We made our shortest city transfer ever this week, driving 35 miles from San Pedro to Irvine, CA. The hassle of packing up our entire apartment, and unpacking it again, really made me question whether it would have been better to stay someplace halfway in between. And our arrival in Irvine - aka the land of "soul-crushing suburban sprawl" - has not made me feel any better about the move.
Although San Pedro was nothing to get excited about, we did have the fortune of a beautiful spacious apartment there, with expansive views over the harbor. Our apartment here in Irvine feels, by comparison, closed-in, dark, crowded. The dark-brown wall-to-wall carpet isn't helping.
So far, the best thing I can tell about our new home is that all of the families are living together. We love this! The worst thing, as far as I can tell, is the city of Irvine. I came across this gem from the Atlantic magazine, which explains this place nicely.
(NERD.i.stan) n. An upscale and largely self-contained suburb or town with a large population of high-tech workers employed in nearby office parks that are dominated by high-tech industries; any large collection of nerds. Also: Nerdistan.
South Orange County is a classic nerdistan — largely newly built, almost entirely upscale office parks, connected by a network of toll roads and superhighways to planned, often gated communities inhabited almost entirely by college educated professionals and technicians.
—Joel Kotkin, "Avoiding Excesses Has Buoyed L.A.'s Tech Sector," Los Angeles Business Journal, August 20, 2001
The area also reminds us tremendously of San Jose, another "nerdistan". So, it's going to be one of these kinds of cities... a severe test of my energy and resilience. As always, the strategy is simple: look for the good.