Monday, March 08, 2004

Kalakala watch--it is still there!

We are having another one of those days! The mountains are out and the still water is a gorgeous blue. When I got up at 5:30 this morning, it was dark but as I stepped outside to get my papers, the moon was reflecting off of the Sound and the water was just glowing. At the breakfast table, at the very moment I was telling my daughter about the moon and the water, the anchor on King 5 news, said "Did you see the moon reflecting off of Lake Washington this morning? What a gorgeous day!"


I'm going to write about Bellevue today. I had mentioned it in an earlier post but we went shopping there over the weekend and I must comment. I don't get Bellevue or why anyone would want to live there. Sorry, Boring Bellevue!! The mall, Bellevue Square has some shops that Alderwood Mall, closest to us does not have and since I have a teen age daughter who loves to shop, she considers it a treat to go to Bellevue.

From what I understand (which I do not understand), housing prices are very expensive in Bellevue/ Redmond area. It is located on the east side of Lake Washington--across the lake--from Seattle. Most of the high tech jobs are over there; Microsoft is over there; Nintendo is over there, etc. Evidently, since these are higher paying jobs and with the shorter commute time from Bellevue, houses are a premium and thus economics dictates, the houses will be more expensive. But then (and this is the part I don't get) this image has developed that it is somehow "better" to live there. Everything is new.

Bellevue has no salt water views. Golf course and mountain and lake views and some views across the lake of Seattle exist. Of course, these views shoot the prices sky high. In my opinion, however, a peek-a-boo view of lake water does not hold a candle to expansive Puget Sound views with the Olympic Mountains from Mukilteo or Edmonds or Seattle. Lake Sammamish is over there and the pricey houses are jammed in around this dumb little lake. Those people live in homes that cost more than mine, though no nicer, and they'll have a very difficult time trying to see an orca, seal, sea lion, gray whale or a ferry from their kitchen windows! Even Bill Gates cannot see orcas from his compound on the shores of Lake Washington. Shockingly, people also actually live in multi-million dollar homes on large lots with NO VIEW at all. This has always completely astounded me; if you have that kind of money, why wouldn't you look for a view home???

But this is the worst part--it is boring and culturally, nothing but blah and traffic! It could be anywhere, USA--the same stores, the same chain Cheesecake Factory and Mexican restaurants that you would find in Iowa. OOOh, I just shudder to think why anyone would live there. I can understand living close to your job given our traffic situation but some people live in Bellevue because they think it is THE place to be. I do believe that many residents are recent arrivals from anywhere USA so they do not care if it is a cultural black hole; maybe they even like it. Hopefully, all of these people will just stay on that side of the lake and leave this side for those of us who appreciate quirkiness and charm.