Location, Location, Location!

Sunset at Ocean Beach, San Diego

Sunset at Ocean Beach, San Diego

Sometimes, it really is all about location…

For example, I am currently sitting in a 24 hour coffee shop in lovely San Diego with my friend Joy.  I’m drinking a lovely cup of coffee (with chocolate and hazelnut), listening to Les Jumeaux, and have just finished downloading and installing Open Office on my lap top again.  Maybe now I’ll stop making excuses and do some of the “actual writing” I’ve been threatening to do for so long…

San Diego is a nice change from Vegas.  Don’t get me wrong, I DO love living in Las Vegas.  But there are times that I feel like I’m living on another planet instead of just another city.

Las Vegas is the City of Sin.  Neon lights!  Fake breasts!  Drug addicts smoking meth out of a coke can on the sidewalk next to your favorite karaoke bar!  Wait…(yes, that is a true story…I’ll tell it some day.)

It saddens me sometimes that I live in such a place where culture is SO absent.  And that statement shouldn’t make sense.  People move to Las Vegas from ALL over the WORLD!  We should have so much culture we don’t know what to do with it.  Perhaps that is the problem…no one knows what to do with the culture that we do have.

I miss museums.  I miss Art Institutes…REAL art galleries…not a gallery I have to be in or near a casino to enjoy.  I miss all the cute little indie shops that I used to frequent back home in Chicago.

Walking downtown today with Joy really brought that to the front of my mind, although its something that I really have been thinking a lot about recently.

We strolled along the sandy beach, sat and talked and ate cheesecake…I even went in the ocean and got splashed…but AFTER that, we walked around all the little shops and just browsed around a bit.  There is so much in the way of artistic culture here…just walking down the beach, there were people making jewelry, singing songs, playing guitars…there were bunches of awesome record stores, tattoo parlors and hippie shops…I feel as though I’ve traveled back to a familiar place…a place that feels a bit more like home than Vegas does.

When I lived in Chicago, I took all of the amazing cultural things for granted.  I didn’t ever really appreciate the fact that The Field Museum was only an hour train ride and a short walk away.  I forgot that the Art Institute was available for me, whenever I was bored and had “NOTHING to DO in this STUPID STATE!!!!”  (I’m pretty sure I was about 14 years old when that statement happened.)

Now that I live in a place that is devoid of any significant displays of artistic culture, I feel whole again when I am able to experience a community where it thrives.

Looking around the coffee shop, hearing the barista calling out “ARCTIC POLAR BEAR!” I am very impressed by the display of art on the walls, the welcoming decor, and most of all, the many varied “types” of people that are here.

We have a large table of people in their late 30s, early 40s sitting around a low table chatting.  There are  college students of assorted ages sitting around with their notebooks and laptop computers doing homework or studying for finals…Punks, Goths, girls all dressed up for a night on the town…and it seems that everyone gets along just fine with everyone else.

I’ve said 10 times in the last day and a half that I would love to move here.  Part of this is not a true statement, as I love Vegas: most of my family is there, and many of the people who matter the most to me are there as well.

But I definitely think That I want to start visiting places like this more often…San Diego, L.A., Phoenix…and when I can, Chicago.

If I can start introducing more culture and art back into my life (and I don’t mean to exclude the Belly Dance community here, but that is not exactly the culture/art that I’m longing for right now.) then I believe that I will feel much happier, more at peace, and much more content.

It could also be that I’m just exhausted and rambling, riding high on the awesome emotions brought on by taking a road trip for the first time in 4 years BY MYSELF, and spending time with amazing people.

At any rate, I’m really enjoying myself here, and am not anxious to leave, although it will be good to be home tomorrow night.

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