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 I've gotten behind on these and I apologize. I ended up having more commitments over the holiday week than I expected, which I guess is a good thing? It was nice to catch up with friends and family. I have one more post to go and I also need to post about my two lovely Yuletide gifts and the fics I wrote. 

sorillia asked me to talk about places that i've lived and what i liked/disliked about them. i hope you're not too disappointed, because i don't think i've ever lived anywhere extremely exciting, but here goes. 

I spent the first 18 years of my life in Upstate NY, specifically the Hudson Valley part of Upstate (everything north of Westchester is Upstate and some places are more Upstate than others...) I'm always reminded every time I go home about how beautiful this area is, nestled between the Catskills on one side and the Berkshires on the other. There's also tons of history and cute little villages. I miss the mountains a lot....they're not Rocky Mountain mountains but they sure are pretty. The downside of growing up here was that there was fuck all to do, and it was filled with racist, homophobic northern rednecks. (yes they are a thing) Lately it has become ridiculously gentrified and my grandma's town keeps showing up in the NYT style section billed as  "Brooklyn North." Yeesh.

I went to college in New Haven, CT and lived there for a year after graduation. I actually really liked New Haven. It's got great food, neat neighborhoods (though there is serious segregation) and the best pizza in the world. That is trufax and not hyperbole. If you are ever there, you need to go to BAR Pizza and Brewery and order the mashed potato bacon pizza. I don't care if you are a vegan. Just do it. But New Haven is pretty small and I think I probably saw all i was going to see there after 5 years. Though if alma mater ever offered me a job, I'd probably move back in a heartbeat....although CT on the whole is kind of annoying. 

Then I spent a year in Boston which is I think is my favorite place I'd ever lived. I wish I had been able to live there longer. It was a great place to be in your early 20s. I had a lot of friends who were there for grad school etc. Loved all the different neighborhoods, the waterfront, and how easy it was to get around. (Although srsly someone plz build a T line that connects Jamaica Plain, Brookline, and Cambridge!) I lived at the Forest Hills T stop all the way at the very end of the Orange Line, which was a bit of a dodgy neighborhood at the time but I'm sure has become ridiculously gentrified in the past 8 years. Jamaica Pond is a great day trip (Green St. & Stonybrook T stops) in the spring/summer. Ummm...I guess my main dislike was that it was expensive? As cities often are. 

Spent the first 3 years of grad school in Ann Arbor, MI. Ann Arbor is the quintessential Big 10 college town. I do miss living in a mid-sized city, though A2 is boogie as fuck. It's a 2 Whole Foods kind of town, that's what you need to know about Ann Arbor. The city also spent tons of money on its farmer's market and summer music festival and not nearly enough on plowing the damn roads in winter. Priorities, people. There wasn't much to do there besides drink and study, which i guess was good? Also cold as balls for 4 months a year and overcast. Everyone had seasonal depression. I do miss the way that the snow and the REI liberal attitude made it perfectly acceptable to wear snowboots all the time, even to a fancy restaurant. Michiganders don't give a fuck. 

V got a job while I was finishing up my dissertation so we moved to Williamsburg, VA. Williamsburg felt like a step down from Ann Arbor in terms of size and things to do. Like there are only so many times you can walk around Colonial Williamsburg. But we had great friends there, that I miss a lot. Also very convenient to cool places like Richmond (a city that is very up and coming) and Shenandoah National Park. Winter lasts all of 3 weeks there and that pretty much converted my Yankee ass. I don't think I can do a proper winter any more. 

And so now I've spent a year in on the Lower, Slower Eastern Shore in a town that makes Williamsburg seem cosmopolitan. I wish we lived in a more vibrant city, but SBY has its perks. I love being half an hour from the beach. We can afford a very nice house here on a prof's salary and still have money left over to travel and save. No Indian, no thai, no Trader Joe's but those are some first world problems. Believe me, compared to where some of my grad school colleagues live, I won the fucking lottery. If there's anything I've learned from moving so much it's that the people that you meet are as important (if not more) than the place and the people here are good. I'm still trying to get to know them, but it's been a good year. 

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