Monday, April 16, 2007

The big move...

Many of you know that I've left the concrete jungle of New York City and the surrounding 'burbs to make my way north to Vermont. I moved into a great apartment in the "city" of Burlington (I don't know if it will ever be a city to me: No skyscrapers, no screeching taxis, and a population about equal to my hometown on Long Island).

My apartment is within four blocks of almost everything that brought me to Burlington in the first place: the downtown shopping/social hub of the city, the locally-owned coop grocery store where I will be stocking up on all basic eco- and health-friendly necessities in bulk, the bike path that runs alongside Lake Champlain, the waterfront area of said lake, and an awesome thrift shop-type store / building materials reuse center called RecycleNorth. The Intervale, 350+ acres of farmland and trails, (with one farm in particular that I will get to know closely) is two miles away. I have a view of the lake and the Adirondack mountains out my window! Everything is within bike riding distance, leaving me to figure out what to do with my 1980 diesel station wagon purchased on ebay a few months ago. Should I decide to go the veggie diesel route, there are plenty of people here to help me learn about the process!

Burlington is really a hub of social consciousness, with the perfect mix of students (there are five schools nearby) and aging hippies for me to fit right in, falling somewhere in between those two categories. I find the downtown area to be the perfect size, with music and culture at my fingertips instead of a 45 minute subway ride away. Okay, I'm not knocking NYC (well, sometimes I am), but I'm so happy to live where I can go to a lecture or event, meet up with friends for dinner, and listen to live music all within walking distance of my home!

I haven't spent much time socializing yet as I've been pretty consumed with getting settled into the apartment, and working remotely for my jobs in NYC. I'm sharing what is basically a three bedroom apartment with a nice guy and a nice, though skittish, kitty. My south-facing room gets tons of natural light, and has enough space for yoga. (plus there are many yoga studios nearby!) The huge empty kitchen appeared to have been a bit neglected, but I've quickly made amends, whipping up big meals of... well, nothing much yet, but soon!

While it's still rainy and snowy right now, this is really the best time for me to come as I want to get involved with farms up here. I've already connected with an organic berry farmer at the Intervale ( and will be running his market stand at the farmers market one town south of here. Yep, all summer I'll be surrounded by organic berries, and you know what that means: berry pies!!! Place your orders now, ladies and gentlemen! = D Speaking of summer, I hear it is just an amazing time in Burlington - with everyone spending time outdoors on the waterfront, canoeing on the lake, bike riding, etc. I can't wait!

My transition to a Vermonter has been an interesting process. I wake up smiling knowing a 1.5 hour commute to Harlem is not in my immediate future, I walk around town at a slower pace than I ever would consider on NYC streets, and friends have said I seem more at ease. But it will take me a while to get used to some of the differences - The strangest thing happened to me the other day: I was waiting for traffic to pass so I could cross the street, and the cars just stopped. No light, no stop-sign, no crosswalk even, just a person waiting to cross on the side of the road, and the traffic stopped. I could get used to this!

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