Right here in what passes for suburban NJ. Suburban, my foot. We are still on top of each other, but less so than some neighboring towns. I'm a city girl, like being somewhere where I can easily get to a train to take me into New York. I like having neighbors. I like going for a walk and being able to say hi to someone. I like having shops, banks, drug stores near me. I like that I could actually take the train to Madison and walk a few blocks to my doctor's office. I like living somewhere where there are colleges. We have 3 within 2 miles. I like all that being in the new York metro area offers me.
I'm sort of urban/suburban, i.e. not cheek to jowl as in Brooklyn or Manhattan. I like having a nice piece of land which we pretty much ignore, not being gardeners. Our land acts a a buffer between neighbors, but i can still go outside and see my neighbors. I would be terrified if I lived in the middle of nowhere.
I love to take the train. I can go to NYC on an express and be there in 45 minutes. Weekend, the locals run, so it takes about 70 minutes. I sit on the train and knit and daydream. If I've walked miles in the city, I rest on the ride home. No traffic problems, no crazy drivers, just pure relaxation. And then, being a couple of blocks from the rr station, I just walk home. This is my idea of heaven. Of course I don't commute; I'm retired, and that commute would get old pretty quickly, but in my working days, I did drive the half hour to work. Can't say that I liked it, but it worked. Now I have the luxury of taking a train to wherever. I like taking the train to my local quilt shop, Aardvark Quilts. It's 2 stations beyond me. 8 minutes, and there I am, in downtown Morris Plains, with a quilt shop, good lunch foods, very very pleasant.
In a pinch, I could take the train to Madison (the next town eastbound) and walk to the Stop and Shop, or to downtown. That much training I don't do, but the option is there. The other day, when I went to Aardvark, I chatted with a lady who gave up driving. Got sick and tired of it. She takes the train or bus everywhere.
So where is this all coming from? I love to read Judy Laquidara's blog. She's a delight to read. Good writing, wonderful quilts (I wanna be her when I grow up), loves to cook, tells great husband stories. She recently moved to Texas and has hair-raising stories of trying to find a house. She, unlike me, wants to live out in the middle of nowhere. The last place she would want is to live is in the metro New York area. Cool, isn't it? I could never live out in no-where Texas, and I bet she'd tear her hair out if she had to live in northern New Jersey. (I specify northern NJ because the shore and the Philly areas are just not the same state. It's pretty neat to live in a state with low mountains (very low), rivers, parks, cities, the ocean. But I digress.)
I guess, when all is said and done, it's wonderful to live in a country where there is so much diversity. Me with urban areas, Judy with total country, and all that's in between.
And now I'm off to watch The Biggest Loser. Not that I'm heavy. I could probably lose 3-4 lbs, but I love watching how these amazing people work so hard and end up so amazingly fit.
Jo - Hi, neighbor! Thanks for reading my blog.
Ria - South Jersey is like a different state. Totally different, isn't it.