I have lived in many places.
I was swaddled and on my mother’s lap as she watched Neil Armstrong stick a flag on the moon. We were living in married student housing at the University of North Carolina, but before the end of the Nixon administration, we would move to Vienna, Austria and back. Soon after my brother was born, we moved to Florida, for my father’s first teaching job, and the Ford and Carter administrations. We had returned to North Carolina by the time the hostages came home. During the seemingly endless Reagan administration, there was another family sojourn in Austria, and a solo one in Germany, just long enough for our mouths to drop as the wall to come down. An internship in Washington, D.C. led to a return to college, in Boston, where I watched the video game-like footage of the first war in the Gulf, and the remainder of Bush Sr. administration. I added “Bill Clinton c/o the White House” to my address book, “Artist” to my resume and moved to New York City.
I would spend the whole of the Clinton and Bush Jr. administrations madly in love with Brooklyn. It was a tumultuous relationship, but I was proud to be associated with the borough, with its history, its views of the water and its amazing range of cultures and cuisines. You could never be sure what exactly the day would hold; never more than watching planes crash into buildings.
These opportunities and surprises were very hard to walk away from when a whole new set of adventures presented himself at a West Coast wedding. 18 months of dating eventually pried me loose of my beloved Brooklyn, and dropped me into the eden of Berkeley, California, in time to watch Obama get sworn in. Less than two years later, we would celebrate our own wedding – at my insistence, back in Brooklyn.
So here I am, in northern California. Despite a life (thus far) of happily neglecting to look before I leapt, I find myself still getting acclimated to this unique city, 3,000 miles away from anything I previously knew. I constantly discover new cultural differences between the San Francisco Bay Area and New York, sometimes no less dissimilar than if I had first crossed an ocean, gone through customs and exchanged money to get here. My husband suggested that I start writing these comparisons down.
So here we are.
Thanks for playing.