Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Just Dreaming

I’m starting to think of places I’d like to move if I decide to leave Cedar next year. Nothing is concrete; I haven’t even researched each place to compare costs of living, job opportunities, etc. Also, I’m pretty open to moving almost anywhere. These are just the ones I’m thinking about right now.

Portland. I spent a fabulous week in Portland back in 2004 (holy cow – has it really been that long ago??). One of reasons I enjoyed it was the variety of eating establishments. That week I ate French, Ethiopian, Iranian, Chinese, Italian, Greek, and fresh seafood. I fell in love with Powell’s, a bookstore that boasted several floors full of both used and new books. I could have spent the full week exploring that place. An added bonus was the store across the street that sold fresh gelato. My favorite flavor was lime, but a close second was watermelon. Portland also had a very decent public transportation system. I appreciate that, even though I have a car. If I can get around using buses, I prefer to do so. I spent one day just roaming around downtown Portland and found several interesting shops, bookstores, art galleries, and museums. The weather was absolutely beautiful and sunny, so I have a hard time thinking of Portland being rainy. I think I can deal with a lot of rain, though.

Seattle. I’ve never been to Seattle, but I have a friend who lives there (though not for long), friends who have visited her in Seattle, and family members who have gone there. They all have positive things to say about the city. Also, I just like the idea of the Pacific Northwest.

Chicago. Again, I’ve never been there, unless my layovers on the way to and from Montreal count (I don’t count them). I've heard good things, though, like the dining, the arts, and the activities.

Boston. I went to Boston once, for a temple trip. A guy from my New York ward was going through the temple for the first time, in preparation for a mission, and I bummed a ride with my Institute teacher (that was interesting!). The temple is on the outskirts of Boston, so I didn't see much of the city. It's always interested me, though, especially the historical sites.

Baltimore. I like this city's proximity to Washinton D.C. I don't want to live in D.C., but it would be nice to be close enough for weekend excursions.

Montreal. Okay, this isn't a serious contender, but it's a fun idea. I don't know what I'd need to do in order to live in Canada for a couple years, or if I'd even be allowed to, but I'd like to see some of the sites of Montreal, and Quebec in general, that I didn't get to see as a missionary.

France. An even less serious contender than Montreal! Again, this is just a fun thought, a dream even. Someday I'll definitely visit, and maybe one day I'll actually live here for a period of time, but I won't die of disappointment if I don't (live here, I mean. I'll be seriously put out if I never visit).

Speaking of France, it's #1 on my Places I Want to Visit list. Here's my idea of the perfect day in Paris: I wake up at 8am, get ready for the day, find a little cafe somewhere that true Parisiens frequent - in some quaint neighborhood - that has outdoor seating and breakfast on croissants, fruit, and chocolate - in any form. I'd take my time eating and would read a french newspaper while eavsdropping on my fellow breakfasters. After breakfast, I'd stroll around the local shops, looking especially for bookstores and small art galleries - I may even make a few purchases. After a couple hours, I'd either go back to the cafe or find another and order lunch. Again, I'd take my time, watching people walk by, listening to conversations, and maybe reading my recent purchase of a french novel. Finishing my leisurely lunch, I might hit some of the tourist attractions, maybe. (You see, I plan on having more than one day in Paris and will spend the other day(s) doing the "tourist things".) Or, I'd find a nice park somewhere and continue reading/watching people. Then I'd find a really snazzy restaurant that serves a dinner involving many different courses, taking the whole evening to get through the meal. Before retiring to my hotel room, I'd walk around and catch a little of the nightlife.

Doesn't that sound great?

Someday, I tell ya.



Cardine said...

I like it when you do lists like that. They're so fun to read!

I should tell you that over the weekend, my sister and I put a new trip at the top of our visit list for 2008: A Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Russia cruise.

Booklogged said...

Sounds absolutely divine. You know, of course, that I love the Northwest. That said, I really didn't like Seattle, but I'd be willing to give it a second chance. I think Portland is wonderful.

Boston was always a place I wanted to visit and now that I have I'd like to go again. I can pass on Baltimore quite easily, though I wouldn't mind visiting there again.

And I'm dying to visit Montreal (and Quebec along the St. Lawrence). I could care less about visiting Paris, but I would love, love, love visiting Denmark.

I think the wanderlust gene resides in our blood. Along with the bookstore gene. Do you, by any chance, collect picture frames?!

XYZinn said...

Ohhh, Paris! I love it! It is such an amazing city. I went there when I was in college. We got the cheapest fare from SLC, like $200! Crazy huh?

KieraAnne said...

I hear the cost of living all around D.C. (Baltimore) is one of the highest in the nation....never been to Portland, but I've always wanted to. Paris was nice, but overcrowded and all the girls were a little to fancy for me (far too many in stiletto hills, scarves and skirts just to walk around town), I like Seattle, but after some of the extreme left wing attitudes I've heard from family that used to live there I'm not so sure I would want to. Chicago was cool...we were there in the summer though and it was way too hot...I've always wanted to visit Montreal and Boston...I was near Boston once on my honeymoon. It was a cool area, everything is so close together in New England I think it's kinda funny. You can drive thirty minutes in practically any direction and be in another state...where we were anyway. ;) They all sound like fun though!

Framed said...

I liked Portland, Seattle and Boston, but I would want to live and work in a suburb instead of right in the city. Portland is pretty cool downtown but those one-way streets drove me crazy. I really want to visit Scandinavia, but not Russia so much.

Alyson said...

Oh, if you move to Chicago I'll have one more reason to go there! On of my best friends lives in the suburbs of Chicago and she loves it there (of course she is from that area). I don't know where I would live if I moved out of UT, but I think Chicago is at or near the top of the list of possibilities.

I really like Baltimore as well. Don't listen to booklogged. We didn't really stay there very long when the family went to Baltimore...we mostly just drove through. Plus, we drove into some of the more ghetto areas to stop by and see one of my best friend's parents (who weren't home). I think we were only there for a total of an hour or two.

Madman said...

I still feel some sort of call from the Pacific Northwest. And Powell's sounds like a "the fish that got away" story. It can't be that big. I believe you, but it seems like a fantasy that I've had several times.

Funny thing about you mentioning Boston. I just heard that song on the radio, and I thought, "I'd kind of like to go to Boston and live there for a while."

Nice list! I like it!

tearese said...

I understand Portland is a much cleaner city than Seattle, but as has been mentioned, suburbs are always nice. And the public transportation here makes it easy. Joseph's mission was in Chicago; he always raves about the pizza, but I hear the weather is not that great.

julie said...

Cardine, sounds fun, but count me out. As much as I want to go to Sweden and Denmark, next year I'm traveling with Cassie.

Book, no I don't collect picture frames - I'm not a picture person typically. I'd like to collect vases, though! Right now I have a very, very small collection. Denmark is #2 on my list. Maybe we should go together. Have fun in Montreal and Quebec! I'm so jealous!

julie said...

XZY, wow - what an amazing deal. I'd love it if I end up paying that much for my flight!

Keira, good information, thanks! I also enjoyed being able to travel to different states in a relatively short amount of time. I lived in New York, was 5 minutes from Connecticut and about 40 minutes from New Jersey.

Framed, you can come to Denmark with Book and me, if you want. Maybe that's where we should go on our Mothers N Daughters trip! Eh?

julie said...

Aly, maybe if I move to Chicago you'd want to move with me? Maybe we can convince Cassie to move with us? That would be FUN!

Madman, Powell's is almost too good to be true. I spent three hours there (not nearly enough time) and I was only in one section - one itty bitty section. It IS the fish that got away because I didn't get to explore it nearly as much as I wanted to. I like that song. Haven't heard it for awhile, though.

Tearese, if I decide to move to Seattle or Chicago, I'm calling you to get more info. Why is the weather so bad in Chicago? Its proximity to water?

julie said...

Thanks for the comments, everyone. I'm glad to get any first- or second-hand information about these cities.

In fact, do you have any suggestions of where you think would be a good place to move? I'd love to hear them!

Indy said...

I can see you in Portland

Cardine said...

Albuquerque. I hear they've got nice guys there.

julie said...

Cardine - I can't believe I forgot about Albuquerque! What was I thinking! There ARE nice guys there (though my favorite lives in Texax. whatever.) Thanks for the reminder.

The Farmer's Wife said...

My vote is for France. I was going to move there after the mission and didn't. I always wished I had! I was only going to live there for a year. Do it! What an adventure!! If you did, then I would be able to live vicariously through you. And THEN, you could blog it!! And THEN, you could write your novel while you're there. Oh! you HAVE to do it!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I thought I'd offer a quick response to Julie's Just Dreaming post (way back in June 06):

I curently live in Portland (been here 3 years), transplanted from Montreal. So, I can speak to what it's like to live in both cities. They are both great in their own, though not entirely different, ways. They are both quite beautiful cosmopolitan places where you can live an urban lifestyle. You mentioned the great variety of cuisine and the great transportation system in Portland. Well, the same is true of Montreal, perhaps even more so as it is a larger and even more cosmopolitan city. Portland is politically progressive, again, Montreal is the same way and then some.
Montreal is a multicultural hub, with citizens from all over the world. It is also a bilingual city (French and English), which makes it pretty difficult to live there if you speak absolutely no french. Portland is less culturally diverse, but not bad relative to the rest of the U.S. Many bookstores in Montreal, but nothing on the scale of Powel's. Both cities have probably hundreds of cafes, many independently owned. Montreal doesn't really shut down at night, Portland still closes relatively early.

There are several universitities and colleges in Portland, but they are not all integrated. Montreal has a network of world class universities, all networked in some way, and easy to get to through the integrated subway system (Le Metro) which has a stop devoted to each school.

I moved directly to Portland from Montreal (after having lived in the U.S. for 7 years), partly because I was struck by the simialrities and differences. Similarities, I already mentioned above, differences I like include: 1) milder year-round climate in Portland. Summers are wonderful and similarly sunny and warm in both cities. Winters in Montreal are typically brutally cold and long, but charming during xmas season if you like snow. In Portland, we had 55 days consecutive days of rain last year in the winter season--that was hard to take! So. yes it can definitely rain A LOT here.
2) people (and the vibe) in Portland are more laid back and friendly, it is a much more pleasant place to be on a day-to-day basis (in my opinion) 3) cost of living is comparable in both places.

I've also visited Seattle and Boston, both wonderful, but not as nice as being in either Portland or Montreal (in my opinion). Boston reminds me a lot of Montreal, being an older city and all. Never been to downtown Chicago, but hear it is fantastic.

If you get the opportunity, visit Montreal, and take a 2-day trip to Quebec city (just a 2.5 hour bus ride away) while there. You won't regret it!


Anonymous said...

Great post Jazzanon. I currently live in Seattle, will likely be moving to Portland this year and am somewhat obsessed with visiting Montreal sometime. While I'd been to Vancouver BC numerous times (just four hours north of Seattle) I, like many Americans hadn't given much thought to the big Northeast Canadian cities just north of our border. I saw a Canadian film titled C.R.A.Z.Y. a few years ago and something about it just captured a certain magical quality about Northwest Canada and I have been wanting to visit the area ever since.

Seattle is a nice city, the job opportunities are pretty good but on the whole I agree that Portland is superior. Better public transportation, lower cost of living, more laid back lifestyle, slightly warmer weather.