The top 10 things to know about Seattle 🌲

The Chief Seattle statue at Fifth and Denny, back in 1936.


  1. We are a city of strong neighborhoods and strong cultures. We’re proud of what’s made here and love that different spots have their own personality. “The first follow-up question to anyone who says ‘Seattle is [generalization],’ should be, ‘What parts of the city do you spend time in?’” writes reader James Nau.
  2. We’re the fastest growing city in America, largely thanks to Amazon, but we know what it’s like when booms turn to busts. Boeing laid off 50,000 people here in the 1970s when plans to build a supersonic transport (SST) didn’t pan out, leading to our “longest and deepest recession since the Great Depression.” “Plan for the insane growth,” writes reader Katie Kikawa, “but know what goes up will come down.”
  3. Native cultures are the bedrock of this place. Seattle is named after Chief Sealth, a chief of the Duwamish and Suquamish tribes, and the Duwamish tribe the city once forced out is now fighting for federal recognition.
  4. We’ve failed each other many times, and we have a lot to learn from that. We burned Duwamish longhouses so they’d leave the city. We banned people of color from buying homes in certain neighborhoods and systematically denied them loans — a practice called “redlining” — in others. We pushed Chinese people out in the Seattle Riot of 1886, and incarcerated Japanese citizens during World War II.
  5. The two richest people in the world live here — Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos — and wealth is transforming the city. We’ve got 38 million-dollar neighborhoods — areas where at least 10 percent of homes are worth $1 million. Three years ago, we had just 16.
  6. There are right and wrong ways to say the names of key places around here. Our big market is Pike Place Market, not “Pike’s Place.” The body of water we sit next to is Puget Sound, not “the” Puget Sound. Know how to pronounce names around the region? Test yourself here.
  7. Seattle and water go way back. Ballard is home to our rich maritime history, and salmon is more than just a Northwest staple — it’s a big part of our ecosystem and our culture. “You have to know why you are supposed to lose your mind with excitement over the annual Copper River salmon arrival in supermarkets,” writes Tracy Record.
  8. We live in a place that’s vulnerable to earthquakes, and The Big One is due any day now. It’s smart to be prepared, and get familiar with the risk.
  9. Seattle is grey and damp most of the year — and that really is OK. The key is to adapt. Dress in layers. Get a good rain jacket. Cultivate an appreciation for cozy indoor spaces, and learn to do things in the rain anyway. Oh, and read this essay from Lee LeFever.
  10. We value strong relationships. Once we’ve made them, it’s a little hard to break out. So if you run into the “Seattle Freeze,” get intentional. Go after the connections you want, and you’ll make them.

Like your list? Share it out! Find it online here.

Dig this newsletter?

Refer your friends

Want to support your local newsletter and help your friends be in-the-know? Share your unique referral link, and get great swag when they sign up. Sign in to grab your unique link.


Asking you what you think is good to know about this place reminded us how much we can all teach each other. We learned a ton from you, and feel honored to help share it back.

A big thanks to everyone who contributed: Spencer Beard, Cynthia Brothers, Cherylynne Crowther, Michael Derr, Paul Fankhauser, Jordan Goldwarg, Lane Hatfield, Mary Holscher, Mike Kent, Katie Kikawa, Ian S. King, Tassoula Kokkoris, Jon Lasser, Judy Lozo, Luiz Humberto Melchert Marques, Shane McDonald, David Moore, Madeline Moy, James Nau, Erika Parker Price, Tracy Record, Kathy Swoyer, Vicki Weeks, and Dylan Wilbanks.

Check out this event from our advertiser, Ladies Get Paid Seattle.

💸 Ladies: Get Paid What You Are Worth Learn how to negotiate for your salary from five badass Seattle ladies. Share stories and network with strong women of our community!

Around Town

👻 9/29: Scared to Death Exhibit Launch Party

♻️ 9/30: ZeroLandfill Seattle 2017

🎃 9/29-30: 13th Annual Great Pumpkin Beer Festival

🙋 9/30-10/1: GeekGirlCon

🍵 9/30-10/1: Northwest Tea Festival

🇷🇺 9/30-10/1: Taste of Russia

♞ 10/1: ELS Medieval Festival 2017

Learn more about these events in our weekly roundup.


See you Monday. — The Evergrey

Subscribe to The Evergrey

Get the latest Seattle news and events, plus giveaways and special access to fun things around the city delivered fresh to your inbox every morning.

Archived Newsletters