Life After a Writers Retreat—Part VII: Appreciate Home

Now that I’ve taken my own advice and joined Facebook, I see that some of my fellow Pembrokers are suffering from Cambridge withdrawal. Although by the time I turned in my final portfolio, I thought I was ready to go home, upon my return, especially during the first couple of days, I pined for the creative environment, the pastoral setting, my fellow writers, the more civilized society …

In order to transition to everyday life after returning from a writers retreat, though—and not alienate your loved ones, who are surely happy to have you home—take a moment to appreciate your hometown.

For example, in Los Angeles, there is such a thing as air conditioning. Not necessarily in my apartment, but at least in many public places. The mall, for example. Not so in Cambridge.

Also, in Los Angeles, you can eat Mexican food. And Cuban food. And Ethiopian food. And whatever kind of food you could possibly want …

… at practically any time of day. You see, grocery stores are open twenty-four hours a day here, and pharmacies don’t close at, say, six p.m.

The City of Angels may lack the bucolic walk through pastures along the River Cam to the Orchard at Grantchester, but there is a lovely little park nearby, and tea at the Huntington Gardens, and the beach, and the mountains …

Cambridge’s Fitzwilliam Museum is world-class, but so are the Getty, LACMA, and MoCA. Even a quintessential U.K. experience—Scotsman Irvine Welsh reading at a bookstore in Cambridge—ultimately isn’t so singular after all: he’s appearing in Los Angeles on September 18.

And L.A.’s movie theaters are the best the world.

What do you appreciate about your hometown?

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