The Good Things about our Visit to NY

Our time in New Rochelle, a largish city about an hour’s car drive north of NYC, is coming to a close. Andrew and Laura return from Scotland tomorrow and we return to Dallas on Tuesday.

I’m totally bummed out about driving in this city–I feel like a failure, and apparently the guy behind me agrees as he keeps beeping at me.  Or maybe folks here just beep for the fun of it.  I’ve never driven anywhere where they honk at people so much.  Also,  the roads are so narrow–makes a guy appreciate Texas with its wide roads.  And there is no place to park, too much traffic, no 90 degree corners, only parallel parking (and you have to pay even to do that–no free parking anywhere) and oh, did I mention–the guy behind me, the guy beside me, and the guy across from me are all honking.  At me?  I can only assume so.  Then there is the driveway:  bushes blocking the way so I can’t see to exit–maybe I should just honk and pull out without looking?!?  And then when I return to the house, there is a mandatory 17-point turn that one must make to maneuver the big car in a small driveway to make it point outward–it would be a fatal mistake to try to back out.  To pick Bella up from school one has to park a quarter of a mile away–fortunately, picking her up is only necessary on Mondays.  It is also kinda scary to walk a block to her bus stop–about a million cars are driving (and honking) to the High School which is nearby. And to top it all off, my dumb GPS has failed me once more.  So to switch to using Google maps on my phone like the rest of the world, I’m trying to figure out how to keep the phone screen from going blank and how to scotch tape my phone onto the display bracket of my failed GPS so that I can mount the phone to the windshield in order to see the phone while driving.  Oh, and to make the font big enough to read while driving and to keep the volume loud enough to be heard over all the people honking at me!!!

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OK, now that I’ve got that off my chest, I can think about the good things here:

  • Andrew and Laura have a great house.  Spacious, beautiful wood floors, double hung windows, full basement and full 2nd story,   All of Grandma and Grandpa Simons’s Mexican furniture fits well and looks great here.  The walls are covered with lovely pieces of art from around the world.  And they have a big Christmas tree set up by the fireplace.  There are a few things that need to be done around the house and yard (in particular, they need a new lawnmower shed) but it is a nice, comfortable place for them and they have room for visitors.
  • Andrew and Laura can both get to their jobs on public transport.  Which is good, so they don’t have to have cars honking at them to start and end the workday.  It would take some doing to learn the system (commuter trains, buses, subways, Uber, taxi) but they seem to have figured it out.
  • Bella rides the bus to a public school with well paid teachers (at least that is what the newspaper said).  She is making friends at school but I know she kinda misses having immediately available playmates like she used to have in Ithaca.
  • There is a nice Lutheran church next door where we visited today.  The church has a BIG parking lot adjacent to Andrew and Laura’s house, and no bushes by the exit.  Sometimes they use this space for auxiliary parking.  The church service was very “high,” and felt a lot like an Anglican service.  Beautiful stained glass windows which Bella liked seeing from the inside–she said they were “blurry” when viewed from her house.  🙂  She attends after-school care there three days a week–no driving required.  We met a nice couple there–the husband teaches at Fordham in Andrew’s department.
  • There are several place to eat within short walking distance–the Chinese takeout was good and the slices of pizza weren’t bad either.
  • There is a children’s library very close by and Bella is a card-carrying member.
  • Bella and I had opportunity to make Christmas cookies yesterday and today.

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