Philadelphian Enjoys Pacific Rim Trade-offs

     No more quick dinners in Chinatown. Goodbye wage tax and outrageously expensive car insurance bills. The Philadelphia folk festival is a distant, humid memory.
     New Pacific Northwest resident Kathy Sheehan has discovered the sublime tradeoffs of her 3,000-mile move.
     Instead of eggplant with garlic sauce in Philadelphia's Chinatown, Sheehan now zips across the border for unique sushi dinners at Tojo's in Vancouver, B.C.
     There is no wallet-eating city wage tax in Bellingham. No state income tax either. Car insurance costs one quarter what it cost in Philadelphia.
     And, best of all, parking tickets are just $3.
     Those brutally muggy folk festivals in Schwencksville? Not anymore. Sheehan is a regular at Seattle's Bumbershoot festival. (It hasn't rained any of the last three years.)
     On the whole, she would rather not be in Philadelphia. Here are some other trades Sheehan has made:
  • Bald eagles at Lake Padden where she windsurfs instead of pigeons dirtying her Art Museum rowhouse.
  • Februaries filled with pussy willows, cherry blossoms and crocuses instead of ice, sleet, snow, frozen rain, more ice, rain, snow, etc.
  • Slugs instead of cockroaches.
  • Salmon and Dover sole for the price of East Coast flounder and snapper.
  • Did we mention lobster sushi?
  • The Bellingham Farmers' Market (or Pike Place Market in Seattle) instead of the Reading Terminal.
  • Apples, plums, pears and blackberries littering the back yard instead of broken bottles from the corner punks' parties.
  • Standing almost under the North Star -- the real North Star.
         Of course, Sheehan would definitely like to have her union-negotiated salary back and find a dentist who can numb her lower jaw. She'd also like to be able to afford to sail in the beautiful San Juan islands (Charter rates are almost triple what they are in the Chesapeake!)
         But there are certain things you simply can't put a price on:
  • Finding enough mushrooms in the back yard and nearby Cornwall Park with which to make luscious omelettes and soups, for instance.
  • Or finding purple starfish while kayaking on Bellingham Bay or Birch Bay.
  • Watching the sunset on the way home from work.
  • Love, bliss, commitment and contentment with Chuck.