Living Upstate

First things first: I’m kind of loving my new city. I say this with only slight hesitation so as not to jinx myself. And this love despite the population tripling over the last week for the annual Traverse City Cherry Festival. I wondered how different it would feel to live somewhere a bit (or a lot) slower than L.A. It’s different but in good ways. Some random things that I’m really loving goes something like this:

1. The “traffic.” Or lack thereof. For me, not having to drive on a freeway (or 3) to get to work is immensely satisfying. Of course it helps that I’m driving what was referred to last week by a co-worker as a “sweet ride.” She is sweet indeed.

2. The grocery shopping. I’ve been going to a smaller food co-op because thankfully, there is no Wholefoods around here. This is a joy–even if they don’t have everything I used to get. I realized that some things I used to buy for no real reason. Parsnips, for example, aren’t really in season right now. I’m getting to be cool with that. Especially because the corn is so damn good here.

3. The people. They are damn friendly here and actually use niceties like “excuse me” and “thank you.” Not so much in L.A. Most of the time people acted like they were in the airport. Not good. Some people I’ve met have given me their phone number just in case I have questions or need help finding something in town.

4. The weather. What?!? You’re now thinking I’ve gone off the deep end. But seriously. I haven’t had real summer since I was in Traverse City for a week last year. L.A. weather near the beach has been dismal and grey for the last year and a half. Finally I’m not freezing my ass off at night. Summer here is glorious.

5. The water. Again. I know. Total weirdo. But the drinking water here is downright delicious. And guess what? My hair does not regularly look like a fright wig due to hard water. It is actually–what for it!–soft. My hair is soft, people. It has been years!

6. The house rental. Ok, I admit it. The house is ginormous. But we can have the entire family (and probably a few of their friends) come up for a weekend or even a week and there is enough room to not go insane and actually enjoy the company because I still have my own space (and bathroom). And because the house is so big, it’s a freakin’ workout to clean the bitch. I was sweating like a hog today but the experience was very gratifying. I know you know what I mean.

7. The walk-in closet. That’s right. There is an enormous closet in our bedroom and I’m in love. I took a picture but the damn thing won’t download so you’ll just have to imagine. And the thing is filled up already. Which is actually good because according to the locals, if you really want to shop, you have to go “down state.” This is a phrase I have heard about 50 times in the last week and for some reason I think it’s hilarious. I made it my mission to use the phrase multiple times last week just for fun and to feel like I live here (“My parents live down state.”).

8. The beer. Oh no. This may become problematic. So they have this beer called Dragon’s Milk that is made in Michigan. I think I like it better than my Old Rasputin. And guess what? The Milk is $8 while the Rasputin is like $22 a bottle. Deliciousness for a deal? Yes, please!

9. The protein. I know, it usually comes down to food for me. I just can’t help it. But there are a few markets that sell local meat and in-house tofu that is ridiculous. I’m not a big meat eater at all but give me a farm fresh egg any day of the week and I’m a pig in shit. They also have buffalo, venison, fresh caught whitefish, farm fresh chicken and the tofu. My god, the tofu. While I’m raving about the food, I’m going to have to add that we actually found a kimchi that we like. I bought 3 jars of it yesterday. The cashier must think I’m a nut. A very stinky nut.

10. The air. Back to basics but definitely important. The air here is soft and fresh. Not like the air in L.A. that comes with a side of jet fuel and construction dust. It makes me think of Better Off Dead–do you know the street value of this stuff?

What do you love about your town?




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9 responses to “Living Upstate

  1. In-house tofu?? I didn’t even know there was such a thing–now I want it! The new place sounds amazing–SO GLAD you’re loving it! It all sounds like positive changes (and I love smaller-city folk, much nicer than city people!). Although, I can go for year-round parsnips, season or no 🙂

    And I love that I live within minutes of a big city yet am in a neighborhood with trees and backyards. And I love the weather here–winters, but short ones, and long HOT summers. I love my hot weather!

  2. I wish I could eat tofu, but alas, soy intolerance is not a pretty thing 😉 However, I’m so happy you updated! I was wondering how you survived Cherry Festival, and it sounds as if you’re thriving. But I have to say I’m a bit partial to us Michiganders!

    My one caution–remember this post about the weather when it’s mid-February…;)

    • Oh I’m fully aware that I’m in the honeymoon phase. I’m sure I will feel like a bitchy caged up animal come February. But that’s what vacations are for, right? It’s going to be rough though….

      Boo for soy intolerance.

  3. I’m glad the midwest is treating you good 🙂

    I love my small town and it has a Whole Foods!!! I love the cheap living in Indiana too. It’s common to have a 4 bedroom, 3 bedroom house and 2 cars plus a fun car!! 🙂

  4. Okay, so I am so jealous.
    Your new home/area sounds amazing.
    I live in a pretty “big” city, and people here never say “please” or “thank you” and the only ones who offer you their phone number on the street are people selling vacuum cleaners and creepy men with an eye patch. It sounds funny, but I totally get you on the “soft water” thing.

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