Back to life, back to reality—from suburbs to city

When you live in the big city, returning to the suburbs for a few days is illuminating for several reasons. There’s the obvious reminder of the comforts we take for granted in NYC (ie late night food delivery), but the even more dire reminder of how impulsive and lazy we’ve become. On Saturday night this past weekend on Long Island, I was hungry. Not hungry for any Thanksgiving leftovers or items in the fully stocked fridge, but hungry for something different. Something distinct from what my taste buds were exposed to the previous few days (my moms cooking, as great as it is, can get a little old after several meals over several days). I became so frustrated thinking about all the bountiful and exotic options Delivery.com or Seamless would have offered me. I went on about how in NYC time wouldn’t be wasted on contemplating food options and how I could get a piping hot bowl of something right away, any time of night. My mom, always the voice of reason, directed me to a tomato, some broccoli and a few wildcard spices. I was able to throw together a pretty mean pasta in no time.

It wasn’t exactly the Turkish or Ethiopian food I craved, but definitely hit the spot. I should probably cook more.

That brings me to the next insight of the weekend, this one less positive.

The suburbs really bring out the hoarder in you. I’m not saying New Yorkers aren’t prone to accumulating crap, but it’s particularly exacerbated when you have several rooms at your disposal.

I counted 3 umbrellas in my childhood bedroom alone. I found another 2 in the coat closet and another 3 in the garage. I’m sure I’d find more had I looked through the other bedrooms and I wouldn’t be surprised if more were stashed in the basement or attic. An empty nester household really has no reason to have this many umbrellas. Half of the umbrellas were the notorious street vendor kind, likely transported by myself when making harried trips home from Penn Station on rainy days or by my dad who occasionally commutes doing the same. Some were not even functional. But I’m assuming it was my mom’s decision to hang on to them. Guess she isn’t always the voice of reason.

Thanks, mom! Really need all of these.

Thanks, mom! Really need all of these.

It would be unfathomable and irrational to stockpile so many umbrellas in our New York City pads. Yet we’re the ones that probably need to have so many umbrellas on hand considering most of us don’t have cars to leave them in while we’re on the go. It’s more likely a New Yorker will find themselves exposed to the elements with a sudden rainfall, yet it’s the suburbanite that has a house full of umbrellas. Such is life.

Hope your travels back to the big apple were safe and uneventful! Back to the big city grind…

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Anusha Kambhampaty

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