Friday, May 27, 2005

Don't Go South, Young Man

Zimran Ahmed (Winterspeak) joins James Lileks (The Bleat) in despairing of Northern weather. Here's James, who was born in Fargo, N.D., and has lived in Minneapolis, Minn., since 1976 (minus 4 years in D.C.):
I should note that it rained today. All day. It's cold, too. The time has come, perhaps, to plot the Great Move to Arizona. Not now; not soon. I just ordered a light fixture for the dining room, for heaven's sake, and I don't think I'll be prying it off the ceiling anytime soon. But in five years? Sure. I can take five more winters, five miserable springs, five desperate summers, if I knew I was heading to my reward. I jumped once before, left in haste, and that was the move to DC. Can'’t do that again. I have to move up in every way. DC was a move sideways or down; from ease of mobility to living conditions to the aroma of the grocery stores to the weather to the civic services to the crime, it was all for the worse. It had its compensations, and had I been in my 20s it would have been a great adventure. But my life kept getting smaller and smaller, and after a point the promise of a new Tibetan / Peruvian fusion tapas restaurant in Adams-Morgan seemed to be insufficient compensation.
And here's Zimran, who has lived in Chicago, New York, and New England:
Hear hear I'm with James. I'm tired of the cold. I'm tired of the rain. I'm tired of the high cost. I'm tired of having to run out at 8 in the morning and look for parking on street cleaning days, only to find none, and then having to decide whether to suck up the parking ticket (again) or feed a meter and run out at 10 to do it all over again.

Like the rest of New England, I'm moving South. And/or West.
I feel their pain. I grew up in Michigan, went to university there (and briefly in Cambridge, Mass.), lived for three years in upstate New York, and spent 37 "temporary" years in the D.C. area, "enjoying" it as little as did James Lileks. I moved to central Texas two years ago, where I finally have found almost all the heat and sunshine I can stand.

But take it from me, if you want to live in a Sun Belt city with a "cultural" ambience -- a good selection of restaurants offering varied cuisines, live theatre, museums, plenty of live music (classical and otherwise), and nice places to hike and bike -- you are going to put up with everything that's bad about almost all mid-size and large cities: Leftist politics, high taxes, traffic congestion, crazy drivers, and rude people.

Don't move to the Sun Belt unless you really crave sunshine and heat. I do, and so I'm happy in central Texas. Not because it offers any more ambience than the D.C. area (it doesn't), but because it's sunny and hot.

If sunshine and heat are all you crave, you might as well stay in the North. Who says global warming is bad?