Westchester is the place for me.
Suburbia is the life for me.
Land spreadin' out so far and wide
Keep Manhattan, just give me that countryside.
New York is where I'd rather stay.
I get allergic smelling hay.
I just adore a penthouse view.
Dah-ling I love you but give me Park Avenue.
I was born, raised and in love with cities. I lived in apartments for most of my life and find no need to say that with an apologetic tone. My husband grew up in a house and though we are both children of Queens we come from parts that are quite different. He had the lawn, the backyard, single family dwelling experience while I grew up with my father cursing as he looked to move the car for alternate side of the street parking and learning to walk gently to not disturb the people underneath us. I swam in public pools, he swam in the pool in his backyard. My husband took school buses or was driven, I took public transportation or walked with friends to and from pretty much anywhere. Going into the city was an occasional event for him, I frequently took the subway into the city from my neighborhood and even walked on the days we weren't on the subway. So it was inevitable that when we decided to buy something our backgrounds would cause some serious disagreements.
I wanted to see what we could afford, nothing it turns out, on the tip of the upper West Side or Brooklyn. I dreamt of Pre-war buildings with molding, hardwood floors, and tall ceilings. He dreamt of those too but in a house. I wanted my kids to grow up in the City, parks, diversity, and yes adversity. He wanted peace and quiet, kids playing in the backyard. The housing market was nuts when we were ready to buy and in the end that was the deciding factor....the "are you sure that was a bedroom and not a closet" apartments that were within our considerable budget translated to a 3 bedroom "cozy", code for small, home. We did agree on a location that was as close to a city experience as possible, diverse, with a self sustaining town, not surrounded or dependant on strip malls. Our kids do not often play in the backyard because they go to the town parks, they take a school bus but are equally at home on the subway, where they go quite often with their Mother who will never lose her love of New York.
My first day, 8 months pregnant, in our new neighborhood ended in tears and dirty looks for being dragged to the 'burbs (yup I was owning no responsibility in the decision making at that stage). However, 7 years later with a host of new, amazing, like-minded, dynamic set of friends (most who are former city people) I really like the choice we made. My kids are benefiting from all that my husband and I both chose this location for.
Now I am off to read the real estate section so I can look at those lovely pre-war apartments for my retirement.....