If, as was just confirmed, I'll indeed be working through the end of August at a pay rate that I used to make at my one great 8-month job in NYC... I'ma have enough money to make a big life decision in the fall: Fish or cut bait. AKA: Stay in Austin--permanently. Settle down--finally. Grow old and die here. Or...go back north to NYC/Weehawken and give it one last shot...
One of my first thoughts upon having money in the bank again was: "I'm going to go to NYC for 5 days!" But, having done that -- taken a couple of vacations in NYC in '05 and '06 before moving there in 2007 -- the idea actually made me kind of tired after the initial giddiness of being ABLE to do that... What would I do in 5 days?
Re-visit the place where I used to take my work smoke-breaks in Times Square (right outside the M&Ms flashy billboard).
Re-visit Union Square and environs: where I worked for 8 months (and watched Elvis Costello and babies pass by)/the Strand bookstore/the park/the Taco Bell (!).
Re-visit the Upper East Side: the Metropolitan Museum, plus Joan's apartment (buying a hot-dog and Pepsi -- the latter in her honor -- from a street vendor and enjoying them on a park bench outside her window). Then walk directly across The Park to John Lennon's Dakota building on the West Side.
Re-visit Chelsea: my old hairdresser's (now closed) across from the Chelsea Hotel, and attend the Chelsea Cinema (something -- hopefully Joan -- hosted by Hedda Lettuce).
Re-visit Washington Heights, where I first lived on Riverside Drive; see that apt. again, and the Hudson -- ice-chunk-laden when I first viewed it in February of '07 -- and the nearby Aaron Burr house (where I once sat on a park bench for hours and read a third of "Lover of Unreason").
Re-visit Weehawken! :) My old downstairs landlords; my sandwich shop; my pizza joint; my Pathmark grocery store; walk along the gorgeous Hudson view of the NYC skyline. Maybe even walk inland to the Union City "Bergenline" strip of cheap shops!
Here's the thing, though: All of the above said... It kinda feels like stuff that I don't personally feel the need to do right now. I mean, I LIKED -- a lot -- those memories... And I definitely want to visit again... but... it kinda feels too soon. Like, for instance, seeing the skyline from the Weehawken shore would be still like I was living there and had just walked over from my apt... I still feel that view IN me... and so I don't necessarily need to go there right now on a sporadic visit... There's no memory that needs "refreshing" since most seem still current to me...
So: Visit out. As for moving back: Sigh. Just thinking about what I went through the last time is a huge turn-off. Dear god, the job-worrying! The one thing that makes the idea still plausible is the fact that I've not re-accumulated a lot of stuff since being back in Austin. When I moved in 2007, I ditched a lot of pretty things that meant something to me -- including a fast black car and a great '60 vintage padded bar and vintage '30s red-velvet couch/chair. If I leave this time, though, all my stuff is just hand-me-downs (or a cheap $150 bed). All I need to take is my laptop and my iPod player (well, and CLOTHES, of course!). Not to mention: When I moved in '07, I had the trauma of carting my cat Gracie with me. (Traumatic for HER; worrying for me.) No cat this time.
I don't feel either way at this point. Pre-2007, I was so bored with Austin, and so curious about NYC... Having now seen NYC, it was interesting on the surface... but it won't really be "surprising" again. And the job hunt and cost of living (and the snarkiness of the local media -- aside from the wonderful "Post"! -- that got transmuted nationally) not interesting at all, just tedious and soul-draining. (Plus, having been forced to learn about both UT and Austin again --- temp jobs on campus and at UT games, taking the bus around town --- I like and appreciate Austin a lot more than I used to, back when I just basically drove from home to work and back, or else drove straight to a few clubs downtown. I've got more of a feel for the town now, this second time around. It's a pretty place, and a decent, rational place.)
Still... Interesting to have OPTIONS to think about as opposed to being forced into something out of poverty.