In City by Alastair OngLeave a Comment

Our Journey moving from Manhattan to a Connecticut Farm

We currently live in midtown Manhattan, about two blocks west of Times Square.  Both my wifey and I have lived in New York City for twenty years each.  We are scheduled to close on a piece of property and a house that sits in a farming community in Connecticut in less than one month from today. The property that we are moving to is gorgeous.  The house sits on a piece of property that has a creek-fed pond stocked with wide-mouth bass, a potting shed (for wifey) and a barn (3 tractors!) complete with a wood heating stove and an upstairs man cave (for me!)

Like all big changes in life, we are filled with emotions ranging from slight discomfort to complete terror.  For those of you who know us, fear does not motivate us, and we look forward to the challenge of uprooting ourselves.  I am specifically starting this blog before we move so I can capture our expectations and obstacles before they happen.  Let’s get into the lists.

What We Think We Will Miss:

  1. 24/7 Convenience.  Being able to walk one block at any time of the day or night to grab a pint of Ben and Jerry’s a slice of pizza and pistachio gelato.
  2. Online Delivery.  Seamless web has thousands of restaurants of every conceivable ethnicity deliver meals to our apartment within 15 minutes.  We did a search of Seamless at our new house and there were three restaurants.  Peapod, Fresh Direct, Amazon Same-Day Delivery and Google Express all allow quick and convenient delivery that we have grown accustomed to.  Making a cake and forgot the vanilla, no problem.  Whip out our phones and a few clicks and 15 minutes later, it will be delivered to our door.
  3. Visiting friends.  Many friends from my past and present have a reason to be in New York City.  It is easy for them to visit us and to stay with us.  Although we will have more rooms in our new house, fewer people will have a reason to visit us.
  4. Access to new Restaurants and Trends. Is a description even necessary?
  5. Opportunity Costs.  I’ve never been to the Statute of Liberty or in the Chrysler Building.  I can count the number of times I have been to a museum in the 20 odd years that I’ve lived in NYC.  The point is not the number of times that I have been, but the fact that AT ANY TIME, I could go.

What We Will Not Miss:

  1. Homelessness, Pan Handlers and Crazy Folks.  I remember a time I was walking down a NYC street, and a crazy woman jumped in front of me, blocking my passage.  She started to grab the corners of each eye with a dirty finger, and pulled them to slant her eyes.  She started chanting, “ching chong Chinese person, ching chong Chinese person.”  I did the only thing that I could, and grabbed the corners of my eyes and rather than pull them to make them slanted, I pushed them to make them more rounded.  I chanted, “whitey wide-eyed woman, whitey wide-eyed woman.”  Although this was a funny experience, we will not miss these encounters.
  2. Rude and Annoying People.  I remember a time where at a Starbucks, a woman ordered a Double Ristretto Venti Half-Soy Nonfat Decaf Organic Chocolate Brownie Iced Vanilla Double-Shot Gingerbread Frappuccino Extra Hot With Foam Upside Down Double Blended One Sweet’N Low and One Nutrasweet with Ice.  She paid with pennies counting them slowly with no regard for the line forming behind her.  Amazingly when she got her drink, she returned it because it was not hot enough.  I know the name of this drink because she kept repeating it over and over again like she was the Rainman of coffee.
  3. Tourists.  We’re as hospitable as they come, but living so close to Times Square, we get to see tourists at their worst.  What is with the crowd that swells after a Broadway play?  They take up the entire sidewalk, half of the street, and feel that they own the city.  I am one of the few New Yorkers that drives a car.  Yeah, in New York City, you can jaywalk – but if you are standing in the street, be prepared to be run over.
  4. Litter, Pollution and Urine Smells. Do I need to elaborate?
  5. Traffic and Street Closures.  Enough said.

What We Look Forward To:

  1. Nature. I was reading an article for one cure for depression: being outdoors in nature. Although NYC is famed for having a large park in the middle of it, my day-to-day, I see grass maybe once per month and can count with one hand the number of trees that I see on a daily basis.
  2. Sunlight.  Our NYC loft has a wall of windows, but faces North and is on the ground floor.  We miss the sun and look forward to getting more of it
  3. Space.  Although our NYC Loft was big for NYC, it is so small compared to an average sized home.  More space means more crapola.  I had originally asked whether wifey would like to move to a tiny home (I was thinking <500 sq.ft.).  Wife did not even need to think about it before responding negatively.  Having a garage and a barn to have my tools rather than regulating them all to a bucket in my closet will be great. I know that wifey will love a room devoted to her crafts.
  4. Growing Plants.  Because our loft has little light, growing plants have always been a challenge.  I have resorted to rigging a sunlamp directly over my aquaponics tank to grow a miniscule amount of herbs.  My plan is to convert a large Intermediary Bulk Container into a large aquaponics tank.  Tilapila on the bottom and herbs and plants on the top.  The fish poop provides nutrition for the plants and the plant roots filter the water for the fish.
  5. Raising Animals.  It is illegal to have farm animals as pets in New York City.  I look forward to raising chickens, dwarf goats, and pygmy piglets to add to our two puppies.

These are some lists that we expect to miss and expect to gain.  Keep posted to find out how it turns out – subscribe to or

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