find a city, find myself a city to live in

two mostly-unrelated thoughts about cities:

1. when I was moving back to Pittsburgh, I thought about “the Aikido test”: say I want to take up some new hobby, like Aikido; will I find a local community that I can do that with? can this city help me become who I consciously want to be?
I’m not sure that’s the right way to think about it. a new test, call it the “Denver skier test”: what will this city help me to unconsciously┬ábecome? (I don’t know if you can live in Denver/Colorado front range and not become a skier, at least a little bit.) Similarly, Seattle got me addicted to coffee, but also got me to ride bikes for 200 miles the first time, so that was nice. (I mean, the coffee’s nice too.)

and what is San Francisco helping me unconsciously become?

2. why the hell is it always gentrification? why can there not be techy businesses without gentrification? is it just that “tech” is shorthand for “nouveau riche”? (the fact that Juicero is considered a tech company is evidence for this.) but even if that is so, why can’t we do a couple things: why can’t we have jobs that are not disappearing, grinding, or tech? why can’t we tax the few that are feasting to cover the many who are famining? and why can’t cities build up to accommodate the faminers as well as the feasters?


Adam Jaffe -

Cities change you, for sure. Living in The Hague made me really love dense cities and public transportation, and I appreciated my very simple lifestyle there. I sometimes worry about how Atlanta is influencing me; I like some aspects of the city, but there is a dose of LA-ish superficiality and materialism here that I never want to identify with, nor do I ever want to think that this level of sprawl is “normal” or “acceptable.” Surprisingly, living in Pittsburgh has made me kind of miss cold winters.

Dan -

Yeah! Tati noticed a lot of that materialism in Miami, and she’ll sometimes still see it pop up and, like “why do I care about this? oh yeah, growing up in Miami.” Luckily we are far from that (and Atlanta seems less bad than Miami, from my limited experience).

I wonder if I’ll get used to the weird tech shuffle out here. Or the weather always being 50 to 75 degrees. Those both seem like mixed blessings. I do miss seasons, but only a little - like I want a few weeks of fall, a few days of winter, and a few weeks of spring.

k czuba -

I’m going to be thoroughly unhelpful and suggest that you guys buy one of the two houses currently for sale directly next to us.

Dan -

oh mannnnn I wish. maybe if I can’t find a job here :-P

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