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Zine on Traveling and Moving: Care to Answer Some Questions?


I'm Eric. I'm a zine writer and zine librarian living in Queens, NY. I'm putting together a zine on traveling and moving, since I seem to do a lot of both and want to know why other people do too. I'm asking everyone the same 5 simple questions. Answer as much or little as you care to. Everyone who participates gets a free copy. Thanks in advance for helping a brother out!
Instructions: Please state your first name (or pen name), age, occupation and city(ies) you were raised in.

1. Where do you currently live? What neighborhood?
2. What brought you to your current city? Apartment?
3. Would you move to another city if the opportunity came? Why or why not?
4. What’s been your favorite place to travel to and why?
5. Please share an interesting experience of either traveling or moving.

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Replies to This Discussion

I just have to say- that's an awfully romantic story. maybe some people wouldn't agree with me but... wow. that's love. and 99 months? I can't even imagine. I'm so glad you're together now!!

Chantel G. said:
Chantel G.; 38; currently unemployed; raised mostly in Lafayette and Slidell, Louisiana

1. I currently live in Southeast Portland, Oregon.

2. I moved to Portland less than two months ago from Lawrence, Kansas. My partner was released from prison after 99 months (over 8 years) and could not move to Kansas to live with me. I came here so we could be together.

We are in our current apartment because the parole officer had pre-approved this complex as a place my partner was allowed to live. The guy who lived in the apartment before us died, making the place available for us.

3. I would move to the right city if the opportunity arose. It would have to be a city my partner wanted to live in too. The location could not be colder in the winter than Lawrence, Kansas or hotter than summer in Austin, Texas. I would like to live either closer to my sister or closer to a good friend who lives down South.

I like Portland so far, but I feel like a stereotype for moving here. I would not have chosen to live here. It's already too crowded, and the economy does not seem to be able to support all the educated workers who are already here.

4. It's hard to pick a favorite place I've visited. Some places I've traveled to: NYC; Providence, RI; Philly; Washington, DC; Umatilla, OR; Atlanta, GA; Penang, Malaysia; Denver; Phoenix; Jennings, LA. The places I've liked best have always been the places where I've had the most fun with the people I was visiting. A not so great place can be wonderful if I am with the right people.

5. My partner and I met through the mail. We fell in love, before meeting in person. I took the Greyhound from Lawrence, KS to Ontario, OR. It was a long cold trip. I spent the night in a hotel near the interstate. The next day I took a taxi to the prison. It was hard to look at the concertina wire and tall tall fences and know he was locked up in there. After going through the baloney required of visitors, I was finally allowed into the visiting room. We hugged and it was awesome. We started talking and after about three minutes, I felt as if I had known him my whole life. There were no awkward silences, no uncomfortable pauses. We laughed and laughed. That was January of 2004. Right now he's asleep in the bedroom we share in our new apartment. I couldn't be happier.
ciara xyerra, 30, zine distributer & dilettante writer, grew up all over northwest ohio (moved 16 times by age 18)

i currently live in lawrence, kansas, in the oread neighborhood. i have lived here for four months & have already moved once. my first house here was in east lawrence.

i moved to lawrence with my boyfriend when he was offered a prestigious doctoral fellowship to attend school here. we moved into our current apartment after discovering an enormous hole in the roof of our first house here, which caused black mold to grow all over the insulation. our landlord refused to address the problem for two months, so we hired a lawyer & got the hell out. we lucked into a sub-let next door to an old zine friend of mine from the riot grrrl days.

certainly i would move again, & intend to do so the second my boyfriend gets his doctorate. my secret dream is to move to new york city, but we'll end up wherever my boyfriend gets a teaching a position. small college towns are okay, but i hope to god he can find a job in a city. i miss the anonymity & the great restaurants (i lived in boston for eight years), & i don't want to raise a kid in some small town somewhere, like where i grew up.

this is too hard to answer. i have traveled too much, & every traveling experience is unique because of circumstances. i went to montreal for a week one winter & the weather was absolutely horrible, but i drank hot chocolate in a different cafe everyday & visited with zine friends. i went on a roadt trip from los angeles to toledo once, which involved getting married in las vegas & "honeymooning" at a motel in provo, utah. i went to new york city once with a couple of anarcha-punk lady friends & we crashed the american girl store & looked at expensive dolls. on one trip to DC, i had a panic attack & went home early. on another trip, i met awesome ladies & had secret conversations about reproductive health & anarcha-feminist revolution. my first visit to berkeley was my first time seeing a palm tree & the pacific ocean.

one year, i arranged to move on thanksgiving. i recruited two friends to help & booked a truck. the night before the move, one of the friends called to beg off due to the fact that he'd been hit by a city bus & was in the emergency room. he was okay--just a broken arm--but he obviously couldn't help. so me & my ex-roommate moved everything alone, in a snowstorm, on thanksgiving, which was also my ex-roommate's 30th birthday, & the night after her boyfriend admitted he'd been cheating on her, & then we went to see "rent," & it was terrible (the movie, not the moving). another time, i asked my roommates to pay me for utility bills & they responded by leaving a note on the fridge telling me to move out. i threw the note away & they re-wrote the note, this time ON THE ACTUAL FRIDGE with a sharpie. i moved out the next day, which was the day rent was due for the next month. they asked if i was going to pay & i explained, "of course not, i don't live here anymore." so they had to pay my share of rent. it would have been a lot easier for them to just pay me for the utilities like i'd asked.

sorry i wrote a lot. i thought the zine would be more exciting that way. plus, i have moved & traveled A LOT.
Chantel, that is an incredible story! I'm so glad you're happily in love. Ciara, no need to apologize for your length. I like long stories as they provide details, which I'm always interested in!
Thanks Eric and Star Blanket River Child too! It is a highly romantic story, better than anything I could have made up, although if i had made it up, I wouldn't have kept the protagonist and her honey apart for quite so long! In any case, I am a lucky lucky woman.

Eric, will you send out contributor's copies of the zine when it is done? If so, let me know when I should send you my mailing address.
When the zine is finished, I'll make an announcement here for everyone to reply privately with their contact info. Thanks again!
1. Seattle, Washington. near the university.

2. Parents went to grad school here

3. No. I love this city.

4. ...probably the mainland of Greece. We went last year. There are some pretty cool untouristed little towns along there.

5. We were in Venice, Italy (my mom saves up frequent flyer miles) in Spring 2008. A waiter in a resteraunt stopped to talk about the presidential elections with us. He was very pro Obama, and it was kind of cool to see how everyone else was so involved in it.
Oh. Do you want more detail?
Actually, more details would be nice! Thanks!!

Amy said:
Oh. Do you want more detail?
Heather Wreckage, 23, no job (but usually a cook), and raised in Sacramento California
1. Ashland Oregon, downtownish
2. I moved because I really liked the house and roomies, and because I felt it was timeto be somewhere else.
3. Yes I would, because I don't like staying in one place and because I feel like living somewhere is the best way to get to know it.
4. My favorite place to travel has been Washington, Wisconsin, and Houston.
5. Once when I was riding a freight train to Dunsmuir California, my train just totally stopped and wasn't going anywhere for a while. So my friend and I started hitchiking, and got picked up by the same crew who had been driving the train.
C.R., 23, work in an office. I grew up in Cardiff, south Wales.

1. London (specifically Peckham, south of the river)
2. I moved to be an art student. I moved from halls to live with various friends, moved to my current place to live with a bunch of people I had met through music stuff and radical queer activism.
3. I do really feel this is my home now but I have a strange desire to move back to Wales and also Bristol or maybe Glasgow, just want to try living somewhere new but don't want to leave here either.
4. Scotland, gent or Los angeles. No particular reason, just pleasantly suprised by all.
5. I generally really enjoy a journey by sleepertrain, I generally think holidays are wasted on me as I only like big cities where I can get to record shops and vegan food.
ocean, 27, secretary/writer/activist, long island ny.

1. i live in the lawrenceville section of pittsburgh. i've been here for over two years and i love it. it's a working-class neighborhood, about half white/half black, a healthy sprinkling of artists, 2 gay bars, a library (which the city is closing! BOOO!), most of my friends, one of my jobs, etc.

2. i had just graduated college in suburban NYC (SUNY Purchase) & broken up with my long-term girlfriend who lived in philly. i needed a change. i didn't want to stay in NY and philly can fall into the schuykill for all i care. i had friends in pittsburgh & san francisco. i chose the cheaper more laid back option & i'm glad i did.

3. yeah, i love pittsburgh but i can't stay here forever. i like the midwest but i miss the coasts. if i ever made a higher wage i'd like to move to NYC or SF. if i could somehow get over my SAD i'd like to live in the pacific NW. my partner and i have been kicking around ideas to get out of the country for a year or so (australia, canada, scotland) but who knows if it'll actually happen.

4. i love the bay area. i love exploring strange midwestern towns.

5. once i moved on the subway, everything i owned from long island to park slope brooklyn. (i didn't own much at the time, thank god.) one time i moved from one punk house to the other in philly, about 5 blocks, so i borrowed a shopping cart, loaded all my shit, and pushed. i've moved like 24 times in my life.
Adrian Fynch, 22, hair stylist by trade, Constance Bay, Ontario [Canada]

1. Where do you currently live? What neighborhood? Montreal, in the McGill ghetto, though I won't be attending the school until January and I've lived here since June. It's prime location and decent rent, though my apartment is pretty small.

2. What brought you to your current city? Apartment? I was brought to the city by a combination of wanting to be closer to my family [sister and best friend just had kids and I just missed everyone] and chasing a boy. [This would be my second time following him across the country.] I was brought to my apartment when my roommate left me with two months of unpaid rent and I needed to find a cheaper place, fast. A big selling point was reading that Leonard Cohen once lived on this same street. Now I just like it because the neighborhood is pretty and it's close to most things I need.

3. Would you move to another city if the opportunity came? Why or why not? I really like it here and I'm inclined to stay for awhile, especially if I end up going to uni here, but no doubt the urge to move will rise again and then I'll be off. Relocating is frightening, but there's a huge sense of freedom that it comes with as well.

4. What’s been your favorite place to travel to and why? My favourite place ever? When I went to India with my family in 1997. I was 9 years old and it was like visiting the land of my fairy tales. [I was raised on Eastern philosophy and Hindu/Buddhist mythology] We would go for walks in the jungle across the street and watch monkeys jumping out of trees and listen to peacocks call to each other. In town, I was fascinated by all the colours and fabrics and stray cows [yes cows] running around. Everyone was really nice to me and gave me little gifts, and when we went to see the ceremonies one evening at the holy river, I made friends with some homeless kids & we ran around & played with this stray puppy I found. Nobody spoke much English but we had a great time. And when I wore the clothing, I felt like a princess.

5. Please share an interesting experience of either traveling or moving. I moved to Calgary in 2006, which was one of the scariest things I'd ever done. I packed two suitcases and hopped on a Greyhound. The bus ride was 3 days, but on the morning of the second day, my wallet was stolen. People on the bus were really generous, giving me money, their lunches. Even the bus driver offered me money. It was amazing that while one person could be so crappy and completely screw me, so many other people stepped in and helped out, even though I was a complete stranger.


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