H.D. asks from Arcadia, CA on August 29, 2008
New to the area...help!!
Hello moms, I've recently (as in yesterday) moved out here to the Newcastle area from the Bronx, New York. Just wondering if there were some things I need to know, some tips for making life easier, places to see, where to get the best groceries, best barbershop for my son, pediatricians, etc. Anything you can help me with would help me tons!! I literally have never been here before and have no clue even how to get around. (These streets are so confusing...aaaghhh, I am relying solely on the GPS in the car...) Thanks in advance for your responses.
So What Happened?™
Thank you all for the responses. We are settling in nicely. Area is great, kids seem to like their school so far, and I've found my shopping preferences close by (yippee). I am now venturing into finding a pediatrician for the kids. I am looking into Pediatric Associates most likely, but now I'm a little overwhelmed as to which one to pick from the Factoria office. Lol. Thanks again to everyone!!
M.L. answers from Seattle on August 30, 2008
Find a meetup or yahoo group! It will help you get to know places and things good for your kids! I personally get most of my groceries in Issaquah since Fred Meyer (large chain), Trader Joe's (unique, but not weird and still affordable) and Costco (cheap bulk shopping) are all located within about 5 minutes of each other. I personally go to Pediatric Associates just up the road from you at Factoria. Many moms I know go there and have only good things to say. Bellevue school district is great so you have little to worry about there at least! :)
B.B. answers from Seattle on August 30, 2008
I live near Newcastle.
The streets are definitely confusing. I think the Seattle city planners either never traveled anywhere else or want tourists to be discouraged and not move here. The directional signs are very frustrating, especially in downtown Seattle. Good thing that you got that GPS - you won't regret it.
Newcastle is a nice area to live in. One of my good friends is there.
This is a wonderful area to live in. I've made better friends than I ever had back east. Like Cynthia's experience, it did take me awhile (about 5 years), and for me it happened when I started taking beadmaking classes.
The winters can be tough. Get your doc to test your vitamin D levels regularly.
Some places we shop, go to, etc.:
This weekend, Bumbershoot is going on at Seattle Center. It's a fun music festival that happens every Labor Day weekend.
We ususally get groceries at the Whole Foods on 116th and NE 8th. It's expensive. For less expensive groceries, we go to Safeway at Factoria Mall. There's a good Costco in Issaquah for bulk items at good cost (you have to join; I think it's $25 a year). There's also a great fruit/veggie market on Bellevue Way near the Park & Ride (close to I-90).
For burgers, we like Red Robin at Factoria.
One of the best Chinese restaurants around is Greenwood, in Eastgate shopping center. The sign just says "Chinese food" if I recall correctly.
A good and reasonably priced place for breakfast is Li'l John's, also in Eastgate.
I love the continuing ed classes at Bellevue Community College. It's off 148th, near I-90.
You're a quickish drive from Fall City, which has a cool waterfall at the Salish Lodge, featured in Twin Peaks (but not creepy in person). Farther east on I-90 you get into gorgeous mountains.
There's a good party store in Loehmann's plaza near the QFC. Loehmann's also has a good Thai restaurant (Tasty Thai).
We prefer to see movies at Lincoln Square (across the street from the Bellevue Square mall). Stadium seating is part of that.
Maggiano's in Lincoln Square has tasty food. (Might not be up to NYC standards - it can be hard to find really good restaurants here, compared with the ones in Atlanta.)
McCormick and Schmick's at Lincoln Square has good seafood. Anothony's in Kirkland and also on the Seattle waterfront are really good. For a delectable seafood brunch, there's Salty's, in Alki.
The botanical garden in Bellevue is nice.
There are a ton of good walking trails, all over. The arboretum at UW (commonly called "U Dub") is quite pretty.
There's an amazing rock climbing wall at the REI in downtown Seattle. (You can see it from I-5.)
If you have kids in school, you should find out about the WASL (state competency tests). Requirements for passing it keep changing.
C.T. answers from Seattle on August 29, 2008
Welcome H.! You should check out this site: http://www.meetup.com for a mom's group in your area or some other group that will fit your interests.
I've lived here ~12 years (from Texas) and I'm a very outgoing person but didn't really find true friends until I found meetup.
For ease in driving once you identify the mountains you can tell what direction your going. i.e. I'm in West Seattle and when the Cascades are on my right I'm heading north and when they're on my left I'm heading south.
Do you eat organic or keep kosher? For organics I'd go to PCC in Issaquah or Kirkland, for kosher I'd go to Mercer Island. There's a Whole Foods in Bellevue but they're getting to be more of an overpriced regular grocer. It's harder and harder for me to find organic produce there.
Hope that helps,
C.-WAHM of 4 y/o virtual twins
M.C. answers from Seattle on August 29, 2008
Join a moms group! We moved out here just over two years ago and that was a savior.
Roads...they don't run on the grid system at all mapquest and google maps are my new best friends.
A moms group would be very helpful in your area for best pediatrician, barbers, groceries... I am north of you by a bit so I can't help you there.
wwwGocitykids.com is a good site for ideas on things to do in the area.
Enjoy the area. We moved two years ago thinking we would be moving away but now we can't seem to get ourselves to move from this area it is so nice!
J.S. answers from Seattle on August 30, 2008
I liked Dr. MacPherson at the Newcastle Medical Pavilion. Hope that helps!
Z.A. answers from Seattle on August 29, 2008
I'm leaving for the weekend but heres a quick link to a great pediactrics group....I'll update when I get back if everything I would have to say hasn't been covered!!
L.L. answers from Seattle on August 29, 2008
Safeway and Albertsons are big chains. I personally shop at Top Food and Drug. Fred Meyer has everything! and it's good quality. WalMart is supercheap, but not always the best quality. I try to avoid that store, but if your budget is tight...it works. I really like Target, but they don't have a grocery section per say (just a few odds and ends). You are pretty close to the South Center Mall...just get on I-405 South and follow the signs. You can find anything you ever wanted in that area and there's a toy's R us just down the road for Christmas type occasions. For my medical and my son's medical, we to to University of Washington, Neighborhood Clinics. I love them you are probably closest their Factoria location...here's a link to their location site http://uwmedicine.washington.edu/Facilities/NeighborhoodC... If you are looking for somewhere awesom to take your kids, the Pacific Science Center is one of my favorites...also the Seattle Acquarium, and the Woodland Park Zoo are great (both in Seattle). The Point Defiance Zoo and Acquarium is very nice also and has a special area just for kids too. It is south of you in Tacoma. For the most part, you should be able to get just about anywhere you need to go from I-405, I-5, and State HWY 167...but learn what the major roads are that are closest to you and how to get back to them. I find it easier to get around if I try to keep in mind what side of me the water is on when I don't really know where I'm at...at least that way I know what direction I'm facing...a little easier for me in Federal Way though perhaps. There are some pretty cool things on the other side of puget sound also. Let me know if I can help with anything else.