Ever since I moved back to Jacksonville three weeks ago, I couldn’t help feeling less connected to this town. First of all, I live in the suburbs, which almost everyone does around here. Everyone drives everywhere, as all destinations sprawl across miles of open, flat land.
I’m used to taking mass transit for commuting. Now I drive a borrowed car, and I’m nowhere near the bus. I’m used to hearing and seeing masses of people. I’m “lucky” if I hear the upstairs neighbor stir during the day. I’m used to having something to do every night, people to hang out with. I do have a roommate, and we’re really good friends, but I fear she’s tiring quickly of me.
One of the biggest things I miss is the live music that passes through. Every performer dreams of standing in front of a crowd in New York City. (Though sometimes they stand in front of no crowd at all.) Almost every big name got its start there; that where we find and love all the little ones.
In the past year and a half, I have been able to see:
August 2008 – Mates of State, New Pornographers, Andrew Bird, Radiohead; Liberty State Park
September 2008 – Dar Williams; Irving Plaza
February 2009 – Patty Griffin; Beacon Theater
March 2009 – Ingrid Michaelson; City Winery
April 2009 – Indigo Girls; Highline Ballroom
April 2009 – Mates of State (Sun Bears and Black Kids opening – They’re from Jacksonville!); Webster Hall
May 2009 - Adele (The Script opening); Roseland Ballroom
June 2009 – Josh Ritter; Central Park Summerstage
June 2009 – Indigo Girls; Central Park Summerstage
July 2009 – Allie Moss, Allison Weiss, Leila Broussard; The Living Room
September 2009 – Ingrid Michaelson (Greg Holden opening); Webster Hall
September 2009 – Greg Laswell; Joe’s Pub
September 2009 – Yeah Yeah Yeahs; Radio City Music Hall
So maybe I’m going through a bit of withdrawal, I know there’s stuff to do and see. I’ve been to the beach; I’ve gone shopping, and I know of some great places to eat. I’ve visited friends. I just need to accept that Jacksonville, with its mere pittance of one million or so people, is not a big city. It has charm, though. It’s beautiful. The people are warm and friendly. Maybe, hopefully, my transportation situation will improve, and I will be able to see and love more of the town where I grew up.