9.19.2006

The Itch

Do you ever get the itch to move? I get it often, and my husband does as well. We've lived in the same city now for seven consecutive years, and in the same state for the past 10 years. That's a long time for us. Granted, we've lived in two different houses and four different apartments/townhouses within the past decade, but still we've been rooted in the same general region. We are restless people.

I love Portland. I really do. But as someone who grew up here, moved far far away, and then came back, I've got that typical love/hate relationship with this city. It's small - the 25th largest city in the US, sometimes the 26th - and it's slow, which given my mood can be beautiful or uber aggravating. It's clean and environmentally hip, but it can also at times be annoyingly self-righteous, contradictory and downright passive aggresively mean. The burbs are diverse, the city is not; I live in the burbs but spend 50-60% of my time in the city. It's a city full of amazing modern designers yet it's almost impossible to find awesome modern design in retail shops that's affordable AND of high quality. It's kid-friendly, mama-friendly, and has the best and most diverse selection of microbrews and wines around, which is why we're still here; nothing kills The Itch to Move more than asking the bartendar in another city what's on tap and finding out there are only 10 beers, five of which consist of crappy Corona, Coors, or Miller and the like. Oh yeah, and the majority of our friends and family are here - saved the most important for last.

The Itch has come around again, and it's no coincidence that it arrives just after I take a trip to NYC, that beloved city that never sleeps. I had never spent a lot of time in Brooklyn until this trip, and I absolutely fell in love. Kids everywhere, dogs everywhere, super cute tree-lined streets and large(r) apartments. Amazing shops and restaurants around every corner, and Manhattan is just a couple of subway stops away. Cute neighborhoods, warm and fuzzies all around, close communities...you can just feel the buzz of happy family activities in the air. Sigh. My brother in law and sister in law live in (what I think is a large space for NY) a gorgeous turn of the century building with beautiful details and great storage space. I can see my family happy there, in that neighborhood.

Alas, I must quel The Itch. Someday, hubby and I plan to take a year or so to live in Europe somewhere with the kids. That's a Must for us. That'll be the Big Itch to scratch and until then, I don't know if we've got enough room emotionally or financially to scratch the itch in a bigger American city beforehand.

For now, I'll just continue to visit my fave places with the family when we can. Girls' weekend and wedding stories to come soon... tonight I just wanted to scratch The Itch via blogging in hopes of being cured of it...for now, anyway.

5 comments:

Sara said...

We feel the itch too, but luckily we will be traveling this year -- to both Chile and The Netherlands. What keeps me here is L's grandparents and a primal need to stay on this coast. Someday, though, we will live abroad -- I feel it in my bones.
Hope you are well!

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Cityslicker Mom said...

what?!! the burbs are diverse and the city isnt?? I tend to think it's the other way around!! :)

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Mama M said...

Sara - have fun on your trips! We just went to Switzerland this summer for the first time since before Boo was born and had a great time.

Cityslicker Mom - LOL. I was shocked too! Cities are usually more diverse, but Portland is changing. N, NE and SE PDX are not the same as they once were. I should clarify it depends on where you live in the burbs or the city, right? We lived in three different areas of SE and had looked for houses in both NE and N PDX during both of our house hunting times, and in all of those areas I witnessed very little ethnic, religious and political diversity compared to my small street in the burbs; there are maybe only 14 or 16 houses on my street now and there are five Filipinos, two Chinese, one Native American, two families from India, and a half-Irish/half-Spanish woman and her Korean husband. That's three times as much ethnic diversity than within ten streets of our last neighborhood in SE! I think I just see the lack of diversity within the city more now that I don't live there.

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Cityslicker Mom said...

Hmmm! this could be a really intersting discussion! I know what you're saying!

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Jenny said...

My hubby is itchy and perpetually rooted.

Not a pretty combo.

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