I couldn’t go home again, if by home you mean the place where I was born and grew up. That was Miami. Gone my parents and relatives. Gone many friends.
Charlotte’s been home since 1970. I can’t imagine living anywhere else.
A new book, “This Is Where You Belong: The Art and Science of Loving the Place You Live,” by Melody Warnick, is for people who’ve moved to a new city and are trying hard to like it. It’s not for those trying hard not to like it (the grumblers who insist that Charlotte’s a couples town or too church-y or too staid.)
Warnick herself has lived in five states in 13 years – her latest, Blacksburg, Va. She says two million Americans annually make a move of 500 miles or more. No wonder, then, that 28 percent of Americans don’t know any of their neighbors by name, a circumstance, she reports, that increases the chance of heart attack or stroke.
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So how do you learn to dig your new digs?
Warnick’s science of place attachment means getting down and getting local. Shopping the farmer’s markets. Frequenting a neighborhood restaurant. Joining a local group. (The Charlotte Writers’ Club saved me.) Volunteering. Meeting your neighbors.
Walker Percy said it best: The antidote to discontent is staying put, even when you get the itch to move on.