Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Is geography destiny?

From the comments in Megan McArdle:

It is totally unsurprising that ground zero for the locavore and electric car movements is northern California, where you can find anything you want, from cacti to chunks of glacial ice, within a couple of hundred miles. And where the climate is such that electric cars don't face battery-killing subzero nights, don't need to run big heater loads during winter driving, and don't require big air conditioner loads half the year.

and from Penelope Trunk:

When I moved from LA to NYC, I was horrified at the lack of yoga studios in NY. Yoga was already huge in LA, but not yet in NY. I was also scared that New Yorkers were always a little bedraggled, and I had just spent ten years learning how to look perfect everywhere I went in LA. It’s fun. It’s fun to have no weather and no fat and no rushing in LA. It’s fun to get a day off from work to prepare for watching the Oscars. I grew up in Illinois, but I got used to living in LA.

The panic about New York was unnecessary, though. After ten years of living in NYC, when I imagined leaving, I thought I could never leave because the cultural opportunities are so amazing. The expertise people have in NYC is so vast and varied and I thought I’d never get that anywhere else.

When I left NYC I didn’t care about looking perfect everywhere I went. I didn’t care about the kind of car I drove. I was a New Yorker.

I have been thinking about this issue after visiting Northern California for the first time last week. Like Seattle, it seems to be an exceedingly pleasant place to live and seemed to be very walkable. But it lacks the freezing winters of the mid-west and the stifling summers of the south-east. Maybe it is just easier to live an environmentally friendly lifestyle there?

So I wonder just how important geography really is determining lifestyle? I am not sure but maybe the answer is that it is a lot more important than I might have previously thought.

No comments:

Post a Comment