I spent last week in Providence, RI on a research trip to Brown to work with a colleague on trying to understand dinosaur tracks a little more (day job details here). I lived in Providence from 2012 to 2014, and those two years were among the best in my life; surrounded by great friends, working at a stimulating and exciting place (with stimulating and exciting people!), and just generally living a in a beautiful city. I have immensely fond memories of the time and the place. I’ve been back since, both for work and pleasure, but the city felt different this time somehow. Many of my previous friends have moved on now too, and others I simply didn’t have time to see. It felt like a strange but familiar place… it was almost like home, but not quite. When I lived there, despite being a foreigner in a strange land, it felt more like home than pretty much anywhere else I’ve ever lived, and so it was unsettling to not find that comforting feeling I was expecting. By no means was it an unpleasant journey, but it did leave me wondering if further visits will erode my fond memories and turn it into just another place. The photo above was taken in the place I called home at the time. I’m unlikely to go back there, so at least that little house will retain it’s fond memories, even if the city itself slides away.