February 17, 2005

feels like home

A friend who knows what she's talking about told me there's a dearth of editors in New York right now. That if Dan could get into the independent feature world, he could work. And work. And work.

And just like that, I realized. It's not so much that I want to move to Toronto. It's that I want to leave Los Angeles. Yes, I still have deep qualms about this country, about a nation that could elect a man and a belief system for a second term who should never have been let near the Oval Office even once, about a nation that seems on the verge of banning all the things I believe in and mandating all the things I loathe. But oh. Man. I love New York. I miss it. I miss, not only the lush green of New England and upstate New York, not only the turn of the century grace of the architecture and the vigor of people constantly moving, constantly interacting, constantly and consistently alive, but I also miss the affect, the attitude, the character of those people. I'm attracted to the idea of Toronto but I worry too. Will I be looking for a similar style and be disappointed when I inevitably don't find it?

So we'll take a trip this spring. First New York and then Toronto. With luck and planning, Dan will have meetings both places, we'll explore the possibilities, testing for viability. Right now I lean heavily toward my native land. Right now I swallow tears at the thought. Can you go home again? I don�t know. I truly and really don't know. But the thought entices. Oh, how it entices.

In more concrete terms:

Toronto plusses: Cheaper real estate. A better social safety net. A sane government and population.

Toronto minuses: Less support services for Damian should he continue to need that or perhaps need it once again down the road (middle school comes to mind, that social quagmire). No built-in community; we'd feel isolated at first and maybe for a long time thereafter.

Toronto unknowns: The character of the people. The quality of the work options for Dan. The nature of the school system: traditional or progressive?

New York/New Jersey plusses: A work niche for Dan that feels exactly right (in my opinion, anyway). A built-in network of family and friends in the greater metropolitan area, as well as relatives and available country/beach retreats all along the Eastern Seaboard. A school system in the town we'd consider that sounds fan-fucking-tastic (experiential learning, anyone?). And New Jersey is known for its great special needs support. Plus, see above. Feels like home.

New York/New Jersey minuses: Still in the USA.

New York/New Jersey unknowns: Would we find a community we fit into in that town we like? Would Dan be able to sustain a career for the long haul there? Will this country fall (further) into totalitarianism?

I believe, here and now, as I write this, that we will move. That we will leave this city of sunshine and palm trees. I believe that either option will suit us better than here. I believe that we will make a huge change in our lives, and relatively soon. I believe we'll know the right one to make. (I suspect it'll be New York.)

Posted by Tamar at February 17, 2005 09:54 AM

LA is a difficult place for a thinking person to feel at home, no question. Of course, that does apply to the whole US these days. :-\

Posted by: sleeky at February 17, 2005 03:45 PM

It's been almost exactlysix years since I made that same decision, after 10 years in San Francisco. It took a year for meand Rache - I suspect, as you do, that your trajectory will be quicker.

And I can't wait to see you this summer.

Posted by: Chris at February 18, 2005 02:32 AM

Well, you know our vote - Toronto would be our vote given the choice between here and NYC.

More T.O. Pluses:
- Most culturally diverse city on the planet (according to the UN anyway)
- Way more politically liberal (I haven't yet met a Bush supporter here)
- Extremely low crime rate (by N. America but not Canada) Homicide rate in Manhattan is 9 times Toronto's, Motor Vehicle Theft is almost 60 times lower here than Manhattan. According to stats at homefair.com NYC has double the average crime rate where Toronto has half.

I like the character of the people here a lot. There's an element of the New England reserve for sure, but with more of a worldly feel since the city is so diverse.

Let us know when you visit - we'd be glad to show you around.

Posted by: Todd at March 4, 2005 04:58 PM