September 12, 2008
things i miss about grand rapids.
1) being around people who have known me for years.
2) pita house.
3) proximity to lake michigan.
4) g-rad, nest, the daac, the uica, and the whole community of people that surrounds all that.
5) terrain that is mostly flat and therefore easily bikeable. (biking in a mountain town requires more physical capability than i can even dream of.)
6) riverside park.
7) cheap rent and no tourists.
8) coffee shops where you can smoke inside. (oh, morningstar! common ground! kava house! damn non-smoking laws in asheville!)
9) the farmer's market.
10) gaia cookies.
things i don't miss:
1) too much snow for too long.
2) the price of cigarettes. (mine were $7.50 there, here they're $4.20.)
3) not much of a radical community to speak of. (asheville is kind of a punk/anarchist hotbed.)
so, the thing i'm getting at is that even though i love it down here, i've been getting homesick for grand rapids lately. i can't afford to come visit, because it's expensive to live here and hard to find jobs, so i'm barely scraping together rent each month. hopefully i'll be back for christmas, but who knows?
i'm thinking of y'all.
March 4, 2008
moving to asheville.
my dreams have finally been fulfilled: i'm moving to asheville!
a month ago, a friend and i found the perfect apartment. three bedrooms, hardwood floors, clawfoot tub, gas stove, front porch and back balcony that span the entire house, with the most amazing view of the mountains. the top floor of an almost-all female punk house where three of our friends live downstairs, right on the edge of downtown, with an empty lot next door turned into an enormous garden. we found a third person to live with us, who was moving down from new york, and we were ready.
then it was taken by some women who had looked at it before, and we were heartbroken.
but while i was out there this past week, we found out that the women had backed out, because it's not done being remodeled yet, and they needed somewhere to live immediately. the original friend who had planned on moving in had already found a place, but i took rae (the new yorker) to look at it. she loved it, so we signed a lease and paid the deposit. but we still needed to find a third person.
the next night, i went bowling with one of the women who lives in the lower level of the house, and met her friend courtney. the first thing she said when i got in the car was, "so, i hear you might need a roommate?" she turned out to be absolutely wonderful, an anarcha-feminist vegan who loves to cook and is super pumped about our idea to have a weekly craft night. we talked to her for a while, and told her: definitely. you can move in.
so over the course of 36 hours, everything came together perfectly. we got the apartment and then found a wonderful housemate to join us. the apartment will be ready sometime in the beginning of april, and we all have places to stay until then.
we're going to put a little table on the back balcony, the one with the view of the mountains, where we can sit with our typewriters (we all have one), drinking tea and smoking cigarettes. we're going to have a housewarming tea party with vegan finger sandwiches and mini vegan cupcakes when we move in.
i'm finally moving to asheville, the only city i've ever been to where i knew immediately: this is home. i belong here.
January 2, 2008
travels of time and space
now that i'm back in raleigh, michigan feels like a strange, sugar-induced dream.
has anyone else ever felt that way? to leave somewhere, make a very satisfactory new life elsewhere, and then return to the first place? it's unsettling. i can't keep things straight in my mind. someone asked if i'd ever been to mojo's (the piano bar) and i said, "oh, the burger place?" i kept comparing things in my head - common ground is like cup a joe, whereas four friends is like third place. i would be sitting in my parents' family room and think, "i want to read that book," and go upstairs only to remember that my books were all in raleigh.
and now that i'm back, everything is unsettled again, thrown back into this life that i was used to, feeling strangely as if i had never left. granted, i was gone for less than two weeks, but those two weeks felt like a long time while they were happening. now i walk into the house and people are cooking dinner, some random kid is sleeping on our couch, attila's building a fire in the fireplace. i simultaneously feel like i never left, and like i've been gone for months.
i can't keep going back. it confuses me too much.
June 14, 2007
a good weekend to be home
i didn't realize until i got into town that this saturday is the bizarre bazaar, and the earthworks festival. i'm excited. i've already eaten at gaia and pita house (i have yet to find anywhere in the world with comparable falafel) and little africa is in my near future. even though grand rapids loves its drama, it's still good to be back.
June 10, 2007
next stop, asheville
i went to asheville this weekend and had a fucking rad time. met so many amazing people, hung out with old friends, had a blast. i love that city so much. i think i'm going to move there when i'm done with my year of americorps.
and even if i can't find a decent job there, the vista position at warren wilson will be available next july. so i could just do another year of americorps... except instead of a tiny women's school in raleigh, i could do it at the most badass hippie college in the south.