Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Tagged - part 5

Places I’ve Lived

[1] New York City is home to me. After living here for 6 months, I went to see “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” – a good laugh. Many of the outdoor scenes were filmed in Chicago and I saw that and thought very casually, that’s where I’m from. I did hold any emotional attachment as it being home. It was bizarre as I’ve traveled the world telling people my home is Chicago and in 6 months, it was no longer. It is New York. I must add it is amazing how place plays a factor. I lived in the Chicago suburbs for years as I always got the best job offers there. For as much as I wanted to be in the city, I wouldn’t do the commute and just decided to make my own way and be me and blah, blah, blah. Stunning how being in the environment that is New York was perfect; I no longer felt as though I was fighting my surroundings but moving in step with them. Awesome!

[2] Chantilly, France. I posted earlier that it still feels like home. It was a wonderful year. CP was also an exchange student there two years prior to me.

[3] Orleans, France. The city is proud of its savior Joan of Arc. I did my sophomore year at the Université d’Orléans (Molière studied there). A good experience – I really got my French fluency down and I met some wonderful people.

[4] Glasgow, Scotland. I attended Strathclyde University and received my Master of Finance. A nice place, I’m still in touch with some friends there. (Today was a big day as one of the soccer teams was in the UEFA cup tournament.) I have plenty of stories to tell but I’ll save those for when we meet up. I must say it was bizarre that the shortest day of the year, the sun rose at 9 am and set at 3 pm. Summertime, I left the pub at 10 pm and the sun’s glow was still on the horizon.

[5] Bilbao, Spain. After finishing my Master’s I went to Spain and had a great time. The neat story here is that I worked for the engineering company that built the Guggenheim Museum designed by Frank Gehry. I left before construction, but I was the one who translated the firm’s bid into English.

[6] Rio de Janeiro. The last major stop on my sabbatical in 2000-2001, I lived for 6 months in Copacabana only three blocks from the beach. I have been told that the three greatest parties in the world are Carnival, Oktoberfest, and San Fermín (Pampolona). Well, I was at San Fermín when living in Spain (and I ran with the bulls) and it is a great party – incredible! Carnival is ten times better…truly amazing and beyond words. I was there for New Year’s, Carnival and Easter – an experience like none other.

I’ve skipped the towns were I grew up… Naperville, Illinois and Lima, Ohio. If you’re interested, google them. Last time I was there was for my sister’s wedding and I stayed with a friend. Gretchen has a nice home with a yard and was telling me all about home ownership. I explained that for me, I have two back yards: Riverside Park which is has the Hudson River, the famous George Washington Bridge and the Little Red Lighthouse, Grant's Tomb (guess who is buried there?), a trapeze school, a beautiful recreational port, the aircraft carrier US Nimitz, and people like Justin Timberlake film their videos there like Dick in a Box. Meanwhile, Central Park hosts amazing artistic triumphs like The Gates and every summer there are concerts typically with a headliner like Billy Joel. Billy Joel isn’t playing in no backyard in Naperville. And I don’t have to mow the lawn.

Honorable mentions

[a] Buenos Aires, Argentina. My brother now lives there; he married a Porteña, so it is clearly a sentimental favorite. But I was there first. Ahh, I love Argentina. I also fell in love there. I could tango forever...

[b] Caesarea, Israel – a great experience doing nautical archeology.

[c] Moscow, Russia – a little mission work way back when. I didn’t stay long but I’d have to say St. Petersburg was better. I was ecstatic to visit the Hermitage! Stunning!

[d] Mexico City – great city, great people and as they say, “Like Mexico, there is no other.”

[e] San Diego, California. My best friends live there and I go there a lot. I love it. But I must admit, if my friends were not living there, it would not make the list. It is making its way as a big city and cultural center but it’s not there yet.


Coaster Punchman said...

Holy crap, I knew you'd lived a lot of places but I didn't think about how many it actually was.

G and I are thinking of vacationing in Buenos Aires later this year - we'll have to talk with you about that.

JeSais said...

you better get Albuquerque on your list... that's where I'll be next!

Dale said...

I wish I'd lived in as many interesting places, wow!

A lot of the '...Greek Wedding' scenes were filmed here in Toronto as well. I wondered why it was even necessary to identify a setting as it had so little bearing on the story.