Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Where Do You Fit In?

My house in Philly with my beloved 1955 Bel Air in pink and gray
I know I am quoting the Updike bio a lot, but so many interesting questions are raised. After his four years at Harvard and a year at a school in England, he worked at THE NEW YORKER for two years. He was incredibly successful there but felt uncomfortable in New York after his small town upbringing and so moved to Ipswich. MA.

I have only lived in or outside cities. Even when living abroad, we were in Amsterdam and outside of Manchester. In California, we are in San Diego. So I don't know how I would fare in smalltown or rural life. Do you live in the best place for you? Have you always lived in a similar sized place? Could you be happy anywhere or do you need a specific environment?

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well, I've always lived in the outer boroughs of New York and don't know how well I'd adapt to somewhere else. We do now spend a couple of months a year in Florida but as it is in a hotel it's not the same as really living in a community. We've spent most of our time in big cities so yes, I think moving to Mayberry would be quite the culture shock.


Jeff M.

Bill Crider said...

Great car!

I've lived in small towns most of my life. The largest town I've ever lived in was Austin, which had only 250,000 residents at that time, long ago. Of course I'm now only 25 or so miles from Houston and spend a lot of time there.

George said...

I grew up in a suburb and that's pretty much my Comfort Zone now. I like to be near cities, but I don't want to live in one.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Bill-I just opened a jar of Israeli Couscous, which was from Alvin, TX.

Todd Mason said...

Thus was THE TEXAS-ISRAELI WAR: 1999 (by Steve Utley and Howard Waldrop) resolved.

I've always lived in or near big cities (with the exception of Enfield, CT, which was the biggest town or city in its area till one hits Springield, MA in one direction and Hartford in another--but still reasonably urban/suburban). I'm not sure how I'd like a rural or exurban life. The most insular community I've lived in was Londonderry, NH, and that wasn't too pleasant...but other factors (my age, moving there just in time for 7th Grade, the fact it's in New England) might have contributed more to that unpleasantness.

Anonymous said...

As those of you who have visited here know, where we live is a world away from the concrete jungle people picture when you tell them you live in New York City. In fact I can't remember the last time we were in Manhattan. It is almost a suburbvan feel here.

And yes, we have trees, lots of them, and parks everywhere.

Jeff M.

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

I'm still trying to figure out, Patti.

Charles Gramlich said...

I know to be truly happy I really need to live in a country setting. I need trees and critters around me.

pattinase (abbott) said...

No plays, Jeff?
I have often wondered how I would fare in a country setting.

Richard said...

I've lived in a variety of settings. I grew up in a country/semi-suburban environment, a few other houses around, a small city nearby, miles of open land abutting the house. Then I moved to a small city on the ocean (Laguna Beach, CA) and was very happy there for years, but it's in easy reach of larger cities and all of Orange County. I lived in Tucson in college, but was on or near campus all the time. Where I am now, Portland, is the largest city I'e lived in, but were on the far edge of it and very suburban. I guess you could say our home is Orange County with many trees. Very, very happy here.

John said...

My father always told me that I had the soul of an urban dweller and belonged in a city. Chicago is a perfect fit for me. There is the aura of excitement of vibrant big city living, but also the comfort of settling into a home in one of the many neighborhoods each with its own microcosmic identity.

Probably because Chicago has a separate downtown that I think of as a tourist haven and that the real city is discovered in its neighborhoods I really enjoy living here. I’ve lived in five different neighborhoods since moving here in 1986 and each time I felt like I was someplace new yet still had all my friends around me. After living a fairly nomadic existence over a period of three and a half years in my post college years (Danbury, CT; North Conway, NH; Corning, NY and Sarasota, FL) it was a relief finally to find a place to call home.

Anonymous said...

Patti, ever since the surgery on Jackie's knee we've avoided places where she'd have to climb stairs or sit in the middle of a narrow row. We will probably return to the theater - perhaps off-Broadway - soon.


Jeff M.

Gerard said...

I lived in Dallas for one year and was in the Phoenix metro area for five years.

Aside from that I've been in places of 100k, 10k, 3300, and 5800.

I used to like driving everywhere in cities. If we moved into a city again - highly unlikely at the moment - I'd want to be in a spot where I could walk or ride a bike most anywhere.

My town's low crime rate makes for less anxiety.

Dana King said...

I grew up in the country and can't wait to have this house paid off so maybe I can live there again some day. Wouldn;t have to be the same country, but I'm tired of being too cloase to cities.

Kent Morgan said...

A close friend of mine from high school suggests that if you are with the person you love you should be able to live anywhere. We grew up in a small community of 3,500 in northern Canada and she has lived in large cities in the US since she left the north. I don't believe there is any way she could go back to where we grew up. I certainly couldn't and I'm very happy living in a Canadian city with a population of 750,000. I wouldn't even move to our nearby communities or to cottage country that is only a hour away. At the same time I have no desire to live in south Florida near I95 where I just spent a couple of weeks. Minneapolis I might be able to take, but the traffic is worse every time I visit. Wanting to avoid traffic is one sign of aging for sure.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I like to think I could live in other places but I doubt I would survive long in a farming community or even a town under 25, 000.

Cap'n Bob said...

As a Navy brat who moved all the time and also as someone who has lived in the big city and the sticks, I can adjust to anything. I prefer a small city, though. I like amenities but not a lot of congestion.

Margot Kinberg said...

Patti - My home is Philadelphia, so I feel that I fit in best there. But I've had to become adaptable.

Al Tucher said...

I could probably live in Germany. In my previous life as an aspiring operatic tenor, I spent three months there back in 1992 while auditioning around the country. My base of operations was Wurzburg, which has a population of about 150,000 and art and history back to the eight century.

I met several ex-GI's who married locally and stayed after their discharge from the military.

1992 was the year the German theater system discovered that it didn't need Americans anymore. Excellent eastern singers were free to come west, and reconstruction of the east left less money to support the theaters. Essentially, I got screwed by the end of communism.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Jeez, Al, you are one interesting guy.

Al Tucher said...

With my insatiable appetite for rejection, what else could I do after that but become a writer?

Richard said...

and I bet you'd still like to have that '55, it'd be great to drive or worth a lot to sell.

Gerard said...

My family had a Bel Air. It did not age well.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/kealor/5928934381/sizes/l

pattinase (abbott) said...

That was the car I learned to drive in. It was already 9 years old by then and it stalled constantly.

pattinase (abbott) said...

That was the car I learned to drive in. It was already 9 years old by then and it stalled constantly.

Erik Donald France said...

It's all good! But sure helps if there are lots of cultural amenities around, as well as places to walk/hike that are not too noisy. A college or university close by is significant. And, not in the middle of some kind of civil war is always preferable. Cities tend to be more interesting than sticksville because there's more frisson.

Anders E said...

Medium-sized northern Scandinavia. I've lived in Sundsvall (pop. 95,000) and Uppsala (200,000). Places like Trondheim, Turku or Umeå would probably be just fine (although Turku could possibly provide a language barrier - maybe Vaasa is an alternative?) as well. South of Stockholm - um, no thanks.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Anders-I am posting the video on Saturday. I just love it and wish I could come hear you play in person.

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