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Driving from Charlottesville, VA, to New York City costs around $30. $30 in tolls. This does not include gas, wear and tear on your car, or food. If you decide to go out to eat and have a couple of drinks with friends once you arrive, you will probably spend another $40. This does not include cab fare or a Metro card. If you decide to take your own car instead of public transportation, expect to pay another $10 in parking. And if you drive back to your friend’s apartment, be sure to not park on the side of the road where they will be sweeping in the morning or you will be fined, towed, or have a boot put on your tire.
Oh, and welcome to New York.
My older sister and my best friend both have lived in New York for a few years now, so I have made it a point to book tours to The Big Apple twice a year or so. This allows me to get in a good visit with each of them. If they didn’t live there, however, I’m not sure how often I would visit.
The trade off seems clear: if you’re willing to do battle with one of the world’s hardest cities, you may be rewarded by the realization of your dreams. People move to New York every day because it is where so much is happening on such a high level. Art, music, dancing, fashion, business. All these fields have a home in the city that never sleeps. But as Rosie Thomas asks, “If this city never sleeps, does it mean that no one dreams?”
It stands to reason that for every dream realized in New York, thousands—maybe tens of thousands—die. Perhaps they die because the dreamer can never get it together financially. Or maybe like the shepherd boy in Cohelo’s The Alchemist, the dreamer is distracted by a lesser, more attainable achievement and ends up settling for a while, the mist of his original dream dissipating into the noisy sky above. It seems a dream is all at once more safe and more vulnerable in a city like New York.
I’m thankful that my livelihood affords me the chance to visit far away loved ones, and the fact that I’m an independent artist means I can book tours up the east coast any time I want. And don’t get me wrong, New York is without a doubt one of the singular most exciting places I have visited. However, my fondest memories of New York City have one crucial commonality with my fondest memories of anywhere else in the world: they were made in the company of people I love.
Thanks for following.