Friday, May 30, 2008

An Escape Quandary

We're in a quandary. Here's the problem. We know New York City is not sustainable nor is it a place we want to be when people get panicy about an rotting economy, high food and energy prices and other signs of a collapse. But here we are, buying membership in a community garden, taking position on its board and helping to rejuvenate it. I'm talking about Chenchita's Garden at 112th Street and Madison Avenue in Harlem.

We're really enjoying creating our little garden plot and helping to set up other plots and planting tomatoes, lettuce and other veggies. There's a lot of work that can be done there and it's exciting to be part of its transformation into a permaculture garden. You'd think we'd put our thoughts of escaping aside. Not really, but it's a source of more than a little confusion as to what we really want to do and how we want to extract ourselves from the city.

I met an old acquaintance recently and we had lunch today. He told me that he and his partner bought a house hours from the city and he takes the train to and from every day. Initially, they had arranged that he would work from home several times a week so the commute wasn't an everyday routine. Then his employer changed the rules and he could no longer telecommute. Now they've told him that they are moving his department from Times Square to Seacaucus, NJ. Well there's no way he would commute there, there are no direct trains nor hardly any indirect trains that go there. That's the scary part of escaping to me, being stuck where you've escaped to.

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