Several posts ago, I wrote of our special newfound apartment — a beautiful, Mediterranean-style loft with a plant hanging around, an old tile floor and crisp, golden sunshine pouring in from the high ceiling windows.
A few months later, we’re all moved in. And just last night, we finally met our neighbors. All is well — I’m sitting in my comfortable chair in my writing corner (everyone needs a good writing or reading corner, with a spot to put their feet up), and Tal is creating lesson plans for her first year as a full-time English teacher, with school starting tomorrow. The air conditioner is on, the refrigerator is stocked, our artwork is hung on the walls. We’re at home. But how we got here, exactly, was a rough ride. A rough, and bloody journey.
Here’s what happened.
Tal and I got back to Israel and immediately began preparing for the move. We got our new keys, bagged up our belongings and, over three torturous, hot days, transported everything from Yehuda Halevi in central Tel Aviv to Kerem Ha’Temanim, next to the sea. Most was moved with the help, and car, of Tal’s cousin Ami. A few bags rode with me on my bike, which made for one of my more treacherous rides through the city, and the rest arrived by the arm full, usually mildly damp from our sweat. Several of our conditions for moving in — a new coat of paint, a new lock for the outside door — hadn’t been completed, but we figured we’d have our landlord at work as we moved in. Continue reading
On a recent afternoon, Chad Stokes stuffed a van with all of his worldly possessions and emptied the junk at the local dump. After a few years living with his wife and daughter at his parents’ house in a sleepy little bedroom town, Stokes had decided to head back to Boston.
The move is symbolic, too: Following a decade away from the music scene, Stokes’ first band, Dispatch, is back. No more one-time “reunion” shows, like the instant sellouts the band played in 2004, 2007 and 2009. On Aug. 21, Dispatch will self-release “Circles Around the Sun” on its Bomber Records label, its first batch of new music in 12 years, then tour through the fall in Europe and the United States.
While “indie rock” is a term often used by many bands with major-label-strength backing, Dispatch was the rare exception. Formed in the early ’90s at Vermont’s Middlebury College, Stokes, Pete Francis and Brad Corrigan became a cult campus favorite, with self-made CDs and mixtapes the most common method of distribution. The advent of Napster only made the act bigger and, by the time labels took notice, Dispatch was too big to need them, or even care. Continue reading
There are so many neat things to buy in America!
Ever since I wrote that last post, the one about moving into a new apartment, life has been doing just that: moving. And I do mean physically. In the past 30 days or so, I’ve been in three countries and five US states; two vacation houses; two layover/mini-vacations in London; one music festival; one beachside amusement park; one Phish show; and more bars, restaurants and pubs than I could possibly remember. Most importantly, I met a pink-nosed dog who is really cute.*
*Sentence added at behest of one Tali Kassutto, whose family adopted said dog.
It’s been exhausting, and rewarding. But it’s not the actual movement, the driving and flying and hiking, that was draining. It’s the emotional toll of being caught in the balance of two lives that, due to proximity, simply can’t coexist. Realizing that, I found, was the difficult part. Continue reading