I came here from a much smaller community over in eastern Washington.
To me, Bellingham was a "big city."
It even had two Colonel Sander's Kentucky Fried Chicken places. Pullman had none, back in the mid 1970s when I came for college.
So much shopping in Bellingham. Hustle and bustle.
Pullman had practically nothing. Shoppers would go over to Moscow, Idaho for lower sales tax.
When I came to Bellingham, I thought I was moving to a city. Compared to Pullman, it was.
Now I find there are things I like about "city life;" like a better climate for gay people.
Working night shift, I also appreciate a city that doesn't close down at sundown. What happens if one wants to eat a normal meal during my working hours?
Some say ungodly hours?
Bellingham's got a ways to go, compared to 24 hour Vancouver, BC., but it's a lot bigger than Pullman.
In some ways, it feels like a big city with a small town mind set.
Some find it socially stifling, professionally stifling, yet still clogged with traffic.
The bad things about "small town" and "big city" life.
Stifling, limiting, but still hassled.
Pullman, on the other hand, is much smaller, and the rural area around the town - It really is rural.
Thousand acre wheat ranches. Roads with hardly a house in sight.
On Whatcom County roads one hardly ever looses sight of showboat homes everywhere. Mini marts galore.
Tiny Pullman was, and still is, kind of sophisticated for its size. A college town where WSU is located.
Bellingham has more than one college, but the college town feel is more diluted by tons and tons of commercial businesses all over the place.
Pullman has some new businesses now, but when I was a kid, one nearly had to travel to hustling Spokane in order to see neon.
I enjoy living in Bellingham, but maybe I wouldn't if I hadn't sought out and developed lots of good friendships here.
Just about any place can be, in part, what one makes it.