Men Who Transplant To Seattle Need These 8 Things

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be moving to Seattle for a tech job. For us Seattle natives, this is a less than happy truth. But since we can’t do a damn thing about the housing market, the best course of action is to laugh. But, enough about us.

This post is about you, the lonely mid-western bachelor who got away from the corn fields just in time to join the western boom of America’s greatest. Here’s a guide for everything you’ll need to know when moving to our city.

1. Buy A Tiny Overpriced Apartment

When you’re making $100,000/year starting, who cares about square footage or reasonable pricing?! Find that apartment you’ve never dreamed of, and throw down that first, last and deposit. It may be more money than most people see in a month, but this is YOUR time to shine. Oh, and make sure your apartment building feels half-way between a dorm and a post apocalyptic office building. We’re all about authentic in Seattle.

2. Buy A Rescue Dog

Now that you have an apartment too small to lay across, you’ll need a canine companion to help ward off SAD (seasonal affective disorder). Thinking small? Nah. Go for the Great Dane. Small dogs say, “This is my girlfriend’s dog that I’m walking for her.” Oh, and make sure it’s a rescue. Ain’t nobody gonna high-five you for a pedigree dog in this town.

Take this dog with you on sporadic walks and to as many festivals as possible. Not only will this help you meet people…who are walking with their boyfriends, but it will also allow you to meet other dog owners (who you should never talk to, just smile awkwardly as your dogs sniff each other).

3. Find Someone On A Dating App And Never Meet Them 

Love has nothing to do with it. Not knowing anyone after living here for six months has everything to do with it. Hop on that Bumble or Tinder train and get your text on. It’s time to find that distraction you’ve been looking for (especially since the wifi in a state penitentiary works better than yours).

The key is to never (and I mean NEVER) meet up with this person. I don’t care how much y’all have in common. Drag them along month after month after month and deny having the free time to hang out…even though your social life consists of spending the last four nights cleaning Great Dane pee out of your thousand dollar throw carpet.

4. Get Rid Of Your Car , And Single-Handedly Support The Uber Industry

Say goodbye to Bessie, it’s time to list that Lexus and live the real Seattle life—via Uber. Now, I’m not saying anyone…and I do mean ANYONE else, who lives here, does this. But as a transplant, you have your own unique mindset for living in a new and strange city. And speaking of filling that lonely void in your life: Why not have a driver to talk to as you travel one mile down the street? Never ever use public transportation. That’s for the sane.

5. Complain Daily About How Bad The Weather Is (Oct – Apr)

Now this one is seasonal because, as we all know, your work had you interview in August so you were mesmerized by the lush green surroundings and light summer breeze. But by the time you moved here in October? Things started to get real dark, real fast…literally. Like, we’re talking lights out at 4pm.

We may have just had the coldest wettest winter on record, but thank GOD you’re here to remind us how amazing your home state is. Wow. I wish I too could live in such a paradise. I’m so sorry you’re trapped here. Speaking of…

6. Keep On Reminding EVERYONE Where You’re From Is Better 

Remember the good old days? When you lived back in that town you hated, and felt trapped in? *Sigh* Those were the days, huh? Now that you’ve moved to a new city, it’s your chance to disregard absolutely everything you hated and really take advantage of those rose-colored glasses.

But, whatever you do, don’t keep this to yourself! You need to tell every. single. Seattle-ite how much better the last place you lived was. Don’t hold back! It’s not like you willingly came to this city, and are eating through our resources and sky-rocketing our housing market. Keep spreading the good word!

7. Only Make Friends With Other Transplants

Repeat after me: Transplants are my only safe friends.

Seattle people are scary. They don’t hug strangers on sidewalks, or high-five you when it’s dark and you jump out from behind dumpsters. Honestly, it’s amazing this city has socially survived.

Your best option? Don’t talk to anyone who’s actually from here. Just keep going to the same overpriced downtown bar every day after work, and get plastered with those six guys who also moved here from forgotten states. Oh, and forget exploring social events in Seattle neighborhoods. Remember: If it isn’t sponsored by a name you recognize, it’s not worth going to.

8. Get Off Your High-Horse And Admit This City Is Amazing

I wish I’d made up the above circumstances, but they’re all taken from people I’ve actually met. Don’t be that guy. Hopefully, after a while, you’ll be able to admit this city is kind of amazing. We’re a bit rough around the edges, but look into our history—Seattle was built by Scandinavian fishermen, loggers and harlots. Honestly, it’s a miracle we’re still standing.

Take some time to get to know us! I know it’s not what your other transplant friends are doing, but go to the MOHAI and learn about where we came from. Seattle people are like our weather. Amazing…but it takes us some time for us to warm up.

Review: Macleod’s Scottish Pub

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Let me tell you about a story about a girl who missed Scotland and never thought she’d find anything close in comparison to the food she had eaten there. Fish and chips were her favorite food in all of the world, but she never thought she would find anything close to the glory of the British Isles (and Ireland – duh). Then she stumbled upon this place: Macleod’s Scottish Pub.

Can I just tell you: This place has the best fish and chips that I’ve ever had in the United States, and the only thing that comes even close is 4,000 miles away. I don’t know what the recipe is, and to be honest I don’t really care. If you have any self respect for fish and chips (and a bunch of o6c3acf2b75b472277fb7715662d54404ther yummy British inspired dishes) make your way to this bar.

The music, the vibe. We didn’t even know how to handle how great a time we had. The service was great, the food was amazing and I’m so happy to have found a nearby spot to help with those “homesick” days (aka every day that I just feel like I need buy a plane ticket to Europe). The best part? The price. My plate, steaming with chips (for you Americans, that means fries) and a giant burger filled with in-house tarter sauce and a hearty size piece of fried and battered line-caught cod. All this accompanied by a tall glass of the best Lemonade ever. Total cost? $15. Come. On.

Ordered: Fish Burger and Chips, Lemonade

Where: 5200 BALLARD AVE NW / SEATTLE / WA 98107

Went: Friday June 10th, 2016

Wifi: Psh. You won’t even look/care.

Reservation Needed: No

Website: http://macleodsballard.com/

Notes: There is a Foosball table upstairs. If you’re not feeling up to a bar vibe, you can also experience a more diner-like experience next door.

I went back, again, and tried the Shepards Pie. Another beautiful dish that honestly was the best version I’ve ever had. A must try!

How To Staycation In Seattle

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It’s a pretty universal fact that Memorial Day Weekend is synonymous with taking camping trips and vacations in celebration. But this year we decided to stay put while everyone else travelled, which I know is shocking. But our weekend actually turned out to be such a great success, that I thought I would share our “staycation” details so that others looking to enjoy the beauty that is Seattle can, as well.

We started off our weekend with the greatest vacation of all: sleep. I think a lot of people underestimate how relaxing sleeping in really can be. So, rather than partying all night long on Friday we watched a quick episode of Vikings, and went to bed early. The best.

Breakfast/Brunch

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If you’re ever looking for the perfect brunch, stop by Morsel on 15th in Ballard. Not only is this spot one of our new favorites, but all of the recipes are made on site, and you can taste the difference. I ate the “Fast Break” (without the cheddar) and it was so good, I literally couldn’t stop eating it. What makes it more than “just” a breakfast sandwich is the homemade tomato jam, which (to be honest) I was skeptical of. Shame on me. It was perfection.

Daytime Activities

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Seattle is actually a great city to spend Memorial Day weekend in, because we host one hell of a party, known as “Folklife.” Not only is this a great place for food, fun and music but it also has a distinct hippy vibe that comes from our ‘cultural heritage.’ Oh, and lots of weed. LOTS. The best part is that it’s hosted right under the Space Needle and runs the entire weekend, which means FREE fun whenever it fits into your schedule.

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Our second activity for the evening was to seek out something that still had cultural significance, and was completely new for both of us. We found this at the 2016 Madaraka celebration at the Experience Music Project (EMP) downtown. We were pretty happy that this event was taking place and that it was right next to where Folklife was. After enjoying some Folklife funk, we headed over to the EMP. For those of you who don’t know, Madaraka is an Kenyan holiday that’s generally celebrated in June, but we were lucky for enough to be at this celebration, which was benefiting One Vibe Africa (which I would encourage all of you to check out!). We absolutely loved the musicians who represented all different parts of Africa and the African/African American communities in Seattle.

dsc_4391One of our favorite acts was Nik West, who is a brilliant funk goddess and was absolutely brilliant. She’s, perhaps, best known for her work with Prince, and she rocked the stage with a tower of purple hair, braided in mohawk. Check out her videos on YouTube for a taste of her amazing sound. I was so in love that after her first performance all I could say was, “That was perfection.”

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Morning

Sunday started out with a work meeting that I had to go to, but afterward we headed over to our local farmers market for some lunch. Then it was off to the movies! We walked over to our local movie theater for a matinee showing complete with popcorn and juice (because we’re old, yo – soda is so 5 years ago). We chose XMen: Apocalypse for our movie, because every weekend deserves a little bit of geek in it. The movie, we decided, gets a solid 6.5 stars. It was fun to go to, but overall nothing too exciting. I was pretty sad with the lack of character development for Storm, who is basically the reason I went to the movie. Such a loss.

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Dinner Time

After a little British Invasion via “The Great British Bake Off” our next stop was for a little taste of Italy, with a new restaurant called Pasta Bella. We’d never been to this restaurant before, but we were looking for something new and pasta sounded like perfection. The restaurant was amazing. Our starter was out of this world. And was an olive, tomato, onion, garlic dip with toasted butter bread. Amazing. I also had some yummy spaghetti and overall the restaurant will definitely be re-visited. And even better was that we snagged a Yelp $20 voucher!

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Movie Night

To top off the night, it was my night to choose a movie and chose to watch Begin Again, which stars Keira Knightly and Mark Ruffalo and was a really fun watch. The story follows a the musical lives of a producer, guitarist, musician, Adam Levine and James Corbin (obv. under different names). It was a really fun movie, and I would definitely recommend watching it, if you guys have the opportunity.

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Relax. We slept in, I got a little bit of work done and that we topped it off with a BBQ with friends. Oh! And I finally finished reading my first Descender volume, which is an amazing comic you should all read. I’m such a firm believer in taking a day of rest, so I was just fine chillin’ out for this day. And there you have it. The end of a perfect weekend. Cheers!

When Life Pelts You With Lemons…

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I won’t apologize this time, for the weeks I’ve been silent on my blog. Mainly because life has been serving me a platter of lemons, which I’ve had to skillfully squeeze and mix into some very spontaneous lemonade. To make a long story short, I got laid off from my job a couple of weeks ago and it was extremely abrupt and unexpected. The result was buckling down into “go mode” and starting to figure out how I would pay my tribute to the student loan gods (among other bills etc.).

I’m very happy to say that things have worked out well enough that my bills are covered, and although there is a pay cut involved with now supporting myself – I am considerably happier in my new job and more inspired to create, write and wake up in the morning.

So, what else have I been up to?

Well we relaunched our beautiful website The Exploress, which was a lot of collaboration and a lot of hard work – but we did it! I’m so proud of my beautiful team of writers and photographers and I absolutely love being able to work alongside them to tell their stories of travel and adventures.

And speaking of adventures – in just a couple of weeks, I’ll be headed out on my very own (with two of my best friends!) backpacking adventure around England, Ireland and Scotland. I’m so happy I could cry. Our itinerary consists of four stops, at the moment. We’ll be starting out in London, jumping on a bus up to Edinburgh (no trains – thanks boxing day), flying over to Dublin and then flying over to Stratford Upon Avon (where Shakespeare is buried!).

This trip is coming at the perfect time, and I’m so happy for it to be a bit of respite from my American life. It has been kind of hard to get back in the swing of fast-paced crazy U.S. life, but I’m doing my best and overall I’d say I’m pretty happy with where I’m at, right now.

I’ve started a new job, which is remote, so I’m working today from a beautiful coffee shop near my house. I’m working on social media and marketing with them – which is a bit of a dream come true, because I get to write and come up with marketing schemes. I love being able to take both branches of work and really dedicate myself to the overall mission of the company.

Oh! And I do have a couple of upcoming trips, apart from my UK one, that I’m really excited about:

I recently took a road trip to the Olympic peninsula and that was both beautiful and balming for my soul. You can see some of those lovely pictures below. And NEXT weekend I’m taking a snowy adventure to Leavenworth! I’m so excited for so much beautiful snowy goodness.

Oh! And I’ll be headed over to San Francisco, for a week, in January! So really the whole travel life style is working beautifully, at the moment. The thing I’ve learned about travel is that if you make it a priority (and better, if people know you’re the type to jump at the opportunity), the adventures will come to you. I promise to keep up more on the blog, since the storm seems to have calmed for the moment *knock on wood*. Especially while I’m backpacking – I plan on smothering you all with stories and whimsy about my adventures.

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Review: Murphy’s Pub

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There are times when flying to Ireland isn’t practical. And while my mind is fully aware of this fact, my heart doesn’t generally get on board. LUCKILY I live in a country/city where access to Irish culture isn’t exactly difficult – but what IS, is the ability to find an authentic Irish feel within these places. When in doubt, though – I say head to the oldest Irish pub you can find. In my case, it was Murphy’s Pub.

Monday night I lucked out, because I was dying to find some live traditional Irish music, and I found out about a weekly live music event that happens not too far from where I live. Needless to say, I dragged along my favorite ginger and ran walked into the pub. First off, live Irish music (or live music in general) is something I think should be in every venue. Second, have I told you guys about my obsession with Fish & Chips? Not that deep fried, rebaked shit stuff that you usually find (duh.) But the crisp authentic taste of breaded goodness that falls apart at your touch. THAT is what Fish and Chips is supposed to be. And, I’m happy (and pleasantly surprised) to report that Murphy’s passes this test. Of course Guinness was also had (sipped) and overall the experience was a brilliant success. The best part? The pub was not at all crowded, and the service was great.
Here are the details so you can enjoy said pleasures:

Ordered: Fish & Chips, Guinness

Where:1928 N 45th St, Seattle, WA 98103

Went: Monday October 12th, 2015

Wifi: No

Reservation Needed: No

Live Music: Yes, every Monday Night. Here’s a calendar of the other events they have for this moth:

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The Party Strikes Back – 2015

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There are certain moments in your life that you will hold on to for the rest of your life. Being around 2,000+ other Star Wars nerds was  one of them. From the moment I entered the EMP (Experience Music Project) museum in downtown Seattle I was met with the cutest little sister squad of Princess Leia, Darth Vader and a bounty hunter. They reached about the height of my knees. At that moment I knew I was in for a pretty awesome night.

I’m pretty geeky by nature. I was raised by a huge sci-fi geek family and that has definitely translated over into my adult life. I’ve travelled around the world visiting geek events and I loved being able to be in my home city and have the same kind of beautiful community. If you’re in the Seattle area, this exhibit is only available to see until October 4th! The costumes are beautiful and well worth the trip!

Here are some of my favorite shots from the night – shout out to my friend Ben for putting up with me throwing my camera at him as I ran to ask cosplayers to take pics with them. 

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Bathtub Gin & Co.

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2205 2ND AVENUE SEATTLE, WA 98121

If you know me, you’ll know that I love going to a speakeasy more than anything. Last night I got to go to a new one situated right in between downtown Seattle and Belltown, and it was so lovely I thought I would share. If you’re looking for a dim-lit laid back atmosphere for after work Friday wind-down I would definitely suggest grabbing drinks at this little spot (and I DO mean little – maximum occupancy is 39 people). Situated in a rustic vintage building with decor to match, the creative drink concoctions and beautiful interior really make it a must visit spot.

Ordered: Alice, Wonderland (of course) – A gin mint mixture beautifully topped with flowers

Where:2205 2nd Ave, Seattle, Washington 98121

Went: Friday, September 4th at 5:30m (it filled up pretty quick after we got there)

Wifi: No

Reservation Needed: No, but get there early for the best spots – expect to walk down an alley to find this spot.