8.01.2005

personal post alert

Some of you have asked if I'll continue blogging after we move. Mais oui! I originally started this silly thing as a way to update friends and family, and as a way for me to process (by writing) the many changes we're experiencing. I had no idea it would take on a life of its own, but these two purposes still stand. I will absolutely be reporting on our new lives, our impressions of our little corner of Canada.

Our little corner of Canada. That has a nice ring to it.

However... many of the changes we'll experience after we touch down in Port Credit will have little to do with Canada.

It's very common for one's standard of living to rise dramatically after leaving New York City. It's expensive here. In the US, probably only California's Bay Area rivals the cost of living in New York.

Every New Yorker has had a friend, co-worker or neighbor who visits [insert name of smaller city here] and comes back raving about how they could rent a three-bedroom house for what they're paying for their apartment. I've been hearing this half my life. My answer has always been, yeah, but then you have to live in [smaller city]. This is not to put down that city. It may be perfect for the person in question. Just not for me. The idea of renting or owning a home in Austin, Minneapolis or Charlotte (all fine cities) was never appealing.

But now that we're leaving the city, certain advantages are thrown in the package. We don't have a dishwasher and we do our laundry in a laundromat. (Does this sound barbaric to you? It's not at all unusual in NYC.) We don't own a car. Although in recent years we've been financially able to rent one whenever we need to, most shopping and errands involve schlepping around with packages, often on the subway. And of course, we don't have a backyard or any outdoor space, the only aspect of life in a private home that I've ever missed.

In the last few years, I've been finding all of this more tedious. We've put up with it without much question, because we wanted to be in New York City. But as we get older, the trade-off that is New York for the not-rich has become less obvious. I was seriously considering leaving the city when the idea of moving to Canada came up, and the two ideas dovetailed.

Now all this will change when we move. Dishwasher, washer/dryer, big backyard - and car. Cumulatively, our lives will become a good deal more convenient. I am reeeeeally looking forward to it!

41 comments:

Mario said...

Ah... I can understand you just totally! For now I think it's great to be able to live close to the city centre, with cafes, supermarket, clubs, everything within walking distance. Sure yea, it would be nice to have a car, but where would I park? Rented parking in Oslo is very expensive, and just owning an auto in Norway is beyond-belief expensive(purchase cost, insurance, fuel, taxes, road toll, etc.) However, every time I go home to visit my parents(they live in a small town with only 10,000 inhabitants)I really envy them. Great view of the fjord, sunny porch, almoast an acre of garden etc. Ofcourse the cost of something resembling my parent's house close to Oslo is mind blowing...

I'm certain you will enjoy your new situation, but you will surely miss The Apple!

L-girl said...

Mario, about the car, that's it exactly! Oslo sounds like NYC in that way.

I'm certain you will enjoy your new situation, but you will surely miss The Apple!

Oh yes. Yes I will. I write it about it all the time.

I have never been to Norway - would love to!

Mario said...

And I'm embarassed to say that I've never visited NY, nor any Canadian city! I would LOVE to visit your great city. The only big US cities I have visited are Las Vegas and San Fransisco. The last one is probably one of the nicest places I've ever been to!

Anyway, if you ever decide to go to Norway, Oslo is ofcourse nice to visit, but the real beauty in this country is the west coast and Northern Norway (Lofoten).

L-girl said...

Don't be embarrassed, it's a long ways away, and travel is expensive.

NYC is a great place for a vacation. You can even find some reasonably priced hotels if you do some research.

I also love San Francisco! It's the only other US city I've ever wanted to live in.

I hope to see the fjords one day.

So Mario, what brings you to this blog?

David Cho said...

schlepping around?

L-girl said...

schlepping around?

You can take the girl out of the synagogue, but you can't take the bubbula out of the girl.

Schlep is yiddish for "to carry heavy packages", "to move awkwardly and slowly", or "to drag one's butt". Sometimes moving men are referred to as schleppers. Like most yiddish words, it has many excellent uses.

Crabbi said...

I love Yiddish words. Putz is a favorite.

So how close to Toronto will you be? I'm sure I read that in an earlier post, but I forget.

L-girl said...

Putz is a favorite.

An excellent word! Yiddish is wonderfully descriptive.

We'll be right outside of Toronto - 20-25 minutes from downtown, 10-15 minutes (I believe) from the city line.

G said...

... in non-rush hour traffic ... you'll learn the joys of the 401 soon enough. But, if you manage to keep the hours that you do have, you'll be fine.

Can't wait to read the We've Moved To Canada posts!!! :-)

L-girl said...

Ha ha, I knew I was in for traffic-related posts. We're hoping to work non-traditional hours, and also to commute by GO train. (And I'm hoping to work mostly at home!)

Can't wait to read the We've Moved To Canada posts!!! :-)

Thank you!! It's so cool to know you guys are reading. Really really.

Kyle_From_Ottawa said...

The 401 is horrible.....

It's the busiest highway in Canada, and its in the top 3 in North America.

However, living in Port Credit you probably won't be travelling on it much. You'ld probably take the QEW most of the time.

I must admit I'm loving the idea of having a dishwasher myself. Only 3 more weeks....

As for having a washing machine, what appeals to me is the fact I won't trudge my laundry all the way down to the laundry room just to find there's no available machine. I'll miss being able to do six loads at once on a quiet night though.

To a Canadian, it sounds odd talking about Toronto as a cheap(er) place to live. Only Vancouver costs more. It seems horribly expensive to me, but next to New York I suppose it is cheaper.

L-girl said...

You'll probably take the QEW most of the time.

That's what I thought, but everyone keeps mentioning the 401. Is that what we were stuck on driving from Toronto to Waterloo?

I must admit I'm loving the idea of having a dishwasher myself. Only 3 more weeks....

Ah, so you relate! Allan, as the dishwasher, is looking forward to that, while I, as the laundry person, am looking forward to that washer/dryer...

As for having a washing machine, what appeals to me is the fact I won't trudge my laundry all the way down to the laundry room just to find there's no available machine. I'll miss being able to do six loads at once on a quiet night though.

I have the same thing at the laundromat - I get there early and do 5 loads at once. But now I'll be able to do it while watching a baseball game - even better!

To a Canadian, it sounds odd talking about Toronto as a cheap(er) place to live. Only Vancouver costs more. It seems horribly expensive to me, but next to New York I suppose it is cheaper.

Yup! I always hear Canadians complain (or marvel) at the rents in Toronto. And of course if we wanted to live downtown, we could never afford a two-bedroom. But we can rent a house or townhouse in Mississauga for about what we're paying now - and our rent is considered dirt-cheap in NYC, because we're rent-stabilized.

David Cho said...

Schlep is yiddish for "to carry heavy packages", "to move awkwardly and slowly", or "to drag one's butt". Sometimes moving men are referred to as schleppers. Like most yiddish words, it has many excellent uses.

Thank you. I lived on the westside of Los Angeles for 10 years. Used to hear a lot more Yiddish expressions there.

Alas, Orange County, CA is a cultural wasteland. Other than trash from surfer dudes' mouths, you don't get exposed to a lot of interesting expressions.

L-girl said...

I lived on the westside of Los Angeles for 10 years. Used to hear a lot more Yiddish expressions there.

Yes, I would think so! I know (for example) that many LA Dodgers fans are transplants from the team's original Brooklyn days. Many people who would use Yiddishisms.

Anonymous said...

"That's what I thought, but everyone keeps mentioning the 401. Is that what we were stuck on driving from Toronto to Waterloo?"

--------------------------------

As long as you don't travel during rush hours, the 401 is really the best (fastest) way to get to Kitchener-Waterloo. However if feel like taking a much more relaxing scenic route take Hwy 7 to 97.

ALPF

Friends in Kitchener? It's a real nice city!!

Kyle_From_Ottawa said...

"That's what I thought, but everyone keeps mentioning the 401. Is that what we were stuck on driving from Toronto to Waterloo? "

Yes, I would think so. Actually, it apparently gained the crown of busiest highway in North America a couple of years ago. On some days, more than 500,000 vehicles pass through the 401/400 interchange in Toronto.

The 401 runs east-west through Toronto around the airport. It has 6-9 lanes in each direction through the GTA, and runs from Detroit, MI all the way to the Quebec border (about 500 miles), where it becomes Autoroute 20 and continues on to Montreal and points east.

Niobium said...

What's a backyard without a garden? I'll send you seeds so you can plant next spring.

L-girl said...

However if feel like taking a much more relaxing scenic route take Hwy 7 to 97.

Good to know! I always take a scenic route when possible.

The only person I knew in the Toronto area before planning this move lives in Waterloo. We met on the internet, then met in person on our visit to the city.

L-girl said...

What's a backyard without a garden?

Less work?

I'll send you seeds so you can plant next spring.

Thanks! Just don't ask me how the garden is doing...

Kyle_From_Ottawa said...

Oh, that's something. Do you have to maintain the yard yourself, or does the landlord have a service to do that?

One of the reasons I bought a condo-townhouse instead of a freehold was that I hate yard work. A little garden is fine (and allowed in my case), but mowing grass or shoveling snow is no fun.

L-girl said...

Do you have to maintain the yard yourself, or does the landlord have a service to do that?

It's our responsibility. We're actually looking forward to it. That's not to say sometimes it won't be a pain, but we both grew up mowing lawns and shoveling snow, and we kinda like it.

The trade off of not needing an elevator to take our dogs out is more than worth it.

L-girl said...

The trade off of not needing an elevator to take our dogs out is more than worth it.

And the big lawn and privacy vs townhouse - we much prefer that, too.

We were prepared to rent a townhouse if that's what we found, but we definitely prefer the freestanding house.

Kyle_From_Ottawa said...

Oh, I think you misunderstood the term "freehold". I'm not sure if you use the same terms but:

Garden Home/Terrace Home: Condo townhouse

Freehold: Townhouse with full property rights (i.e. the yard and exterior belongs to you. No condo fees).

Semi: A duplex or other semi-attached

Single: A freestanding single home.

L-girl said...

We don't use the term here, but I knew what you meant. We're renting a single.

Since we're renting, not buying, much of the distinctions wouldn't apply.

In any case, the yard is ours to keep up. Some of it is left wild, some of it is lawn. We'll be able to set up a run for the dogs and have lots of space.

Anonymous said...

"...and shoveling snow, and we kinda like it."

-------------------------

remember that in mid April when you just can't believe we got another frikin' snow storm and your shoveling again!!!

Kyle_From_Ottawa said...

I'm sure the dogs will enjoy that. Is the yard fenced?

L-girl said...

remember that in mid April when you just can't believe we got another frikin' snow storm and your shoveling again!!!

I knew someone would say that!! :-)

Allan grew up in northern Vermont, and still claims he doesn't mind shoveling. We'll see how long that holds up!

L-girl said...

I'm sure the dogs will enjoy that. Is the yard fenced?

They will love it!! They will think they're on permanent vacation.

The yard is not completely fenced. But honestly, even if it were, Buster can never be loose. It would be irresponsible. A dog can easily jump a fence - and he could/would easily kill another dog, given the opportunity.

He'll be very happy on a long (sturdy) run. That's what we did with him upstate, it worked fine. Since he's never played off his leash, it's a big treat and he doesn't know what he's missing. (Sad, I know, but remember, he's mentally ill...)

David Cho said...

I will have to blog about the time when Noah jumped the 6 ft fense in the backyard.

L-girl said...

I will have to blog about the time when Noah jumped the 6 ft fense in the backyard.

Oh boy. Dogs are very athletic.

And imagine a dog motivated by murderous aggression.

Don't worry, he only has this towards other dogs. With humans, he's just afraid.

Marnie said...

>Allan grew up in northern Vermont, and still claims he doesn't mind shoveling. We'll see how long that holds up!

Heck, I grew up in Owen Sound (refer to your maps, everyone) and I LOVE shoveling snow.

(I lived in Kitchener and Waterloo for years, too. Great area.)

L-girl said...

Heck, I grew up in Owen Sound (refer to your maps, everyone) and I LOVE shoveling snow.

That's cool! It certainly is good exercise.

Marnie said...

Say, hasn't anyone wished you a happy Simcoe Day yet? Happy Simcoe Day! Next year in Port Credit!

David Cho said...

"You can take the girl out of the synagogue, but you can't take the bubbula out of the girl."

Sorry, but just one more Yiddish lesson. What is bubbula? How do you pronounce it?

Is the statement akin to how you can take the girl out of the barrio, but you can't take the barrio out of of the girl?

L-girl said...

Sorry, but just one more Yiddish lesson. What is bubbula? How do you pronounce it?

Is the statement akin to how you can take the girl out of the barrio, but you can't take the barrio out of of the girl?


Ah-ha, you fell for my clever trap, inserting another Yiddishism into my explanation of the first one. ;-)

I tried to think of a yiddish word akin to barrio, but all I could come up with was shtetl, which were the ghetto villages my ancestors lived in in eastern Europe. Hardly my life growing up in the NYC suburbs!

Bubbela (I guess that's the correct English spelling?) is pronounced BUH-buh-la. Bubbie (BUH-bie) is technically a term of endearment for a grandmother or older woman. Bubbela is the diminutive (little mothers are called "mamelas").

BUT bubbela is used as a term of endearment for any sweet person, like calling someone "baby doll". Your (well, my) elderly aunt might pinch your cheek and say, "Oy, bubbela, you're getting so grown-up". It's not unlike Latina women calling each other Mami.

Yiddish speakers are invited to comment and correct me. Almost all my elderly relatives are gone now, so I haven't heard these expressions used in a long time.

Lone Primate said...

you'll learn the joys of the 401 soon enough.

Oddly enough, I did a little blog about the joys of the 401 recently... although from an aesthetic, rather than practical, point of view. If anyone's interested, it's here. :)

Lone Primate said...

The only person I knew in the Toronto area before planning this move lives in Waterloo. We met on the internet, then met in person on our visit to the city.

Kitchener-Waterloo is great... double-university town (Wilfred Laurier University and the University of Waterloo), so there's lots of good food. :) A place you'll probably love that's nearby is St. Jacobs... it's exactly what everyone has in mind when they think of attractive, upscale rural place. It's largely Mennonite, but it's a great place to shop. I can, to my own chagrin, highly recommend Picard's Peanuts. I have a friend who visits once a year from Connecticut and insists on an annual trek. :)

Marnie said...

*ahem* Of course Lone Primate meant to type "WilfrId Laurier University."

signed,

Former copy editor for WLU's newspaper

Lone Primate said...

*ahem* Of course Lone Primate meant to type "WilfrId Laurier University."

Wow, there's a Wilfrid Laurier too? :)

Marnie said...

Ah, you subscribe to the Evil Twin Theory. Wilfrid and Wilfred, having been raised by wolves, founded the city of Waterloo ...

Oh, hi, Laura! Did you want your blog back, at all?

L-girl said...

Oh, hi, Laura! Did you want your blog back, at all?

LOL, Marnie, you are a funny lady. I am perfectly happy to enjoy the conversation, sometimes from afar. I've been very busy today, then I check in and there are all these fun comments to read. It's cool.

I've gotten used to the blog-as-message-board idea (within reason). I used to be more persnickity about it, like, could you please have this discussion elsewhere? Rob and Kyle may remember my shooing them away (or hopefully they don't, even better).

But I've learned to enjoy the idea of people hanging out at wmtc, shooting the breeze. It's like I'm hosting a party for all these cool, smart Canadians, and I get to watch and enjoy. And cleanup's a breeze.