So I live in the Bay Area now (again). Yup. after two-ish years of living in New York City, we are back. I say “we” because the main reason I moved back is because we, as a family, knew it was best for us. My wife is very pregnant with our second child, a daughter. (YAY! Maybe some of the credits I earned from my first daughter will transfer over!) And our O.D. (Original Daughter) is now three years old, which means it’s time for school to begin. The kind of school with book learnin’, propaganda about 2+2, and the white-man’s sentence structure. So the next few months are going to be hectic for me and my family for lots and lots (and lots) of reasons, and the idea of having a kid in NYC just started driving us crazy. In our two years in NYC we hadn’t had the time (or opportunity) to dig our roots down deep enough to have a community of family and friends large enough for us to feel good about having a second kid there. Whereas in The Bay, my wife’s entire immediate family and 90% of her closest friends are within 2 hours. And after living in The Bay for 15 years, many of my best friends are here. All of whom are in part responsible (and continue to be so) for the adultification of W. Kamau Bell.*
I could only imagine what it might have been like for us to live in NYC and have a baby. Calling one of our handful of friends to come over to help and hearing, “Ummm… I’d love to but I’m way out in Brooklyn and I don’t think the G Train is running today.” Not to mention that when we went to an obstetrician in NYC and my wife mentioned some of the natural childbirth methods she used during her first pregnancy, the doctor had a look on her face like she had sucked on a dozen lemons while my wife tried to sell her on Jesus Christ as her personal lord and savior.**
Also, as I’ve said many times, in print, on audio, and in the flesh, The Bay Area is my happy place. And after two years (three if you count the lead-up) of being picked-up, chewed up, swallowed up, and ultimately spit up by Totally Biased, I could use some happy place in my life. Now, I know The Bay Area has changed in dramatic ways in just those two years. (The lights on The Bay Bridge… Even hipsters are mad about gentrification… The entire country knows Oakland is cool now… Google bought MUNI and now it’s free. — Am I getting that right?) But I still feel like it is the best place for me to feel like myself again. I have no idea how The Bay will feel (or if it will even care) about my return, but to me — not to get all Lebron James-y on ya — it’s home. Which is incredibly weird because when I moved to The Bay in 1997 it was just supposed to be a stop gap (a place to hone my craft) on my way fame and fortune in LA. (Oops.)
And yes, I love NYC as much as any t-shirt does, but honestly it got tainted by the show. For me, everything in NYC was due to, because of, and ultimately the fault of the show. It was hard to see having a life there that wasn’t a spinoff of the show. And to the many friends I made in NYC, sorry about springing this on you. I’ve never been good at goodbyes. And also sorry if I’ve been hard to reach. It’s been crazypants*** around these parts. And I’ll be back your way often.
So, now I’m back in The Bay being another one of those weirdos who think you can make things happen from here.**** But mostly I think I wrote this, just in case my Bay Area people see me in the streets more often than they are accustomed to they can know I’m not lost; I’m home.*****
* Please don’t sue me Lauryn Hill.
** OK, I may be overselling this slightly.
*** My fingers are circling around my head.
**** Looking at you, Boots Riley!
***** Cue that song the ESPN played over and over (and over) again for Lebron.