February 24, 2010

Where Are You?

That question? I don't mean that like it sounds.

See, sometimes I just feel that the DC suburbs aren't me. They're not who I am, how I feel or what I want to be. So then are start thinking about where I am.

One of my favorite places in the world is Wyoming. The mountains just kind of pop out of the earth suddenly and in front of them aren't foothills but sage-filled prairie dotted with clusters of forest surrounding cold, fresh lakes. I could be Wyoming.

I once spent three days floating down the Rio Grande river. The canyons were lined with Indian dwellings, the sun rose high and fast and warmed the day but the nights were cold. And I could see for miles between the red-striped rock formations jutting out of the otherwise unbroken land. I could be West Texas.

I've been watching the Olympics and I've often thought that Seattle or Portland or even Vancouver would be my kind of town, populated by people who still thought flannel was a cool fashion statement, whose Doc Martens don't look like a retro or ironic fashion statement, and where vegetarian restaurants and cosmopolitan hippies were a dime a dozen. I could be Pacific Northwest.

The point is, places are a lot like people. Both have personalities and occasionally a person's personality matches that of a place.

Do you like where you live? And where are you?

Posted by Chris at February 24, 2010 6:41 AM

Wait, what? I'm the first person to comment? How can that be?

I don't like where I live. I am urban, but I've been living in New Jersey for a year now. It's a college town, and it's also cool living so near farms where I can get fresh produce, milk, and meat. But still, it's New Jersey: traveling from strip mall to strip mall, always saying to myself, well, at least I'm only an hour from the city.

A year ago, I lived *in* Chicago. So a walk to the grocery store, a walk to twenty different ethnic restaurants, a walk to a bar with 200+ beers, a train ride to everything. The people I met loved great music and great art. This place, it has its advantages, but it will never, ever be me. I'll be moving on.

Posted by: Laura at February 23, 2010 9:02 PM

i am the east coast not the hoity toity east coast... the fishermen, the lobstermen... the wharftowns...noreaster survivors... big coats, big boots, big snow... and the ocean! salt water air...and sand...
i am the new mexico black night sky with stars like diamonds i've never seen...

Posted by: theunicorn at February 24, 2010 7:12 AM

I'm in a small town, less than 5000, in WI about 30mins from Madison. I grew up in Milwaukee, and I've lived in Madison, and this is my favorite. My husband and I love to laugh over the fact that business use Downtown Columbus as their address on advertisements. It's a quiet, peaceful place, near the city, and this is where we want to raise children.

Posted by: Michele at February 24, 2010 7:29 AM

I am in Sydney Australia and it suits me right down to the ground. I wasn't raised here, I come from across the ditch as we say (New Zealand), but Sydney has been my home for 11 years and will be for some time to come, I am sure.

She pulls the ocean and harbour around her like peacock does his tail and on a sunny day it's as if the sun lights it up to bring all those who love her out to revel in her.

She can be in turn coarse and vulgar, a tease, a seductive lover or a playmate. In whatever season, she is beautiful, and she knows it.

As do I.

Posted by: Deeleea at February 24, 2010 7:36 AM

Born and raised in a NYC high rise I am now in rural NC and I love it. But probably because I get to spend a fair amount of time in actual cities so I don't feel stifled. Still - I love walking into the local cafe and seeing the owner and having him know exactly what I want.

Posted by: rougeneck at February 24, 2010 7:41 AM

I LOVE where I live. We are in the Atlanta suburbs. I grew up in IL with a 5 year stint in Ontario. I loved the convenience of the community where we lived near Toronto, but the weather sucked the cost of living was over the top. Here I have my birds and my history and I don't have to shovel. It doesn't hurt that my DH has his dream job and a reasonable commute. The cost of living down here is low, low, low! Good schools too. I'm a happy girl.

Posted by: Christy at February 24, 2010 7:53 AM

I was born and raised on Cape Cod. Long warm sandy beaches in the summer and deserted windy beaches int he winter, where you can walk for miles and not see another person. I love the Cape and often think about going back there in my later years.
I live in the mountains of New Hampshire. I love it here too. Wearing a plaid shirt and worn jeans is mandatory here! The snow comes and we usually get about 4 feet a year or more. No one frets, we just plan for it and snow shoe out if we need something.
I have lived in other places for periods of time and found I could live there, but it was never home.

Posted by: Maribeth at February 24, 2010 7:59 AM

I currently live in WV and not the pretty part. I live in the coal fields. My husband and I moved here almost two years ago for my job with the feds. We have gotten used to it, but it is not 'us.' The closest natural foods store is an hour and a half away, we couldn't find a place that carried compost bins so we had to order one off the net, etc. There are a few small farmer's markets, but they are nothing like I was used to. We moved to WV from Minnesota. We loved it there. I would happily move back in a heart beat, but I know I could also be very happy in Colorado where I used to spend my summers as a child. I think I could do most places on the West coast (except large cities) and almost anywhere in New England. In college I spent a few summers working in Maine and loved it there. West Virginia is just a stop along the way in our master plan. We just remind ourselves of that every now and then and move on. We have found some wonderful like-minded friends here, but we are the odd ones out in our communities. When our current location gets us down, we dream of the places we want to go and try to make shorter term plans to at least visit some of those places. This keeps us sane until our next get-away.

Posted by: Ashley K at February 24, 2010 8:05 AM

I have said for years that I "am a misplaced soul". I'm not lost...just in the wrong place.
I HATE where I live and I curse my ancestors for settling here in PA. I hate the cold and the snow. I hate the area I live in, its boring and there is no culture, no jobs...

I know I belong in New Orleans. I am never happier than when I am there, it FEELS like home there. I only feel complete when I am in NOLA. I always say I must have lived there in a past life because its so comfortable for me. I love everything about that city- the sights, the sounds, even the smells. I LOVE the heat and humidity and how everything slows down in the summer. No rushing about like east coasters. There is so much culture, and food and there is ALWAYS something going on. Everyone is laid back. Eccentricity is not just accepted, but encouraged.

I can not wait until we can move there. 8 more years!

Posted by: Lisa at February 24, 2010 8:06 AM

I live in Phoenix, and I love it! There are two other places that I know I could live and those are Quito, Ecuador and Budapest, Hungary. Not sure why I have that wide variation though.

Posted by: blair at February 24, 2010 8:07 AM

I live in a suburb of Fort Worth - one of those illustrious "Mid-Cities" as they are called that are smashed together, filling up the space between Dallas and Fort Worth. My house is close to everything I need regularly (and even some things I need irregularly). I'm minutes from two big cities, one that is calm and one that is not. Everything is within reach.

At heart, though, I am the Texas hill country. I am Kerr County, clean air and rolling hills. I am small country stores, "Howdy, ma'am," and four wheelers in the back pasture. I am big front porches, hot summers and cold iced tea. I am quilts on the bed, bare feet on authentic wood floors and big trees.

I laugh sometimes because it seems that a lot of people dream of bigger cities, broader horizons and endless opportunities. I dream of a simple life.

Posted by: Emily at February 24, 2010 8:40 AM

I live in Connecticut suburbia where I was born and raised. I love it here and I belong here. I'm 1/2 hr from New Haven and a 1/2 hour from Hartford and 1.5 hours from NYC by train.
I lived in the wine country of California for 8 years and loved it and it was beautiful but like any place that people go to get away are people trying to make a living. Who wants to live in paradise but have to leave it to work?
My town has remained about 45,000 people for years, we've had the same mayor for 28 years (some say too long!), we have an uptown with the town hall residing in the 1st high school and it has a clock in front of it given to the town by the VFW. We have a downtown with a train station and I can hear the train whistle late at night as the freight train goes through town. The same train tracks I would take the Montreal Express to Vermont to visit my cousins in high school.
It's the town I wanted to raise my son in and the house I could never picture another family living in. It's the town that a surprising number of teenagers say "there's nothing to do here!!" only to bring their families back "home" to raise them in.
I couldn't imagine really being anywhere else.

Posted by: NancyJ at February 24, 2010 8:53 AM

Funny that you asked this question today as my spouse and I were just talking about how bizarre it is that we ended up where we did - tiny town Minnesota. It's far from family which is hard, harder now that we have a child, and while it's beautiful, there are plenty of other beautiful places in the country, world. There is however my really good job, low cost of living which means my spouse can stay home with our child, a good food co-op with tons of local, organic food, and other such things. Over the past few years we've met some wonderful people, but we still wonder how and why here?

Posted by: Somewhere in the Midwest at February 24, 2010 8:54 AM

I live in Louisville, and I am lucky, because it is also where I am. The areas where I spend my time have a liberal, urban feel, while also having the benefit of a friendly, small-town vibe.

More than anything, it's where I was raised and where I feel at home. I'll venture out into the unfamiliar for a vacation, but I'm not the sort that wants to go someplace new and make a home there.

I went to college in Boston, and so Boston will also always be a little bit home to me. Fortunately, I've got friends there, so I can always visit (without having to worry about the cost of living, the cold and the snow, or trying to get home with groceries on a day that the Red Sox have a home game).

Posted by: Melody at February 24, 2010 9:02 AM

I love where I live, but often think I should have spent time living somewhere else when I was younger, to experience some place else.

I live just outside of Philly, near Valley Forge. It's more urban now than the rural of my youth. I've always loved how I was close enough to the city that I could go in for an evening and close enough to the farmlands and rural little towns that I didn't ever need to feel crowded. And the 'mountains' are not too far away. My family has lived in this area (well, this county and the county to the south of us) for a very long time and I want my daughter to love this area as much as I do.

But I really wish I had spent time living in downtown Philly or NYC, to get the feel for living in a city. I think I would have loved it. I also LOVED San Francisco and the surrounding area - I would have loved to live there after I left college, but cost prohibited!

If ever the opportunity arises, I will live on a beach somewhere in this world. I don't care which beach, NJ, OR, Caribbean, doesn't matter. That's the only place I can see my self ever giving up where I live now!

Posted by: cyndy at February 24, 2010 9:04 AM

I spent 6 years in Vancouver and now live four hours inland (Vacation country, aka The Okanagan).

Come join us in the Pacific Northwest, dude. We're pretty rad.

Posted by: Angella at February 24, 2010 9:23 AM

I am where I am. Truth is, I'm probably Colorado, with its year-round sporty activities. However, from my experience the culture isn't me and I really like the culture where I am.

Posted by: Brad at February 24, 2010 9:31 AM

I like where I live. I don't live in the middle of nowhere, it's pretty heavy populated, but looking out my front window, you'd never know, looks like I have no neighbors, and I like that view. Plenty of parks, lakes and quaint old downtown area within walking distance. And all my family (save one brother) live within 30 miles of each other. For that reason I always said I'd never move away. But a few years ago, I made a trip to Colorado, and as soon as I got out of that airport, I felt like it was home. If I ever had to move, or felt inclined to do so, I'd go there in a heartbeat.

Posted by: js at February 24, 2010 9:36 AM

we have tried to leave our hometown about 3 times now. the first time we couldn't get pregnant, so we decided to take jobs in bermuda for a little adventure to take our mind off things. the day we mailed our immigration papers blammo! pregnant. the second time we were supposed to move to toronto with my husband's job. it was a start up company and we soon realized it didn't offer the stability we needed to move to the big city (soooo expensive to buy a house there) so my husband commuted for a year. yuck. and just this past summer we were supposed to move West but at the last minute the deal fell through. so, here i am, born and raised and never left Ottawa Ontario. it's nice here, great for family life, but i wouldn't say no to a little adventure and try living somewhere else.

Posted by: meanie at February 24, 2010 9:37 AM

Right now, I do like where I live. But I belong off the grid in Northen Minnesota, handing out root beer to the travelers in the BWCA.

Posted by: k8 at February 24, 2010 9:43 AM

I live in Bay City, Michigan which is a small town about an hour north of Flint. I've lived here for almost 10 years after growing up in an even smaller town just outside of Flint. My house is located at the end of civilization as I call it. We're the last street with city water/sewer. So we have houses close to us on each side but a big empty field behind us that is all ours. I've always been a country girl who needs space around me. I did the apartment and suburbs things for a few years and hated it. I love where I live now but see myself at some point getting a vacation home for the winter somewhere in the Southwest.

Posted by: Jody at February 24, 2010 9:47 AM

Small college town Indiana is where I currently live. Not my first choice but the job is good and the cost of living is cheap making it easy to raise two kids.

I would move back out west either to CA/OR/WA - I love Seattle (we visit every year to see my family there). I love the Bay area but I would live in Santa Cruz/Aptos/Santa Barbara someplace like that. I have never been to Portland but I have heard it is a lot like Seattle.

I would totally drop everything if I was ever offered a job in Fort Collins CO. I love college towns close to big cities, I guess!

Posted by: Christina at February 24, 2010 9:50 AM

I'm in suburban DC. While I do like many things about living here (public transportation! ability to walk to almost anything you need! Trader Joe's!), and I have many friends in the area, it doesn't feel like "me." I think I'm probably Pacific Northwest too, or liberal college town in New England, or Portland, Maine. (Not that I've been to ANY of these places, really.)

Posted by: stephanie at February 24, 2010 9:55 AM

I am Baltimore. I don't live there, as I wouldn't put my kids in Baltimore public schools (and private schools aren't in my budget right now) but I am Baltimore. I am eclectic and tough and funky and artsy and industrial and crime and gritty and bleak and hopeful and fear and no fear at all. I've always felt at home in Baltimore but have only got to live in the city for about a year (8 years ago). One day I'll get to go back!

Posted by: bri at February 24, 2010 10:18 AM

I was born and raised in a suburb of Los Angeles and while that will always be home I ended up buying a house in a suburb of San Diego and hated it.

We ended up building a home in a suburb of Boise and LOVED IT...that feels like home...the gorgeous snow-topped mountains, clean air, friendly people, open spaces, and yet close to everything and a fun college town to boot!

However, I am currently living in a teeny tiny suburb of Scranton and I really don't like it but here because of my husbands job. I have been working hard at finding a way to get us back to Boise, Idaho, where I feel is truly home. The craziest thing is I have always wanted to live on the east coast and now I realize that I am not an east coast kind of gal.

Posted by: natalie at February 24, 2010 10:36 AM

I'm from Northeast Ohio and I always knew I HAD to get out of there. Fortunately, with my husband in the military I got my wish!
We have live in Colorado, Germany, Kentucky, and now Texas.
Colorado was beautiful with the mountains. Kentucky was ok, a bit too country for me. Texas is good- the weather rocks! got the mountains. But by far, I've loved Germany. It's just so beautiful and full of history. Little villages tucked into farm fields. Cities with cobblestone streets. People speaking all kinds of foreign languages. It was an adventure to go the grocery store and try to figure out what things were.

However, I'm not sure what I am really, yet. I've always wanted to go to the Pacific Northwest, just seems like a place I could love. Or maybe go for a yr or two to Iceland (my husband is an Icelander-born and raised), just to give that a try. We are definitely more urban than country. We like our modern conveniences. We are really loving not having to deal with piles and piles of snow and ice for months and months and months, living in El Paso.

For me, so far, I like the adventure of moving to new places and trying them out for a while. Sometimes I know right away if it fits, sometimes it takes a while to grow on me.

Posted by: halle at February 24, 2010 10:41 AM

What a great question! I have always lived in Minnesota (love to travel, love to come back home), and I think I am Minnesota: somewhere in the middle, happy to be in the spotlight only some of the time, seems cold on the outside but has tons to offer if you're willing to stay and find out.

Posted by: Julie at February 24, 2010 10:49 AM

I'm in Merced, CA, in the San Joaquin valley. Moved here from San Francisco when I retired. It has its points I suppose but I've never felt really at home. If I could afford it, I'd be back in San Francisco tomorrow.

I grew up in the NY Mohawk Valley and I've lived all over the country over the years. When I moved to SF in 1958, I knew immediately I was home even though I left and came back a few times.

Posted by: ann adams at February 24, 2010 10:50 AM

born & raised in northeast ohio & still here 31 years later. all though forbes would like you to believe that Akron ranks 12th on a list of worst US cities, its not so bad. sure, we have winter for like 8 months in a row & havent seen sunshine for more than 2 days in a row since september & have been known as the "meth" capital of america, but we're close to lake erie (ok, so it caught on fire once, big deal), & have a winning basketball team (lebron & co makes up for our shit-ass football team). but this is MY home & I love it.

Posted by: bb at February 24, 2010 11:04 AM

I live in Minneapolis and I'm a bit too rural for it (I listen to country music and drive a pickup truck), but I strive to grow up and be like Minneapolis. I love it here. I love the people, the weather, the community. I wish I were more Minneapolitan and it's my goal to grow up and fit in better!

Posted by: NGS at February 24, 2010 11:13 AM

I would like to live in San Francisco. I am nerdy, crunchy, and enough of a city girl that it fits.

Posted by: alektra at February 24, 2010 11:41 AM

I live in a college town in Central Jersey while my husband battles for tenure at the nearby Ivy League university. It is a lovely place to be and raise a family, but I have never been able to call it home.

Home for me is where I can wake up looking at the beautiful Rocky Mountains. I grew up in Colorado, lived in New Mexico for six years, and that's where I hope to eventually move back to and put my roots firmly in the ground. I love the wide open spaces, the crystal clean air, the nightly view of the Milky Way galaxy, the laid-back "I'll get it done tomorrow" attitude. That, to me, is home.

Posted by: krtz at February 24, 2010 11:51 AM

Ugh! I am in Las Vegas and it is SO not who I am. Stippers and blow anyone??

We are planning a move this summer to Bend, Oregon, and that is SO who I am. =)Although I agree, Portland, Seattle, or Vancouver would do nicely too.

Posted by: Lesley at February 24, 2010 12:08 PM

I live in Detroit and I am Detroit. I grew up in the suburbs and spent years plotting my escape. I wanted to live in a 'real city'. Circumstance kept me here and I'm glad. Five years ago my husband and I moved downtown and feel in love with the city. So much here is independently owned, and there are great grass roots organizations. Urban farming is a reality here, and we have one of the best open air markets I've ever been to. Detroit has is a big city with a small town vibe. The media hypes us up to be dangerous and scary but we aren't. It's definately home. Come visit us sometime. I've traveled many places but my heart is here.

Posted by: Andrea at February 24, 2010 12:09 PM

Wyoming born, Montana raised, and currently loving life in Portland, OR. You're right- the PNW is a wonderful place! I had a choice between here and Seattle, and, I dunno, Portland felt more like home. You're an hour from the beach, an hour from the mountains, we have all the culture of a big city, but the small town feel of things like farmer's market and biking to work.

I miss my hometown, Missoula, MT, terribly, but beautiful scenery doesn't pay the bills. The best time to go is in the summer.

Posted by: Tai at February 24, 2010 12:13 PM

I am currently living in Dayton, OH and I am NOT a big fan. My husband is in the Air Force so this is our home for the next two years.

I have previously lived in Florida and Texas.
I really loved San Antonio and the Hill Country (between Austin and San Antonio). I would love to live in California as well since we have family there and it is amazing! I have been to DC many times for conferences and have enjoyed the city as well. My husband is due to retire soon so we can pretty much move where we want!

I think the ideal place for me would be a mild climate with plenty of state parks and other natural areas for hiking and camping. It would also be nice to be near a larger city for cultural activities and great food as well.

Until then I must endure Dayton, OH (no offense to anyone who loves Ohio).

Posted by: Julie Andel at February 24, 2010 12:18 PM

I live in Atlanta. The city, not the suburbs. It's... okay. It's the most forward-thinking city in Georgia, but that's not saying much (sorry ATL).

Originally I'm a Florida girl. I love the ocean, but my heart is actually in Texas. Austin. Laid back, but not backwards. One day, maybe.

Posted by: mingaling at February 24, 2010 12:24 PM

I'm in Phoenix AZ. I must say that I'm also fondly looking at Vancouver. Thanks NBC. My girlfriend's sister went to Vancouver last year and still says she wants to move there as she fell in love with it.

Posted by: Kevin Spencer at February 24, 2010 12:24 PM

Oooh. That is a good question. I get that feeling from different places at different times actually. I'm not sure where my heart feels is home. And lest I leave you the book I just wrote in your comment explaining all the different places that have felt/feel like home, I've copied and pasted my original comment to my blog. You can thank me later.

Posted by: suze at February 24, 2010 12:27 PM

I live in San Diego, and I am soooo Southern California. Kind of split personality--one day it's the beach, the next it's the mountains, and the next it's the desert in a dune buggy. All are equally relaxing but in different ways. I live in the mountains, but I'm only 30 minutes to the beach. I can't think of anyplace (and I've been all over the world and lived all over the country) that suits me better than here.

Posted by: Michelle at February 24, 2010 12:49 PM

I think I might be Austin: liberal, irreligious, country and hard-core Texan.

Posted by: Becky at February 24, 2010 12:55 PM

I am definately Seattle. I miss it every day. Every day, at some point, usually in my head, I lament I am not there for some reason or another. More often if I am driving.

Luckily, I am very Pacific Northwest in general. Culturally, Vancouver is very similar, albeit Canadian.

Posted by: Jodi at February 24, 2010 12:55 PM

I am *totally* Seattle, which works out since I live here. The outdoorsy parts. The fact that I'm 20 minutes from downtown and 30 minutes from mountains. Not to mention the ocean and the lakes. There's a little bit of everything and it's just the right size - not too big or not too small. After years of living in Chicago - which I loved, but I knew it wasn't quite "me" - it's a nice change.

Posted by: Dawn at February 24, 2010 1:18 PM

I live in Vancouver and I LOVE IT. I grew up in a tiny town of ~4000 people, moved to a Vancouver suburb for my Bachelor's degree. I then lived in Toronto for 4 years, then Odense, Denmark for 3.5 years. Now I'm back in Vancouver to stay.

I love the laid back nature of this city. I don't consider myself a city girl at all, but if I had to live in a city, I would choose this one. I love the fact that you can be skiing or hiking within a 30 minute drive of my house. I love the water. I love it all! Come on over to Vancouver - you'll love it!

I also loved Odense. It was perfectly sized for me (~250,000 people). The Danes bike everywhere, so we didn't have a car. We did it all by bike. We had a 5 km bike ride to get to the university for work, and we got to bike past hay fields, through a little forest and past a sheep pasture. It was amazing and I miss it every day.

Posted by: Carmen at February 24, 2010 1:21 PM

I live in the suburbs of Sacramento, CA. It is the perfect place to live (a little hot in the summer...but for you east coasters, it's a DRY heat!) It's an hour and a half drive to San Francisco and the beach, same distance to Lake Tahoe, it's an hour flight to L.A. It's urban enough to have decent restaurants and clubs, but suburban enough that you aren't right on top of everyone.

Posted by: Angela at February 24, 2010 1:29 PM

As a transplanted highlander my heart and home will always be in the Highlands of Scotland. I have traveled fairly extensively but am always drawn back to a wee little glen called Glen Nevis and miss it greatly. Going back to Scotland however is not really an option for us but I would love for my son to have the same childhood as I did. Everybody knew who you were and all the kids played together and neighbors would look out for each other. In reality my village/town is struggling as the major business in tourism and they have lost the local mill that kept many people employed year round.

We currently are like you and live in northern Virginia. It's not home and we talk constantly about moving but with the housing and job market being so bad were trapped for a little while longer. I love working in DC and it's a great city to get around in and feels very clean and safe. But I am not a city person and would rather be in the mountains or by the sea any day. We loved the PNW but strangely didn’t like Seattle itself. I loved the surrounding area however and also how friendly the people were. Were planning a trip to Portland Oregon to see how we like Oregon but you never can tell where life will take you (I would have laughed at you if somebody told me that I would have ended up living in "America").

Posted by: Steven at February 24, 2010 1:37 PM

wyoming is gorgeous. my dad used to want to live there and have a small farm until he and my mom drove through there on their honeymoon and my mom realized that the only connection to the outside world she'd have would be the sears catalog (it was the 70s, after all).

i love portland. it doesn't rain nearly as much as everyone thinks it does (right now it is sunny and beautiful in february) but when it does rain, i do daydream a little of somewhere drier. less wet pantlegs as i try to get the newborn and the toddler in and out of the car when we go shopping, right? :)

Posted by: kati at February 24, 2010 1:44 PM

Seattle/Portland rocks, tis true. Vegetarian heaven.

I think I am still a midwesterner deep down though. But would I move back there? I don't know. Probably not.

Posted by: Librarian Girl at February 24, 2010 2:03 PM

This is an interesting question to a transplant. I'm in Tennessee, in a little town only 23 years younger than the country and being here is like coming home in some odd way that I can't define. I'm a Californian by birth/childhood/education but... I don't know. There is something about the clarity of the sun in the morning there, the smell of dust and salvia, the doves - that will always be a part of me. But I feel grounded here in a way I never did there, like I can slip into the rolling green hills and stay safe.

I've heard the siren call of Seattle more than once, and we almost moved there - more than once - but I need sun. That said, I can step off the plane in both London and Munich and be at home in an instant.

Posted by: Aimee at February 24, 2010 2:43 PM

I love where we live. I love being in DC. I didn't love being in the DC suburbs.

I like to think of myself as more Paris or Rome, though. Definitely urban, walkable, cosmopolitan.

Posted by: Lemon Gloria at February 24, 2010 3:02 PM

Spent most of my childhood in PA. Spent over 3 years stationed in Germany. Loved it. If it were easy and cheaper, we could live almost anywhere in Europe. Other preferences would be the Northwest or almost anywhere in the West. I love Colorado, but I'd rather live in the mountains despite how much at home I feel living in the Denver area.

Posted by: One Mom's Opinion at February 24, 2010 3:03 PM

HA! another vote for the pacific northwest... I've been west coast all my life, mostly northern CA/bay area, and now live in a nice midsize town of Bellingham WA. It's right on the coast, smack dab between vancouver and seattle. And because it's not either of those cities, it's affordable enough to allow me to live right on the shore. hiking, biking, skiing for the outdoorsy types, and delicious food for the foodie types. and yes, plenty of flannel... but we're getting better.

Posted by: karma at February 24, 2010 3:20 PM

I'm in the West Michigan area, and it doesn't suit me at all. In fact, the state of michigan doesn't much suit me -- with the exception of Ann Arbor, which I loved.

I love LOVE LOVE big cities. My favorite place to be is Chicago. It will probably never make sense for me to live there, but man, do I love visiting - and try to get there every other month or so.

Posted by: Sarah at February 24, 2010 3:25 PM

I have lived all over (MA, GA, OH, MO, DC, VA, TX) and have realized that while I hate snow and cold and ice, where I grew up in MA is by far the best. It's a small town with amazing diversity and quirkiness. So many of my friends have moved back to raise their families there and I am jealous. I would love to live there and be part of that community. But, it's expensive, cold, doesn't have a ton of job opportunities for us, and it's near my very high maintenance parents so it's a no go. We are in San Antonio now-and it's hard to be the little blue person in a sea of red. But, it's great for my son to be close to so much family (husband's family is all here) so it's worth it. And the weather is great, as is the cost of living. Culturally, bland, but close to good options in Austin so it's workable. I think if my hometown in MA had better weather, we could overcome the family stuff. It sure is a nice place to visit.

Posted by: Laura at February 24, 2010 3:38 PM

I live in Vancouver. It's aesthetically breathtaking.

The people are oddly not the west coast hippies I thought they should be. But they grow on you after a while.

And we are all about organic-a-philes, veg-heads, and yoga-matters.

Posted by: Mandy at February 24, 2010 4:33 PM

I was born and raised in the Black Hills of South Dakota. It took moving to realize how truly amazing and beautiful the area truly is. I now live in Denver and while I enjoy it here, I wish each day that I could raise my children in the same small town environment where I was raised.

Posted by: Trina at February 24, 2010 4:55 PM

I was raised in Johnstown, PA..a very very small steel town. I hated it. After a 2.5 year stint living in Dallas, TX (LOVED it there!) I now reside in St Petersburg, Florida. It's on the other side of the bay from Tampa. I absolutely adore where I live now. I'm 5 minutes from the beach and the sun shines nearly all the time. (save for this winter..this winter is a real bitch...we've had freezing weather!)

Posted by: Kristy at February 24, 2010 5:14 PM

I am one of those blessed few... I am where I should be. Pacific Northwest is AWESOME.

I spent way too many years in Los Angeles feeling like I didn't belong there and wanting to be "anywhere but here" but now, here in Portland, I feel like I'm in the best place ever.

Posted by: Katie at February 24, 2010 6:26 PM

I live in CT. I love it for now but totally see myself retiring in Wine Country, CA. We vacation in Westerly RI twice a year and absolutely love it but dont see ourselfs living there year round.

Posted by: tailynn at February 24, 2010 6:27 PM

I am where the valley meets the Sierra Nevadas, where the oaks mingle with the conifers, where it's a half hour to snow, 2 hours to the ocean, and 2 hours to the middle of the Yosemite Valley floor. It's too low for snow to stick around, but too high for fog. It's hot, but not that hot; it's cold, but not that cold. It's the biggest town in a county of tiny towns that is mostly taken up by parks and BLM land. Its history is fascinating, its present is amusing. It is not perfect, but the best I've found so far. Gold country- Tuolumne County, California.

Posted by: heels at February 24, 2010 7:05 PM

I'm in L.A. and I hate it. I am not L.A. Moreover, I am not the Ventura County suburb in which I live. It's white. It's boring. It's conservative.

I grew up near San Francisco. It is diverse, eclectic, environmentally conscious, friendly, and where my friends and family are. That's me. That's where I long to be.

Posted by: Brooke at February 24, 2010 7:50 PM

I'm in the northeast...Nova Scotia Canada, I could be unicorn's neighbor as she describes my village to a T...that's right village...not even a town.(pop. about 350)..nearest town is 20 minutes away, nearest city which is very small...lol...is an hour and half away...nice to visit, but def. wouldn't want to live there, I'm 3 minutes from some of the best beaches on this coast, a short walk away from the wharf where you can go pick up your lobster fresh from the ocean for about $4.50 a lb. You would have to drag me out of here kicking and screaming..I AM NOVA SCOTIA...I AM CANADIAN....lol

Posted by: Roberta at February 24, 2010 7:52 PM

I've lived on the southeast coast of NC for all but 6 months of my life, and I love the area, and the medium sized city feel. The other 6 months, I lived in Colorado Springs, CO and I have to say it was an incredible place to live. So easy to get around (everything's a grid), breathtaking sights daily, tons of stuff to do, and I loved the weather.

Posted by: coolchick at February 24, 2010 9:01 PM

I live in the Beach in Toronto. It's a neighbourhood that used to be the site of an amusement park, right on the lakeshore, in the 1920s, and to this day it's a place that people from all over go when they want to hang out and have fun (this is both a blessing and a curse if you live there).

If I want peace and nature, the lake and the park beside it is a 5 minute walk south of my apartment. The bike paths take you through the park to the downtown core, and there's one stretch of park that is exactly like being in the country (where I grew up). If I want to go pubbing or hit a cafe, it's a 5 minute walk east or west. Grocery store with organic food? Across the road. And so on. I can get done in an hour what used to take several days when I lived in the burbs, and I can't walk down the street without meeting at least one person I know and like.

Oh yeah, and the place is a haven for visual artists and musicians, so there are lots of art walks, festivals, music in the park...

It isn't quite where I am -- my heart's been in Europe since I first went there in 1988 (especially Holland -- we need their attitude towards bicycling!). But this is about as close as you can get to that in North America. I know there's other neighbourhoods around like this, but this one's mine :-).

Posted by: Kat at February 24, 2010 10:39 PM

I live in Hobart, Washington on 12 acres with 3 horses, a cow, 2 dogs and a cat. Oh, and my family of course. I can't see myself pictured anywhere but on property somewhere.

Posted by: Dianna at February 24, 2010 11:17 PM

I live in Albuquerque, NM. Having moved here for my husband's job about 5 years ago, I have fallen in and out of love with the sun, clean air, green chile, and slower pace of life here a few times. I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and have moved around the country a few times since leaving there. The song lyrics are true, "each time I roam, it's calling me home." Leaving Chicago gets harder after each visit back.

Posted by: jaimie at February 24, 2010 11:26 PM

I have enjoyed Farmer's Markets for years. The Summer of 2009 while attending a Market in Pueblo Colorado, an idea crossed my mind.

Since I owned a building on Highway 24 in Limon Colorado, I could do a combo of indoor/open air market.

What I thought I had discovered had existed for better than 168 years. Thanks to the internet , help would abound.

So lets get started.
The Market has a Target Date  June 9th  2010.
 The building will accommodate 30 Vendors very comfortably , leaving ample space for pedestrian
We have two (2) public restrooms.

The John Wayne Parking Lot provides an open air exposure to traffic on Main/highway 24.

 E-Avenue leads to City Hall through the Business District.

The Limon Community Farmer's Market,941 Main is located in the Middle of the High Plains of Colorado.

 The towns include an area of 65 to 75 Miles, that are cumulative in population.

Off street parking at the back of the property, including side streets make the location easy to approach.

 We look forward to a great year.

 We promise a large number of Happy People will attend the Farmer's Market in Limon Colorado.
Farmer's Market Jim

Posted by: Farmer's Market Jim at February 25, 2010 12:15 AM

Don't all these places sound great? I could do San Fransisco, Vancouver, Chicago... they sound like a fun time :)

I totally am the northern beaches of Sydney, Aus, mate. Incredibly casual, sun-bleached hair, fish & chips for dinner, and trekking sandy feet into the house. Lots of Sydney sandstone and gum trees. 30mins to gorgeous Sydney harbour and city life. Winter? We just ignore it and wait a few weeks 'till it goes away.

My husband is small-town Ontario. Insanely polite, friends with all the neighbours, skiing and Tim Horton's coffee in Winter and boating on the lake in Summer.

Sometimes it's hard to find a place we can both be. But it can be fun to be somewhere different for a change.

Posted by: Jo MacD at February 25, 2010 2:55 AM

I live in Ottawa. (Another Canadian eh?) But I'm really an East Cost kind of girl. I love the Atlantic Ocean -- I think I am Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland. And think I would love rural.. but hate it at the same time.

But I also love the pulse of the big city like NYC or London...

Posted by: Nat at February 25, 2010 7:55 AM

NYC is the ultimate love-hate relationship.

But I don't ever hate myself. :)

Posted by: jessica at February 25, 2010 1:26 PM

I live in Iowa, right on the Mississippi. It is beautiful, schools are great, and low crime. I have been many places, but Iowa is home. God's country! Could do with out the snow. I suppose if I had to move, maybe Austin Tx. I have heard so many good things about Austin. I believe I could be happy there. Someday maybe I can try it out.....

Posted by: tammy at February 25, 2010 3:17 PM

I'm in Vancouver BC right now but incidentally I am moving back to Europe tomorrow because of work visa issues... Sadly though, because I am in love with this place :(
I'll probably be in Paris with my family for a couple of months before moving to England because that's where my other half will be and let's face it, English people have much better sense of humour than French!
And then hopefully in a year we'll have the Canadian permanent residency sorted and we'll be able to move to Montreal for a while before coming back to Vancouver.
If visa was not a problem, I'd move somewhere in Oregon (probably Portland), or California (San Francisco, or San Diego or somewhere where there are mountains to snowboard down on and ocean to surf in).
I'd probably give New York a try too...
There are probably lots of other places in the States that I don't know about where I would love to live, unfortunately the American immigration system doesn't make immigrating very easy... It's good to be French but man you are so lucky to be American :)

Posted by: Alejandra at February 25, 2010 5:01 PM

I'm in Portland, originally from Vienna, VA and I love it here in Oregon. Bonus--it is underpopulated compared to DC so there is plenty of room for you and the family!

Posted by: Lane at February 25, 2010 7:37 PM

*waves at Kristy* (I am in Largo.. we be neighbors!)

This is a most awesome post, Chris. I have loved reading everyone's answers!

I am a native Cape Codder. I spent my early years on the ocean. There is nothing quite like having sea spray freeze your doors shut in the winter. Hah!

I also spent time in Northern West Virginia. I lived in a sleepy little river town, that I miss VERY much. It is pretty isolated. That is what I like about it. I could totally live there again. I would love to have a small farm. I would garden, and can my own veggies and stuff. I am a country girl at heart, I guess. The cities are not for me.

Now I live in Largo, FL (between Tampa and St. Pete). I LOVE FL. I cannot say it enough. FL is so much more than a tourist trap. Of course, I live in the most populated county in FL. I want to move to a more rural area. Trouble with that is that it won't be rural for very long.

All that being said? I am that sleepy little river town in WV (population less than 600). Totally. It is the one place where I feel completely at peace, at home.

Posted by: Jen at February 26, 2010 8:57 AM

I live in Los Alamitos, CA. We're a bedroom community with an army reserve base and a race track, across the freeways from Long Beach, which is big city-ish, and Seal Beach, which is totally laid back.

I came from a bustling metropolis of Bangkok and spent my college years in LA so I do miss the city life once in a while. But the daily commute into Downtown LA for work gives me enough of that.

The quiet side of Los Al fits our homebody natures well. And yet because of the location, we could cross into Long Beach, trek in to Los Angeles or scoot down to Orange County for more colorful things to do.

Because we don't really go out all that much, we did think that we could totally live in Honolulu...although island time would drive Brandon bonkers. We both would live in Santa Fe or Taos, NM, but I'd freeze. So we're good where we are. :)

Posted by: oakley at February 26, 2010 6:35 PM

We've lived in various areas around the coast of BC ranging from Vancouver Island to the coast, and Vancouver area.

Right now, I'll admit we don't like where we are. It's a tiny, isolated town with few services that is only accessible by ferry from the Vancouver area. Being tiny and isolated, it's hard to find the things we need and everyone is in everyone's business.

I would prefer to live much closer to Vancouver and away from the ferries. We are into being in a place where services and shopping are much more accessible, and yet we can go and be in the country if we want to.

Posted by: Scatteredmom at February 27, 2010 1:57 PM

I am in Edmonton, Alberta. Land of Big Oil and Big Money. I have never lived anywhere else (except for a year in New Zealand).

I like to visit hot weather once or twice a year and have travelled all over the world - but I love to shovel snow (yet I do not do a single winter sport) and sit outside in the hot tub while the snow falls around me. I live on the outskirts of the city but I think I belong about another 20 minutes further out -on 18 acres tossing my kids in the yard to play on their own skating rink while I dream of growing my own food in a huge garden during our summers. I want to simplify our life and make a bit of a departure from the rat race.

I love love love that I have a huge farmers market close to me, and that local food producers are less then 20 minutes away from my home. Not to mention the mall. A girl can do a lot of damage at the mall.

My partner is a small town Ontario kind of guy, but me? I am Edmonton (or Northern New Zealand if I had to pick somewhere else).

Posted by: Sleepynita at February 27, 2010 10:12 PM

Make your life time more simple get the loans and all you require.

Posted by: Ronda26Robertson at March 11, 2010 5:10 PM

The Season is different this year, hail eliminated some crops. We need garden fresh produce grown locally.

The Big Eye 70 provides large numbers of folks that arrive hungry ready for a rest stop at a local Farmer's Market. Five Highways ,affords Limon the opportunity of a Market that could be held 7 days a week. We plan to build around organic garden fresh produce Vendors.


Posted by: Farmer's Market Jim at August 5, 2010 1:21 AM

The Season is different this year, hail eliminated some crops. We need garden fresh produce grown locally.

The Big Eye 70 provides large numbers of folks that arrive hungry ready for a rest stop at a local Farmer's Market. Five Highways ,affords Limon the opportunity of a Market that could be held 7 days a week. We plan to build around organic garden fresh produce Vendors.


Posted by: Farmer's Market Jim at August 5, 2010 1:21 AM