One question I am asked a lot when people find out I came here knowing no one is why here. I mean, why here? I usually give some smartass answer like “I just closed my eyes, held my credit card to my forehead and here I am!” and the person laughs, and we move on. It wasn’t accidental how I landed here, though. It was the result of research. Herewith, my formula of livable parameters:
1. It had to be on the East coast. While I love the town of White Rock B.C. all over again every time I watch the TV show Psych, my entire family is on this coast, and here I shall stay. Moving out of the country is transition enough, and least I can stay one hour within the time zone, and even some of the weather (a dubious benefit, perhaps, but it makes for a great opener for calls to my parents).
2. There had to be a university nearby. This was my husband’s stipulation. He works. in a University now, and likes the environment and career prospects for his line of work (IT). NB: my husband didn’t actually accompany me on this journey.
3. There had to be good public transportation. This was also M’s requirement. He currently drives to a carpool lot, then rides a bus to the university. In the summer, he bikes from the carpool lot, which brings us to
4. Bike paths, and lots of them! We have been taking our bikes on vacation, and it has added a really fun dimension to our travels.
5. A ‘green’ community. Massachusetts is relatively progressive on environmental issues, and we like the direction a lifestyle less dependent on fossil fuels.
6. Quality of life issues. How does one determine this? This was in the late ’90s, before the onslaught of ‘best places to live’ surveys. so we asked our friends. One friend in particular, gave us some great advice. ‘You should look for gay-friendly communities, because it’s likely they have everything you want.’ He was right. I’m straight, but I’m not narrow, and people who accept gays are simply better people to have as neighbours.