Sunday, June 14, 2009

Go West------

It's official now: our house is up for sale. We've been planning a move for a long time and would have been out even sooner were it not for the sudden economic depression that arrived last year. Hopefully the house will sell sooner than later. We're being reasonable in our expectations. People tell us that it could take up to a year--I sure hope not. Now that it's official, hubby and I would just like to see the thing over with so we can get on with our plans.

Our friends and family have known for years that we were planning this move, but somehow I think they thought we'd "come to our senses." Suddenly people are asking how we can leave family and friends behind. Aren't we going to miss life here?

Strangely enough, now that we've started the process of leaving, I do occasionally get choked up a bit. Yes, I'll admit I'm going to miss my house here in NY, but truthfully only because of the memories it contains, the events that took place that centered around the house. I raised my kids in this house--it echoes with the sounds of their growing up. But those memories are firmly in my head, and I'll take them with me when I go. And yes, I'll miss the view of my yard and my wildlife. In this house I know what to expect from the seasons. And no, I won't miss blustery winter storms and shoveling snow and deicing sidewalks and cars. And I won't miss the humidity one iota.

Family? Something much harder. No, I won't be an hour's drive from them. But the reality is that full time jobs and taking care of personal family obligations and just the routine jobs of living mean that we don't see each other physically all that often even with living in NY. But in today's world, getting on a plane and flying 4-1/2 hours is just not all that big a deal. And yes, we've built coming back for visits into the budget. If I need to be back here, it's not all that long to get here. There are phones where we are going, and yes, the Internet too. And when we need a hug in person, there are those planes again. And those planes go in both directions. Luckily our kids love our destination so they are all planning at least twice yearly visits.

Friends? Again, something harder. But we are all at the points in our lives that many of us are changing life styles and changing residences. One friend is staying in the NY/NJ area but is selling her house--it's just too large and too much time/money in upkeep for the way they want to live now. So many of our friends are absent from the community during yom tov and Shabbos--they are traveling to children now instead of children traveling to them. And some of them are moving into their children's neighborhoods to be closer to the grandchildren. We aren't the only ones moving out of state--the Florida contingent is alive and well and looking forward to a life without snow and mowing lawns. A few are already dividing their time between Israel and the states. With some of the friends we're not going to be physically interacting with them less when out of town than we do now. Besides, the city we're going to is a tourist magnet and business/trade show magnet, and our friends are all telling us to put them down for a visit as soon as we are settled in.

We have a gazillion reasons for why we are leaving and for where we are going, all good ones to us. And I guess we are still both of us filled with a pioneering spirit. We like the idea of being in a community that is still growing instead of full grown. We like the idea of being part of the growth process, of being able to contribute. And yes, it doesn't hurt that the state we are going to has no state income tax, no city income tax, has waaay lower real estate prices, costs less for basic services and has easy access to the things we want to do once we have time to do them.

I know the saying is "Go West, young man!" and we're not all that young and not just a young man going, but hey, it's the thought that counts. Now if you'd like to help us get out sooner, if you know anyone looking for a house in SI, please send them our way.


Trudy said...

Out west is a large territory. Where out west are you heading? Did you ever consider Florida? Lots of the NY area conveniences there without the snow. And it also doesn't have a state tax.

Anonymous said...

I think perhaps the biggest adjustment will be living in a smaller Jewish community. Fewer choices, fewer people, fewer options, etc.


ProfK said...

Out west for us is Las Vegas, Nevada. Florida never came into question for us because of a couple of major factors. First, the humidity in Florida is even worse than in NY, something we need to get away from. Second, we are looking for a house, not a condo, and most of LV is houses as opposed to apartment buildings. Third, we aren't going to be fully retired when we move and the opportunities for employment in what we want to be doing are better for me in LV.

Fewer options, fewer choices--options and choices about what? Yes, the size of the frum communities in LV are smaller than in NY, so fewer people there right now. But choices and options? More kosher restaurants in LV than in SI by a huge number, better kosher shopping too. No, each of the frum communities in LV does not have a shul on every corner. Amazingly enough people get along with the others who may be somewhat different from them.

Anonymous said...

I was just in Las Vegas for a week at the end of May. There's a lovely growing Jewish community there. Kudos to you for going to live there and contributing to the growth of that community!

Anonymous said...

ProfK - Fewer options, fewer choices--options and choices about what? Yes, the size of the frum communities in LV are smaller than in NY, so fewer people there right now. But choices and options? More kosher restaurants in LV than in SI by a huge number, better kosher shopping too. No, each of the frum communities in LV does not have a shul on every corner. Amazingly enough people get along with the others who may be somewhat different from them.

Ah, but SI is not just SI. It's also all of Brooklyn, Manhattan, and parts of Jersey! The nearest Jewish neighborhood from LV is LA and Phoenix a few hours away!

But I suppose without children in the house, the lack of options don't really amount to much (schools, playmates, etc). As long as you find a shul you are comfortable in, and butcher you trust, and a general shop for other things, what more do you need?

And if you are into gambling, well, it's heaven on earth :-) My wife and I went to LV for a few days before our first child was born (she was in utero at the time) and did all sorts of trips from there (Lake Mead, Hoover dam, Grand Canyon, Death Valley, the ski mountain an hour outside Vegas, etc), and walked the strip. But when we were in the airport waiting for our flight back home, we realized that we hadn't gambled at all!


Lion of Zion said...

best of luck.

ProfK said...

Except for the fact that I work in Brooklyn I would otherwise not have reason to step foot in it, except for an invitation to a simcha. I do all my shopping in SI, with an occasional foray into the NJ outlet malls, or online. We aren't runners to restaurants, so what other possible reason could there be to haunt Brooklyn? From a frum standpoint what does Manhattan offer me?

No, we don't have little ones in the house, so our concerns are different than those of a younger family. Kosher food is plentiful and with all the NY and LA choices. But even for a younger family there is plenty available. There are two day schools, Chabad has a boys high school, Chofetz Chaim has a boys high school and they just now started a girls school. There are some 5 Chabad shul communities, an OU shul, with the principal of one of the day schools as rav of the shul, a Young Israel, and a MO machmir breakaway minyan from the Young Israel.

Re the gambling, someone asked us how we could possibly live on the Vegas strip--hardly a Jewish place. I suppose I should mention they have never been to LV and have no idea just how large a city it is. It's heading for a population of 2 million. The area we will be moving to is hardly on the strip--about 35 minutes from it. And as you mention, there are a whole lot of natural wonders in the area, some you didn't make it to. If you ever get back there try Valley of Fire and RedRock Canyon. There are also lots of cultural activities that go on. You can have a great time in LV without gambling.

No, it won't be NY, but then it doesn't pretend to be.

Anonymous said...

We went on a vacation to LV, Grand Canyon, Phoenix & Tucson 15 years ago when our daughter was a baby and we had good friends living in the small Jewish community in Tucson. We had a great time & yes, you could see even then that LV was much more than the strip. Even then we found kosher yogurt & other food we needed in the supermarkets. BeHatzlacha!

Anonymous said...

A number of people I know have moved to LV and not for the gambling. Housing is affordable, there are day schools, colleges, and kosher establishments. The weather can be outragously hot in the summer. Most importantly, you can still blog from there, it is Internet ready!

Allen said...

We never had any interest in LV so when a business trip this past winter had me going there I wasn't looking forward to any of it. We don't gamble so what were we going to do for a week? And we just knew that Shabbos was going to be miserable for us. We weren't just surprised by what we actually found but really surprised. There is so much to do that isn't gambling that we didn't get to do even half of what we wanted to. No problem with kosher food and amenities. We arranged to be in the Young Israel area and davened at the breakaway minyan mentioned. Can't imagine our surprise when we found a couple there we had known years ago who moved out there permanently, and they love it.

We liked it well enough that we're planning another trip just for pleasure. Can we get ourselves put on your guest list? (just kidding, I think.)

zeesel nechama said...

I am a lurker, but spend every Pesach in LV at the Young Israel with family there, we love it and we love love love rabbi Wyne. If you would like any connections, you might be around the age of my MIL, please feel free to email