For the last two weeks, I’ve been on the road in more ways than one. I’ve driven a convertible. I’ve met with editors, writers, rabbis and Hillel directors, improvisers and actors, and bloggers for numerous networking and fun opportunities. I’ve been on vacation in the mid- and coastal west, which is not something to sneeze at in MyUrbanKvetchland, seeing as how I never go anywhere without a business purpose. I’ve been living out of a suitcase long enough to know that everything I brought with me–and presumably, everything I own either here or at home–seems to be black.

I’ve seen the California sun set over a sprawling, gnarled canyon, and sat at the water’s edge along the Pacific Coast. I’ve sailed the Chicago River aboard a boat of tourists. I’ve walked down by Lake Michigan with someone I’d like to know better. I’ve walked Hollywood Boulevard accompanied by a naturalized native. I’ve attended a taping of a TV talk show. I’ve been wined and dined because of a Jewlicious connection. I’ve been a visitor in people’s cities and in bloggers’ homes. I’ve been comped at the Improv in Los Angeles. I’ve been greeted at an outdoor bar by old friends and new acquaintances. I’ve played Jewish geography and tried to play cupid by making personal and professional introductions.

There have been inner journeys as well, too personal to recount in a public forum, and difficult decisions too raw and distracting to dwell on tonight, when I have to shove my belongings back into my carry-on and prepare for the return to my so-called life in New York, the city that never sleeps (and neither do I). I know that such crossroads, even if repressed, will emerge eventually, probably soon, and at a most inconvenient time…even in wine-soaked dreams, the truth is clear and painful. But right now, the motor functions of me are about moving me back to the home I’ve had for the last eleven years, nearly a third of my life.

Now, the adventure is over. Today, as I cross the country, whatever state lies beneath the airplane at any particular moment, I know my mind will be elsewhere, centered on the amalgam of emotions and experiences I’ve gone through over the last few days. And Tuesday, when the work day begins, I know that I’ll look to the work, the daily-ness of life even in its mundane annoyances, to distract me from the good and the bad, from the memory of vacation.

About the author

Esther Kustanowitz

For more posts by Esther, see, and


  • Oh! How I know how you feel! I still cannot distract myself enough from a very special journey I made. 2 months in Israel, on the road, saw almost every corner, made many new friends, reconnected with very old ones, and, also had many thoughts, inner struggles and decisions on my mind. I had to go back and deal with an almost foreign reality that was waiting for me….. I am still haunted everyday by the magical memory of my vacation.

  • Esther, I am so glad you had a chance to visit us out here in LA and I can’t wait to visit you in NY (hopefully next year). But for future reference–be careful when you say you “…walked Hollywood Boulevard…” 🙂

Leave a Comment