Wednesday, June 07, 2006


yes, yes, y'all. i'm moving.

and to some extent, i feel silly for moving, 'cause my cost of living will be going up. and my car will become more of a hindrance than a help. and i'll probably be living in a higher crime area. and i'll have to pay an additional wage tax. and i'll be farther away from the friends that i moved from virginia to be around. and because my current neighborhood is so clean and quiet and mayberry-like.

thing is, i am not the mayberry type. never have been. i left virginia because i couldn't stand the pace - i mean, come on - there are no sidewalks in virginia. what i look like staying there? no... i had to come back from my home state to be back up north. and i LOVE urban life. i grew up in a rowhouse in a city with graffiti and corner stores and potholes and people arguing over parking spaces and doggone if i didn't wind up missing it, even though i said when i left for college that i was never, ever, coming back here to live.

i was half right. i'm back, but not in my old city. i couldn't afford to stay there (gentrification) so i'm out in the 'burbs. but i'm never home. know why? 'cause i'm always in the city. it started with my old neighborhood - loving the dominican store and its music, quarter hugs and quarter chips, running on concrete, being able to walk up the street to see friends... then when i left for college, i wound up in baltimore in a neighborhood where everything was within walking distance - groceries, the cleaners, takeout, clothes, thriftstore, pawn shop, everything! i loved it...

then imagine my culture shock when i got to richmond and i had to drive everywhere. and i had to learn how to navigate parking lots! parking lots!!! now you know that don't make no sense. and then driving 20 minutes to get from here to there... i got used to it, but it annoyed me that it wasn't even necessary. i HATE suburban sprawl passionately. drive out of one parking lot, past two more, into another one... it offends my sensibilities.

but then i came back here and started doing the open mics and making friends in philly, where there are trains and buses and sidewalk shopping. it reminds me of those four good years i spent in baltimore. it reminds me of the salt-of-the-earth feeling i got from my old neighborhood. i love walking down city streets, feeling the pulse of people who have somewhere to go and something to do, walking fast like urban dwellers are apt to do, and sopping up the kitschiness of the whole clash of diverse people in limited space. the more time i spend walking that concrete, the more compelled i am to pull up a chair and set up camp. so now i'm checking out the papers, planning on giving my landlord notice, and crunching numbers, so i can get the hayle out of the burbs. i've been contemplating this move for about six months now, and by the end of the summer, i suppose it'll be a reality. parking space arguments, noisy neighbors, traffic jams, here i come!!!