I am surprised by new things in Seattle every time I go there (which isn’t often given my high tech in’s), and this trip was no different. What was reinforced was the number of expensive, often over-priced shops, boutiques, restaurants and coffee bars.
You’d find this wonderful little diner and coffee would be as you expected in a one-horse diner, $1.50 but a hamburger was $10-15 and a pretty basic meal was anywhere between $15-25. Boutiques would tempt you with quaint gadgets and knick-knacks or jewlery and the tags would surprise at $150, $250 or even higher. Printed bags without an ounce of leather in the street market were $175 and higher.
I was told by several people that they get away with it because of the volume of Microsoft and first tech wave billionaires although what about Seattle’s other industries? Housing costs still remain lower than the Bay Area however, and while rent is also less expensive, a friend pays $1500 for a one bedroom on the outskirts and while it has a ton of great light, hardwood floors and a modern kitchen, it is 2.1 miles from the center with no garage and limited storage.