Saturday, April 28, 2012

Back From The Big City

I just got back from The Big City. In this instance it was the Washington, DC metropolitan area. This is not one of my favorite activities, but I was there for one of those utilitarian activities, that being to provide my freelance audio producer services to generate some revenue to finance my living free lifestyle.

Since I’ve done very little over the past three to four years to promote any new business and since I’m also not independently financially wealthy, I find that it’s time to spend a little time generating some extra money to build up the cash reserves to finance the upcoming travel. So, after downsizing and contemplating those audio services that I both enjoy doing and pay pretty well for the time invested, I generated a new business card.

Behold . . .


If you know of anyone requiring the services of a seasoned veteran of the “audio wars,” I stand ready to fill the call. Just connect us.

The project I just returned from was for one of my long time clients and good friends. These projects are especially gratifying because I know what to expect and I also enjoy working with both the principal member of the business (my long time friend) and his staff. And it included a one-night stay at a very nice Hyatt Regency hotel. I have to admit, the Hyatt rooms are several notches over the Motel 6, Super 8 and Americas Best Value Inn accommodations I utilize during my personal travels. The project was similar to the project I worked with the same client on last October in Chicago. The great part of working with this client is that he owns all his own sound equipment and I’m very familiar with it because I designed and built the system for him and keep it maintained.

So, I visited my Air Force buddy in Falls Church, Virginia for a couple evenings. His home in Falls Church was where I rested my head during the week for most of the past three years. And, I worked on a nice project and may have connected with a couple potential new clients. All worth putting up with the congestion and traffic in The Big City for a few days.

People often find it interesting that I grew up a mere 12 miles from New York City in the New York metropolitan area with the Empire State Building and the Big Apple skyline in view until I was 22 years old, yet I am not a fan of city living.

It’s true! At my current age of 67, I’ve lived in large city metropolitan areas for approximately 30 years of my life and in rural/small town areas for the other 37 years. Cities do nothing for me. But, of course, this is an individual choice. My son grew up and lived in rural/small town areas for about 20 years of his 33 and currently lives in Seattle after having lived in the Washington, DC metropolitan area and Boston after he left the nest. He enjoys city living. In many ways we are “like father, like son.” But, in this one instance we are opposites.

I don’t have anything against the “Big City.” As a matter of fact, I often tell people that I enjoy visiting various cities including NYC, Philadelphia, Chicago, Atlanta, Baltimore, Seattle, San Diego, Denver and especially, San Francisco. Notably absent from list were Boston, Los Angeles, Washington, DC and several others because I don’t enjoy visiting them as much. But, whenever I do go to a big city it reminds me of why I choose to live in a more rural and small town environment and I’m always ready to get out of “Dodge.”

There is a distinct migratory trend over my lifetime. You can see a pattern.

My hometown, Clifton, New Jersey was where I grew up 12 miles from New York City. From there I moved to Syracuse, NY a much smaller metro area, but still a pretty big city. Then Uncle Sam moved me to Washington, DC where I lived just over the border in Maryland for four years. Here’s the rest of the pattern after that . . .

Clifton, NJ          11.4 sq miles, population 84,100 (1st 22 years)
(NYC metro area)
Annapolis, MD     7.6 sq miles, population 38,400 (10 years)
Winchester, VA    9.3 sq miles, population 26,200 (27 years)
Keyser, WV         1.9 sq miles, population   5,300 (6 months – temporary)
Sparta, NC           2.4 sq miles, population   1,800 (size of the next area
            I’d enjoy living – sort of my version of Mayberry USA).                         

There is a very obvious direction I’m heading. One of my travel objectives as I tour around the U.S. is to find lots of these small towns, learn about the area, become acquainted with the people who live there, learn also about the climate and ultimately select two or possibly three locations as considerations for a secondary and possibly a final “base camp” as I draw closer to the end of my journey of life.

There is a lyric from the Broadway Musical and Film West Side Story that goes, “There’s a place for me. A time and place for me.” And, indeed, there is, “Someday! Somewhere!” I’ve modified the lyric just a little from “us” to “me” since right now I’m only planning for myself. But, who knows what the future holds. I believe in never saying never about anything.

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