When getting my hair cut, I usually engage in slightly awkward small talk with the stylist to avoid the even more awkward 20 minute silence. Invariably, the conversation shifts to where I’m from (which I now wonder whether this is a result of me talking about myself a little too much):
“Originally from L.A., did my undergrad in the bay area, up near San Francisco. Did grad school in Michigan, and got a job out here”
Every time, this answer generates some form of the following: Wow. You left LA to come out here? I answer with the truth, which is career, relationship, and family based. I joined the Redpoint Studios team to start out my engineering career on the mechanical side of product development and industrial design. The location was also key in that it is a short drive to my girlfriend, and a short flight to my sister, who both also moved out to the “least” coast as my friends back on the “best” coast like to call it. My California friends will ask me how New Hampshire is, with the tone of “are you surviving?”.
For the most part, both sides making these comments have never been to the other state, which puts me in the somewhat unique position of offering a view of New Hampshire from someone who grew up almost as far across the country as you could possibly go from here. After these first few months, I have a few observations to offer. To keep from hurting the millions of readers, I’ll alternate between positive and negative views.
- I haven’t met a mean person yet, which is further backed by Manchester being ranked as the #2 happiest city in the nation (behind an understandable Honolulu)
- Los Angeles is notorious for having bad drivers. They seem angelic (pun intended), however, compared to those in the New England area
- The colors of autumn. They speak for themselves
- Sadly, Mexican food. Growing up in Southern California, we had our pick of great Mexican food whenever we wanted. For some reason, this is impossible to find here, as well as in the rest of the east coast
- Boston! The architecture, the bars, the college vibe within historical city, the public transportation
- Proximity and number of mountains for snowboarding (I literally live 5 minutes from one)
- Beautiful drives between New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Windy roads, rolling hills
- The number of weather induced potholes
- Without snow in SoCal, winter trips to mountains to stay in log cabins and ski/snowboard were exciting, as if I were transported into a completely different world. With snow everywhere in Manchester (I guess not this year, but you get the idea), the magic is diminished
- Apparently, the summers are supposed to be beautiful. This will be my first summer, so I’m looking forward to it with high expectations
- The Live Free or Die motto. From what I’ve learned, it is the idea that you are allowed to do what you want to (within the law), and I am allowed to do what I want to. Regardless of religion, sexual preference, ideals, etc., as long as the state economy is improving and laws that effect everyone equally are just, to each their own.
So far, so good. I’m looking forward to getting involved in the community and learning to love this state.