Seattle has us excited these days and it's not just because the city is exploding with jobs, money, and new restaurants. Here are some reasons why Seattle is gaining its '90s-era glory back:
1) Its citizens just elected a gay mayor. Ed Murray, a member of the state senate, is poised to become the Emerald City's next leader, making Seattle the largest city run by an out man. If that doesn't make you feel welcome, then well, maybe it's about you (kidding!).
2) The neighborhoods, like South Lake Union and Queen Anne, are hotter than ever. Ballard, named one of the city's best neighborhoods by Seattle magazine, is especially jam-packed with amazing restaurants — everyone loves The Walrus and the Carpenter oyster bar — and a wealth of shops and entertainment options, including the indie-minded Majestic Bay movie theater.
3) The amazing Sky View Observatory is even better. The tallest public viewing spot on the West Coast — 73 stories up the Columbia Center building — now affords 360º views of greater Seattle, including Mount Rainier and the Space Needle.
4) They're expanding public transportation. Once a city of buses — and a novelty monorail — Seattle now has the Link light rail that connects the SeaTac airport to downtown. The Link is now getting extended to the University of Washington, with an underground station in the gayborhood of Capitol Hill; it should open in 2016. A streetcar in central Seattle is also under construction and should open in 2014.
5) Washington offers equality to its LGBT citizens, not just in marriage equality, but in workplace and housing protections.