Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

A Couple Is Moving; You Choose Where

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

A Couple Is Moving; You Choose Where

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Woods

Danny de Zayas can't help himself. He constantly checks the vote tally on the new Web site.

Before he went to the gym the other day, Fayetteville, Ark., was in the lead.

When he got back home, Birmingham, Ala., had taken over the top spot.

"It's so fun, and so odd, to have created something and feel like so soon it has a life of its own," he said.

Its life actually is their life.

De Zayas, 23, and Nina Barry, 26, are living with his family in Miramar. But they are planning to move. They just don't know when or where. And they're not going to decide. You are.

Or, more accurately, the people who log onto and vote for one of 250 towns - including Jacksonville - will decide. Once 1 million votes have been cast (as of Saturday, the tally was at 2,189), they will move to the top city and stay at least a year.

When I got their news release last week - Young couple to place their fate in the hands of Internet citizenry- I kept looking for the angle, the hook, the money. Why are they doing this? Certainly there must be something that a pre-Internet boomer like me just isn't seeing. She's an artist. Are they doing it to hype her art? He has done online marketing. Is this a venture for him?

What's the story?

After hearing their version of the story, I have a different take on it.

Maybe I'm just a sucker for adventure and uncertainty and romance. And once you get past the high-tech gimmick, no matter what the motive, that's what this involves.

"In a way, this is like us getting in a car and heading on a road trip somewhere," de Zayas said, adding with a laugh, "Obviously it's much more serious than that. ... I still kind of vacillate between one moment thinking, 'Geez, what are we doing, this is insane' to 'This is fun, and it's going to be OK.'"

The idea was sparked by an issue of Money Magazine with a list of the 100 Best Places to Live. De Zayas read the story, hopped into the shower and started thinking. Where should they live? Why not put it up to a vote?

OK, most of us don't have that follow-up question. …

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