Ten years ago today, I lived in a somewhat odd Melrose-style apartment building (with the pool in the middle that was never used, at least not for sexy young hipster soirees) in Northern California, where I’d lived for about five months. I was getting used to the climate, the city, and the fact that it wasn’t going to snow, no matter how much I wished it would.
I left there three years ago, another eternity in my life. I’ve lived multiple places in New York City since, and the thought of the young me, new to California, seems so foreign as to be imaginary.
Ten years, in other words, is a long time. In ten years, bookmarked by two Censuses, millions move for millions of reasons.
We thought, therefore, that the end of this year was a good opportunity to encourage reflection on those reasons and those moves. Below is a map, centered on the United States — but scalable and movable — that shows the moves of visitors to this website (you!). Feel free to add your own – just use the tool under the map to enter the city where you lived in 2000, and where you live now; optionally, you can tell a little bit about why you made the move.
A few notes on reading the data: Red lines indicate moves from east to west; blue, the opposite. The yellow line you’ll see connects the average move, connecting the average starting and ending locations. The icons over cities scale depending on whether people moved to or from them, and grow more opaque with the more moves in and out. Scroll over each line to see the reason for person’s move (mine was “Grew up in Upstate New York. Missed winters and culture.”) (NB: We reserve the right to moderate entries. Keep it clean, folks.)
The map will be live until 11:59:59 p.m. ET on December 31, 2009. So add yours in fast! When it hits zero hour 2010, the clock will be reset — and you can start planning your moves for the next decade. We’ll crunch the data and have a report for you on the migrant patterns of Mediaite readers sometime early in the 2010s.
My move is already on there – a little blue line that represents ten years of change in my life. Look forward to seeing yours.
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