Adventureland!,  Family Dynamics,  The Sacred Arts

When it’s Plausible to Live in Two Cities

For something completely different, I am participating in Finish the Sentence Friday, because I read Katie Hall’s post, decided I wanted to write about this week’s prompt, and actually had time to do so.

 If I could live anywhere I’d live…

Okay, first of all, I’m slightly tweaking the prompt, because anyone who knows anything about me knows I want to live somewhere in France or Italy more than I want a new baby kitten or a big scoop of gelato, so that wouldn’t be a fun topic. It’s predictable. I do NOT want to be predictable.

So, I’m making a slight alteration…

If you could live anywhere in the U.S., where would you live?

Some of you may already know the answer to this one too, but most of you probably don’t. I know you’re all dying to know, so without further ado…

I would live in San Francisco. Or New York. I can’t decide on my hypothetical dream location, so I’m just going to say both, because in dreams? Completely plausible.


With San Francisco, it was love at first sight. One early morning on our way to go camping when I was a wee little girl, dad yelled through the cab of the truck to the covered truck bed where my sister and I nestled in our sleeping bags, “Girls, look! It’s San Francisco.” We poked our sleep-fuzzed heads up. It was beyond beautiful and vibrant, both characteristics missing from my hometown, yet visible here in abundance. Ever since that moment, driving through the city a billion years ago, I knew it was special. I wanted to live there; I already felt a part of it. Especially since I am a bit eccentric.

My love of New York, on the other hand, was more of a slow burn. Before I visited my friend there about five years ago, I was indifferent to the idea of the city. It kind of sounded dirty, crowded, noisy, and prone to icky weather. After my first visit I discovered that yes, while it can be all the above, it transcends all of those negative qualities with its, well, superlativeness. New York is just more of the best of everything. So I loved it, but not enough to want to live there (mostly because I am not friends with snow or any of its close relatives, like sleet or slush).  Over the years, though, as I matured and changed, the city grew on me. By the time I went there with Mike last October (see here, here, here and here), I was hooked.

These two bi-coastal cities have a few key elements in common that draw me to them, elements which I consider vital to any place I’d choose to live:

  1. Amazing food
  2. Vibrant cultural life
  3. Amazing food
  4. A significant interest in the arts
  5. Beauty

So if these two cities are so ab-fab, you ask, why haven’t I ever lived in either place? Well, these cities both have something else in common, a less appealing feature – I couldn’t afford to live in either of them. Sure, perhaps if I wasn’t all rigged up with old married-lady responsibilities I’d go live as a starving artist under the Golden Gate/Brooklyn Bridge. But I am selfless, and must think of the good of my spouse, who wouldn’t like eating out of a garbage can, even if the food did originate from Pastis or Absinthe.

And that is what makes a marriage work. Not forcing your spouse to eat from a dumpster.

Finish the Sentence Friday


  • Angie RYg

    “And that is what makes a marriage work. Not forcing your spouse to eat from a dumpster.”

    Love that! And I would absolutely love to live in France as well. Or, at least a bathtub in France!

    I have never game to New York and would love to visit, but I don’t know about me and the big city.

    Thanks for the fun photos!


  • Chris Plumb

    How bizarre. My dad used to take us on family vacations, and we would sleep in sleeping bags under the truck canopy of a Chevy Silverado. Glad to see someone else experienced this lovely, comfy, cheap, completely unsafe mode of time/space travel.

    I like both cities. If Seattle was slightly warmer it would be my dream city. As for the world, Prague. Barely touched by either World War, it is one of the few cities with architecture influenced by more than four major empires, including Gothic cathedrals and Baroque towers…history nerd alert.

    • Natalie the Singingfool

      It’s the ONLY way to travel with kids, lol.
      Seattle is on my B-list, because while I love it, I do not love quite so much rain…
      And Prague? I am SO on the same page with you! Love me some historical architecture….

  • Terrye

    I love the idea of both of those cities, but the thought of having that many people surrounding me makes my skin crawl. 🙂 When I lived in San Diego, I would wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat from nightmares about so many people around me. But the shopping and food was good. 😉 I got over a lot of those fears while living in Daytona Beach. But those places just can’t compare to your two fair cities. I’d chose Rome. 😀

  • zoe

    I would go to either but San Francisco has Berkeley which is fun too…But then again…NY….I guess I will have to go to Italy after all. Love the dumpster line!

  • winopants

    Ha, I love that last line. I’ve always had the same issue with city life, I can’t afford it! And the parking situation alone would turn me into a crazy person. Still I am wistful about all the activities I miss out on being so far away..

  • Janine Huldie

    I love the idea of being bi-coastal and being a NY girl at heart, I still would love to spend time on the west coast and San Francisco sounds amazing from your description. Thank you for linking up with us and hope you have a great weekend!! 🙂

  • Stacie

    Yeah dumpster dates don’t sound good. I lived in SF for a little over a year in my 20s. Now, I’m a 30 minute train ride away from NYC – but I don’t go nearly enough. I think you chose very wisely!!

  • clark

    …first visit to both cities was (also) as a kid, which does have a way of …*skewing* both perception and/or memories (of same). I remember the trip to SF…we (4) joined my mothers sisters family (of 6) for a leisurely drive from San Jose to San Francisco in their 1967 Plymouth station wagon… (as Steely Da would eventually sing ‘the trip we took to San Francisco is still etched upon my mind.)
    New York City was also experienced first ‘ as through a Safelite, darkly’

    Your Post has me thinking. ‘maybe I should try these two places as an adult…’

    Fun Post

    *well, a little paraphrased…

  • Kate

    It’s your “anywhere”, you can choose whatever you want. I have never been to San Francisco. I love visiting NYC but don’t think I could handle it full time. I’d stuck with your out of the country responses 🙂

  • dawn

    Thanks for linking up with #FTSF this week. What a nice tweak to the sentence for this week. I chose an island, but if I had to choose in the US, I’d go with an island in the US 🙂

  • Bee

    Am I weird that I don’t want to live anywhere else? I’ve lived in Houston and Columbus, Ohio, and they both had their pros and cons, but I just love my Chicago.

  • icescreammama

    oh.. i like your choices, since i live in new york and san fran is one of my two imaginary places to live as well! It’s such an amazing city. my other is colorado. so beautiful and clean.

  • Jen

    I agree with you on both cities being amazing places. I think I’d take SF over New York, just because it’s not quite as loudly urban. Also, the fog is pretty sweet. I don’t know what city I’d pick, but you’ve given me something to think about!

  • Jamie@SouthMainMuse

    I’ve never made it to San Francisco but I’d love to see it. I guess my dream place to live would have to have water. Or be with a comfortable drive to a large body of water — preferably an ocean. And beauty. It would have to have natural beauty. Green or desert — flat or mountains. I need nature. Fun prompt.

  • Jack

    I am a native Angeleno and have spent a sizable amount of time in San Francisco. I like the city and could see living there for a short time, but it is not on my list of priorities.

    It is too cold sometimes and the baseball team is awful, but more than that is the cost of living. It is just too much.

    I didn’t learn to like New York until I started visiting on an expense account and that is how I learned to really appreciate it.

    It is a fun city and has a lot of offer, but the weather and cost of living irk me. More than that I hate the few people I have run into who think the world lives and dies in Manhattan.

  • Melissa@Home on Deranged

    Been to NYC and would love to visit, but I think the claustrophobia would kick in at some point. I’m used to having our acre of land to roam around on. Now, San Fran, I would love to go! I know it’s pricey, but what an amazing experience. So glad you decided to join FTSF!

  • Erynn

    This is going to sound crazy, but I actually think living in New York with limited funds is easier than living in California. My husband I have been living pretty comfortably in New York for the last 5 years on our modest salaries, even saving money compared to California. For one, we don’t have to pay for car payments, insurance, gas, or maintenance. Our rent really isn’t that expensive (but we live in a 5th floor walk-up). And there are so many cheap food and entertainment options. There’s absolutely no rush to buy a home (because it’s impossible). Maybe it’s just easier to ignore reality when you’re living on this bubble of an island. There’s less pressure to keep up with the Joneses because I don’t even know what my neighbors look like…

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