I’m already regretting my choice to leave this paradise I live in, it may be raining outside at the moment, but having multiple days off from work in Northern California is a golden treasure that rarely shows itself and yet I have chosen to abandon my better judgement and venture to the east coast for succos. I tarried for several months, originally I wanted to drive to Seattle/Vancouver area and see those two communities and do some backpacking and mountain biking. I decided against it because 3 day yom tovs are rough – especially if you go to someone new – they could suck and ruin it big time. So eventually I decided to venture to New York.
There were several factors in this decision, because for the first time in my life, I like where I am living so much that I never want to venture too far from it. The first factor, was an old friend lending me her car for the week, the second was my thought that although I dreaded staying in Far Rockaway, I decided at the beginning of Elul that I would go against my joy because it was kivud av and living 3,000 miles away means I really don’t get to honor my father or visit with him much. What does it look like if his son comes to town and stays somewhere else because the place he lives is not to my liking? The third factor was deciding to go to Rochester for the first time in many years, because for reason I have a great longing to see certian people there and I have longed to wander around the back roads of western New York . I find it ironic at how much I miss certian towns and scenery from that part of the country that isn’t spectacular by any means besides for the fact that I first discovered my love of rural road trips in that area. I just really want to get lost while listening to bluegrass.
So I have this sense of dread for some reason, like, this was a bad decision – I should have stayed here (the Bay Area weather on succos is amazing, but it’s amazing 8 months out of the year anyway) I could have went on a trip to Yosemite or ridden this particularly crazy trail that goes from 7,000 feet – 2,800 feet in 17 miles of downhill Sierra single track.
I hope not to make the same mistakes as last year, I also came to NY for succos and made the mistake of trying to see everyone – I got burnt out running around and didn’t have such a great time. I almost feel like I should just say “I’ll be here at this time – if you want to chill – show up”. I want to eat in 3 restaurants while I’m in New York – specifically Mike’s Bistro, Pardes and Basil. It’s funny how I’ve looked at dozens of restaurants and their menu’s and very few of them have anything too interesting on them.
Add to all this dread the fact that right after succos, I am starting to write a personal blog for My Jewish Learning and they hope that all of you will show up there to see what I have to say. I think I may be saying the same stuff as I do here, minus the minute details of mikvah night because the audience is more left leaning and secular than all of you – I have this dread that I will freeze up and get writers block before anything shows up on the blog or that no one will read the darned thing.
At the same time of all these random regrets about missing prime hiking season (the high country will be covered in snow in a month or so) I am super pumped to come to New York, I can’t believe that it’s almost 2 years since I have left and I can’t believe how far I’ve come as a person. I’ve settled down, found a career, a place to live and am enjoying life more than ever – yet leaving NY was kind of abrupt without much fanfare, because everyone including myself – thought I’d be back sooner or later, after I got bored of whatever it was I was doing in California. No one thought it would be a permanent thing. Although I remember thinking. years ago upon my first road trip here, that San Francisco was one of the only large urban areas I could call home – I never in a million years thought I would live here. I figured on Colorado, Oregon or Vermont. So coming back is a chance to recognize that I left some loved ones behind and to rekindle old relationships and gain new inspiration. It’s also a great chance to look upon the frum community, although I’m somewhat detached from it and figure out new things to write about.
FYI: I will be in Far Rockaway for the last days of succos and I don’t really know anyone there so if you want to have me over for a meal or succah hop or whatever – I’m down.