Tuesday, April 24, 2012

driving ruins everything...

 I was catching up on Kate's fabulous blog and it put me in SUCH a nostalgic mood to return to California. Yet I just can't imagine having to cope with the driving and the distance between everything again....and I can't really imagine returning to San Diego. Even San Francisco, as much as I love the walkability, the culture, it is the sun that I miss from California....and SF is not known for its weather so much. Maybe if I could be in an awesome part of L.A....I may have to take LA-based friends up on all their insistances and give LA another chance one day to really explore the ins and outs of the city and the different neighborhoods therein. But still there's the driving....so much time needed to be in a car....although there are bus lines...at least for the daily commuting....but still, the price of a car, of insurance, of gas, even if it is just sitting along a curb 5 days out of the week....it's a California necessity.

Yet I miss the California sun - it has it's own light, somehow, and the air has its own thickness and its own quality. The ocean exists differently than these east coast oceans do. Even as springtime sun lights up New York, even as sporadic friends from back home are slowly migrating east, I do so miss those beaches, that salty air, the calmness of the sea. It's the ease with which one can reach the ocean that is different - yet this is because I live in Brooklyn. I live close enough to an ocean - I can take a train and be there within an hour, even on my side of the island there is a body of water which I can walk alongside, but it is not the same thing as going to the beach, plunking down on the sand, and napping in that glorious sun for hours. No, it is not the same thing at all, and even while it is an attainable place to visit on the weekends, it is not a place I can dash off to for an hour here or there. How spoiled I was in my last beachside neighborhood in California!

Anyway, this post really has nothing to do with anything at all except it hit me as being weird that I wonder if I remember the girl I was for 26 years accurately anymore. New York has been so transformative it's crazy....both good and bad I suppose, but pushing me to grow and so I suppose that can only be good, in the grand scheme of things. I guess maybe this post is forcing me, once again, to rectify the fact that you can't go home again...there are always going to be things I'm going to miss from either place. I guess that's the whole point of things, as you grow and make new homes for yourself, there is no longer one single place that exists for you as "home." There will be pieces from any of the homes you've chosen that you will miss whenever you are not there. It's the sort of thing you have to just let wash over you, I suppose. Not the sort of thing you can think about too heavily.

I suppose, if I look at what I'm craving, I'm wishing I could go spend two weeks back in California. I wish I could be on a vacation at the beach, with friends with whom to play, with money to spend ad nauseum, to see California as the vacation destination so many people treat it as. Yet, this is impossible. There are not two weeks to be spent on a vacation trip to California, there is not money to be spent frivolously, there are no friends who could take two weeks off to laze around the beach with me, and there is no way I could get to all the places I would want to see without having to drive. And it is the thought of having to drive my way around the state that makes the whole idea of a trip there go from "relaxing" to "stressful" in one dominant thought. I-would-have-to-drive.

No dice.

Summer is coming to New York. I will have time to relish the heat that remains, hanging in the air, late into the night. I will have time to take myself to the beach, and bake in the sun, even if I have to top off my relaxing seaside day with an hour-long train ride back to the city. I went to the beach here in a car once, and that was sort of wonderful feeling of frivolity - being driven, enjoying the sea air coming in through the window, blowing hair around, drying salt on skin. It felt like I was a little kid again, sun-crisped, sun-drowsy, and utterly relaxed and happy. That day feels quite long ago now, but I guess it's just that little reminder that even in a city that has some of the best public transportation in the country - if not, perhaps, the world - the ability to drive yourself is still a luxury. California or New York, cars are just a part of our entire culture. I just wish I didn't dislike driving oh-so much.

And with that, I end this having-nothing-to-do-with-anything post.

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