Monticello Road is a community arts project in Charlottesville, Virginia. Through photography and a series of public events and conversations, we explore how an art can be an essential, integral and everyday part of a healthy community.

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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Moving On

Central Virginia is just ridiculously beautiful. We hope you'll come visit us!

By now, most people know that Meredith, Sebastian and I are moving to Charlottesville, VA, where we own a house. This is a decision we've been planning for several years and as you might well imagine, our feelings on the subject are a big jumble. Quite simply, we're very excited about what we're doing, but we also love the life we have made for ourselves in New York.

Here are the facts: we're leaving the first week in July. We'll be living in the Belmont neighborhood, which is sort of the bohemian area and very close to down town (a 15 minute walk to the city center). Sebastian will be attending Clark Elementary, the K-4 public school across the street. I will keep my job at New York Road Runners, which will require spending the majority of the autumn in New York, then scaled way back during the rest of the year. After the Marathon, I'll look for a second, and hopefully local, opportunity or something permanent and part-time like I have done in the past.

We're very fortunate to be able to step from one situation that is very good and into one that's even better. I am sure that we could be happy either place but at this specific stage in our lives and careers, Charlottesville is starting to make a little more sense. Here are some of the things we're looking forward to that we're not getting in New York:

  • Contact with nature, Earth, Sky, green, and living things. That is the source of my art and sanity.
  • Time/space to actually get work done. There's a lot to see and do in New York, but it's very difficult to actually get work done.
  • Lower overhead. Speaks for itself, I think.
  • Easier, more relaxed environment, especially for Sebastian.
  • Slightly less dysfunction school system.
  • Proximity to Family. Really becomes an issue with the advent of children.
  • Ready supply of organic food and fresh eggs. We'll have our own private CSA.
  • More affordable babysitters. Ever pay $100 to see a movie?
  • Live in my own home. Not only from the American Dream perspective, but also from a standpoint of controlling one's own environment.
  • We'll have our own garden and compost cycle, along with some more green-living efforts we're planning but keeping secret for now.
  • Easier logistics. I love New York, but ya gotta admit: anything involvig any kind of logistics is 100 times harder than it needs to be.
  • Larger workspaces. Related to the overhead issue, but there's also the possibility to work outdoors.
  • Coffee/wine/dinner/etc on the deck or the front porch. What could be better or more civilized? We'll even have a front porch swing.

What it ultimately comes down to is wanting a change of pace. I don't expect Charlottesville to be quantitatively better, but it will be very, very good and certainly different. Meredith and I are pretty good about periodically changing things up. Each time we do so, we learn more and improve our lives.

This is not about bailing out of New York or quitting anything. It's about shuffling the deck a little bit and hopefully we won't lose anything. We plan to hang on to our friendships and the people that matter the most to us. Everything else is just scenery and we can always come back if we wish.

This blog, which voices both sides of my ambivalence about life in the city and the country, will take new turns. Perhaps the balance of power between Citymouse and Countrymouse will shift. That will be the subject of our next entry.

1 comment:

Stacey said...

Yay! I know because you're doing this for all the same reasons we moved to Maine, that you will not be sorry. I had a moment of desperation about work a couple months ago when I thought about applying for a job in DC and within a couple hours realized I could not possibly live in that crazy place again! We look forward to visiting you in a lovely place...and maybe even in NYC in the fall.