duck-shaped pain

 
 

2000-06-21
Where I Try To Decide

I've been thinking a lot lately about where I want to live when I leave here -- which will be soon, hopefully. I don't know if I want to live in Colorado anymore. I love my home state, but I can't think of any place I want to live in it.

I've already lived in Denver. I like it there a lot, but I feel like that part of my live is over. That leaves a lot of less-attractive choices. I could continue to live where I am now, which is Not An Option. Boulder is nice to visit, but I know I don't want to (and can't afford to) live there. Colorado Springs fails on even the "visit" part. Fort Collins is sort of uh, there. Pueblo isn't even there. There's a lot of tiny little mountain towns that I always think that I'd like to live in whenever I visit, but when I look at the price of houses and apartments vs. wages in these places, they're not quite so appealing anymore. The only place I can think of that I'd like to live in is the town of Palisade, which I wrote about a few days ago, but that's a little too close to home right now.

There's two current front runners in my list of places to live. Actually, they're the only two entries on the list, and two more opposite places I don't think you'll find. So, right now, I'm trying to decide between moving to New Mexico and moving to New York city. if I were to choose NM, I'd probably move to Albuquerque, but that's sort of up in the air.

I guess there are some similarities. They're both like different planets. Lots of people don't really regard NYC as being part of America, and, also, lots of people forget that NM is actually a state.

So, I think for my own benefit, I'm going to spell out my pros and cons for each place. Maybe seeing it in print will help me decide.

NEW MEXICO

Pros:

  • I feel drawn there, for reasons I can't always explain. I've always been interested in it, and have really enjoyed the times that i've been there. When I was thinking of places to go when I was leaving Portland, Albuquerque immediately lept into my mind, and for awhile, I couldn't think of anywhere else. There has to be a reason for this.

  • I love the desert, and I realized how much I loved it while I was away from it. I love hot, dry summers and cool, dry (notice the emphasis here on "dry") winters. there's no finer climate, I think. NM is preferable to Arizona on this count, because most of it, at least the part where I want to live, is higher in altitude than most of Arizona, which is why it's usually less hot in the summer.

  • I also love the West. There are plenty of places to live in the West, but NM is my favorite right now. I think a lot of me has been shaped by growing up in the West, and I notice it more as I get older. I love aridity. I like states that take a whole day to drive through, and on and on.

  • I hate humidity. Humidity must be destroyed.

  • Extremely low cost of living, unless I go insane and move to Santa Fe. Of course, wages are lower there, but it's easier to deal with a $10 an hour job if your rent is cheap.

  • One of my best friends lives in NM.

  • Laid-back atmosphere.

  • Awesome Mexican food. NM is actually a big food state, and is one of the few that has a lot of its own variants on different dishes. New Mexico enchiladas are flat & staked, not rolled. Blue corn in everything, etc., etc.

  • Strong Hispanic culture. I've grown used to it over the years, and when I lived somewhere where there was very little Hispanic influence or culture, it felt wrong and weird. I missed hearing Spanish all the time and hearing bilingual announcements in buses and stores. It's kind of hard to explain.

  • Tying into the above, Nm has a very long, rich and fascinating history. One of the drawbacks to living in the West is that since many things around here aren't very old, everything still feels sort of impermanent. NM is sort of an exception to the rule. Albuquerque, where I might end up, was founded in 1710. Many other towns around there are even older (Santa Fe was founded in 1610, for example).

  • Chile peppers, lots of them, and they keep the good ones for themselves.

  • Pleasing yellow license plates. I place a high value on decent-looking license plates.

  • I could tell people that my desity is to live my life progressing clockwise through the Four Corners states: born in Utah, grew up in Colorado, lived in NM....died in Arizona.

Cons:

  • Low wages

  • Less people, and less cosmopolitan than other places I've lived.

  • Forest fires.

NEW YORK

Pros:

  • I keep thinking that I should live there sometime. Why wouldn't a person like me want to live there?

  • Other people keep telling me I should live there, and that I would do well there.

  • Center of the fuckin' world.

  • My favorite band is from there. That might be a stupid reason, but I'm sure there are stupider ones. I just can't think of any.

  • I have friends there.

  • Many things I like came fron New York.

  • If you make it there, you....oh, you know.

Cons:

  • It's on the East Coast. I haven't spent much time on the East Coast, but I don't really know how much I liked it, at least as a place to live.

  • I don't know how well I would do there. I like nature and quiet and open spaces. But, I also like tall buildings and lots of people, so, who knows.

  • Most people I know who have moved there from this area didn't do well there, either. The biggest advocate for NYC I know keeps telling me that he adjusted well to living there, but then I have to point out that he grew up in New Jersey.

  • Expensive.

  • I don't know if I really want to, but I'm having a hard time sorting out the part of me that really thinks this from the part that just might be scared to. But I'm also sorting out the part of me that might want to move ther from the part of me that tells me that I should, because it's the thing to do and other people think I should, too.

So, there's my list. No real conclusions, yet.

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