I love my city.
I grew up in Southern California, which I know sounds wonderful. Sunshine. Blue skies. Beaches and palm trees and movie stars. Pretty much. But also there’s wall to wall cars, smog so thick it makes your nose bleed, and crazies, whinos and weirdos up the wazoo. It’s a sprawling universe of people who are busy and harried much of the time. People who smile and say “have your people call my people”. And you wonder if they even remember your name, though you could swear you stood in their wedding two years ago. Southern Cal is beautiful, and fun, and exciting, and memorable; but it can be hard on the soul if you don’t have your center. So many people. So much chaos. It makes me feel small and insignificant.
Parks with water sprinklers for kids to play in, swings and sandboxes. Malls, shopping centers, and independent retail shops. There are comic book shops, libraries, art galleries, and tattoo parlours. Oh, and weed sellers. That’s an official and legal business now, so we have a billion little shops that have sprung up like well, weeds, all over the town. We have two roller derby teams, a baseball team, a football team, several city and farmer’s markets, a skateboard park and a place where you can rent kayaks by the hour. We have several colleges and universities, law schools and business schools. Also a fabulous art show every summer and an independent film festival.
Oh, and outdoor movies in an artsy part of town. As well as live theatre on the streets, musicians that play while you eat out on patios, tons of thrift shops and antique stores, and horse drawn carriages at various times.
Yes, the weather is questionable. It’s too cold. It’s too hot. It’s humid or freezing or blustery. The roads don’t get plowed in time, or fixed of their pot holes, or they are being fixed but it’s taking too long. There’s too much unemployment and not enough Lotto winners. But sometimes it’s just perfect and beautiful; exactly what it should be. Bright sunny skies, crisp fall mornings, friendly people in a store you’ve never visited. It’s a good town, with enough seedy elements to make it interesting and enough artistic bend to make it quirky. So though I’m not originally from here, and I may not always live here, it’s a good place to call home right now.