10 cool facts you need to know about Seattle’s culture.
There is so much to say about the also called ‘Emerald City’. Located in the pacific northwest area of the United States of America, and only two hours’ drive from the border with Canada, Seattle is a beautiful city which combines the best aspects of a ‘big city’ and the feeling of living close to the nature thanks to the amazing surroundings. Culturally speaking, people from Seattle have a unique mindset and set of values. Locals are open-minded, culturally diverse, sportive, they love books, arts, and sports.
Now that we have a general idea, let’s go deeper into some details!
1. Washington state vs. Washington D.C.
Seattle is located in the state of Washington, also known as the Evergreen state… but wait, wasn’t that the capital city of the United States, Washington D.C.?.
Many people, (or at least me), get really confused when they first hear Seattle is in Washington. To make things clear, Washington STATE and Washington D.C. are located on opposite sides of the country!.
2. The next Silicon Valley?
Tech companies are booming in Seattle. Some of the biggest tech companies in the world were born in the area, Amazon, Boeing, Microsoft (yes, you can find Bill Gates dining right next to you pretty often), Alaska Airlines are some examples. Many other startups and other leading companies, such as Nintendo, Facebook, Google also have established offices in the area. So if you ever go to Seattle don’t be surprised if 90% of the people you meet tell you they work in IT!
The city is located in a privileged place of the Puget sound. Surrounded by mountains, rivers, lakes and forests, Seattleites are very well aware of their surroundings and LOVE to go outside and practice all sort of sports, such as hiking, kayaking, biking, rock climbing, paragliding… rain or shine!
4. Starbucks Coffee.
There is a very big `coffee culture` in the city and lots of roasteries serving AMAZING coffee!
5. The 12th man.
Seattleites are extremely proud of their football team, the Seahawks. It has become part of their identity and pride, especially since they won the super bowl in 2014.
In American football there are 11 men allowed on the field at one time, but not for the “hawks”. The 12th man is represented by all the fans and they take their duty seriously by following certain traditions:
Every Friday during football season you can find on the streets people wearing the jersey as to bring luck to the team.
Around 3 to 4 hours before the game begins, fans gather around the parking lot of the stadium and bring drinks, barbecue and celebrate!
In December 2013, Seattle fans received the Guinness record for the loudest crowd at a sports stadium (they even produced a small earthquake!).
From multiple gay bars to street crossings painted with the colors of the rainbow, Seattle is a city that believes in love and not only accepts everyone’s sexual preferences, but it is proud of its LGBT population and organizes several gay pride events every year.
Seattle is well known to be a great art city, and it doesn’t fall short in this category. Many musicians, such as Kurt Cobain, Macklemore, and Jimmy Hendrix were born and raised in the area. The Pacific Northwest Ballet is one of the most important ballet companies in the country. Museums, art galleries, art events proliferate all over the city.
8. The university of Washington.
Ranked as one of the world’s best universities, its stunning campus is located in the University district. ‘U-dub’ represents more than a school to the city. It is certainly part of the culture and pride of locals. The beautiful campus has become a must-see stop for tourists, especially during spring when the cherry blossom trees located in the main corridor are blooming. They also host a very competitive football team: The Huskies (yes, football again) you can find all kind of products with the UW logo in every grocery store of the city!
Seattle’s rainy weather is one of the most well-known characteristics of the city (Probably more well-known since the movie Sleepless in Seattle was released). It’s true that it rains A LOT from the beginning of fall until summer starts.
Even if it rains a lot, Seattleites know that as soon as summer arrives, the rain stops and the sun comes out, summer events and festivals begin, as well as the so-called hiking season, all the wait was worth it.
Compared to most other cities in the country, recycling, compost, buying organic and local foods, biking to work are everyday activities for the locals. The city is a national leader in recycling and hydropower.