I often wonder if the attractiveness of Seattle, particularly to young adults, is not based in part on those attracted being unaware of what large urban areas typically offer.
I guess that’s because in my case, it’s true. I first moved here from the Southwest. I hadn’t lived there all my life, but I had never lived in an inner city. So I could be wowed by the city things that Seattle does have, and not notice things like the sub-par mass transit or parks systems.
Such awareness came only later, and only got truly driven home when my first and only romantic relationship turned out to be a long-distance one which sparked many trips to another metropolitan area.
Naïveté doesn’t explain it all, of course. Seattle is in an unusually spectacular natural area for a big city. That’s a big part of the reason why I came back. But the region is more than the city, and if the city is dysfunctional and a poor match for my priorities, why not live elsewhere in that region if my job situation allows?
To that can be added, how, as I have gotten older, I appreciate more and more how much more important being in nature is to me than big-city cultural things.