The island tax

July 8, 2009 at 11:15 pm | In just_so, victoria | 5 Comments

In keeping with the title, this post has no links, no names, nothing: it’s an island subject.

The story: I have an opportunity to attend an interesting sold-out event in a very nearby city on “the mainland” (the US mainland, actually). One of the panelists at the event is offering to get me into the event – all I have to do is show up. Would I like to go? You bet – the event itself, the opportunity to network with the people there, and most of all the opportunity to meet the panelist (who happens to be a very interesting person) is enough to make anyone with half a brain want to go.

I think I have more than just half a brain, so…

Yet I won’t be going because it’s too expensive and logistically difficult to get there.

The island-ness of our island-ness is really hitting me hard these days, and I’m not liking it.

When we first moved back here, I scoffed at the notion of a fixed link (that is: a bridge to the mainland) because (I thought), why let everyone else have easy access to this place?

Alas, it works both ways: easy access also means …easy egress.

And that means circulation: entry and egress. I really believe in circulation. Lately, however, I’m at a stand-still. There’s no easy on or easy off here.

If I still lived in Boston and wanted to go to New York City, I could hop in a car and drive there, attend an evening event, and drive back. The stress of driving ~8 hours there and back in a single 24-hour period might take a year off my life, but financially it wouldn’t cost me more than gas. And it would be eminently do-able. (I did it once while studying for my connoisseurship exams at Harvard – I wanted desperately to see an exhibition at the Guggenheim, so the spouse and I set out at 5am for NYC, saw the show, and drove back. Easy-peasy, sort of.)

Here, to go to a city that’s actually closer (in mileage) than the Boston-New York City run, I’d have to figure out complex ferry schedules (and accept fares which run to a couple of hundred dollars, return fare, and otherwise involve many hours of travel time) or consider even more expensive airplane flights – either sea-planes or regular planes. In either case (planes and ferries), it’s impossible to go to a late evening event and come back that same night because the planes and ferries don’t run that late, so now we have to factor in hotel accommodation on top of the already significant travel costs.

If you plan a trip several weeks ahead of time, you can do it for a not entirely painful amount of money, but if it’s something that comes up unexpectedly, you can only do it if you’re prepared to throw money at it liberally. And so, unless you have money to throw at a thing, you don’t circulate. You stay put.

Do this for …oh, seven years or so (as I have) and you start to grow moss. And before you know it, you’re totally and utterly stuck.

Theme: Pool by Borja Fernandez.
Entries and comments feeds.