A Really Stupid Thing To Miss About New York
Today was an absolutely glorious day---despite an exhausting schedule, running around from the early morning until a couple hours ago, I got continuously recharged every time I walked outside and saw the almost blindingly blue sky and almost manically blossoming oxalis everywhere. I hope I get a chance to photograph some of it in the next few days--it's such a stunning, delicious, happy weed. So I'm really glad I'm here right now, and not dealing with Manhattan's last lurch through winter. Nevertheless, the day the President's FY06 budget came out, there are a few things I miss about New York. Some are less obvious than others.
For example, last year I had an impossibly cheap subscription to the ridiculously expensive Wall Street Journal, part of some kind of semi-accidental student deal. Despite the often infuriating editorial page, I actually love the Journal--the old school line illustrations, the wacky front page trend article, and clear cut, nitty-gritty, concrete articles about the kind of geeky stuff I love reading about: trade policy, military budgets, medical law, you name it. As the semester wore on, however, reading anything I didn't absolutely have to read became almost physically painful, and trade policy couldn't compete with the mountains of locally angled New York news I was trying to keep up with. Mountains of Journals in the plastic bags accumulated in my room while I found myself having to buy copies of the Daily News and even the Post at news stands. When I went home for winter vacation, my beloved ponderosa pines seemed to regard me accusingly in the mist. I axed the subscription with the new year.
And then I discovered that you can very often pick up a copy of the Journal on the subway system. Many people in my building also subscribed and never read their subscription, and set them outside a few days later. (This was also more convenient to my increasingly blog-influenced reading cycle anyway--I'm usually much more interested in journalism from two days ago than yesterday's news.). I also found that the J-school's subscription to Dow Jones's Factiva electronic indexing service was easy to use and tree-friendly. I could easily get my WSJ-fix without expending anymore cash, or accumulating my own piles of paper to deal with.
None of those things are true now. I'm lucky if I can get an unmolested front section of the San Francisco Chronicle on Bart, and I don't think I've ever seen a Wall Street Journal on the train. There is no building to go scouting around piles of papers for, and I've never seen it on any of the block's driveways. And really, the most horrible thing about graduating--the thing that kills me at least once a day--is not having such perfect library privilages, both physical and electronic.
I've pined for about five WSJ articles in the last seven days. The $79 online subscription fee is lookin' mighty reasonable now, and I have to give them props for making a paperless subscription an option. Sigh. Why can't it all just be free??