The Real.Est List
Best of Brick: My suburban nightmare
(Originally posted on 03/15/2011)
It starts with the shiva. The shiva being the actual move to the 'burbs and your first few weeks at the in-laws' while your new Colonial palace is being brought up to livable standards. The anger has not materialized yet. You are still in the moment, in the fog of dislocation and confusion.
What in G-d's name is a "floating-floor"? Why do I need to have an oil contract? The gardener wants to know about aerating the lawn? What is that? So let me get this straight, I have 2 roofs? and that is good? No it is not good. Oh it's good if the second roof is relatively new and there is no water damage to the wood. Oh...OK. Oil versus gas? We have both. OK. We have a leak... no problem. We have great insurance. Excuse me, what? We don't have flood insurance. Of course we don't, we don't live by the water. Oh, if the water seeps in we are not covered. But if it's a domestic water leak, we are covered. No? Yes. OK. Where is the super??????????????
You're in the house and the boxes are mostly unpacked, ready for your new life to begin, and the depression sets in....
It's very quiet here in Syosset. Why am I the only guy who gets the New York Post and The New York Times delivered? Newsday is an abomination. Sunday morning: Buckle in two kids, drive 5 miles away, find a parking spot, unbuckle kids, walk with extreme paranoia clutching my most prized possessions through a busy parking lot, get the bagels, repeat in reverse....30 minutes to get bagels? I haven't even attempted the dry cleaner yet. Leaving the house at an ungodly early hour just to sit for approx 75 mins to get to work. Repeat in reverse 10 hours later. It used to take me 16 mins "key to key" to get to work! I took the N or the R for 17 years. I'm crying just thinking about it! My kid likes soccer to be on the 4th floor in a high school gym. NOT OUT IN THE COLD!!!!!!!!!!! Why is everyone wearing flip flops? WTF??????????? We had 59" of snow this year. Shovel anyone? THIS SUCKS!
No matter the price, the location, the smoke and mirrors, the food out here sucks and the people dress shitty! The service sucks! With the possible exception of Philippe Chow opening in Jericho. There are too many entitled teenagers having sushi next to us, driving Range Rovers and speaking in tongues. There is a complete lack of sophistication here. It is sort of equivalent to a lazy Sunday morning in your apartment before you shower and go out. Only here, these people are actually roaming the streets AND with an attitude! It's disgusting! I hate these people with a passion. Low class people acting like they should be revered merely for the price they paid for the loser track suits and flip flop's they wear with such misplaced pride. There is entirely too much FLEECE apparel on Long Island! Plus most of it is studded!!!!!!!!! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
Yesterday, my children played in the back yard and the basement for approx 8 hours. Sunshine, fresh air (not black exhaust soot), neighbors kids too. They love the ubiquitous wood play set and swings. The deck, the his-and-hers electric Jeeps. The park is a five minute walk and there are no rat droppings in the sand box. (True, the ice cream truck vendor looks as suspicious as the guy at 68th & 1st. But what can you do?) I wash my cars like I did as a teenager. I smell BBQ's and hear music far off in the distance. Family pops over far more often, but thankfully leaves quicker knowing that traffic is no longer a factor in the visit. My kids haven't had to sit in the car for hours going round trip to Nanna's just to get out of the city for a day. I also don't need to make small talk with the doorman while I secretly curse the people who are hogging the laundry cart when I pull up to unload from Costco.
I can find enough to like out here in order to give my children this life. I tell myself that every day. My wife designed our home in such a way that I actually look forward to seeing it at night. She has made a great environment for me and my children. I love her for that. She persevered while I kicked and screamed. I love her for that too. My kids will soon lose that city 'edge', but really, so what? They will be kids a little bit longer out here. I actually do like my neighbors now. I love my house. The railroad isn't exactly torture. It's really not so bad.
I tell myself this every day.
Sick in Syosset