Moving to Sullivan County wasn’t what I expected

Toto, I don’t think we’re in New York City anymore

I’ve had the experience of living in the urban energy and excitement of Brooklyn, NY and the quiet country side of upstate New York. When we all think of the country we all think of a similar western style living, some tumble weeds, cowboys, horses, cows, chickens and country accents.

Well only a handful of these things are true. First off everything in upstate NY (specifically the area of Sullivan County) is far! Literally the next town is about 25-45 minutes away. Now if you like the mall and shopping expect to drive about 45 minutes to an hour to the nearest mall. I know you shopaholics wouldn’t live without the mall close by.

On the drive down to where I live, it is such a tiny, tiny town. They say if you blink while driving by, you will literally miss it. Since the town is small doesn’t that mean everyone knows each other? Yes. Literally everyone knows you. It is a blessing and a curse. You do something and everyone will know about it (talk of the town).


Train tracks right behind my mother’s house

But the pro about this small town is everyone looks out for you. Also there is a fire department and the post office is right across the street from my mom’s place. The thing about the fire departments is the locals are volunteering their time to take courses on being a firefighter, they don’t live in the firehouse like NYC firefighters do. Volunteer firefighters don’t get paid while NYC firefighters do. Just some small differences here and there, but all in all the townspeople help you out or when you need anything – it’s a very close knit community.


I am also a Volunteer firefighter, this is just me testing out the hose (So much fun)

Now the whole country accent isn’t true, I haven’t really heard anyone with a “twang”, or seen any tumbleweeds and the cowboys. But what is true is that, some places do have horses and cows and just a bunch of livestock. There is a lot of green land, lots of trees and you better be careful driving, because it’s not pedestrians you should be careful of, it’s the wild animals. These wild animals can be skunks, to porcupines, deer, even bears. Not exactly the pigeons and squirrels I was used to in the city.


A farm with cows on the way to the mall

Now in the tiny part of Sullivan county, the closest town is the liveliest because it’s close to the bridge that connects New York and Pennsylvania. This town has a lot of little businesses from a movie theater, to thrift shops, a pizzeria (my favorite place to eat), a grocery store, gas stations and a couple of bars. Going to this town is pretty fun during the summer and you can occasionally catch famous actor Mark Ruffalo grabbing a pie of pizza with his family.


Mark Ruffalo and my mom

The closest town (25-45 minutes away)

The closest town (25-45 minutes away)

So what about the schools? Well, the school I went to was a public school and is built on a swamp. Someone told me it sinks a few inches a year – I doubt it, but all jokes aside the school itself is pretty big, the graduating class was tiny, but this school had a lot to offer. Ranging from the variety of sports and clubs to the few college courses they offer.

The country side of NY is very peaceful, the only thing you’ll hear at night is the occasional crickets or nothing at all. And it’s when look up toward the sky that you can find the real beauty of being in the country. Sometimes, after it rains you can smell the dew drops and feel the crisp cool air. I think for anyone who needs a vacation, a place to retire to, or a summer home, this is the best place to go to.

A picture I took, I call it the road less traveled by