An era has come to an end. After more than a decade where the East is Red, the dishonorable Chairman, his meretricious wife and diabolical son are leaving town, hitting the road Jack, getting the fudge out of this town.
The latest reports of apocalyptic toxic air notwithstanding, it’s time to move on for a number of reasons. Destination? USA, Pacific Northwest (desperately in need of more communists), which seems like an ideal location for a hideout or just a place to live peacefully in exile.
So my challenge to ye fellow GWJers, particularly those of you in Washington or Oregon, is that I have no idea about either of the cities we might be moving to—Portland (office in Lake Oswego) or Seattle (office in Bellevue).
To be honest we’ll probably end up in the Seattle area for career reasons (many more opportunities for posthumous dictators, apparently), but I’d still love to hear a compelling argument made for the Portland area. Moving in end of April, or early May.
What’s the difference between living in Seattle and Bellevue or the other Eastside towns?
I’ve been told Kirkland or Redmond might be a good alternative. Any difference between living in any of these? We’re aiming for quiet suburbitude over urban excitement, if that matters.
We’ll be renting, at least to start with, what should I expect to pay for something like a 2br place, 1100-1500 sqft? Does the range vary quite a bit between Seattle/Redmond/Kirkland/Bellevue? And any particular apartment complexes you’d recommend?
If we lived in Seattle, is it a pain in the ass to get to Bellevue? (is a car a necessity? Any public transportation?)
How depressing is the rainy-ness, gray skies?
Who’s the best internet provider?
If I care about school districts, is it true that the Eastside is generally better than Seattle?
Why would I like Portland over Seattle? I don’t mean to sound like it’s lesser somehow, I just want to know what is the lifestyle difference? I know it’s smaller in population, is known for hipsterness and microbrews, and has no sales tax, but is there anything else?
For either city:
I'm sure it's quite good, but how’s the SE Asian ingredients/food availability? Can you get pandan, palm sugar and kaya, for example?
What’s the best way to go about looking for an apartment? Should I try to find an agent, or is the interwebs pretty reliable for this kind of thing? Did I mention how new I am at this?
And as far as renting goes, since I have no meaningful work history in the US (labor camp manager doesn’t count I think), is it going to be difficult to prove I’m a swell guy with a rather empty—but highly rated!—credit history? Besides getting the relevant documentation from my company, anything else I can show to win landlords' trust?
There’s probably more questions but that’s all I got for now, and any other useful info you wish to throw at me, please do! Thanks in advance for your patriotic input!