Re: Greener grass

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Just think about the process of moving itself--the boxes, the logistics, the "do we really want to keep this" of packing. That should cure you of any romantic notions about going somewhere else.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 9:47 AM
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Our new house is wonderful and we don't have to worry about the grass being insufficiently green since the lawn is paved. Go for it, Heebie! Move somewhere! Anywhere!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 9:49 AM
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You could always console yourself with thoughts of how North Carolina's government turned bad in a disastrous implosive kind of way.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 9:55 AM
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I did tease them about NC's implosion, a little.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 9:57 AM
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The packing would be horrendous, but since I'm not actually doing it, I'd hypothetically purge all our excess stuff and we'd be a model of minimalism.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 9:58 AM
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This past winter I was enjoying daydreaming about the possibility of moving to the west coast. Now I'm just wondering if I should move to a slightly less conveniently located but substantially cheaper apartment in my current city.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 10:06 AM
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I have a great house, but I keep fantasizing about moving to this weird time capsule beach neighborhood that's largely unchanged since the 70s, living in a crappy studio apartment, and spending all my money on a car and at the local bar. To live like Rockford.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 10:12 AM
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To live like Rockford

And get punched before commercial breaks?

We've moved our household 3 times since moving in together about 1980, once ourselves and twice with local movers when we'd done all the packing. Have lived in our current house for 24 years. No intention of moving.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 10:26 AM
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Now I'm just wondering if I should move to a slightly less conveniently located but substantially cheaper apartment in my current city.

I'm doing something a lot like that! Packing sucks!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 10:28 AM
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To live like Rockford

Or like Elliot Gould in The Long Goodbye Hi Mr. Marlowe!


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 10:29 AM
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I've also been amusing/horrifying myself by looking at real estate listings in my girlfriend's city where there seem to be hundreds of gigantic houses for sale that are totally affordable. I could just move there and forget having any sort of ambition and settle into the sort of completely uneventful suburban life people who grew up where I did take for granted! Except she wants to leave that city and job as soon as possible.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 10:32 AM
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Heh. I'm going to Fort Collins in a month to scout it out. Of course, it was a beautiful day here today, and we were at the park, and the neighborhood kids were friendly, and everything was perfect.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 10:34 AM
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9: Yeah, it's like, packing sucks and moving would be a pain and if I'm only going to live here another year or two it's hardly worth it, but what if I'm going to live here another four or five or (and this one is really crazy) six years? The savings could add up to like a not totally negligible fraction of a down payment, or of a hypothetical future child's college tuition, or whatever responsible adults spend money on.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 10:34 AM
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OTOH I just found a bunch of letters from over a decade ago from friends and family, so that's cool.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 10:35 AM
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If you people had sold out as youngsters, your jobs would pay relocation and you could get packers and movers.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 10:36 AM
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I have hired movers. But just think, ogged, if I'd hired someone to pack my stuff, I'd never have noticed these letters!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 10:39 AM
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And I doubt a job would pay relocation costs for someone moving from one side of the bay to the other while keeping the same job.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 10:40 AM
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You're changing bay sides?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 10:44 AM
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Big moves make life fresher and more invigorating until you're about 30. After that they are mostly hard. I don't mean this as a major kvetch about my life; I was very ready to move. But suddenly not having very many friends when you're 40 doesn't have that "I just got to college! Who will I meet?!" feel to it.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 10:47 AM
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time capsule beach neighborhood that's largely unchanged since the 70s

Ok that actually sounds kind of great.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 10:50 AM
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I'm having one of those moments where the rest of your life, or the foreseeable future at least, is mapped out and static, and while it's very nice, it's also the death of anything else that might have been. It kind of makes me want to go shopping, which is counterproductive and embarrassing but there you have it. New clothes will surely brighten my day.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 10:54 AM
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Is 7 Playa del Rey? Or like, the San Diego of Terriers?


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 10:54 AM
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Playa del Rey. Unfortunately it's probably about to be totally eaten by modernity, but it's not there yet.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 10:57 AM
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15: Sometimes there's no buyer.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 11:01 AM
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One of my high school English teachers organized his class around the themes of travel ("the open road") and settling down ("putting down roots"). That was very prescient...

But suddenly not having very many friends when you're 40 doesn't have that "I just got to college! Who will I meet?!" feel to it.

This, very much. People's social behavior and expectations change so much when they get a permanent job / married / kids.


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 11:02 AM
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18: I'm moving to Berkeley, a fifteen minute walk away from the woman who was my girlfriend until ... two days ago. Fun!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 11:03 AM
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Maybe smearcase should go get another
bachelor's degree.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 11:03 AM
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Sorry to hear that, neb.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 11:04 AM
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It's hitting me less hard than the last time we broke up! So there's that!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 11:05 AM
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I'm going to Fort Collins in a month to scout it out.

You can probably get some greener grass there.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 11:08 AM
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29: Have you two made plans to break up again?

Smearcase, you should find some postdocs to hang out with! They're smarter and less depressed than grad students, and usually smarter and nicer than people with real jobs.


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 11:10 AM
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19,25: Yeah, I've been changing cities/countries every 3-4 years since I was 18. It's been thrilling and wonderful, but I'm 33 now and starting to wonder how many more of these - if any - I can pull off...


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 11:17 AM
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18: argh.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 11:20 AM
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Sorry, that "argh" was to 26.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 11:20 AM
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Now I'm just wondering if I should move to a slightly less conveniently located but substantially cheaper apartment in my current city.

Move near us! You can walk to Market Basket!


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 11:22 AM
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I had a few days of fantasizing about another bachelor's degree, this time in engineering. Then I thought about it in some vague practical detail and realized it was totally not ever going to happen.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 11:23 AM
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We average a move every 3 years. Most of what we are willing to purge has been purged.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 11:44 AM
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I'm going to Fort Collins in a month to scout it out.

If you like Ft. Collins you should come check out SLC some time. Geographically and demographically similar.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 11:52 AM
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We are (probably) moving upstairs to a nicer apartment in a few weeks. Hopefully we won't have fewer friends up there.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 11:55 AM
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Smearcase, you should find some postdocs to hang out with! They're smarter and less depressed than grad students,

Whoa, I don't know about THAT. Being a postdoc is kind of like being a grad student, except with no particular goal that you're working towards, and the inevitable end of your research career now imminent instead of theoretical.

And you have some disposable income. (may not be true in Bay Area)


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 12:02 PM
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whatever responsible adults spend money on

Books.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 12:13 PM
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40: Padding your resume is a perfectly good goal!


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 12:26 PM
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18: I'm moving to Berkeley, a fifteen minute walk away from the woman who was my girlfriend until ... two days ago. Fun!

But you'll be able to stalk her while staying environmentally responsible. Just don't let a dry spell lead you to a killing spree.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 12:28 PM
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I may be moving out of the house sometime soon. A studio or small bedroom 20 minutes away in an even more rural, isolating area is all I'll be able to afford. Sigh.


Posted by: Ronald Reagan | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 12:41 PM
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A crucial detail to the above is that I'll be leaving my wife and kids behind.


Posted by: Ronald Reagan | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 12:42 PM
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44/5: So very sorry.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 12:54 PM
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I hope it at least makes other parts of your life better? You sound unhappy though.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 12:54 PM
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A number of my friends are making big moves right now, and even though I love our (affordable) house I keep having daydreams of moving to this or that more exciting (and much less affordable) town in the area. Or to Edinburgh. I really liked Edinburgh.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 12:55 PM
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In some ways a relief, but since it's mostly a result of my own depression-related fuck ups, it ain't great.


Posted by: Ronald Reagan | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 12:58 PM
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And we might still pull it together, depending on how abject I can be.


Posted by: Ronald Reagan | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 12:59 PM
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Maybe the depression will help with the abject?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 1:09 PM
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I've thought about SLC, gswift. I have relatives there who love it. My kid has asthma and I worry about the inversions, and I'm reluctant to move to a red state.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 1:10 PM
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no particular goal that you're working towards

Exploring the mysteries of nature?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 1:12 PM
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That's more of a general goal.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 1:13 PM
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depending on how abject I can be.

Good luck. Maybe a tidily-kept studio apartment would help demonstrate regret, sincerity, abjectness?


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 1:16 PM
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Way to chase those silver linings, heebie.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 1:16 PM
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whatever responsible adults spend money on

Movies on VHS that were never released on DVD. Seriously, they aren't making any more copies of "Scavengers" starring Brenda Bakke. Or the Showtime TV movie "Murder In Space". It's going for $8 bucks on Amazon!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 1:25 PM
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55: Thanks. Maybe.


Posted by: Ronald Reagan | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 1:28 PM
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Being a postdoc is kind of like being a grad student, except that since you have a PhD, people know you are capable of doing research, and they're extra nice to you, because they know you won't be sticking around for long.

(This last bit is very important, IME. If they think you might survive, they're not as nice.)


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 1:29 PM
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51: the depression and failure to deal with same until it caused problems at work is driving the spousal anger, so probably not.


Posted by: Ronald Reagan | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 1:31 PM
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Depression is awful. I'm sorry, Ronnie.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 1:33 PM
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Thanks. Ironically, I'm on an upswing.


Posted by: Ronald Reagan | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 1:41 PM
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I don't follow the logic in 59. Extra nice to people who are going to be gone soon? Because...


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 1:46 PM
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Because pity! (I'm thinking specifically of being nice to you as a person, as opposed to currying favor with you.)


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 2:00 PM
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We're moving in part because rebooting seems appealing, kind of, sort of, and because if we don't do it now we won't do it for at least another ten years, by which time I suspect I'll have passed out of this limping stage and into some even less ambulatory stage that will make rebooting seem like far more trouble than it's worth.

Anyway, the transition has been only a little bit difficult, mostly because we've been semi-nomadic (tatanka) for the past six weeks and because my wife just had surgery (bad timing but good outcome, so save your concern for a more deserving party), but it hasn't been totally terrible. We are getting moved by professionals, though, and that helps a lot. Of course it would help even more if we could find a place to buy where we're moving, but that will happen in due time. Or we'll hate where we're moving and we won't stay, in which case reboot 2.0 here we come!


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 2:04 PM
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Also, having now looked a bit more closely at the tail end of the thread, good luck, President Reagan. Maybe swap out the jellybeans for some SSRIs?


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 2:05 PM
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Good luck, Ronald. I've sort of been there recently, except I got to move back into my house, and the girls are here 2-3 nights a week plus lots of other time.

In other news of suck sort of related to the OP, I'm on my way back to VT for a few days to care for my mother, who has developed dementia, in advance of moving her to Portland, ME, where my sisters live. We haven't decided yet what to do with her house (a sweet place that used to be her town's schoolhouse), and I'm not emotionally ready to deal with that or her dementia, so I'll probably keep myself semi-anaesthetized for most of the time. Speaking of which, if you're in Philadelphia, feel free to join me for a Dogfish Head IPA at the bar at terminal. I'm the guy reading Piketty tapping out blog comments on my phone.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 2:15 PM
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Terminal F, that is.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 2:17 PM
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35 Move near us! You can walk to Market Basket!

I wasn't very far from Market Basket my first year here, but that apartment had too many different problems. I guess most of those wouldn't be shared by other places in that area, but I've also really gotten spoiled by the convenience of the T where I am now.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 2:18 PM
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Terminal F! I used to go through there all the time en route to and from Ithaca.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 2:22 PM
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69: you could be pretty near us (and your office) and yet closer than we are to the T. Although we're only a mile from the T, which turns out to be not necessarily insurmountable.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 2:45 PM
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67: My grandfather spent about ten very good years (no dementia) in continuing care facility in Maine (not Portland, though). It was beyond lovely, and I hope you find/have found a similar place for your mother. Also, loads and loads of sympathy on the dementia. It sucks, and I hope you manage to spend reasonably good, non-frustrating time with her.

64: That's a very rosy outlook, more so than I would have expected from you.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 2:47 PM
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I lived in about 15 different places by the time I was 15. Now it is like 3 or 4 years between moves. It's laziness more than anything - after a couple years in one place there's something telling me to move on. No need to pack anything - landlord, landlord, landlord cleaning up the mess.

If I got a job offer today to work on a different continent, and I had to start Tuesday, I'd probably say yes as long as the cat could go too. Well, if it paid more.

When you move every year as a kid, "friends" is sort of a dubious concept. There's something grand about alone in an empty apartment in a new city.


Posted by: D Clarity | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 3:14 PM
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We're doing that to my kid with the frequent moving. On the one hand, he gets amazing opportunities like I never had. On the other hand, not only does he move with some frequency, but the friends he makes move away quite frequently as well. That sucks!


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 3:25 PM
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Sorry to hear that, Ron. I hate moving so much and the only situation in which I'd consider doing it these days would be a breakup, and even then I'd fight like hell to make Lee have to be the one to leave. I don't exactly love where we live, but it doesn't seem fair to take the girls away from their families and so it's going to have to be and stay home for me now even if that's not what I expected out of life.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 4:56 PM
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i would consider moving to SF if I could afford it. The commute would be awful, probably, but that's how it is where I am and the area I'm in has done well with the bar and restaurant model of urban redevelopment but is still failing at the nice place to just live model of urban neighborhoods. Everything is pretty much oriented around people driving in. Even the farmer's market, which starts after I leave for work and ends before I get back.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 5:01 PM
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I've been in this neighborhood seventeen years. Fourteen in this apartment. I kind of daydream, once the kids are in college, about subletting it for a couple of years and living anyplace different. Wyoming, Alabama, Guam.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 5:20 PM
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I've been ten years in the same place. It's now getting so I can't leave my house on foot without having a conversation with someone I know. This is a very familiar feeling for me as I grew up in an environment where I could reasonably expect to know someone where ever I went. It does make vandalism hard to get away with.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 6:00 PM
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It does make vandalism hard to get away with.

Nobody you can pay at the bar to do the tagging for you?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 6:01 PM
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Moby needs to know a guy.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 6:04 PM
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Can I wait until I've had my burger to ask? I don't want get tossed out hungry.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 6:05 PM
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"It's now getting so I can't leave my house on foot without having a conversation with someone I know."

That's the part I hate, I know it's time to move on. I don't want to ever be a regular.


Posted by: D Clarity | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 6:05 PM
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There's only two bars where most of the bartenders recognize me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 6:07 PM
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||
Pigeon mask deployed in a rather unsettling manner.
|>


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 6:11 PM
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It looks like a dinosaur.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 6:33 PM
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Rockford minimalism ... I see a coffee table book, maybe a concept album.


Posted by: conflated | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 6:38 PM
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Rockford wasn't very conceptual.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 6:42 PM
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86.last: Arcade Fire maybe.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 6:43 PM
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Sorry to hear about that RR. Good luck.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 6:45 PM
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There's something grand about alone in an empty apartment in a new city.

Despite my complaints about not knowing anyone, this is true. But

It's now getting so I can't leave my house on foot without having a conversation with someone I know.

Is also something I covet. Vast, multitudes, blah.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 6:46 PM
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It's mourning in America.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 6:47 PM
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Anyway, I'm over Arcade Fire and going back to simpler artists like Katy Perry.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 7:02 PM
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72: That's a very rosy outlook, more so than I would have expected from you.

Yeah, it's true, I am closing my eyes to a lot of bad stuff that can happen during grad school and postdoc. I'm just a bit disconcerted by my friends who became professors, and are now enjoying pushing other people around. People really do turn evil over time!


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 7:33 PM
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I've thought about SLC, gswift. I have relatives there who love it. My kid has asthma and I worry about the inversions, and I'm reluctant to move to a red state.

The state's red, but the city and county are blue, like the last two mayors are an ACLU lawyer and a professor/urban planner kind of blue. My older daughter and wife both have asthma but the inversion hasn't been a big deal as it tends to be short term and it's at a time of year when it's cold as hell so they're not running around outside anyways. Come check it out, you have family out here and we'll roll around and check out a few local sights in an unmarked cop car (I get unlimited use of it on city gas within the county boundaries, and no speeding tickets).


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 8:40 PM
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That's a pretty sweet offer. I'll let you know if I can make a trip out there.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-24-14 8:51 PM
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we'll roll around and check out a few local sights in an unmarked cop car

Ridealong II: White Boys on the Loose


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 5:47 AM
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I'm imagining SuperBad 2 with ogged as "McLovin."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 5:57 AM
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the area I'm in has done well with the bar and restaurant model of urban redevelopment but is still failing at the nice place to just live model of urban neighborhoods.

My Seattle neighborhood is determinedly transitioning *from* place to live *to* bars and restaurants (and gyms). Twenty years ago one could buy a sofa and socks on the shopping street; now there are an enormous number of five-over-one apartment-shopping buildings, but the useful stores have moved a long busride/short car trip away. I would love to see an analysis of whether this follows a switch to online shopping or leads it (or is unrelated).

What's likely to happen twenty years after the childless strivers move in? Will the sleek but privacy-less apartments mean it's only childless people ever? When we get unfashionable or the city has a slump, do the artists move back in? (Are the buildings built well enough to stand a generation of that without expensive maintenance?) Maybe we get creche children or people knock adjacent apartments together.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 5:51 PM
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To be fair to Seattle, I get my sofas at Ikea and my socks on the internet. I'm probably not the only one.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 5:58 PM
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What's likely to happen twenty years after the childless strivers move in? Will the sleek but privacy-less apartments mean it's only childless people ever? When we get unfashionable or the city has a slump, do the artists move back in?

I just had a conversation with someone this morning who said as follows: "Real estate in my [West LA] neighborhood is still soaring, but when I look at the stores in the neighborhood it seems like the little boutiques are getting replaced by check cashing outlets and $.99 stores."

I didn't, but should have, responded "Thomas Piketty explains it all."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 6:34 PM
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Little boutiques suck.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 6:39 PM
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I'm not sure there are any actual stores within one block of my apartment, which despite the busy-ness is really on the edge of downtown It's mostly office buildings and parking garages/lots around here, with a newer "luxury" apartment building already up and another under construction. There's a pet store a couple blocks away in the direction away from downtown.

Towards downtown is a bit of a street-level dead zone, before the older, more central downtown starts. There's a Walgreens and some stores - like a furniture store that looks like it hasn't changed since the 60s - but the only grocery in downtown is the smallest, crappiest Safeway I've been to. I end up driving to the shopping center with a Target and Trader Joe's. It's like living in a suburb but the parking sucks too.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05-25-14 7:00 PM
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Didn't Boston and Miami etc get a lot of yuppie condos in the 1980s? How'd that work out as the buildings and people aged?

100 and 102 are maybe a consequence of zoning/planning? The dense spots in Seattle are all getting residential-over-retail on the arterials and adjacent blocks. No-one's sure this is the right proportion of uses, and all the new space is expensive so we're getting a different store mix than we had. I expect this will shake itself out over time, unless there's some financial reason stuff will sit empty instead of renting cheap for a down decade. I never understand that.

Several nodes got transit-based exceptions to the parking requirements, and then the state (due to giant urban-nonurban antagonism) defunded transit. Oops. We may or may not have an economically inefficient bus system; it's clearly pricey, but is also dealing with expensive conditions. Local politics and planning, so confusing, so vital.

We're pouring more transpo money than we have into three giant fancy construction projects, two of which I think are way, way dumb.

The other flashpoint in Seattle zoning are `apodments', which are basically boarding-houses without the live-in manager. Are these common elsewhere? We might have them because we outlawed SROs and (I think) boarding houses. They're tiny studios with private baths but no more kitchen than a hotplate and minifridge in each room; fractional parking per, and a communal kitchen in each apartment. They rent out *immediately*, as almost all our big shabby group houses have been knocked down for new development, duh. There's a lot of whining from neighbors, some about The Wrong Kind of People and some about actual serious externalities. Our zoning laws seem to have nothing to do with measurable externalities and everything to do with geometric rules which would smooth out shading effects only if all houses built ever were exactly the same shape.

tl;dr Sometimes the exciting urban change comes to you!


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 1:50 PM
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Our zoning laws seem to have nothing to do with measurable externalities and everything to do with geometric rules which would smooth out shading effects only if all houses built ever were exactly the same shape.

That's pretty typical. Historically American zoning codes have typically been designed using a mixture of guessing and racism, and despite a lot of talk in recent years not much has changed.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 1:58 PM
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103.1: dunno about Miami, but in Boston... fine? Some neighborhoods have more families than others, I guess, and if you live on the waterfront it's an annoyingly long walk to a proper grocery store, but I dunno. The city has gotten a lot richer but not necessarily less vivacious or whatever. There's a lot of development right now in Kendall aimed at young tech types and it has probably been good for the neighborhood overall. But it's a boom time right now, so maybe it isn't the right moment for comparison.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 2:18 PM
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I have some doubts about whether downtown San Jose's commercial neighborhoods have ever been vivacious or whatever. Well, probably whatever. Some of the residential areas around downtown seem pleasant and remind me a lot of Sacramento residential areas, not that I've spent much time in Sacramento. Older homes, some smaller apartment buildings.

I don't know about zoning, but I'm fairly certain that this block was (re)developed to be specifically a "destination" and the housing was an afterthought, possibly just a way of making use of existing construction. There are only two buildings on this block with apartments, as far as I know, and each is only about three stories tall (I'm not sure about the other one). The newer construction is higher but not on this block itself.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 2:36 PM
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There are a few places with laws specifically about not shading your neighbors -- I think Delray Beach has one, which is ironic as they crave sunlight less than your average Seattlite. The British Ancient Lights rule might be too strong. Maybe fair for Ancient Lights to create a Henry-Georgist property right but not a veto power?

105 is cheering, as I guess Boston survived a slump between now and then. (Techies moving to Seattle were complaining about being underwater in Boston.)


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 2:52 PM
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We stood in front of one strip club and across from another (and a gambling museum) to watch the Memorial Day parade today, but that's not within a block of our house.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 2:55 PM
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One problem San Jose has is the airport is really close to downtown, so there are some spots on the edge of downtown that look inexplicably underdeveloped until a plane comes in for landing.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05-26-14 2:57 PM
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Ugh, I'm moving this summer from city center apartment to a village well out of the city. We'll have a yard and great park trails right out our door. A better school for the kids, we think, though it involves some French immersion for our oldest. But I'll have a tough commute back into town. Hour by train plus to & from the train on either end.

But it's the packing this summer I'm dreading.

Nice move, ogged, how you managed to deprecate SLC without mentioning LDS. I didn't think it could be done. At least my wife can't do it. (I love the skiing there but her feeling about it involves her corpse.


Posted by: Simulated Annealing | Link to this comment | 05-27-14 3:08 AM
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I can't imagine getting a "grass is greener" feeling about a place where things like this seem to happen every month or so.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05-28-14 2:27 AM
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My wife spent a few days in San Jose last year at a conference, and despite trying to find interesting things--the elderly docent in the Japanese-American museum asked her point blank "Why are you here?"--described the same things as fa did. Light rail, but not much to go to on it.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 05-28-14 6:24 AM
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