Charlottesville, Va. is a beautiful town. We have been here a little less than 72 hours. There is a downtown pedestrian mall with ice cream parlors, a specialty tea store, bookstores, cafes, and other businesses. Today we hiked on the Rivana River Trail through Riverview Park, a delightful place with oaks, maples, cardinals, blue jays, turtles in the water, butterflies, dragonflies, and flowers of all colors. Neighborhoods here are very nice, many with porches where people hang out and socialize.
Sunday night we attended a potluck for a group called the Appalachian Trails Club. Nice, eclectic folks with a passion for exploration. Last night, we went to a vigil on the pedestrian mall for the victims of the massacre in Orlando. About 500 people were there, much of the local LGBT community and their allies. There were passionate speeches, and we walked up the mall quietly with candles. A very moving event indeed.
We are also finding that rents are higher than we realized, and salaries lower. We do not want to work forever but we would probably need to until we were established. This is the experience of people who have no concern with the American Dream, who just want simple, quiet lives without luxurious trappings, community, a feeling of usefulness and fun, closeness to nature, and inexpensive travel experiences. This is becoming a harder and harder lifestyle to keep in todays USA.
It makes no sense to me that the “needs” of people who live for super affluence and luxury become the frame of reference. It would be fair if we who are satisfied with simplicity could be left alone to live that way. Again, this is a first world problem, many people feel the negative impact of globalization far more powerfully than we do. But it is a reality. It very much goes along with the question I asked in the last post: what does it mean to be a bio-regionalist, someone who deeply connects with a place in the chaos of today’s economy? Displacement is real.
Another thing is that we just saw an exhibit of photos of Yosemite and realized how much we will miss it if we move here. But it is also easy to miss the east when we are in the west. This is another issue and problem, I am sure I will come back to it.
Good evening all.