Seattle has an abundance of homeless people. I have been in the city for nearly a month now, and encountering a homeless individual is a daily routine level oddity. I live across from the Public Market, and that area specifically attracts both tourists and homeless people, one of the various microcosmic, economic cesspools of the city. The Subway across the street from the hostel charges $12.00 minimum for a foot-long sub, which generates twice the average expenditure at quite a disadvantage to the hungry customers. Within 15 minutes walking, one can find four other subways, as well as many other restaurants at considerably more normal prices. A fair walk away is a restaurant called Katsu Burger, which I have yet to eat at, but very much intend to.
Under a bridge, not a far distance from me on Bell Street and Western Avenue, there are about 10 tents occupying the sidewalks hosting presumably homeless individuals. I have moseyed past the tents several times now, and they have woven themselves into the normality of the city; a place I now avoid at night because it just seems like the right thing to do. I however hail from Milwaukee, and the violence in that city far exceeds any criminal acts in Seattle. Overall I consider Seattle a safe city, a place where I am comfortable wandering about at night, a home that is active enough to induce a sense of tranquil energy 24 hours a day, but peaceful enough to give both the first and third-shifters an atmosphere which promotes rest. Seattle’s cultural impact vibrates throughout the traversers and consorters of the city, and it is an affirmation of community, stitched together by both the very rich, and the savagely poor.
Milwaukee, in contrast, has a city-wide crime-pandemic. Let us first note that the Milwaukee Police Department confiscated over 400 illegal firearms from the streets in 2016, while Chicago and N.Y. pulled just over 200 off of their streets the same year. The police are doing their part, and in my eyes they are doing it well. Sherriff David Clarke has let two people and possibly more die while serving sentences in Milwaukee Jails and Prisons, one inmate died of dehydration. There are members of the MPD working to obtain sought-after effectiveness. I believe Edward Flynn is heading the Milwaukee Police in a modern, progressive direction. Let us second note the outrageously close-to-home-impact the humongous violence problem plaguing Milwaukee subjects its citizens to. There are two issues which on the surface seem separate; but on this planet, everything is connected. We have the violence, which encompasses the many bullets fired and buried inside of various, mostly unintentional, usually not human substances, every day in Milwaukee. Equally close-to-home-impacting are the many, many drug users in the city and its far stretching suburbs, which pool money into the hands of people who might have a reason to defend themselves. We also have the outnumbering majority of citizens which don’t have any affiliation to these sectors, and contribute to the city economy with an equatable margin. They are sometimes the victims, names dispersed though the headlines. Law-abiding citizens, or one too young to know what right place-right time would even mean. Shot dead, sitting on their grandfather’s lap.
That is the short on the city of which I inhabited the outskirts of. I was raised in world’s largest village, and I’m privy to call it the world’s largest village so I’m not sure you will find it on Google, everything else is bliss, not brass. I was educated by the Menomonee Falls public education system, and although I did not have notable marks, the level of devotion those teachers have to their students and the community they inhabit is irreplaceable. The school-system truly saturates the community with bright, adventurous individuals, helping to propel the world forward in a progressive direction. The school system in Milwaukee has teachers just as dedicated, but unfortunately they are not given the same funding or resources as the suburbs surrounding, which is a spider web of topics for another article. There are certainly schools available for capable and knowledge seeking students in Milwaukee, but a majority of the public schools are pulled down in ability to teach by the students themselves. Parents inspiring their kids to learn is one of the first steps, and without dedicated parents it is hard for dedicated teachers to find success elevating the very kinetic youth in Milwaukee.
The education system in Seattle, and Washington in general I am not yet certified to evaluate, but judging from the citizens I would grade the education system with top marks. The citizens of Seattle are innovative, and it keeps progression abundant. Washington, one of the first states to legalize recreational marijuana, has seen an economic boon, in direct effect I believe to the marijuana laws. In Seattle and the surrounding areas, housing prices have risen 20%(needs citation) in the last two years. On the opposing side, minimum wage within the city proper is $15.00 an hour, and $13.00 an hour for businesses in the surrounding areas. This, along with marijuana legalization, has a seducing effect on the many voyagers in the city. Establishing a reputable future around Seattle is a palpable prospect. The minimum wage has risen, and prices have risen. In the metro area however, specifically outside of the Seattle tourist areas, prices have not risen enough to diminish intention of the minimum wage increase, thus making it a viable economic move for the city. I expect to see growth in the future, and until marijuana legalization becomes a philosophy adopted by many more states I expect to see newcomers to the city. In fact, I consider marijuana legalization a cheat code for ones economy at this point in time. It immediately generates tourism, and is the utmost-but-certain direction of the future, and the youth of America and the world alike are the ones making this decision.
Seattle has the most cranes of any city in the world at the time of the writing of this article. That, right there, is palpable evidence of city growth. I witness the construction of these buildings on a daily basis. I walk under scaffolding every time I leave the hostel and walk east. The progress here is radiating, and I believe it generates excitement. On the 4th of July, some of the cranes in the city were even decorated with a great many lights; a sight I have never seen prior, maybe I just don’t get out enough. The city transit is good, but the buses can often be on a delay. The light-rail is the way to go, working and living within walking distance of it will make living without a car very possible. A light rail or a bullet train that ran all the way down the west coast is exactly what I want to see, I would certainly ride it and I believe many other would as well. One could explore the west coast, free to carry cannabis.
My thus far general consensus of Seattle
This city is a great place to grow, especially for anyone who is young and ready to work. Possessing a college education can offer many opportunities, but a laborer of any education level can find themselves fit into the piece-work of this city. The landscape encompassing Seattle is beautiful and bountiful, giving folks who grow with the city a gratifying place to retire from it, whether they be young or old. The art and music in the city is vivacious, and it’s something to fall in love with. The Chihuly gardens shows the city has a soft side, and Biscuit Bitch proves it has attitude. The Space Needle is recognized the world around, and living in the city you will see it at every angle. Pigeons and homeless folk will become integrated into your daily life, but it will not bother you. If one feels the need to visit Seattle, they simply book a room at the Green Tortoise hostel on Pike street. They will find themselves within walking distance of a wonderful number of attractions, far too many to see in the too few days I see many visitors allot themselves; don’t make the same mistake. Come see the city, and bring money because it’s the lubricant for society, but more importantly bring time. Give yourself time to walk around, allow yourself the freedom to enjoy the unexpected pleasantries you will discover. Do not be frugal with your time, be philanthropic. Seattle will gravitize your full, undivided attention, it’s powerful.