Making lists energizes me. I get a rush each time I come up with a new item for my list. I can’t rest until my list is complete. Then once it is, I’m pacified and relaxed. I can’t help thinking my body must crave list making because it’s so much like a street drug. Addictive. I get up. I get down. And need to continue the cycle.
The best way to explain my dirty little habit is to list the lists I keep on an ongoing basis: To Do (daily, weekly, and rainy day versions), Gift Ideas, My Wish List, Places I Want to Travel, Restaurants I Want to Try, Music I Love, Movies I Love, Names for a Pug (Baby was earlier), Stocks I Should Buy, Photographers I Love, and the list goes on.
50. arctic monkeys – whatever people say i am, that’s what i’m not
49. xx – studio album
48. the shins -oh, invented world
47. the strokes – is this it
46. blitzen trapper – wild mountain nation
45. black eyed peas – the end
44. the postal service – give up
43. grizzly bear – veckatimest
42. interpol – antics
41. rogue wave – asleep at heaven’s gate
40. kings of leon – because of the times
39. editors – an end has a start
38. lucinda williams – world without tears
37. sonic youth – rather ripped
36. sonic youth – the eternal
35. shout out louds – our ill wills
34. sigur ros – hvarf-heim
33. sigur ros – takk
32. interpol – turn on the bright lights
31. frightened rabbit – the midnight organ fight
30. pinback – autumn in seraphs
29. clap your hands say yeah – clap your hands say yeah
28. thurston moore – trees outside of the academy
27. raconteurs – broken boy soldiers
26. dresden dolls – yes, Virginia
25. avril lavigne – let go
24. freelance whales – weathervanes
23. fanfarlo – reservoir
22. modest mouse – good news for people who love bad news
21. hold steady – boys and girls in america
20. regina spektor – us
19. rogue wave – descended like vultures
18.lucinda williams – essence
17. yo la tengo – prisoner of love
16. wilco – ghost is born
15. the walkmen – hundred miles off
14. okkervil river – black sheep boy
13. red hot chili peppers – by the way
12. my morning jacket –z
11. flaming lips – yoshimi battles the pink robots
10. coldplay – parachutes
9. pete yorn – music for the morning after
8. sigur ros – ( )
7. the national – the national
6. the national – boxer
5. the national – cherry tree
4. the national – sad songs for dirty lovers
3. wilco – yankee hotel foxtrot
2. radiohead – kid a
1. the national – alligator
I love cities. I work and play in the city (Philadelphia). But I live in the burbs. I still may live in the city someday, but not a city in the Northeast because I hate the extreme cold in the winter. I’d have to have a place to summer. Maybe San Fran or Austin though. I chose to live in the burbs to raise a child. Not that there’s anything wrong with raising a child in the city. It’s just easier in the burbs and private school tuition isn’t necessary.
Many of my friends and coworkers live in the city. Sometimes I am hulk-green with envy. Then I get one of those snide comments about suburban dwelling and become defensive. You know the comments I’m talking about:
“I couldn’t live in the burbs. Everything’s vanilla.”
“It’s all the same no matter what town you’re in.”
“You have to drive everywhere. I’d miss walking to a restaurant or pub.”
“ There are no indie places, just chain stores and restaurants.”
Oh yeah? Like Philadelphia is absent of Chili’s, The Olive Garden, Applebee’s, Ruby Tuesday’s, Starbucks, Papa Johns, Manhattan Bagel, The Gap, Banana Republic, Express, Victoria’s Secret, and Williams & Sonoma? In the burbs, there are plenty of Indie places. A few of my local faves include:
Cous Cous- Moroccan cuisine and hookah lounge in Cherry Hill, NJ. Lots of pillows and the best mango smoke this side of the world. Plus the weekend DJ plays some tripped out house that just makes your shisha head feel like you’re dancing like a sugarplum fairy.
Myung Ga - Korean restaurant in Cherry Hill, NJ that even invented the Koagie[TM], a Korean hoagie. I heart the Chicken Dolsot that comes in a piping hot stone bowl and if you leave the rice on the bottom undisturbed it caramelizes and forms a crispy crunchy rice cake sorta thing.
Melange Cafe - Louisiana cuisine with a touch of italian thrown in. Who needs Emeril’s or K Paul’s when you have Chef Joe Brown in the hood. The best gumbo, jambalaya, and red beans and rice are really found in Cherry Hill.
Grooveground - Totally rad coffee shop/art gallery/music venue/gift shop in Collingswood, NJ. Spend a weekend morning or weekend evening here. Arresting ambiance. Great Bean. Good vibes. (PS: if you live in Collingswood, you can walk to Grooveground and all of your favorite stores and restaurants. Just like in the city.)
Joeys Boutique - Clothes, jewelry and accessories for chicks who rock. Very Cali. In fact, the merchandise is like the stuff worn by Karen on Californication but found here in Marlton, NJ. So hip they don’t have a website yet, but I’m linking to a couple reviews.
Moore Brothers Wine Company- Unbelievable selection of Euro wines. All hand chosen by the owners. The incredibly grape-savvy staff are eager to help and don’t oversell. Moore Bros. even lets you set up your own wine portfolio so you can track what you’ve bought and liked. But my favorite place on their website is ”BYOB.” It gives you a list of Philly BYOBs and the wines they recommend you take with (for those like me who dig playing in the city).
Speaking of shopping for food and wine … guess where some of my snootiest city friends buy their groceries and spirits. They pay the $4 toll to cross the Ben Franklin Bridge in their Zipcar just to come to our Wegmans, Whole Foods, Total Wine, and Moore Brothers. Face it, state stores suck and we have plenty of parking.
City living is the coolest; I would never knock it. Just don’t cop an attitude about the burbs. It’s not all that ticky tacky.