Monday, February 20, 2012

Yeah, We've Got That!!

As a Yankee, I know we have this blind spot when it comes to ‘the south’….or anywhere else for that matter. We are convinced that no where else in the world has all that we have.  A New Yorker really does kind of see the world much like that great Saul Steinberg New Yorker Cover where everything in the world is rather insignificant from our New York perspective. It is a fault stemming from the belief that NYC is the center of the cultural universe and that everything else pales in comparison.

I am just as guilty of these Yankee prejudices.  The very idea of moving south of Ellis Island conjured up images of banjos, moonshine stills and a swampy wasteland void of modern strip malls. 

Though there are plenty of places here that hearken to the days of 'Green Acres':

There is much more here than the average Yankee might think.....

The lure of property taxes that were one tenth of Long Island's, and a significantly lower cost of living eventually got the better of me, and I pulled up 6 generations of family roots to search for a better life in what was being hailed as one of the BEST TOWNS IN AMERICA.

To my surprise and delight, I found Raleigh and it's surrounding suburbs are not only adequately up to date with current needs, but in many ways far above Long Island standards. Here is why:

Most of metropolitan NY/LI was built and populated on a finite area (being islands) in the early 20th century.  The buildings and infrastructure (roads, bridges, tunnels, electricity,schools etc.) were constructed 100 years ago and, despite attempts to fix them, are never going to be good as new.  The Raleigh area, however, has room to grow, and grow it does!  This means NEW roads, New neighborhoods, New schools, New shopping areas.  It is a modern and thriving area that makes NY look like the old world dinosaur that it is.

A pharmacy/bank/Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts on nearly every corner? Yeah, we've got that

Shopping centers with Home Depots, Staples, Pet Smarts, Targets, Walmarts, Home Goods, Old Navys, Toys R Us, Bed Bath and Beyond....Yeah we've got that.

Shopping Malls with Macy's, Pennys, Shoe stores, Abercrombie & Fitch, Banana Republic, Coach, Brooks Brothers, Lacoste, Pottery Barn, Brookstone, William-Sanoma, Victoria's Secret.....Yeah, we've got that

Well known Restaurants like Ruth Chris Steakouse, Cheese Cake Factory, PF Chang, Panera, Applebees, Chillis, Carrabbas, Boston Market....not to mention southern chains like my personal favorite....Cracker Barrel....Yeah we've got that and more...better yet...most of them have outdoor eating areas that can be used pretty much YEAR ROUND because of the lovely weather!

Culture? Like The RBC center for world touring concerts, or the Progress Energy Center for Performing Arts where you can see Broadway productions as well as The North Carolina Symphony (who will be performing with Ben Folds in March) ,Carolina Ballet and the National Opera Company   or the North Carolina Museum of Art where we had the largest collection of Rembrandts for the past 6 months.....Yeah, we've got that.

So, my fellow Yanks....don't be afraid.... we've got it all.