September 9, 2012 by fifi + hop
It’s now been a little over a month since we moved to Westchester, but it hasn’t quite felt official until now. Soon after moving in early August, we booked our annual trip out to CO, something we weren’t sure we could pull off this summer, but realized we desperately needed it after all the exhaustion from home hunting and moving. You see, we had been looking for a rental and thought it would be easy enough, but as we soon learned, not so easy in a town with a close commute to the city, and certainly not in this rental market. As we all know, rentals are on fire right now, but couple that with towns where inventory is much lower – not like the city – and the competition is fierce. Let’s just say we lost a house in a bidding war. Yup, over a rental. At the time we were both miffed and upset – we had been looking all summer with every weekend being taken up by our search – but as with every disappointment, I realized there must be a reason behind it. So I called my broker and told her I wanted to see an apartment we had seen earlier, something she was pushing for initially because she said it would be easy and the perfect transition from the city. I had naturally wanted a house with a yard, and wanted to keep looking. But when I came back to see the apartment building I started to understand where she was coming from– it’s full service with 24 hour concierge, has an outdoor pool, a gym, and most importantly a 5 minute walk to the train station and town (which has calmed my apprehensive husband, who didn’t wanted to leave the city to begin with, and, not to mention, which also means we don’t have to deal with getting a second car).
The irony and humor in all of this is that I have always gone for the charm, living in the West Village first and then Brooklyn Heights in a brownstone on one of the prettiest blocks in Brooklyn. And here we are in our first experience in a small suburban town (Larchmont, NY), and we’re living in a big full service building, something I never lived in in Manhattan or Brooklyn. But I have to say, in the little time we’ve been here, I’m kind of loving it. The girls have had a blast in the pool (as have I), for once I don’t have to worry about deliveries and packages, and I can walk to both our neighborhood school and to town, something I was very fearful of upon moving. I am definitely a walker and not a car person, and to go to total 100 % car usage off the bat may have sent me over the edge. Additionally, all the people who work in the building couldn’t be nicer, some going to great lengths to help me. I found my car not working the other day and one of the maintenance guys spent considerable time with me to get it fixed and in the right hands in town. I feel a certain comfort living here, exactly the kind of comfort my broker knew would be helpful in making the transition from the city to the suburbs. I think for us, settling into life outside of the city is definitely going to require baby steps, not a full on plunge into a house and two cars thing. But again, that’s for us.
As for settling in, I have to say in a way I finally feel like this was our first official week. Like I said before, soon after the move, we went out to CO, and then to RI, with some intermittent days spent here and there. There were some fun pool days and lots of unpacking and moving related errands, but quite frankly, I was thoroughly taking in what felt like for the first time in a while a real summer. We could easily jet off for day trips and places that would have taken so much longer from Brooklyn. It felt good, and right. Now school just started and I’m starting to get into a routine, and we’ll see what the year brings. There’s still a lot about Brooklyn I miss, and things about suburban living I’m nervous about (i.e. car culture, coming back from vaca late night to no milk in the fridge and no corner store open), and it’s still very much going to be a transitional period for some time…