I've been in Detroit for a week now, and it's been a pretty good adventure so far. I left Memphis a little after midnight on last Saturday, and the drive was pretty easy. Going to visit my family in South Carolina seems like such a trek, but 12 hours north wasn't so bad. Maybe it's because the drive itself is simple (I didn't even need a GPS), but I made it safely and I'm grateful that trips back to Memphis won't be so taxing as trips between Los Angeles and Memphis. I waited so late to leave because my friends threw a going away party for me, which I enjoyed very much (especially because there was ice cream cake AND because it was vanilla!) and I had to attend the annual Cooper-Young festival, just to get a sort of "farewell for now" from my neighborhood, which I love dearly. For the record, if you want to buy me ice cream, it has to be vanilla. Cheesecake has to be plain.
When I arrived at my new apartment building, I was a little nervous because the area of town is, in a nice way of saying, very "urban", but I told myself before I came here that I'm not a suburbanite in Memphis, and I won't be one in Detroit either. After signing my lease papers I went up to my studio, and I was very, very pleased. I have a great view of a nearby park, the Detroit River, and downtown Windsor, Ontario. The apartment was even recently renovated, so it's almost like no one had ever lived there before. After several days of putting furniture together, exploring the neighborhood, and running errands around the city, I finally feel like this is home away from home, and I'm pretty comfortable with my living situation.
Since coming here I've also gotten a chance to take a tour of the orchestra hall, as well as meeting with the Principal Bassoonist, Bob Williams. I think I'll be a good fit in the section, and I'm looking forward to playing with them this season. What I'm most excited about, though, is being able to live off this career without going to a day job. I came to this realization when I woke up on Monday morning and didn't have to go anywhere to file papers, get on a telephone, or even teach any students! Don't get me wrong, I've enjoyed much of my work history (not all), but getting up to practice and calling that "work" is amazing. That in itself is inspiration enough for me to win another audition in the next couple years.
But for now, I'm going to focus on doing my best with the DSO, and learning more about this city. No one wants to be pushed out of their comfort zone, but one great thing about being a musician is getting to learn more places, and to explore different parts of the country (and world) we wouldn't normally get an opportunity to.
...it's cold here though. I'm already having to break out the jackets and sweaters several weeks earlier than I am used to. YouTube's "Tbaby" was right, it's sooo cold in the D!