Thursday, November 10, 2011

Back in Dallas

Weird. I'm in Dallas today, back to get my truck and other stuff, which I'd left here for my hike and then afterwards when I flew direct to Florida after my dad's accident. Finally time to go back for it. And as if in proof of my previous post about the energy of a place, my left eyelid is twitching again.

It was doing this all the time last winter and spring before I left for the Pacific Crest Trail, but had stopped just a day or two into the hike, never to return. And now it's back. At first I thought it might be the caffeine: I've been off the juice for almost a week now, but stopped in to my favorite Dallas area coffeehouse for old times sake and to kill some time. Halfway into my cup of coffee, it started up. But caffeine has never affected me that way, even after a break. It's very strange, I think this place makes me jumpy or something.

And there is a different air about this city, I just can't explain it. More energetic and dynamic than retirement-ville in SW Florida, but there's also a sort of undertone of negativity, something I was feeling last winter, when I felt rather depressed and down and out, poor. Like there's some big money-focus here (though not as bad as in downtown Houston, let me tell you).

I'm really fascinated by this. I'm sure some of it is climate induced: Detroit always had a bit of a depressed feel, and it's cloudy and grey so damn often it's easy to see why, plus the 5 months of winter cold. Not to mention the depressed economy, of course. There's probably all kinds of things that go into a particular feel of a place: local economic priorities (tourism in Florida, manufacturing or the lack of it in Detroit), weather and climate, lattitude, topography, history, the cultural and racial mix, size of the town, water (lake, river) or lack of it...

I wonder what others have to say about this, about where they live in comparison to other places. Have you felt this effect?


  1. Yeah I think each city definitely has it's own unique vibe, influenced by a combination of all the factors you mention. The outward surroundings, including buildings and geographic terrain, as well as the weather, shapes the culture of the people. Obviously it's a combination of both, culture shaping environment, and environment shaping culture, but the environment, especially those factors that can't be changed, like mountains or flatland, has a huge influence in shaping not only the character of a people, but also the general "vibe" of the city; each city, both large and small, is like a micro world in itself.

  2. As a person who doesn't like crowds, big cities always give me a bad vibe. Noises come from everywhere. People mill here and there. Skyscrapers interrupt the sky. Vehicles whizzing by.

    In the small town I live in (in a remote rural county) the vibe is completely different. It is slower and lazier. It also doesn't hurt that I live on the edge of a forest -- I get a tremendously wonderful vibe from that!

  3. Absolutely...I was just in Atlanta and the only place I really enjoyed was an R&B fried chicken bar in the airport waiting for my flight out. Portland, on the other hand was like a breath of fresh air, despite the cold wet grey weather, the opposite of Hawaii. And DC was impressive, but weird, all political and remote. If I hadn't randomly met an old friend I hadn't seen for over 20 years (or even thought about but three days before I left, wondering what happened to him, where was he, how strange is that?) I would have felt completely out of synch. Too much power in the air, maybe.

    I have an astrologer friend who does chart readings that help determine where you are likely to feel at home. She feels spooked out on Kauai; I love it. She can see it in the charts.

    There are aspects of feng shui at play too.