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May 25, 2011

我记得以前写过一个关于西雅图地区的Bellevue的笑话的,怎么找不到了,干脆再写一遍。

话说大家在国内的时候都知道西雅图,因为不眠夜嘛。但是西雅图地区究竟有哪些城市,就未必是每个人都知道的了。其实老美也不清楚。我以前一个金发美女同事说,她表弟从中部过来玩,到了Bellevue,说:“Wow,你们西雅图的城市真新。可是等等,你们的太空针乜?”她笑:“Dude,你往湖那边看看,你朝思暮想的太空针和西雅图都在湖那边呢。”

这个事儿说明,其实老美对西雅图地区也不是那么了解。在美国,西雅图这个词,除了指西雅图市以外,也指大西雅图地区。西雅图地区最好的地方其实不是西雅图市本身,西雅图这个城市虽然有历史,位置也是得天独厚,但是本身因为年代久远,也有很多问题。更新更漂亮的城市,包括Bellevue, Redmond,Kirkland,Sammamish等地。

比如今天我跑去参加软通动力在西雅图地区新的总部的开张典礼,就不是在西雅图市,而是在北边一点的Kirkland。这个办公室风水很好,在软通之前是Google在西雅图地区的办公室所在地。这个楼依山傍湖,要是天气再晴一点,肯定是很漂亮的。

Kirdland还是美国著名的仓储式超市costco的发源地。Costco经常出自己品牌的东西,就叫Kirkland Signature。

我最近跟国内联系,基本上大家都知道西雅图,不少人知道微软总部雷蒙德,还有人知道波音的787工厂也在这附近,但是更多的就不知道了。看来,以后要多介绍一下西雅图这里。

June 1, 2010

奥林匹克国家公园(Olympic National Park)在西雅图西边的奥林匹克半岛上面。关于这个公园有一个很小众的geek笑话:为什么这个公园对计算机专业的人来说很复杂?因为公园名字的缩写是O(NP)。

扯远了。这个公园本身是非常美丽的。因为被太平洋暖流带来的大量水汽滋润着,ONP的植被非常的丰富,很多大树上面长满了绿色的苔藓和淡绿的松萝,看起来就好像长了长胡子的怪物。都说西雅图雨多,其实因为有ONP的遮蔽,大多数降水都落在这里了,西雅图这个城市反而躲在ONP形成的降雨阴影(rain shadow)里面,没有很多的降水。

ONP的几个著名的地方:面对太平洋的系列海滩,最著名的就是Ruby Beach;Sol Duc温泉;山谷中的新月湖(Lake Crescent);面对加拿大不列颠.哥伦比亚的天使港(Port Angeles);当然还有最著名的飓风岭(Hurricane Ridge)。

在Ruby Beach主要是看海和怪石。随着大海数万年的冲刷,海滩的泥土被冲走,剩下的就是奇形怪状的巨石,还有在这些石头上面附着的大量海生物。

Sol Duc那里主要是泡温泉,不喜欢硫磺味道的人可能不会喜欢这里。

Lake Crescent是群山中间的一弯新月形的湖泊,大多数时候,周围的山都是被云雾笼罩着的。不同的天气,在Lake Crescent看到的景色完全不同,我最喜欢的,是少云的天气,湖水映着蓝天,更加深邃,因为有云,周围的山也不那么单调。

天使港是一个很好的落脚的地方。从西雅图坐轮渡过来,到了奥林匹克半岛,住在天使港,离各个景点都不算太远。另外这里吃的也不错,可以去海边的馆子,一边吃海味,一边看窗外的游艇。

飓风岭是ONP的主要景点。前面说的几个景点都在海拔不高的地方,这里可是在山顶上。不过山路还是很好开的,沿着山路蜿蜒向上,看着周围的植被从大树变为小花。如果是春天,路边的积雪可以高达两三米。飓风岭的设施很完善,有大片的停车场,还有观光中心。傍晚的时候,躲在旁边树林里的小鹿会出来,在草地上觅食。它们不是很怕人,只是和游客保持一定距离。

从西雅图去ONP有两种办法,一种是坐轮渡。从西雅图坐Edmonds/Kingston Ferry,可以把车开上船去,到了目的地再开下来。另外一种就是从南边绕路,一直开过去,比较无趣一些。

对ONP基本评价:

  • 难度:非常简单
  • 车程:2.5到3小时(从西雅图出发到天使港)
  • 最佳时间:3月底到10月
  • 注意:夏天要防蚊,春季上山要注意是否有雪崩
May 25, 2010

最近来西雅图的人不少,有从北京微软过来的,有从美国各地来的。好多人都在问西雅图附近有啥好玩的,也有不少攻略,比如这个。我也来写写:

Mt. Rainier的野花

搜一下就知道Mt. Rainier的野花有多美了。Mt. Rainier 是西雅图附近的一座休眠火山,也是西雅图附近的三座国家公园之一。看野花的时间最好是在6月底7月初,到了8月野花就不多了,而蚊子会特别多。一般在Rainier看野花的地方,主要是Paradise,可以开车到那里。想看野花,停车场边上就可以,不过最好是沿着skyline trail走一下,能看到更多的品种,另外还能看到旱獭。旱獭是一种胖胖的小动物,平时不怎么怕人,就在路边的石头上趴着晒太阳,如果有危险,会吹口哨,然后附近的旱獭们就一起钻到洞里去了。

在山的另外一边,是Sunrise,这边的野花没有Paradise那么多,不过是另外一番风景。

开车到Paradise的过程也是很让人身心愉快的事情 - 前提是司机不能怕开山路。Mt. Rainier的山路还是很安全的,刚进公园的地方是一片森林,里面有很多巨大的针叶树。从森林里面出来,就可以看到路边很多的Paintbrush野花,没错,微软的画笔软件就是这个名字。有Paintbrush的地方海拔就比较高了。绕过某个限速5迈/小时的弯,Mt. Rainier巨大的山体会突然出现在眼前。后面的事情,就是去体验了。

对Mt. Rainier看野花的基本评价:

  • 难度:简单
  • 车程:2.5到3小时(从西雅图出发)
  • 最佳时间:6月底到7月
  • 注意:防蚊防晒
October 22, 2009

先简单介绍一下,King County就是西雅图所在的县。美国是这么个层次:联邦(federal),州(state),县(county),然后下面是市(city)。西雅图周边的公车系统由King County Metro来运营,大概是美国最好的几个公车系统了:便宜,准时,班次合理。

这次主要是King County Metro的人想要了解软件开发人员对数据的需求,主要是公车班次,路线这些相对稳定的数据,以及公车当前位置这种实时信息的需求。这种数据在中国,其实已经很常见了,很多公车都有GPS定位,然后上传到统一的界面供用户使用。但是在美国,这方面还非常落后,比如公车上面虽然有wifi,但是却没有GPS,因为政府没有钱。

这次讨论的目的,就是看开发人员需要什么样的数据,然后Metro怎么来提供。相关的软件公司,包括微软和Google都来了人,和一群开发人员坐在一起讨论。华盛顿大学计算机系的一个博士生Brian做了一个网站,叫onebusaway,也来了。这个网站很受欢迎,因为西雅图很多人坐公车上下班。

讨论的热点:实时数据。

October 19, 2009

圣海伦斯火山和亚当斯火山(Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Adams)

圣海伦斯火山和亚当斯火山(Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Adams)

Mt. Rainier和高山草甸

Mt. Rainier和高山草甸

从郁金香花海远眺面包师山(Mt. Baker)

从郁金香花海远眺面包师山(Mt. Baker)

嗯,怎么整出这么酸的一句话,让我吐一下先。

上次聊西雅图,说到西雅图南边的Tacoma,在印第安人的语言里面,是山的意思。而那座山,就是著名的Mt. Rainier。有人把Mt. Rainier翻译成“雨人山”,这个就是属于文盲了,Rainier不是Rainer,多一个i呢。也有人直接翻译成“雷尼尔”,也怪怪的。

西雅图周围都是山,除了这个Mt. Rainier,还有著名的奥林匹克群山,这些山在西雅图西边的奥林匹克半岛,就是它们挡住了从太平洋来的水汽。所以西雅图冬天虽然阴天很多(现在外面就阴着呢),但是实际的年降水量,反而没有东部的纽约多。

西雅图这边更多的山,是火山。比如Mt. Rainier,就是一座休眠火山,上次喷发是1820年到1854年之间。更著名的活火山,就是圣海伦斯火山,Mt. St. Helens 了。上次大喷发是1980年,把一个山头都轰掉了。前几年还喷出蒸汽。

本地的印第安人有个故事,说Mt. Adams,就是本地另外一座休眠火山,是老公。Mt. Rainier是他的一个老婆,Mt. St. Helens火山是他的另外一个老婆。为了不让两个老婆打架,Mt. Adams把她们分开,这样她们两个彼此看不见,但是Mt. Adams可以看见她们两个。这里的地形的确如此,只有Mt. Adams那里可以看见另外两座山。

圣海伦斯火山善妒,经常发脾气,扔点东西过去。而Mt. Rainier则比较安静,一般不发脾气。历史上面也是圣海伦斯火山喷发的多。我的一个同学在1980年的时候,住在圣海伦斯南边的波特兰市。她说那天她和全家在饭馆吃饭,她正在玩,忽然天暗了下来,大家出去看看,说:哦,火山喷发了。回来继续吃饭。吃好饭,外面车子上面就全是灰。

西雅图北边还有一座Mt. Baker,面包师山,也是一座休眠火山。这些山都在落基山脉的外缘,叫做cascasdes,就是落基山脉的裙边了。有了这些山,再加上从太平洋来的水汽和温暖的洋流,让西雅图的地形非常的丰富,而丰富的地形,又养育了丰富的物种。

奥林匹克群山

苔藓和电话亭

苔藓和电话亭

August 24, 2009

说起西雅图这个地方,很难不掉进俗套,要么是《西雅图不眠夜》这个《你有邮件》的1.0版本,要么是说西.雅图这个名字如何如何的信达雅。不过要看对本地是否熟悉,还是要看对周围这些名字是否熟悉。

比如吧,西雅图【Seattle】到底是什么意思?怎么样,这个问题很正大综艺吧?

一般对本地有所了解的人,会告诉你,这是一句印第安人的话。那么这句话是什么意思呢?当然不是象国内砖家们所说,是在问殷地是否平安,更不是说这是美国西边一块雅致如图的地方。这句话是说:别过来!

奇怪么?不奇怪。西雅图所在的华盛顿州,是美国最后建立的几个州之一,现在这里还有大片的印第安人保留地。所以这里保留了很多印第安人的文化痕迹,特别是保留了印第安人警惕的说“别过来”作为城市的名字,也不奇怪了。

西雅图人们很好的遵守了当年印第安人酋长的嘱咐,对外面的人,总是宣扬西雅图多么多么的多雨,多么的让人抑郁。总之这个地儿,您就西雅图,别过来算了。

西雅图其实不光是一个城市的名字,也是大西雅图地区的名字。这里有好几个小城市,从名字里面就可以看出这里的历史。比如西雅图东边的Bellevue,这个名字就比较欧洲,我曾经有同学考证这是个法文名字。Bellevue是个很现代的城市。我的一个同事讲笑话,说她的表弟到这边玩,她开车带着在Bellevue逛,表弟感慨,西雅图真是现代啊。我同事狂笑:Dude,这里是Bellevue,Seattle在湖那边呢。

Bellevue在网上被人叫做“贝勒府”,还是挺贴切的,不过有的城市就没那么幸运了,比如微软总部Redmond,叫啥呢?总不能叫红山吧?所以一般叫雷蒙德,这个名字虽然很雷,但是总比国内那些命名砖家们树起一个牌坊,上书七个大字:江南名妓因特网 还是要好很多了。

Bellevue和Redmond都是欧美的名字,西雅图南边的另外一座城市:Tacoma,则是地道的印第安语。Tacoma的意思是山。不是随便哪座山,而是和中国古人说河就是黄河,江就是长江一样,印第安人说山,就是这座山:

Mt. Rainier

Mt. Rainier