How well do you know your own city?
Back in Sydney, we usually stayed in the general area of the leafy northern suburbs, where we and most of our friends and family lived, played, and schooled. But we never shied away from checking out a map and venturing to a new area, especially if it was to visit friends. There are many areas of Sydney though, that we just never went to. In general, I guess it’s natural to find those familiar and favorite areas and stick close to them.
Now that we’ve moved, we find ourselves hungering to explore new places every weekend. It’s as though we’ll feel more familiar and ‘at home’ if we cover more ground! For me and my kid-oriented goals, this means finding a great combination: supermarket + coffee + playground in 1 bus = high score (We are currently carless, which I both love and hate.) Throw in a public library for extra points.
We are pretty bus-savvy now (more on that later) and have recently found our way to Fremont, Ballard, and Wallingford (more on those too!) We are very lucky in that all of these places are a 10-15 minute bus ride from our place.
Of course, when we speak to new Seattle-based friends and workmates, we discover that most of them have never been to Wallingford, let alone know about the bus that goes there. Or a bus that goes anywhere. So suddenly, we are like experts!
(Wallingford, btw, scores pretty highly. It is a convenient, flat neighbourhood, with loads of shops and restaurants. This is Meridian Playground, which is an awesome open, grassy space with a great playground.)
And then there are moments of revelation, where you discover things you probably should have known. (Like in Sydney when you realise there are actually suburbs north of Mosman or Chatswood!)
We visited a suburb in SE Seattle called Mt. Baker. It’s very pretty. We were walking around the wide, attractive streets, killing time while we waited for the bus, when through the trees I caught a panaoramic view of Lake Washington, and the huge I90 bridge that takes you to Mercer Island. Lake Washington is huge. And beautiful. And there’s all these other places on the other side of it like Bellevue and Kirkland. And here I was feeling like such an expert because I’ve been to a few suburbs around Lake Union!
Well. We have lots of travelling to do. I’ll be keeping you posted!