Sunday, May 4, 2008

On My Mind: What Makes a Home?

In light of the stated mission of this blog, I was wondering. Is there a checklist of things that make a city feel like home? I thought about other cities I've called home and what made them so and came up with this little list. What do you think?
  • Knowing where to find what you need--whatever it is--a good massage, a great formal gown, low-priced cheeses, vintage records, party favors... [great finds]
  • An intimate knowledge of your neighborhood and a working knowledge of other parts of the city [street-by-street, cool spaces]
  • Knowing how to get around most efficiently. In LA, this meant knowing what freeways got you from point A to B most quickly; in NYC, it's knowing what subway lines get you from point A to B most quickly, with the fewest transfers, or avoiding crowds. [stuff i've learned]
  • Food--a handful of places where the staff recognize you when you show up; a few gems no one knows about but you (or so it seems) [great finds]
  • Friendly faces, friends and a sense of community...b/c if no one in the entire city cares if you live or die, you're no better off than the woman who dies and gets eaten by her cats [people]
  • A house or apartment you like living in. Can you really feel at home in a city if you're living in digs you can't stand? If you dread going home, the city can't feel like home. [cool spaces]
  • Having coping strategies--how to minimize your exposure to bad weather, how to avoid crowds, how to avoid traffic, when to show up to X theater to get good seats for movie opening this weekend, when and where to buy tix for Y festival before all seats are sold out. [stuff i've learned]
  • An appreciation of the quirky, unique facets of the city's culture [have you noticed...?, only in new york, gotta love it]
I figure now that I have a list, I can systematically work towards making this city feel like home. You'll notice I'm using subheaders to introduce some of my posts. I'll use them so you know when I'm covering these various "home requirements"--like Street-by-Street (a detailed walking exploration of neighborhoods), Great Find, People, Cool Spaces (architecture, real estate, urban landscape), Nature in the City, Happenings...I fully expect my definition of "home" will evolve with time, experience and your input, but I'm excited to see where this little experiment takes us. Until next time...


pib50:2 said...

This was a good read... I was just pondering the same thought recently.
I've moved so much in my life time that I've always connected home to be my hometown of Hawaii and where I am with my husband... it's true when they say... home is where the heart is.
My heart longs for Hawaii and is at peace and filled with comfort with my husband.

The Girl Next Door said...

Wouldn't it be great to have both?

pib50:2 said...

yes, Yes, YES!!!!