LEAVING NEW YORK CITY AND MOVING TO THE POCONOS
I’ve heard many people tell me how they’ve struggled when they first moved from New York City to the Poconos. When I’ve asked them why they moved, the common reply has been: “ I wanted a better place for my family. Here, in the Poconos we’re close to the City, it’s affordable and my family can have a healthier and safer environment in which to grow up. However, I’m finding it hard to adjust. I like it but it’s so different from where we came from”.
Adding to this is the fact that many of this people, like myself, are immigrants that are looking for a place to belong where they can also keep their original roots.
I understand how it feels. I moved to the Pocono’s on December 30th 2008 — almost five years ago. I remember that we moved because we needed a more affordable place to live in the middle of the economical crash. Manhattan had become outrageously expensive. Also my husband, who had grown up in a small town, didn’t like the confining nature of a concrete city and wanted to be closer to trees!
However, I’m a ‘city rat.’ I’ve lived most of my life in big cities, where I feel comfortable with streets and pavements and shops and restaurants and people buzzing all around me. We first explored New York suburbs on Long Island and in Westchester County, but nothing seemed to fit our lifestyle.
When my husband told me that we were going to move to the Poconos I couldn’t believe it, I was completely in shock. We had visited friends there the previous year, but otherwise I knew nothing about the area. He said: “It’s beautiful, affordable and close to New York City”.
I still remember with clarity the day we moved. I walked down Broadway for the last time, looking into my favorite stores, breathing in everything that would normally annoy me: the crowds of people, the noise, and I knew it would be my last time just getting out of the house and strolling down the street. The next time it would be a visit. I would not live here any more.
The minute before we got into our car, (which we brought the day before) I was tempted to jump into the subway and disappear. Arriving at the end of December in cold, grim weather wasn’t the best choice. I entered the biggest house I had ever lived in. (I was raised in an apartment in Barcelona). The first night I made sure that I unpacked most of the kitchen items to make it feel as much like home as soon as possible.
But the next morning improved my mood. We woke up to see snowy trees outside our bedroom window. It was beautiful and quiet. What a difference from waking up on Broadway with the constant noise of cars and sirens. I was in awe, but at the same time the silence made me feel uncomfortable: I was used to living with noise: day and night.
As soon as we got up and went downstairs to the kitchen, I watched our two cats trying to climb down and up the stairs. They had never seen a stairway and had to learn how to use it.
Then I realized I had to do the same thing as the cats: learn how to make the most of the new world I had entered, and develop new skills to get by. That was their first step and mine, but I had no idea of the many steps that would follow and how much more there was to learn in this place of mountains and trees and rivers not so far from the concrete canyons of New York. If any fortuneteller has predicted my path from waking up in silence that first day, to radio host and newspaper blogger – I would have told them they were crazy and asked for my money back!
Thanks for reading, more next week, your Latina Poconovian. Have a happy day, Christina!
PD… I will post this letter in Spanish in a few days!
TU VOZ CON CHRISTINA EN ESPAÑOL | CHRISTINA LUNA ZABIH
firstname.lastname@example.org - www.tuvozconchristina.com – www.facebook.com/tuvozconchristina
Nueva York – Pennsylvania – EE.UU