May 31, 2006

running for the hills

our_street.jpg
our street, Canon Digital Rebel

We've officially moved! and everything is different...
Matt and I woke up our first morning here in Berkeley and felt like we were in a bed and breakfast. All we could see from every window was green green green.

I think I need to lend some context to how drastic this change feels for us. Our beloved old neighborhood of The Mission (which we love in so many ways) got old really fast once we decided to leave. I thought that we would get really nostalgic knowing we were about to go, but instead we started to notice everything we didn't like. I suppose in a way, it's like leaving a lover and finally seeing their flaws... things you were blind to out of love and devotion.

And strangely, like an old lover, I still feel protective and hesitate to tell you about the way the streets smelled like piss, how men are always drunk and passed out and strewn across our block all day long, about the broken bottles and shattered windshields and tiny ziploc baggies (so small I didn't realize what they were for. Ha!) that you find on the street.

Should I tell you about the sounds of sirens and fireworks? the occasional gunshot, the cars honking (doesn't anybody use doorbells anymore?!) and people yelling at each other... And even as I write this, I see that this is just one way of looking at my old neighborhood. And when you begin to look at something only one way that's when you get in trouble.

For example, just a few weeks ago a meter maid and another man were down the block yelling at each other. I assumed that one guy had gotten a ticket and was giving the meter maid the business. As I got closer though I heard the man say, very passionately, "And then, you saute the shrimp!" and I grinned as I walked past. "We're talking about food!" the guys yelled over to me. And I laughed and said, "Yeah, I just figured that out!"

So just to be clear, I'm giving you my post-breakup story about the Mission.

But back to Berkeley, where all of those siren sounds are now replaced by squeals of delight from the kiddie park down the street, hummingbirds hang out in our backyard with their little motors running, gardens are full of flowers and bamboo, squirrels climb the redwoods and our sweet neighbors have already had us over for dinner.

The effect of all this beauty has been interesting to me... I am remembering something I read in the Tipping Point about the New York City subway. They discovered that by cleaning up the subway people were more likely to keep it clean, less likely to paint graffiti, and in turn, overall crime went down. It's as if this self-respecting environment fostered even more goodness.

Similarly, Matt and I are excited about taking care of our own bodies better. I am having urges to spend the summer bicycling all over town, swimming at the YMCA, eating organic food, practicing yoga and reading more books and making more art instead of watching bad tv and movies.

Matt has noticed a strange desire for better grooming which he is perplexed by. He told me yesterday, "I feel the urge to shave every day and to buy new clothes that are less scrappy and Mission style." (This conversation began after I asked what smelled so good and he shyly explained that he had put product in his hair)

Are we losing our edge? Are we growing up? Is this what people do when they prepare to have a family?

Last night I woke up in the middle of the night and it was so dark I couldn't find my water glass. I realized for the first time that night is not night in the city. It never truly gets dark there. Perhaps tonight I will explore the sky and see if I can spot some stars...

Have any of you city folk run for the hills lately?

Posted on May 31, 2006 09:20 AM
Comments

Preved Medved

Posted by: baclofen at June 27, 2006 08:19 PM

I haven't run yet, but I oh so want to. It'll be another couple years tho. :(

Posted by: tali at June 22, 2006 12:22 PM

Preved Medved

Posted by: tamilu at June 22, 2006 03:54 AM

I've lived in Beijing for two years, doing my MA degree in Beijing Foreign Studies University. I am about to leave here soon for my beloved city in the southern part of the country. It's pretty dry here in Beijing. Every day, I drink cups of water. Early this year, I witnessed the so-called sandstorm. I can hardly say spring has been here at all because it was kinda wintry even when the winter season was gone. Then all of a sudden, summer was here with its scorching heat. I am going back to the place I love early next month. It is a coastal city. I can enjoy better air and relish in the greenery. I can help myself to fresh sea food. Most importantly, I can be with my family and friends. Having studied in BFSU for two years, I come to realize the importance of being with people I am familiar with.

I am sure the beautifully new surroundings will give you much inspiration.

All the best.

soumet (from Beijing, China)

Posted by: soumet at June 20, 2006 02:13 AM

Preved Medved

Posted by: adipex at June 20, 2006 01:44 AM

I am glad to hear of your happy transition.
I had a love affair with SF (lived in the Marina) where the streets are alive with noise, tettering on chaos. Where some pretty seedy things go down. Where the sky sparkles and everyone you pass on the street seems to be speaking a different language. Where I could walk home from work through China Town, North beach, the smells, the press of people, colors, the sheer joy of it all. I always felt lucky to be there experiencing it all. But those were my single/childless days...and the wanting of a new, clean, green-filled, real neighborhood environment came when D and I got pregnant. We decided we could not afford anything in SF and off to Seattle we drove. It is a different love affair I have now. A street full of kids running and screaming, views of snow covered mountains and trees (that they keep cutting down for THEIR VIEW), air swept so clean by a strong wind that you feel like you can get high on it, low tide and the hint of a dead fish odor. But I do think of my beloved SF and all the glorious and unglorious sights and sounds. (wouldn't it be great to have a flat in all of your favorite places?)

Posted by: KimC at June 13, 2006 10:12 AM

I absolutley relate to your break-up and new love affair. My honey, Matt, and I recently moved from out apartment in the city to a lovely borough across the river. We have a rose garden, a shade garden, stars, a screened in porch - the works. Recently I discovered that a sweet little mama bird had amde a nest in my hanging basket and has 4 little babies now. I am inspired to ring the bell on my bike and wave, make homemade lemonaid and leave the doors unlocked. It is freeing and wonderful and a totally different journey.
Congrats & enjoy!

Posted by: Beth Taylor at June 12, 2006 12:00 PM

My boyfriend and I spent a weekend away from Chicago at a lake cottage in Michigan. For awhile I've been worried that perhaps our relationship wasn't deeper than TV/movie rentals and bad processed food. But, the weekend allowed me to see that if we lived in a space that was closer to nature, we would have a lot more to fill our time - we would live more richly. I hope that someday we can make a move to be in an enviornment much like the one you are describing. I adore the city...but it does wear one down, after a certain amount of time.

Posted by: jolene at June 8, 2006 09:55 AM

Funny- I first started reading your journal long ago, and hadn't frequented in awhile when I came upon your two most recent posts today. Imagine my delight when, after clicking on your link and thinking "I wonder if..." , the ultrasound popped up on my screen! I am so thrilled for you. Also happy about your move; I have been struggling to adjust to urban life this year in LA after 15 years in southwest Florida. Instead of raccoons, there are "canners" collecting recyclables behind the garage. Anyway, my best to you.

Posted by: soliluna at June 4, 2006 11:32 AM

the east bay is where it's at. welcome!

Posted by: minnie at June 3, 2006 11:44 AM

When I left SF I moved to Paris, trust me SF felt like the country! Years later and now, we live in the South of France. It is the night air which fills our home since we leave the windows WIDE open all night, it is the call of the owl and the church bells that sing the lullaby for me to dream, and it is the smell of the boulangerie's baked bread that I awake to in the morning. Is there a difference?
When your baby is born, and wakes you at night with her fussing, when you are nursing her to sleep in the silence of the evening...you will know the power of your new lover and kiss SF good bye without regret!

Posted by: Tongue in Cheek at June 3, 2006 09:46 AM

We are thinking of possibly moving to Erie from Central Florida. What a change that will be. I loved reading this post because we are doing the same thing...taking the blinders off. I know there are things I will miss, but I wonder how much is just because of the comfort of familiarity. Will I really miss it? If Jenn from Erie reads this, please write and tell me more of why you love Erie! Andrea, best wishes in your new home!

Posted by: Shari at June 3, 2006 03:25 AM

Your new home sounds like a lovely place. I wish you much health and happiness there, and I hope you create many new and wonderful memories. :)

Posted by: Julia at June 2, 2006 09:45 PM

My husband and I just moved from Philadelphia to Geneva, NY and it has been so wonderful reading what you have experienced. I have shared so many of your thoughts. I miss the city of Philadelphia very much and I am sure over time it will get harder but there is something so refreshing about waking up to birds singing and looking out onto grass, flowers and big, blue skies not broken up by skyscrapers or highrises.

We moved to Geneva to follow our life long dream. My husband is a chef and we are on the brink of opening our own restaurant. The whole move has been a huge risk and sacrifice but I feel as if I am on the edge of something wonderful.

I love the country and everyday on our way to the restaurant we pass by Seneca Lake and I SMILE. I smile this huge, silly, happy smile.

Posted by: Giulietta at June 2, 2006 09:02 AM

Last year, my boyfriend and I lived in Austin, TX. And for all its beauty and greenness, we wanted out. We felt stifled. We wanted an unfolding universe. We moved to NYC.

My mom said my favorite book when I was little was "I Live in the City ABC". I love cities. I feel alive in them. But I love greenness too. Living in a city, I appreciate every bit of green I can get. I love the juxtaposition of green and concrete. My favorite park is (I think) on Houston and 2nd Ave. It is blacktop shaded by a beautiful canopy of trees. I love it!

You are not losing your edge; you are gaining peace. (It's funny: I am going through this "growing up" thing too. I am feeling ready for a new chapter.) Bless you two so much! Congratulations on your new neighborhood!

Posted by: Kate at June 2, 2006 07:50 AM

Now you'll understand why when people ask if I'd ever live in the City again, I don't hesitate to say no. Love to visit and hit old haunts...but here I can sleep with the windows open and all I hear is the occasional train rolling through town. I can step out on the porch on Wednesdays and Saturdays and smell the popcorn at the Farmer's Market...and know that I only have to walk around the corner for fresh produce and flowers and plants and live music. I love riding my bike to work...love the ease of small-town university life...love living downtown and having everything within a few blocks. It's not hip, it's not cutting edge...but it calms me...and I'm guess I'm at an age where that's more important. Glad to hear Berkeley feels so good to you and Matt.

Posted by: Marilyn at June 2, 2006 06:19 AM

so happy to hear you are loving your new place. When I was in Arizona this past weekend I was reminded why I love my life in Erie so much. Now I get to experience the quite, the stars, the green. Things I never noticed in Phoenix jump out at me daily in Erie. I am reminded so often of the gifts God has given me and I am so thankful I was able to get this experience. Te city was great but I am so happy to be back home in my new city.

Jenn

Posted by: jenn at June 2, 2006 05:47 AM

we have moved from north of pittsburgh to the shores of new brunswick & maine. the pace of life is so glorious and rich. the things that matter are honored here in such a natural, whole way.

so glad to hear you are relishing in your starlit nights and fresh smelling hubby!!

Posted by: Heidi Renee at June 2, 2006 05:23 AM

suddenly...

this

"Is this what people do when they prepare to have a family?"

has a new layer of meaning.

a deeper deliciousness.

xoxo

Posted by: Leonie at June 2, 2006 02:57 AM

hi there,
best wishes in your new home! your post really got me thinking (esp. since i frequently contemplate moving from the mission to a greener place). i wrote about your post/my thoughts in my blog, if you feel like reading...
shash

Posted by: kerstin at June 1, 2006 07:47 PM

Hi Andrea,
Wow - some seriously great energy jumped up from this post...a wave of positive feelings!
How exciting it was to hear of your changes...We have a great home in the heart of the city - downtown life has always been so full...but what once worked in our lives, just doesn't any longer...our little guy can't ride his bike, traffic is too crazy...it's not uncommon to be awakend by sirens, or drunken merryment in the middle of the night...things we once shrugged off are now sitting in a giant spotlight since deciding to move on...like you guys, we are really looking and SEEING things in a new light. I can't wait to move on, and it was really encouraging to hear your story...and see that life really does exist beyond the perimeters we set for ourselves...I want trees and nature sounds and peace...and merryment on my terms! Thanks for the glimpse into your lives! It's always so insightful and truthful...and just down-right helpful! Good things to you in your new setting.

Posted by: Tracy at June 1, 2006 06:58 PM

Andrea,Welcome Home.

Posted by: shelly at June 1, 2006 05:45 PM

It is amazing how you have to get used to new sounds and feelings of a new place you live. Now that we are opening our windows, I realize how many "beach cruisin'" goes on where I live, motorcycles too. Ach. Enjoy your new digs. I grew up vacationing in San Fran...(from Los Angeles) and love it there.

Posted by: painterbeachgirl at June 1, 2006 04:25 PM

I'm trying to run home to Alabama. I've discovered I am most definitely NOT a big-city-suburb girl. Driving hours/day to and from work, astronomical living expenses, unbelievable daily stress - it's just not a way to live life.

I visited my parents in Alabama a few weekends ago. As I walked around a little downtown area by myself on a Sunday morning, I realized just how peaceful my surroundings were and just how peaceful I was. It was an amazing feeling - I was relaxed and happy, instead of frazzled and stressed. That cemented my desire to move away from this madness.

Posted by: heather at June 1, 2006 03:43 PM

And the East Bay Regional Park District is unbeatable--take the scenic drive from Berkeley to Skyline rd and check out some of the rec areas along it. Our favorite when we lived there was Redwood, from Skyline. You can hike a ten mile loop around it, there's creek and ferns, and rocky chaparral (sp?) and happy people and happy dogs(but not too crowded). The fruit tarts and danishes at the Montclair Baking Co., down the hill are fabulous.

We moved from the Bay area to the suburbs of San Diego to be closer to family and enjoy cheaper rent...but our recent visit back and the gorgeous smells of all the greens made us very nostalgic. Our ol' girlfriend is looking good.

Posted by: spaazlicious at June 1, 2006 02:11 PM

Sounds like you done good. :) This post of yours was like cool water. Thanks.

Posted by: Laura at June 1, 2006 12:56 PM

ahhh...you brought back lovely memories of living in Berkeley.

i cannot tell you enough how thrilled i am for you.

i feel your peace.
i sense your renewal.

please tell Mr. Pottery on Telegraph that i said hello. he always sets up on a corner.

love you, girlfriend.

Posted by: bohemian girl at June 1, 2006 12:56 PM

We moved from the City to Marin then to our first house to what we thought was going to be countrybumpkinville in Sonoma County. Two years later, and last summer was a nightmare of constant gunfire night after night. We could hear the gunfire from our bedroom window (and it just started up again two nights ago). There is gratuitous graffiti on peoples homes, fences, stores, walls, everywhere; gang warfare-- it's completely out of control. It was nothing like it ever was in San Francisco. I don't think I ever heard a gunshot there. And, at least the graffiti was sometimes artistic. Here, it's just to vandalize and mark territories. We're looking forward to finding our quiet place in the country, in some small charming town. Does it exist anymore? And a place where you can still find a tech job nearby? Help, anyone. :)

Posted by: cpr at June 1, 2006 12:47 PM

I've fled and returned, fled and returned from city to outskirts repeatedly. Both have something to offer. Here in Beaverton, OR, one can walk to the nature park where I have run into a family of deer on occasion, or one can, in 20 minutes, be downtown listening to Annie Lamott reading from her latest book. But, the town itself is beyond flavorless, and shopping is McDonaldized. But there are always bastions of beauty, even in Beaverton, where every spring our duck pond teems with young wildlife.

The suburbs, as cliche' as they might seem, do offer one the quiet and space to regroup. Places like Berkeley retain such a distinctive character and charm while still being city-accessible, that they seem ideal to me. I am very happy that you have found this move a positive thing.

Don't worry about losing your edge, I'm quite sure you'll always live your art. My neighbors think I'm quirky (many probably have worse to say about me), what without chilren and wearing my expressive clothes and coming and going at all hours of the night! I refuse to comply with some soccer-mom/housewife mandate, and I suspect you will, too! :) I see you as the life being breathed back into your new neighborhood ...

Congratulations!

Posted by: Pamela at June 1, 2006 11:54 AM

I am so glad you love your new home! Congratulations. I know you will be inspired by all of the new and different beauty. Embrace the change.

Posted by: Michele at June 1, 2006 11:38 AM

I agree with the person who said the green and the stillness are good for healing. I live a ways out in Brooklyn, which i fondly refer to as NYC's East Bay. I don't miss Manhattan, and anyway, I'm there every day.
Yes, growing up but not loosing your edge. Perhaps the leaves and the stars and the stillness will help you feel even more tapped in to the magic of the universe and such.
It sounds really really wonderful! Yay for you both. And I'm glad your back posting. I missed you, I'm sure we all did.

Posted by: Meg at June 1, 2006 10:41 AM

Andrea.
I can so relate. We left Kauai last year for small town Oregon. We traded the pesky roosters, centipedes and flying cockroaches for deer!
I too recognized pulling out all the negative things about the old neigborhoods but I can honestly say, we made a great decision to leave that paradise for this one. My kids are blossoming in all kinds of ways. We really love to camp, fish and hike so we have found such excitement in all the activities and beauty here.
Enjoy, make new friends and take new photos. I had to wait 12 years to get off the rock and sink my feet back amongst the pine trees instead of palm trees. I do miss much of it though! (Mostly my friends). I so enjoy your posts!

Posted by: Krista at June 1, 2006 09:56 AM

Andrea~

I have been reading your blog for a couple years and while I often share compliments about you with friends, I realized I have never shared them with you.

I love your honest posting and your ability to make me view things in a new way. I love the way you speak about your friends and your husband so often and with great love. I love your jewelry and your commitment to growth.

Nine months ago I moved from Portland, OR to the teeny town of St. Paul, OR. Now I see the moon and stars every night, hear frogs, walk down quiet streets and marvel at the beauty of farmland and old John Deere tractors.

Thank you for your beautiful authenticity!

Posted by: fabulousJEN* at June 1, 2006 09:23 AM

hiya Andrea,
I've actually done the opposite- moving from a dinky little college town to NYC, and the city never stops surprising me. I think it is those flaws and imperfections that makes it so vivid to me. The contradictions. I love the subway system, grafitti and all. Maybe one day, I will get sick of it, but not yet. But I know what you mean about night-time in city. I went back to New England for my graduation, and there was this one night I was practically hanging out the window of the car staring up at the sky because I haven't seen so many stars in ages.
Big congratulations on your move- it seems like there are big turning points for everyone right now!
-Mads

Posted by: Mads at June 1, 2006 09:20 AM

Hi Andrea,

Speaking of living in cities, there's some very interesting information here:

www.cbc.ca/cityspace

Take care,

Bryna

Posted by: Bryna at June 1, 2006 09:08 AM

sometimes we just need a new place to grow.

last year i lived outside of dc in a beautiful grassy neighborhood - a place where i always felt i was warped back to the 1950's - i so love it there: grass, trees, serenity, friendly people, rabbits, slow-life, etc. it was the real deal, at least for the time being.

due to new changes, i moved back to the city last fall, just 7 blocks away from the capitol. i fell in love w this part of the city all over again. it's much more convinent for me since i don't have a car - i can get around easily. and... my all time favorite place is eastern market which you would love! is only a few blocks away.

however, whenever i see myself settling down, i see myself in the hills, or even in the country.. who can forget that peaceful feeling...

Posted by: muck at June 1, 2006 08:53 AM

Ooooo. this sounds so *yUMMee*
I too am in prep. to move to a Wilder place.
I enjoy your comment on how our environ.'s inspire our selves/behaviour/longings===
I'm countin' on it in this one ; )

Posted by: delia~rose at June 1, 2006 08:01 AM

I love the new-move honeymoon. :-) Congratulations!

We're thinking about fleeing the suburbs and heading out to somewhere more rural and beautiful and arty. I feel like a traitor. I made promises to this little old house. It's a huge decision, we've been in crisis mode trying to justify this urge to pack up and go.

Posted by: tiffany at June 1, 2006 07:48 AM

mmmmm, sounds like good stuff, Andrea!
Congrats.

I do think that it is growing up. I do think it is "nesting" and readying your environment for your own family. But I do not think it is losing your edge. Are you kidding me??? YOU, Andrea the Superhero, losing her edge???? NO! You may may just be slightly redefining your edge. :o)

enjoy, amazing lady!

Posted by: Jen Downer at June 1, 2006 07:48 AM

I am so excited for you and Matt on your new adventure. I have never had the pleasure of living in the city and if I ever did I probably wouldn't be able to afford it. :)

It's true there is a sense of pride when it comes to smaller towns... there are less renters and more home owners... not to say that renters are disrespectful but you tend to take more care of something you own.

Good luck in your new journey! Keep us posted! :)

Posted by: beeb at June 1, 2006 07:45 AM

I moved to a medium-sized city three years ago after living my whole life in Smalltown, USA. I stayed for 2 years, loved the way it made me feel cosmopolitan, but hated the expenses and the filth I had to step over to get home. So a year ago I moved back to Smalltown and haven't looked back. The city was fun and I made some good friends, and I go back for shopping trips occasionally -- but small towns are for me. I like that small town people (as you made mention of in your post) take better care of their surroundings. They take a bit more pride of ownership, I think. Or maybe its just all those beautiful trees and the smell of the Gulf of Mexico getting to me.

Posted by: Chris at June 1, 2006 07:37 AM

I've been contemplating fleeing Chicago, hoping that it would jump start a new chapter in my life, but I kept telling myself that moving from one place would just be a matter of geography, that old problems, old attitudes unfortunately always receive the forwarding address. But after reading your post, I think that maybe a move is in order. Even if problems find their way to the new place, perhaps the change of perspective that a move brings could inspire new actions, etc.

Posted by: Megan at June 1, 2006 07:27 AM

Andrea I just LOVE that picture!

Happy House Move to you!

Posted by: m at June 1, 2006 07:20 AM

I live in New Jersey, thought the rural western part, but I spend much of my time 15 minutes from NYC at my boyfriends. I see the stress it puts on him and even me. We are both hitting the road and moving down to Asheville, North Carolina (actually, outside of Asheville) and I can't wait to be living in the mountains. There are new and different things to appreciate. New smells and sounds and the light will look different and the air will feel different. Ooooh. Change is scary but oh so yummy. By the way, ha ha, you made me giggle with your "are we growing up?" comment. I wonder that sometimes too and it freaks me out but then I find comfort in all of the good things that come along with it. Anyway, I've only been to Berkely once but I loved it. I hope you enjoy the new scenery!

Posted by: kyra at June 1, 2006 07:15 AM

yay! congratulations! ahh... green... fresh flowers and trees... good for healing. all the very best!

Posted by: alison at June 1, 2006 06:30 AM

I am so thrilled for you both! Congratulations on the new home, the new town, and the sweet settling into this new life phase.
e

Posted by: Lunarmuisngs at June 1, 2006 04:56 AM

How wonderful for you two.
I ran for the hills 16 years ago and never looked back. The breaking point was finding used syringes and condoms in the beautiful downtown Toronto park we would take our baby to play in. Today the cornfields we live next to are being developed. I feel another run in our near future....

Posted by: Melissa at June 1, 2006 04:36 AM

Congratulations on your move!

I love the stars when you're away from the city. The most amazing night I ever spent was on the roof of a houseboat on the Murray River (in Victoria, Australia) with my dad's side of the family.

I have never seen so many shooting stars.

Posted by: Sophie at June 1, 2006 04:34 AM

No, but I want to run to the hills today. I live in Lancaster, UK and I'm tempted to just get on the train and go to the beautiful Lake District, without telling anyone... just to go, escape, and clear my head. Is that running away? Or am I okay to do that? I don't know. I'll decide later today. I'll either realise I can't, or I'll just DO it.

Congratulations on your move Andrea - I'm sure you and your husband will be very happy.

By the way, I recieved a superhero bracelet, ordered by my friend Christina, for my 21st birthday last month, and it absolutely made my day! Whenever I'm a bit sad or scared, (like today) I put it on, becuase I hope that it will remind me of your positivity and ability to find the best in life, which is so prevalent in your blog, and that it will inspire me.

Posted by: Hannah at June 1, 2006 03:20 AM

Oh, Andrea! This big move sounds like just the ticket to refill your well. :) We made a huge move just over a year ago - from Mississippi to Alaska. The move really shook things up for us, and all sorts of positive life-changes are manifesting. It's good stuff.

(I recieved a beautiful Tropical necklace for my birthday. Love it! Love it!)

Be well.

Posted by: rachael at May 31, 2006 11:27 PM

Congratulations on your new move and for the beautiful green that greets you in the morning! I have always been a country girl, so musings about living in the city are always so interesting! I sometimes long for the great culture and opportunities that a big city brings, but this time of year, in Moscow, Idaho, is the most beautiful. This little artsy town is surrounded by flowing green fields of wheat and lentil stalks, blue skies with big cumulous clouds and that gorgeous twilight and peaceful chatter of a community that cares. Much to be grateful for...

Posted by: morgan at May 31, 2006 11:00 PM

Congratulations on your new move and for the beautiful green that greets you in the morning! I have always been a country girl, so musings about living in the city are always so interesting! I sometimes long for the great culture and opportunities that a big city brings, but this time of year, in Moscow, Idaho, is the most beautiful. This little artsy town is surrounded by flowing green fields of wheat and lentil stalks, blue skies with big cumulous clouds and that gorgeous twilight and peaceful chatter of a community that cares. Much to be grateful for...

Posted by: morgan at May 31, 2006 11:00 PM

And congratulations on your new house by the way! :)

Posted by: Anja at May 31, 2006 10:16 PM

Love the photo.
We are considering a move both out of the city and across a border. Looking at houses and letting the decision become more real I've been having the same experience - seeing the bad things (not only, fortunately) about where I live and the good things about the place we're going to be. We have practical brains...
Holly, I love your comment about edges!

Posted by: Anja at May 31, 2006 10:15 PM

All this talk about moving has my feet itching!

I read your post and I burst for you --

Green, Green, Green is good, good, good!

Sending you happy first days in your new town!

Amy

Posted by: Amy at May 31, 2006 10:04 PM

I moved away from the Mission awhile back. I miss my friends there, and the lovely Latino food, but I think I'm happier now, hearing more birds, seeing more trees. That piss smell and the litter and the daily hassling I got on 24th Street - it was getting me down.

I don't know you, Miss Superhero, but when I read this blog I think "I like this Andrea!" and then feel in the mood to go put my seaglass superhero necklace on. Thanks for the words.

Posted by: Chrissa at May 31, 2006 09:01 PM

Six months ago I left the noise and chaos and congestion of Hollywood proper and moved twenty miles north and east, to Altadena.

I swear that the air is sweeter up here.

My house is surrounded by trees, grass, and flowers. There are squirrels and raccoons and sparrows and possums... not just pigeons and rats. I haven't heard a police helicopter *once* since moving here and I couldn't be happier about that.

Sure, my commute got a little longer and some of my favorite spots are a bit farther away, but it's worth it to come home to quiet, verdant place that I love.

The world's challenges are so much more manageable when home is a relaxing & restful place.

Have fun exploring your new surroundings!

Posted by: amandarin at May 31, 2006 08:32 PM

Yeah it is what happens when preparing for a family. In my experience just before I had my daughter, all of my arty friends withou jobs now just seemed like losers, parties that went all night became irresponsable, living inner-city became fraught with danger, and I sought greenery, large parks, quiet and safety. It is part of the natural urge to want to protect your child from anything which could be dangerous or a negative influence!
I suppose we just become as conservative as our parents are and we now understand why they are!
Mia

Posted by: Mia at May 31, 2006 08:28 PM

when i moved to barcelona from mid-size city, michigan, i was in-love with the mediterranean terrain for about 2 days. then i started to miss the green. i longed for the green. i wanted my bare toes in cool grass. i wanted trees so thick they met up above me as i drove down a street. now that i am back, returning at spring when everything gets green again, i just sigh a lot. i notice the air quality because of all the vegetation and i am so thankful to live somewhere that i can call "lush."
so enjoy those lush surroundings, and remember, less city doesn't need to mean less edge. it's just a smoother, sweeter edge.

Posted by: holly at May 31, 2006 08:07 PM

you sound like you are very happy with your move. good for you! enjoy your new home.

Posted by: jen b at May 31, 2006 07:52 PM

your writing makes me look around and appreciate the quiet, the green, the room and the slower life. it's always good to be reminded. thank you. wishing you a lovely summer in your new home!

Posted by: stef at May 31, 2006 07:50 PM

Sigh. I live in Berkeley, and 'my Berkeley' is not 'your Berkeley'. But your Berkeley is, I agree, a slice of heaven. A part of me has wanted to run for the hills since I wandered the streets of Boston as a freshman in college, feeling just a little "wrong" in the city. I've lived in the city ever since, and every time I have left, to where there is green and fresh air and quiet and that distinct shift in the energy of the place, some burden that I haven't been acknowledging lifts, just rises and I feel so profoundly at ease. I wonder when I will take the leap and explore living in such a place? I think about it all of the time.

Congratulations on your move...

Posted by: Diana at May 31, 2006 07:46 PM

Oh, I so relate - well, to the break-up part more than the the new love. To buy our first house my husband and I moved out of downtown Toronto. And we liked downtown. I've been pining about it for 2 years.

But your post reminded me that there were also things that were good to say goodbye too - how many drunk 19-year-olds do I really need to see in a lifetime? And just recently we decided that we were going to stop thinking of this as the place we are until we can afford to move back downtown and instead think of it as home.

Thanks for making it a little bit easier :)

I'll look forward to seeing all the beauty of your new surroundings through your gorgeous photos!

Posted by: Jamie at May 31, 2006 07:45 PM

Take it from someone who moved to the suburbs 13 years ago, you don't want to lose your edge entirely. Sometimes I feel weary and worry that I've assimilated to suburbia too much and forgotten about some of the things that were once important to me. Now I find myself looking for ways to get it back.

Posted by: Heather at May 31, 2006 07:26 PM

One day I decided to move out of my beloved inner- city share house and move to a little green shack in the bush with my new husband. I lived behind a row of resturants with four other flatmates in a funky but skanky part of a large city. The house I loved passionatly even though there were holes in the floor and a rat had taken residence that became our new flatmate -Beryl. I would sometimes wake up with people vomiting out the front of my window at 4am, I once called the cops because a man was threatening to hit his partner after a big night out in the greek restaurant opposite our houase.
But as you experienced, right beore I decided to move out of my community the rose -tint became a clear grey. I hated waking to the piercing sound of smashing glass or the yelling indian restaurant people who always sounded angry but I don't think they were.
I now wake to the sound of my chickens laying eggs (or these days my baby crying full force).
When I go back to my old street my head feels full and noisy and I have sudden flashbacks of my previous caffeine fuelled frantic existence.
I do miss the craziness sometimes, Like the day a combie van blew up on our street or when Heath ledger filmed some drug scenes for his movie next door. But my head feels clear and my body receives sleep so I think I'm living the life I need to be living in this time of my life.

Posted by: bluefaery at May 31, 2006 06:39 PM

Hooray - Matt and Andrea! Congrats on a smooth transition and here's wishing you continued smooth sailing!

Posted by: Courtney at May 31, 2006 06:32 PM

just wanted to tell you ~
blessings on your beautiful journey.

love,
leonie

Posted by: Leonie at May 31, 2006 06:25 PM