My husband has been offered a contract position in Seattle beginning at the end of the month and lasting for 5-6 months. We are currently near Detroit and suffering the fallout from the auto industry. We have been planning a move to Portland or Seattle for a while now, and are excited to finally have a good reason to go. I have a bunch of questions about the area if anyone could offer some insight...
Can Seattle be conquered without a car? We will come out with one, but would love to get rid of our second car and my husband will definitely need one for work, which would leave me without one for a good bit of the time. I'm excited to walk with my son, but I've read mixed reviews about getting around the city without a car (or with one, for that matter :) is the traffic really that bad???). Also, does public transit go outside the city to suburbs at all?
Are there good up and coming neighborhoods still in Seattle? I'd read that most up and coming neighborhoods in Seattle had "arrived" and were not necessarily a good deal. We will be looking to sublet until we know for sure that we have a permanent job, and then ultimately would love a small old house in a cool neighborhood. Diversity, walkability, farm markets, good food, good music, good coffee are all big positives in my book. We also don't have a ton of money, so I'm ok with a grittier area if it's safe, kwim? Is it hard to find a place to live for a family of three for under $1000? Am I going to get laughed at for even asking that? Also, are there nice country feeling places near enough to the city that commuting would be possible?
Coming from Detroit, I don't even know if this question is worth asking because anywhere has got to be better than here, :( but is the economy pretty stable with a good amount of job opportunities? If we decide to stay in Seattle, my husband will be looking for a permanent job and I would like to wait tables or work in a shop a few days a week just to meet some folks. Ultimately, when my son is in school, I would like to re-start my career in interior design and have been stalking a bunch of modern pre-fab builders/architects/designers in the area who I hope to charm into giving me a job some time down the road. Pipe dream? Maybe... but a gal has to have some goals, right?
Also, I don't plan on homeschooling at this point, though I may change my mind about that, but I would really love to know if a nice alternative to public or high tuition private schools exists. We do a Waldorf co op here. I don't know that I would choose an exclusively Waldorf school for the long term, but would love to find a school that puts some unique methods into practice (free schooling, unschooling, Waldorf etc., without being dogmatic about any one thing). Does that even exist anywhere? I just want my son to go to a school where he will be nurtured and treated like the wonderful little individual he is. But I may not be able to pay for it, so it should be free, of course! ;)
Hmmm... can't think of anything else off the top of my head! Sorry for the inquisition, but I don't want to read any more conflicting articles or reviews on line. I just want to hear from real people! Any questions that y'all can answer will be greatly appreciated!
As an added bonus, if you want to volunteer to be my first Seattle friend and tour guide, I'll promise to cook you a good meal. If you love good music, even better! Thanks again, folks!