Friday, January 12, 2007

Location, location, location

Beach on Long Beach Island, originally uploaded by seat_5a.

One of the things I love about where I live is where I live. Its pretty obvious that I've never lived near an ocean, much less on an island, so I (nerdily) still get excited when I think about the fact that I live on an island.

The island is only 9 square miles, but its 18 miles long. So that means you are never more than half a mile from a beach...pretty cool. I sort of feel like I don't take advantage of being so close to the beach enough, but it IS winter. Expect more this summer! Its amazing how dark it is, I can see lots of stars and constellations.

I like looking to see the lights of Atlantic City, which you can see right as you get off the causeway bridge (you can see it from the bridge but the "string of pearls" lights on the side sometimes make it hard to see.) Its the only source of light pollution you can see.

The island is also equidistant from both NYC and Philadelphia, about 1.5 to 2 hours each, which is amazing to me. Back home in Minnesota, the only thing we could drive to within 2-3 hours is Duluth, St. Cloud, Rochester and Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Those aren't major towns, but as major as it gets! Chicago is about 6-8 hours away.

Since I've moved, I've been to NYC twice since I moved here and Philly...a lot more! It's a little easier to drive to Philadelphia--and once you get there its easier to park! Somehow, NYC always feels farther, probably because, while it takes the same amount of time to get there, it always takes longer to get to your destination, whether its for finding parking or taking an extra train, etc.

I'm excited to learn more about both of these cities as I live here and hope I take lots of time to go to both places. They have so much to offer! I mean, I don't have to elaborate on NYC (though it would take living there for a decade to take advantage of all of NYC, and even then you wouldn't do it all), but I really like Philadelphia. It's a city made up of neighborhoods, and very easy to navigate...though the narrow roads themselves can be difficult.

I finally did the tourist thing in both cities--I went to see the tree in Rockefeller Center during Christmas, something I've always wanted to do since my Baby-Sitters Club books talked about it! It was gorgeous...but unfortunately I was really rushed that evening seeing the tree, so I don't feel like I got to enjoy it. Oh well, next year!
Then the week after Christmas, my dad, brother and I went to see Liberty Bell and some of the historical buildings around there.

We couldn't get tickets to see Independence Hall, but we did stumble upon The Portrait Gallery in the Second Bank Building. After cracking a few jokes about being the Second Bank, we went inside. Inside are portraits of historical figures. I found it fascinating because when I read about history, I don't care what happened, I am more interested in the people behind what happened. How they lived, what they wore, what they did when they weren't creating history (which was rarely.) The portraits come with plaques that give that kind of information and talk about the relationship between all the people in the gallery.

That's my kind of history.

Lots more trips to both cities are planned in the future! I often things about what I might have missed doing in Minnesota (though I feel I did do a lot of stuff there!) and I'm going to try not to have that feeling living out here!


Dylan said...

Dude, when the polar icecaps melt, you're totally screwed, living on an island like that.

Shruti on the Shore said...

I was actually thinking about that this morning because its been so warm lately...luckily I'm just renting for now, not like I own this place...