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living in a bubble


Isn't it funny how we find a physical comfort zone around where we live and then kind of become stuck living inside that bubble? I have lived in various cities throughout Michigan all of my life with the exception of a four-day stint in Indiana (see number 16 and beyond for the unabridged version of that event.)

For the last 11 years I have lived in a city just north of Detroit. I was born and raised in a city south of Detroit and have lived west of Detroit so those parameters encompass my wide net of comfort here in the Mitten State. But when it comes to everyday living, I find I only travel in a five-mile radius from home base.

Recently my husband and I ventured out to the "East Side" which felt like we chartered a boat to sail to the Edge of the World. We went to an Olive Garden that was roughly 11 miles east of here. On our way home I took 14 Mile Road rather than jumping on the freeway and we both discovered, at the same exact time, where Our World connects with the Edge of the World. This would be the mall. (Side note: it just feels like a science fiction book is begging to be written with the portal to and from both universes being the mall. Doesn't it? For instance, one would walk through the entrance to Sharper Image and find oneself in the alternate universe. Upon return, one would end up at the Coney Island restaurant that seems to be located in every mall. Well, it seems plausible to me. But maybe this is just a new twist on "Being John Malkovich." Whatever.) We both said, in unison, "Ohhhh. Here's our mall." Thus providing a corridor back to the comfort and safety of our five mile bubble.

I guess I have so many things at my fingertips right here, I just haven't seen the need to travel to the East Side. What we don't have right here is a community pool or swimming area. Thanks to the magic that is the internet, however, I did discover a beach which is also located near the Edge of the World. Since my kids love the water and I have heard good things about this beach I hoisted the sail on the minivan and chartered a trip out there. This place is 13 miles north of here and I did feel completely lost, but we made it just fine.

For reasons unknown to me, the (North) East Side feels like a rough and tumble place more menacing than the streets of Detroit at midnight in the middle of winter. I'm sure this hearkens back to the comfort zone and lack thereof.

What I discovered is that the East Side is not quite as crazy as I thought it was. In fact, it's quite suburban with its cookie-cutter new construction houses and strip malls. I guess it is not to be feared afterall.


2007-07-12 at 7:35 a.m.

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