Monday, July 21, 2008

A little weird

This Ponderosa-filled town is weird. All towns are weird but this one seems particularly paradoxical. It's in the mountains but it's in the desert so it's hot with both the desert and sun so close but cool with the elevation and the monsoons. It's a small town but it appears to be transportation central--planes, trains and cars galore. It's pretty difficult to travel through because of all the other modes of transportation and other cars in your way. It's full of super rich people because people buy their summer homes here to escape the desert but super poor because there's no real industry except for the University to support those who live here year round. A summertime economy does not a middle-class make. There's a lot of chain stores and some cute boutiques but not so many locally-owned mid-sized shops. There lots of people here with fancy kitchens but no gourmet store. There are a lot of wine and beer shops but no real bakeries or deli's, at least as far as I've discovered. I'm still on the hunt for deliciousness and the farmer's market has been great. Tomatoes already!

The mountains are spectacular--we watch the sunset from the porch every night and the trails behind the house are lined with Indian Paintbrush and Lupine and little yellow flowers and Rabbit Brush and, of course, Ponderosas.

It's really beautiful, a little noisy, and the downtown area is full of cuteness. On Saturday night, we went downtown and ate good sushi. Z ate her edamame with chopsticks!

As long as we have access to some good fish, wine and beer, and fun places to walk, I think we're pretty happy.--except for the part when we actually might need to go back to work. I've already begun constructing lectures in my head. Lectures with the words "discipline" and "what is the point anyway" in them. Perhaps I'll take one more week to work on my own stuff before I start thinking of ways to torture my new students.


Middlebrow said...

We look forward to our visit!

I, too, am constructing lectures in my head for the fall. Maybe we can swap lectures? Make less work for the both of us. Let's just all agree to limit our lecturing to 10 or so texts.

P said...

Lecturing before bed, lectures in the wee sunlight morning hours. yes, the downhill slant of summer means making lessons. I can hear your hands clap as you say "discipline". I can't wait to enjoy a walk, food, and wine as we watch the sunset in your new mountain view.

Lisa B. said...

I like this pool of lectures idea.

Also, aren't western towns interesting, just as you describe them--anomalous and incomplete (at least in some sense) but full of their own charm and meaning, yet to be fully discovered.

But the lack of a good bakery seems to me to be a great tragedy of many American towns. Places you'd think would have good bakeries don't, and you could pine away for lack of a good loaf of crusty bread or a croissant.