It's a Wide World to Close Off

She'd sit and listen for him to form himself through words

From other places other towns

Blessed Feathers

Last weekend, I made pilgrimage to Williamsburg, Brooklyn to see the neighborhood where a quarter of my favorite bands reside. I was sipping a three-dollar coffee in an ethically sourced, chalkboard menu, communal tables kind of café. I’m in my last semester at Pitt, so whenever I visit another city I ask myself - could I live here? Could I fit in with the tattooed, MacBook-bearing patrons of this coffeehouse? Do Brooklyn programmers only write their web applications in Go with NoSQL datastores?

Crowded, dirty, and expensive it may be, but NYC is special. You are surrounded by people trying to make it: artists, street vendors, tech freelancers. You can’t help but hustle when everyone around you is hustling. Would I be missing out by not moving to a “global city” like NYC, San Francisco, or Berlin after graduation?

I’ve come to love Pittsburgh though. I can mostly walk, bus and bike myself where I need to go. Pittsburgh’s theaters, concert venues, and art galleries pump out more culture than I can absorb in a lifetime. The people are nice. The tech scene is solid. What seals it for me is that I can pay $450 a month to rent my little townhouse. And it’s a block away from a theater that’s showing Godard’s Weekend this Wednesday.

I don’t think New York would be a good fit for me, but I can see myself as a Chicagoan. I like the mixture of NYC hustle and Midwestern humility. Visiting New York reminded me of the bits of Chicago I admire. Maybe I admire Chicago enough to leave Pittsburgh.