Well, you’ve done it. You finally made the leap. Was it that rom-com starring Meg Ryan and Sheriff Woody Captain Phillips Gump you just couldn’t shake? The houseboats, the glistening cinematic bay, the way Sheriff Woody Captain Phillips Gump clomped up and down our near-vertical streets? Or was it the grunge? How in college you and Headbanger Mike used to blast “Smells Like Teen Spirit” after studying for finals, despite your other roommates’ agonizing remonstrations? All these years later you just can’t wait to taunt Mike and let him know that while he’s stuck earning an honest living in a flyover state, here you are, in Seattle, and you’ve got the be-flanneled selfie to prove it. Ah, but it was the coffee, wasn’t it? You spent enough time basking in the third-place warmth of our famous caffeine chain and decided you wanted to live in the city that pioneered absolute strangers bellowing your name, even if they call you “Panoply” when your name is “Penelope.”

In any case, you’re here, and we’re glad to have you. So you know, while you were out there, fighting the pull of one Emerald City trope or another, this town exploded. If the U.S. Census Bureau is to be believed, an estimated 1,238 of you moved to the Puget Sound region just this week. And last week. And the one before. We gained 64,386 people between 2016 and 2018 alone. That makes this the fastest-growing region in the country. In Seattle specifically, the economy is hot. The real estate even hotter. And the jobs? Well, you likely already know.

There’s a high chance you’re newly employed at one of these fancy tech jobs where they’re teaching robots to be just as annoying as real people. Those jobs are changing the city fast. Old buildings are going down, new buildings are going up, the cranes swiveling like windshield wipers in a downpour (we sometimes get those).

It can be hard out there for a newbie, is what we’re saying. So we made this guide for you. In it you’ll find everything you need to navigate this exciting, ever-evolving city: what to eat, where to hang, how to have fun. We’ll also walk you through our many neighborhoods and show you where to get that annual checkup and even how to pronounce a thing or two (hint: when in doubt, the vowels are silent).

Finally, let us be the first to welcome you to your new city. We’re certain you’ll love it. Wait till you tell Headbanger Mike.

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