Photo by Mr.TinDC
You think of a lot of things during a 15 minute drive to the train station. I will never be mistaken for a native Long Islander.
I grew up in Queens, attended high school in Brooklyn, went to City College on 136 street in Manhattan and eventually Queens College (very long story). I didn’t get my first car until I was 24 or so. I lived in the 5 boroughs and I liked taking the subway and trains to anywhere I wanted in NYC.
We moved to Long Island because we needed a bigger house and wanted to send our kids to a better school district than the one in our Queens neighborhood. It’s a great house in a good neighborhood.
That said, I will never get used to Long Island.
There’s no sidewalks anywhere
Part of my weekend routine was having breakfast at the Dunkin’ Donuts near St. John’s University. We lived just a few blocks from there and we were just a little more than across the street from the school. I like being able to walk to shopping for groceries and things.
There’s not anywhere I can walk to. Everything is at least a 10 minute drive. If I was feeling brave I might use my bicycle but less than mile away a cyclist was left as the victim of a hit and run. That pretty much rules that idea out.
Some of the drivers are the worst
Not all of them of course but a lot of them. My biggest pet peeve is the yellow line is perceived as a suggestion. I always drive on my side as I don’t think getting in to a car wreck is a good way to meet new people.
A fun example: I come out of my side street and head to the light. Another driver rounds the corner and is almost half his car width into my lane. I stop my car and put on my least offending “What are you doing?” face and the other driver swerves out of my lane. Usually I get the “What? I didn’t do nothing wrong!” look but on one occasion I got flipped the bird. Maybe he was from NYC too?
People who drive by their own rules irk me too. I’m at a light, it turns green and I advance into the intersection signaling a left turn. I’m waiting in the intersection* for the opposite car to either turn or go straight. That gets me a blank stare and the other driver eventually makes hand motions indicating I should turn in front of him. I usually make my own hand motions right after that.
The grass really isn’t greener and I’m not moving anytime soon
I do like the privacy and it’s a great house on a great property. Also I’ve met some amazing Long Islanders and our friends are the best. Lily and I do like living here.
But I’m typing this on a LIRR train. This leg of the commute is long enough that I can draft up a 600 word blog post from scratch. It’s an adjustment and after almost 10 years I’m pretty sure I’ll continue to do this commute. But I’ll still miss some of the convenience of living in Queens.
*NOTE: Yes, I invented my own intersection driving rules. In NY you are not supposed to enter the intersection until you can successfully make the left turn. It’s my blog and I can complain about what I want. 😉