Too many painful commutes to and from Manhattan.
About 35,000 New Yorkers rely on the A train to Far Rockaway each day -- a small number in a city of more than 8 million. One couldn't help but feel insignificant in the seven months without service, when a one hour subway ride to the city was replaced by an ordeal of between two- and four-hours, depending on the time of day.
Traveling between Rockaway Beach and Manhattan was never a quick thing to begin with. About an hour each way. But the A train made it easy. It was the difference between feeling isolated and feeling incorporated with the greatest city on earth.
It's been a long seven months. The indefinite loss of the A train and ensuing hell of a commute was enough to persuade me to leave a job in the city. I often joke that I took a job in Atlanta because the ride to work was shorter (punch line, I work at home). Truth is, the physical and emotional toll of commuting 30 hours a week was too much.
It's over now. The A train is back. And with it, the deepest sense of closure since the storm.
This is my first update to this blog since creating the page sometime in January. Oops.
I've always found blogging to be a great creative outlet, where my opinion and thoughts can shine through more than they do through the typical - and ideally nonbiased - news story I write daily as a reporter. I'd like to think that, regardless of what I commit to words, my voice somehow finds its way into the work. For fun or for work.
But I've at least got an excuse for my general radio silence in the blogosphere.
It's been a busy year. Just about three months ago, I left my job as an associate editor for Bank Systems & Technology to become a reporter for FundFire, a daily news service owned by the Financial Times group that's focused on the investment activity of institutional investors and asset managers. It's niche. But it's good.
Over the spring and summer I also contributed to Pivot, a digital magazine of sorts that served as a guide to the mobile lifestyle, and was a killer feature of the short-lived HP TouchPad tablet. It was a great project, and one that let me expand my writing into critical analysis of consumer mobile apps. I joined the project as a freelancer, helping the company that put the magazine together assess and review various applications on HP's webOS platform.
This fall I wrote my first whitepaper, commissioned by a financial technology provider. It was a good experience, and got me into a style of writing that was essentially new to me: long form persuasive research.
So that's what I've been up to. I've had four jobs this year, and have spent free time exploring the city I live in and enjoying life among friends and loved ones.
I have considered coming back into personal blogging in some capacity, though I'm not sure how or when that will happen just yet.