When trying to come up with an Ad Campaign for Boston Common Magazine, the tag-line “City Girl in the Suburbs” just struck a chord with me. I could not get it out of my head. I spent many hours trying to find the perfect tag-line that would best define me to the readers of the magazine. I asked the opinions of some close friends and family and of course there were all kinds of reactions and ideas, but in the end I went with my gut. I have a true love for city life and I wanted my buyers and potential buyers to realize that I can relate to their first big move out of the city (any city, of course!)
So I decided it made sense to give you a little insight into my life. Maybe then you would understand how or why I came up with the tag-line “City Girl in the Suburbs”. I mean Michael Jackson named himself the King of Pop, so I figured it was okay to name myself City Girl in the Suburbs. Okay, maybe not such a good example, but hopefully you get what I mean. So enjoy a little background information on me.
All my life, I dreamed of one day living in NYC. I never thought it was really going to happen, but one day in my 20’s I decided to make the move to the “Big Apple”. For the first year or so, I pretty much lived paycheck to paycheck and all my money went towards rent, taxicabs, dinners, and drinks(not necessarily in that order!) Life was grand when I had no real responsibilities except working and paying my bills on time. I lived there for 3 years and probably could have stayed a couple more. The good news for me is that I left before getting fully burnt out by the fast pace of New York.
Since moving, visiting NYC has taken on a whole new meaning. Over the past few years, we have brought our two boys to NYC a bunch of times. It is amazing when we drive in on the West Side Highway and my body wakes up with excitement and awe. I can tell that my kids have the same love of the city and my older son has already asked if he can move there one day.
When it was time for me to settle down, I found myself a good old Boston Boy and we made our way back to our hometown. I always knew NYC was an adventure for me and that one day I would be back in Beantown.
After looking at different apartments to rent, we decided to rent at the Prudential for a couple of years. We were both used to living in a “high-rise” and it was probably the closest I could get to still living like I had in NYC. I loved living in the Back Bay and walking to the gym, the supermarket and all the yummy restaurants. I felt spoiled with all the modern conveniences right at my fingertips. Additionally, my husband’s work was just 2 T-stops away at the time, so meeting for dinner was easy. City life was definitely for me.
Baby Number One
Life began to change when I became pregnant. Near the end of my pregnancy, construction began on the Mandarin Hotel and the parking and noise were becoming an issue. I was 8 months pregnant walking the length of a football field to get to the elevator of our building. The incredible noise and construction going on outside our window was not going to work for a newborn. With lots of convincing and tears, my husband finally got his way. We were ready to make the move to the suburbs… okay, in truth, he was ready to make the move to the suburbs. I figured that I would adjust over time. I made my husband promise that when the kids go to college that we will be empty nesters in the city. He said yes, of course, but I think he would have said anything to cheer me up.
So we made the move out of the city and I knew that it would take some time to get acclimated. The biggest adjustment was always needing my car. Whether it was driving to the nearest CVS, Roche Brothers or heading back into Boston for doctors appointments or to go to dinner, the car became my second home. To my amazement, I adjusted to the ‘burbs much faster than I would have expected. It did not hurt that after many visits to the city with my baby in the stroller, I realized that Boston was not that baby friendly. I was carrying the stroller up and down the brownstone steps on Newbury Street with no extra hands coming my way. It definitely was an awakening, but at the same time I realized that if I lived in the city I would be wearing a Baby Bjorn or some sort of baby carrier. Anyways, truth of the matter is that the brownstone stairs are just an excuse. I would have loved to stay in the city with a baby.
Soon after Baby #1 came Baby #2… 17 1/2 months later to be exact. At this point, I could admit to my husband that he made the right decision despite my initial hesitation. It was hard enough carrying two babies just to the car, let alone all over the city. Not to mention, the lack of space in our apartment would have driven us over the edge.
City Girl in the Suburbs
So I still have only partially answered what “City Girl in the Suburbs” really means. My first few years out in the suburbs were filled with great exploration and determination. Where can you live that you can walk to your favorite coffee place, grocery stores, restaurants, banks, shopping and so much more? These were questions that I needed to find answers to. After much research, it turns out that there are so many options. Over the next few weeks, the City Girl in the Suburbs series of posts will focus on the towns of Wellesley, Weston and Needham.
My next City Girl in the Suburbs post will focus on the town of Wellesley, but stay tuned for the post on Weston followed by Needham. Additionally, I will give attention to finding outstanding substitutes for our favorite walks, restaurants, spas, gyms in Boston. Let this be your City Guide to the Suburbs and let me be your (once reluctant) director…