You may have noticed a distinct lack of posts to this blog recently. The reason is that, since December 20th I have been back in New York. Travelling home gave me the chance to visit family and old friends, see a movie or two, go out to eat, and simply have a good time. And while I didn’t travel into New York City, this holiday season has provided an opportunity to reflect on how different my home state really is from Mississippi.
First of all there are the people. New Yorkers are known for being pushy and aggressive. Before moving I took that for granted. But after six months of living in the South I have gotten used to a slower pace of life. The difference was immediately obvious upon getting off the plane. As I weaved my way through the crowds at LaGuardia Airport the energy and the way people rush about immediately struck me. Folks in Mississippi, and even the airport in Memphis, tend not to move any where fast unless there is an emergency. Personally I find that refreshing although there is something infectious about New York’s energy.
I’m also going to miss the stores up here. Ironically I did little shopping, having only a limited amount of money to spend. But it is incredibly refreshing to know that stores and shops can be counted on to be open past 5 PM and on Sundays. And the variety is great as well. You see the Delta is virtually devoid of chain stores and restaurants. Walmart is well represented and there’s some well known stores down in Greenville. But for a lot if things the only answer is Amazon.
And speaking of restaurants, the New York area simply has much better food. There’s pizza and bagels of course. But the incredible diversity means that nearly every cuisine is represented somewhere around here. My personal favorite is Indian food, something which exists no where in the Delta. Down there, food tends to be relatively homogeneous. You have your fast food chains and standard American fare. But a lot of stuff is deep fried, deep fried, deep fried. That’s not always a bad thing. For example I am a huge fan of deep fried steak. But there is no getting around the fact that some of the stereotypes surrounding Mississippi and food are actually true.
So living in Cleveland has required some sacrifices, albeit of things which are not really important to life. Like shopping and eating out. Still it has a great sense of community and people are very friendly. And the job is excellent. But there is a lot the area lacks. For now that is an acceptable trade off for personal and professional growth. The future, however, may very well be different.