When I was twenty-three-ish, I moved to Chicago, where I knew exactly one person who was moving away at the end of the summer. I transferred from a TGIFridays in Dunedin to a TGIFridays on Erie Street, and instead of leaving when I was supposed to at the end of August, I found a roommate in The Reader and stayed for five years.
After that, I applied to grad school and moved to a completely different place, State College, PA, a little insular college town in the valley of rural Pennsylvania. I again knew no one, but made friends pretty fast with the other people who were in the same boat--a bunch of nerdy English majors stuck in a town where football was king. I stayed there for six years.
Then, I moved to Philadelphia, a city that I'd visited a few times, but where I again didn't know anyone except for Liz and Tara, and I'd only met them once or twice before that. The city move was harder because it wasn't like grad school where everyone was struggling to make friends and also, it had more rats and homeless people, though was definitely more manageable in size than Chicago. I stayed there for eight years.
Now, I'm in another completely different state--and I know Dan and Luke, but not that many other people, except for my friends from work; and those are people I still don't spend much time with outside of the nine to five hours. And it's more like Florida than any other place I've lived---meaning that it's fairly suburban and people are used to driving everywhere and you don't really walk places. In Chicago and State College, and Philly, I walked everywhere; I walked way more than I drove and when you walk, you run into people and you get to eavesdrop on strangers conversation and take pictures of the things you see along the way.
Is that enough to go on?
Maybe it will change in the warmer weather--I'll have more than a five second conversation with Mimi, the lady with the little dog and I'll offer to walk the dog on the weekends. I'll realize that I can walk on the path all the way to the coffee shop in the fake, dying town center. Or maybe we can move to Lambertville.