Saturday, January 20, 2007

where you belong

I just watched Mystery, Alaska and it got me to thinking about people who stay home to live and those who move away.

(Yes it is a hockey movie and yes of all things this is what I got from it. Deal.)

Growing up outside of Detroit in suburbia I always felt just a little out of place. Don't get me wrong, I ended up meeting some amazing people, making friends and carving out a place to belong. But from the first moment I came to New York I knew I had found home.

People who move away from home are in the minority. I have never seen an official study of how many people stay in the area in which they were raised. Surely it varies by location. Does the percentage remain the same from small town to major metropolis?

But I digress. In moving to NYC I always knew I would make friends, I'm not a wilting violet and seek out social interaction. Interestingly enough the people I spend the most of my time with (RFW and Spaghetti) are both New York natives. They both were raised in New Jersey and now liver here, RFW in Astoria and Spaghetti in Union Square. Of the rest of the Peteys four are natives, and two from the Midwest. As Bacon is soon to move away, that leaves La La La and myself as the transplants.

It just seems interesting to me that I don't have more close friends who have shared the same experience of moving here from somewhere else. Or does that speak even more to the idea that I feel at home here that I relate to people for whom this is their real home? Or to the fact that 75% of the people that I have met who moved here from another location have left?

On the trip to Memphis I noticed an interesting reaction to our being from New York. RFW has commented on how us transplants try so hard to live in Manhattan instead of the other burrows. For gods sake I worked full time at the mighty bird plus five nights a week at the restaurant when I first moved here. All so I could pay an unreal amount of money for a tiny space on this island.

Granted living on the island holds a certain esteem. To people in New York living in Manhattan is about money or connections – having one or the other. You get a nod, but that is about it. But outside of this city it is a whole other ball game.

While on Beale we met A LOT of people. Gotta say they are friendly in the south. Inevitably we would be asked where we were from, and we would respond New York. At that point people would always want the drill down, "The city?" RFW and Gerf both live in queens, I live in Manhattan. They got practically no props at all but I got the raised eyebrows. Living on the island gives you that extra admiration.

But we know this, moving to the city from other states and countries. I know that if I moved here and lived in queens or Brooklyn I would not get as much credit for living here as I should. There is that much extra esteem that I and my family back home gets for me paying that little extra rent. So as much as I moved to this region for my sanity, I pay the extra rent to prove to the people I left behind that I chose a “better” place.

What is that about pride and falling somewhere? Ah well.

p.s. I totally just made ten bucks while I wrote this. Fresh Direct is two hours late so I got a store credit. My time is worth more, but really they only held be back from the gym for a half hour. Go go gadget late delivery!

No comments: