Dos and Don’ts

Rental Cars: “Seattleites drive Volvos and Subarus. If you want everyone to know you’re from out of town, rent one of those big black SUVs.”

Dress Code: “The dress code is casual, but Nirvana-era flannel is long gone. Seattleites wear fleece, cargo shorts, and Tevas (or Keens). There’s only one restaurant (Canlis) in the whole metro area that requires a dinner jacket.”

Driver Etiquette: “Don’t honk your horn. It’s uncivil and isn’t done. It’s also illegal, except in emergencies.”

Umbrellas: “Only tourists use umbrellas. Seattle rain is usually a light drizzle, and umbrellas are subject to wind evisceration anyhow.”

Smoking: “No cigarette smoking. We mean it. If you need to smoke, please go to Bangkok.”

Phrase Book

The Mountain’s Out: What locals say on a clear day when Mount Rainier, the snowcapped peak located about 100 miles (161 kilometers) southeast of the city, looms on the horizon.

The Market: Pike Place Market.

The Safe: Safeco Field, the Seattle Mariners’ high-tech baseball stadium.

U-Dub: University of Washington.

Sea-Tac: Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, located about halfway between both cities.

Pill Hill: First Hill neighborhood nicknamed for its many hospitals.

The Freeway: Interstate 5, the snarled highway that runs north/south through Seattle.

Jet City: Nickname for Seattle, the birthplace of Boeing Airplane Company (in 1917) and its longtime headquarters (until 2001).

The Counterbalance: Queen Anne Avenue, so named for a counterbalance trolley that once ran up and down its steep hill.

The Troll: The quirky Fremont neighborhood’s most famous public artwork, an 18-foot-tall (5.4-meter-tall) cement troll consuming a real Volkswagen Beetle underneath the Aurora Bridge.


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