Living in a New City

by Skimming

I haven't lived in a new city since 1999. What happened in 1999?

  • Amadou Diallo was shot and killed by 4 NYPD officers who fired off 41 shots, thinking Diallo was reaching for a gun when all it was was a wallet.
  • The Columbine High School massacre was perpetrated by two white teenagers, killing 12 students and 1 teacher.
  • Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace was released in theaters.
  • Napster, that amazing music downloading site, was launched.
  • Cell phones were just starting to become more common. In fact, I didn't have one yet– not for another few months after I moved to Boston.
  • Y2K!!!!

Living in a new city requires all sorts of adjustments. The big adjustments are obvious– new (or rediscovered) friends and social circles, new home, new job, new time zone.

The little adjustments are the interesting things. Where to shop for groceries. Where to do your laundry (if not in your home). What are the shortcuts to get to different places. Where do you get a good pizza delivery when you don't feel like cooking? Or good Chinese take out? When is traffic especially bad on the highways where you should just stay off the roads or take alternate routes? Where's Costco? Where's the cheapest gas station?

I've been happily discovering little treasures in the month and a half that I've been in Berkeley/ East Bay.

There's a nice clean laundromat down the street from where I live where I can do big loads of laundry and get free wi-fi! I did a few huge loads of linens and things when I first moved. Quite efficient.

I've been looking for somewhere to compost my food scraps because our landlord doesn't have a green waste bin. It gives me such pain to throw away the food scraps because I know they'll just take up space in a landfill. It's the same kind of pain I get when I see people throw away or recycle paper that has printing on one side. Come on, people, you can save that paper to use as scrap! Use both sides before sending it off to be recycled! Anyone who has ever worked with me or been my friend knows I'm quite fanatical about scrap paper use.

So I found a community garden about a mile from where I live that has chickens which love food scraps! I'm hoping to give them my scraps every week. I'm also hoping to volunteer there regularly to get more experience with gardening and maybe get some free produce! It's called Spiral Gardens. I hope to share more on the goings-on there soon.

I've mentioned before the wonders of Berkeley Bowl and Monterey Market, where I get all my produce and groceries. It's nice to have amazing markets close by so I don't have to stock my refrigerator so full. I don't think I could ever tire of having such a resource at my fingertips!

I'm still trying to find my good eats around town, not only the special-occasion restaurants but a few reliable go-tos that I can depend on when I'm just wanting a good meal.

I've kept up with my running, after letting my ankle heal. It's a fun way to explore a 2-ish mile radius around where I live. I'm now working my way back up to the 5K and then hope to continue up to 10K! I think I'll be back up to 5K in another few weeks. I just never thought I would be running like this– and enjoying it, too.

So far, then, so good.