Community, Culture, travel

Find Myself a City to Live In

As I was scrounging around in my Scrivener archive today, I found this piece I wrote eons ago, in April 2018, as I was gearing up for the Heart of America tour. I’m not sure why I didn’t post it then. It seems even more relevant now that I’m back and have had six months to process everything that happened on that momentous road trip. So, I’m posting it now. Enjoy! JL

Returning to Nevada City in March, after wintering in Baja, was such a joy. I arrived over Easter weekend during a spell of lovely spring weather, reveled in the smell of the pine trees, and threw myself into revisiting local places I loved:

  • I swam laps at the saltwater pool at South Yuba Club. I hit downtown for the First Friday Art Walk, where I  stopped into the Alexander Gallery to catch up with gallery owner and friend, Franceska, and made a new friend, Jane C., who is creating a local impact center for women entrepreneurs. How cool is that?
  • Through Jane, I discovered a new internet cafe/digital nomad workspace, Break Caffe; the folks at this super dog-friendly space fell immediately in love with Fiona (of course) and took her picture on the spot, proclaiming her Dog of the Week.
  • I went to the historic Nevada Theater for a screening of a local documentary and a few days later saw “Isle of Dogs” at the fabulously redesigned Onyx Theater. I drank local wine and ate delicious earthy appetizers at Three Forks Bakery and Brewing Company (not super gluten free friendly, but I made it work).
  • I popped into not one but two independent bookstores, Harmony Books and The Book Seller, and wandered up and down Broad Street, visiting Abstrakt, my favorite apparel store, and Kit Kit Dizzi, one of those funky artsy stores that defy description.
  • My visit to the Sierra Family Clinic, where my new primary care physician is located, took me nearly 40 minutes outside of town but took me past the Yuba River. Just to stand on the bridge and watch the water crash and roil over those giant rocks…. ahhhh. Heavenly.

And that’s just the handful of spaces and events I was actually able to attend. There is so much more going on that I didn’t have time or energy to explore. No wonder Nevada City topped Sunset Magazine‘s 2017 Best Places to Live list!

So why the heck am I taking off on a tour of the US, in search of the perfect place to live?

Some of it is that I’m hard-wired with a grass is always greener mindset. This goes way back to my childhood and, though I believe absolutely in the wonders of neuroplasticity, I don’t think that is going to change.

But the really big thing is this: within a few weeks of my return to Nevada City, there was a snowstorm. In the middle of April. Though there wasn’t a lot of snow on the ground, the snow arrived with a damp and raw chill, the kind that settles in my bones, makes my muscles clench. The kind that just won’t let me get warm.

This is a deal breaker for me.


So, at the very top of  my Perfect-Place-To-Live wishlist is a congenial climate for this lizard body I live in.

But that’s just top of the list. Also important to me: small-ish big town or very small city. Walkable and/or bikeable with plenty of green space and outdoor opportunities.  Multiple water features would be nice – ocean, river, lake, plus a kickass public lap pool. A float center. Local produce and a foodie scene. Cultural diversity and diverse cultural offerings. A vibrant art scene, a selection of great cafes filled with writers and digital nomads, a movie theater, indie bookstore(s), a public library and museum(s). A functional medicine mindset, with plenty of Bodywork and alternative and functional medicine. Yoga. Dance. Music.

Writing this down makes me feel bourgeois AF. But the heart wants what the heart wants.

I want a place to call home.

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