People are so nice here in Portland, OR, that I am now actually worried I might lose my edge. More than one person has joked that my growing less suspicious nature and friendliness is going to cause me to not require full compliance for GPL violators. (No, that won't happen, just a joke :)
Here's an example: the moving truck delivery with all my stuff on it still hasn't arrived, and I don't know what day it will come. I am trying to block off the parking spots in front of my building for the truck, but don't know the day. The dude in parking enforcement for the city of Portland, empathized with me, telling me that he faced the same thing with his move, and is expediting my application, looking up on real time while on the phone if the spaces were availble for reserve, and allowing me to adjust later to the right date.
Granted, I have to give the city of Portland $70 for this, but in NYC, I'd still be trying to figure out what agency has jurisdiction on such things, and they'd be telling me you "just can't reserve space".
Indeed, for the pickup, the truck just sat illegally and they told us we'd have to pay a ticket if they got it.
I may write more on this later, but the best and quickest way I can describe NYC is that a citizen there is constant and contentious competition for everything: from space to stand in aisle in grocery stores (yes, that's a thing, most of the aisle aren't wide enough for two people to stand abreast), to city resources, to apartments, to space to stand on the subway, to just about everything in daily life. I felt in NYC that daily life was a constant struggle. And that's how someone with middle class means feels: think of how it feels to be truly poor (not relatively poor due to rising rents) in NYC!
Anyway, I have to say I'm glad to be out! I keep joking that I now don't know if I can "make it anywhere" (referencing the Sinatra song, New York, New York), but I actually believe that NYC is the one place I can't "make it". Ok, maybe San Francisco too, but I can't stand being pitched start-up ideas in line at a coffee shop, anyway, so no chance I want to live there.
A few of you got in touch who are local. I must admit, I'm losing track of how many Free Software people live here. I'm going to have to make a list.
Yup! And by the way: we do need a more focused software-freedom organization effort here. There was a start with something called LibrePDX but that didn't get enough foundation to really get going. I know a decent number of the local folks, but there's mostly tangential tech/Linux groups and no real organization or list dedicated to libre-focus at this time. Whatever happens, whether you're active in organizing or not, I'll want to hear about it… and happy to do what I can to help (athough I'm always feeling overly busy already as is normal…)