Oh hello there.
It's been a while, hasn't it? Over four months since my last post and try as I might I simply could not get anything up on this little space. No updates about any new work or new writing. Barely any of that, to be honest. No updates here in babydom, although that area of my life has sure been pretty full. This little man of ours is keeping us on our toes! New teeth (six!), all sorts of tricks and giggles and smiles and just this past Saturday, some real first steps. It's all gone away in a blur and every day I am reminded, quite bitter sweetly, that all of those people who warned us about how fast everything goes were totally right. Ten and a half months later and I'm only just starting to feel like I'm coming up for air.
And because we can never seem to do just one crazy thing at a time, somewhere in the last four months, we took a long hard look at our life in Toronto and made the hard decision to leave. A variety of reasons gave us the final push but suffice it to say we found a place we love in a new city that is almost half of what we were paying in rent in our old place. We are now exactly halfway in between either sides of our families and are already feeling so excited about our new space here in the city of Hamilton.
When I told people we were moving to Hamilton, I got lots of different responses. The people who can't seem to fathom a world outside Toronto asked me if I was crazy. Others told me all of their friends who had babies moved to Hamilton. (Where are these people because I don't know any others?!) Strangers asked me if I was an artist since apparently making the move to the Hammer is a popular thing? See here and here and here...
I don't mean to patronize. I definitely don't want anyone to think we moved here just because it was the cool thing to do. We thought about this idea for a long while and considered all of the different angles that we needed to as a family. Hamilton works for us for several reasons but mainly because it is still a city. We like having the option to walk places. We like busy streets. We like having different neighbourhoods blocks away from each other. We didn't want to be tied to a car (especially since right now I'm on maternity leave and my husband uses the car during the day). We also really love the style of homes available in downtown Hamilton - Victorians reminiscent of some of our favourite Toronto neighbourhoods. Except here they have a price tag we could actually afford.
We are settling into our new place just fine. We looked for a cozy apartment with lots of character and lots of natural light. We found it. And ever since we moved, we keep walking around telling each other how good we feel in this home and how excited we are about our new city. The last month and a half has been spent putting a lot of effort into making this place function for us on a really personal level. We haven't even had many guests because all we seem to do lately is home projects.
I have been walking through lots of different neighbourhoods and I keep running into some really kind people - strangers welcoming me to their town - and sharing all the reasons they feel good about Hamilton. There is a palpable energy here, a feeling that lots of good and creative things are here and that people are working on some pretty cool things. I cannot wait to keep discovering it. It's so wonderful to meet young, inspiring people who want to share their talent and show off their city.
Image Credit: Photo taken from Beaux Mondes blog. Beaux Mondes is a lovely and well-curated collection of places (and people!) to check out in Hamilton. It was one of the first things that got me excited about heading out on long walks with the baby boy. It definitely helped to give me a sense of the city prior to our move, which I desperately need in the cold dark of February.