, hang gliding, rappelling, etc - did you know we've got some damn big mountains here? If you're into jogging, rollerblading, street cycling we've got miles upon miles of bike paths that criss cross the city. You can ride from the furthest eastern edges of the city, through downtown, all the way out to the mountains on any number of bike paths. We have tons of open space parks (excellent for exercising dogs and easy hiking). There's rec centers dotting each suburb, a wide variety of sports league things for softball, hockey, baseball, football, soccer, etc.

Sports: Bronco's football and Avalanche hockey. Need I say more? Probably not but hey, if you're into gangsterball there's the Nuggets, Rockie's baseball, soccer has the Rapids, there's Mammoth lacrosse and some arena football team with a forgetable name. Not bad pricing on any of it either.

Nightlife: I could get graphic but the mod's probably wouldn't let this go up. Let it suffice to say that if I find there to be more fun to be had out there than I have time to explore....

If I've left anything out, or if you need clarification, just let me know.