Talk to me about Seattle....

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Eric Lehto, Jun 11, 2020.

  1. Eric Lehto

    Eric Lehto Pre-takeoff checklist

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    So it looks like I'm most likely moving to Seattle sometime around the end of the summer. Job offer in Kent, my better half wants to rent in downtown Seattle, at least for a while.

    Lots of airports around there, but some cursory web hunting back when this move first started sounding like a possibility didn't give me warm fuzzies about finding a hangar to rent. I've been OK tying down outside here in the desert, but no way that's a possibility in the pacific northwest.

    If salary negotiations go well, I expect to have a decision made regarding the move in a couple of weeks. Then it's time to start a hard search for a hangar. I know we have some members in the area, hoping someone can point me in the right direction.
     
  2. Lndwarrior

    Lndwarrior Line Up and Wait

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    It rains. A lot...
     
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  3. wilkersk

    wilkersk Pattern Altitude

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    Kent is not Seattle. But, that's a good thing. There are some nice neighborhoods in Kent. If your better half can also work in Kent, you can avoid most of the downside of living near 'Freeattle'. Its bad enough, you're gonna be dealing with the 167. Having to deal with the I-5/I-405 commute is a life sucking drain on your wallet, time, and health. If you're small town America, you're in for culture shock. There are actually American citizens living in Seattle who are ashamed to be Americans. There are immigrants who insist our society must change to be more like the one they left. And, there are sleazy, blood sucking elected officials who will spend your tax dollars on frivolous crap and then denigrate their constituents for being tax averse.

    As far as a hangar goes, you need to get in touch with the folks at "Flights Above The Pacific North West" (FATPNW) search for their FB page, then introduce yourself and start schmoozing. 'Cause, hangar wait-lists are long. The best bet is to look for an off-the-books sublet.

    Oh, .....and by the way, welcome to Washington!
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2020
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  4. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach Gone West

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    You'll probably want to look to the south of metro Seattle for an airport.

    Living downtown and commuting to Kent will not be fun. Traffic is an absolute nightmare. We closed our Tukwila office last year because after years of population growth it became ridiculous for our staff to get there from the north (Bellevue, Mercer Island and Issaquah).

    Renton was the airport I used when I flew in to that office, but it's jammed in with subdivisions, the Boeing plant, and seemed too expensive to base a plane out of there.
     
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  5. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    Do you have an aircraft now?
    you talk about a hangar, didn't say any thing about the aircraft.
     
  6. 35 AoA

    35 AoA Pattern Altitude

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    I would vote to not "rent" anywhere near Seattle proper. If your job is in Kent, that is just going to be annoying, and you will pay a ridiculous premium just to commute. I have nothing against Seattle, other than the horrible traffic and inflated prices of everything. I'll say that my wife and I were strongly considering moving there as well, until we found out how awesome puget sound island life can be, isolated from all the insanity of the last few months (mostly). Obviously that wouldn't make sense for you, nor am I recommending it, but we nixed the SEA idea pretty early on. I don't know if I'd actually want to live in Kent, but there are plenty of other options which wouldn't involve the annoyances (at least IMHO) of living downtown. Great place to visit for a weekend, wouldn't want to live there full time. Just my .02
     
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  7. rtk11

    rtk11 Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Ditto - do NOT rent in Seattle. Nice restaurants, nice scenery, good places to visit and spend time on the weekends. But during the week, traffic STINKS. I turned down a job in Bellevue because of the traffic and cost of living anywhere in the Seattle area proper. (Try as I might, there were no affordable places to buy in the University of Washington district or in Bellevue.)
     
  8. Jamie Kirk

    Jamie Kirk Line Up and Wait

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    Small area of Seattle is under siege
     
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  9. wilkersk

    wilkersk Pattern Altitude

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    They can have Crapitol Hill. I avoid that place like the plague.
     
  10. Eric Lehto

    Eric Lehto Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Yeah, I have a Beechcraft Sundowner.

    I've been in California for 3 years now. Very familiar with communist views on existance.
    Better half really wants to live downtown/urban. I can handle anything for a while...that's the joy of renting. I just need to keep the plane out of the elements.
     
  11. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    I'd investigate the Crest Airpark. they have hangars attached.

    I've only been a couple times looked nice, and not in the war zone.
     
  12. wanttaja

    wanttaja En-Route

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    If you live in Seattle and work in Kent, your commute will be opposite to the usual flow. That'll make it a bit better.

    However, Seattle has an extremely high cost of living, and horrible traffic and especially parking issues. If you get an apartment, there's no guarantee you'll have parking...Seattle no longer requires apartment owners to supply it.

    I'm of somewhat of a liberal bent, but Seattle is getting beyond the pale. There's no income tax in Washington, so Seattle is piling on all the other taxes they can (soft drinks, ammunition, etc.), in addition to trying to work their way around the income tax prohibition. I really, really, REALLY don't recommend actually living there. They've got some city council members who are totally bonkers.

    It is a nice place to visit (other than in periods of protest...) and day trips are easy to do. There's even light rail, so you can park well outside the city and ride in.

    The further from Seattle you get, the nicer apartments and homes you can find for less money. Kent is (mostly) a bedroom community for Seattle, so there's a lot of options there. I worked in Kent for ~35 years (Boeing Kent Space Center), living in Kent and Auburn, the next town south. My commute ran, typically, about 25 minutes to a half hour, and didn't require any freeway travel. We moved to a new house in Auburn in 1998, and the commute wasn't bad. Twenty minutes on a good day.

    King County (which includes Seattle, Auburn, and Kent) isn't politically as bad as Seattle, but it's tending that way. A couple of miles south of Auburn, Pierce County starts, which is a bit less extreme. The trouble is, you'll have to commute via State 167 or Interstate 5, and these can get a bit bound up coming up from the south.

    On the south end, the major GA airports are Renton (controlled), Auburn (uncontrolled municipal field), and Norm Grier field (uncontrolled public-use airpark, formerly called Crest).

    I've been based out of Auburn since ~1984. Facilities are pretty good, they're currently extending and repaving the runway. Previous length was 3300 feet, think it's going to be closer to 3800 or 4000 when they're done. Taxiways were reworked about ten years ago. I've been pretty pleased with the airport. There's a maintenance shop there, as well as several freelance A&Ps. It has convenient access from highway 167.

    Current wait list for hangars depends on what you want. The open T-hangars have a 1-3 year wait, the fully enclosed ones are 3-7 years.

    Depending on the plane, I am not so negative about tieing down outside. I parked my first plane, a 150, outside for two years, and it had been parked outside before I bought it. Make sure the seams are sealed, and/or get a cockpit cover. Again, though, it depends on the airplane. Wouldn't have wanted to leave my Stinson outside, but I think your Sundowner will be fine for a year or two until a hangar comes up.

    Norm Grier (Crest) is a privately-owned public-use airpark. The facilities are older, the hangars a bit more run down, and the tiedown areas are mostly grass. But it will be cheaper. There are some fairly large housing developments and apartment complexes near it, and it has a pretty good commercial complex (Costco, grocery stores, restaurants) nearby.

    Ron Wanttaja
     
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  13. -KLB-

    -KLB- Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I grew up on the opposite corner of Washington state. Seattle weekend traffic was crazy enough to visit when I moved to Texas 30 years ago. My parents moved to Texas a few years later and thought they might move back in retirement. But a few months back there assisting their elderly parents convinced them that even that far away from Seattle things had swung so far they wouldn’t enjoy it any more.
     
  14. MIFlyer

    MIFlyer Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    Seattle has a lot going for it, though I hardly recognize it today.

    Setting aside the events of the last few months, I would say this about Seattle.

    Traffic sucks. Like, you can't even imagine how it can take you 2 hours to go 10 miles (and there tend to not be "side roads" due to our geography. Public policy is actually proactively determined to make traffic worse. This isn't me expressing an opinion, this is in the SDOT, WADOT and Sound Transit plans and missions. Like, they're not saying "we're going to prioritize busses and bike lanes and just leave car capacity where it is". They're ACTIVELY removing arterial roads to make them bike lanes/etc, in a place that already has some of the worst traffic. We spend $5B to tear down a 6 lane viaduct and replace it with a 4 lane tunnel. We could have replaced the viaduct and kept 6 lanes for $2B. We replaced the 530 bridge 5 years ago for another 5B (notorious traffic snarl) and DIDN'T ADD ANY normal car lanes! this is a bridge that has had a 40 minute backup, every day, for 30 years.

    I would NEVER consider living in DT Seattle and commuting to Kent. You end up taking all the downsides of dowtown living (hard to park, high prices, etc) and pairing it with a long commute. Generally, people pick a poison, either live in the city and work in the city, so at least the high home prices/etc are offset by a short commute OR, they live outside and get better (I won't say low) housing prices, but pay for it with a commute.

    You are actually in a situation to win perfectly by living in Kent/Auburn prices, and NOT having to commute to the city, but still being close enough to easily come in for entertainment, food, sports, culture, etc.

    I hear you on the wife wanted a stake in Seattle proper. My wife has the same desires, and we've compormised in the short term by living in a very close in suburb so the commute and access to the city are great, but I don't have to actually live in the Seattle jurisdiction. Later in life, we're talking about getting a little condo or foothold in/near the city and having a main place somewhere much more affordable and with more room to breath, but we'll see where life takes us.
     
  15. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    Just wondering...... long term housing plans?
     
  16. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    Living in Seattle .. you'll learn what the conversion zones is :)
     
  17. wanttaja

    wanttaja En-Route

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    Are you referring to the political climate, or the weather ("convergence zone")?

    For those not familiar with the Puget Sound area, the Olympic mountains to the west tend to split incoming weather, and it re-converges downwind. It's common for the area north of Seattle to have horrible weather while the area south is CAVU.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puget_Sound_Convergence_Zone

    Ron Wanttaja
     
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  18. TonyG

    TonyG Pre-Flight

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    I live in Seattle proper, and meh, not so bad other than traffic through downtown. How bad the traffic is depends entirely on where you're going and when. The AM and PM commutes from North Seattle to Boeing field actually haven't hardly changed in the last 30 years. But the commute at different times of day, and other commute directions, have gotten truly terrible.

    Here's an idea to consider: Rent a place in Georgetown (a Seattle neighborhood just south of downtown, that abuts the north end of BFI. Get a tiedown in NE parking at BFI. You're nestled against downtown, in a slightly gritty but "cool" (according to younger folks than me) neighborhood, you'd have the fast part of the reverse commute (coming home from Kent all the way to downtown Seattle, the last 1-2 miles will normally cost you 1/2 an hour - and it's always been that way, you wouldn't have that in Georgetown). Best thing is, you could walk to your airplane, and, after flying, have your pick of bars and restaurants on the way home. You'd need to tie down outside, but airplanes manage ok. Might as well live the life if you're going to be in Seattle, IMHO. Keep the SO happy.

    EDIT: As an aside, if being close to a tied-down airplane lets you fly it more, then the extra operations may well more than make up for not being in a hangar. In my experience, they break more when they sit.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2020
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  19. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 Final Approach

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    We're on the opposite track. Sick of several TX socio-cultural nuances, and eyeballing WA for retirement (rain shadow of the Cascades though). Diffrn' strokes for diffrn folks. It's all good. :D
     
  20. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    My mom taught me that if I have nothing good to say then keep quiet.

    Then again, any place with a population of more than 25,000 folks scare me....
     
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  21. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    I can think of a couple of words for the culture in Texas, and nuanced isn't one of them! :)
     
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  22. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    I'm on season 7 of Grey's Anatomy. It looks really nice with a great hospital but there are a lot of accidents and shootings and bombings there.

    Be safe

    ;)
     
  23. Pilawt

    Pilawt Final Approach

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    When you watch the TV weather forecast you'll learn a new word: "Sunbreak"
     
  24. luvflyin

    luvflyin Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    If ya wanna know what the traffic is like, go to about 1:35

     
  25. chartbundle

    chartbundle Pattern Altitude

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    Last I heard it was a lawless wasteland with zombies roaming the streets.

    I interviewed in Seattle many years ago, the mistake the company made was letting me rent a car and come in the day before. I spent the entire afternoon/evening stuck in traffic. They offered me the job, I said no way.
     
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  26. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 Final Approach

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    Indeed. I was being purposefully euphemistic in order to not get sucked into the california vs texas monolithic false dichotomy du jour that seems to prevail in this forum, especially since this is about WA relocation.

    BL, our TX residency is apathetically transactional, but you can't use tx nor ca here without people ascribing cultural virtue signals. Personally i think the whole tx vs ca thing is banal and reductive for both places, when similar aspersions can be said about the other 48.
     
  27. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    Well today the conversion zone extends from Portland to Vancouver.(BC)

    I have not used the soaker hose yet :)
     
  28. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I grew up in Seattle, so I'm enjoying hearing about it. The Pacific Northwest is my favorite place to fly. The last time I visited Seattle was about five years ago. I did notice that the traffic had gotten a lot worse than I remembered. This was aggravated by the fact that I didn't yet have a smart phone to give me traffic info, and to make matters even worse, my portable car-GPS became INOP when I tried to update the database right before leaving home. :eek:
     
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  29. deonb

    deonb Pattern Altitude

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    Stay far away from main street media on this one. I have good friends in that area, and nothing in the press on either side is anywhere close to accurate of what's actually going on. The "siege" is basically a combination of a block party, street parade and farmers market with people freely coming and going into the area.

    If you want to find out what's actually going on, look for photos and video taken from the inside. A good quick source of local information with lots of postings from people who live/work in that area is:
    https://www.reddit.com/r/CapHillAutonomousZone/

    Scroll through there and look at all of the photos and videos and see if it matches what you read in the media.

    I would say that what you see going on in that area right now is an accurate representation of Seattle and specifically Capitol Hill culture. There are various events and festivals throughout the year in Seattle, and what's going on in right now is pretty indistinguishable from them. In a few years you wouldn't be able to tell if a picture was taken during CHAZ or during some other event. If the idea of that isn't appealing to you, you should rethink living in downtown Seattle - at least not in Capitol Hill or Fremont.

    The Seattle and surrounding area is huge, representing various different ways of life, all the way from farmer to hipster. People pay a large premium to live in Capitol Hill, not in spite of the culture, but exactly because of it. It's not for everyone, and that's ok.
     
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  30. Eric Lehto

    Eric Lehto Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Thanks for all the info! Keep it coming. No long term plans for Seattle yet, which is why we're planning to rent (not to mention the sticker shock on decent single family homes in the area). If we love it, we'll reassess. If not, the company is amenable to a transfer after a year or two.

    The SO really is firm on her desire to live downtown/urban (on her bucket list to do it once). She's got her eyes on a couple of places, with included parking. I'll have to put my entire garage, and a couple of rooms of furniture, into storage, but so be it. So yeah, we'll be spending almost what my current mortgage is just to live in a 1 bedroom apartment. It is what it is. Like I said...renting is temporary, and I can handle anything for a year.

    Hate to think I'm going to have to tie the plane down instead of hangaring it though.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2020
  31. MIFlyer

    MIFlyer Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    You should talk to your wife about neighborhoods. "Downtown" isn't really where it's at in Seattle. Capital hill and other close in neighborhoods are actually where the shops/restaurants/nightlife/etc is. there are books/articles that go through the neighborhoods in pretty great detail and they are very different in culture and amenities, even in the city of seattle proper. I would visit the city data forums as a primer.

    I would really look at Georgetown as one poster mentioned. Lots of cools stuff going on, easy access to downtown, BFI and south to Kent and has a "Seattle, WA" address. There are condos/etc with cafes ont he ground floor there if that's what she's vibing for. If I had no kids, I'd actually consider it, but the school have the xpdr set to 7700 in general south of I90 in Seattle.
     
  32. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Yeah, there's a lot of exaggeration going on in some of the national media. I checked a few of the local news sources, and they paint a much more benign picture.

    https://www.seattlepi.com/local/pol...-over-seattle-more-trump-threats-15336353.php

    https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/seattle-area-protests-live-updates-on-friday-june-12/

    https://mynorthwest.com/1937349/opinion-debunking-myths-capitol-hill-autonomous-zone/?
     
  33. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

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    FWIW: strictly depends on if you're a resident and your viewpoint. I have a friend who lives on 13th Ave E. He would strongly debate the "benign" term. It really boils down to whether you're a stake holder in the area or just hanging out. He hopes this ends quickly so they can clean up the area and move on. For him personally means selling and getting out. He's been there 58 years and his parents before him. So it really depends. And for the record, I lived on 12th Ave E down by Volunteer Park for a spell years ago. Know the area well and it's a shame the damage done to it especially the graffiti.
     
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  34. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach Gone West

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    Have a look on the north side of the Olympic Pennisula. There's some nice airports and a few airport communities as well. Places like Sequim really benefit from the rain shadow, and you can explore some neat places like Port Townsend, and old Victorian era seaport at the entrance to Puget Sound (which also has a pretty nice airport, Jefferson County).

    Unless you are particularly masochistic you'll be tired of the commute before the first week is out. And don't believe the stuff about "going opposite the traffic". The I5 and the 405 corridor are freaking nightmares, both directions, any time of the day now. Just too many people crammed into too small an area, with lots of geographic barrier constraints. "Going opposite the traffic" most often means you can move at a crawl, instead of being at a dead halt for extended periods of time. ;)
     
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  35. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I have heard folks can become sleepless.....
     
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  36. deonb

    deonb Pattern Altitude

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    Is that still true even since the police left two nights ago? I know residents (both protesting, and non-protesting) were complaining a lot last week when they heard flash-bangs at all hours of the night and had teargas entering their apartments. The words: "war zone" did come up.

    For the last two days, the comments I now hear most often are: "It's been like a rowdy Saturday night that extends into the late morning hours". Which is obviously still noisy and irritating to some, but shouldn't be a "war zone" anymore. Is your friend experiencing it differently? Obviously someone who is 58 would experience the same event very differently from someone who is 28 - I mean accounting for more than that.

    PS: Just looking for current on-the ground reports about experiences. Debating the virtues of police vs. non-police presence would obviously go political quickly and be against forum policy.
     
  37. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 Final Approach

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    Wilco! That's one of the considerations for retirement. I have to be able to float continued footprint in the hobby. I don't see airpark living in our future on a housing cost basis, especially West of the Cascades, so proximity to a public use airport is a pre-requisite. Fortunately the wife is not a housing snob, so we should be able to live rather frugally housing wise, and spend our time flying and traveling up and down the West Coast.

    We're planning on devoting the next couple of years to exploring the state and better informing our post-mil work/life picture. Right now we're mostly looking at Ellensburg, which could segway nicely into flight instruction pin money work for the college if the part-time min guarantee airline pilot shtick doesn't work out to my satisfaction. Give back to the community type thing. Still fairly close to the SEA area for medical specialties, which is one of the lessons I've recently learned dealing with my aging parents back home in the caribbean. We won't be nearly as old as they are when we make the move, but something to think about.

    Are you still in MT? We're planning on swinging up there via the Eastern route and cross by your neck of the woods with the Arrow on our way to WA (when the COVID DOD orders get rescinded), so we might holler at ya. Cheers!
     
  38. Busflyer

    Busflyer Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Where Frasier lives looks nice.
     
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  39. Ghery

    Ghery Touchdown! Greaser!

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    First, welcome to the great Pacific Northwe(s)t. Yes, it rains a bunch around here. Seattle averages about 40 inches a year. No biggie, I live just outside Olympia and it averages 50 inches a year here.

    I'd strongly recommend against living in Seattle. As noted above, their politics have gone totally off the rails and it isn't a great place to call home. Especially if you are working in Kent. Live closer to there and save on the commute. I had a workmate who lived at Crest many years ago and he was quite happy with it. He's now gone (died a number of years ago of Prostate Cancer), but before he moved to Arizona he liked it there.

    I'll support the Facebook group Pilots Above the Pacific Northwest. I hang out there, as well. As well as POA and others. Get on waiting lists for hangars in the area where you are going to live. Seattle isn't great in that regard, basically its KBFI to the south and KPAE to the north. Both are a good drive from Seattle. I'm based at KOLM, where our club has 3 planes. Not an issue for you as you have your own plane, but even here hangars have a waiting list.

    Port Townsend (mentioned above) has a great restaurant on the field. The Spruce Goose is known for their pies. And the airport is supposed to reopen (their having their runway repaved) on the 20th of this month. The airport cafe at KPWT (Bremerton) was a great place, but they closed the end of the year and a new one will take their place when the new building is finished and reopens. BTW, to not be immediately shown to be from out of the area, learn how to pronounce a number of the place names. Sequim is one of the famous ones. Remember that the "e" is silent. :D

    Again, welcome to the we(s)t side of the mountains. And remember, although many of the locals think what we Cougars know as the mistake on the lake is worth paying attention to, it really isn't.
     
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  40. Luigi

    Luigi Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2013
    Messages:
    514

    Display name:
    Luigi
    Probably some good deals in Chaz! ;)
     
    benyflyguy and denverpilot like this.