As some of you may already know, my family and I will soon be leaving our beloved city of Philadelphia. It is hard to believe, but I have spent the last fifteen years of my life in this fine city, the longest that I have lived anywhere in my life. The first half of my time here in Philly I spent in graduate school and then writing my dissertation (which, in my opinion, is an incredible waste of time and a practice that is close to being no longer relevant, at least in the eduction field).
The second half of my time here has been defined by my two boys, both of whom were born here, and this little blog. Back when I started The Drunken Cyclist, I really had no idea what I was doing and to a certain extent, I still don’t. I enjoyed writing, though (as long as it was not a dissertation), and wine seemed like a natural fit for me.
As I continued to publish (this is my 984th post), I started garnering a few followers and I began to meet a host of really fantastic people in the wine industry. I really had no expectations when I started, so it would be disingenuous to state that this blog has exceeded any, but I honestly am amazed that there are as many people out there reading as apparently there are.
And for that I am eternally grateful.
So here I am, preparing to move from an area to which I have grown joyfully accustomed to a region and city that was no where close to the top of the list of those cities where I would choose to move “when I grew up.” Even though I have another 7-8 months here in Philadelphia, I am already mentally saying goodbye and preparing for a big change.
There are a bevy of reasons that I love Philly: being on the East Coast, close to both D.C. and New York, but in a much more affordable town, living in perhaps the historically most important city in the country, our own little neighborhood, and of course all the great friends we have made over the past decade and a half.
One of my favorite songs of all time, even before I lived here:
Then there is the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board—the state owned monopoly on all wine sales and shipments.
In an odd way, I am going to miss that as well. No, I will not miss their pathetic selection, their ridiculous markup, nor their inept employees. Nor will I miss the fact that they do not allow any (legal) direct shipments of wine into the state (many producers will not even send me samples).
I am going to miss railing on them, however.
I guess I will find a new preferred punching bag, but the PLCB epitomizes pretty much everything that is wrong with the wine industry in this country, and when I was in need of a rant or a witty dig, the PLCB provided endless fodder.
We knew at some point this would happen, since neither of us grew up here and we do not have any real ties to the area, but we are status quo people, not willing to upset the apple cart for no real good reason.
The oddest feeling, perhaps, is the realization that we will likely never be back. Sure, there might be the odd chance that we come back for some sort of business trip or even once or twice to visit friends. But with no real family in the city, chances are rather slim that we will use any valuable vacation time to come back “home” to Philadelphia.
Enough reminiscing (for now). Time to look forward: We are moving to Houston, Texas. I never, not once in my life, thought I would ever want to live in Texas, but sometime this summer, we will be packing up and moving to the fourth largest city in the country.
Not exactly my idea of a “hot-spot” unless you mean the temperature in June, July, and August (and probably good chunks of May and September).
When I tell people we are moving to Houston, the response is usually: “Houston? Really? HOUSTON?!?” This is usually accompanied with a pained look of pity, and followed by “I hope you like the heat!” That reaction is nearly universal, unless it was someone who had actually lived in Houston and then it was the polar opposite: “Houston? You will love it!”
Well, we all went down there a couple of months ago and all I can say is that it is not nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be (how is that for a ringing endorsement?).
At least I will be able to buy wine in a supermarket again.