“Dear Ms. Mix,
So it seems we live in the same city. I don’t know about you, but my husband and I are HATING it here! Everyone is so uptight and conservative. We’re both in our twenties, but we feel as if we’re surrounded by either stupid frat kids or old farts. We would move, but my husband’s company sponsor his work visa (he’s from England), and he needs to stay there for another year and a half. I don’t think we’re going to make it here staying that long. Help!”
Dear DCeased (by the way, that’s funny),
Well, I can’t proclaim to be an expert at many things, but moving to an area and trying to make it home happens to be one of my specialties. My husband and I have moved across the country FIVE times over the last eight or so years – and that’s not including all the “little” moves within those places. So I really get where you are coming from on this one.
I myself have only been in the DC area for just over a year, and it has taken me that long to like it. It is stuffy and conservative on the surface. No doubt. However, like most American conservatives – on the surface it’s all family-values-touting and Christian coalition crap – only to find out that these same people like to, let’s say, fuck horses in their spare time. My point is, NOTHING is ever as it seems – especially in DC.
Assuming you’re not part of the Equus-loving crowd, here’s my top five to make almost ANYWHERE feel like home:
5. Check out www.meetup.com – a site where you can find a group in your area for any interest. Even fellow Britons trying to tough it out here – like your hubby.
4. Start your own group and post it on www.craigslist.org. Don’t get me started on craigslist, because I’ll never shut up about it. I love it that much. I have found exercise buddies, home furnishings, jewelry, and yes, groups for any interest – all right there. It started in San Francisco – and for those who read this blog often, you know I think anything that’s created in San Francisco is automatically superior. Well, except for The Gap. Sorry.
3. Frequent the areas in DC known for arts and culture and some freaky fun. Example? Dupont Circle. Great independent bookstores and ethnic restaurants – plus the largest concentration of gays and lesbians in the city. And where there’s gay people, there’s forward-thinking hipsters and appreciating market value.
2. Attend – or even better, volunteer – at The Capitol Fringe Festival – this summer. This is where the city’s most eclectic, quirky and fabulous showcase their latest theater work. The web address is www.capfringe.org It’s only in its second year, but everyone I know affiliated with it is uber intelligent and creative.
1. Attend local readings through independent bookstores or sign up for lectures of interest through The Learning Annex. Again, the idea is to get out of your house and hopefully hook up with people with similar interests.
O.k., so you’re getting out there and meeting people. Now remember, don’t try so hard. The best friendships are organically grown. That is, you can’t push, prod or bully someone into being your friend. If you hit it off with someone (or you both link up with a cool couple – and I don’t mean in a 70s key party way) then casually suggest getting together some other time at the end of the event, and ask for an email or number. Yep, it’s just like courting. You do almost the same dance but with your clothes on.
Last thing – you attract what you are – no matter where you live. Good luck…
And here’s a mix to see you through….
1. “Loneliest Girl in the World,” Cary Brothers. [Waiting for Your Letter]
2. “Aint Got No – I Got Life,” Nina Simone. [Nina Simone Anthology]
3. “Can’t Get Out What I’m Into,” Liz Phair. [Somebody’s Miracle]
4. “Freedom Hangs Like Heaven,” Iron & Wine. [Woman King]
5. “Hill of Our Home,” Psapp. [The Only Thing I’ve Ever Wanted]
6. “I Understand It,” Idlewild. [Warnings/Promises]
7. “In Love with a View,” Mojave 3. [Excuses for Travellers]
8. “Killing Time,” MoZella. [I Will]
9. “Move,” Miles Davis. [Birth of the Cool]
10. “Washington DC,” Gil Scott Heron. [Tour de Force (Live)]