Archive | January, 2012

I’m Having Second Thoughts

18 Jan

Ten years ago, the thought of being anywhere other than New York gave me slight heart palpitations, almost always followed by a nervous laugh and a “yeah right.” Then, after six years of NYC bachelorette-dom, in a miracle akin to Noah and his Ark, I was packed up, two by two and shoe by shoe, and whisked to “The North” by my now-husband, to play out a suburban fantasy that involved aprons and brownies and SUVs and book clubs.

I’ve grown to like the place I live, embracing the lifestyle and supporting the community in any way that makes sense to me. I mean, it will never be as vibrant and culturally diverse as the Lower East Side, or as boho as the Upper West (my two homes prior) but it’ll do. For now.

That was certainly how I felt until recently. Our creaky old house, having already undergone one major renovation in the year leading up to my son’s birth, is now under our scrutinizing eyes once again as we unravel the scrolled list of “to-dos” this place requires. The garage, a separate structure with an attached “caretaker’s apartment,” currently looks like something out of a Stephen King novel. Our kitchen is outdated. Our landscaping is a mess. (Did I mention there’s 1.4 acres of it to maintain?) And generally, my adoration for old houses and the “charm” that comes with them has wilted away along with any plants I’ve tried to keep alive during my time here. The word “charm” has officially been banished from my vocabulary.

Aside from my house and all it’s quirks and faults, New York is just started to really tick me off. The expense of living here is tempered by the proximity to the city, the access to a wealth of high paying jobs, and good schools. But honestly, at what cost?

I don’t necessarily know if the grass is greener anywhere else, but I’m guessing it is. I’m guessing that residents of North Carolina laugh all the way to the bank at us crazy New Yorkers who spend small, outrageous fortunes to live here. I would think that Southern Californians even, with their fairly high real estate costs, are at least saying “well at least we’ve got great weather.” What is it that’s so great about New York?

Don’t get me wrong. I love, love my friends and family dearly. I adore my neighbors. And it would be very hard to leave them. But I do not love keeping up with the Jones’ (or the Kardashians). I do not love the greed. I do not love the rat race. I do not love the frenetic pace. I do not love green eggs and ham. I do not love them, Sam I am.

Have you had second thoughts about living in New York? Where would you consider moving if you were faced with an opportunity?

Words of Wisdom Wednesday

11 Jan

There are 5 billion mobile phones around the world – more than there are toilets or toothbrushes.

Discuss.

“Rumor Has It…”

5 Jan

I’ve been saying that a lot lately. I feel like if I qualify what I say with the precursor that “Rumor has it,” I’m letting the listener know that I too heard this piece of juicy info from somewhere and I don’t know for sure if it’s true. I’m not usually a gossip mill – and I certainly don’t spread gossip about individuals (tsk, tsk) – but this kind of “neighborhood news” is something I have a knack for. Just today, I shared with my Tweeps that “rumor has it” HomeGoods was turned down by the landlord of the former Borders space, choosing not to accept their bid, which was $10/sq ft  under asking price. I don’t know what asking price was, but sounds to me like that landlord may have just shot him/herself in the foot. A space of that size can only sustain a big-box retailer, and as we all know, no-one pays full price anymore. The concept of HomeGoods probably has the longest shelf life of any business out there right now, short of banks – and well, let’s not even get started on that.

Rumor also has it that another burger joint is coming to Mt Kisco, in the space once occupied by 353, on North Bedford Road. Let’s hope it’s better than the “current” burger place that just landed here, which isn’t that good. Rumor has it that burger place, in it’s first month of opening, forced customers to wait in line outside, only letting in 3 people at a time, so as not to “overwhelm their staff.” Sounds to me like their staff is still overwhelmed.

Rumor has it that Mt Kisco police may be replaced with county police. Not sure why, or what this even means. It’s just what I heard.

And just like that, all the news that’s fit for gossip. Anyone have any “rumors” to share?

2012 To-Do List

3 Jan

Generally, I try to avoid resolutions. They’re just a recipe for disappointment — at least in my experience. Actually, come to think of it, I don’t know anyone who’s told me of their resolutions in January and actually followed through on them by December. (Yes, I’m talking to all you friends who swore to lose 20 lbs, stop drinking so much, start a hobby, and have more sex.) Last week, with 2012 looming over the horizon, I realized there are many things I’d like to do (in my own backyard, specifically) that I’ve yet to experience. So this year I decided to make a Westchester To-Do list:

1) Visit Rye Playland. Hubby and I got married in Rye, at The Wainwright House. It was a beautiful location, and every time we visited Wainwright for tastings and rehearsals and to look at table linens and layouts, we passed the signs leading to Rye Playland. And every time I said, “we should go there.” Alas, we never did. Fastforward to the present, and now I’m a mom. If I never had a reason before, I certainly do now.

2) Explore towns outside of my 3-town radius comfort zone. Ok, so this is kind of a broad statement, and one that’s not entirely true. Obviously I’ve explored towns outside of my 3-town comfort zone (which for me consists of Mt Kisco, Chappaqua and Katonah). I’m also fairly savvy about Irvington and Tarrytown, White Plains and Bronxville. But I mean really explored. As in, visit the museums, the old historic houses, the parks, the theaters…you get the gist. I’m lookin’ for culture, people!

3) Explore Port Chester’s cuisine scene. I’ve been to bartaco, Nessa, Arrosto, Sonora and Lolita Cucina. But there is still so much unchartered territory for me, a pseudo-foodie. I am dying to get to Tarry Lodge, in addition to some of the more authentic Mexican spots in town. Any reco’s? Send them my way!

4) Find local music worth listening to. I don’t mean to offend any local musicians…(wait, are there any local musicians?) First of all, finding a local place around here that even showcases live music is a fete in and of itself — let alone expect that the music actually be worth listening to! What’s with this county? Do people really not like going out to hear live bands, or some folksy singer-songwriters? Can I get a fist pump for cabaret licenses?! Sheesh.

5) Have a bonfire in my yard. We bought a 100+ year-old house on a big ole’ piece of land with a “charming” little fire pit in the yard. By that I mean a cute little brick patio with rock “benches” in a half circle around a sorta-fire-pit-that-looks-more-like-a-ritual-site. Minor details really. We’ve never used it because we didn’t want to scare the neighbors. So… no time like the present! Who’s bringing the marshmallows?

6) Visit Bear Mountain. I hear it’s fun. And by fun I mean scenic. And by scenic I mean it’s a reason to get hubby up to Cold Spring with me, which means antique shopping. Winning!

7) Bike the Bronx River. Ok, so I’ve done this once before. But I was pretty hungover and I was on a bike I had borrowed from a friend. So it doesn’t count.

8) Volunteer for my Planning Board. I’m feeling particularly passionate about and affected by the doings in my town. So what better than to Be The Change.

9) Utilize my library. The way I see it, if we don’t use it, we’ll lose it. Paper media is a dodo already. We need to support these institutions. Because so help me, if I have to raise my kid(s) in a world with no libraries, I might go postal. Oh wait, we won’t have those either. (Note to self: come up with replacement  saying for the next generation, involving PS3’s or iPads.)

 10) Meet more of you. A few years ago, I co-founded a local networking group  for “Tweeters” called Westchester 140. Since then I co-founded The Chat Shop and subsequently, Westchat, with my creative partner Maria Colaco, the latter which has become a robust, frequently-used hashtag for Westchester news, updates and general conversation. But life’s have-to’s and what-not’s have really gotten in the way of our social prowess. I’d love to fix that.
Happy New Year to all of you. Please share any suggestions below for local to-do’s that you think should be added to my list!