Wednesday, January 14, 2009

anyone lived in a pretty how town

(poem here)

I love being back in my liberal college town with the bookstores and restaurants and little markets and my one bedroom apartment. And while we tried (unsuccessfully--no wind) to fly a kite last weekend, and may do some more outdoorsy things this weekend, it's been mostly staying at home and working from home. Cooking, baking, eating in, board games, watching TV through Hulu and Netflix Instant. I've done lots of shopping online and have bought (another) bookshelf, a mattress topper, and have browsed online for dresses that I'll never buy and cookware/bakeware that I'll buy one piece at a time. I got a bunch of academic texts online so as to save money and time, even if I am the cause of the death of the publishing industry. So, yeah, in theory I could do any of this anywhere. But I love it here.

I love the weather, I love that there are so many interesting (and cheap!) bookstores around if I want to go to them (one of my favorite dates--we buy a bunch of books and share them), I love that there's a wide variety of cuisines and high/low restaurants (we only go out on weekends, which feels like a treat), I love being a part of a huge university with lots of interesting lectures, talks, and a performance hall where big acts like Alvin Ailey come by. I like the combination of a college town with a real community (at least the city I live in). I like the liberal politics of this region, although I got by in Orange County anyway. I like that I can walk to all the places I need to go, and take the bus or train to most of the places I want to go, even though I was used to driving in traffic and stressful conditions in Southern California. I like that there's a city car share and casual carpool. I like that there's a couple great regional parks with good hiking trails and even lakes and stuff, even if I only go once a month. I like I don't care much about things being open 24 hours (since I usually pass out by midnight), and I don't like that much urban density, and I don't need a backyard right now. So these things, to me, make this place much more livable than any other place I've lived in. I know I can't stay here forever, and one day I'll have to adjust back to driving everywhere and buying everything online (like I do now, except that I enjoy the browsing and used bookstores).

What makes a place liveable to you? What do you take into consideration when choosing a place to live? I know some people who hate the suburbs so much and call anyplace that is not NYC "uncivilized," but that's really annoying. There's ways to make any place liveable, and the internet has helped greatly. But I will admit that there's much that I love that is specific about this region, which makes it more livable to me than any other place. But I imagine I may one day feel that way about some other city and state. Maybe. I hope so.