Wednesday, September 30, 2009

In Search of a City

We here at the Right Out Loud Household are deep in the middle of a city search. In reality it's more of a job search because mostly we'll go wherever the job is, and more accurately still, we'll go wherever The Boyfriend's job ends up being because all I do is this knitting, teaching, designing gig and I can do that from anywhere. Although some places are better suited for a knitter for sure.

While it's true that the job search includes Austin and while it is also true that we may end up staying here, it is seeming a little less likely, and researching new cities and places to live is sort of fun. Again, we'll ultimately go where the job takes us, but there is a small but growing list of cities I would be perfectly jazzy to call home.

What does it take for me to be jazzy about a place? Seasons for one - and this is a big one. I miss Fall most of all, and I even miss Winter some. I also need a few quality yarn stores, a safe place to run, friendly folks, a thriving farmer's market, and at least one Indian restaurant. The Boyfriend needs a job.

At the top of the list of cities I've grown fond of is Portland, Oregon, followed closely by Eugene, Oregon, which I know are totally different, but for speculative city searching purposes they are sort of the same and fully merged in my mind - I say Eugene, I could just as easily mean Portland, and vice-versa. They have seasons, you can grow anything there, and they are a crafter's paradise. I could wear socks and sweaters at least part of the year, and the farmer's market looks superb. The downside; the second highest unemployment rate in the nation, and everyone of The Boyfriend's contacts seems to be saying "there are no jobs". Sad but true.

A return to Minneapolis is on my list of definite maybes. Minneapolis is a great city, and it's also home. My family is there, they've got the biggest farmer's market I've ever been to, there's a yarn store on every corner, and miles and miles of scenic safe running paths. Unfortunately, it's not high on The Boyfriend's desirable list for one reason, and one reason only; Winter. And I suppose it's true that while I miss snow and socks and sweaters it would probably only take a Winter or two before I'd be wanting out again. Minnesota Winters are extreme. Extremely extreme. And they are why we left there in the first place (that and the job, the job that brought us to Texas, the job that doesn't exist anymore).

Santa Fe and Taos New Mexico are a fiber fiend's dreamland. When I visited there the folks seemed friendly enough. And again with the mountains, and the socks, and the sweaters, and the farmer's market. But again the job market seems weak and The Boyfriend's contacts aren't all that hopeful.

Salt Lake City, Utah has made a surprise appearance near the top of our list. It has seasons, and yarn stores, and a farmer's market. It also has mountains, and green space, and according to my BFF in Mpls., Sara, the people have a nice Midwestern sensibility and attitude. Sara also says it's clean and that I should move there and that I might just feel right at home there. I trust her. There also seems to be jobs there, and so it lingers near the top of our list.

My point is this; we're searching for a city, for a new place to call home, and while it remains a little unnerving to have so much uncertainty in my life, it has also become a little fun to speculate and research and hear what other people have to say about the cities they love.

Tell me, what city do you love? I'm searching for a city.

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