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Here are some pictures of Bellevue, Washington. Geographically, it's a suburb of Seattle; though I've met several older people who don't realize that, and think Bellevue is just another neighborhood of the city. I don't know if that feeling is widespread, or not.

It's very clean. Very quiet. The population is 30% foreign-born (Indian, Pakistani, Japanese mostly). The big companies are Microsoft, Eddie Bauer, CoinStar, and Paccar.

it's a tech hub, as well. It's the headquarters of Expedia, Infospace, Drugstore.com, T-Mobile USA, HTC's American operations, and a bunch of video game companies.

The architecture is half way between traditional glass-and-steel, and the emerging Pacific Northwest school.

I live in one of these buildings. See if you can guess which one.

112that12thSouthBuilding-001a.jpg

112that12thSouthBuilding-003a.jpg

989Elements-001a.jpg

AshtonBellevue-001a.jpg

BankofAmericaTower-003a.jpg

BellevueArtsMuseum-001a.jpg

BellevueArtsMuseum-002a.jpg

BellevueCityHall-003a.jpg

BellevueCityHall-004a.jpg

BellevueCityHall-005a.jpg

BellevueCityHall-010a.jpg

BellevueCityHall-013a.jpg

BellevueCorporatePlaza-002a.jpg

BellevueCorporatePlaza-003a.jpg

BellevueFirstCongregationalChurch-002a.jpg

BellevueFirstCongregationalChurch-003a.jpg

BellevuePacificCenter-003a.jpg

BellevuePlace-003a.jpg

BellevueRegionalLibrary-001a.jpg

BellevueRegionalLibrary-003a.jpg

BellevueRegionalLibrary-004a.jpg

BellevueRegionalLibrary-005a.jpg

BellevueTowers-009a.jpg

BellevueTowers-010a.jpg

BellevueWashington-June2010-001a.jpg

BradfordCenter-001a.jpg

CascadeBankBuilding-002a.jpg

CascadeBankBuilding-003a.jpg

CityCenterBellevue-002a.jpg

CityCenterPlaza-007a.jpg

CityCenterPlaza-008a.jpg

CivicaOfficeCommons-002a.jpg

EddieBauerBuilding-004a.jpg

EddieBauerBuilding-007a.jpg

ElementsToo-001a.jpg

ElementsToo-003a.jpg

ElementsToo-004a.jpg

ElementsToo-005a.jpg

ExpediaTower-006a.jpg

FirstMutualCenter-005a.jpg

FirstMutualCenter-006a.jpg

GroupHealthBellevueMedicalCenter-001a.jpg

HyattRegencyBellevue-001a.jpg

KeyBankBuilding-001a.jpg

KeyBankCenter-001a.jpg

KeyBankCenter-003a.jpg

KeyBankCenter-006a.jpg

MeydenbauerCenter-001a.jpg

MeydenbauerCenter-002a.jpg

OneLincolnTower-002a.jpg

OneLincolnTower-006a.jpg

OverlakeHospitalMedicalCenter-001a.jpg

PaccarBuilding-002a.jpg

PaccarBuilding-003a.jpg

PacificPlaza-003a.jpg

PlazaCenter-003a.jpg

PugetSoundEnergyBuilding-001a.jpg

PugetSoundEnergyBuilding-002a.jpg

PugetSoundEnergyEastBuilding-002a.jpg

PugetSoundEnergyEastBuilding-004a.jpg

QuadrantPlaza-001a.jpg

QuadrantPlaza-002a.jpg

SkylineTower-001a.jpg

SkylineTower-003a.jpg

SymetraFinancialCenter-005a.jpg

SymetraFinancialCenter-006a.jpg

Ten20Tower-002a.jpg

Ten20Tower-005a.jpg

TheBravernOfficeCommonsTowerOne-001a.jpg

TheBravernOfficeCommonsTowerTwo-002a.jpg

TheBravernSouthResidentialTower-001a.jpg

ThePalazzo-002a.jpg

U.S.BankPlaza-002a.jpg

VillaFirenze-003a.jpg

WashingtonSqaure-003a.jpg

WashingtonSqaure-009a.jpg

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I'm guessing the one in photo #2.

Nope. That's an office building with a bunch of architects and engineers in it.

The sky in these looks almost freakishly blue.

Yeah, some days it's like that. At least my camera sees it that way. I might start leaving the polarizing filter off, though I do love when a blue sky fades to black.

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I don't get it...where's all the rain and clouds? :P

It's been my observation so far that it mostly rains at night and in the early morning, then clears up. I think it's only rained all day once or twice. Florida is like that too, but since it's also hot and muggy and dangerous, it gets to be called the "Sunshine State," while this area is the "So Moist That Moss Grows on the Streets State."

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Really nice pictures, I can see why you have the business you have.

I think you're in that one that's low with sort of the steps gradually going higher; the one with the phone number in the windows near at the top corner of the building.

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Really nice pictures, I can see why you have the business you have.

I think you're in that one that's low with sort of the steps gradually going higher; the one with the phone number in the windows near at the top corner of the building.

We have a winner!

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You should be proud - Bellevue ranked #4 in Money's top places to live.

The popularity poll for picking the cities uses a database of 800-plus U.S. cities and towns with populations of 50,000 and up CNN Money compared a variety of factors including housing, financial, weather, education and crime levels to compile their lists.

Their top twenty:

1 Eden Prairie, MN

2 Columbia/Ellicott City, MD

3 Newton, MA

4 Bellevue, WA

5 McKinney, TX

6 Fort Collins, CO

7 Overland Park, KS

8 Fishers, IN

9 Ames, IA

10 Rogers, AR

11 Plymouth, MN

12 Highlands Ranch, CO

13 Woodbury, MN

14 Carmel, IN

15 Eagan, MN

16 Allen, TX

17 Shawnee, KS

18 South Jordan, UT

19 Broomfield, CO

20 Apple Valley, MN

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You should be proud - Bellevue ranked #4 in Money's top places to live.

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I'd be prouder if there was some place to eat around here that wasn't sushi, Indian, or Thai. And a drug store would be nice, too. I really don't know how this place gets a WalkScore of 100. To do most of my errands, I take the bus across the lake into Seattle.

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Nice photos. Is Bellevue considered Redmond? I saw one photo of a Microsoft tower.

Redmond is another town over. Essentially it goes Seattle - Mercer Island - Bellevue - Redmond.

Microsoft was actually headquartered in Bellevue after New Mexico, but before it moved to Redmond. But only barely. It's right on the border of Bellevue and Redmond. Redmond, however, isn't a real town, and doesn't have the capacity to handle an operation the size of Microsoft. It also has no business tax in the traditional sense. Instead, companies pay a flat rate of $85 per employee.

Microsoft's campus there has over 200 buildings, but they're all 2-5 stories tall. I think there are only two buildings in Redmond over 5 stories (the Marriott and an apartment block). Sprawling doesn't begin to describe it. The distance from Building 27 (the south end) to Building G (the north end) is 1.42 miles -- about twice the length of the Texas Medical Center. So it's no wonder that MS has thousands of workers spilling out into Bellevue (rapidly approaching 10,000 employees), Issaquah, and Seattle.

Microsoft has a large number of its employees in Bellevue, in part because Bellevue is close to both Redmond and Seattle. Bellevue does a lot to actively court technology companies, and is in the middle of a 40-year plan to transform itself from a bedroom suburb into a walkable urban city. Bellevue's zoning and taxes make the construction of residential and office condos attractive. The city also has a number of services to help small tech companies. For example, if you're designing a video game the city will hook you up with people who can do character design for you. I hate to use the phrase, but that's about the most "out of the box" thinking I've heard from a local government in a long time.

Is it working? I'd say yes. At least four downtown skyscrapers have their office space 90%+ occupied by Microsoft (most notably the Xbox 360 and Bing groups), and I can think of three other buildings that have Microsoft as major portions of the office space, so there are Microsoft logos on buildings everywhere. Valve Software is also here. If you're a PC gamer, you know Valve. 5th Cell, Sucker Punch, and a bunch of other Nintendo game developers are here, along with other game companies. Sierra On-Line was here until it closed in 2008. Non-game tech companies include Expedia, which has a signature tower, Drugstore.com, Infospace, Amazon.com's regional distribution hub, and T-Mobile USA. Nintendo of America is next door in Redmond, next to Microsoft's west campus. There's probably a lot more that I don't know about.

Interestingly, Microsoft operates its own transit system, independent of King County Transit or SoundTransit.

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