I’m not quite sure if there is one word to describe it, so here are a few: sunny (a given), laid back (fer sure), challenging to connect to people (individuality reigns), too expensive (what else is new in L.A.), creative (c’mon, Hollywood is just a stone’s throw), surprising (actually met and taught people who like Reiki), congested (traffic is worse I’ve ever experienced anywhere in the world), noisy (look back a few blogs at my description of the apartment we lived in), organic (ate more fresh fruit and vegetables than I ever have in my life), spontaneous (on any given day you have the pick of hundreds of artistic events), and finally, a point I might have mentioned early on going into this experience, which is why I’m so happy to return to Seattle, a lack of folksy or quirky.
The Pacific Northwest is a subculture of the US. It’s distinct and refreshing, at least to me, that has many quirks, folkiness, inventiveness, etc. I have yet to encounter in other parts of this great country.
Soothing balm for the soul is the series Portlandia, if you haven’t seen it, you can download on Netflix. It’s about a couple and their assorted friends going about life in Portland, OR. I’d love to see a Seattle take on this, of course, but the gist of the culture is really well done.
L.A. is just too vast a megalopolis to have anything quite that unique. So, I’ve got my preferences. The people I did connect with here would always comment that I’ve got that ‘Northwest vibe’, which is quite a compliment, considering my roots first began on the opposite side of this country in New Jersey. It’s there too, but like so many people who have migrated to the West Coast, we integrate it.
I look forward to the snow covered mountains, evergreens, real coffee, not having to dress to go out, wearing fleece, walking along the shores of the Sound, actually having conversations with people in supermarkets, cafes, on the street, having cars stop for you when you cross the street, going to art events that aren’t prestigious but absolutely one-of-a-kind, delving back into Reiki community, hanging out with my neighbors (does that even happen in L.A.?), letting my cats run around outside (and not be in danger of getting run over by a garbage truck), walking in the rain, smelling the freshness of the forest and finally, eating my favorite bowl of Pho.
As they say, no place like home.