We all live in a place we call paradise, right? (or wish we did). Name one thing, if you can that bugs you about your domicile, and no--family members are to be reserved for another post.
Here's mine: Monterey is a media wasteland: the local paper is printed in San Jose, weighs about an ounce and is avoided by most pet birds, though it often lines their cages. It is a virtual soup of ads, reprints from AP, and stories that make no sense to locals.
In addition, our TV stations are comingled, there's an NBC and ABC station that have the same news, almost as vacuous as the printed paper, and another that actually covers most of Central California, pretending to care about Monterey.
So if it weren't for the internet and cable TV news we'd be in a media blackout all the time. We often joked that it there were a nuclear bomb or meltdown (God forbid) somewhere on the East Coast, the local media would lead with "Monterey Couple Injured in Blast" as their lead story and headline.
And so it goes, all the news that's fit to print is apparently being printed somewhere else, but we can still play Angry Birds on our smarter than us phones.
What makes you mad/sad/mystified by your hometown?
This is a great discussion topic, anadyr. I’ve always wondered how people could not love everything about their sunny hometowns in California or Florida or Hawaii (merb). Mine might be pretty obvious, but it is definitely the weather here in Chicago. If it weren’t for the highs of negative degrees, I believe Chicago would be a much more desirable city to live in. I can’t complain too much though, we definitely breed some of the nicest Midwesterners around!
Chicago is my favorite city in the US. The weather can be rough (freezing in the winter, muggy and humid in the summer), but it also has incredible architecture, excellent food, a one-of-a-kind ballpark, a good transit system, and great people. I could live in many cities in the US, but I would truly enjoy living there.
I guess my biggest con regarding Oklahoma is that you can't fly anywhere from here without having to take all day to do it. Straight through flights are too expensive to even think about so all that is available has to fly through a hub, DFW, STL, DEN, ORD, ATL,etc...
Other than that, I'm good...
Message was edited by: madmax oops my bad...didn't read the title of the post very well as I commented about my state, not my home town. There is absolutely noting I dislike about where I live...a town of about 5000, 10 acres for the grandsons to roll around on, close enough to a larger city to get Mexican food for dinner. What else would a person want?
The humidity will come, just give me some nice temperatures outside as I haven't cracked the lock yet on weather and controlling the temperature like ks77 did in Marriott hotels.
I really enjoy living in Athens, GA. It's a great college town, with a vibrant arts and music scene, as well as the State Botanical Gardens and the Georgia Museum of Art within her borders. But 7 or 8 Saturdays each year, the population swells from approximately 115,000, which includes ~35,000 students, to some 220,000, with an infrastructure incapable of handling that hike. But I guess a week's worth of days is a small price to pay for 51 weeks of nice 'n easy livin'.
BTW, it's snowing today! Woo-hoo!
Ditto to anadyr and the others. But I think it goes back to what I said about places as vibrant, living entities that create memories in us. But living things can be bad too, as we all know. I've always felt strong connections to places, from love to hate to bored or in between. My own experiences certainly colored my view of Philadelphia (which probably doesn't these days deserve to be detested, but I do) because of my childhood and then the kind of Mad Men office experiences I was subjected to working there in the earliest years of the 70s. To me Philly will always be a place where I was almost always unhappy, except with my cat and my books. Boston will always be a place where I was fulfilled, happy, enjoyed life (with my cat and books too, even so much more of the latter). Providence was okay for the first few years of grad school, but then I moved back to Boston and commuted.
Maine is a place where I have a great job that allows me enormous travel and research opportunities as well as great interactions with students. And if I lived closer to the coast, I think I could be really happy here. Besides Boston, I lived on Cape Cod for six years and even though I was in a desperately star-crossed relationship, I was still happy. I had my cat, my books, my three jobs in Boston, and a beautiful place to be.
Besides big cities, my other great location thing is the ocean. When I am near the ocean, I feel alive. No lakes for me -- murky, where one knows not what lurks underneath… (Stephen King lives not far from here.) But waves you can jump into and feel and taste the salt on you and in the air! I especially loved West Falmouth when the tourists went home in September, when I had the beach to myself for the most part. The howling of the wind of a nor'easter or even Hurricane Bob somehow felt reassuring (most of the time) rather than threatening.
It's why I need to travel. While I am grounded here now, I would probably go out of my mind if I couldn't go to other places.
I don't blame you for the feelings you have for Philly. I have too many bad tastes in my mouth to like it. Traveling through there and trying to get on the interstate when nobody would move over to let you on and were going high speeds was one. The other was the way they treated Texans when JFK was shot, but I think all of PA and most of the country did that. It was just so contrary to "the city of brotherly love" motto they have.
Maybe many of us who travel a lot have nomadic blood in us. Several of my ancestors were in CA during the gold rush. One was from MO and went with his brothers-in-law. Another set went from GA to CA and back to GA around South America making it back with $1000 and buying a covered wagon to go again. Some of the family wagons broke down in Greene Co., AR so they stayed there for a few decades with the 3rd great who went to CA becoming the sheriff in AR. A lot of them were in TX for the land rewards in Collin Co. and in Robertson's Colony before 1850. Sea captains from Belgium and Holland who sailed to New Amsterdam in 1635 as well as French who got there soon afterwards due to the Edict of Nantes.
And just because your ancestors may have gotten here later doesn't mean they were traveling a lot on the seas and across Europe.
Our paradise is The Woodlands, Texas, about 40 miles north of downtown Houston. The Woodlands consistently ranks among the Top 5 Master Planned Communities in the nation and is all contained within about a 12 mile radius. As the name suggests The Woodlands has trees, lots of them with huge pines and oaks, bike trails all over the place, parks, very well dotted with highly regarded schools, shopping, movie theaters, excellent restaurants, world class businesses, an outdoor concert venue with hillside seating and easy access to Intercontinental Airport.
There is an incredible hotel The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel, Woodlands Waterway Hotel on the waterway, other Marriott properties near and a Hyatt Hotel located in Market Street. These hotels often house athletes for our Triathlon, Iron Man and Marathons. The most important part there seven superb golf courses (two extremely private, four private) and all located here.
When we moved here in 1984 there were some 12,000 residents and now it is probably close to 100,000. While all of our amenities are wonderful they have come at a huge price and that is the very sad about our hometown, there are too many people.
I see by mostly positive comments, folks are having a difficult time dissing their hometowns. That's good news. I am in the same boat. When I read the discussion title, the first things that popped into my mind were all positive. But in keeping with the rules, I can only come up with two things - well no, make that three, that I do not like about my home town (and to be clear, this is NOT my home town: I just happened to have lived here for the past 25 years .) 1) The transportation in and out of here is poor, much like Madmax's issue. We do not have a hub or major airport, and my two oldest children live near airport cities that also do not have hubs or major airports. We also do not have a direct train route between my town and San Francisco or Los Angeles (and why I am a big proponent of the - unpopular with many - high speed rail project.) I have to train-bus-train to San Diego or train up, over and down to SF, not straight across). 2) High crime rate. 3) Too far from the ocean!!!
No, I'm talking about wonderful high speed rail, a really great thing if you're stuck somewhere you'd prefer not to be. But even better than being stuck somewhere I'd prefer not to be, even with high speed rail (as a means of regularly escaping) would be to live somewhere that I'd prefer to be!
I agree Pluto, though if we had high speed rail in this country I would be ever so much happier. The Acela runs only in the NE corridor, and the Maine version to get there is the usual RR fare, and very expensive. By contrast, getting from Paris to Geneva or Rome to Munich is so easy. That's what I always miss so much about Europe when I'm gone for a while. Even if I'm working hard on a project in one country or city I can always hop on a weekend train that will take me worlds away in a relatively few hours.
But I too would simply rather be still in Boston. But in a good year there are usually about six jobs a year in North America in my field, and even fewer at the senior level (and I've gotten too old for that anyway). So I'm here till I retire.
yes I could live with that alright. People in the US think they have to drive everywhere...a high speed rail would be most welcome especially in the case of our airport as I mentioned before. The airport is nice enough and I love the smallness of it until I board a plane and it takes me all day to get somewhere. The high speed rail would be a hop and a skip
"WHERE THE HOME FOLKS SAY "LOS ANGELES AND THE VISITORS SAY LA"***
***LYRICS FROM A NOT WELL KNOWN SONG ABOUT LOS ANGELES
statistics show Atlanta as the #1 traffic issue regarding congestion, flow and # of vehicles, and from the times I have driven there, I believe it! That may be why there is such an uproar right now with people stranded due to weather conditions. One of my vendors said there were school children stuck on buses that left the school at noon until about 9PM last night! As ProfChiara mentioned before about people opening their homes to strangers, I believe that is being reported as happening right now in Atlanta.
I am SO glad my husband sent me the e-mail warning of the impending snow and ice storm so we could change our travel plans and weren't caught in that mess. I was able to book another stay at another resort in MB until Sat. or we'd have been in the midst of it.
I had thought about staying at a Marriott resort to take advantage of the 5 days for the same as 4, but 160,000 points for the stay and I didn't see that they had a laundry in the room as all the rooms here do, so that was the deciding factor for me.
It looked like Ocean Watch was the only one with a full kitchen. If not, the Marriott site doesn't explain the amenities very well on the reservation site.
The only city I've been to where the traffic felt as bad as Los Angeles was Atlanta though I think some of it had to do with construction. However, you get used to the traffic in Los Angeles. The problem is I've programmed myself to have a buffer for traffic delays when going out...when I'm in other cities with a car (Philadelphia, New York, DC, Austin, SF, Dallas, Boston, Houston, Denver, Seattle, etc.), I'm always arriving early (sometimes way too early).
My dear pen pal,
(this is not meant to be insulting to Texas so please take this in a good humorous light)
Most Angelenos (as well most Californians I know including graduates of U of T) consider Austin the only Texas city that they feel comfortable in.
They actually feel (as I do) that the residents of that fair city are very similar to Californians with a pretty wide mix of views and cultures.
That said, I, as a resident of Los Angeles, AND a citizen of the Republic of California, permit IAHFLYR to blame the traffic situation in Austin on LOS ANGELES!!!!
Not insulting in the least as the Republic of Texas has enough room for many different cultures and wide variety of views, not just Austin. Now I'll turn the "not meant to be insulting" back as ya as we say here.....another reason Californians feel comfortable in Austin is the similar cost of housing and living, so it's close to home. However; Houston as well as most cities in the state have a very wide mix of cultures as well as views.....some are just more obnoxious than others!
And in the useless and worthless piece of information department, Marriott shows The Republic of Texas with five more properties than the Republic of California.
Marriott might have closed a number of properties around the LAX area. The found that many passengers wouldn't show up due to luggage delays and traffic. (we in LALA land love to laugh at ourselves)
I have sat still in Austin traffic and not moved for what seemed to be days. While Houston traffic is much greater in numbers it usually is moving along at some 80 MPH unless an accident or construction (here, never) is involved. We have traffic issues up here in The Woodlands as well at certain times, it's just getting too crowded for my liking.
Simple for me.........COUNTY COMMISSIONERS, who live on the tax base that is inflated through taxes paid by those who don't live here full time but have big 'getaway' properties. Residents get a 25% break on the tax bill, so those who aren't residents get to pay full boat.....but the Commissioners proposed a new tax rate this year that was a 15 to 20% increase for all based on the fact that they applied NO revenue stream to the budget to offset the tax rate proposed....even though there were homes built that added 40 or 50 million in taxable base to the County AND the fact that tax revenues from Tourists were the highest in the history of the County. Of course, their thinking (in line with the thinking of most political hacks) was that the folks in the County wouldn't be smart enough to realize what they were doing.
I won't go into boring detail, but I decided to take them on in person, in print and with a huge e-mail campaign and thankfully got the County folks behind me and we stopped the proposed tax increase and got the rate set at a ZERO increase....and the Commissioners know they are still at the top of my list.
Good for you, tef6178 !! Fighting greedy politicians is becoming such a full time job. Reminds me of the city in CA that rewarded themselves with such big pensions. I think it was Bell, CA?
tef6178, where do you live? I always love to hear about people successfully using their right to petition and stopping the unnecessary growth of government/taxes.
Sales tax over 10%. I live in a fairly small town but "commute distance" from San Francisco so I can get the amenities of a big city without dealing with the chaos and smell. Freeway traffic is a nightmare but I don't work locally so I can ignore it. Great weather. So other than the high taxes and the constant condemnation from the politicians that run the state telling me I am evil because I saved money when I was working, it's pretty close to perfect.
I'll pick transportation as the thing not to like about Columbus, Ohio. To get almost anywhere in the city (except to and from downtown) requires a car. Buses are getting better, but the city stills cling to a demographic model from the middle of the last century.
Columbus is also the largest metro area without passsenger rail service (Amtrak closed up shop here in 1977). Not a huge drawback, but it would be nice to have the option occasionally.
As a mid-size market getting anywhere by air generally involves transisting through a major hub. There have been a few attempts to make CMH a hub (the last big one was probably America West), but nothing ever stuck. About the only benefit of this is that there is somewhat more competition between airlnes which helps keep fares down (a little).
Overall, not a bad place to live. Lots to do and not too expensive. I could, however, do without the insanity that takes place during college football home games.
(PLEASE PROMISE YOU WILL ALSO ASK WE DO I LIKE TO BALANCE THIS DISCUSSION)
Simple answer: LAX
Hometown as in where we were born, what we think of as 'home town' or where we live now? I was born in Philly and although it has changed dramatically since I was born 60+ years ago at the Naval Hospital, I have no desire at all to go back. But I think that's because memories, for good or ill, form our sense of place.
My home town as far as I think of it is Boston. When I moved to Boston at age 24, I fell in love with the place almost as if it were a person, and I still think of it that way. Even in the late 1990s when I went back to Mass General Hospital (where I'd worked for so many years) for a potentially serious medical problem, I remember an odd euphoria walking through the city and even the hospital halls well before I found out I was all right.
Waterville to me is the place I live, no more. (Except that my wonderful cat featured in my photo was born here.) Other than that there is almost nothing to do. Since I'm a loner and always loved to do things like walk along the Charles River or go to nice restaurants, museums etc when I was Boston, I find here that most all I do is teach and write. Still, I am lucky enough to be able to travel away from here to Europe frequently. Alas, that may be starting to dwindle as I have learned I will have to have surgery on at least my left hand and arm sooner rather than later.
Thanks so much, madmax! You are so right. Someone at the college suggested going on disability but that's simply impossible as a single person below the age of retirement (66 in my case), plus I need both the medical insurance and retirement savings -- and perhaps even more, as you said, the mental stimulation that not only comes from my job but also the accompanying travel.
Whenever I see someone being wheeled onto a plane I think "not long." And I'm an optimist!
I'm sorry about your nearing operations, also.
Have you looked into voice activated programs that write? I know that doesn't really help much, but there are lots of things available to help people now that haven't been there in the past.
To me, you're the little engine that could.
Little engine that could was one of my favorite childhood stories! Thank you! I had MacSpeech software for the past 7 years but unfortunately it wants me to write a whole book or chapter with it -- instead of grading papers where you jump from place to place. So students would sometimes find partial comments before their name at the beginning of the paper or in the middle of a sentence. Colby just got me Dragon Dictate for Mac, which seems much better. It still won't work with languages except maybe -- as my doctor programmed my l'il-used cell phone in my office 10 days ago -- if I use my android phone in Italian, French and Latin to communicate with my computer. We shall see.
I was on the plane yesterday from Amsterdam with a guy behind me who'd been transferred to the flight to Boston instead of Atlanta. He was very nice but couldn't believe it. As we all departed the plane, I wished him a long and happy stay in Boston, which he will probably have .
Love south central SC, but it is too far from a major city (I guess that could be a blessing also) and thus our Grandchildren. However, with internet shopping we can pretty much overcome this inconvenience. Doesn't help with Grandkids, but we like to drive. Original hometowns were NYC in my case and Pittsburgh in spouses case.
I loved the way my hometown was when I was younger. Friendly people who would go out of their way to take you to where you wanted to go vs. just telling you. Great history with the nicknames of Panther City, Cowtown, and "Where the west begins" and lots of things to do with lots of culture. Several colleges in the city and UT at Arlington nearby. Art galleries, lots of parks and gardens and an award winning zoo.
Then illegal invaders moved in taking over the neighborhood I'd grown up in and our home was broken into 6 times in 2 months and our sons were surrounded with drugs being on the I-35 corridor with gangs taking over the area that even the police would try to avoid. An ice cream truck turned out to be a drug distribution shop to the middle school and high school in our neighborhood and probably to others in the city. A hamburger stand near the high school turned out to be the same. Suspiciously, an over-priced gas station on I-35 was always way too busy for its prices to warrant, and they were parked. A garage was built in the neighborhood with no windows and bodies of high priced cars junked in the back lot so when I mentioned it was probably a chop shop to a friend whose son was a policeman, it was soon raided because they had been watching it for a while.
So my husband asked for a transfer to SC from the company he worked at in Dallas because there was really no where to move to escape the takeover. Even so, I cried every night for the first 6 months after we left. Big culture shock, but SC has improved greatly since we first moved there and the airport doesn't even close at 5 pm in the capitol as it did then, AND it has ATA and ATD screens as well as ETA and ETD. The sales tax on groceries has decreased to almost nothing in comparison to the full tax it had when we moved there because lots of newcomers complained about that. And, now, AL makes SC look really progressive and honest politically.
Me, too. Thanks, anadyr .
My parents had to move from the home they'd bought in '55 that they had lived in for 50 years because their neighbor (different neighborhood than ours but combined in regards to middle school and high school) was shot in her living room as a gang retaliation shooting that her son belonged. My parents and sister worried that the bullets could continue the short distance to my parents' house if they used an automatic. So my sister and her husband had an in-law addition built onto their Dallas Co. home that they could move into shortly (a few years) before they died in '08 and last year.
I'm very lucky that the places I have lived (I grew up in Philly suburbs, not Philly, though I started work in the latter in 1970), have been boring but safe.
Except Boston, which I love with my heart and soul. It will always be a huge part of me, because there I grew up and learned to be me. Leaving there in 1994 was worse than either divorce! And I'm just far enough away (3-1/2-4 hours by car) that usually I only get there these days to go to Logan Airport or occasionally or for medical stuff.