Thursday, May 26, 2011

I donated to WNYC

Never Done: I donated to WNYC

Don't get me wrong -- I've donated to public radio many times, but always in Maine, Massachusetts, or Oregon. This was the first time I put my money into a New York station. I think it's because I'm rarely in the car, and at home I can listen to internet public radio, so I listen out of state. But I was in the car, heading over to pick up Brett for a day of filming the Sandy Pope video, and I heard a snippet of a pledge drive, along with an enticing raffle for a trip to Paris. A trip to Paris! One lucky winner! That could be me, I thought. I could do the right thing AND get a trip to Paris!

So I called up and donated. I mean, I pay for other NYC news and entertainment sources: The New York Times, the New Yorker, New York Magazine -- so why do I feel like I shouldn't pay for New York City public radio? I think I know the answer. I think it's not that I don't think I should pay for it, because I do still donate to Maine Public Broadcasting Network. I think it's that I don't feel connected to the voices on the other end of the dial. The Maine broadcasters are like old friends to me. Kristian Foden-Vencil, AJ Higgins, Josie Huang, Jennifer Mitchell. I hear them talk, and I literally feel calmer, more rooted, and more connected. I also remember what it felt like when I first got out of college and moved up to Skowhegan, Maine -- in the middle of the winter -- into my first apartment all alone -- to take a job at Family Planning -- and I was lonely. Maine winter lonely. And you know who kept me company? Yes, you do. Maine Public Radio.

On the other hand, I'm afraid I can't actually name any of the WNYC reporters, and I can't call up their voices in my head. Partly it's that I listen to a lot less radio than I used to, and truth be told, I am no longer lonely. As we said, I don't drive the car very often anymore, and when I do I'm usually with someone, embarking on a long trip or going to work. And when I'm home, I'm usually writing, which isn't conducive to listening to the radio. But I do listen sometimes -- and like I said, when I do I tend to listen to MPBN.

So it looks like we have yet another example of me living in New York, but acting like I don't. I can't really think if we have a mide (middah) about living in the here and now, unless maybe it would be a reinterpretation of Order: All actions and possessions shall have a set place and time. The reinterpretation would be something about my own accurate sense of myself in an accurate place and time. I think that every step I take that acknowledges that I really do live here helps me not to pretend I don't. Also, winning a trip to Paris wouldn't hurt.


  1. Kristian Foden-Vencil moved to Maine from Oregon? I'm trying to figure out if I haven't heard him in awhile! And Jenny, while I don't comment, I am totally enjoying these pieces. xxoo Katy

  2. Wait, did I hear Kristian in Oregon? Is that why he's the most familiar of them all??????

  3. Errata! Errata! Katy's right, and so is Kathleen who also wrote to me. Kristian is from Oregon Public Broadcasting. There's this British guy on Maine Public Broadcasting -- I'm thinking maybe I was confusing him with Tom Porter, who also has a British accent, but clearly, it's Kristian who I remember the most clearly.