I used to seriously entertain the idea of moving. This was back when I was less encumbered and traveled quite a bit. Every trip wound up as an audition for my New Hometown. Within a few days, I’d have decided which house would be mine, picked out which coffee shop I’d frequent, relished the thought of how much cheaper and easier it would be than living in New York City. The classic New York narrative is one of strivers drawn to the city by their ambition to be artists, Broadway sensations, contortionists, or what have you. I, on the other hand, live here essentially because my parents did, just as their parents did before them. Back then, it still seemed I might be able to break that chain. I came really close to moving a few times. But since having children and settling into a home in Brooklyn a block from where my father was born, I’ve pretty much given up the dream. Uprooting seems impossible, except when I visit the land of fantasy relocation.
Though my forays to this land are furtive and infrequent, I know I’m not the only visitor. Indeed, there is a whole genre of magazine feature that caters to moving-obsessed people like myself, providing lists that tell us which cities in America are offering everything in life we currently lack.