May 26, 2010

Loving Louisville - A Case For Small Cities Everywhere

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I'm finally awakening from a long blogging slumber. Real life, however, has been far from restful, however exciting. Back in February H and I found out we're expecting our first child - much more on that later - we're very excited, to say the least. Then at the end of March we picked up our lives and moved from Los Angeles to Louisville, KY.

Whenever we told anyone about our plan, the first question we always got was a simple - why? There are really so many answers to that question. So here are a few...

The Obvious -

Our best friends live here and within a few hours drive of here. H's parent's are just across the river (they have a pool! and like to feed us) and my family is a half day's car ride, easy enough for weekend jaunts.

The Big Picture -

LA gets a bad wrap, but it grew on us and ended up feeling like home. It will always be the place where H and I started our lives together and that's special. But we had some goals for the long term that we couldn't see happening there. They all stem from our need to live more sustainably. We want to own a home, exponentially easier to do in the Ville. Homes in LA are outrageously priced and it would take a big down payment and some serious pay hikes to afford a mortgage there.

We want a decent size yard - room for a vegetable garden and maybe some urban chickens (popular here). H has aspirations to create big things - large sculpture and furniture, so a garage or shed, even a basement would be awesome. These are things we couldn't see ourselves accomplishing while apartment living.

While resources need to be conserved the world around, we couldn't justify living in an over-populated city that didn't have enough resources, namely water, to support us.

The Connection

I was longing for a greater connection, and I don't mean in a skipping the line on a Saturday night at the club kind of way. We have friends and acquaintances here who are doing amazing things. I can count on two hands how many of our friends own their own businesses and are working towards making this community stronger and shaping it into one they want to live in. H and I plan on joining these ranks eventually, but I already feel a connection to this place, the community and the world around me by just being a part of it all.

The Unexpected

What we didn't expect was to be so busy. This city is truly a happening place. In the 2 months we've been here we've attended a variety show, a play, 2 movie premiers (Carbon Nation & Typeface - find both however you can), a fireworks show more intense than any I've ever experienced, an art fair and some truly amazing restaurants. There is so much going on all the time, we haven't had one free weekend. It's fantastic!

I really haven't missed Los Angeles even once. So here's to Louisville and all it's charm and culture. It's a perfect hybrid of big city and an affordable, liveable neighborhood. I'm so happy to be here.