More on place

So, I bounced the question to my group and I got a little more feedback on place than I expected, but slightly differently than I expected as well. There was some interest in going with New England, for the depth of folklore, and some interest in a place that was in decline, a place that has fallen upon economic hardship.

Those are both pretty doable, though I ended up drifting a little outside of new England in my thinking - most of the original colonies have a thick layer of folklore, but i still want to stay northeasterly. One possibility this suggested was Cleveland, which was a little bit on my mind after a fantastic episode of
No Reservations in Cleveland. Thing is, I think that I'd want to read the entire run of American Splendor before trying it, and I don't have that kind of time.

The other option that sprung to mind is the New England mill town. This hits all the notes precisely, and I think if I sat everyone down to watch
Empire Falls it would get the sense of place across very easily indeed. Now, this is a setting I can do - it's deep enough in my bones that I could do it in my sleep. I think there's a really, really powerful Changeling game to be held in such a place, but I'm not sure it's the one I'll run. Small town stories are very personal, and everything is so tightly tied together that it's the sort of place I would love to see one changeling come back to - that would in fact be freaking fantastic - but doing a group could really stretch things beyond breaking.

Southern Connecticut might work too - one of the shipbuilding towns that's moved on. But nothing's jumping out at me there.

So, as I was chewing on this, I was listening to "Radio Nowhere", the advance track for the
new Bruce Springsteen album, and Bruce got me thinking about something that had first been planted in my head By Sarah Vowel in Assassination Vacation and driven home in the New jersey episode of No Reservations - Asbury Park.

The coast of New Jersey is littered with resort towns who saw their golden age many decades ago, and are now just sort of shells of their former glory - old boardwalks and boarded up storefronts surrounded by glorious murals faded through years of neglect. Asbury Park is probably the most famous of these, and it's theoretically been undergoing a bit of reconstruction since 2002, but this
idea really resonates. I suppose the faded resort town could be in Maine as well, but there's something ephemeral about putting it in New Jersey, some contrasted banality that makes Miami such a good setting. For this I would probably invent a fictional town, but the concept really sings with me. I've already got some visuals in my mind that I'm inclined to roll with.

That said, Fred pointed out that thinking that way also opens up the possibility of Atlantic City, and that's got some legs too, but here's where I admit I've never actually been there, and I feel like that's a problem. But that's also on the table, and I think we're primed for some good discussion on Friday.
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