Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Cities of Our Dreams

Betty rode around L.A. with a displaced Chicagoan last summer, asking him all kinds of prying questions. Did he like L.A.? What were the main differences? Where would he most like to live? Betty sometimes thinks she can really know a place by listening to someone else talk about it.

"Well," Chris began, before admirabley responding to all of Betty's queries, "there's no Shangri-La..."

It's from this pretense that Betty frames her thinking about all cities, but still she can't help but dream when she reads articles accompanied by beautiful pictures of the cities she's currently fantasizing about: Portland, OR and Seattle, WA. Something about the buzz surrounding these cities calls out to Betty, even though she knows they're probably too small and too niche for her taste. The rainy weather is actually a plus as far as Betty's concerned, as are the progressive initiatives (especially around the environment and refugees), dramatic landscapes, music, and the vibrant public squares she's heard about.

What do you know about Portland or Seattle? Do you have a city of your dreams? It can be a place you've visited, but it probably isn't.


Brett_FLX said...

I had an opportunity once to extend my martial arts training in Seoul, Korea. But one or two bad apples messed things up for the whole team, and my instructor refused to any of us ; oh well. :(

M. Nicolas said...

Seattle???? Really? It's like a Patagonia (the company not the territory) dump where everybody looks and dresses the same...And forget diversity. None. Cero. Plus, sooo cold and windy. That said, Seattle is a nice place to visit. If you have dear friends that like to comment all night about important issues...Or at least, have the dignity to defer on vodka v/s gin martinis.

And since y'all ask, dream place would be a lonely beach in the CARICOM area. Even Haiti makes the cut.

betty said...

Montse - I'm so glad to know you, because I need to be talked out of my scheme to move to the Pacific Northwest, sight unseen and rain un-dripped. The potential for all-night conversation and bookworming IS appealing. It really doesn't look like Chilean Patagonia? Damn! I guess my real dream place is Puerto Aisen.