Tuesday, August 7, 2007

What we left behind

This is the story of my family's journey from city life in Brookline, Massachusetts, to life in Cambridge, a small town located in rural northeastern New York State. This is an actual move, meaning that we do not maintain a summer or weekend home, but rather live here full time.

It all started more than two years ago with what we left behind.

First, there was our beloved condo in Brookline MA, where I worked hard for many years on the hand-built kitchen and other renovations. For me, the hardest physical thing to leave behind was Meme's amazing mural in Ajanta's room, pictured below.

Other fond memories include the many tea, wine tasting, and other parties we had with friends; our incredibly walkable and beautiful park-like neighborhood; the many small restaurants and specialty shops; and the general convenience of living in a condo.

Also worth noting is the miracle of wilderness camping accessible by public transport, shown here with friends on Grape Island in the Boston Harbor.

For overall urban livability, it's hard to beat Brookline.

So why leave?

Of course cities are noisy and dirty and crowded and often hard to get around. Before our move, I was fond of quoting the grand father in The Secret of Roan Inish: "Cities are nothing but noise and dirt and people that's lost their senses".

It wasn't that, but rather some sort of vague but strong mutual need for change that drove us. The ten year itch. We briefly considered Germany and settled on rural New York, closer to family and perhaps a safer and easier choice for parents with a two year old child.

Parents of a two year old cannot be held accountable for their actions. So we put the condo on the market and it sold in less than two weeks.

(Oh if only it was as easy as that makes it sound! Stay tuned for Life in Coxsackie NY.)