A month ago, the Chicks shared what we love and miss about our hometowns. This week, we take a look at the flip side of that, and share what we don’t miss.
When I was growing up, my mother used to drive me nuts complaining about how New York City wasn’t the city she grew up in. “It’s changed, it’s not the same,” she’d say, meaning the city she knew in her day was much better. Well, either I’ve become my mother or I now I get where she was coming from because much as I still feel great affection for NYC, it just isn’t the same. I don’t miss the constant development that’s wiped out so much of the city’s quirky core. I don’t miss the crowds, which are so bad in Times Square these days it’s almost scary. I don’t miss seeing my favorite stores and pizza places being replaced by bank branches.
I’m not saying I wouldn’t move back in a heartbeat if someone offered me a two-bedroom elevator apartment with a terrace and city view. But the same stuff that used to annoy my mother would now annoy me. As I surveyed it from my fab new pad.
I’m from Memphis, so I don’t miss the oppressive heat. But since another chick ruminates about the hellish summer temps in the South (BTW, Marla, ditto to all dat) — I won’t. I also don’t miss the snow. This may sound odd since we don’t get much snow in west Tennessee. But when we do, we’re completely unprepared to handle it. If a flake falls, everything closes — schools, churches, many businesses, and even some roads. This is just as well since no one has all-weather tires, or any idea how to drive on the white stuff. We also have far too many ditches in Tennessee. I should know because I’ve slid off snowy, icy roads into a few of them. Where I now live in upper Michigan, they know snow. They plough it, treat it, snow blow it, and even shovel it off the roofs without making a fuss. And, in my all-wheel-drive SUV, I can drive on ploughed roads with relative ease and (at least so far) steer clear of the ditches.
I love my hometown.
Not a fan of the mosquitoes and black flies, though. Upstate New York on the edge of Lake Ontario is super humid territory,* and those just thrive. There’s nothing quite like tossing and turning all night because you’re scratching the insanely itchy bites already received, while hearing the relentless whine in the dark that signals more bites are on the way.
*My hair there is exactly like Monica’s on Friends, when she went to Ross’s conference in Barbados.
In all honesty, my hometown of Fairfield, Connecticut is more appealing to me as a grown-up than as a kid (specifically, when I was a teenager–for outdoorsy little kids it was awesome). The downtown, which is now over-crammed with bistros and trendy restaurants and boutiques–not to mention your standard (but super pricey) ultra-commercial sprawl–once offered only the library, post office, bank, school, train station–and a one-screen movie theater. The main draw was the beach and some serious Revolutionary War history. If I were the British, I would have turned the boats around and not bothered torching the place
Austin is my hometown, and I will always love it with all my heart. But the one thing I don’t miss? The heat. The eyebrow-singeing, makeup-melting, spirit-wilting heat. It’s the kind of heat where you take a shower and as soon as you step outside you’re sweaty and gross. The kind of heat where if you don’t crack your windows during the summer (which last nine months out of the year by the way) every surface feels like a waffle iron that’s ready to go. We went to a friend’s wedding which she had outdoors in June and the frosting on her wedding cake was literally sliding off the cake onto the table. People come in March for South by Southwest and fall in love with Austin. They don’t talk about the ones who move away again after they live through their first August. We decided to move one Labor Day when it turned 109. Two days later, it turned 111. Yep, I love Austin. And I will happily visit any February.
Readers, what do or don’t you miss about your hometowns?
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