Friday, April 16, 2010

Hello Seattle, Sing Me to Sleep Tonight...

Currently Listening to:

Hello Seattle by Owl City
(In the style of last week's Glee episode in which all the songs had "Hello" in the title (: Also, in the spirit of this blog, all about my home)


(Both above) Views from the front of my house,
afternoon and morning.


I hate to point out the obvious, but there is something so comforting, calming about being home. So much so that I take it for granted every day. Whenever I travel, which isn't very often, I find myself missing my home and my bed and the places where I recognize everything, am familiar with everything. Now let me tell you something shocking. I don't really live in Seattle. (Collective gasp!) Let me give you a moment to recover from the shock.

No, I don't live in Seattle, I live in what we like to call the "suburbs of Seattle". It's a town that's growing rapidly and was once deemed "The City on the Rise" or something to that cheesy effect on msn or one of those other acronymed sites. I've lived here my whole entire life, was even born in this city, but back in those days [the olden days, yes], our city wasn't anything to scream over. It was actually kind of dumpy. But now the downtown is growing exponentially-in business and population-and is quickly growing a name for itself (is that the phrase?). Whenever anyone asks where I'm from, I automatically say "Seattle, Washington" -proudly. But on one of my college visits, the admissions officer asked my friend and I where we were from to which we replied "the Seattle area". I can't say I wasn't totally surprised when he practically chastised us for saying the "Seattle area" and not the name of the city that we are actually from. He told us he "hates it when people say that because they should just say where they are from because every city has its own unique personality! Seattle is not the same as say, Redmond, or Mercer Island".

I mean, talk about an overreaction, right? Jeesh! I live 20 frickin' minutes away from Seattle! Do you know how annoying it is to say "I'm from Bellevue, WA" and for people to say "So is that near Seattle or what?". But at the same time, I totally see his point. I, of all people, would be the first to tell you to have pride in your hometown. I love my "Seattle suburb" town. It's like in Cheers, "you wanna go where everybody knows your name". People know me here, it's my life.

Microsoft Building in Bellevue

When I went on my college visit trip in Oregon, most of the schools that we visited were in the middle of no where. They were in these tiny towns and the houses were run down and there was nothing to do for fun there but work as a pea picker. If I learned one thing about myself on that trip, it's that I am a definite city girl.
Bellevue is a good sized city. It's generally considered a pretty wealthy city; Microsoft HQ is in Redmond, our neighboring city, so close I can literally walk across the street and be there. Many of my friend's parents work at Microsoft and, yes, we always assume they are rich if their parents work there. Boeing, of course, was founded here (okay, not HERE, but in Seattle). Bill Gates lives in Medina, literally five minutes from downtown. Expedia HQ is here, we have multiple schools that have repeatedly been in the top 100 school in the nation in US News. The city streets are always clean and, despite some rumors about an apparent Russian mafia controlling the real estate market, there isn't anything really super sketch that goes on here (ahh, will I get killed for saying that there's a Russian mafia? Please, no! I'm only 17! I have my whole life ahead of me! Plus, if I die, everyone will know who it is now. Phew). Yeah, some of the rich kids get bored and buy drugs, but that happens in the small 300 person towns, too. It's almost like a sad fact of life now.
Transit Center in downtown Bellevue and new building

I love my hometown, I love almost everything about it. The summers here are TO DIE FOR. We may have 10 months of living in the most depressing, dampest pit of hell, but the two months or so we get of blissful summer is probably the closest thing you will find to heaven. It is growing quickly though, and for some reason I get a little protective over it. Like, "hello, I was here first get of my property" kind of thing. I'm scared that it will be taken over. By who? I don't know. My question is where all these new people think they are going to live. Yes, there is always new construction going on. There used to be cranes galore on the downtown skyline (there might still be, I can't remember. If there are, I have gotten used to seeing them there, and that is sad news), so there are always new places to live. But seriously, those are like penthouses and town houses that are like $2,000 a month or $2 million. Who can afford that?! Apparently we can.

I live in the "suburbs" of Bellevue. The suburbs of the suburbs of Seattle. I love it here. I love my school, I love my friends (did I mention Bellevue is a very diverse city? Over the years my best friends have been Korean, Chinese, White, Black, Filipino, Honduran, Israeli, and Indian. My mom always tells me that I take for granted the diversity of our city. I probably do, but I don't know anything else other than multicultural communities). I love living here. And as much as I want to leave home for college, I know I will miss this place more than I could ever imagine. It will be painful.


Anyway, enough bragging. I just took some pictures of the city and wanted to share them like a proud mother. I will put some up of Seattle eventually. Because, really, even though I don't technically live there, it's more or less my home city too. It's definitely a huge part of me.


QUESTION OF THE DAY:
What's your city like? I want to hear all about it!

Love from the suburbs,

Haewon

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