Living in the Pacific Northwest ~ Part One

imageI was thinking today about Suzy and my travels around the world. We saw a lot of nice places to live and decided that the Pacific Northwest US is where we wanted to live.

Before our move I had never even heard of Birkenstocks or for that matter Starbucks. Indeed, I found paying around $2 (at that time) for a cup o’ joe to be insane. And wear of those ubiquitous Birkenstocks a bit foppish. My how I’ve changed. Or maybe the world has changed? Truth time, I own two pair of Birkenstocks that I wear much of the summer. And yes, I wear socks with them.

StarbucksLogoOriginalWe were attracted to the beauty in the northwest, seduced by the kind folk who populate the region, and calmed by the like minded liberals that dominate the political climate on the west coast. But there was also the jazz that was so prevalent,  the coffee culture that had me paying more for one of my two cups of coffee a day, and the weather. What…?

Yep, some of us humans prefer cooler weather (not cold, cool) to the incessant heat of tropical paradises which lure so many retirees. Rain is for me preferable to the snow that the Midwest US endures. And our Summer is wonderful because the environment becomes a Mediterranean climate with dry heat for three to four months of the year.

The political climate is described thusly:

A major divide in political opinion separates the region’s greatly more populated urban core and rural areas west of the mountains from its less populated rural areas to their east and (in B.C.) north. The coastal areas—especially in the cities of Vancouver, Victoria, Bellingham, Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia, Portland, Corvallis, Eugene, and Ashland—are some of the most politically liberal parts of North America, consistently supporting left-wing political candidates and causes by significant majorities, while the Interior and North tend to be more conservative and consistently support right-wing candidates and causes.

It should be noted that the religious right has far less influence throughout the region than elsewhere in the U.S., although it is very strong in the Fraser Valley, and also that certain areas of the BC Interior, particularly the West Kootenay and some areas of Vancouver Island and the BC Coast, have long histories of labour, environmental and social activism. ~ Wikipedia

imageThe cuisine is heavily influenced by the bounty from the sea. Coming from the Midwest, I never knew anything but canned salmon. My first fresh salmon here has created a taste for that particular fish. But the food eateries around here represent a diversity that I had not experienced else where. I think nothing now of having food from India, China, Mexico, and Germany all in one week. And the availability of beer, in this the microbrew capital of the world, means that you never have to have the same old beer again.

About Gandalfe

Just an itinerant saxophonist trying to find life between the changes. I have retired from the Corps of Engineers and Microsoft. I am an admin on the Woodwind Forum, run the Seattle Solid GOLD Big Band (formerly the Microsoft Jumpin' Jive Orchestra) a GOLD sax quartet, and enjoy time with family and friends.
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