ARCHIVE FOR January, 2013

Cool Is So Not Cool8

Posted by Deirdre // 01-30-2013

 

Now that I’ve had some time to breathe, read a few good comments and reflect on yesterday’s post about Westchester vs Brooklyn, I feel the need for an addendum. It’s a great discussion – certainly worthwhile and fun, and I want to thank Lexi (a contributor, not an owner as I’d previously posted) and A Child Grows for bringing it to my attention and for the comments that followed. And while I stand by what I felt, I may not have expressed it so well (my husband did tell me I sounded like a bitch). I did know when hitting ‘publish’ that the post would ruffle some feathers – the city vs burbs discussions often do. I have no interest in writing a completely innocuous blog and do have a distinct point of view I want to express, but I also recognize that it may have been too much and I’m sorry if I offended anyone tremendously.

First of all, the “cool” discussion, as I said in one of the comments, is just annoying and I somewhat regret using that word.  The thing is, cool is different for everyone and that I recognize. And what you wear or have on your body does not make you cool or not cool, of course, any more than where you live.

Second, Westchester is a big place and certainly the entire county does not dress the same or even like the same things.

Third, I didn’t mean to single out Rye or the people who live there. The Starbucks comment came about because one Sunday we stopped there on the way home from a weekend away and literally every guy I saw had on a pair of khakis and a polo shirt of some sort, tucked in. Literally every one. Now does that mean all those guys are dull and all alike? No. Did it give me and my dirty jeans and t-shirts wearing husband pause? Yeah. It just didn’t seem like our scene – it felt monied and country-clubby. Doesn’t necessarily mean that all of it is, or that none of those guys – or women – are “cool” and we certainly couldn’t have judged it perfectly from a passing coffee.

As I said, one of the things I like about Brooklyn (and the city for that matter) is that I do feel that we have a lot of variety in types of people, including the way they dress. We have more choices and are exposed to more just by walking down the street (which one does so less in the burbs – reality). I have to agree with “Snowy” who posted in the Wee Westchester comments that, “The mix of people in the city, including the fedora-wearers, makes things interesting! If everyone looked the same and wore the same hats life would be boring.”

Bklyn Mom Michelle Williams in No. 6 clog boots via Design Blahg

Bklyn Mom Michelle Williams in the now ubiquitous No. 6 clog boots I love via Design Blahg

That said, does almost every mother in Park Slope – including yours truly – own Hunter boots or some sort of clog or both? Uh huh.

Personally, my husband and I decided a while ago that the burbs were not for us, because we have careers that don’t require being in the city every day for the long term. In addition, neither one of us ever lived in the suburbs, so it feels more foreign. So if we do move eventually it would likely be farther away, or somewhere in Brooklyn less onerously expensive as our elementary school zone. But again, Brooklyn isn’t perfect and if it was there would be no blog.

I get that the burbs are likely a destination for many of you for many reasons – close to family, close to the city, and for some of the things that Wee Westchester points out. Or maybe you just like it! All of which are reasons why I’ll continue to post about Westchester et al., and the things that many Brooklynites who have posted here and on the group are looking for – green and open space, a walkable downtown, diversity and culture.

Thanks for reading and keeping the (positive) discussion going!

 

Brooklyn Takes On Westchester!33

Posted by Deirdre // 01-29-2013

 

The gloves are off! Ok, not really. But there was a hint of sparring in two recent posts on where is the better place to live. And I couldn’t help but throw my hat in the ring, to some extent.

It started with a post on Wee Westchester (a blog started by – yep, you got it – former city moms) Westchester vs. Brooklyn that took Brooklyn on directly:

While Brooklyn may be home to many of the city’s best restaurants (very jealous of that!), Westchester is actually the better place to raise kids. Listen up, Brooklyn friends. After this, you may want to consider leaving Stroller City forever.” Oh no she didn’t!

So Lexi, one of the two new editors of A Child Grows fought back with Brooklyn vs. Westchester, Why We’re Staying Put!:

Even if you never rode the subway to Manhattan (which happens to be a worthy, kid-pleasing pursuit on its own), you still probably couldn’t try every Brooklyn-based activity before your child gets to high school. In the last few months I’ve heard about a Grammy-nominated Broadway actor teaching a music class for babies, four-year-olds studying Pollock and Picasso at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, and Twyla Tharp mentoring teenage dancers at a local ballet company.

It’s pretty much the classic city vs suburbs argument, which we ALL know has points on both sides (hello, one of the points of this blog). I guess these moms moved from Brooklyn, but to call it out feels a bit like a chip on the shoulder kind of thing. And left me feeling very much in need of defending Brooklyn, even with all my complaints logged in various posts.

An ad for DadCentric.com

An ad for DadCentric.com

On that note, I need to take on one point they make – that they don’t live there because it’s cool. Um, yeah we got that. I’d have to say that’s one of the reasons so many of us are scared shitless of going there. Personally, I’d rather see a bunch of hipster dads at the playground like the one at left who is making fun of the whole thing but at the same time hasn’t given up his (or his kid’s) sense of style, than an army Stepford husbands all dressed in khakis and golf shirts. Phew. That felt good. Oh, and the founder of the blog from the ad at left? He lives in San Diego. Hipsterism may be alive and well in Brooklyn, but it exists elsewhere too (although not likely at the Starbucks in Rye).

So…what’s your take?

 

 

Kings and Queens2

Posted by Deirdre // 01-22-2013

 

A thread on the group in the past week has been around Bayside, Queens and its surrounding towns, most notably for the District 26 schools. I know squat about this area, so decided to do a quick search on the NYT Living In section, at least.

There’s one on Fresh Meadows, which apparently lacks a subway — kind of a deal-breaker if you’re commuting in regularly, in my book at least. But is next to a neighborhood called Utopia – how bad can it be? And it seems like people in Bayside take the LIRR, so maybe that’s the case here too. There’s a recent Living In on Glen Oaks, which the article boasts is, “Long on trees, short on costs” because of the abundance of apartments.

The Living In on Bayside is from the 80s, so instead you might want to troll around on the local Patch for Bayside/Douglaston, or follow them on twitter. And the Daily News offered this Insider’s Guide to Bayside, including a few bars and restaurants and some info on the various pocket neighborhoods within that offer different housing options.

Anyone know more? I think my friend’s husband may be from here – I’ll see if I can dig up anything.

Fort Totten Park