eastbound and down

For those who either missed my Facebook posts this morning or don’t read my Facebook at all, I learned today that I have a job waiting for me in Chicago. It’s a slight step up, but not much, since I’m staying with my current employer.  I’m moving to a different department so the same stresses will no longer apply, but it’s still the same basic job because I do a lot of the same stuff now. However, it’s my ticket to Chicago, so I’ll take it.

As is kind of a bittersweet tradition for me whenever I prepare to leave a place I’ve lived, I’m compelled to look back on the experiences and places that have shaped my time there.  Fargo has been the first place I’ve lived for more than a year since before I moved to Baltimore/Annapolis, so I’ve had a lot of time to think about this.

The People and Places I’ll Miss in and Around Fargo

Lake Itasca State Park, Park Rapids, MN (Headwaters of the Mississippi River and maybe the most beautiful piece of land in the Upper Midwest)

Detroit Lakes, Minnesota

Nichole’s Fine Pastry, quite possibly the best pastry shop in North America

JL Beers Burger and Beer Bar

The Hotel Donaldson and its restaurant

Broadway

The Fargo Theatre

The staff at the 45th Street McDonald’s and 13th Ave Taco Bell, who know me far too well

The close walk to work and the grocery store

The dozens of friends I’ve made through work and other means, including my former roommate, who gave me a place to stay when I arrived (Thank you, J.)

Unobstructed grassland sunsets just west of the city

Being a 15-minute drive from almost anywhere in Fargo

Wide-open country roads outside the city, which almost beg for a lead foot

My dinky little apartment, which almost became home

The Fargo Amtrak Station

The People and Places I Won’t Miss About Fargo

The coldest sustained temperatures I have ever felt

The heaviest, deepest snow I have ever seen

The insane, even obscene, number of chains and franchises that litter the city with sameness

Horrible drivers

My current workplace

Juano’s Mexican Restaurant, 404 N. Broadway, quite possibly the most pretentious restaurant in America

An overwhelmingly oppressive retail culture

Being almost literally in the middle of nowhere

I’ll write more about Fargo in the coming days and weeks until my departure. Fargo has been good for me, but what will be even better for me is putting it in my rearview mirror.

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