Sydney and I have been in New York off and on since July 31 and full time since the beginning of September. We are hardly settled, still staying in a hotel while waiting for my house to close. But, nevertheless, it has been enough time to get an initial sense of the positives and negatives of the area.
- The “Gold Coast” region on the northern coast of Long Island is separated from the masses of humanity (and traffic) and not far from New York City. It is actually not a bad place to live.
- The small village of Sea Cliff where I purchased a home appears to be a hidden gem and might be the key to making our lives satisfying.
- The nearby city of Glen Cove has some appealing diversity, with 27% of its population of Hispanic decent.
- I am excited about my house, a two-family home (duplex) in which I am renting out the other half, making it financially feasible.
- We found an outdoor pool and indoor swimming lessons at the local YMCA.
- There are a number of nature reserves in the area and they seem to have good trails for off-pavement running.
- A university I had never heard of (Long Island University – Post campus) is right in our area and has a full range of sports programs, which I love both for myself and to show Sydney what young women can do.
- Sydney seems to love her school, the Green Vale School. Her teacher is very nice, the curriculum is sound, and the resources are tremendous.
- Long Island is full of events. Sydney and I recently attended the Long Island Fair which was a really great activity for small kids.
- The weather is terrible, moving directly from hot and muggy in the summer to gray and rainy in the fall. We have probably had four really nice days out of 45.
- Everything – food, movies, gas, housing, everything – is expensive!
- There is a distinct lack of paved trails, public parks, and recreation facilities. Sydney and I are lamenting the absence of a drop-in indoor swimming pool for the winter months.
- Any attempt to drive out of our isolated area risks getting into horrendous traffic.
- There is essentially no elevation change, which means we are hours (through traffic) from any real hiking or skiing.
- It is going to be difficult for Sydney to make friends. Her classmates at Green Vale come from all over the region and all the locals her age go to Sea Cliff Elementary. Being in the same school as your neighbors is a huge positive of public schools that is rarely discussed.
- Too many people are monologists. I vividly remember the octogenarian telling me at breakfast in our hotel about her daughter’s friend who was in the hospital “bleeding out of her anus and vagina.”
- There is a definite me-first attitude, created in part perhaps because of population density. Here is a photo of two cars in the Green Vale parking lot.
Sydney has been a trooper. We have been living out of one carryon bag apiece since July 14th and have been in the same modest hotel for the past three weeks. Luckily, none of that bothers her and she actually loves staying in the hotel, seemingly not comparing it to the estate she enjoys at her grandparent’s house when with her mom. We have approximately one more week before we can move into our new home.
New York is no Colorado and Long Island is no Boulder. There is a reason people are moving out of New York and into Colorado. I would move back in a second. But given our situation, I am pleasantly surprised and determined to make a great life for ourselves in our new home, village, and state.