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Bellingham, Washington

"This beautiful place is an island of hip folk in the Northwest."

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Added: December 8th 2001

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Posted by JakeTheSnake on 2007-02-07 07:19:16
My Score:
I've lived in Bellingham my whole life (about 23 years), though I have a few other towns /states/Countries to compare it to (Montana, Texas, Jamaica, Alaska), and I have to say, I still like living here. B'ham is growing quickly, and it seems finding a good job paying more than minimum wage can be difficult. Put that aside, and you still have a fun town with lots of indoor and outdoor activities, with mountains, lakes, parks, etc. What's funny to me however, is all this talk about hippies. Now, don't get me wrong: I didn't grow up in the 70's, and I realize that being a hippie isn't all about looks. But the whole idea is absurd to me. Hippes, as some have explained in these posts, refer to people who are "counter-culture". Now, if everyone in Bellingham was "counter-culture", (AKA hippie), wouldn't that come to mean that NOT being a hippie was then counter-culture? Just like "punks" try to run against the grain, their "anti-trendy" attitude soon becomes a trend amongst other "punks", and a trend in general. People protesting the building of a city (as in the "pit protests") is also riddiculous to me. I understand that not everyone is for large corporations, such as Starbucks, but at least jobs are being created, rather than people shitting in their diapers in protest. So rather than live in the past, put some decent clothes on, stop shitting yourself to "prove" a point, and try to find ways to really build the town you supposedly love. And one more thing. Lots of people are against the current war, if not wars in general, and I fall into the category of supporting our troops even if I don't agree with the current war. But honestly, is calling Bush a Hitler and standing on the street corners and blocking traffic really going to accomplish anything? I know you feel that way, but get some common sense. If you want peace, there are more productive ways of going about things. Something to think about. I think all political extremes -whether on the Left or Right- are wrong. Can we somehow find a balance? Maybe then we'll be a closer-knit community. That's just this young man's humble opinion.

Posted by peter frazier on 2006-12-19 02:31:24
My Score:
Please stay where you are we dont need more people here,we are overpopulated now.

Posted by devasher on 2006-11-24 08:37:27
My Score:
I lived in Bellingham for nearly three years as a professional spouse of a WWU professor. I was born and raised in Boulder, CO which is often referred to by those Bellighamsters that I met, as "the" model for their city planning efforts. That was a nice compliment--however, completely misunderstood considering the realities of what is their remarkably thin city as concerns racial, social and financial/research capital attributes v. what exists in much larger and diverse metropolitan areas, for example, the Denver/Boulder area. While the scenery is certainly beautiful some 50 days a year (average sunny days among the least in the nation), most of my time spent in B'Ham was in the pelting rain and wind. I discovered that those who thought the weather was "good" were often also born and raised in the NW (many in Whatcom county, never to leave their familiar birthplace on a walkabout of world curiosity to challenge their inherited assumptions)--(Whatcom county is very--hmmmm-- provincial---perhaps even similar in many ways to some areas of the South I have visited, as concerns insular local cultures {see Lynden} and the power of local Christian Churches). So a bit (no, a serious amount) of Bounded rationality is at play... If you are well educated, intend on having a good job outside of health care, natural resources (oil and gas, metals) or non-research oriented education (WWU does not award Ph. D's--thus very little capital investment from industry as a result of research connections), please just stay where you are---B'ham is certain to leave you in financial ruin, perhaps even to successfully bring about a rapid conclusion to your career and marriage. ( translation: If you are both accomplished, and only one of you has a job offer, and you both are unhappy about your marriage--move here) There are many beautiful places in this world, that exceed B'Ham as concerns opportunity and cultural flavor. If you are interested in challenging yourself and your assumptions about people and the world, B'Ham is NOT for you. If you would like the perceived safety of being around people that are white (90% of the population), eating at restaurants that cannot conceive of spice and soul, that's occupants are painfully P.C. and would only wish that there would be more like them (fleece and soy milk--you don't see a lot of minorities that are hippies do you---hmmmmmm), move to B'Ham. Otherwise, save your portfolio and your personal happiness for a town that has far more diversity to offer, both professionally and socially, and won't need a 100 year remediation because of a generation of unmitigated environmental disasters (see any impact reports on the B'Ham Bay, Lake Whatcom water supply and well, the extraordinary and troubling trend of serious auto-immune diseases). P.S. Don't drink the water. In summary, B'Ham is not Boulder---not even close.

Posted by Mama Moonshone on 2006-06-26 11:58:13
My Score:
Bellingham- well I fell in love with Fairhaven first in the 80's with my teenage eyes glossing over all the views and the people too. Hippies, I didn't see so much, but you know what happens to a place when hippies decide to build community? Bellingham does. When you have an enviromental college- Huxley, an independent curriculm college-Fairhaven, and a major University- Western; you are going to find some thinking people, and lots of americorps/vista employees. So the social services spectrum is really an empowering network for low income people willing to put themselves through the mill. Some programs I wish to see duplicated nationally- The Gleaning Project (Volunteers glean local farms and donate/keep the produce), Weekly Food Banks and Daily Free Meals, Free Shower/Laundry Facilities, Herbal Fair (@ River Farm, VanZandt), 3 weekly Farmers Markets April - October, Public Transit- newly enriched to go out into the county, Public Library Systems- growing into new buildings, County & Childrens' Museum as well as many local artists galleries, Procession Of The Species- a parade of silent people dressed up as animals!(also in Olympia), Bicycle Lanes- Yes this is a bike friendly town, Trails throughout the urban area!!!, BIG PLUS- Most every store carries organics, but there are 3 discount outlet stores here that sell dry/frozen/fresh organics - Check Out Barganica, Sunshine Liquidators, Rainbow Grocery Outlet. Noone should go hungry or go without clothing- There are many resources here. The Food Bank allows folks to go once a week, and there are several other places to go, CCS, Salvation Army, Hillcrest Church. There are resources for clothing too! WeCare 3 bags for 3 bucks, YWCA for womens clothing, Seventh Day Adventist. So be a hippi wherever, there are community gardens here, they can be rented from the parks department. There is also lots of free stuff to do in the summer and the winter, just go to some of the hubs, check the bulletin boards at the CoOp, Bellingham Public Market, Three Trees coffeshop, Fairhaven laundrymat, or read one of the freezines , Organic Press, Cascadia Weekly. Listen to KUGS 89.3 for Democracy Now and here all the happenings at Western. Always some cultural festival there. Open Mics{free}, Outdoor concerts {free}, Outdoor Movie$. If you decide to get it together, and need some help, check out what THE WHATCOM DREAM is doing. Peace. I am moving back to NE WASHINGTON because the hippie community has embraced my heart, hope you will come see it too.

Posted by Dan on 2006-06-10 02:04:05
My Score:
I haven't been up to B-ham for a few months. Last time I was there I went into a head shop across the street from The Newstand. I wanted to buy a bong. After being told twice they are called waterpipes and if I say bong again I would be asked to leave without being able to make my purchase...I wised up. I found an ok pipe (BONG) and went home to fire it up. I spent a fair bit of time in various head shops in the seventies...usually would smoke a number just before I went inside and would get some rolling papers. For all the talk that B-ham is a hip town I would have to dissagree. What happened to FREE SPEECH??? You can thank that senseless war and HOMELAND INSECURITY (SS STORMTROOPERS) and the ANTI FREEDOM patriot act for the dirty looks you get when you make statements against the war or the prez. If you want HIP go to the country. I prefer semi small towns like Sedro or Stanwood. You can have HIP wherever you are...just be yourself...do your own thing and don't believe most of what you see on the news...most of it is yellow journalism. Or for some of you who skipped school and generally didn't have time to pay attention...it's mostly PROPAGANDA...mostly. Just my 2 cents worth from one old hippie...

Posted by jakeman on 2006-02-15 18:18:21
My Score:
Life goes on in B'ham. The rain is not gone, how you ever heard of weather patterns? if you can figure that out good luck! people are too quick to jump on whatever is popular to bash the system. Downtown is being slowly cleaned up, the people at WWU including the students could do a better job of behaving themselves at times. The price of housing is sky high, a lot of homeless people, going downtown is a hassle at times,I got spare changed five time in just as many minutes once, cussed out when I wouldn't cough up, Overall I like here the situations are the same in any large city, try going to Pioneer Square in Seattle and see what kind hustle is put on you by some people

Posted by derek on 2005-12-07 08:32:56
My Score:
only drawback of living in b-ham is the epedemic of rude snobish people. seems to be getting worse. does anyone smile anymore

Posted by Freezing Islander on 2005-11-29 19:04:12
My Score:
First and foremost remember Bellingham is a college town. Iv'e lived in this area for about 7 years now and I'm ready for a break from it,at least a seasonal break.(I spend my summers sailing and camping when WEATHER permits but take my word for it..it's not nirvana.)You'll see a lot of young folk(I'm very early 40's) that are college students posing as hipsters but believe me,once they get that diploma in their hand suddenly they become "super upstanding citizens",infalable,sure they know all there is to know,and like everything else they they proffesed to have hated they jump into the rat race out for that mighty dollar.Yes..I said POSERS.As for me...I'm gearing up for a return to the Virgin Islands. I'll sail there in my sailboat and ensure that I visit every Mexican,Central American,(including the Kuna's) islands along the way.I'm not a hippie yet I value life and phisical and spiritual health,beauty and nature just as much.Wish me luck on my journey.Any peaceful vagabonds care to join my crew? Bring yer own cash!

Posted by taejonwill on 2005-11-08 00:11:19
My Score:
Hi: Nice to see Bellingham mentioned. A nice quality life of but a lack of jobs that provide for a middle class lifestyle. If you could get a job teaching at Western Washington University, that would be ideal; otherwise there is Georgia Pacific paper mill, those jobs were taken decades ago, and working for the local government or maybe if you have an enterpernerial strain you could do pretty well here. I love the view along State Street looking toward Bellingham Bay and Lummi Island. They just made a lovely system of trails south of Bellingham along Chuckanaut mountain and if you are into serious mountaining, then the Cascades are ideal. They were hippies/feminists/anachists here in the late 70's and 80's but I'm sure that things have mellowed. But they are still traces of that. I like Anacortes about a hour drive south, but that has the disadvantage of not having a college and that sort of liberality that an academic environment brings. And the San Juan Islands are lovely. I lived there for 13 years. And I probably shouldn't mention it, but there is an island called Waldron that is probably the most counterculture place I've ever been, no electricity and yurts (forget building codes), it is difficult and expensive to get there but it is worth checking out. And last but not least, if you come here you should get up to Cortes and Quadra Island up near Campbell River in BC and Juneau and Sitka in Alaska. Really the inside passage up the BC/Alaska is an amazing ecosystem and you could spend a lifetime exploring it. Anyway, Bellingham needs folks with environmental and social justice priorities (like everywhere else), but the whole northwest is worth checking out. Victoria, Vancouver, Seattle etc are all well worth checking out. Will Sperry

Posted by DEDEE on 2005-11-02 00:35:49
My Score:
I am thinking of moving to Bellingham because of a job offer at WWU. The problem is that myhusband has his own business where we are now (financial consulting) and I am not sure if he could prospoer in Bellingham too. Any thoughts? Also, can one find a decent house for 175K? I mean I will be a prof at WWI not a millionaire.

Posted by Emily on 2005-10-29 04:24:35
My Score:
Susanna, I've lived in Bellingham most of my life. I love Bellingham a lot and many of my friends will end up raising their kids and growing old here. But if "multicultural" is what you're looking for, you may be looking at the wrong place. We have a good mixture of worldviews, religions, politcal affiliations and opinions, but Bellingham is a predominantly white city, as anyone who lives here will tell you. As for the schools, I have mixed feelings. I went to elementary school, middle school, high school and community college in Bham before going to a university. We have some pretty nice new schools, and some pretty dedicated teachers. But many of the schools in town have serious drug problems and we have police officers in our schools for a reason. If anything, our schools reflect the fact that Bellingham isn't a sleepy little hippy town anymore. It may not be as big as NYC or San Francisco, but we have a good deal of crime, drugs and prostitution. However, if you are well-off enough to afford to live out of the downtown area, it is a good place to raise children, and I am grateful to have been raised here.

Posted by Rebecca on 2005-10-15 06:45:02
My Score:
Well, I just left B'ham after nine years of living below the poverty level and going to grad school and what not. Western Washington University is turning our old neighborhood into a ghetto. Slumlords and realtors rule the town. Renters BEWARE! Cover your butts six ways from Sunday and fight for your security/damage deposit!! Dirty money and big money call the shots when it comes to developing downtown. And the slumlords are banking on block busting up all the neighborhoods within walking distance to downtown. The York Neighborhood, the Lettered Streets...The cops are more inclined to give jay walking tickets to pedestrians than they are to clean up Rail Road Avenue for the benefit of all in our community. But, the voters voted for a new jail, so we have a place to put the less fortunate. Bellingham has a lot to offer and a lot to lose! We chose to leave for many reasons, most having to do with the lack of career opportunities. I just keep wondering where all these people who are buying $300,000 homes are going to get their money once they live here. Do they think they are going to work in Whatcom County? Doing what?! Do they know that the avg wage is 8 dollars an hour, and that most of the work is part time and not professional with benefits? Ah but, there are the Raging Grannies, and the Rainbow Coalition, the Farmer's Market, and the Sustainable Connections people... oh the music too!! The people of Bellingham, are generally progressive and generous and groovy, but there are those, like the local newspaper who cast these same people as peace-nics or hippies or some other derrogatory term. I was nearly pushed in front of a moving angry semi-truck by a pro-war/Bush supporter because I was for peace and against the stupidity of preemptive war, because some would call speaking critically of the government unpatriotic. Ah, but then go to the Federal Building on Friday afternoons at 4pm for the peace vigil. You'll find those good hearted people who remain- good luck! For those who want to go to B'ham and make it home - buena suerta y via con Dios! For those who couldn't stay and raise our families there - it's Bellingham's loss that we couldn't stay.

Posted by Danielle.... on 2005-10-11 22:29:16
My Score:
MY BIRTHDAY IS ON FRIDAY (Oct. 14,2005) i'm gonna be 16!!!!!!! whos happy for me? well i know this is a hippy place, but im apart of it to. but im not a hippy.. so yeah.. anwyays i just wanted to let you guys know.. i was reading someones thing and it said that their moving here from Boston? why would you wanna move here from such a nice place?? please answer me... later **Danielle**

Posted by Danielle.... on 2005-10-11 22:12:43
My Score:
I hate Bellingham, I mean its ok if youve never been here, but ive lived here all of my life.. it gets sooo old, if your a teen and trying to find something to do.. and you don't have a job, then this isn't the place for you.. maybe its just me, but i don't like this place, i want to move some where bigger, like New York!! that would be awesome.. so anyone that wants to live here.. you better have a family and over 21, because if your younger then theres nothing to do.... later **Danielle**

Posted by Tea on 2005-10-11 01:18:09
My Score:
Hey Quinn, B-ham is a pretty eclectic place with quite a bit to do if you keep your eyes and ears open. The hippie mentality can be attributed to certain groups in Bellingham, but that's not all it is. Keep in mind 7 months out of the year is a constant drizzle that can wear on your soul if you let it. My experience was two whole winters of pure depression until the third year I got used to the northwest Washington fall/winter season. All in all, it's one of the most beautifull places in the world, but lets keep it that way.

Posted by Quinn on 2005-10-07 01:07:57
My Score:
Hello, I'm a 27 year old artist from Brooklyn, thinking of moving to Bellingham. I'm too young to be a hippie but I identify with many of its values and anti-materialist ideas. Is there affordable housing? I mean, can I rent a room or apartment in the range of $500-600??? I'd like to work for the postal service in Bellingham. wise decision? foolishness? Your thoughts are valued and appreciated. : )

Posted by Pallino Boy on 2005-10-06 19:58:16
My Score:
Rains all the time! Read Tom Robbins - Still Life with Woodpecker. LaConner/Bellingham it's all regional. The blackberries are everywhere. However, if you aren't affraid of getting wet ( assumption that most of us bathe at least on occassion, and if you don't subscribe please don't visit...), and if you are okay with people who do things, instead of watching people on tv do things, you will be grateful on the sunny days to be in Bellingham. We would rather you come and enjoy our beauty with us rather than buying it and building a monument to your ego that we have to look at. Please consider there is a reason to move here and don't contribute to the demise of that energy, please. There is a wonderful population of mostly good people that lived here peacefully before... ...There is great bocce in Bellingham.

Posted by Red on 2005-09-23 05:10:38
My Score:
It is beautiful any time of year.... Lots of self employed hippies.

Posted by lc on 2005-09-22 06:40:18
My Score:
I am thinking of moving to Bellingham. I am actually pretty fed up with this country but from what I hear, Bellingham still embodies a sense of community, creativty and concern for the environment. I am an ordained Interfaith Minister who will be finished my Master's in Creation Spirituality, from Naropa University. I am looking for a place to build my life and still be able to enjoy it. I am an artist, writer and healing arts practioner. Would Bellingham be a place for me? Is it really gray 6 months out of the year?

Posted by BHAMHIP on 2005-08-27 08:51:00
My Score:
hey old Hippy....no offense but you sound like a real estate person selling out the region. That's what they do... live and enjoy the place, and then sell it out and move elsewhere with their new money, leaving behind a wrecked community. I hope not. Anyway, I wonder how you can stand all the rain and gloomy days? I mean, except for July, does the sun EVER shine north of Seattle? For the person asking about animals, puhleeeeeeese take care of your animals properly if you move here. That means a LEASH and TRAINING. I am fed up with the dog owners in Bellingham these days violating every nicely-posted request to keep the dogs out of certain park areas or keep them on leash. Boulevard park has a nice grassy hill that is fun to roll down with the kids... until you find dog poop despite the "no dogs this side of park" signs. And Lake Padden? NO DOGS BEYOND THIS POINT must be English for "go ahead and bring your pooch in here, and take him off leash if you want" in Bellingham speak. And I haven't even mentioned the rottwilers and pitbulls I see 90lb waifish University students walking these days. A 90lb 20 year old can't possibly restrain an excite 120 lb rottwieler. Yeah come to Bellingham if you bring peace and an open mind, but keep it civil please. It's not a sandlot - it's a community.

Posted by Susanna on 2005-08-13 17:20:21
My Score:
I am looking with my family to relocate to Washington. We were very interested in Bellingham after spending a couple of hours walking around. I am interested in finding out about the public schools. I teach elementary school and our children would be entering middle-school, in high school and looking at the colleges. Where we live in the Bay Area in California, we enjoy living in a multi-cultural setting where our children live, learn and play with children from all over the world. I would not want to loose this by moving away. Many of the comments I have read on this website make me even more interested in becoming part of the Bellingham community. If you have any insights about the schools in Bellingham, we'd love to hear them.

Posted by Panama Red on 2005-08-11 05:45:39
My Score:
Bellingham is STILL the BEST even though change is inevitable! The careful planning of the future of the community is always necessary and all decisions must NEVER be based on GREED. Growth and urban sprawl must be tightly controlled and forever prohibited in many areas around Whatcom Co. It is crucial at preventing the loss of the quality of life in the region and the local politics must FOREVER impose/continued growth limititations and restrict development.....no matter what amount of money may ever be offered that could alter the natural beauty of the area or the city.

Posted by Old Hippy on 2005-08-06 23:35:25
My Score:
To Ruby: You have lived here since the late 70s, I see. Well, I was born and raised here, and it is still a haven, and I think that it will remain so. All places grow and change, yet consider how the condos going up in Fairhaven now will benefit the area, before you judge them entirely negative. Remember Fairhaven in the 70s? It was a dump. Now it is clean and thriving; the Village Green and the Outdoor Cinema now replace what was a dusty weed-filled lot in the 70s. The people who live in the condos in Fairhaven will utilize the local businesses, and the local people who run those businesses will thereby be sustained, which is a good thing. It is well known that large corporate entities are not welcome in Fairhaven. Furthermore, that all the new construction in Fairhaven is designed to fit in with the brick, turn-of-the-century character, does not detract from the quaintness of the area. You must not get out much, Ruby. I was down at Marine Park, in Fairhaven last night. There was a freshening breeze of the bay, and the water sparkled under the sun. Sailboats dotted the water, against the backdrop of the islands, and the leaves of the tall sycamore trees rustled in the wind. It wasn't crowded - just a nice mix of people enjoying the lovely evening. Oh, yes, this is a special place. And, as far as I'm concerned, people who want to come here because they love it here, and who wish to become active, participating members of a community that very much cares about the character of this place...they are welcome. Corporate types who see only opportunities for turning a profit, who wouldn't bat an eye at cutting down trees just to put in a parking lot...stay away. There are many here who will not frequent your business simply for the reason that you care only about profit, and not about the community. One business - Albertsons grocery, as a matter of fact - built a store on the southside, ignoring the protests of locals. It didn't last a year, before it closed its doors for lack of business. Peace, Old Hippy

Posted by Ace Construction Company. on 2005-08-04 22:34:11
My Score:
Hey Ruby, don't be so negative! We'll get along just fine when we move to Bellingham and build next door to you!

Posted by Ruby on 2005-08-02 02:38:12
My Score:
Bellingham, a Hippie haven? I have lived here since the late 70s, which is when it was last any sort of haven. We are massively overrun by condo-buying wealthy types who might feature themselves as hippies, but only serve to further ruin my lovely home. The nice lady from Vancouver wants to move here--got more than $350,000 to spend on a run down dump of a house? If all of the readers of Powder, Outside, and now this page weren't moving here in droves, a haven it may have remained. If you really like the idea of a haven, stay home and make one where you live.

Posted by angelinasophia on 2005-07-21 10:07:28
My Score:
Hey everyone your posts are very positive. I just spent ten minutes typing in alot deep philosphical stuff to be related to my name as in the post of my history and then there ya go, one of my cats jumps on top of the keyboard and its all blah blah blah, so in a nutshell, all the comments of Bellingham entice me to move there, I am from Vancouver, B.C. originally but have spent the past two years in Las Vegas because my husband lived there, so I have been depressed living in Nevada as of the past twoyear my spirit has waned big time. Ok I don't want this to sound like a personal ad but in Belllingham, but in Bellingham is there room for someone who is a animal rescue freak, amateur chef and old school punk rocker and environmentalist? I just want to connect back to the ocean, the mountains, well you know what I mean I don't have to explain myself I have just been looking for someone to connect with again in the same mindset!

Posted by editor@nwactivism.com on 2005-07-06 00:02:00
My Score:
I believe Bellingham is still "able to be saved" from becoming just another city, though the clock is ticking...and rapidly.We are becoming more like everywhere else, chain stores, traffic, rude people, malls, increasing crime, poverty, vandalism etc. etc. But there are still many people who are fighting these issues, both locally and nationally, andther are a good many interconnected networks one can join in the Northwest. Check out www.nwactivism.com to make a difference today on a wide variety of issues.

Posted by Old Hippy on 2005-06-24 05:31:29
My Score:
There seems to be some confusion among people as to "where have all the Bellingham hippies gone?" The answer is, "nowhere." This town was immensely popular among hippies during the 60s and 70s (due to its proximity to the Canadian border, and its green environs, fresh air, etc.), and continues to be popular among hippies young and old, for the same reasons, and more. In the late 60s, I used to hang with the hippies in Elizabeth Park when I was six years old (they didn't talk down to me like all the other "big people). My mother finally quit taking me to play there, because I wouldn't stay away from the "dirty hippies." Anyone who thinks the hippies aren't here hasn't visited the Old Town Cafe, or the local food Co-op, or attended the Farmer's Market (especially Wednesday market, in Fairhaven), and is looking at the whole matter superficially, anyway. Just last week I saw a guy at the farmer's market who looked like Babba Ram Das (Richard Halpern) after he got back from India, among many others who clearly fit the "hippy" stereotype. However, it's not the "look" that makes a hippy, contrary to common belief entertained by non-hippies. The hippy movement had to do with values - values that generally ran counter to the mainstream culture (hence the term "counter-culture). They protested war, racial and sexual inequality, meaningless work, wealth without charity, science without morality and responsibility, and leaders without wisdom ("Tricky Dicky," before, and "Spurious George," now). They were in a very real sense rejecting the American headspace that proliferated in the 1950s, which made the cold war a firmly entrenched institution in American minds and hearts, not to mention fostering illusions about what constitutes the "American Dream," illusions which continue to this day, burying young couples under mountains of debt as they attempt to "live" the American dream, acquiring everything from gas-guzzling SUVs to plasma TVs, and everything in-between. If they're not going off to fight in the new Vietnam... *comes up for air* For those who think Bellingham and Fairhaven are boring, consider that Bellingham has more parks and public greenspace per capita than most cities of its size in the United States. Summers feature free concerts in these same parks. We have a growing Farmer's Market, the annual Ski-to-Sea 85 mile race in seven venues, from skiing to kayaking. Many of our nightspots feature live entertainment throughout the week and on weekends, including acts such as Flock of Seagulls, Blue Oyster Cult, as well as local and regional talent. The Historical Mount Baker Theater has attracted The Indigo Girls, George Carlan, David Lanz, Joan Baez, and Randy Newman (among others) besides presenting plays and local productions. Western Washington University's Summer Stock series presents Broadway-quality productions; this summer includes "Anne of Green Gables" in multiple venues. Our local Theater Guild is currently performing "Oklahoma." Fairhaven College at WWU has for years presented very fine productions of Gilbert and Sullivan Operettas. In addition to this, we have multiple movie theaters, and an outdoor cinema on the Village Green in Fairhaven. Add to this many fine restaurants, some in incredibly scenic settings, such as the Oyster Bar, on Chuckanut Drive, or Bayside Manor, also on Chuckanut Drive, a booming marina, whalewatch tours, the Alaska Ferry, not to mention skiing at Mount Baker, lakes and seaside locations for picknicking and recreation,kayaking, canoeing, water-skiing, fishing, a large library with a completely online catalog. We also have some of the cleanest air in all of Western Washington, a University boasting world-class outdoor sculpture and architecture, a large and still growing community college, a Parks and Recreations department which offers summer classes in a variety of subjects for both children and adults, mini-breweries and a winery, an ale house with an authentic Irish standing bar and a beer list that would make the pickiest beer-snob swoon, a public museum of history and art, the American Museum of Radio, a Children's Museum, and the Mindport hands-on science museum for children (fun for adults, too). The former astronaut, General Bill Anders (ret.) lives on nearby Orcas Island, and hangars several of his aircraft, including his vintage P51 Mustang at the Bellingham Airport, where he wishes to eventually create a Heritage Museum of Flight. It is very common on spring and summer days to see WWII vintage fighter aircraft thundering through the air around town. If you happen to be an aviation buff, besides this, one of the largest airshows in North American, the Abbotsford International Airshow, is held just across the Canadian border, a scant 30 miles away, every summer for three days in August. And, of course, the world famous Museum of Flight, in Seattle. I haven't yet named all that there is to do and see in Bellingham and Fairhaven. However, even if one should grow bored, here, keep in mind that we're only 50 miles from Vancouver B.C., a cosmopolitan city with enough to occupy you for endless daytrips across the years. Victoria, the capital of British Columbia on Vancouver Island, boasting the Royal British Columbia Museum, The Butchart Gardens, the Royal London Wax Museum, the Empress Hotel, The Crystal Gardens, etc., etc., is just a 60 minute ferry ride away from Tswassen, near Vancouver. And this is just to the north. To the south, of course, two hours away by car, is Seattle... Back to the question of whether Bellingham and Fairhaven are hippy havens. All the values I spoke of earlier in this post, that the "original" hippies held, are alive and well in these two fine old towns, and a lot of the people you see walking down the street were honest-to-goodness hippies in the 60s, and continue to believe in the same things they believed in, back then. I know, because I'm a hippy, living in Bellingham. And glad of it.

Posted by SpottedOwlStew2 on 2005-06-21 18:39:35
My Score:
Greetings to all Bellinghamsters, and all considering becoming one. Honestly, if you're on this site, and considering moving to Bellingham, come on up. It will be a nice balance point to all of the consumerist yuppies moving into town. Bellingham is lovely. I've only been here for 6 years, and have seen it change a bit even in that time. I know many "lifers" that love to talk about the old Bellingham. Back when Bakerview was a two lane sleepy country road, the sides of which were covered with orchards and such. Bellingham is growing at an alarming rate, yes. But, I feel that the worst thing we can do is just say "oh well". We need to continue to celebrate all the things that make Bellingham what it is. The kick-ass farmer's market on Saturdays, and the much smaller, but sometimes as eventful Wednesday market in Fairhaven. I was at the Wednesday market last week. The air was filled with the sound of a live band (and a good one at that) and the banter of the locals. The smell of roasting coffee was hanging heavy and the Village Green had been adorned with huge handcrafted flags on bamboo sticks that were made and being sold by one of the vendors. (I bought one as well as a lovely Thai silk scarf hand dyed by that same vendor). It was just the sort of scene that makes me so happy to live here. Sure, it's not the Hippy Haven that many people envision it to be. We have our issues, such as fighting against forced floridation and the destruction of the Hundred Acre Wood. But, at least our residents pay attention. We have more evnironmentally aware individuals in Bellingham than any other place I've lived (there's been many). Try living in Laramie, WY. If you have any Bohemian tendencies at all, being somewhere like that can drive you mad. Bellingham is still one of the best places on earth. There's almost always something to do (even in the fall and winter). During the summer we have events that conflict with other events because there are so many events. And don't forget our concerts at the park. Every year Juba Marimba draws crowds of Hippies, old and new to Elizabeth park. My father recently came to visit me from Reno, NV. He's an old Hippy, who attended Woodstock and would do everything naked if it weren't against the law. He fell in love with this city. He's made the decision to move here as soon as life permits. One of his main comments was that everyone is smiling and friendly. An ex boyfriend of mine once commented that he thought the people here were all high, as they were all smiling for seemingly no reason at all. I love Bellingham and just becuase "the pit" downtown was filled in with a sterile building, housing attorneys and a Starbucks, I will not give up that opinion. Every city is having to deal with corporate takeover. Bellingham is fighting harder than others. Have faith. It's not perfect, but if we're grading on a curve, it gets an A. Long life and good health to all Bohemian Bellinghamsters.

Posted by Erik Hoofnagle on 2005-06-12 06:46:31
My Score:
I've lived in Bellingham my whole life and I have seen the same changes as some of the other commentee's. This is a wonderful place to live, the only problem being that everyone knows that. Fairhaven is becoming covered in apartment buildings, killing the old timey serenity. I've even heard from people that there's a giant sign in LA that simply states "move to Bellingham." this town is filling with people much too fast and becoming commercial. I love this town but it has changed so much... protests are now just like parades, they're planned and proposed. No longer are the "hippies" of Bellingham able to express they're political dissatisfaction. And yes, this place is filling up with republican retirees. I know nothing good ever lasts, and it seems that Bellingham is on its way out. No more snow, no more hippies. Once something as good as Bellingham is discovered, it will be sucked dry.

Posted by Urban Fish Boy on 2005-06-11 04:09:27
My Score:
Hi. I moved to Bellingham in 1980 or something like that. Stayed until about '86. I worked in a cannery, took LSD on the slime line with my fish mortician cohorts and had a wonderful time. There's NOTHING like staring a dead salmon in the eye when you're clocked to the gills on 25. Sometimes for 20 hours straight. Ah, the good old days. Now I live near Mendocino, Ca.. Not nearly as many dead fish down here...and the music's better too. Peas and Loaf, -UFB

Posted by Grandad on 2005-05-22 18:58:53
My Score:
I was born in Bellingham. My dad was born in Bellingham. My granddad came to Bellingham as a child. The hippies, at least in public form, are GONE! The "exciting underground scene" people talk about usually involves rawk music, or is explicitly affiliated with the university, and leaves town after graduation with its creators. The people moving in are mostly right-wing retirees with money, and Bellingham's culture shows this. I probably shouldn't tell anyone, but the rain is GONE too, thanks to global warming. We cancelled a world-class snowboard event this year because there just isn't the snow for it. Typically spring is the greyest, rainiest season, and this seems to put people off for the whole year. Anyone who doesn't like the parks here either just doesn't like parks (quite common, actually - many bellinghamsters just don't DO outside, like New Yorkers or LAers) or they expect them to all look like Disneyland.

Posted by Basenji on 2005-05-11 21:18:40
My Score:
ahh bellingham im a native i left saw the world found some nice places on the planet and some not so nice ones . i came back . here i can water ski at 10 am snow ski at 1pm hike amid dense forrest 2pm amid fossalized palm fronds down to the sea where i can gather fresh muscells and clams for a nice lunch .walk from the sea shore to my house a total of 1/2 mile take a shower smoke a bowl then head out to a galery and take in a new artist. after that head out to the clubs jazz blues rock top 40 cover bands indi upstarts what ever i may fancy. then off to sleep with out the constant wail of sirens. Of course those are the good things . the bad include mud lots of it because it rains ... and rains .. and rains some more usually from about september to july it rains .. we get some mesurable snow .. about every 5 years the longest rainy streak in rescent memory was in 98 i think ..119 days streight rain . othere cons include high real estate driven by folks from the citys trying to escape traffic ditto the infrastructure hasnt kept up with growth . Jobs the lack of em the surrounding area was traditionaly industry farm,fish and logs .....the farms are dissapearing giving way to urban sprawl the logging mostly gone the fish .. the same end overfishing and fuel prices have forced the fishermen to quit .the industry prices for electricty have shut down the aluminium smelter , the lack of timber shut down the pulp mill..the lack of fish shut down the processing plants the lack of farms have shut down the produce plants ..the basis for most jobs are retail now but the boom in cross border shopping from Canada has long since waned .its tough to get a job here at least one that pays well average salery i'd guess about 7-10 dollars an hour high end 15. all that said , i would live no other place ..for now Bellingham is changeing looseing its small town apeal but that comes with growth ,out of state developers seeing write ups in magazines and newspapers telling of how great the quality of life in bellingham is and how nice a place it is to live and raise kids .. are striveing to destroy what makes this town what it is currently in the works.. bulldozeing a lovely 100 acre wood to build 8 storie apt buildings the tallest building we have now is 12 stories ..so i am afraid that the "city of subdued excitement " will vanish soon to become yet another ho hum town on the I-5 corridor one more nodescript stop for gas between Seattle and Vancouver B.C. i for one will mourn .

Posted by Schertz on 2005-05-04 02:20:52
My Score:
I moved to Bellingham with my family when I was 8 and left when I was 20. Let me tell you upfront, I love Bellingham. Sure it's cloudy and rainy but it's also just about the most picturesque town in the United States. For hippies it's Fairhaven, a small turn of the century village on the Southside of Bellingham. Mountains, ocean, islands, rivers, forests...I don't know what else there is, oh ya, there is no desert in Bellingham. Lots of hippies, lots of music, and just a 45 minute drive from Vancouver and 90 minutes to Seattle. I just might move back. peace.G

Posted by on 2005-04-18 22:05:55
My Score:
I'm moving to bellingham this summer. Just wondering what to expect to pay for a nice 2 bedroom apt? And does bellingham have a view of the mountains? I would like an apartment with a mountain view, that would be so sweet :)

Posted by Lavender on 2005-04-07 23:29:24
My Score:
Bellingham is the most wonderful place to be, I can't believe how great it is. When it comes to those rainy days i just love to go to the parks and run in the squishy mud while eating Granola

Posted by Daria on 2005-04-05 19:11:53
My Score:
I've lived in Bellingham for just over 7 years and like Winston, I was a total grumbly-gus for the first four or five years. Then something changed. I started becoming a 'Hamster. There's something about this city - the people, the lovely weather (yes, rain is an emotion here, but a true and deep one), the scenery, that sort of infects your soul so you don't WANT to leave. I am a writer, and since moving here, have written so much and had so much inspiration that it's incredible. I am a transplanted East coaster, with major East coast mentalities. The stick up my butt was wedged tightly. Now I find myself relaxing, letting loose a bit, being able to laugh and not worry so much. If this is Pacific NW living, then I guess I've adapted. :) I miss the big city, but B'ham for now, is my place to be. I have never been in a friendlier, more open city. I was freaked out that total strangers would greet me when I walked down the street, or old neighbours remembered who I was years later. I used to think West coasters were weirdos. Now, I accept our eccentricities and quirks with a sense of pride. I have been both influenced and inspired by Bellingham and the Pacific NW. It's the most relaxed place I've ever lived.

Posted by Sandra on 2005-03-30 05:21:06
My Score:
I've lived in Bellingham for over a year now and I have to say it one of the nicest places I have ever been. The only downside to it all is the suburban sprawl...everyone is wanting to move here and I understand why, but the ecosystem is suffering as a result of that. If you were to move here don't contribute to the construction by building a home or buying one of those new ones in the neighborhood where the houses all look the same. It is definetely a down to earth, laid back society as compared to where I came from.....Ohio. Ugh! But I welcome everyone to visit....B'ham has alot of offer and it's where it's at.

Posted by patrick p. on 2005-03-23 23:46:52
My Score:
hi all, this is a comment regarding the last few posts. i've only visited bellingham, never lived there, but as a visitor, i can say that i found the city to be utterly charming. the downtown area is a disproportionately large and beautifully maintained 'main street usa' mix of brick and stone. the people seem friendly, welcoming, funky and unusually (but pleasantly) ironic. the shops and cafes are small town usa with a nice twist and a nice balance of bars and restaurants. and there seems to be plenty to do - the last time i was there i was invited by some random girl to a costume dance party in some rented space. so while i can't comment on what it's like to like in bellingham, i heartily recommend this town to youngish people looking to get away for a weekend from seattle or vancouver. you won't regret it!

Posted by jenaye on 2005-03-15 01:41:15
My Score:
Winstin, i agree with you sir. if it were not for my family and the fact that i am not old enough to be an independent, i would not be here either. bellingham does suck, and is meant for people who were born and raised here. if you are an outsider, like i was, from a different state or town, or what ever, do not move here

Posted by kaisee on 2005-02-24 20:53:05
My Score:
I am looking for a roommate here in bellingham. I live close to wwu campus and bus line. Please call me asap if you are interested! 1-360-738-3706 ask for Kaisee or Kelsey! thanks

Posted by mamatova on 2005-02-13 22:21:29
My Score:
Hi.. I have been researching places to move with my husband and 1 yr. old daughter. Bellingham has come up, and I am looking for the opinions of people who have or are living there now. I have read here that there is not much excitement... but thats o.k. with us. Basically we are looking for a quiet life, surrounded by beauty, decent cost of living and housing, not too hot or cold, nice people and a small town feel. My biggest concern is the 200 reported days of complete cloudiness a year. I worry that we will find ourselves locked indoors all day.. and maybe even depressed. I would really appreciate some opinions either here, or preferably at mamatova37@hotmail.com thanks so much...

Posted by artheart on 2004-10-15 17:47:29
My Score:
IMHO..If you are looking for a place which smiles in your face and all the time wants to stab you in the back while trying to get every penny out of you...... then move to Bisbee, Arizona. There you will find out what it means to live, work and play in a "Quirky" environment which honors, praises and even encourages hate and corruption.

Posted by Micro_1394 on 2004-10-02 02:32:36
My Score:
lol, Lacy i dident know you posted at hippy.com. good shit

Posted by skate on 2004-08-15 22:13:32
My Score:
Fortunately, Bellingham is big enough that you can easily avoid the company of junior high school type cliqueish mentalities parading as "hippies". If that is what you are looking for however, it's here. The surrounding area is beautiful, albeit wet. Seattle and Vancouver (a really cool city) are thankfully close by. The real estate keeps going up though, and it's getting rather pricey. Thinking about moving to Bisbee, Arizona myself.

Posted by ncolby on 2004-08-01 01:18:00
My Score:
bellingham isn't a island, who writes this stuff.

Posted by Lacy on 2004-07-22 06:50:49
My Score:
For all of you looking for something to do this weekend. Skunky Beats is here for ya! come support the local bham scene.... michael manahan always brings the hippie vibe with him, it should be off the hook.... check http://www.nwtekno.org/vb/showthread.php?s=930f057e4b7cd5cd066731604cd36351&threadid=73755 for more details!!! much love Lacy

Posted by kaisee on 2004-06-23 01:38:28
My Score:
i am moving to bellingham this fall and would love te hear some good reveiws. i am coming from olympia and it has to be better than oly. email me with some good news please at kaisee42@hotmail.com thanks

Posted by char on 2004-06-16 17:34:22
My Score:
There is an upcoming event here in Bellingham that I was told you may have interest in attending. This Friday evening at 6:30, Saturday beginning at 9:30 am and running all day with a two hour lunch break, and Sunday at 12:30pm for a Q & A and wrap up, Red Elk will speak of his teachings and healings. I am inserting the announcement from the Herald to give you more information, should you be interested. You can also visit his website at www.redelk.org Please call me directly if you are interested in attending. I am aware this is short notice but this opportunity won't arise again for quite some time as Red Elk will be traveling. Char Sherfey-Schroeder 360-527-3135

Posted by William Sapp on 2004-05-21 16:26:15
My Score:
Who knows Rachel Foreman..who has become an artist out there in Bellingham? I want to buy one of her watercolors.

Posted by Math on 2004-02-09 13:31:44
My Score:
Dont know what you luzers are talking about--I lived in bellingham for 12 years, and have travelled much of the U.S. and North America, and have yet to find a place with such a kickass underground scene. If you cant find something freakishly exiting to do in bellingham, you must not get out much, or you kick it with the wrong crowd. Im sure if you have stayed/lived in bellingham you are familiar with the term "city of subdued exitement". Only those in the know see this as a joke. Definately an elitist town...but if you know the right people, there are amazing times to be had. If you have no connections then yes, its nothing more than 10 months of pissing rain followed by 60 days of spring that the locals will call summer. You MUST have a car here, or you will be eternally soaked. Learn to love it. Embrace the rain. Maybe you have problems because you all seem to want to lable yourselves as "hippys" and find a hippy haven, whereas most true bellingham "hippys" are a little more progressive than other places. No FASHION HIPPIES or rich little collegiate earth biscuits will be invited to experience the true heart of this region. Call that a clique if you want, but I appreciated this fact immensely while i was there...kept the fools away while we all were having our fun in ways most humanoids can only dream of. Get yer hands dirty. Get wet. Explore. Under that rock you may find the time of your life.

Posted by on 2004-01-17 09:16:26
My Score:
You suck!

Posted by J on 2004-01-08 08:45:11
My Score:
This is for Winston. Well first off go home then we don't want you here...Okay sorry about that but it really gets me when people ramble like that fellow. I lived in Euorpe for years (1986-1991) saw the wall come down in Berlin and for me if you don't understand what is so cool about his town or the NW then you should leave. Enough said... J

Posted by Winston on 2003-10-08 06:31:23
My Score:
I hate Bellingham and have for years. The reasons are obvious. Keep reading. You know, there is talk around town that there is a curse here that makes it so that when you live here for a while, you can't leave, and if you try to, circumstances seem to throw you back. Have you heard of that? Do you know why that is? I heard that it might have something to do with a mining accident here last century that killed 200 Chinese workers. But who knows. Myself, I came here 5 years ago with my ex-girlfriend and have been trying to leave ever since. It was miserable here. Few or no good jobs, snobby cliqueish people, private people who don't want to meet you or get to know you, nothing to do, same old parks, etc. And the weather and trees make you feel so isolated and lonely. You just lose your motivation for life here soon. Anyone else feel that way too? It's no wonder Seattle has such a high suicide rate. The environment just numbs your senses. You feel like an egghead, and it's obvious that many act like it too. Since I moved here in 1998, I have left and lived in Nevada and in Russia too. I was happy in both places, but because I ran out of work or my financial status became too low, I was thrown back here to stay with my parents again. Otherwise, I wouldn't be here. My folks though, like this area and are totally different than me. That's why I'm still stuck here, and scheming everyday to get out. I often feel like Luke Skywalker did when he looked up at the horizon on Tattooine, longing to leave his planet. ANYONE who sees the 2 online slide shows of my trips to Russia, and sees the kind of life I had there, will definitely understand what I mean, when I tell people that it's totally embarrassing to come back here from there. You can view them at this link below. Do not mind the website name though, it's not my site. http://www.americanwomensuck.com/travel_logs/wwu777/index.htm Click on the link next to the picture of the open bridge above to see the show for my first trip, and the link next to the map of Russia for my second big and recent trip. Then you'll understand what a sad pity it is to return here from all that, to this town where nothing happens, no one talks to you if they don't know you (unless you walk into a retail store they work at, which they'll just give you fake smiles), and you have nothing but loneliness and boredom everyday. Take a look at my life in Russia, and you'll see what I mean. Regards, Winston

Posted by quigs on 2003-07-31 03:27:41
My Score:
i like it there go to school and smoke. live a good life

Posted by crystal on 2002-06-13 03:08:04
My Score:
no Bellingham sucks! its not really a hippy town ..its boring as hell if you want a cool place go to seattle,lots more to do and see!

Posted by on 2002-04-04 12:47:53
My Score:
bellingham go to the rose garden and behind the gozibo thers a path that gose under the bige and has alot of killer places to go in the woods to smok!!

Posted by anomuness on 2002-04-03 19:38:32
My Score:
hey bellingham is a cool town and vary beutiful but it gets borin after a wile ...... trust me i live here ....well u can score any drugs u wont here (not like i want to) but its a pritty cool place to visite

Posted by Grace on 2002-03-01 13:53:33
My Score:
Bellingham isnt an island and its not what i would call a hippie haven, although it's not a bad place to live. Its becoming allot more developed though and the population has risen about 30,000 people in the last ten years,which is allot, just thought you should know.

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