Earlier this week – like a slap in the face! – MONEY Magazine released its list of the top places to live in the country. The rankings are based on a number of factors: jobs, crime rate, education system, culture, etc.
Unfortunately, most of the towns on the list seem to be in Missouri, Minnesota or somewhere else in the middle. The 8th ranked town on MONEY’s list is Fisher, IN, for pete’s sake. Fisher’s one downside? It’s “short on charm.” Are we sure it’s in Indiana?
The chance of moving anywhere on that list isn’t incredibly likely for me, due to both the aforementioned “middle” issue and the fact that moving would require the towing along of a newborn baby. Unless we squeezed him into one of those roof units…
I’ve always lived in the Northeast, and I like it. Today I reside in New York City; Brooklyn, to be exact. To be even more exact, I live in Park Slope, a post-hipster baby-mecca that is the perfect place to start a family. Why would I move? Sure, my ability to act like a tough Brooklynite is majorly disrupted by all the baby strollers and young fathers with Baby Bjorns strapped to their chests walking past me on the sidewalk, but who am I kidding? I grew up in Connecticut! (I spent almost 15 years in Boston but it didn’t make me tougher, just more racist.)
My wife went to high school and college in North Carolina (she grew up racist!) and I’ve had occasion to visit NC fairly regularly. It definitely has some upside: moving to a warmer climate is definitely appealing, as is living cheaper. Honestly, the difference in cost-of-living between New York City and North Carolina is so absurd it makes me want to have a baby just so I can shake him to death in protest. In Raleigh I can trade my unlimited Metrocard for TEN houses. Also, the Whalers moved there!
Then again, North Carolina is in the South. It’s by no means the Deep South, but for someone who’s lived in the New England area his whole life, it’s south enough for me. I don’t even go into New Hampshire; with all the motorcycle conventions and fireworks and Republicans, it might as well be below the Mason-Dixon line.
So all that’s left is the West Coast. It’s warmer, it’s more laidback and there are a variety of areas that seem like nice places to live. It’s a real consideration. Unfortunately the MONEY list’s top ten contains only one West Coast town: Bellevue, WA. I definitely enjoyed Seattle during my one visit there, but when I think West Coast, rain and forests aren’t the first things that come to mind.
Of course, none of this matters, because even if I wanted to move, my wife has an atom bomb in her stomach that is set to explode all over my life and make it unfeasible for us to move anywhere but closer to our families. It’s my parents first grandkid, and though right now they can barely be bothered to make a 90-minute trek to Brooklyn, if I take the baby to Cali, the closest thing he’ll have to a grandfather is the guy who’ll be filling my medical marijuana prescription.
Besides, we have to stick around, if only for the free babysitters we’ll need a few times a month. By which I mean every weekend.
Gotta get my drink on.