Thursday, April 18, 2013

learning to like things

In all honesty I'm never going to love the city we live in. But it has jobs, for both of us - career work for him, work-work for me - and it has family and it's affordable to live here. It's boring, and culture is non-existent. There's almost no diversity, and perhaps because of that it tends to bring out the worst in stereotypical ignorance. It's a hard city to like, for me.

For all of that, though, I'm trying. I have to try because otherwise I'll just be sucked into a terrible pit of hating where I live for perhaps the rest of my life and that's just depressing. I'm trying to come up with activities to do here, things that we can get involved in and places we can go for fun.

In the summer we have a beautiful beachfront (although really? don't get into that water, please) that's made for strolling along. Lovely long walks can be had there, and there's the cutest little ice cream shop by the marina that has a killer rainbow sherbert.

Typical suburban charm also leads to some pretty intense garage sales in the summer. There aren't always the same treasures that you might find in the snazzy downtown Toronto neighbourhoods, but there are some hidden gems and once we hit Victoria Day you can't take an early morning drive on the weekend without running into at least five. The typical suburban attitude also means that the hipster styles of the city haven't become all the rage here yet, so we can find some amazing shabby chic thing at a bargain. The nearby, small town antiques barns (literally, in barns) are quite similar, and haven't been infiltrated by designer pricing yet. Antique wood chests at $300? Still painful to spend that much ... but in Toronto that would easily be double.

The Thai place here is quickly becoming "our" restaurant, although it makes me sad that their pad thai flat out sucks. Everything else on the menu is great and the tom yum soup is flat out phenomenal. Classy d├ęcor and amazing food designed to be shared? Yeah I'll take that.

Bunny and I are also looking at all the various physical opportunities. While we're not willing to shell out the money to get into skiing at this point (seriously, skiing and snowboarding are about all you can do here most of the year) we're talking about buying day passes and renting out some gear next year. Or maybe hitting the tubing hills, which can also be quite fun. We're taking a look to see if there are gyms we can stomach the price of - I'd love to do yoga classes, and we both feel out of shape. Maybe we'd even take up rock climbing if we could find a place.

I've been offered a chance to devote some of my sewing time to a theatre company a coworker volunteers at. I'm not sure if I'm interested, but we'll see.

Then there's the fact that Bunny's teaching me how to drive. For real. I even had my first lesson last weekend and managed not to stall out the truck.

There's also the quilting store in one of the towns nearby that I'm maybe a little bit in love with. Love it love it love it. Fabrics and threads and patterns and thimbles (thumb thimbles!) oh my.

How do you find things to love where you live? Have you ever tried to find things to love in a place that you're not fond of? How'd you go about it?


  1. I know what you mean, I don't think I'm ever going to be in love with NYC either. Which is interesting because here we have the things you seem to be lacking where you live. Still it's a hard city for me to like. It's tough, but I think that no matter where we live we can always find some pretty cool things to enjoy.

    1. It's amazing how person where we want to live can be. My husband really enjoys a lot of the things I dislike about where we are now, and was really sick of a lot of things I loved about Toronto.

  2. Do you, by any chance, like in a place that starts with an H and work for a major media company that starts with an S? Because one of my best friends moved from Calgary to H with S. And I'm not a big fan of his wife, who forced the move, basically by holding their child hostage. But the laughing is because the 3 years in Calgary, she did nothing but bitch about our lack of culture, and then moved to H! Ha!

    And Calgary? You have to be a tool to not find something to do. You could watch a dozen plays a month, and fill up every single other night with live music. There's a festival every single weekend from April-Sept. There's the usual shopping malls and funky boutique neighbourhood and great rec centres and a world class library system and you're an hour out of the mountains and you can go tubing in the river in the summer and cross country skiing on the city golf courses in the winter. I could go on. I grew up here, and I love it. It's not like, the most awesome city ever, and the traffic sucks, but it's a pretty damn great place to live.

    There's lots to do, anywhere you are. It's just a matter of looking until you find what you enjoy.

    1. Good guess, but no. If I'm thinking of the same H city as you are, it's about five times the size of where I live now. Which is half of my problem, I think. It's just too small to have any city atmosphere or amenities, but too big to have the small town charms and it's located a little awkwardly in comparison to the rest of the province.

      I've been spoiled. When I was in Toronto anything I might possibly want was an arms reach or a subway ride away and just so easily accessible.

  3. I try to find parks, libraries, museum expositions (but that is what seems to lack over there :( ... ). In general just getting out, finding activities, classes, making myself busy in one way or another. Finding out the history of the place, think visiting it as if you were a tourist, what are the sights, who settled there before,e tc....
    And try to find the spots that are special to you and your particular story / life(like that thai place). Or figure out if there are places you could easily explore on weekend trips ?

    1. Yeah the culture is ... lacking, here. Or if not entirely lacking it's very buried and doesn't necessarily fit my ideals. I've been trying to suss out what classes and programs I could get more involved in here without breaking my (admittedly small) budget.

      I've got a lot of years of hating this city to get past, which definitely colours my vision and makes it hard. I don't know that I'll ever really like it here but since its where I'm at I'm putting a lot of effort into trying to find some comfortable grounding.