Funny Singing Owl should use this meme...I've had to think about all the places I've lived since I was 18 for some immigration paperwork. Let's just say 18 was a long time ago and in another galaxy far far away!
I didn't count them up, but there are probably 16 places I've lived in my life...some just across town from each other, and some moves were transAtlantic.
1. Charlottesville, VA
Military Guy and I lived in a teeny-tiny duplex half that looked like it had been built out of war surplus (World War II, that is...). No insulation in the walls, and even in Virginia, you need it! That was the year I got adult-sized footie PJs for Christmas... Charlottesville was just beginning its comeback then--the regentrification of the downtown, the rebuilding of stores and homes and movie theatres. We really only lived there for about 10 months, but it was a favourite place to revisit on weekends, once we moved to the big city, AKA...
2. Washington DC
I love, love, love DC. Yes, the crime rate is higher than it ought to be in the capitol city of the US, and yes, it's expensive, and absolutely it's a pain to drive it...but I love the sense of things happening, and the museums, and all the universities with all their plays and art shows and movie groups, and the vibrancy of Dupont Circle, and the parks, and.... We lived several places in the area--Northern Virginia twice, but mostly suburban Maryland (I prefer the latter). It's also where I went to seminary, as well as my OTHER graduate degree (in library science). My son was born here too, and many of my friends still live in the area. Of course, it's also where I was told I wasn't welcome in my denomination of origin, and many of my former friends (those who haven't spoken to me since I came out) also live here. So I love DC, but I'm not sure I'd want to live here again. But never say never! From DC, the military moved us to...
3. Munich, Germany
We lived in Munich twice. It is a lovely city, as close to a village as a big city can get--in terms of atmosphere and attitude. At least, that was how I felt the first time I lived there. It was still a wonderful place. Military Guy and I lived there for three years, back to DC, then back to Munich for two years, and we visited again several years later. I don't know. Maybe my memory had misted things, but Munich in the 80's seemed a quieter, gentler place. The architecture and food and friends and cultural events were still there; but something had changed. Maybe we had built it up too much in our minds; maybe the less-favourable exchange rate had something to do with it; maybe it was because we were older, or because we were parents with a toddler in tow. But somehow it wasn't as magical. Still a wonderful, wonderful place--highly recommended!
4. Baltimore, MD
Charm City! Man do I miss the seafood! Chesapeake Bay blue crabs are the real thing. Here in River City they try to give me crab legs from the Pacific...NOT the same! Those sweet meaty crabs, cracked on a picnic table in the back yard, washed down with a pale ale...Mmmm. Balto is a bit rough-and-tumble, but a neat place nonetheless. I'd live there again. Note: the original Washington Monument is in Baltimore. Oh, and they have the best baseball stadium in the US, right across the street from the best seafood restaurant in the world.
5. River City
But of course, there's no place like home! River City has so much to offer. I love it here. We get some abuse from the rest of Ontario (we are sometimes called the "armpit of Ontario," due to our image and geographical location), and we do seem to have a higher cancer rate, but overall, I wouldn't trade it. I like that I can be pretty sure of running into friends when I take a walk downtown; and that half the people I know are connected through family, or work, or school, or a sports team, or community work, or... The other day I met a friend for tea, and as we were getting ready to leave the cafe, two friends of ours showed up purely by chance--so we sat back down and talked for another hour! I just love that! And there's a ton of good music here, and the river, and Sister City is a nice view, and so many ethnic restaurants (what you want? Thai, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, Greek, Indian, Vietnamese, Chinese--several varieties, Caribbean, Middle Eastern, BBQ.... I'm sure we have one, whatever it might be). Yeah, I'm a booster. Oh and did I mention the health care system? Of course, you'd get that anywhere in Canada, but still.
Five great places to live!