Being back in Tahoe has been more than just a trip down memory lane–it’s been practically magical. While talking with old friends, drinking great West Coast microbrews, hiking up rocky, wildflower speckled mountains, or chilling out on a sailboat on a lake, I’ve felt an almost visceral pain. It’s that bittersweet awareness that this is a special place for me that I won’t probably see again for a long time hence.
There are many benefits to living in New York City, which mainly consists in its plenitude of social offerings. But though I’ve been there for over 2 years, I have few close friends to chill out with on a frequent basis. Coming back out here and hanging out with good people is what really makes me miss Tahoe. Not to mention the looming pine laden ridge-lines and dry, boulder strewn mountains.
One of the reasons I left was that I was craving metropolitan human culture–things like museums, live music, and multifarious places to wet your whistle. And this is one of the great draws of the big city. But now that I’m on the other side, of course now what I miss is the lonely midnight sound of the sierra wind rushing down the trees. That surrounding, everpresent quiet sentience of nature.
In the city, you not only have access to the pinnacles of human accomplishment, but also the constant, in-your-face reminders of human struggle. The rude, the loud, the aggressive. Sometimes I just want to get away, but there’s nowhere really to escape to. No 3,000 feet to climb to a nearby mountaintop.
Is it possible to get the best of both worlds? Some place that has all the cultural benefits of the city, but immediate access to the solitude of nature? I don’t know, but when I find it, I’ll know I’ve found a place I might more readily call home.