I have to keep this short after using most of my allotted library computer time to write up the last three posts. So quick update.
First impressions of Yakima are a mixed bag. I’ve been pretty thoroughly bombarded with negative feedback about Yakima pretty much everywhere I go. The guys at Walmart in Post Falls, ID (not exactly the most happening spot in the world) without any provocation ranted at length about how much they dislike this city and how it’s the last place in the world they would ever live and make sure you lock your car and watch out for drive-by shooting and blah blah blah. And the crime statistics are rather impressively large for a city this size. But I’ve been around enough to take this with a grain of salt.
My first look at Yakima was definitely a look at the poorer part of town, arriving in a beatup looking downtown that was largely desolate on a Sunday morning. I really didn’t mind it though. To me it was just neat to be somewhere different. Somewhere with a different feel. And clearly downtown Yakima has a very distinct feel to it. Hispanic leanings. Western influence. Yes it’s unkempt, but I also don’t need to live or even really visit this part of town if I choose not to.
Heading West toward the friend’s house where I’m staying though brought a very different look. Dogwood and Lilac lined streets, tidy green yards and people out walking their dogs. Interesting mix of architectural styles. Some Spanish-looking. Some stately colonial. Very hilly terrain with no sidewalks (but also little traffic).
And everywhere there are foothills as a backdrop. This I dig. I used to play this computer game called Sim City 2000 where you begin with a customized terrain and then grow a digital city. Invariably my chosen starting location would be an area surrounded by hills. I like the idea of living in a place where you can get to significant elevation change within a half hour.
Anyway, since I’m down to about five minutes… what I’ve been up to… Sunday I spent several hours driving around Yakima, getting acquainted, finding grocery stores, and checking out potential residential neighborhoods. Monday I met with a Realtor and spent six hours walking through houses all over this city. Yesterday I re-walked through two houses that I wanted to see again and made an offer on one of the houses, then spent the rest of the afternoon trying to get a few financial details I order. So today I’m just waiting to find out if our house offer was accepted and making a move from there.
Pictures to come when I can find a place that offers free Wi-fi (seems no one does here, not even the library, ridiculous).
Update. Found a bakery with free wireless access after talking with a woman at the Yakima Visitor’s Center. I think there are also a couple of shopping complexes in the area that offer free access. Beats paying for T-Mobile Hotspot at Starbucks. So, I was able to upload a few pictures below from my trip out.
Also, just so I’m not giving off the wrong impression, actually the more time I’m spending around Yakima, the more I’m liking it. I’m finding more interesting neighborhoods and driving through vineyard-covered hillsides. Like I said, downtown is definitely a dive, but access to interesting hiking, biking, skiing and whitewater is all within an hour’s drive.