Obvious State

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New York State of Mind

And not just New York, but suburbs of New York, upstate New York or no where near New York.

Welcome to the winter of our geographical discontent.

The facts:

We leave Paris in six weeks
We don't know where we'll be living after that

Back to Montclair, NJ?
Pros: friends, proximity to New York, familiar school system, fab restaurants
Cons: buying an overpriced house in a deflationary death spiral, renting an overpriced piece of crap with a bad kitchen

Lancaster, PA
Pros: mom and dad, mom as babysitter, reasonably close to New York for client meetings, incredible housing prices, great schools
Cons: clawed my way out once, mediocre shopping, no whole foods (!), the occasional shirtless guy in a truck

Random cities. Not limited to but including: Portland, Seattle, Boston
Pros: urban living without the ridiculous NYC price tag (which let's face it, even if you are doing well, this economy warrants frugality)
Cons: No friends, no family, no real reason other than half-baked fantasies about what it's like to live there

What say you?

Can you help us declare a winner in the proverbial ping-pong game we've been playing for weeks? Make a sound argument? Or should we trade it all in for a fifty-acre farm, a tractor and a pantry full of canned peaches?

Note: The photo above is from an art gallery in our neighborhood. Each time I pass by, it mocks my "back and forthing."


Jul 19, 2014 • Posted by nichole

LOL, Claire!

We left our fabulous Montclair rental of five years because we finally outgrew it. I figured it would be easier to rent another space in Montclair.

3-4K for not much more space and horrible Home Depot cabinets. Unreal.

Jul 19, 2014 • Posted by claire

i’m in that club! the “renting a piece of crap with a bad kitchen” club! you must help keep our membership strong! of course i say montclair!

Jul 19, 2014 • Posted by nichole

We’ve considered the around the world option. Figure with most of it going to h$ll anyway, what does it matter? Party like it’s 1929, no?

Are you seriously considering it? Fun!

Jul 19, 2014 • Posted by amy turn sharp of doobleh-vay

you make me laugh so hard about the PA choice. Lady- just know this. You will be fabulous where ever you- you make the charm…
Why not travel around for a little bit and then decide? I have contacts in Mykonos! :)
We are thinking of doing a round the world in a couple years- madness- but oh so fun!

Jul 19, 2014 • Posted by nichole

You guys rock! I love reading these responses. I think we have to step outside of little 2-person circle and just hear how this all sounds coming from someone else.

Great ideas/comments. Thanks SO much!

Jul 19, 2014 • Posted by Bonbon Oiseau

hmmmm…we’ve been having that problem for years. I have heard that home is where the heart is…hmmm…if only we could believe it!
When you think about how guys picked up and lived in paris for three months, you can probably try anywhere…

obvioulsy no one can tell you what to do—-gotta follow your absolute gut feeling—-I’d probably give myself 6 months in montclair to re-enter the atmosphere and make your plans based on what you feel (and/or find) when you get there?

It’s a hard one—-i do like party like it’s 1929!

Jul 19, 2014 • Posted by jenashmen

You should move to Philadelphia. It has the perks of NYC without the price tag and tourism. And if you ever feel like visiting the big apple, the beach, the mountains, or DC for a day you can just hop on a train. Philly may be one of the most underated cities there is. Sounds like you’d be close to your friends and family there, too.

Jul 19, 2014 • Posted by Loulou

If I were to give the practical advice, I would move somewhere near family, especially with kids. But going back to where you grew up isn’t a great idea. I tried it once and after the initial high of being back in my old hometown, it was awful!

Since you’ve already made the brave leap to move to Paris, even if it wasn’t a permanent move, new adventures might be a good idea. Seattle and Portland are wonderful
cities and I recommend them highly. I’ve heard that home prices in Seattle are coming down.
Boston might be easier though, as it is closer to family/NYC.
Good luck in whatever you do! I can’t believe you have to leave Paris in 6 weeks. Are you ready to go?

Jul 19, 2014 • Posted by nichole

Hi Elizabeth!

Wow, we are in the same predicament. It’s tougher (I think) to have too many options that just a few. Because we are not really tied to a location, the world is our oyster so to speak. But sometimes by being open to everything and anything, we find it hard to commit to any one thing.

Jul 19, 2014 • Posted by sweet fine day

Tough, I know. I tried escaping NYC where I grew up and lived in Ohio briefly, of all places, Portland and Olympia. Seattle never captured my heart, though the last time we made a visit there to see family, I finally saw the charm (though traffic is awful). I kinda disliked P-town when I lived there, but this was mid-90s and I think it’s so much better now. If we were to ever consider moving again, makes sense for us to go out that way, but I’d really really have to think hard because of the weather. I never got used to the lack of sun in the rainy season in the 5 years I lived there. So…here we are in Brooklyn.I think there is something to be said about being close to family and friends and this stage in our lives. I know that you can always make new friends, but as I get older, I cherish the friends that I have made in the neighborhood more and more. I agree with others. I think you need to re-enter and re-assimilate first. Who knows, once you are here, maybe the answer might be clearer.

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