(Courtesy of LIFE)

The late novelist (and regular New Yorker contributor) John Updike discussed leaving New York City during a 2002 interview, about 7 years before his death. In the late 1950s, after only a short time living in Manhattan, Updike moved to Ipswich, Massachusetts—many believed the fictional town of Tarbox in his novel Couples was based on Ipswich, though he denied it. His remarks on leaving aren't Didion-esque, but straightforward; he told John Freeman:

"I was trying to get away from the hassle and the expense of the city. And if I was going to be a New York culture vulture I shouldn't have gotten married and had children. They pin you down. And if I was going to be pinned down why not be pinned down at least somewhere we could park the car for free, and get some free air, grass and sunshine and so on... I didn't know when we moved I'd be up there for the rest of my life."

A few years later, while at the annual New Yorker Festival, Updike said: “I loved the idea of being in New York, and having an office that looked out on skyscrapers, and living in the West Village, and riding the subway every day and always going in the right direction. All this meant a lot to me.” And of course, Updike is the one who famously said, “The true New Yorker secretly believes that people living anywhere else have to be, in some sense, kidding.” And perhaps, off the page, he wasn't one himself.

This is the latest from Blank on Blank (from PBS Digital Studios):