This City is what it is because our citizens are what they are. Plato
I grew up on the East Coast. My best, most vibrant memories come from post college when I moved to New York City…well, Weehawken, NJ… but Lenny, my future father-in-law at the time admitted that it might have had a better view of NY than he did from Brooklyn. I spent nearly four years in NY and it still strikes me as being everything I think a big city should be. It was the 80s and the City still maintained a grittiness that it has since scrubbed. I remember once visiting my old boss on A St. and being warned to not engage the heroin dealers. A St. is now untouchable and his apartment that looked out on the water and bridge is now untouchable for less than many dollars. I grew oblivious to the prostitutes around the Port Authority and marveled at the ability to see Yoko on 72nd Street (see, but not approach).
Over the last few decades I have moved around this country and been lucky to live in some fantastic cities – San Diego, Minneapolis, St. Louis and Denver – but none have really ever surpassed NYC for its overall ability to awe me every single day. A tiny part of it might have been my youth at the time, but I am pretty much the same wide-eyed nerd that I was then. I revel in eavesdropping stranger’s conversations and seeing things from angles and perspectives that I imagine nobody else ever has. As I’ve mentioned, the anonymity of NY thrills me. Something about NY always made me feel just a little more immortal, just a bit more special.
So last year, after the split, I started to think about moving. Don’t get me wrong, Denver is an amazing city with a future that is going to be brilliant. But it wasn’t where I wanted to grow and in some ways it felt like a place where I could not grow. I knew I wanted to go back East and I knew I wanted a big city. I had been to DC a few times and it kept sticking in my head. Big, still a bit gritty and containing all that wonderful politics. I got to run a half marathon there and see the neighborhoods with their age – some eloquent and some decrepit. There were the fine drinking establishments that were introduced to me by my friend Mel. If you can’t get a good Old Fashioned in DC, where can you get one? And there is always the chance of seeing someone famous (a part of NYC that I truly loved).
Late last year I screwed up my courage and asked my boss what the company would think of me working remotely. My thought was that I spend so much time with headphones on and doing things strictly by computer that there really was little difference in me being there or on Mars. There was also the plea for a more creative city. Once again, apologies Denver, you are creative but a bit cliquey. [Somebody once pointed out that every conversation in DC has the purpose of networking and making a future connection. Those ground rules work ok by me.] Finally, there is the fact that family, friends, loved ones are on the East Coast. Luckily, the powers that be at Kärcher decided that my cube could be filled by some other employee. Also, my freelance could be managed from a distance.
So on Thursday (2/22/18) I will do two major things. First, I will sell my car. Sad not to have it anymore, but I will not need it when I arrive in DC. It is one of the things I love about living in a city. No car equals less responsibility even if I do gain the opportunity to freeze or sweat a bit more waiting for a bus or train. Then I will load up a rented U-Haul and aim east. I have rented an apartment that looks out on RFK Stadium and a wish to be there by Saturday night. Along the way I will take the opportunity to see some friends, spend a bunch of time analyzing my thoughts and listen to a lot of NPR or my newly re-stocked iPod. I don’t mind long trips, but this is a doozy. The only thing that will be on my side is the anticipation of falling asleep in the metropolis that is Washington D.C.
What will happen in D.C.? Not sure. I want to maintain my full time work and my freelance (which will require me to be a tourist in Denver approximately once a month – there is nothing better than being a tourist in a city you formally lived in) and I want to take full advantage of the city where I live. DC makes this easy by being a gawker’s paradise – museums and motorcades alone keep us busy. I also want to get involved in the communities – both where I live and the type of work I do. There is also a big long path along the Anacostia and I want to run it every chance I can. And yes, I want to have those conversations for connections and maybe more political work in the future.
Also I want to share more here. Consider it my honesty enforcer to boast or moan here. Mostly I want to live, a lot more out loud. I want to live the advice: be here now.
I will miss some things in Denver. I have lovely friends at work and people who do love me. I will miss Hooked on Colfax, which is a superb coffee shop. I will miss those mountains. And Red Rocks, god, what an amazing venue. But a new adventure calls at a period in my life when I wasn’t quite sure that adventures were going to come. I’m going to make the most of this.
By the way, in case you want my new address, contact me on Facebook or via my email.