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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    City by the bay
    Posts
    4

    Country mouse, now city mouse

    I just made a big move from my hometown (a smallish city my momís lived in since I was a baby) to a much larger city. Itís been strange enough getting used to the noise level and so many people as soon as I walk outside the door but itís a pretty exciting. The problem is that since Iíve moved, I feel like Iím lacking in basic navigational skills or something like that. I looked up the directions to a restaurant the other night, managed to lose them before I headed out the door, and ended up walking almost two miles in the opposite direction of where I wanted to go. Thatís OK some of the time but it gets a little harder to handle when Iím hungry or meeting someone. Short of keeping a list Ė which Iíve been doing, much to the amusement of my friends Ė what else can I do to remember how to find locations?

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  3. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,563
    When I moved to Boston (a very confusing city) I would go out on the weekends, either in my car or via public transportation and basically get lost on purpose. I think spatially, so once I had gone a few places and saw how they connected to other places I was able to understand how it was laid out.

    Here's an example: one weekend I would take a Saturday afternoon and go to a neighborhood that I heard has nice architecture. I would wander around it, like a tourist in my own town. Then, maybe the next weekend, I would pick an area near there (maybe something I saw last time but didn't have time to check out) and do the same thing until I made my way to the last place I visited.

  4. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    446
    I don't know if your "city by the bay" is THE city by the bay (San Francisco), but when I moved here, (after living in Boston and NYC areas) I walked everywhere for months. I know my way around very well. I walked from where I lived in the Mission to Ghiardelli Square. I walked from the Irish bars of the Richmond to the shops of the upper Haight. I walked in Bay to Breakers many years in a row. I even took one of those cheesy city tours on a bus that looks like a cable car. It all really helped so much in getting to know which neighborhoods were where, where the hills were, where the buses and trains ran.

  5. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    2,025
    also useful for SF: most MUNI shelters have a map in them that you can look at.

    i walked all over the place and also took the bus on random trips when i lived in the city. if you walk around and stay aware of your surroundings (instead of window-shopping or daydreaming) eventually you will pick up on landmarks and sights that will tell you where you are.

    it also just takes a while to get used to a new town. i moved a year and a half ago to a rather small town, and i still don't know exactly where everything is.

  6. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Killeen TX USA
    Posts
    55
    I am a firm believer in the "get lost on purpose" and "tourist in your own town" methods. I have never lived more than an hour from my family, and I was always very familiar with where I was and where I was going, but after I got married my husband's job moved us from Michigan to Texas. The first few days, while my husband was at work, I just drove around and got a feel for my neighborhood, the main drags, and the major commercial areas. (Of course, it doesn't hurt that in Killeen there is almost nothing going on once you get more than a half mile off the Central Texas Expressway.) It was a bonus that I had to go to do all of the utility set ups and such, so I had to drive all over creation in order to hit the Cable place, the water dept, etc. Make friends with a neighbor, if they're local they can show you around, if they're new to town as well they can serve as backup and company when you're gallavanting.
    -Corinne

  7. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    City by the bay
    Posts
    4
    Well, I'm definitely good at the "get lost" part :). Thanks for your encouragement everybody. I think I failed to mention just how spatially challenged I am. I lived in a relatively small town in Northern Cali my whole life -- went to the same library since I could read, same grocery store -- but once I learned to drive there I would get lost on my way to the same friends' houses that I'd been visiting since childhood. I tried college out in a different town for a year (for personal reasons, I moved back home) and got lost there all the time, both on and off the campus. I think my big issue is that I'm generally used to driving but I've pretty much stopped doing that since I moved. I've found that 4info is pretty helpful to give me some idea of what's around when I've wandered too far and feel hopelessly turned around since I remember names pretty well but not always visual areas. But I do enjoy getting lost on purpose sometimes.

    And yes, it is THAT City By the Bay I moved to! I love it here! But more often than not (and it's my fault mostly), I feel like crazy elves built the streets here.

  8. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    2,025
    where are you from? i grew up in Petaluma.

  9. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    24
    I moved to chicago from a small town. Everyone here seems to have N, E, S, and W engained in their head from birth. the only way I can cope it to look up at the sun. When the sun is not out (which is often here) I always end up asking which way is the lake, which is East, so I am saved again.

    It has been about a year and finally it is getting to be less of a chore, so I am sure you will find it that way as well and will visit your old hoem town and wonder why no one seems to know N, E, S, and W!


 

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