Distance Makes the Heart Grow Suburbaner

 

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If you leave the city and move to the suburbs, will you become a “Suburban Mom”? Will you buy a minivan and go to Target every Tuesday afternoon after pickup? (Certainly not- the school bus traffic is horrendous at that time! Go during school hours, for sure!)

If you leave the city and move to the suburbs, will you talk to your girlfriends about the best way to make a bundt cake and how to pack healthy lunches for your little ones? Will you stress over the safest BPA-free containers for said lunches? Will you take yoga with your bestie and then have a cocktail with lunch afterwards at the local Applebee’s? Will you wait for your husband to get off the 6:10 train and have dinner waiting for him on the table? (The kids will, of course, have already eaten, because they’re hungry little scoundrels and you don’t want to keep them waiting!)

If you leave the city and move to the suburbs, will you be forced to join the PTA and become a Girl Scout troop leader and work on the annual fundraising gala committee, having to solicit funds from your neighbors? Will you become a cog in the machine? Will no one ever ask you where you went to college again because it doesn’t matter anymore?

Will you become… one of them?

The answer, of course, is yes. Because the suburbs are only filled with vacant, education-less mothers who desperately look forward to mom’s nights out and spend their afternoons having sexual fantasies about the pool boy.

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But what if you work a full time job?? If you keep your job in the city, and have to commute every day, will your children forget your name and start calling you “Lady”? Will all the stay-at-home moms at your kid’s school snicker behind your back for being a bad mother for having a career? Will the PTA sneer at you for never contributing one f*cking brownie for the bake sale??

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Mothers in the city are no different and no better than mothers in the suburbs. In fact, they WERE city mothers until they up and moved. Almost every single family we know in the Rivertowns used to live in the city. So basically, you’ll move up here only to be surrounded by Upper West Siders and Brooklyn-ites, but you’ll be waving to each other from your cars, instead of on-foot.

But does living in the suburbs change you? At what point do you become a “suburbanite?” Is it when you start saying “Oh, the city is so crowded!” Or when your husband learns how to clean the gutters? (By the way, you can pay people to do that.)

Who will you be if you don’t live in the city anymore?

The answer? You will be you, but maybe a little less stressed. You will be you, but maybe you’ll enjoy going to the playground because this one overlooks the river. You will be you, but you’ll have more space.

And P.S. Target rocks. Don’t be a hater.

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Ardsley, NY

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Ardsley, NY

Population: 4,484 
Median home value: $617,531
Median family income: $116,239
Median resident age: 45 years
% of the population with white collar jobs: 92%
% of the adult population who are college graduates: 70% (highest I’ve seen so far!)
Racial Makeup / Most prominent races: 85% White, 4% Hispanic or Latino (of any race), 13% Asian, 1% Black
Residents would hang out with NYC folk from: Upper East Side and Staten Island

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Ardsley is a village in the town of Greenburgh near the Hudson River side of Westchester County
Metro-North train from Larchmont to Grand Central Station: 37 to 54 minutes, depending on time of day
By car to Grand Central Station: 22 miles, or 35 minutes

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Looking to buy a house in Ardsley? A 3 bed / 2 bath isn’t too hard to find in the $550K to $750K range.

With taxes, interest, and homeowner’s insurance, and 20% down, it’ll cost between $2,900 and $3,900 per month.

(Note: property taxes here do not include the local taxes, which could bring these numbers up $1K more per month. Oh yes. That’s $1,000 more. Per. Month. For exact numbers, ask your realtor.)

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Looking for schools? Here’s what GreatSchools.org has to say:

SCHOOL

GREATSCHOOLS.ORG RATING

COMMUNITY RATING

Concord Road Elementary

9/10

10/10

Ardsley Middle School

10/10

10/10

Ardsley High School

8/10

6/10

When I told my mother we went to visit Ardsley, she said concerned, “Oh, that’s very expensive.” To which I thought, “Seriously?”

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Maybe I missed the expensive part, but there didn’t seem to be much warranting expensiveness to me. The downtown area was very small, consisting of a few shops I did not need to go to and the highway cut right through it. There was a pizza place where three guys hung out outside like a scene from The Sopranos. Across the street, a kid with his pants falling off was heading to the food mart. And there was a Carvel. Again. (please note: I love Carvel. I just don’t need it in my downtown area.)

The residential streets were somewhat hilly, and very quiet. Some of the architecture was bizarre. Not bizarre in a bad way, necessarily. Just bizarre.

Does it seem like I didn’t like Ardsley? Yeh, I didn’t.

You’re going to think I’m backpedaling when I say that Ardsley isn’t bad. In fact, I say “Go ahead! Move there!” The schools are good, they have a festival called Ardsley Day, they have a great youth program run by Parks & Rec, they have a Carvel, and my mother says “It’s expensive,” which usually means “really nice.” But I’ve looked at a bunch of towns already, including Irvington, Dobbs Ferry, Hastings-on-Hudson, Larchmont, New Rochelle, Eastchester, and Tuckahoe, and Ardsley is the last on my list (except for Eastchester… oh and Yonkers- sorry, Yonkers.)

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But I have to give a shout-out to my husband, who loves (loves) model trains. Ardsley has a model train shop. We may have to move there after all.

May I introduce to you… Ardsley!