How do I love Ottawa? Let me count the ways:
- Despite being rated as having horrible traffic, it is actually really easy to get around town, which means I can get far more out of the city and what it has to offer than I could in Montreal. Montreal is a great city, but I could rarely enjoy it because getting around was so very stressful.
- Just in the past two weeks, I had breakfast at the residence of the Norwegian Ambassador, went to a CDFAI event where I met many interesting folks in and around the policy world, lunched with a visiting expert on civil-military relations in South America, beer-ed with a twitter friend passing through Ottawa, participated in a Fast-Talk at DFATD, and had beers with young folks working in the defence sector. I moved to Ottawa to be better engaged in the policy community, and it worked! I still have much room to improve--remembering people's names, meeting other folks and so on--but being inside the Ottawa bubble is damned good for my business of doing International Relations.
- Public outreach is so much easier. As I have discussed here repeatedly, I have taken more seriously over time the obligation to not just talk to those of my own kind (professors) but to share my research and perspectives beyond. It is far easier to do this in Ottawa, where things are far closer and where media outlets are more engaged in Canada's role in the world, than previously.
- The students at the Paterson School of International Affairs continue to teach me quite a bit as I try to teach them. They have varied experiences working all over Ottawa, and have some very insightful takes on such experiences.
- Despite a proclivity to having summer meetings, I am a big fan of NPSIA, its Director, staff and colleagues. It has been a stimulating two year, and the environment at work has been the most supportive of my entire career.
- There is much ultimate. I could play far more frequently, but two nights a week during the summer is about as much as I can handle. This summer, more games have been at distant fields, but that still makes them far closer and easier to reach than in my previous locale.
- Our neighborhood is still is incredibly neighborly. A great group of people who are most welcoming and quite willing to give me a beer. Not great poker players, but that is a good thing.