Monday, January 5, 2015

Ten Things I Like About You (And One Thing I Don't)

We've been in the Albany, New York area for almost three months now.  As we adjust, adjust, and continue to adjust, Jerry and I find ourselves commenting not infrequently on the many things we truly like about our new home.  I've decided to compile a list of those "things," so that our family and friends might have a little view of our new life in New York.  Here goes....

1. People Here are So Dang Friendly 
When I say that "people here are friendly," I mean that they are truly, genuinely, amazingly friendly.  With no disrespect to Washington, Kentucky, or Oklahoma intended, the people here are THE friendliest people we have EVER met.  Our mouths are still gaping open in astonishment on this one.

2. Moisture
It's really moist here, so it reminds us of our homes.  It's probably more moist than Kentucky.  It might be more moist than Washington (but it probably isn't, judging by the absence of slugs).  It's the complete opposite of Oklahoma in this respect.  When living in Oklahoma, there were three ways to describe the moisture levels:  Borderline Drought, Drought, and Severe Drought. (Oh yes, well that actually describes the lack of moisture, doesn't it?  You get the idea.)

3. History Schmistory
The stuff around here is old.  We live in a home built in the 1960s, and that's one of the newer ones.  I realize that any visiting European would laugh at my calling stuff here "old," and with good reason.  But for this American girl who grew up on the West Coast, where a building established in 1909 is ancient, the stuff around here is dang old.  Since Jerry and I are history geeks, we are loving this!  The first American home with working electricity is located in Albany!  When visiting Rhode Island last weekend, we walked by the first Baptist Church in America, founded in 1634! The idea of visiting Plymouth Rock, a mere 3ish hour drive from our home, gives us goosebumps!  Before moving here, we hadn't considered the uniqueness of American history to our new location.  Icing on the cake!

4. Really Good Food
We've eaten really well since we've moved here.  There are no limits to the number of authentic ethnic restaurants around these parts (and we tend to love ethnic food!).  And even if it's not ethnic, it's just really, really good.  I'm a Chicken Pot Pie junkie, and I will tell you that I have eaten the three best Chicken Pot Pies of my life since we've moved here, all from different restaurants.  Oh yeah, baby.

5. Bright Lights, Big Cities
All within a four hour drive or train ride:  Boston, Philadelphia, Montreal, Providence, and New York City.  Add another two hours, and you can snag Baltimore, Toronto, and D.C.  

6.  Trees
There are many, many things we loved about Oklahoma, and many things we miss about it.  The lack of abundant, diverse forests is not one of them.  Jerry grew up in Kentucky, with lots of trees.  I grew up in Washington, with lots of trees.  If you could combine the deciduous forests of Kentucky with the evergreen forests of Washington, you would get the forests of New York State.  (Insert prolonged sigh of contentment here).

7.  Snow
Everyone here tells us we'll hate the snow next year.  That is possible, but I will add:  THIS year we love it!  We know there will be days when we curse the snow.  Overall, however, I think we'll keep liking it.  We like playing in it.  We like the beauty of it.  We like the quietness it evokes.  We want to rent snow shoes and cross country skis and take Winter weekend trips to the heart of the Adirondacks.  Given a choice, we'd prefer to be cold (or, in my husband's case, cool) as opposed to fainting in the heat.  Add to this the fact that my aim with a snowball is superb; therefore, I know there's lots of fun snowball fights in store (for me, at least!).

8. Vermont
Socialism notwithstanding, Vermont is cool.  It's pretty, pastoral, quiet, old, and very green (as in the color).  And it's a mere 35 miles from our house.  Enough said.

9. Culture and Sophistication
This is the part where I will sound like a snob.  Jerry and I like nice things.  When I say "nice," I do not mean "expensive."  I mean "nice" in the sense of having some kind of classical, intellectual or refined quality.  Think Frasier and Niles Crane.  We are bookish types.  We like fine music.  We prefer nearly anything to a digital device or television program (unless, of course, that television program happens to be British).  See, I told you I would sound like a snob.  I think we are discovering, Jerry and I, that the Northeast seems to suit us.  It's kind of classical and refined. (Snobby, if you will.)  *wink*

10. Oh, Oh, The Places You'll Go
Again, we loved many things about Oklahoma, but one of the things that was very difficult was the DISTANCE of Oklahoma from so much of the rest of the country.  If you happen to love Dallas, then you would be okay with that.  But for us, with family in distant locations and being the travel junkies we are, it was extremely hard.  It was difficult for us to plan trips and such (and again, I say that with much fondness for Oklahoma in my heart).  What we have found here is that there is SO MUCH NEARBY.  We can take vacations galore for the next ten years and never even leave the region!  So new to us!  

I did declare in the title of this blog entry that I would mention one thing I dislike.  Here it is:

Coffee Options
Here is what I have to choose from in New York:  Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks.  That.  Is.  All.  I'm still in shock over this one.  Once we knew we'd be relocating, my daydreams began:  Visiting quaint coffee house after quaint coffee house, delightfully sipping mochas and dark roasts for days on end until finally deciding upon my fave local haunt.  

No dice, folks. 

There are a few local coffee houses.  One of them has the charming eccentricity of the Northwest coffee houses that I loved (but it's fairly far).  The others scare me.  It's one thing to walk into an eccentric coffee house.  It's another to feel, upon walking in, that I may be required to offer up my cat on some sacrificial altar in lieu of payment.  

So hear this Albany, New York:  When I can definitively say from experience that Arkansas, Oklahoma, and even Texas have BETTER COFFEE THAN UPSTATE NEW YORK, something is dreadfully wrong.  

Overall, however, we are pleased.  We are enjoying our new life here.  We are pleasantly surprised in many ways.  We are adjusting happily.  

(And I'm thinking of opening up my own coffee house, too.  Just in case you were wondering.)        

1 comment:

Melissa said...

Oh Debbie, I love you! You're so funny and gave me a great morning chuckle when I should be getting ready for our school day. I'm glad you're loving the east coast and I hope we can someday come to visit you and take in all that you're bragging about. I do think you may have a calling to open up your own coffee shop and show them how it's done. ;-) Even tho I don't care for coffee (a cardinal sin in the NW huh?), I had to chuckle at the line-up at Dutch Bros the other day - 10 cars lined up in the drive-thru in Kelso for coffee, crazy if you ask me!