9.25.2006

Westward, Oy. I Mean, Ho.

In 1992 I left my beloved hometown for a career-making opportunity. In Providence, Rhode Island.

I asked a college acquaintance, the only person I knew in the entire city, how much a studio would cost.

"A studio for what?" she said.

"A studio apartment? One room?"

"Why would you want to live in one room?" she asked in absolute earnest. Which made sense considering the price of real estate in Providence I would be able to both live--and eat! And not just the free hors d'oeuvres at happy hour buffets catering to the struggling 20-somethings like me.

I found a charming two-bedroom apartment just a couple miles from work. It was the entire first floor of a house, with closets bigger than any allowed within Manhattan borough limits. Tulips sprayed across the front yard, stained glass dappled my dining room with golds and reds, but it was the working fireplace in the living room that sold me. I had a huge front porch on which I imagined lazing with the crossword puzzle on Sunday mornings, resting my coffee milk--the offical cold beverage of the State of Rhode Island--on the rail as I waved to passing neighbors.

The apartment even came with parking. Free parking--a term foreign to the New Yorker's vocabulary. I didn't even have to walk six blocks to get to my cah; it was right in my driveway.

And then there was the cute older (thirty!) coworker who offered to help me "get settled" anytime. I was going to do just fine. Just fine.

I never could have expected that the twenty months I lived in Providence would put me in therapy for six years.

There were plenty of reasons for it. The crappy on again-off again office relationship was probably at the top of the list; with the new boss who fired me for, among other things, "being just a little too New York" somewhere just below it. In fact he had a good sixty or so other reasons that he unfurled the day I found myself unemployed in Providence, including the fact that my headlines were too long and I "cared too much about advertising strategy" for a copywriter. Yeah, that was a fun meeting. But hey, at least it all ended with him ushering me out a back door during a company meeting and telling me I could come back for my stuff on a Sunday. You know, to spare me the embarrassment.

Further down the list was the fact that in Providence, I was asked whether Hannukah and CHannukah were the same holiday. There's also that little bit of insanity in which more than one person assumed that when I said I was originally from the City, that I meant Fall River, Massachusetts. And then there was the neighbor situation.

I remember telling my stepmother that a gay couple lived above me. "Ooh, how exciting," my stepmother fawned. "They'll take such good care of you! Isn't that what every single woman wants, a gay couple for neighbors?"

Yes, I agreed. Absolutely. Until several months later when I came home at lunchtime to find a dozen police cars in my driveway and our shared back door battered and off its hinges. Apparently dealing drugs to nearby high school students, then having sex with them in spite of your HIV-positive status isn't too highly regarded in Providence. Score one for the normally bumbling local police department.

Then again, I think they lost that point when I asked them about getting that door back, um, on the doorway. Their response was We don't know when we'll get you a new one. Can't you just stay somewhere else for a while?

I felt so safe and warm that week.

I was delighted to learn that once the second floor apartment was cleared out and its evil tainted contents auctioned off, that a family would be moving in. A family. With children. How great! Little did I know that family was code for white trash mutants from hell who threatened to kill me ("We know people") if I reported their stained undershirt-wearing selves to the landlord for any number of illegal, unethical, or otherwise disgusting activities including flicking hundreds of cigarette butts on our lawn (and sometimes in my window), and beating the crap out of their mentally-challenged teenage son.

Good times, Providence. Good times.

Perhaps the worst aspect of Providence, however, was the fact that the city was way beyond a fashion don't. More like a fashion Dear God, are you trying to kill someone with that shellacked spike of big hair left over from 1983? And so I drove home 180 miles to New York every six weeks to get my hair cut, that fearful was I of the competence of the local stylists. Perhaps it my visit to a pedicurist who didn't realize that nailpolish was just for the nails and not the entire foot that gave me the impression that Providence aestheticians were somewhat lacking in aesthetic abilitiy. Or maybe I just had a hunch.

Now let me be clear, dear Rhode Island readers, before you start sending me hate mail, that not every resident of The Pothole State...er, The Ocean State is fashion-backwards, insular, incompetent, and/or criminal. It's just that everyone from your state fitting this description somehow managed to come in direct contact with me while I lived there. Let me say for the record that you have very nice beaches and I did get a kick out of the dancing traffic cop.

Needless to say, after I hightailed it back to NYC for a job with an appealing enough 10017 zip code, I embraced the city (no, not Fall River) and all of its comforts. I clung desperately to my family here, to my friends, to the skyline, the parks, the nightlife, the cafes. To the smells from the street fairs, the endless commotion out my office window. Even the comforting sounds of car alarms at night and insomniac drag queens screaming WHOOOOO at 3 AM.

I was home.

For years, I convinced myself that I was happy because of New York. That New York was my life. That I was New York and it was so inextricably a part of me, that to remove myself from the city would be to wither. Or to go crazy. But even if I did go crazy, at least if I stayed in New York I'd have plenty of company. That's the thing about New York - whoever you are, there's a place for you here.

It's a strange thing that New Yorkers do; we see ourselves as New Yorkers, often before we see ourselves as women. Or Jews. Or artists. Or liberals. I'm not sure that there's another place in the world that natives and transplants alike so tie to their identities (with the exception maybe of Texas). In what other locale would a native wear a garment proudly proclaiming his own city's name? San Francisco shirts are strictly for the tourists. Boston shirts you can leave to the students. But a Brooklyn shirt? An E train shirt? A New York City shirt? Hey, it was good enough for Lennon.

And so this New Yorker swore never to leave my city again. Not when the going got tough, not when the psychos flew the planes into the World Trade Center. I would stay here forever, surrounded by an entire city of people who would never think to say that I was a little too New York.

Only there's one thing I didn't count on: Falling in love with a man who didn't want to stay here forever. Committing to him. Having a kid with him. And that changes the game entirely.

We've decided to move to LA, God help us.

There are any number of reasons we've decided to head to the left coast early next Spring- my career opportunities, Nate's sitcom-writing aspirations, his boredom, my love for him, the always perfect weather, the Pacific Ocean, the year-round ripe tomatoes.

I won't have to be away from my daughter for two weeks or more in a stretch when production season rolls around--a series of separations that nearly killed me earlier this year. I won't have to work West coast hours from the East coast any more, a situation which has me fielding phone calls from the office well past midnight some nights. (And you thought I was just up late reading blogs.) It was one thing when I was single and energetic and...well, energetic. But these days, I'm just not in love with approving copy changes on a commercial script over the phone, just as Conan O'Brien is signing off for the night.

In L.A. we can have a bbq grill. A grill! I hear it's the law there - every resident is entitled to a grill and who am I to break the law? Maybe we'll even have a yard. And while New Yorkers are supposed to disdain yards and all things yard-related (we have the Park thank you very much) there's something to be said for opening the back door, and letting the kid run around while you fire up the burgers.

That's hamburgers, by the way. We may be moving to LA but we're not doing the veggie-vegan-soy nut-crunchy thing quite so fast.

Of course there are any number of reasons that, when I think about living in L.A., make me want to run shrieking from the room, with these bizarre things called my natural boobs flapping in the wind. But I'm trying not to dwell on those (or the flappy boobs) right now. Because as Nate says, I can talk myself into anything, and I can talk myself out of anything. I damn near talked myself out of him, that's for sure.

In making this decision, I am trying to hard to do what I believe (and a very trustworthy couples therapist agrees) is right for my relationship. I'm trying to choose my family over my city. My future over my past. My child, and her need to have two happy, united parents, over my own parents who are none too thrilled about my departure.

That last part is quite possibly the hardest decision I've made in my life to date.

But the way I see it, nothing is irreversible. I came back from Providence and survived. I can come back from LA too if I can't handle one more conversation about celebrity dog trainers and feng shui gurus and the unproven medicinal benefits of Kaballah water.

Or maybe--just maybe--we'll go there and we'll be happy. I'll see my daughter more. Nate will find his career path. New opportunities that we hadn't even considered will come our way and life will be rosie and gay.

But whatever happens, wherever we live, I'll tell you this much: I'll always be a New Yorker at heart.

Also, I'm keeping my nose.


111 Comments:

Anonymous Christina, aka Kitty said...

Am I first???? With your biggest of biggest news??? Wowee, I feel honored to have popped on to see if you had posted something new.

Anyway, enough of that---on to you----I have no doubt that you all will be so very happy in LA. I will ALWAYS think of you as a New Yorker---it still makes me laugh to think of you dropped into Providence and all its strange culture (kulcha).

Hope you get a backyard and a grill! Fun Times!

9/25/06, 2:42 PM  
Anonymous MetroDad said...

Good for you for making the tough decision that's best for your relationship and your family, Liz! I had a feeling that you guys were definitely going to make the move. But don't worry. I promise to send you H&H bagels, Papaya dogs, knishes, and Lomardi's pizza. And if you ever feel that Thalia is turning into a "soft" Californian, you can send her to us for a few weeks so she and Peanut can play in the sidewalks of the Bowery together.

When are you guys leaving?

9/25/06, 2:44 PM  
Blogger movin'mom said...

This was my favorite part of your post today:



I'm trying to choose my family over my city. My future over my past. My child, and her need to have two happy, united parents, over my own parents who are none too thrilled about my departure.


I completely relate with these feelings. I love that you have such a unique way with your words that it is as if you are speaking for me.

Good Luck in your venture to find the happy home, with the backyard, BBQ grill and neighbors who perhaps will not be relocating to the federal penitentiary .

9/25/06, 3:03 PM  
Anonymous mothergoosemouse said...

Congratulations! I really think it'll be a good move for you guys. I won't say that it'll be easy - I'm not even a native, but Tacy (who is) and I still cry together occasionally about how much we miss New York - but I agreed to this move for the same reasons, and I have found much to love about my new home. I'm confident that the same will be true for you.

9/25/06, 3:07 PM  
Blogger Jill said...

You ought to see if Girl's Gone Child will write a little East Coast/West Coast rap for you to mark the occasion.

Best wishes on your move!

9/25/06, 3:10 PM  
Anonymous Mir said...

Wow, how exciting! Here's to an uneventful move (now there's an oxymoron if ever there was one). ;)

9/25/06, 3:12 PM  
Blogger meno said...

This will be really hard and you will question your decision/sanity more than a few times.
But, isn't LA the home of Barney?

9/25/06, 3:24 PM  
Blogger starrynite said...

Wow, big decisions are always hard. I really hope you find everything you could possibly want in LA. I can't even imagine a move that big, living in a country smaller than most US states!

Well done for putting the past behind you and moving on. It's always tough, but it sounds like youe'r doing the right thing. And thanks for writing about it in such an entertaining way :)

xXx

9/25/06, 3:26 PM  
Blogger pixie sticks said...

Huge decision, but also a great adventure for your little family. Check out Eagle Rock. I know people who swear it's heaven on earth.

9/25/06, 3:31 PM  
Blogger metro mama said...

Wow, big step! Who knows, you may love it there. I hope you do. If you don't, like you said, you can always go back.

9/25/06, 3:37 PM  
Blogger G said...

I drop in every now and again because I love your writing. So thankfully, just because you move, your blog won't - right? Good luck on your move. It sounds like a great opportunity all around.

Make no mistake about it - you'll always be a New Yorker.

9/25/06, 3:42 PM  
Blogger virtualsprite said...

Wow! Big news! Sounds like you're doing it for all the right reasons. Best of luck as you prepare for your move.

And I'm glad that you're keeping your nose.

9/25/06, 4:23 PM  
Blogger RenĂ©e said...

Yes, you say that now, but just wait until you SEE what they can do for your nose!

Wow, this is really big news, I wish your family the very best.

9/25/06, 4:26 PM  
Blogger toyfoto said...

Best of luck. But you won't need it, you're a New Yorker.

9/25/06, 4:32 PM  
Blogger Ashley said...

i live vicariously through you in nyc. *sigh* i guess i'll just have to "live" here...in podunkville, southeast from now on. good luck though!

9/25/06, 4:45 PM  
Anonymous madge said...

"I'm trying to choose my family over my city."

One year into that exact choice, I feel for you. Leaving behind family and friends is the hardest. At least in LA, there will be plenty of NY transplants. So, you won't get a vacant glance every time you bemoan the local bagels. You'll just get a few knowing head shakes and condolence arm pats reassuring you that, "You'll get used to it."

Plus, BEACH! BACKYARD! BBQ! Strangely, these kick the B Train's ASS!

9/25/06, 4:54 PM  
Blogger jen said...

and your boobs, please. As a transplant OUT of LA, I'll be interested in what you think entering in....plastic additives required.

9/25/06, 5:05 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Chicky said...

Wow! Good luck (a bit premature, I know) on the move. Something tells me that you'll always be a New Yorker, whether you're in LA, Providence, or Anchorage.

But if you bring your dog to anyone who "whispers" then I'm not reading your blog anymore. I mean it. ;)

9/25/06, 5:08 PM  
Blogger lara said...

as you wrote, extolling the virtues of your city, i began to wonder if maybe i'm too harsh in my criticism of east-coasters (even if said criticism is (mostly) joking). then you said you were moving and i was so thrilled for you because california is awesome. :)

no, seriously, i'm not making light of the difficulty of your decision. making that move is a big deal, and you're handling it very well. but california is, indeed, a pretty awesome place.

oh, and "the veggie-vegan-soy nut-crunchy thing" is a northern california thing much more than an LA thing. LA is all about materialism and superficiality; the crazy hippies are all up north (where i live... why do they put sprouts on EVERYTHING?).

9/25/06, 5:10 PM  
Anonymous L.A. Daddy said...

Yea! We welcome you with open arms! Of course, we don't need any more cars on the road, but... we welcome anyone who can bump up the IQ level, even just a skosh.

You'll like L.A. depending on your attitude actually. If you expect the worst, you'll get the worst. And vice versa (but I think the same might be said of New York...)

Let me or L.A. Mommy (http://www.lamommy.com) know if we can help in any way!

Say goodbye to winter and hello to your new grill!

9/25/06, 5:11 PM  
Blogger GIRL'S GONE CHILD said...

I've been pacing, trying not to get too excited but now I can celebrate in the open. HOOOOOOOOORAAAAAAAAAY!!!!

Larchmont Village is really quite a pleasant neighborhood. (nudge)

ACK! ARGH! LIZ AND NATE AND THALIA ARE MOVING TO L.A.

Archer also wanted to say that he can't wait to show Thalia his sandbox (and introduce her to his agent- totally kidding.)

9/25/06, 5:13 PM  
Blogger ECR said...

Holy crap! Has anyone commented with the cliched "you can take the girl out of New York but you can't take New York out of the girl" yet? If not, let me be the first. I don't think I'll ever be able to separate you from NY in my mind, which is as it should be. But I have no doubt California will add many more layers of wisdom and experience to your already multifaceted identity. Best wishes to you, Nate and Thalia on this adventure!

9/25/06, 5:15 PM  
Anonymous Kristen said...

LA is damn lucky to have you. I'll have to get my fair share of Mom-101: NYC resident while I can.

Granted you'll be rolling me around your fair city, but rolling in NY is way better than rolling in MS.

So glad you for you and your family, but damn that time zone.

9/25/06, 5:19 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Congrats on the upcoming move! That is a big change, although at least you're moving from one big city to another. Probably not as bad as moving to Des Moines, Iowa or anything like that, right? At least you'll still have a lot of the same services available, just a slightly different attitude towards things.

9/25/06, 5:20 PM  
Anonymous Kymba said...

It's hard leaving someplace you love, but keep this in mind - what you're giving up in terms of culture and an intellectual community you'll gain in vapid sunshine. It really does take the edge off.

Also - we have mountains, desert, beach, city and Mexico all within a couple of hours, wherever you are in So Cal. That's a pretty nice one.

Where are you guys thinking of landing? I've lived in LA, Orange County and now am east, at the foot of the mountains. I'd be glad to share my stories, good and bad.

9/25/06, 5:22 PM  
Blogger bubandpie said...

I thought I was picking up on an elegaic quality when you started describing your return from Rhode Island, but it seemed to Bizarro-world to be true - you couldn't possibly be leaving New York!

It will be exciting to see who the new left-coast Liz becomes.

9/25/06, 5:29 PM  
Anonymous Megan said...

Welcome to LA! The whole thing isn't crap -- just stay away from Hollywood and Beverly Hills. I will echo sentiments about Larchmont and Eagle Rock being great. And there are many (okay, maybe a few) people who still have their original books, chins and facial expressions! good luck!

9/25/06, 5:38 PM  
Blogger margalit said...

As a native of LA, and the daughter of a dedicated Brooklyn girl, I can attest that there is a LOT of NY in LA. Yes, the weather is better and you can have a yard and cars that you can park ON THE STREET!!!, and maybe even a pool in the back yard, but you can also find a ton of NY transplants, especially if you land in the more Jewish neighborhoods like Calabasas or Woodland HIlls in the Valley. You won't even know you left NY. They have all the foods you need, the weird cultural stuff you're used to, and although most of LA is still a cultural desert, you'll find friends quickly. LA has a ton to offer and it's a great place to raise children IF you find the right schools.

Good luck! And stay away from the plastic surgeon to the stars.

9/25/06, 5:38 PM  
Blogger Stu said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9/25/06, 6:01 PM  
Blogger tania (urban_mommy) said...

There is nothing worse that feeling like you are spinning your wheels If pursuits are going to be more fulfilling in LA, that would be all I'd need to go. Sounds like the right thing to do.

Good luck.

9/25/06, 7:10 PM  
Anonymous Cynthia Samuels said...

So Liz I lived in LA for 7 years. I am full of great hookups- web people - news people -- parent people. Neighborhood recommendations. It's another PLANET but there's much to recommend it. The weather is amazing. It's beeeeyootiful. Everyone you love comes through town. Kids have gym every day and get lots more outdoor exercise and you never have to have an indoor birthday party for your daughter.
ALSO New York isn't going anywhere. We came back.

You know what was hardest for me? Watching them say LIVE FROM NEW YORK, IT'S SATURDAY NIGHT! And being on a mountain top in Malibu knowing that I wasn't in NY and that the whole thing had happened three hours ago....... You get used to that, too...

9/25/06, 7:12 PM  
Blogger kfk said...

WOW! I'm sure you will make the best of it and find happiness no matter your zipcode.

9/25/06, 7:31 PM  
Blogger L. said...

Um....wow!

I quit a great job in Tokyo to follow my husband`s job transfer to San Francisco, and it`s frankly been pretty awful for me and our older kids. But if the LA move brings you closer to your own job, too, then at least you won`t go through the "help-me-I-left-my-identity-in-the-moving-boxes!" crisis.

Good luck!

9/25/06, 7:43 PM  
Anonymous Momish said...

Wow! There is something to be said for the sun always shining. I am sure you will find many things to love about L.A. Home is where the heart is, right? Sounds like your heart is always in the right place no matter what zip code your mail is addressed to! Best of luck. Looking forward to hearing about your sunny adventures there.

9/25/06, 7:45 PM  
Blogger J said...

Sigh. You'll love it there, and be terribly homesick for NYC at the same time, I'm guessing. Good luck. It's a big move. :)

Yeah, keep your nose AND your boobs.

9/25/06, 7:47 PM  
Anonymous Kelly said...

What a fantastic post. I wish you all well in your new venture, and expect that fantastical things will come your way because you're embracing more than just a location.

Having grown up about just a wee bit northeast of Fall River, MA, I admire your fortitude in Providence.

I've been lurkingly enjoying your writing for a while, and hope you'll continue to blog from the left coast.

9/25/06, 7:48 PM  
Blogger dear wife said...

It is funny the things we do for our families that we never thought possible. I sa this as I enter my fourth year in Iowa, somewhere that was never even on my radar screen. Although it is hard at times, it is worth it if it means I get to spend my time with ZD and soon the zygote.

9/25/06, 7:58 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

Wow, what a huge life change! Congrats and best wishes... we're gonna miss you on this side of the country!!!

9/25/06, 8:22 PM  
Blogger Stu said...

First, to Mom-101, I'm sorry for my previous diatribe. I am a very nice person who has some anger and resentment issues to work through. Please forgive my dark-hearted view.

Second, here's the real story: I was born and raised in NJ/NY, moved to DC for 13 years as a tech guy, and was pretty miserable. I was not living my life, but the life I thought others wanted me to live. My wife (a family friend at the time) offered me a shot as a freelance copywriter (via internet) at her Los Angeles-based company. I did well enough that the company offered me a job.

I always wanted to be a writer, so I abruptly moved all I owned to the South Bay, leaving behind family and familiar surroundings.

I found Los Angeles to be breathtakingly beautiful. Watching the ocean from any of the gazillion points along the shore has been a truly healing gift.

There are solid, heart-felt people out here, and wonderful synagogue congregations.

The familiar foods of pizza and cheese-steaks has been somewhat supplanted by sushi and other seafood. There are so many excellent restaurants out here, you'll have a great time investigating them.

The music scene is tremendous as well, thick with talent and variety.

Lastly, the school systems here are inspired and dedicated. It's a guarantee that your kids will flourish in these academic waters.

As an addendum, let me say this: Los Angeles is a place full of personal possibility. Your future lies within your soul, but the supplies are in the souls of the rest of the community. You can do anything you want and become anyone you want out here.

My G-d watch over your family and may your travels be blessed with peace and prosperity.

9/25/06, 8:34 PM  
Blogger Lisa Goldstein/Kelly Kelly said...

Woooooooooooooooooooooow!!!!!!!! You are amazing, woman!

I think NYC will always be a part of you whether you are there or not. And I think you CAN go back to NYC if LA doesn't make your lives better in the ways you want it to.

Also, what better comedy/blog fodder could there be (other than NYC) than life in LA?

I would love to be called "A little too NY." I think it is the greatest city in the world. I would love to live there if I weren't stuck here b/c of the man I love, whose career is here and the stepson I love, whose mom is here -- in other words the family I love. Blah dee dee blah. Same old story, huh?

Keep on punching, Liz!

Lisa

9/25/06, 8:34 PM  
Blogger penelopeto said...

whoa, way to build - did not see that coming. Is LA ready for you?

Can't wait to hear about LA from your perspective - I haven't spend enough time there to form a real opinion, except to wonder, where are the pedestrians? No one seems to walk in LA.

Anyway, give it a shot; might be great. I've always said that I can live anywhere for a year, as long as, at the end of the year, I can come back home (t.o.) if I want. And hey, I lived in a middle-eastern war zone for a year, and almost didn't come home.

No doubt that the NY in you will not fade - my dad's been away from brooklyn for 35 years, but you'd never know it.

9/25/06, 9:00 PM  
Blogger urban-urchin said...

I just made the opposite move from West Coast to East Coast.

I lived in LA for a long time. There are a lot of great people there, I have fond memories of my time there and have life long friends whom I never would have met if I hadn't lived there.

Good luck with the move.

9/25/06, 9:17 PM  
Blogger Foodmomiac said...

What an exciting move. I love L.A. and I think (know) that you'll do great. One of my favorite people in the whole world lives there, and when I visit, I'm always in awe of the place. I know you've been there plenty yourself, but, just wanted to say it. :-)
And... it's definitely hard to be away from the grandparents, but visits are always very exciting, and Dylan loves chatting on the phone with them. You'll make it work. Really, you will.

9/25/06, 9:26 PM  
Blogger Petite Mom Blogger said...

Good luck with your move when the time comes. I'm sure you will love it there.

9/25/06, 9:39 PM  
Anonymous sweatpantsmom said...

See you next spring!

(I still have my nose. And no boobs. And a bbq AND a yard. And tempeh burgers are not allowed within a five mile radius of our home. It's not so bad here. You'll see. I'll meet you at 2am at In-N-Out.)

9/25/06, 10:05 PM  
Blogger Velma said...

From the sound of it, now that you've survived Providence, L.A. will be a breeze...an ocean breeze, even!

9/25/06, 10:52 PM  
Blogger nonlineargirl said...

I didn't know you lived in RI. I survived 3 years in Providence. Other than missing the curry lobster and noodle dish at Neath's, I was not sad to leave. (among the annoying things about RI, you forgot to mention that everyone believes that when the light turns green at an intersection, the person making the LEFT TURN has the right of way. I almost died learning that little regional quirk.)

LA is great in a lot of ways. I grew up there (child of a NYer and a DC native). You can even get decent chinese food if you try. For one: Hu's Szechwan Restaurant on National in west LA - cheng pi beef, trust me.

9/25/06, 11:02 PM  
Blogger Queso said...

Wow. That's big news. And a big decision. Congratulations for making it. (Big decisions always deserve big congratulations.)

And whoohoo! for your family's next big adventure. Looking forward to hearing those LaLa stories.

9/25/06, 11:20 PM  
Blogger R. Sherman said...

You should drive across the country -- take a few weeks to do it and see us out here. I suggested taking the backroads across the plains and stopping the car in the middle of a state highway and just staring into space for an hour without seeing another human.

It's good for the soul.

In the meantime, good luck and happiness.

Cheers.

9/25/06, 11:22 PM  
Anonymous Asha said...

A huge, brave decision! As you know, I moved to a new city soon after my son was born, and "rebooting" in a new place, facing the future with my family, was the best thing I could have ever done. It also goes without saying that I'm thrilled to share a coast with you! (I hope some twist of fate will being me to New York before you move, though.)

9/25/06, 11:30 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

YAY I am so happy you're moving here. Yes, a BBQ is mandatory. It's law, really.

And no the vegan thing is not. Trust me, I am laughing at that. There is fruitarians though and they are scary. Watch out for them.

9/25/06, 11:32 PM  
Blogger PunditMom said...

Hey, L.A. is just LIKE NYC -- except for the absolute need to have a car. No one walks in L.A. even if they're going one block.

But the weather is grand year 'round, and it's pretty funky to see the Santa decorations strung between the plan trees across Santa Monica Boulevard. Give Wolfgang Puck our best! :)

9/25/06, 11:36 PM  
Blogger Mayberry said...

Congratulations, Liz, from yet another one who made the big plunge (although we stopped short of the full coast-to-coast distance) a few years ago. Good luck to you all.

And how does the dog feel? A yard!

9/25/06, 11:46 PM  
Blogger SUEB0B said...

Doooo dooo DOOOOOO dooo doo doo dooo CLOSE TO YOU...Yee haw, Mom 101 in So Cal! This is the best news I have had all day!

You'll miss NYC for sure, but whenever you get lonely for New Yorkers, just go to a baseball game when a NYC team is in town wearing your team garb. More than half the crowd will be displaced New Yorkers.

Echo Park, Silver Lake, yes, there are cool little enclaves.

And I already have an organization you have to join - www.writegirl.org - where women writers mentor teen girls who want to write. It is about 100 women who are smart, funny, accomplished writers from all genres.

I can't wait! I am throwing some tempeh burgers on the grill right now. They should be good and hot by the time you get here.

9/25/06, 11:51 PM  
Anonymous coco smalls said...

as a ny to la transplant who stays here for her family i can tell you, la will never feel like ny but it comes to feel like home after a while.

as someone else pointed out quite a few folks here are ny/nj/phili transplants and if you are like me you will find them all everywhere you go.

9/25/06, 11:58 PM  
Blogger ALI said...

ok so you flushed me out, i am rhode islander, i'm sorry you had such a rough time here. come again some time, they have really cleaned up downtown, we have a new mall with high end stores, waterplace park that has waterfires all summer, did you see newport or jamestown, block island, i swear it is not as bad as you remember!!!

9/26/06, 12:44 AM  
Blogger Haley-O said...

Wow, what a great post for me to read on this, my first visit to your blog. A great post to get to know you with....Everyone I know from New York seems to identify themselves with the city. It is, truly, a phenomenon.

LA sounds like a new adventure for you, though! :)

Good luck with it all!

9/26/06, 12:45 AM  
Blogger Stephanie T. said...

Oh wow! That's big news! Good luck on your new adventure!

9/26/06, 12:49 AM  
Blogger Lady M said...

Congrats! That's a really tough decision, but it sure sound like you're all going to be happier and better rested. As rested as any parent can be, that is.

I guess if I'm going to see you in NY, I'd better hurry back. I'll probably be in LA for work more in the future anyway. ;)

9/26/06, 1:18 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Wow. What big news. I hope all goes well. Can't wait to hear more about everything!

9/26/06, 1:36 AM  
Anonymous Nila said...

What big news you have. Congratulations on your decision to go West. Can't wait to hear about all the adventures such a move will bring.

9/26/06, 1:39 AM  
Blogger Mommy off the Record said...

Oh goodness. This is news! Congratulations on your decision. I'm sure it will be hard to leave your parents, but it sounds like this will be a good move for you, Nate and Thalia. And like you said, if you find out you're not as happy in LA, you can always return to NY.

9/26/06, 1:39 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Congratulations and good luck!

9/26/06, 2:52 AM  
Anonymous Kvetch said...

Grown-ups have to make some big-ass decisions sometimes don't they? I've moved around the country - always for career reasons and for the togetherness of family. It won't matter where you are, because as trite as it seems, and sounds, home is really where the heart is.

And your heart is with Nate and Thalia.

9/26/06, 7:51 AM  
Blogger Jaelithe said...

This is REALLY because Thalia has an arranged marriage with Archer, right?


Seriously, now:

I hope this works out well for you. It sounds like it was a very hard decision, but also most likely the right one. Hopefully it will cut down on a lot of stress when you don't have to travel across the country quite as often.

From what I hear, by the way, Rhode Island makes everyone crazy.

Also, now I feel really lame for wanting to post about how terrified I am of buying a new house in the SAME city . . .

9/26/06, 9:57 AM  
Anonymous onetallmomma said...

Just think, you get to exchange blizzards for earthquakes...oh joy!

9/26/06, 10:54 AM  
Anonymous FishyGirl said...

Wow - congratulations and good luck on the move.

9/26/06, 11:16 AM  
Blogger Lori said...

Despite the title of this entry, I didn't catch on that you were moving west until about halfway down the post, after you'd finished talking about Providence. Then it was all I could do to keep from scrolling down to see your destination. This (PA) is my 8th state, and I always seem to be looking for the place I want to live next, but I would say that San Francisco is the place I'd call home despite the fact that it's neither the place I grew up nor the place I lived the longest. A quote I heard recently sums up why: "Home isn't where you're from. It's where people understand you." That sounds like NYC for you, but it doesn't mean a little LA adventure is a bad thing. Heck, you might find your tribe is really out west! Best of luck!

9/26/06, 11:35 AM  
Blogger T. said...

How exciting for your family. How exciting for us! Because I cannot wait to hear your perspective of lala land when you get there.

May you all find lots of happiness, peace and good bar-b-que sauce upon your arrival...

9/26/06, 12:21 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

Yikes, L.A. From someone who keeps her NJ/NY roots close at heart, I lasted in L.A. for a total of 4 months. Hubby and I moved out there a few years ago and I just couldn't get along with the people. And the whole thing about it being 70 degrees on Christmas day was a little unsettling, too. After a series of coast to coast moves, we've ended up here in the midwest where people idolize college football teams, and they say I'm "the nicest person from NJ they've ever met" (I think they despise people from NJ). So it's a weird adjustment. The L.A. move was a total debacle, and I highly doubt you will have the same experience. Good luck! But change can be exciting - I'll be following your blog to see how it goes...

9/26/06, 12:25 PM  
Blogger gingajoy said...

tough, tough decision, but so clearly the right one. in the end, it's about NY, but it's about a shitload more--and hell, even Providence would have looked heavenly under different personal circumstances.

as someone going through the ringer over moving and upshifting the family herself, it's hard. shitty. but it's life. and all that.

and you know what's great about blogging? i don't have to be depressed that you're moving--because you're not! i can still breathe down your neck any time i want;-)

9/26/06, 12:35 PM  
Anonymous wordgirl said...

Is it okay if I'm happy for you...and a little sad, too? It's just that I love New York. Always have. Always will.

9/26/06, 12:39 PM  
Blogger Occidental Girl said...

Wow, how timely. Everyone is moving these days, even me. So nice to not feel alone in the tough decision-making.

I liked what you wrote about choosing your future over your past. For me, who has moved three times in three years and hated it, I'm finally just beginning to start feeling settled only to have my husband get a career opportunity in another city. I was crushed. When he said it could be temporary, that was the thing that made me feel I could do it.

And who knows, maybe I'll love it. But if I don't love it, that's a situation we'll have to deal with when we get there.

9/26/06, 1:31 PM  
Anonymous wendy boucher said...

Good luck with everything. That is a huge decision. I hope you love LA. I was born there. That has nothing to do with anything because I moved when I was one. But I like saying it. And I like going to LA whenever I get the chance.

9/26/06, 2:36 PM  
Blogger Wood said...

Congrats on the family decision. And must you bring up your boobs? Have I not embarassed myself enough by talking about them? Your boobs are better than whatever they've got in LA.

I never, ever would have thought we'd leave San Francisco for Detroit. But we did, and it was a family decision, and I haven't regretted it for a second.

9/26/06, 3:24 PM  
Blogger Amy Jo said...

Wow! What an exciting adventure. We just recently traded north (Philly) for south (Atlanta) and it has been very interesting so far. I'm sure the climate there will agree with you and the family just fine. It would take a truly mad person to not dig 70 and sunny year round. Good luck!

9/26/06, 4:58 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

Making decisions for your family, for your love, for your future... these will never be the wrong decisions. You'll be happy, because you'll be together, and if it all gets too rosy and gay for your New York blood, well, as you say, you can always go home again.

But I'm guessing that it's going to feel like home wherever you are, cuz, you know, the family and all...

9/26/06, 5:12 PM  
Anonymous neva said...

over the course of my 21 years with Joel, we've lived in no fewer than 8 citie (and 13 houses). since our career paths are not that different from the one you two are on, i know what you're feeling. i am also here to tell you to enjoy this ride... life is a journey, girlfriend. and sometimes it takes you to the pits of hell (Providence came close, right?) but sometimes? sometimes it's honest-to-god glorious.

enjoy... and remember what Confucious said: No matter where you go--there you are.

i'm thinking your home will be where your heart is, and as long as you're with Nate & Thalia, you'll be fine. xoxo

9/26/06, 5:49 PM  
Anonymous y said...

I just made Sweet Pee Pee.

Because you'll be my neighbor and we can meet for coffee and we can go see my friend, Jay Mohr when he's at the Improv and... and... EEEEEEEE!

9/26/06, 6:11 PM  
Anonymous CrankMama said...

We here on the West Coast will be so glad to have you!! Tough decision, though, the leaving of the parents and the old life. I left the Pac NW for Chicago a few years back and emerged still sane, but starting over can be a challenge.

You seem very resourceful and funny and darling, though, so I'm sure you'll be fine... a good influence on L.A. peeps.

9/26/06, 7:15 PM  
Blogger Stefanie said...

Listen Bee-atch, I call myself a New Yorker even though I've lived in LA for the past 20 plus years. It's great here for what you both do and want to do. I would personally love to have a playdate with you and Rebecca. I will tell you two important things LA has over NY; sushi and margaritas. They can't be beat. See you here!

9/26/06, 7:54 PM  
Blogger Stephanie A. said...

Adam and I always have the geography debate and there are times that it really taxes our marriage.

Good luck to you. I am sure that it had to be a really difficult decision (I actually know from personal experience). I hope that LA is a good fit for you.

9/26/06, 8:04 PM  
Blogger Mazenbloo said...

Oh. Wow! How terrifying and exciting all in one breath! Good Luck to you guys! Not that I have much to offer a job industry as a SAHM mom at the moment we've contemplated moving. Reading your post had my heart stuck in my throat. I'm in MI and DH really wants to get out of here. I will be following your story and hoping that it turns out the BEST decision you have ever had!!

9/26/06, 8:13 PM  
Blogger tracey said...

YAY FOR ME! Let's BBQ meat together. OMG, if nothing else, I am one happy camper (with real boobs and nose)!

9/26/06, 9:17 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

You said Providence, right? Because your second set of upstairs neighbors sounds a lot like most of my relatives in Indiana. Well, except for the living in an actual "house." They try to keep to trailers as much as possible.

Good luck on the move! That's some serious traveling right there, but what an exciting adventure.

9/26/06, 9:47 PM  
Blogger something blue said...

Don't talk yourself out of it. Take the road less traveled (by you - I'm not referring to the traffic jam on the freeway) and that will make all the difference.

Best of luck to you and your family!

9/27/06, 1:27 AM  
Blogger Jerry Grasso said...

Everyone should 'do some time' in California. Even Woody Allen has. :-)

9/27/06, 7:42 AM  
Anonymous Imperfect Mommy said...

That's huge... Good luck and I am sure there are some LA bloggers that are excited to have you in their territory. But stay true to your NYC roots pony boy.

I'm just pissed b/c as someone who lives not too far from your current territory, I thought we could meet the next time I am in the city and be best friends forever (BFF). Shoot.

9/27/06, 9:42 AM  
Blogger Queen Haline said...

Read this last night, but couldn't manage to respond.

Known this for over a month, but still can't imagine NYC without you.

9/27/06, 10:12 AM  
Anonymous Liz said...

Congrats, Liz - sounds like big doin's in the sunshine state! I love NYC (living less than an hour outside) but, all of the pros you've outlined to moving to California...well...it sounds very inviting!

Good luck, sweetie.

9/27/06, 11:03 AM  
Anonymous chelle said...

wow! congrats. The west coast does have some fun things going for it! Surfing, beaches, Disneyland, Hollywood .. How wonderful to go on a new adventure!

9/27/06, 11:20 AM  
Blogger MrsFortune said...

Wow, what a huge thing! I'm so happy for you guys, I knew you were going to do this. Just go watch Annie Hall a couple times ... oh wait, Woody Allen hates LA, that's right. Um, never mind. At least there are Jews in LA if you get homesick. In my stupid backwater we're the only jews for miles. Better buy a couple of cars, isn't that the law in LA?

9/27/06, 12:28 PM  
Blogger Karyn said...

Holy moly.

My husband wants to live ANYWHERE ELSE besides here, on this gorgeous, coveted little sandbar. Which happens to be THE place *I* want to live.

How are you doing this? I'm impressed with your fortitude and faith and I hope it goes the way you want it to.

Good call on the nose.

9/27/06, 1:35 PM  
Blogger Alisyn said...

A cross-country move! Woot! Welcome to the coast with the most... and good luck!

9/27/06, 1:52 PM  
Blogger Pattie said...

Liz,
First of all, I wish you the very best with the potential upcoming move. I have many friends who are "from the city" so I understand where you are coming from.
As a side note, I am a native Rhode Islander! Much of what you said made me laugh out loud
"we know people"..hee hee...sounds alot like my husbnad's family :)
I did love it, though.... Perhaps if we ever meet up at an upcoming BlogHer meeting, we could reminise..."Good times" indeed....

9/27/06, 7:34 PM  
Anonymous roo said...

There's a turn I wasn't expecting.

I don't know-- you may find you really like LA (beyond the unquestionable bonus of having more time with your family, etc., etc.) My understanding is that LA is more urban than Californian (if that makes any sense.) My sister, who was transplanted from the Northeast to San Francisco eight years ago, often feels like a stranger in a strange land culture-wise, but felt very differently living in LA for a summer-- more at home.

Plus, 75 degrees and sunny every day of the year won't be too hard to get used to...

Even though we live at opposite poles of the city, it was nice knowing you were out there, not too far away. I'll miss that. But thank goodness I can meet you here in virtual space!

Good luck with your move!

9/27/06, 8:57 PM  
Anonymous jess said...

Your nose and natural boobs are lovely. I have nightmares about LA, New York too for that matter. Home is what's important.

9/27/06, 10:55 PM  
Anonymous Kristin said...

No more cold grey snow in April, right? What a big decision...I'll be following you over there without having to make a big move myself. God love blogs.

9/27/06, 11:00 PM  
Blogger Whitney said...

Exciting and scary. Wow. That's my hometown. You'll get used to it. I look forward to following the adventure. You are brave!

9/27/06, 11:30 PM  
Blogger Domestic Slackstress said...

Hey - there are plenty of boobs flapping in the wind au natural post-breastfeeding mammary weilding mamas out her in vain Los Angeles. We're just a flat minority. I love my a-cup flapjacks because they applaud my valiant breastfeeding efforts every time I bend over. Yay for nursing boobs that got the wind knocked out of 'em. Ha!

9/28/06, 12:27 AM  
Blogger Mary-LUE said...

99 Shards of Brilliance. 99 Shards of Brilliance! Well, obviously everything good has already been said. I didn't comment initially but I've been thinking about you moving to California and I think it could be great. I mean, it isn't like we know each other and will be getting together or anything. But it will be so cool to know you guys are in L.A.

And the whole L.A. versue N.Y. thing? I think if you just consider the next 20 years or so in L.A. as a working vacation. Just a working vacation where in your heart and mind, you know, you still live in N.Y. but you have a sort of permanentish place in California. Then, it will be all about what you would appreciate if you were just here on vacation. Sun, surf, good but different restaurants.

We Californians will just issue you a working visa status, not citizen of the state. Will that help?

9/28/06, 12:40 AM  
Blogger Krisco said...

Sounds like fun! I moved away twelve years ago but there are still some things I miss about LA.

You'll have fun.

9/28/06, 2:41 AM  
Blogger kittenpie said...

wow. well, now you can make friends with GGC and get your babes together with your brown hair and normal noses!

9/28/06, 4:52 PM  
Anonymous Laurel said...

As an identity-hung Texan who moved to New Zealand for love, I know just how you feel. Or, how you're going to feel. Atleast you don't have to explain to people that you're not actually affiliated with, in support of, friends with or neighbors of the Bush clan to every new person you meet. And in job interviews. And on the bus. And then again after the fourth cocktail.

If you ever need an "I hear ya sista," feel free to contact me.

9/30/06, 12:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We aren't *all* bad out here, I promise.

And also, you'll be able to find some areas where it's isn't all tofu/soy people, and everyone isn't all boobified. It's hard but you'll find them.

Just - whatever you do. Don't be talked into living anywhere that involves driving on the 91. It is not worth it, no matter what the price - unless you're telecommuting.

9/30/06, 12:59 AM  
Anonymous Dawn said...

Oh, Liz.....as I settle into Montreal, I honestly honestly honestly know how you feel. And it sucks ass. Even if it is the right thing to do...it sucks ass.

9/30/06, 6:49 PM  
Anonymous Izzy said...

Wow..I posted a big old comment and it just disappeared. Did you get it in your email???

Okay, basically, I said this reminds me of when Carrie from SATC went to LA or when Melissa of Thirtysomething went to LA (though she was from Philly)

I envy you guys. My huz promised before we got married that we could move away from Florida and expand our domestic horizons but he's not ready yet.

But when he is, because we ARE moving, I hope we end up in N. California or Oregon. We'll be neighbors...sort of.

Congrats on making such a big decision. Now will you please call my huz and talk some sense into him?

10/1/06, 9:45 PM  
Blogger GraceD said...

I'm a native Northern Californian and we're supposed to hate LA and SoCal, but not me. I moved to LA in the mid-80s and enjoyed myself thoroughly. I love LA. (Sing it to me, Randy Newman). Beautiful little pockets of wonderous stuff all around the LA Basin. Ditto the positive words on Echo Park and Eagle Rock, but Silver Lake is overpriced and overdone. Superb restaurants, better service than in NYC, but sure, you can get fabu deli, bagels AND a bialy. Most of all, you're in Trader Joe's country, birthplace of the fabu TJ is in Pasadena.

Much to share with you, Liz. But please don't leave NYC until I do the NYC Marathon next month. We need to have a cupcake meeting at Magnolia Bakery.

Your California concierge and fan,
Grace Davis

10/2/06, 12:20 AM  
Blogger Lena said...

Welcome! You'll love it here. As long as you like smog and tiny dogs ;).

10/2/06, 6:03 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

Yay! Then you can come visit us here in the civilized north.

10/2/06, 9:37 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

I have lived in Providence for the past 17 (OMG!) years, and I still consider NYC my home. I used to make the drive there to visit my family almost every weekend (how's that for mileage?) and now that I don't go as much my heart aches. Someone already said it, "you can take the girl out of the city but you can't take the city out of the girl."
I curse the Pothole State every day, even though I can't find my way out.
Good luck on your move, everything will be fine.

10/4/06, 3:05 PM  

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