Friday, November 26, 2004
A reasonable question. Before moving here, I was in New York, living in Brooklyn and editing the CD review section at Blender; now I'm a freelancer in Toronto. Logically, most people in the rockcrit trade would want to move in the opposite direction. Nevermind that Toronto is a nicer place to live, with a saner government (both locally and federally), or that my overpriced current neighborhood (the Annex) is cheaper and safer than my overpriced former neighborhood (Park Slope). Business is business, and it's rare to find someone walking away from a good job at a good magazine. Lord knows, it wasn't easy.
I did it for two reasons. One was love. My wife Mary, a mathematician who had been teaching at Penn, was offered a job with tenure at the University of Toronto. Tenure isn't an option in the music press unless you're Jann Wenner, and the volatility of the business had driven home to me after my experience at Revolver. Besides, if you're going to freelance, may as well do it in a country with national health care.
The other was that I really wanted to live in Toronto. Not because being in New York when the World Trade Center came down traumatized me (it didn't), or because I can't bear the thought of being in One Nation Under Dubya (though it does give me the creeps). Basically, I've liked Toronto since I first visited in the late '80s -- the people, the weather, the topography, the Beguiling, the bacon ... just the overall feel of the place. And, yes, Canadian music, too. But I think I'll save that for a later post.