Sunday, April 27, 2008

District vs. District

It is difficult to decide which neighborhood to live in Seattle. Each neighborhood has its charms and benefits, so this is one of the harder decisions for me. The way I am working around it is picking apartments to look at in my top three neighborhood choices. This way the choice is made for me, and the year-long lease says I get to deal with whatever cons there may be while enjoying the pros.

There are a million things to do downtown. It is crazy, it is fun, it is busy. It is the heart of everything. The only down side is the scariness aspect, the crimes and whatnot that are more prevalent there. But walk scores for just about every place I am looking at are at least in the high 90s. And, it really should go without saying that it's closest to the coolest library in the galaxy.

The proximity to the university is a nice benefit; both the husbandero (hyah!) and I would like to get jobs at UW to take cheap classes. Furthermore, the U-District has some of my favorite restaurants, and Wallingford is the first neighborhood I stayed in when I visited Seattle, so the atmosphere has a familiarity to me. Walk scores hit 100 in this neighborhood. My favorite book shop is here. There is still crime, but obviously it is a bit tamer than downtown.

Capitol Hill
I love this neighborhood. Cool shops, cool restaurants, and tons to do. There is the Richard Hugo House, at which I hope to take writing classes. There is a scrabble group, (at the same bar where there are 'L Word' watching parties [my guilty pleasure]), so the sense of community and having plenty to do here definitely goes up. Walk scores are good, and it is tame enough.

Obviously the decision is a difficult one to make, ergo, at the end of May we are making a pilgrimage to tour apartments and make our choice then. It will be based mostly on the apartment, since any neighborhood would be fine for us. As I've said before, I am sort of pulling for Capitol Hill and the husbandero (hyah!) is pulling for the U-DIstrict. However, the awesome, utopianesque metro system opens up all the neighborhoods for exciting adventures!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Reconciling the "Crisis"

1. Stay in Boise vs. I. Move to Seattle

I may come back, I do not rule that out entirely. However, I need to get out for at least a year. For the challenge, for the change, because Boise is like a safe, pleasant crutch. As per Seattle: I just love the city, we shall see if it stays that way.

Finish an English degree (go to school)

I don't know if this is necessarily in the cards for me. I do want to continue taking classes to continue reading, I want to get more proficient in a few languages and to take some writing classes. So while I am unsure about a degree, I am sure that I want to go back to school for ... so I am going to try and get a job at a University.

Other projects

As far as reconciling the crisis of not know what I want to do with my life, I have determined thus far in my life that as long as my job is unlike my hobbies, I will have the energy to dabble in them in my off time. No matter where I end up, there is a pile of projects I want to endeavor:

a) language proficiency
b) edit novel
c) research/write new novel
d) take writing classes
e) still-life project
f) lifetime reading project
g) travel to Europe

So if Grayson gets in to grad school somewhere weird, if Seattle works or if it does not, I think I will be able to carry fulfillment with me, as long as I am growing as a person, and engaging in hobbies I enjoy.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Why not Boise?

There is an urban legend in Boise that if you want to leave (that is, move away from the town for good), then you have to take a jar of Idaho dirt with you, and you will not come back. I am going to test this hypothesis in 49 days, when I move.

There are a lot of reasons for not staying in Boise, but in the interest of not sounding too whiny, I'd like to state categorically that Boise is a really pleasant town. There is not a *ton* to do, but it's safe, and simple, and I have been here most my life and know my way around. While I would recommend it as a place to live for most anyone, and while it may seem contradictory given the fact that I have spent my formative years here, Boise is just not me. My interests, my values are not reflected here. Furthermore, Boise is definitely a place where one can set down roots and conceivably never leave. I crave experience...quantity over quality, even (in the great words of Albert Camus), so I'm setting off on a journey that may fail, simply to take a journey. I think I ought to be happy in Seattle, but I am sure that even Seattle is not the end-all/be-all for me. Yet I cannot allow Boise to be either, for the following reasons:

1) Low pay

2) Blue girl, red state

3) Religious homogeneity=yawn

4) Public transportation is abysmal. The buses stop at seven and do not even run on Sundays. It is near impossible to live in this city without a car, everything is spread far out.

5) There is little in this town to do aside from shopping. I'm not much of an outdoorsy girl, so that leaves infrequent culture stops that are ... decent ...

6) Never (okay, rarely) any good concerts

7) Many of the people in Boise (which is strange, since it is a small, sort of "down-home" city) are cranky, rude and short. I know I am not alone in this, people who move to Boise from other cities notice bus driver (from New York) said back home nobody would ever threaten to call your supervisor just because you disagree with them (as I witness constantly here), there is definitely a strong sense of entitlement among people.

8) FEAR. Fear of stagnation, fear of growing more boring than I already am, fear of never changing, fear of calcification, of oxidation, of experiencing eternal recurrence in the same life.

9) Not a ton of interesting, creative jobs.

10) I may never go back to school, but if I do, BSU does not look very serious to potential employers if I choose to edumacate.

Of course I'll miss my friends and my family, but they're only eight hours away, and I tend to see most of them so infrequently anyway, I think I'll survive. Who knows, in a year I may be pining to come back...or I may be headed for Canada!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Why Seattle?

Lately, as I have been mentioning to others that I intend to move to Seattle, I get the same response over and over. "Why Seattle?" Most often it sounds like a genuine, "why-would-you-want-to-go-there" question. This is so self-evident to me, that it always takes me a few seconds to reply; I never know where to start. So I'll make a top ten list, though the order means nothing.

10. Culture—The museums are rad, the opera/philharmonic/theatre all put on way awesome shows every year. There will be something cool to see just about every night of the week. Furthermore,

9. Concerts—Every band I love generally makes a stop in Seattle. I can't afford to keep flying up and driving, and in fact I often don't and thereby miss a lot of awesome concerts.

8. Shops—Bourgeois, I know, but there are some seriously cool shops in Seattle. Clothes (which I usually don't give a crap about, but up there there are so many cool places), cool record shops, unique paper stores: for all the dorky crap I like, in Seattle there are several interesting, offbeat places for.

7. Transportation—This is huge for me, as I don't drive (I have never gotten my license), and I don't intend to, especially with the whole impending energy crisis. Every general neighborhood I want to live in gets an 88%+ walk score, that means that one really does not need a car in many of these neighborhoods; there is such a proximity to grocery stores, medical establishments, hardware stores, restaurants, shops, etc.. And on top of that, the bus system is so stellar in Seattle, that even if what I want to do is not in the neighborhood, I can take a bus at virtually any time of day and get there.

Plus, the King County Metro website rocks, it has a Trip Planner! You can tell it where you are, where you want to be, and whether you prefer fewer transfers, minimal walking or the fastest way, what time you want to leave your starting point or arrive at your destination, the farthest you're willing to walk and it spits out a few itineraries for you to choose from. SCIENCE!

6. Food—Oh my in Seattle. SO MANY awesome restaurants, for so many kinds of food. The best middle eastern (my favorite) restaurant I've ever eaten at is in downtown Seattle. Oh, and then there are the piroshkies in Capitol Hill, the Asian/French fusion place near Beacon, some of the best Thai food I've ever had in the University District, the vegan-friendly bakery in Wallingford...oh yum...mmm...

5. Water—This may sound weird, but I love that there is a close proximity to water. I love the ocean, and while the waterfront in Seattle is a little...uncharmingly olfactory, the fact that the ocean is nearby is sort of comforting...

4. Neighborhoods—I love that each neighborhood in Seattle has its own character, and in and of itself, there is always plenty to see and do.

3. People—It has been my experience that aside from the few crazies every once in a while, the people in Seattle are generally incredibly nice and cool. I know it's not just because I'm always in a good mood there, but also because other people have corroborated that in general, people are nicer and more easygoing.

2. Feeling of home—This one I cannot explain, because it is probably the most subjective, feeling I have. However, every time I go to Seattle, I feel like I'm at home. I'm happy and excited and when I have to leave, I get sad and shaky, and always think of ways that I can hide out and miss my plane and just stay forever. I'm weird, I know...but this is one of the biggest pulls for me...the great unexplainable.

1. BOOKS!—I am the biggest bibliophile in my one-person universe. So the fact that Seattle is one of the most literate cities, with so many incredible book shops, STUNNING libraries, book groups, writing classes, rain to keep you inside reading and coffee to keep you reading into the night, this is definitely the icing-on-the-cake reason for me to move to Seattle.