Every place I’ve ever lived in as an adult I took to instantly. Which is not to say that I didn’t look at a dozen places before each lease. But that feeling when you walk into a room and light up? That’s home. I know what home feels like. Ironic, coming from a military latchkey kid who never had a permanent address.
I have that here on the Farmcoast. I had it in Chicago. I have it every time in Paris. Not so much in Buenos Aires. Nor Seattle, Pisa, Barcelona or San Diego. (And I was born there.) Not in any other neighborhood in metro Boston besides where I live in Brookline. Nosara, nope. New York, hell no. Anse Marcel in Saint Martin… well, it’s French and tropical, what do you think?
Is it instinct or expectation? For instance, I came here feeling a little anxiety about moving out to the middle of nowhere in the dead of winter. Low expectations yielded a pleasant surprise.
Conversely, before my five-week trip to Argentina, I was giddy with the idea of living in the “Paris of the South,” but I actually found Buenos Aires leaving much to be desired. High expectations resulted in let down. Paris, France, however, breaks the mold. I loved it in 1994. I love it in 2015. My three-month sabbatical there in 2005 began as desperately romantic and ended heartbreakingly bittersweet. But it’s Paris. She in a category of of her own. Continue reading →