Showing posts tagged with “country life”

He loved New York for its simple surprises, although in truth, Oregon and Iowa and Arizona and everywhere else had simple surprises as well. Cantaloupe-colored sunrises, banded cows, Dairy Queens, all kinds of things that didn’t include black plastic mountains of trash and the smell of dog urine.

—Jo Ann Beard, “Werner” (via rightnow-forever)

1) The base fare remains at $2.25. The cost of a 30-day card rises to $125, up from $104, and a weekly card costs $34, up from $29. In addition, the 7 percent bonus on pay-per-ride MetroCards — which gives a rider an extra $1.40 with each $20 placed on the card — is reduced to 5 percent. The express bus fare remains at $5.50.

MTA Fares Are Going Up One Way or Another — Daily Intel

Listen, I understand that this is just one of the options for the fare hike, but the fact that going from $104 to $125 is even an option is… I JUST CAN’T ANYMORE. 

(via jennyjennybobenny)

Philadelphia TransPass: $83/month
Chicago CTA Pass: $86/month
Boston LinkPass: $70/month

$125? NOPE.

(via notnadia)


(via elision)

HAHAHAHA. A 28-day Metro (DC) pass is $230, which is actually a DEAL if you live in the ‘burbs and commute at rush hour (it costs more the further out/time you’re riding). Before I started using a bike, I was only using about $120 a month in fares.

(via furiousfurious)

On average, I spend less than $100 on gas each month in rural Vermont, btw. If I drive to NYC or Boston a time or two, that may go up to $125-$150, but most monthly public transit cards wouldn’t cover that kind of out-of-state transportation, so… still not that much different. Though, I can’t drink and drive my car, so, y’all got that in your favor.

So maybe Vermont is bringing out the hippie in me, but.

The winter blues have descended upon me for the past week or so. There is genuinely nothing majorly wrong in my life right now - I have a challenging job in a field I want to be in, I have my own apartment that I can afford and still have a savings account with, along with a cuddly and strange cat, and a boyfriend I adore - which in and of itself is a bit strange, because I can’t remember the last time that at least two of those things if not all three were sources of stress. None-the-less, lately I find myself upset over no apparent reason, wildly tired, and generally eating these strange feelings in the form of cookies.

At some point last winter, I reached a point of zen with the season. I realized that the best thing I could do in winter is just get through it. To solve the intense outdoor cold/intense indoor heat problem by dressing in layers, to get out of the weekly doldrums by giving myself things to look forward to, and, thanks to the book on meditation I was reading at the time, above all, to remember that it is only temporary, that eventually it’d be spring, then summer, then fall, then winter all over again. To make peace with the beast because I’m never going to live in Florida, so we need to cohabitate.

Lately I have had the strongest urge to go out. Not just out to dinner or a movie or a drink or two, but OUT OUT like the kind of going out I did just about every weekend in New York City, where you tell yourself you’re going to have the best night ever before you get all dressed up and go to some bar and maybe cast a “I might be interested in you maybe along with a couple other people here” glance at a stranger or two but mostly just stay with your friends and dance against each other to sometimes great but mostly mediocre DJs while spending $20-$80 on less booze than you would’ve had if you had just put that down on a top shelf bottle of whiskey.

It’s weird for me to have this feeling because even though I somehow wound up doing that almost every weekend in New York, most of the time I did it I was hopelessly bored and usually hoping we would just go to a dim, wooden bar with cheap drinks and a good jukebox and actually talk and become closer friends instead of performing some weird ritual where we pretended to be interested in strangers when we really just wanted to hang out with the people we already knew.

For about as long as I have been having this feeling, my body has been giving me reasons to stay put. These reasons have taken the shape of stomach viruses, bad reactions to medications, sinus infections/colds/flus/whatever other kind of illnesses that require lots of tissue, and most recently, a sledding accident where I wound up with legs covered in bruises and most likely fractured my nose. By the time I found myself hugging a wooden plank hoping I didn’t roll down an icy hill and break my neck, I thought to myself, Maybe the world is trying to tell me to calm down about this going out thing.

Thing is, whenever I feel strange, upset, confused, lost, angry, or blah, I have the urge to run. Even if just temporarily. A night of just driving around with no destination, going out of town for a weekend, it doesn’t matter, as long as I am leaving the place of the weird or bad feeling and going to another, even if the other place is just an hour away. Emotions for me are a very tangible thing connected to geography, like a suitcase I can stash in a storage space, or a movie I can press pause on and finish the next time I’m home.

But tonight when I was getting ready to go to bed just now, I looked at the toothbrush my boyfriend bought this weekend to keep at my place and thought about how I’ve dealt with “The Big Three” (career, shelter, relationships), so maybe what I’m dealing with is facing some internal shit, and about how the first thing I should do in dealing with my shortcomings is to admit what they are, and how maybe this whole urge to bolt thing is so tired and the staying put thing is still so nice and new.

Once in the city with its creature comforts and allurements it takes backbone and fortitude to forsake all that the city has to offer and chance it in new, untried rural surroundings.

—Helen & Scott Nearing, the Maple Sugar Book

On the impetus to leave.

I haven’t written much lately. Normally, this would worry me, but this time I know it for what it is - a symptom of a bigger problem, not a problem on its own. I’ve wanted to write, about my trip, about various relics of culture, but my writing has distilled down to the supremely bland & the supremely emotional - the writing of cover letters, and the writing of letters. And this one unavoidable truth that I have resisted putting in writing for some time: I don’t want to live in New York City anymore.

Looking at that sentence is strange and almost unbelievable to me. I have championed this city, been its biggest proponent since before I even came here 8 years ago. The people who have met me in those past 8 years struggle to see me outside it, to separate me from it. Many see it as a part of me, and respond to hints of my desire to leave as though I might talk about divorcing a spouse or cutting off a limb.

I have no ill will towards the city. I have loved it and romanticized it for so long with good reason. I have seen (and sometimes met) my favorite authors, bands, artists, chefs, photographers. I grew confidence and the ability to talk to people. I’ve wandered the streets alone at night and have never been assaulted in any form. But I can’t deny that there are negatives, negatives that grow the longer I am here. Financial, personal, and otherwise.

I originally came to New York because I wanted to be a Music Journalist.  This was 2001, and the Internet was around (I spent most of my time on it, even), but magazines and newspapers were still being published with vigor. New York City was where most music magazines were published. I have always gone about things very straight-forwardly, so studying in close range to the city where all the music magazines were seemed like the obvious way to go. I only applied to three colleges, all of them in New York.

If I could go back in time, I don’t think I would’ve pigeon-holed myself in this way, career-wise, or location-wise. We all know what they say about hindsight, so this is really besides the point - here I am, still in the New York metro area, 8 years later. The journalism industry has changed drastically, and so have I.

And yet, I haven’t. I have my doubts about music writing as a full-time career now, but in so many other ways, I feel the same, and that’s part of the problem. At times it feels like living in New York City has retarded my personal growth, kept me from facing any number of realities. When you’re living in a city of dreams, it’s easy to think that the dream is right around the corner. When you’ve got a pocket full of cash and a bar in the middle of you and all of your friends, it’s easy to justify blowing extreme amounts of money on liquor so you can experience your friends’ stories first hand, make out with some strangers, and appear in more facebook photos.

It’s not New York’s fault, I know that. I made these choices, and I don’t regret having made them. I’m beginning to understand why I made them, and I know that I made them to run away from myself, to run away from my problems and my insecurities. It’s easier to get past the insecurities of creation when you’re jamming your mind full of inspiration. It’s easier to drink yourself into flirting with the cute guy you’re too self-conscious to talk to sober. It’s easier to hide from your own flailing writing career when Salman Rushdie is talking about his right in front of you.  My mind is so full of things I’ve collected in the name of inspiration at this point that I have muffled my own voice.

I’m tired of running away from myself. I want to run towards myself. I want a garden. I want to not have to drive an hour to go on a hike. I want to pay a reasonable amount of money for the space I inhabit. I want to be able to save money. I want to see stars. I want to find my voice again, and I want to find the time to use it. It’s not that I can’t do that here - it’s that it’s easier to do it away from here.