a year in the burbs

So we’ve been here a year! Can you believe it?

 (This is the conversation I’ve been having not only with our neighbors but also in my head.)

So, what do you think? Did you make the right choice?

 (Here I pause, not sure which answer is correct:

Yes; our kids are happy running around and I’m happy with them running around (without the need for my attention). Driveways! They rock. We’ve met some good people and a few promising friends. It's quiet.

No; I miss the city, the hustle, my arty-worldly friends, good food. I wish there was way more creativity in the schools which teach literally by the (Xeroxed for homework) book. Soccer jerseys. Also, I hate driving everywhere SLOWLY (25 mph town speed limit strictly enforced.)

Well, it takes time.
Yes that’s what everyone says.
It’s different here.
You can always go into the city.
True, but it’s a hassle with the kids.
You have to make the effort!
I’m trying.
Everyone is very nice here.
Everyone is very nice here.

What’s funny is that things start to seem better because they become more familiar. I swear your standards change without you realizing it. All of a sudden one day, you say: you know what? I like driving under 20 miles per hour. It gives me a chance to relax.

(Michael’s 78-year-old father, who drove two hours to work and back for 50 years, now drives 30 miles per hour on the LIE. “What’s the rush?” he says to all the drivers honking at him.)

Anyway, there are pros and cons, like anything else I guess. Same as in Brooklyn. For example, since there are so few good restaurants here (con), I’ve been cooking like a top chef (pro). Every night. I even grill now. So on a high note, here’s the latest successful "Meatless Monday" dish, which I’ve simplified from a NYT recipe.