Why Howard County?
Someone asked me why we chose / like living in Howard County.
And it made me wonder why…..
Recently a friend (a Brit) said to me that living in our area (Columbia, MD) was like living in a bubble, that it’s not real America. I sort of agree, and sort of disagree. The thing about being British here is that you, of course, spend time with members of the British community, which means that you aren’t necessarily experiencing real America.
And that’s the dichotomy we are in. I would like to spend my time finding out about what it’s like to live ‘as an American’, to do American things, taste American food and live in an American way. The problem is that in some respects we are tourists, so we also need to fulfill our desire to engage in the tourism bits and bobs that appeal to us. That said, when we lived in London we spent the first couple of months doing the open top bus tours, going to Madam Tussaud’s etc etc and it meant that we got to see a whole load of fun stuff and got to know London, but then that’s not the real ‘living’ London. So I guess it works both ways. (It’s a good job I am not a lawyer as I don’t really present a very convincing argument either way).
Anyhow, why Howard County? It is on the east side, which means that it is an 8 hour flight back to and from the UK. This is a huge bonus for living here.
It is also very family orientated. There are parks and all sorts (and the McDonalds has a play area – top banana!)
It is clean, and open, with a mix of town and country. A good mix, a healthy mix. It is diverse in its community. I like that a lot. At first I didn’t think it was, but I came to realise that it has a fabulous ethnic mix and I’m meeting people from all walks of life – this pleases me very much. It is also a brilliant time for my son to be experiencing this – it is a good, good thing.
What we love a lot, a lot is that it is near to cities and the sea. Forty minutes and we’re at a beach, tasting the sea air. Twenty five minutes and I’m in cultural heaven at Fells Point in Baltimore. An hour to Washington (give or take the ruddy traffic on the I95) to make you feel all brave and patriotic, historical and noble.
So, maybe it is a bubble after all. There is little crime to speak of, little visible abject poverty in the areas that I am in day to day. I’ve never yet felt threatened. People are friendly. The post is delivered. The roads are maintained. The houses are all immaculate. The man cuts our lawn and blows our leaves away……OH MY GOD! I am a frigging DESPERATE HOUSEWIFE!!!
Honestly, Howard County is pretty ace, though. And I will explore it more.
I’ve been asked, also, to explain food porn, having tweeted about ‘outrageous food porn’ at The Cheesecake Factory last night.
My definition of food porn is this:
– portions so big they make your eyes water, or
– food that is indecent to look at, let alone put in your mouth.
That is food porn 🙂
I live in Chicago, which could also be described as a bubble because although it’s typical America, many people don’t live in cities, they live in the burbs. Its such a huge place here that there’s not really a “typical” America.
Your place sounds great. Am looking at moving further east, around the DC area, although given this recent hurricane, I’m a little apprehensive.
Oooh, we’d be close! It is lovely here – I wonder when the bubble will burst….!
Growing up in hoco I completely understand and love the bubble lifestyle. It’s lovely being nestled between major cities with so much to do, but having neighbors you can trust and always feeling safe. Check out harpers ferry, WV it’s just an hour away and it’s full of history, charm, BBQ, and beautiful scenery.
I love that word ‘nestled’; yes, we are nestled and safe. Beautiful and charming it has been so far 🙂 I will check it all out!
“The thing about being British here is that you, of course, spend time with members of the British community, which means that you aren’t necessarily experiencing real America” Depends – I have maybe two british friends here so it is different in Baltimore I think. you will meet more yanks as you go on! Food porn is anything at the Cheesecake Factory.
All the reasons I love this area!
Try Annapolis and St. Michael’s in Maryland. Both rather quaint and worth your time. Avoid both during the high season (summer). Aim for the Spring when the snow has melted. St. Michael’s has a very nice wine festival in the spring also. The US Naval Academy is in Annapolis and going to a football game there (or even lacrosse) would be a very American thing. They also have regattas. YMMV.
Wow, thanks for this. Always good to get first hand advice!