I don't think that there's a day that goes by that I'm not thinking about that portion of the country for one reason or another. All I have to do is watch the news and there is something that brings them up. These days, it's the news of Hurricane Irene wreaking havoc over there. There's just always soemthign that keeps that side of the country fresh in my mind whether I want it to be or not. Whether it's good news or bad. Which prompted me to shoot out a quick entry about one midwesterners thoughts about that particular region.
First of all, I should clarify when I refer to it as a "region". I'm really not referring to the entire East coast. I have friends that are being affected by the hurricane as far south as the Carolinas. Naturally I know that they are also considered part of the East coast. However, I am referring to that particular area which normally gets the most attention. That would be the larger metropolitan cities over there such as New York and D.C. Well...really New York in particular.
I sure would like to know what those folks over there did to piss off Mother Nature. I would say God since we all know that He controls the elements and not this mythical Mother Nature, but I didn't want to sound blasphemous. Still, it seems like they can't catch a break in the weather department. And it's ALL. YEAR. ROUND. They get hammered with snow storms in the winter, heat waves in the summer and now hurricanes as we approach fall. They just can't catch a break. I used to think it was bad dealing with this midwest weather until I kept seeing what they had to contend with.
Then I see in the news that they're starting to have even bigger problem with their rats. It's bad enough that there's a rat problem in the first place. Just that alone is nasty. But when they make news because the rats are getting bigger? Yeah...that about makes my stomach turn. It makes me wonder what kind of money an exterminator in that area makes. Whatever it is would be worth it. And I don't mean the ones with the cushy jobs that get called out to the rich folks' homes to spray for spiders and such monthly. I mean the ones that are brave enough to take on those rats head on.
There is also the whole cost of living problem that has been there for the longest. It is not cheap to live in that region at all. A cheap apartment (which will probably involve the aforementioned rat problem) cost as much as what we pay for mortgage payments here. If you want to drive somewhere you have to worry about outrageous parking garage fees (if you can even find a spot to park) plus the steep gas to put in your tank. Or you could just take a cab and go broke from trip that only takes you a few miles.
Even with all this, I continually see things that make it seem like living over there would be the ultimate party. Look at shows like "Friends" and "Seinfeld" where they always give the appearance big city life is full of neverending laughs and excitement around every corner. Shows like that and "King of Queens" consistently depict the lighthearted side that makes you want to live there. Of course I know it's not going to be that rosy, I'm just saying that they do a good job of making it seem that way.
The reality is I definitely wouldn't mind visiting for extended time periods if I had the time and/or resources to do so. I'm sure anyone who grew up in that region has a strong enough affinity for it to endorse it as the place to be. However, having grown up in areas where I have never had to deal with some of those East coast problems, I'm not in any hurry to make the East coast a permanent home. I'll stick to watching the shows about it and imagining how it could be.