Where what some consider the happiest people in America (the Amish) almost never show it, where the "gay Dutch" hate gays, where you can't find anything to eat between Philadelphia airport and Lancaster, where it takes a year to get a farmer at a market you see two or three times a week to make conversation with you, and where you get fat, get gray, and die. I gained 30 pounds in three years. Probably the snack capital of the country, with no park districts I've seen to walk those calories off (that would require foresight, education, and civic planning). None of the middle age folk I got to know gave me any sense they liked me 'til I was moving.
Go ahead, fall in love with it in December, 'cause most of PA was made for Christmas (farmhouse kitsch, anyone?), but for culture's sake, don't move there. The reverse of Narnia, it's always Christmas in Pennsyltucky, but never charmed. Even an instutution as powerful, monied, dispursed, and excellent as Penn State can't address the ignorance of the populace. Trust me. If you don't have an AARP card, don't move there.
Philadelphia hip-hoppers The Roots celebrate their city's heritage, but they get to leave Pennsylvania on tour. Home of Constitution Hall, the Pennsylvania of today hasn't seen a civil liberty it didn't try to eradicate at the polls.
Full of midwesterners and Asians migrating to the Bay Area for dull tech jobs, San Jose boasts being the most expensive place you can't figure out why you spent your money on it in the nation, probably the world. Like smog? Like traffic? Like competing to go out and shop? Like "multiculturalism" without real diversity (i.e., diversity of income, mentality, thought, and expression)? Like seeing artists shuffled off to borning tech jobs because if they don't the city will brutally swallow them financially? Like a downtown that caters entirely to suburbanite commuters and then shuts down on Sunday, leaving nothing but bums and bummed renters? Like being close to a place just like where you are but with a dirty beach? Like a university that cares a rat's ass about the humanities but boasts that it "powers Silicon Valley" by providing no-brained training for jobs that anybody can learn and that corporations should pay to train people on? Like 5 types of cops on your block? Scared of urban life? Like cowtowns with Sushi? Like seeing friends sucked back into a hopeless vortex because San Jose "is all about the people"? Like men? Got rice? . . . Try San Jose! You'll love it.
San Jose took every last penny I had and all I got was this stupid jaywalking ticket.
San Francisco is San Jose's amusement park.
San Jose: Where $100 K equals $60 K almost anywhere else, but I still can't find anything edifying to spend it on . . . guess I'll go to Valley Fair and buy more clothes, or maybe those implants.