“Oh, the Places You’ll Go,” and all that. Once you’ve gone to a place and lived there, there will always be that one hallmark thing that you miss most when you leave. The one thing you’ll wish came with you to each new home, like your Travolta-autographed paperback of “Battlefield Earth” and your Season 2 Columbo DVDs.
These are those; the Top 5 things I would mix together to make the ultimate.
San Francisco: Sweeping views from urban nature. I will never get over the number of magical places in this city to hike to the top of, run to the end of, or meander down. There isn’t a single running route not worth a postcard from your turn-around spot. It could be the beach, a forested top of a mountain, or right under the Golden Gate Bridge, all without leaving that 7x7 tip of city.
New York: Where everything happens. If Annie is in revival and Chuck Klosterman is signing books three blocks away, it’s a place where all your favorite things from stage to page will eventually show up. You don’t have to look for cool stuff to happen, you just have to stay put and let it happen around you. (Plus or minus a subway ride.)
The Country: All the space you want. And at the precise opposite end, a place to run where no one is ever behind you, a place where no one is ever crowding you into a corner at rush hour, and a place where you’re never on display — except to a few cows, and they don’t require much small talk.
Washington D.C.: In the middle of history. Past, and in the making. Motorcades and parades, legislation and diplomacy, when you’re here, the stuff of the world is getting done all around you. Plus, everywhere you go is a monument to what’s come before, and that’s pretty grand.
Italy: Nobody’s in a hurry. The sun lasts for weeks and weeks, and there’s nothing wrong with spending entire days soaking it up. A towel, a spot, the water. Everything else can happen domani. Remember that summer I spent so long laying on a rock that I didn’t need sunscreen even at noon on the Mediterranean? I’m sure I will be reminded of it in the mirror for years to come.
Space and sky lines, energy and history, calm and culture…
Basically, I want all the cakes and forks to go with. That sounds about right.
I am not homesick. That does not mean to say that there aren’t a handful of wonderful niceties about being a grown up in the U. S. of Americas that I wouldn’t hug and love and put a picture of on my nightstand right now. I might…kind of miss a few things.
This doesn’t have anything to do with the fact that it is the Eve of Getting Weighed by My Boss, which is a particularly odious hellishness that I wouldn’t wish upon even the most annoying.
Okay. It might, a little. So! Shall we self-medicate?
The Top 5 Things That Are Awesome About Being a Regular American Grown Up:
Delivery. Leave as many menus on my door as you want, as long as I can keep a whole drawer full of them. Food from one end of the earth to the other, a phone call and 30 minutes away? Gee Whiz Diner, I’m looking at you.
Places Open 24 Hours. Not that I’m ever up past 8 p.m., but it’s nice to know if you really needed Advil, a garden hose, or Chex Mix in the middle of the night, you’d be taken care of.
Target. I KNOW. I said I’d be fine if I never saw another strip mall or big box store in my life, but… You know how sometimes when it’s payday Friday, and you find yourself there just wandering around with a cart in all of the cute seasonal housewares? It’s been six months. I am not made of decorative stone. Just give me an hour, I’ll be cured.
Getting Your Laundry Picked Up and Done. It sounds like a luxury, but you know what else sounds super fancy? Having your own washer and dryer in your dwelling. I have never had such a thing in my entire adult life. So yes, I still have my laundry bag from Crystal Cleaners in San Francisco with my address written on it. I use it and pretend.
Bonus: Movie Megaplexes. You can just show up at anytime and choose from any number of perfectly adequate and current flicks you can actually understand? One, please.