3% of the American populace is beyond salvation. Sorry, but it’s true.

  1. Chicago (obvious reasons)
  2. Some small, seaside town in Ireland
  3. Boston (it’s still one of my favorite American cities)
  4. San Diego (the moment I “met” San Diego, I fell madly in love)
  5. London
  1. Kenosha, WI
  2. Chicago
  3. Des Plaines, IL
  4. Milwaukee, WI
  5. Flagstaff, AZ
  1. Lake fuckin’ Michigan (I will miss it all my life, and I’ve already told Sarah that when I die I want my body burnt and my ashes scattered in Lake Michigan; I need to make this wish legal should — by some highly unlikely chance — Sarah does not outlive me. Just putting it in writing on Medium doesn’t hold up legally, I think.)
  2. Food. Not just hot dogs and pizza, but amazing soul food and every latin cuisine you could imagine and in Little Vietnam bahn mi sandwiches that forever ruined me on ANY bahn mi anywhere. And, oh, the Matzo ball soup at Benji’s Deli in Milwaukee . . . damn.
  3. Noise. Chicago — city proper, I mean, not the ‘burbs — is SO LOUD at all hours of the night. I always liked the noise. I liked knowing people were out there, living, even if it was three in the morning and I was trying to sleep.
  4. Culture. Awesome lit scene. Awesome theater scene. Amazing museums. Enough said.
  5. Public transit that actually ran on a convenient schedule and could take you ANYWHERE in the city.
  1. The people. Everyone here, in our community (school and larger community) has been so good to us, particularly this year.
  2. Seeing someone I know just about everywhere I go. This NEVER happened to me in Chicago or Milwaukee. Once the weekend started, I didn’t see anyone I knew unless we had made plans.
  3. The seasons. I love fall and winter — particularly in Flagstaff. Never gets too cold and the heavy snows never stick around to get gross and dirty (sometimes, but not like in Chicago/Milwaukee).
  4. The way the mountains look, snow capped, on an early spring day.
  5. My school, obviously. FALA is the biggest thing, but I will be there AT LEAST until the end of the school year, and so my goodbye can be long and proper.



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Allison Gruber

Allison Gruber

Educator, essayist, feminist, human.