Q&A with our new local director, Caitlin Moran

Big news, folks: The Evergrey has a brand new director, and it’s our very own Caitlin Moran. 

Basically, y’all couldn’t be in better hands. Caitlin’s been leading our storytelling for a couple months now, answering your burning neighborhood q’s, sparking big convos on everything from birthday destinations to the signs of spring, and summing up what we all know about wildfire tinted sunsets, the changes happening in the Chinatown-International District, and our love-hate relationship with A/C in our daily newsletter, which she sends fresh to your inbox at 7 a.m. 

It’s tough work, helping you #livelikeyoulivehere, and Caitlin does it with a ton of heart and loads of knowhow. Before joining The Evergrey and our parent company, WhereBy.Us, Caitlin was newsletter editor at The Seattle Times, checking in with thousands of locals on everything from the great outdoors to the news of the day. She was the first engagement editor at the Times’ Education Lab, and — before that — a hyperlocal reporter and editor writing about the Eastside for Patch. 

Caitlin’s also got some deep PNW roots, from her hometown of Lake Stevens to her alma mater at the University of Portland and a whole bunch of mountains and trails in between (her latest adventure — completing successful climbs of all five Washington volcanoes). 

Someone new has got the keys!

I cofounded The Evergrey with Anika Anand two and a half years ago to help Seattleites connect more deeply and meaningfully to their city and to each other. And I mean it, y’all: I couldn’t be handing the keys to this wild experiment to anyone better suited to lead it. And I can’t wait to see where Caitlin — and all of you — go next.

So what’s my new role? As Vice President of Local at WhereBy.Us, I’ll be leading the team of entrepreneurial journalists building kick-ass local communities at The Evergrey and our four sister publications in the WhereBy.Us network: Portland, Miami, Orlando, and Pittsburgh. We’re talking some seriously talented people (hi Ben, Lance, Katie, Rossilynne, Haley, Colin, and of course Caitlin!) and I’m beyond thrilled to help them win at all the things.  

Now let’s hear more from your new Evergrey director:

You’re out to help locals find their own best ways to live like they live here. How do you do that for yourself, and what helped you figure it out?

Caitlin: Honestly, it took me awhile. I’m an introvert, and it’s all too easy for me to fall into the stereotypical “Seattle freeze” mentality of sticking to the people and places I already know.

But I also love adventure and trying new things — not just in the mountains, but in the city as well. That’s pushed me out of my comfort zone and led me to explore pockets of the city that aren’t always covered in a “best of” list. And I’ve learned that a key way to stay connected is by going beyond my social bubbles and building a broader network. I love how The Evergrey helps us all do that on a regular basis.

I’ve been in a long-term relationship with this city for almost a decade — meeting new people and learning about all the nuances in our collective story is what keeps the spark alive.

You’ve been writing about Seattle for a while now. How do you think about the city’s character and where it finds itself today?

Caitlin: After losing my last grandparent last summer (both my grandfathers were born and raised here), I’ve been thinking a lot about what that generation would think of the city today. 

Since the Klondike Gold Rush era, the main constant in Seattle has been change. Right now, Seattle is struggling to make the leap from small regional city to big global city, and while there is plenty to be excited about, we’re concerned about who will be able to enjoy the benefits of all that growth and who will be pushed out. On the plus side, we are finally having some long overdue conversations about race, access, and inclusion — topics that were not part of our citywide consciousness until very recently.

Seattle has a reputation as an accepting, progressive place that looks ahead to the future. Today’s economic realities are testing that reputation, and it will be fascinating to see where we go from here.

Let’s say it’s Monday morning and you feel refreshed from a perfect Seattle weekend. What did you do?

Caitlin: Saturday would start with an outdoor adventure of some sort — maybe a bike ride on the Burke Gilman Trail or a hike off the Mountain Loop Highway in the North Cascades — and end with a concert at a venue I haven’t been to before, or a low-key dinner at home with friends. 

Sunday is a lazy day to grab breakfast at my neighborhood coffee shop, then head to Lake Washington for an afternoon picnic and floating session. 

The Evergrey’s pretty unique among local media outlets. What drew you to us to begin with, and what do you enjoy most about the work? 

Caitlin: Before The Evergrey came around, it felt like much of the public conversation around here was focused on dividing Seattle residents into two buckets: bright-eyed newcomer or jaded old-timer. It was pretty disheartening. I love how The Evergrey gives everyone something new to discover or get excited about. It’s certainly made me feel re-energized about our city and trying to make it better.

I got to know (co-founder) Anika when we were both working at The Times, and the idea of building a newsletter that helps Seattleites feel not just informed but connected has always resonated with me. Traditionally, journalism has revolved around a one-way transaction from publication to reader. That’s been shifting, but The Evergrey is kicking things into overdrive.

What new, fun things do you want to help us all do together?

Caitlin: One of my goals is to work with our events guru, Jordan Lyon, to come up with more ways to help our readers have more active experiences in the city. That could mean organizing a neighborhood tour, or planning a nature walk, or attending a performance together. We’re open to suggestions — so send ’em my way!

Real talk: What’s a Seattle-based fun fact that most people don’t know about you?

Caitlin: I have an embarrassing childhood story that involves local icon J.P. Patches. If you reach ambassador status for newsletter referrals (or buy me a beer), I just might tell you about it. 😉

Want to say reach out to Caitlin, send her ideas, or just say hey? Reach out to her directly at [email protected]. You can reach me anytime at [email protected]