When a longtime family friend died in November, his obituary in the P-I carried an astonishing bit of history. In 1961, Joe Miller was hired to be the city manager of Bellevue, a hamlet of six square miles on the east side of Lake Washington with a population of 13,000. The town may have been small, but it was scrappy and dreamed big, and by the time Miller left the post 16 years later Bellevue had sprawled out to 25 square miles and its population had increased fivefold. That was then.

Now Bellevue’s pushing 120,000, and the rural landscape has been supplanted by new and future retail and mixed-use projects. Uh, in case you hadn’t noticed, Seattle, that “suburb” on the east side of the lake is acting suspiciously like a major city, one surrounded by its own mushrooming suburbs and bedroom communities. But metropolitans that we are, we’ve been spending a lot of time on the Eastside, so this month we examine the challenges and opportunities that come with the region’s growth and ambition, and spotlight the newest ways to eat, shop, and play on the Eastside.

And while we’re on the subject of telling you where to go, check this out: seattlemet.com. If you want an all access-guide to restaurants and events and stories from current and past issues of Seattle Met, plus our fabled lists of doctors, dentists, neighborhoods, trails, and bars, complete with maps and reviews, plus Web-only wit and wisdom from our crack team of blogging editors, you shouldn’t need much of an incentive to visit seattlemet.com.

But if you do need an incentive, here’s one: Enter our online scavenger hunt at seattlemet.com/contest. If you successfully navigate your way through the site to complete the challenge, you could be eligible to win a trip for two to Hawaii.

And if you don’t win the contest, well, let us know what you think of seattlemet.com.

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