Do we have culture? I dunno but we do things in the northwest that seem to carry other places, the coffee craze, if your in downtown seattle early in the am, coffee shops are packed and everyone seems to have a mocha/latte/coffee in their hand? Are we sick? yep, but I do the same:)
In General I would say we are less formal then the east coast or south but if your speaking to a police officer, please address them profesionally(sir or officer) Sometimes being polite and patient can get you out of trouble for minor things.
oh yah, and real men dont use umbrellas, just walk on through the rain. :)
One thing that always amazes tourists visiting the northwest is how much caffiene people drink here
One thing that always amazes tourists visiting the northwest is how much caffiene people drink here. A national news program said there are actually seven step support groups here, like alcoholics anonymous.... for coffee! It is not suprising that this is where the Starbucks franchise began, and if you visit, you will see them everywhere. There is a northwest comic book artist that talks about his addiction to coffee in his series 'Too Much Coffee Man'.
You can hardly travel anywhere in the Northwest without seeing a drive-through Espresso stand. This one happens to be in Juanita on Lake Washington's eastside, but you can find them anywhere. I don't drink coffee at all (strange for a Seattleite, I know), but I have become so accustomed to seeing these cute little stands that I just assumed that they were everywhere - NOT SO! To my surprise when we lived in Texas a couple of years ago, not an Espresso stand in sight!
Coffee shops are everywhere in Seattle. There's a reason why the Starbucks chain started here. Maybe its the weather, but you can't walk a block without seeing a coffee place or two. In addition to the big chain, Seattle's Best Coffee, another national chain which started here, is pretty popular and there are dozens of small cofffee shops and espresso stands lining the streets of downtown Seattle as well.
Just in case you are confused as to the reasoning behind all of this...Smokers have cigarettes, Seattle has coffee.
Much as a smoker finds comfort in having a cigarette in hand, a Washintonian finds comfort in having a mocha...or americano...or tall double shot vanilla soy latte in hand.
Your most popular choices will be from Starbuck's (the pioneers of this phenomenon), Tully's & Seattle's Best Coffee (SBC)
On any given block or in any given shopping center in Seattle you're bound to find one or more coffee shops. From Starbucks to Tully's to Seattles best, you won't have any problem finding a fresh, hot coffee drink and even something to eat.
Yes, Seattle is the coffee craziest place in the world probably. Until recently, it was monopolized by 3 major companies: Starbucks, Seattle's Best Coffee, and Tully's. But recently, the almighty hand of Starbucks reached out and grabbed up Seattle's Best as well, so now there's Starbucks posing as Seattle's Best. It was a sad day in Seattle, let me tell you. (Especially since Seattle's Best was my fav -- they're the only ones who give you chocolate sticks with your coffee.)
If you have a spare hour or two in Seattle, try walking around downtown counting how many coffee shops there are, and figure out things like # of coffee shops per 100sq ft, or # of coffee shops per capita, or # of coffee shops/days of the year, or... :-)
Starbucks #1 pick: Grande non-fat mocha chocolate brownie frappaccino with mint, light whip.
Seattle's Best #1 pick: Grande decaf mocha no whip.
Seattle's Best #2 pick: Tall eggnog latte (only in the winter).
Tully's #1 pick: Medium Spin.
For those of you who prefer the less established brands, it's best to get out of downtown Seattle. (Although Nordstrom does have a tasty coffee place at street level).
I recommend going to Capitol Hill, Wallingford, Fremont, or the University District, and just walking around until you find a place that strikes your fancy. It shouldn't take long!
Tully's - not as ubiquitous as Starbucks, but much better, IMHO. I like their coffee a whole lot more, and their stores don't seem to be quite as "corporate" and cookie-cutter.