I am starting to actually like Long Island.
WHHHATTT? I never thought it would happen, but it is slowly growing on me. Here's why:
1) The commute to the city everyday still sucks, but it is a much happier commute now that I have my train friends, Paulina and Michelle. We love to annoy the rest of sedate train folk with our lively chatter in the mornings. And when the girls aren't with me, I am finding new ways to make that time well spent (thanks mostly to NPR podcasts).
2) Speaking of Paulina and Michelle, it's great to have finally built up some solid friendships. The three of us never run out of things to talk about! Having someone to run errands with, meet for brunch or drinks, or just a quiet dinner is really life-changing for me here. REALLY. LIFE. CHANGING.
3) There is so much to explore on Long Island! The plethora of state and local parks, cute towns, surprisingly tasty wineries, great beaches... I feel like I could be here a while and still not get bored with the variety of day trips that await me. Looks at all the parks and recreation! I still have a long list of places I want to see.
4) Rockville Centre itself really isn't that bad. I can walk to the gym, the grocery store, restaurants of various cuisines, the post-office, nail & hair salons, the train station and numerous fun bars and pubs. I love that we have cars that get us further afield, but having the option to walk to local watering holes is excellent. PLUS, it really is a town where people can get to know you. I like that I am greeted by name at many of the places where I run errands. Its still an adjustments after living center-city in Boston and Amsterdam, but being away from the hustle and bustle has a few advantages.
5)I wanted to have a 5th element here, since a list of 4 things really isn't that impressive. But seriously, it's all working out just fine over here, despite all the wedding/family stress of late. I don't know that I will ever feel like NY is my "home", since in a lot of ways I feel more like an outsider here than I did living abroad. Maybe that just takes a little more time. And since there's no plan to move anywhere else in the short term, I guess we'll find out if that's true or not!