How do you know? Day trips – a new series33

Posted by Deirdre // 06-24-2011


On more than one occasion, my husband and I have decided that we’re DEFINITELY moving to a city or town, even though we have never been and don’t know much about it. Of course when we finally visit with our real estate print-out in hand, we’re sadly disappointed.

There was Northampton, MA because Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore live there – mind you, I never even listened to Sonic Youth! And it turns out that Northampton is a cool little town but also quite cheesy/crunchy and too far to commute from and offering not a lot in terms of work opportunities. We did stop there a while ago on a drive when kiddo #2 was a baby and having a meltdown. We went to a very cool cafe and went for a walk, but then almost literally stumbled over a drunken man sleeping in the bushes while going down a path. Kiddo #1 promptly said “What are you doing?” and he replied, “Taking a nap”.

There was Beacon, NY (it has a contemporary art museum!) and Hudson, NY (a great wine store opened by former Brooklynites!); there was Kent, NH (I really CANNOT tell you why), Red Hook/Tivoli, NY (it’s next to Bard! and has a great school system – not out of the question for the long haul) and many other Hudson border towns too numerous to name. Then my husband’s obsession with Red Bank, NJ because he went to a Wilco show there.

Can Jeff Tweedy lead us to NJ?

We’ve also done our fair share of “Nope, can’t live here.” from the car. Is that really a good way to judge a potential quality of life? I used to shiver when I walked down 7th Ave on the very block we live on (well, I still do). This inability of ours to make a plan has made me realize that there are both others like us, who need help and others much better organized who can help us all! And what better way to learn about a town than from those who live there, really?

A recent post on A Child Grows about a day in Larchmont by The Culture Mom has really brought this idea to the fore. Things to do so that you can check out what it’s like to be a local while looking at houses or just getting out of the city for the day kind of doing research. Maybe a place to change a diaper or get an ice cream cone. Playgrounds, parks, kid-friendly eateries and perhaps bars that allow babies. Ok, restaurants that allow babies. Good coffee? If not, we just don’t go. Petty, you say? Perhaps. You have your own irrational needs, I’m sure.


7 Responses

  1. September 21st, 2012 at 10:31 am

    […] – not an ideal sitch but we managed to enjoy it. Then the following weekend was the whole I-saw-Wilco-at-a-cool-old-Main-Street-Theater-so-we-should-live-here thing that my husband experienced. I’ll get the scoop on schools from my friend and let youz […]

  2. October 19th, 2011 at 11:39 pm

    […] you’re organized and serious enough about leaving, or have an idea of where you want to go (unlike us), you may even write them down. It occurred to me that maybe I should do a new series in which I […]

  3. October 14th, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    […] yes, I also love Northampton in my mind. We were actually going to move there, remember? It was just too crunchy for us in reality, the first time we went. And there was that […]

  4. karen says:
    July 19th, 2011 at 12:29 am

    HI Deirdre
    So funny b/c I have thought about Beacon more than a couple of times myself, and then Cold Spring, and then Larchmont after Holly wrote about it…and so it goes. I love to think about a rural life in the midst of this very urban life of Brooklyn- esp. today- a day of alternate side parking with 2 kids, groceries that were melting, a sore bump on the head and a fender bender. life- but where to go?!

    • Deirdre says:
      July 19th, 2011 at 1:57 pm

      That’s the point of the blog! Join us…!

      You linked to the Yahoo group on your blog way back when I started it. Crazy that it’s been over 2 years. And I personally haven’t gotten any further to moving, except for ruling out the ‘burbs for us, which I guess is progress!

  5. July 18th, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    I’m actually the writer of the Larchmont piece and I’m pleased that it got you thinking about day trips!

    • Deirdre says:
      July 18th, 2011 at 10:25 pm

      Ach! I’m such a loser and neophyte blogger that I forgot to link to you!! I’m so sorry – I just updated it. Anyway, I’d linked to you a few weeks ago on our facebook page at least!