We Chicks are a peripatetic lot, having made our nests in cities across the country. But there will be always be a special place in our hearts for our origin homes, and here’s why.
Having grown up in Memphis, I’m the Chick with a Southern accent. Here in my very northern town in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, I sometimes miss hearing Southern accents and people saying “y’all.” (Although the people in the U.P. are super nice!) And of course, I miss my family and friends back in Tennessee. But one of the things I miss most about my hometown is the food. Memphis-style pork barbecue tops the list. But I also miss fried catfish and fried green tomatoes and pan-fried okra. Notice a common thread? And really good cornbread. And finding pimento cheese at the grocery store. (It really is a Southern thang. They don’t stock it here). And—I know some people don’t appreciate this, but—a waitress who calls me “hon.” With a Southern accent, natch!
Upstate New Yorker here. It was a lovely place to grow up. I miss the forests, especially in the fall when they turn glorious shades of red and gold; Lake Ontario, as nothing soothes my soul like sitting on the beach watching the waves crash into the shore; and of course the wonderful people in my hometown. I’m also feeling nostalgic about Seabreeze Amusement Park, particularly a ride called the Gyrosphere, which was kind of like an eggbeater; you’d sit in a car in the dark and be “scrambled” around inside a light show while they blasted ELO’s “Fire on High.” Also, there was a wooden roller coaster that was absolutely terrifying—not because of the height but because it was super old (built in 1920!) and jerky and felt like it was going to break at any moment. Good times.
“Whoa oh oh, I’m a native New Yorker.” That’s from one of my favorite disco era songs because it speaks to the affection I feel for my hometown. I’ve lived in Los Angeles for more years than I care to remember and two things I continue to miss about the city so nice they named it twice are rain and public transportation. I remember the days when I’d be strolling along Columbus Avenue or any avenue watching the horrible traffic and scoffing at those poor shlubs who put their money into cars instead of Metro cards. Now I’m the shlub in traffic, but nobody scoffs because like another song goes, “Nobody walks in L.A.”
As for my passion for precipitation, I owe my wedding ring to my status as a pluviophile (I learned that word means rain lover, and am very excited I get to use it. But apologies for the excessive alliteration.) Jer and I met at a dinner party where he heard me say I miss the rain, and immediately made a connection. Although from St. Louis and not NY, he recognized a fellow pluviophile. (Hey, I got to use it twice!)
I was born in Boston, grew up in coastal Connecticut, went to school in rural Massachusetts (the Berkshire Mountains), lived in Brooklyn, NY and worked in Manhattan for 20 years, then moved to Atlanta, Nashville, and ultimately to our present abode in small-town New Hampshire. I’ve had a Country Mouse/City Mouse thing going all my life (remember those children’s books?). I love the thrill of city lights, endless things to do, friends to hang out with in person, awesome publishing jobs and the general vibe and fashions of the Big Apple. My husband will never, ever live in a city, though, and I have to say I also love the beauty and slower pace of a small New England town. (Four very distinct seasons: snow, mud, heatwave/black fly and breathtaking fall foliage!) I never have to worry about what to wear for a night out (jeans or cords? cowboy boots or Bean boots?) or a run to the grocery store. I’m also known around town as The Author, which is rather nice. What do I miss about my hometown? Well, with global warming as it is, New Hampshire seasons feel a lot like Connecticut’s used to. But I have to say, I miss getting to the beach in no time flat. Of course, these days in my old town, you have to park so far away without a resident beach sticker that you might as well be in New Hampshire!
I’m from Austin, Texas — home of breakfast tacos, live music, and the largest colony of Mexican free-tailed bats in North America. When I used to say I was from Austin, people would say, “Boston?” Then later it evolved into, “Oh, Austin, I’ve never been but I’ve heard it’s cool.” Now of course, people say, “Ohhhhh, I loooooove Austin.” My friend tells me its poised to be the tenth biggest city in the country soon. But when I go back to visit, I still see that funky, artsy, weirdo-filled college town where you could still get anywhere in twenty minutes. Where the waiters are friendly and everyone you meet is in a band or paints murals or is staging a puppet musical. I miss the sprawling live oak trees and the super-loud grackles perched in the live oaks. (I didn’t like them when I lived there, but when I go home I’m all, “Grackles!!”) And I miss the food! Guacamole, beef brisket, the aforementioned breakfast tacos… What I don’t miss though? The heat! (Seriously, if you’re thinking of moving there, rent a house for a few weeks in August first.)
I’m a Jersey Girl through and through. I grew up in a small township called East Hanover and went to the same high school as Linda Tripp. (Not at the same time though!) Most people don’t know the town but if you tell them Route 10, they’ll know exactly what you’re talking about. I haven’t lived there in almost 20 years but my mom still lives the town over. And there’s just something so comforting about driving down the first street I ever drove by myself after I got my license or passing the library I had my first job or the chinese food store that I compare all Chicken Lo-Mein too. There’s truly no place like home!
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