Material Pursuit

Is New York The Only Place For Dreamers?

How much does location matter these days? Conversations with three vintage shop owners reveal an answer: it depends.


Just to get this out of the way at the beginning– no, I didn’t forget about LA. Everyone knows about LA. For decades now, the young and hungry have flocked to the wider Los Angeles area in pursuit of wealth and success. I mean, Hollywood– ever heard of it? But today we’re not talking about the Angelinos. We’re going to be zeroing in on NYC– mostly because that’s the area I have the most experience in. They do say “write what you know”, don’t they?

I had made the collegiate pilgrimage to NYC years ago, like many others before me, and attended a private university that was honestly more of a glorified ponzi scheme than a school. But it gave me access to the city, and access to “making it” as an artist– so it felt worth it to me at the time.

I didn’t stay for too long– I graduated during the pandemic. So, after a half-hearted Instagram Live ceremony put on by my school, I high-tailed it to Virginia to move in with my childhood best friend. I’ve since laid roots in Richmond — a town known more for its controversial stance on Confederate statues than its artsy, underground crust punk scene — but it’s home.

Now I’m faced with the conflict: Can I still be an artist even though I don’t live in a coastal city? For the dream to happen, does it really have to happen in New York?

This article is for Readers Club subscribers only!

Subscribe now!

More Articles: