Blue Ridge Country November/December 2020 - 14

OUR BLUE RIDGE TOWNS

CHUCK ALMAREZ

CHUCK ALMAREZ

IF NOT NOW, WHEN?

Reimagining Your Life
in a Small Town
The mountains are full of population-5,000ish towns that offer the
promise of, well, genuine small-town charm and welcome.
By JOAN VANNORSDALL

I

f there's one truth about this pandemic, it's that all
of our lives have been turned upside down. From
work to childcare...shopping to socializing...to how
we spend our time and what we think about: All of
it is up for grabs.
	Deconstruction of normality is never comfortable. But when things fall apart, new ways can arise
from the rubble.
So here's one to consider. Now may be the time to
move to a small town in our mountains.
No, not the suburbs. (Read Alexandra Petri's scarywonderful July Washington Post op-ed, "You try to wake
up. But you are living the Suburban Lifestyle Dream" for
a "Mad Men" take on that.)
A small town. Really. Say, 5,000 people...or fewer.
I take no credit for this suggestion. Urban exodus has

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been written about extensively over the past months.
An April Harris Poll found that 39 % of urban dwellers,
faced with the COVID-19 crisis, were considering leaving cities. With the pandemic-induced surge of working from home-telecommuting-the need to be in or
close to a city has fallen substantially. Our tolerance for
crowds has, too.
But most of these articles end the same way: It won't
last. Urban dwellers are urban dwellers-they'll come
back. "America had raised a generation of young people
who, on average, valued the things urbanity had to offer....Dining out, craft cocktails, live music, dating without settling down into married life is what millennials
seek in cities," Amanda Mull wrote in her June 15th Atlantic article, "The High Cost of Panic-Moving."
Panic moving? Not necessary. Now is the time to go


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Blue Ridge Country November/December 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country November/December 2020

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Blue Ridge Country November/December 2020 - Cover2
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Blue Ridge Country November/December 2020 - Cover3
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