Sunday, July 15, 2007

Your Town

At times, I very seriously toss around the idea of moving. Of just picking up life and going somewhere different and new. I long for something new, more diverse, richer. Different.

Mostly for curiosity (but also for that little nagging voice that's always saying "go go go") I look into things like climate, crime, the job market, proximity to mountains/trails/beaches and whether or not the town has a reputable microbrewery nearby. Like I said, mostly for curiosity.

The thing is, I really love my town. I love the hot summers and the cool mountains. I love the lifestyle people embrace here. I love that my family is nearby. I love that there's an airport close that will take me anywhere I could ever think to go. I appreciate the winters (though you know I do not love them) and I look forward to Spring and Fall. I am involved in the community and have good friends here. And SUN! We have so much sun.

But I still wonder.

I think about the Northwest- would I be lost without all those sunny days? I think about the Midwest- is it true what they say about the bugs? I think about the Northeast- could I find good trails? I think about the Gulf- could I take the humidity? I think about it all. Carolina? Texas? New York? Georgia? California?

Honestly, there are some places I would not live. This number, though, is far outweighed by all the places I'm willing to try. Not that "trying out" a new city is realistic for me, but it's good to know.

So how about you? How about your city? What brought you there? Why do you like it? Why do you love it? What drives you crazy about it?

One thing we learn about where we live are those little things that you really don't know until you live there. Here in Colorado, for instance, we often find transplants that don't know much about the basics of Winter driving. An example: Ice is slippery.

Say I'm going to move to your city, what would you want me to know? What wouldn't I "get" until I lived there?


runliarun said...

How a city so ugly, dusty, dirty, the color of clay, besieged by heat, can be so breathtakingly beautiful.

OC said...

How close everything is, but how if you look, you can get away from it all so easily. How to appreciate all of the seasons, summer thunderstorms, winter blizzards, spring flowers and the trees becoming green for the first time all year, and the gorgeous foliage in the fall.

afuntanilla said...

i am all about adventure. i drove around the country in 1996 and loved atlanta. 3 years later, i moved there. the different climate, scenery and people all sucked me in. living in the bay area all my life and i was thrilled by the differences.

8 years later and i still like it. i don't love it like i used to. i'm still trying to find "home".

one thing i would want you to know about it is that Atlanta proper is cultural, hip, and open. Go outside of it an hour in any direction and all the southern negative stereotypes come into play.

i have no regrets and will stay for the time being, but i know another place awaits me....

great post, great questions. I understand!

Maggie said...

Montana and Colorado are similar. I live in the "Banana Belt" part of the State and I recommend that you stay west of the Continental Divide.
Good trails, getting stronger running community (I'm the newest member!), okay schools, job outlook sucks and housing is expensive.
Summers are a blast and if you are into winter sports, you've got it made.
Just have a job or it really, really sucks.

Sizzle said...

I love Seattle but the winters are hard. It's gray and dark. The people are incredibly nice though and there is always something to do- cultural, artsy, outdoorsy- you name it. But everyone drives soooo slow here! And there are more single women than single men.

Sempre Libera said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sempre Libera said...

New York, bad - Standing on a subway platform in the summer feels a lot like standing at the mouth of hell.

New York, good - A total stranger will go out of his/her way to be nice to you when you least expect it. Just don't dawdle when you're on the sidewalk, 'cause in that case we'll run you right over ;-)

JenKneeBee said...

ha! as i'm relatively new to your site i didn't realize you were from colorado until the end. i was all ready to sell you on it until i read the last bit of your post. i can honestly say the only thing that really bugs me about living in the springs is it's lack of a good public transportation system. a small price to pay for such a great place to live :)

GirlGoyle said...

We have good trails here. Beach a few minutes away. Mountains at less than 45 mins. Culture. History. Quaint town and beachseide living with great rural opportunities. I love it here because you can do it all in one day and still have more left to do. Europe within reach and the carribean at a few hours flight. What you would need to know before coming here...we like our privacy, everything happens quickly, cream and clams actually taste good and the weather is unpredictable but the sun eventually shines as we don't do gloomy.

The Lad said...

How FREE you can be. Nothing to do and see what people do in evenings at their homes????
Do come!

Danielle said...

I so know the feeling...I want to get out of where I am and live in a different place, milder winters maybe?

I live in the Twin Cities metro, moved here cause of the college education from the U of MN and I haven't managed to get out of MN yet due to being born here and my family being here...What I like, the springtime...summer can be fun too, lots of festivals and things going on most weekends, lots of live music, some great microbreweries! And I LOVE the lakes. A trail that is about a 10.5 mile loop around 3 lakes with walking and biking paths. One of the lakes actually is my "happy place". I have a phyiscal place I go to recharge and relax. It's something I would miss if I moved. The things I don't really like are the cold, the fact that I'm so far from the ocean and that while "MN Nice" is so known, it isn't actually in existance to a strong degree. There is a lot of passive agressiveness and backstabbing and I really don't like that. Even the large city can be quite like a small town and if you didn't grow up in the area (namely the metro), it's very hard to get to know new people.

Bre said...

I spent the last three years moving from place to place and trying to find somewhere I could life just as happily as I do at home. Turns out you can go home and when you do it's a happy occasion! I now live 30 minutes from where I was born and raised, 7 miles from Philly, and a mere 10 minutes from one of my best friends in life. Life is good!

Runner Girl FL said...

Funny you mention the ice is slippery thing. We don't seem to get anyone who knows how to drive in a downpour every afternoon an hour before rush hour so there will be an accident to help the traffic situation. ;)

Tampa is a very small big city... Somehow you know everyone. And you run into everyone all the time. FL is very casual...VERY casual. And time is about 1/2 an hour late...everyone. If you want your party to start at 8:00 invite them to come at 6. And we are all about the pirates!! There is the invasion every year and the buccaneers. Just pirates are fun. who doesn't want to be a pirate some days. And with pirates go treasure so we have beads... Not completely like Mardi Gras but similar. (some of that but we don't need to discuss that here) Beads are thrown at every parade and are often part of any proper fan outfit for a sporting event.

Mostly it's fun, green, sunny and fabulous thunderstorms in the summer.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

If you like sun and mountains, then chances are you would like Calgary. They are actually the things I don't like so much about this place. But there is also low humidity, which has both its plusses and minuses.

I think the best part about this city is the fact that the arts community is really starting to thrive and to surpass that cowboy mentality.

The Exception said...

Virginia is great for most everyone - diversity is in abundance. NYC and Boston are a quick train ride or shuttle away. But Virginia has seasons, all four of them, and they are usual quite distinct. There is history, an abundance of color (vegetation) and sound (wildlife). Food, culture, history, beaches, national parks, trails... we have everything.

I came here for work, but I love it for all that it is.

Of course, we also have about two months of high humidity, are a huge target for anything and everything evil in the world, and we have an abundance of very isolated, self involved people who forget that life is not work and that their time is no more important than anyone else's. (Pretty big negatives, but they are outweighed by the positives)

Everyone I know loves CO - but you also might find the mountains of Eastern Central Arizona to your liking. Like NM, people often sell Arizona short. Arizona is far more than Phoenix - it is amazing colors that differ from other parts of the US. It is friendly people, every climate but the sea/beach, seasons, etc.

Cravey said...

I'd want you to know that most people here are far nicer than you ever imagined people could be.
Moving here from Washington DC where people rarely make eye contact and certainly don't say hello to find myself chattin' at people in the line at the grocery store, is sometimes surreal.

You won't get until you get here that "Bless their heart" isn't quite as nice as it sounds.

Ginger Breadman said...

It's fun to read about other cities and try to guess where they didn't insert the name of the city. Perhaps you'd learn in Seattle, that even in the summer, people often drink their coffee hot. We think it's funny when we travel to hot places and they assume we want it iced. Seattle has the mountains, the sound, the clean area and the temperate climate. I swear the people here are more fit than the average american, but like sizzle says - it's grey and depressing in the winter. I think what makes a city a true home to anyone is the feel of community. Regardless of what's out there to explore in your city and in the world, you have to have a base with places you could frequent everyday, friends you could call up in a moments notice, and the store clerk who recognizes you. That's what a good place to call home is.

e.b. said...

there is a lot not too love - come on over around 1 pm and you will boil and come back at 5 pm and it is pouring with a side of thunder and ligtening. but we have fabulous beaches, and wonderful summers, and a total laid back atmosphere. just not a lot of culture - so what can you do?

Backofpack said...

If you move here, you have to embrace the rain and the gray. Learn to love it - it has many forms and many colors. I don't find it depressinga at all. Yet when the sun shines - our area is simply breathtaking. Mt Rainier is an hour away, the Sound is minutes away, the Cascades are about an hour, the Olympics a couple of hours, the ocean beaches a couple of hours. The people here are friendly and unpretentious. My little town is not so diverse, but it is slowly, slowly changing. And specifically, here in Puyallup, there aren't many local, homegrown restaurants - just the chains. Tacoma has them though, but I wish our town would get them too.

Oh, and best of all, we are the home of the best and friendliest run club ever! That alone should draw you here!

Anonymous said...

Chicago. I ended up here on a complete whim. If someone told me how hard it would be to move long distance i wouldn't have done it. But, I did meet Tom and made leaps and bounds as far as my career goes.

I still feel like a Saint Louisan. All the museums are free. Winter is bearable but everyone still panics - they raid the grocery stores when the forecast mentions snow even though it typically melts in a day and no one knows how to drive in the snow so the city shuts down. The summers are hot and HUMID - I probably took 3 showers a day when I lived there, but everyone is super nice. When you run around any park every runner says hi to you or at least waves.

Chicago, Chicago is my kind of town. I guess in a way it is everyone's kind of town. If you can bear the miserable winters the summers are the best. Plus, the city has things to do for everyone if the cost of living or traffic doesn't kill you.

Even though I am still a Saint Louisan at heart - I would never leave chicago at this point. So, keep your fingers crossed Tom gets a job here - even though he has applied for jobs in CO, CA, TX, DC, etc.

brookem said...

this is a great post. i often find myself thinking i could be one of those to just up and move to. one day, id like to.
not that i dont love it here in new england. there's lots to love. the fall. the redsox. fanueil hall. i could go on and on.
i guess like anywhere, there's pros and cons to it all, huh?

Dawn said...

I just left the big city for small town Wisconsin. I love the rolling hills of corn with their farmhouses looking tiny in the distance. I love that the people care. And I love that lightning bugs come out at nighttime.

Josh said...

I agree with Sempre Libera. New York City is surprisingly cruel but also surprisingly generous.

It's diversity is stunning. I cannot tell you how often a day will go by and I'll have overheard conversations in at least 3-5 languages. Every nation of the world has a home in NYC. And the FOOD!!!!!! OMG, THE FOOD. There is nowhere in the world that can even hold a candle to the food in New York.

Let's not forget the Brooklyn Brewery...

justacoolcat said...

I live here.

Enough said.

egan said...

I'm born and raised in Seattle, but really do love it. I've been elsewhere and consider myself pretty lucky to call the Northwest home.

I love what Sizzle had to say about the winters and the dating life. Slow drivers are courteous drivers right? I think you would like it here. Honestly, it doesn't rain as much as people think though. We get pretty nice summers and they start earlier now and last longer than I remember as a kid. Let me know if you have any questions.

Yes, I'm late to the party again.

East vs West Food said...

BTW - A Candle

Joe said...

Except for the cost of housing, I freaking LOVE Vancouver (Vancouver, BC, not Vancouver, WA). You've got the ocean and the mountains. It's never too hot and never too cold. We have oodles of parks and oodles of shopping. It's relatively crime free, for a city. In fact, Vancouver, is consistently voted in the top three cities to live in the world.

Sure, we get lots of rain in the winter but I'll tell you a secret. Rain is highly underrated. It's refreshing, it washes away the dust and it keeps you cool while you are running. Most importantly, it makes everything GREEN!