What? You haven’t heard? You haven’t visited yet? What are you waiting for?
WestchesterLife is now Escaping New York!
You can find the goods HERE. Click through for all the great stories you’ve been missing!
I’ve been totally slacking these last couple of weeks. Well, the honest answer is, I’ve been getting a new blog up and running. A blog to migrate this blog over to. One that makes a bit more sense for the here and now, considering I’m no longer “life-ing” in Westchester. I promise it will still be all the snark and sass you’ve come to love, and I’ll be sharing it with you soon.
In the meantime, it occurred to me that this might be a poignant last post on Westchester Life — a glimpse into things in this new life phase. So here goes. I’m thankful for:
- Skype. And FaceTime. It’s allowed me to stay relatively connected to some friends and family whom I’ve just been missing terribly.
- The concept of “time out.” Which really is more for me than it is for my toddler, right? By insisting he go sit and think about his behavior in a chair in the other room means I can go chug a shot of whiskey to dull the pain from all the whining, and he doesn’t have to witness mommy’s lush-ishness.
- GPS. Seriously, thank the LAWD for this invention. Do you guys remember having to go on MapQuest and print out directions to get somewhere (which almost always ended up being six pages long, which required collating and of course, then fumbling in the car with multiple pages of commands.) Or, even before MapQuest, I remember having my glovebox stuffed with actual, fold-out maps (yes, the paper kind) and having to pull over to pull out a map and squint through trying to find your current location, then try to find your destination, then try to refold that stupid map back up properly?? WTF? Now that I’m in a new town, in a new county, in a new state, I don’t pull out of my driveway without first programming my navigation. I don’t care if I’m just going to Target down the street. You never know when someone can get lost… I don’t take my chances.
- The chance to redecorate a bit. Here we are in a new house, unpacking our life… this is the perfect time to shake things up a bit. Like putting the booze cabinet in my bedroom. Why not?
- Renting. We are renting our house here in North Carolina, because really, we don’t know a thing about this area so how would we know where we’d want to buy a house? And truthfully, we still own our house in Mount Kisco, and one damn house is plenty to worry about. So we’re renting, which is such a refreshing change to home ownership. I love that when the water pressure is a little too soft, I can just make a phone call to Miss Landlady and kindly let her know. Seriously, home ownership is overrated. (You heard it here, all my NYC rent stabilized friends.)
- Bacon. I’m having an extramarital affair with bacon. Probably because people here put it in EVERYTHING. Seriously, I’ve had Benton’s bacon cornbread, bacon scones, bacon mashed potatoes, bacon wrapped bacon… it’s a bit scandalous. Shhh….
- My friends. Who check in on me often enough to feel they haven’t forgotten all about me just yet. I am going through a lonely phase down here, with no one to meet for coffee or pals to have GF date nights with. I know it will happen but right now I’m grateful for all the check-ins to make sure I’m staying sane, aren’t eating my weight in bacon, and haven’t converted over to mom jeans.(Sort of, maybe a little, not a chance in hell… in that order.)
- For not having been in Westchester during Hurricane Sandy. On a serious note, seeing the destruction caused by this bitchy storm has me dumbfounded and feeling so helpless this far away. But I’m also incredibly thankful my family wasn’t put out, and no one was injured, and our house survived. And for everyone who suffered damage and loss and inconveniences, I’m so sad, and I hope that your recovery is speedy and that you and your family are safe and warm this holiday season.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! What are you thankful for this year? Please share your words of wisdom, here!
Every time I hear a Southern accent I cringe slightly. And every time I hear a northern one my ears perk up as I try to locate the source. That’s been my week, in a nutshell.
I know it will get easier. I know it will get better. Transition is hard on everyone, and certainly aggravated with a two year old in tow, who is also feeling a bit displaced and confused. We spent every morning this week with him shrieking, “No like school!! No want to go!! No, mommmmmmmy!!” It was heartbreaking. This is a kid who’s always loved going to daycare. He loved his teachers, he loved his friends. He would race me inside the school every morning, and then practically push me out the door because he was a “big boy” who didn’t need his mama. Talk about disruption to our lives… this isn’t easy on ANY of us.
I spent a lot of this week thinking about the things I took for granted living in New York. Things like:
- General sophistication that comes with a New York state of mind. Not that people here aren’t “sophisticated” in their own right. It’s just… different. Any New Yorker will know exactly what I mean. Are we elitist? Yup. No question. Are we apologetic for it? Nope.
- Access to things that other people just don’t have. Like being able to sit in on a taping of “Watch What Happens Live” with Andy Cohen. Or sitting next to Richard Gere in a local restaurant. Or being in the audience for a VH1 Storytellers concert. Or getting to see the inner workings of Dan Barber’s kitchen at Blue Hill at Stone Barns. I know that sounds very “celebutante” of me, but it’s true! Those experiences are SO New York.
- The narrow, uneven back roads. The Saw Mill Parkway. The Merritt. Seriously, the roads down here are in perfect condition, they are super wide, and it’s a breeze driving anywhere. You could probably do it with your eyes closed. But isn’t there something sort of charming about winding up the Saw Mill? I never thought about it until I wasn’t doing it anymore. And yep, I miss those twists and turns and dangerously narrow lanes.
- Relatively easy access into creative communities. I clearly need to find my way, and figure out where the creatives hang out and work and play, but for now I’m just a little bit missing my smarty pants peeps who inspire me, make me laugh and teach me new stuff.
Hmmph. Today the North Carolina State Fair opened. This is apparently the biggest deal in the world to North Carolinians. We are thinking about hitting it up this weekend, so be on the lookout for a post about fried soda, pig races and pie contests. In the meantime, go out and enjoy New York… grit, grime, bad attitudes and all. And take me with you in spirit…
Getting our pizza fix.
So we’ve survived our first week down south. Here’s a recap of what’s gone down in Raleigh-town:
- I’m realizing how jaded, bitter, and unfriendly service people in New York are. And how there is no accountability for this behavior. Down south, service people are friendly, approachable, and genuinely interested when they say “gooooood mornin’ ma’am! How’s your day goin’ so far?” I mean seriously, ya’ll. Who knew a cup of coffee could come with such cheer??
- Cleanliness is clearly next to godliness. Literally. Down here they are super-tuned in to both. The churches here are about the size of The Westchester. I’ve never seen anything quite like it – and streets and sidewalks are SPOTLESS. Like, eat off them spotless. People here just seem to care more about their environs. Word up to that.
- It’s a kid’s world. This area is MADE for kids. Everywhere I turn I see a playground or park. And each one is bigger and more amazing than the last. Last night we hit up a park in Durham that hosts a “First Thursday” night, with awesome, local, totally hipster food trucks serving up everything from pizza to “peace pops” to locally crafted ice cream. Hundreds of kids were just running around, jumping, playing, doing wheelbarrow races, and generally just having an awesome, old-fashioned “kid” time while moms and dads hung out, chatted, and chowed. It was like Park Slope. In the south.
- Bugs are bigger here. And just like in New York, they like me. A lot. I’m already covered in red, splotchy bites which I can’t help but scratch at constantly. Not cute. I’mma have to find a serious bug spray, hopefully one that won’t kill me with chemicals. Like the things on this list.
- People of Raleigh eat well. Really well. We aren’t exactly “set up” in this corporate apartment to be able to do a whole lot of cooking (the kitchen is great and modern, but their version of “furnished” includes one small pot and a pan big enough to cook one measly little piece of chicken in). So we’ve been eating out and ordering in. And let’s just say, we haven’t had a bad meal yet. Not even a mediocre one. From chinese food to Mexican to locavore fresh, I’m seriously impressed. And considering how important food is to my happiness and stability, the hubby is very, very thankful as well.
- The sheer options in terms of grocery stores. No longer am I relegated to A&P as the only option in town. (Unless I counted overpriced Mrs. Greens, which I didn’t, because it was wildly overpriced.) Here I’ve got Trader Joes, Fresh Market, Whole Foods and Harris Teeter all within a mile or so of one another. Each one I visit is better than the last. They’re big, they’re super-stocked, they’re CHEAPER than back home, and did I mention the people that work there are FRIENDLY?? How novel!
- Parents aren’t as concerned with outward appearances. Kids act like kids. No one here seems to bat an eye at a public tantrum, whereas back home I felt like all eyes were on me, judging, if Jack so much as made a peep in a coffee shop or cafe. This could be a game changer.
- The weather is ridiculous. It’s October and it’s like 78-85 degrees and sunny. I sooo did not expect it to be this warm still, and didn’t pack appropriately at all for my month of “interim” living. I totally look like a Northern outcast, in my jeans and sweaters, while everyone else around me is in flip flops and shorts.
Anyone have any more NY-vs-the-world differences to share?