In sixteen years of married life, Quinn and I have managed to get away without our children maybe four times. When it happens, it’s through the enormous good graces and generosity of some family member or friend or other, and always, we’re left wide-eyed and grinning at our good luck. We’re free! Can you believe it? (Disclaimer: This doesn’t mean … Read More
Do houses matter more than towns?
A lot of people make the mistake of confusing houses with places. We think that once we find a really affordable house, or a beautiful one, or one that we can finally squeeze all our kids and dogs and stuff into, that nothing else really matters. It doesn’t matter where that house is. Only the house itself is important. I’ve … Read More
I Would Live There: Roanoke, Virginia, edition
When people from, say, New York City ask me where I live, and I tell them “Blacksburg, Virginia,” sometimes I’ll add, by way of clarification, “Our nearest big city is Roanoke.” Then they sigh with relief and say, “Oh, I know where that is.” But they don’t. They hear “Roanoke” and their brains waddle to the mental card catalog and pull out “Roanoke, Lost … Read More
The problem of residential FOMO
While the Internet crawls with rankings of big cities, apparently fewer of us care about smallish towns. But the New York Times has got your back. In an August 21, 2014, Op-Talk piece, they reprint small-town rankings from Conde Nast Traveler, Fodor’s, Livability.com, Nerdwallet, Family Circle, and Smithsonian, with these conclusions: Indiana is surprisingly livable! The Golden State, predictably, cleaned up. New Mexico: … Read More
The best town ever. No, seriously.
Outside isn’t the only magazine that puts out an annual list of great places to live. But it’s the only one that creates a March Madness-style bracket of 64 American towns and goads the public into voting on them. In just about a month in spring 2014, 1.5 million votes were cast. That’s flabbergasting. This isn’t picking your favorite American Idol diva. You … Read More
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