I've loved living with Jon in London for the past few years, but it's beyond exciting that Jon will be moving to Washington, DC after our wedding - well, eventually, considering how long the visa process will take. However, Jon's allowed me to share a secret with you: although he's really excited to live in the States, DC wasn't his first choice of city. He looks forward making our life there, he assures me, but, above anywhere else in America, Jon dreams of moving to NYC. (San Francisco actually ties NYC for first place in Jon's mind, but we agreed to stay on the East Coast for now, so let's just focus on that, shall we?)
If either of us had found an amazing job offer in New York, we definitely would have considered it. But I have a lot of history there: my parents both grew up in Manhattan, my maternal grandparents still live on the Upper East Side after 30+ years on the Upper West side and my father's mother lived in Chelsea from 1960 until her death last year, and I went to Columbia for my undergraduate degree. I love New York and always have considered myself an honorary New Yorker - but it would take a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to convince me to live there again. Basically, I don't think that we can afford the quality or style of life we would want in Manhattan. (Plus, although this is still quite a while away, I don't want to raise a family in the city.)
Jon's trying to understand what I mean when I explain all this to him. He really is, and he's a hero for appreciating that Washington is my home and, after three years of living across an ocean, I want to be near my family. (Also, I'm just starting a great new job there!) But I'm not entirely sure anyone who fantasizes about being a New Yorker will ever understand its challenges until s/he lives there. I've shown Jon this infographic from One Fine Stay to try to help clear things up a bit...
I'd love to find (or create) something like this that incorporates info about DC so we can throw those details into the mix. But what do you think, pond-hoppers? Which would be your dream city - and why?