toorsdenote (toorsdenote) wrote,

Polling my friends again: Pittsburgh vs. Seattle

Thank you everybody for your career advice! Due in large part to the advice I received, I've decided to slow down a little, get some real-world coding experience under my belt, and try to make sure I'm not jumping prematurely from "Hey, algo class is fun!" to "I should totally get a graduate degree in this."

So I figured I'd solicit suggestions again about another topic we've been mulling over around for the better part of a year: should we move to Seattle?

There are a lot of appealing things about Seattle -- chiefly proximity to family -- but at the same time we've been so happy in Pittsburgh that I'm rather apprehensive about rerolling the dice. Since I have a lot of LJ friends who've spent time in both cities, I figured I should poll you guys!

Here's the pros-and-cons list I wrote after we visited there last fall. I'm interested in how accurate it seems to other people, what other things would be on YOUR pros/cons list, and generally how you feel about the two cities.

(It's probably relevant to note that we've been looking principally at Wallingford and Green Lake, with the idea that Justin would work in Fremont. There's also a Google office in Kirkland, but a cursory glance at Kirkland made us feel like it was a bit soulless and Silicon-Valley-like. Our ideal would be to live somewhere that was (like Squirrel Hill) in easy walking distance of a good shopping district/library/etc. and a very short, non-car-based commute to work, BUT also close to a good (dog-walking) park and in a quiet enough neighborhood that Zoe could play outside. And streets paved with gold, of course. If people have suggestions on what Seattle areas might be worth looking at, I'm all ears. So far I've been really disappointed by the urban parks compared to Frick.)

Benefits of Pittsburgh Benefits of Seattle
Squirrel Hill's walkability makes it much easier for my parents to visit. We'd be quite close to Justin's parents, and we could potentially get a house with a mother-in-law unit for my parents.
Justin has a job he really enjoys. There'd be a wider range of projects for Justin to work on.
Better location if I want to do grad school. Better location (probably) if I want to get a programming job.
Lots of friends -- old CMU friends, my "mom friends," occasional visits from R. and A. We have some great friends in Seattle, but not close to where we're likely to live. Perhaps very occasional visits from D.
Living walking distance to both awesome shopping district & a kick-ass park, and easy commuting distance from work, is very important to our quality of life, and would be difficult to reproduce in Seattle. Fewer parks in the city, but easy (?) access to good hiking/camping on weekends. And ocean!
Sorta convenient to England. Lots of road trip options. Bigger airport, more flights, more convenient for Asia. (Thailand, I shall return!)
Not gloomy, even when cloudy; lower latitude. Much less snow & cold; evergreens.
We rarely have to deal with traffic. More bike-friendly, maybe??
I love the preschool Zoe's in, and we live two blocks from a decent elementary school. Seattle's schools may be better than Pittsburgh's overall? I'm not sure how to measure this.
World-class museums & libraries, at which Zoe & I spend a great deal of time. Plus KENNYWOOD! (Seattle doesn't have an amusement park?!?) Presumably more stuff going on, although I know less about what it is.
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