A month living in London. How it compares to Seattle.
Marcelo Calbucci
234

Interesting comparison. In terms of drinking I think it’s not too different. After-hour beers is a very common tradition in Seattle and in London. But of course, in terms of coffee shops Seattle wins :) And I don’t know any offices in Seattle with their own bar. Saatchi London for example has their own bar, in the office!

Traffic in Seattle is indeed not at all that bad. But I have the impression people in Seattle are not that worldly, so they don’t know any better. Traffic in Bangkok, Brussels,… is far worse. What probably is true, is that traffic in Seattle is getting worse faster than other cities (in other words, Seattle is catching up in terms of bad traffic). The problem is, Seattle does not have a subway system so they’re poorly prepared for the future.

Seattle’s bike rental was a clusterfuck and the reality is that nobody knows why it failed (I was at the hearings and there seemed to be no conclusion as to why it failed). The reality is that Seattle doesn’t want to be a big city. They make small-city decisions. Bike sharing should have remained, but they gave up because they lack a long term city vision.

Regarding diversity, Seattle has way more Asians (Indians, Chinese, Vietnamese, Koreans, Japanese,…) while London has way more Europeans. It’s easy to explain, Asia is closer to Seattle than Europe. Seattle has almost no Europeans. I’m European and it’s one of my gripes about living in Seattle.

Lastly, I totally agree on the food. In general, UK food is poor. Seattle food is fine, but unfortunately the more you pay the less you get (but the higher the quality), so you’ll be leaving a restaurant hungry and a huge check. The best food — quality versus quantity versus price — is still in Belgium in my opinion. I’m not sure why taste of fruits and veggies would be better in London than Seattle. Both cities probably import these. Maybe taste buds respond differently across the water :)

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