I moved to Seattle from NYC (Manhattan) as well, and though I'm originally from the Northwest, it was a culture shock. The pace is much different. You're not going to get that incredible energy you get in New York, of course, nor will you get the ethnic diversity. And people can be incredibly passive-aggressive. Don't expect people to be direct like they are in New York.
That said, I love living in Seattle. The winters are motherfucking gloomy, to be sure, but the summers are absolutely glorious. You will never have to spend a summer day sitting in your apartment in front of the A/C. Also, that New York summer odor of urine/garbage/exhaust is blissfully absent.
I'd also suggest trying to get out on the water. I married a sailor who grew up here and once I started sailing on Puget Sound, abandoned my plans to move back to New York.
One great way to get out on the water is sign up for a spot on a sailboat during the Thursday night races on Elliott Bay (you can sign up at seattleboatshow.com
). It's a terrific way to see Seattle from a different vantage point and get a taste of the local boating culture.
As for neighborhoods, if I was a gay 27-year-old I would definitely choose Capitol Hill, especially if you like going out. Some of the city's best bars and restaurants have opened there in recent years.