My family and I lived in upstate New York for four years, from 2002 to 2006, before we beat a hasty retreat back to our hometown of Washington, DC. We lived in the small town of Hamilton, New York, near Syracuse, where winters can start in October and end in May. The snow never ends and the cold is unrelenting (we had 190 inches of snow our last winter there). Yes, the countryside is beautiful, and the other three seasons are sublime--but they are far too short to really enjoy.
For some writers, this situation is ideal. The forced isolation (unless you have snowshoes) and creative output go hand in hand: armed with bottomless hot chocolate, a pen, and a not unreasonable desire to stay warm, you can really crank out the words. Pete Yorn, for instance, told me that if it weren't for the brutally cold winters during his undergrad days at Syracuse University, he may not have become a songwriter.Read More