A lot of it is that (and I have spoken with people who live here to confirm this), there are almost no teahouses/coffeeshops that are open late and good for hanging out. I initially thought Milkboy would be neat, but they play music every night. Martha and Jess have lived here for awhile, and they say there are few late-night places in PHL's metro area and none in my area that fit the bill. So, WTF. This many universities around, and no teahouse open at least until 11? I am ... honestly thinking about trying to open one. I don't know the first thing about running a business, and my knowledge about coffee is limited, but I'm practical, I have all sorts of ideas about how to run businesses as a collective, and most importantly, I NEED THIS KIND OF PLACE.
The lack of a Té Café or Insomnia or Victoria's Midnight Cafe, cozy and rightly-sized so there'd be regulars and an atmosphere... this hurts. I need a new place to plant my interpersonal roots (yes, I need people too, but a place is a good start). I know exactly where I'd go in Boston, or NYC, or Paris, or Columbus, or Pgh. I feel so diminished here, like a fish out of water, starving in an invisible way; I feel the urge to (cheesy, yes) go to $the_social_place_where_everyone_knows_m
I'm also really really missing proximity to woods, and the feel of Squirrel Hill.
I withdrew my application a few days ago to a reasonable job at Penn. I have so much to figure out now that I'm outside of my usual context.
I'll have to explore downtown (*cough* Center City) a bit more. Right now I'm pretty pessimistic that I'll come to feel at home here, and I'm worried about building a social circle. I am *so* looking forward to my little trip back to Pittsburgh next week to work my last day there; I'll be spending some quality time in the woods and then at Té Café. I'm amused at my division of sources of this kind of interpersonal happiness into:
- Place-happiness - When I really like a place per se
- Social-environment-happiness - When I like the crowd of a place
- People - When I like the specific people
Interesting developments in international politics:
- Tension within Saudi Arabia over Abdullah al-Saud's gentle reform efforts
- Iranian state TV censored parts of a speech by President Ahmadinejad. The power dynamic between Supreme Leader Khamenei and President Ahmadinejad has shifted considerably over the latter's term. Irregularities in the last election ended up as a big win for conservatives, as moderates (like Rafsanjani and Karoubi) and liberals (Mohammad Khatami and particularly Mohammad Ali Abtahi) were imprisoned or marginalised. This intensified the divides between the secular-nationalist and the clerical branches of the conservative wing of Iranian politics. Semi-recently, this tension has played out with cabinet appointments and prosecution of Ahmadinejad's allies for corruption.
Those of you who enjoyed volume 1 of the 「Portal 2」 soundtrack will be happy to see that 「Volume 2」 is now up. Hooray!