Back On The Block

Greetings from Burlingame, CA.

Finally finished moving from the Big City to the Suburbs. Well, mostly finished; still have to hang pictures and do some other odds and ends. Not only did we survive the move, I am still married to the Free Will Wife, and the Free Will Daughter did not disappear into a cloud of Styrofoam peanuts. So it's good news all around.

My new residence is in Burlingame, CA, a classic bedroom community outside San Francisco. It's a relatively old town, as far as these things go; lots of old looking buildings and magnificent trees, very little of the "subdivisions & office parks" look of many American suburbs. The Free Will Mother grew up in San Mateo and Hillsborough, which are next to Burlingame*, (and the Free Will Grandmother, of course, lived there for decades), so there's definitely a "back to the future" element to all of this.

What does it mean now that I have traded my urban hipster cred for suburban respectability? Well, I think I will have to broaden my blogging horizons a bit. I've had fun with the identity of a "San Francisco Republican" but will have to move on from that. It's hard to imagine writing about SF issues because, frankly, they will no longer directly affect me. Like everyone else, I will have to write about SF from the position of an outsider looking in.

On the other hand, I feel like, having left San Francisco, I have finally moved to California. SF really is a world of its own. While it may have plenty of "diversity" in the sexual/racial sense, there's very little diversity of thought. Out here in les Provences, there's still plenty of opportunity to meet whiny liberals - hey, my new Congressman is (gag) Jackie Spier - you can also meet more conservative types. Judging by the yardsigns in my new neighborhood, for example, it looks like everyone is gearing up to oppose the construction of the High Speed Rail. Sign me up!

Mostly, this move has reinforced how all those cliches about having children will "change you" are true. This move was prompted, in part, to get the Free Will Daughter out of the City and into a safer, quieter environment. It was also prompted by the fact that just having a kid in the City can be inconvenient, whether you're talking about carrying a child up three flights of stairs or having to walk long blocks to do your shopping or leaving the City entirely to do something as simple as visit Target. That's the benefit of the 'burbs: things are simpler out here.

Of course, if the Free Will Daughter is at all like her dad, she will find suburbia to be dull as dirt by the time she's 18 and light out for the Big City the first chance she gets. Somewhere Harry Chapin will be smiling ruefully.

*actually, there's some question as to whether I live in Burlingame or Hillsborough. UPS thinks it's the latter. No complaint from me, as Hillsborough is one of the ritziest addresses in the Bay Area.

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