My car is here! It arrived as the dirtiest car in all of California, so plastered with salt and road grit that you’d never know its supposed to be black. Dean got some video I’ll have to pester him for. The very first thing we did was wash it. Then we made a quick run to some home stuff stores, and promptly went back to living like we don’t have it – bus and walking everywhere. It’s nice, I’ve really missed living this way.

Apparently I’ve lost some weight in the last few weeks. I’m not sure how, since I’m eating everything in sight like either a pig or a restaurant reviewer, or how much, since my scale is on a truck somewhere in middle America, but the dress pants I bought three freakin’ weeks ago no longer stay up, and certain shirts have gotten dangerous to wear alone. I feel like I’m playing dress up in my Mommy’s clothes, and I’m dreading the expense of keeping up with this.

It’s frustrating too because I feel like all I do (outside of work and apartment setup) is wander into random food dispensaries that smell tasty, then eat lots of food. Everything I’ve had has been incredible. I’m thrilled that I’m losing weight, I really am, by could it please make sense, and go at a pace where I can keep myself dressed?

But back to walking everywhere – I’ve missed this so much! A small group of us walked up a really pretty set of mosaic stairs in the Sunset district last week. Great view from the top, but I was too busy talking to take pictures. Maybe next time.

The next morning, we took a bus down to a local neighborhood farmers market. It’s funny, theres a fundamental difference in how they seem to be run out here. There was lots of premade products (frozen empanadas, flavored hummus, cheese spread, organic sausage…) and less produce. All the produce looked great, lots of heirloom and interesting stuff, but what we noticed was there was no duplication. No two vendors sold the same thing. And all the vendors were super nice, when we dropped something because we didn’t have our reusable bags yet, a booth owner and the market manager both ran over with a replacement and a free bag.

Another vendor over there morning (the pasta guy, of course) was from New York. Middletown, I think, but he used to travel to Rochester to work at the car show every year. So we spent a while talking to him about places and neighborhoods and things.

I’m amazed by how many NYS transplants I’m running into out here. When I wander around in my RIT sweatshirt, people just keep stopping me to talk. It’s to the point where I’m careful to wear it only when I’m expecting to have some free time.

That’s another thing about walking around here. People are so damn friendly, it’s weird. I find myself having a real conversation with at least a couple of strangers every day. They’re all transplants too, I haven’t met anyone from here yet, so I guess it makes sense that they’d be generally sort of outgoing – most of them came out here alone too. But that’s even more incredible than the things I see walking around. There’s just all these people here who reach out to anyone crossing their path, ready to share stories, give advice, or just hang out for a little while. And when they hear I’m new here, there’s an instant flow of “Have you done this yet? Tried this? Gone over there?” It’s refreshing.

People can be so closed off about cool things they’re doing in Rochester. There might be something really great just a few blocks away, but it looks like a dull warehouse, and none of the regulars are up for sharing.

For months, Dean and I thought that Joe Bean on University was just a roasting outfit, not an awesome little shop, even though they have a fairly large following and involvement with other local businesses. Now why was that? I was pretty grumpy when we finally found out – a month before leaving town.

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