When I first moved to Pelham over 8 years ago, I came kicking and screaming. I didn't want to move. I loved living in the city; ordering any kind of take out you could possibly imagine, being able to walk into any grocery store or bodega and find it open after 8pm, and the biggest bonus of all, having wine delivered right to my doorstep. What started becoming difficult in the city was bringing up twins. Those double strollers barely fit through any of NYC's open doors. They also take up most of the sidewalk, making any approaching human jump to the side or into the street so as not to get their toes crushed. As if that wasn't bad enough, as soon as the twins turned 4, I had to start navigating the school system. Also: wait lists. And, price tags.
"Move to the suburbs," all of my fellow Moms said. "You will love it there! There are great public schools, no wait lists, and they're free!" After taking quite some time to figure out where we wanted to move to, we finally settled on Pelham. The proximity to the city couldn't be beat, (a 22 minute train ride), and there were homes we could actually afford.
Sitting on a park bench in town the day after, waving goodbye to the last of our moving vans, another mom approached me. "You don't look familiar to me. Do you live here?"
"Yes," I said. "We just moved from the city".
"Ah," she replied. "We moved here from the city 8 years ago. We had no interest in leaving it at all, but now that we're here, we are so happy. We love it—and you're going to love it, too."
Really? Could this woman be a mind reader? The next week, I was invited to a ladies wine tasting event at another new friends house. Everyone was so warm and welcoming. Conversations shared a common icebreaker: "Where did you move from?" "The City." "We came kicking and screaming too, but now we love it."
Was the entire town of Pelham on Prozac? Was I going to have to make a point of putting bottled water on my brand new Costco shopping list? Yet with every passing day, I was realizing that I was starting to become more and more "dug in" to this small, pretty town. Meeting more and more moms and dads, I started realizing that I wasn't kicking so much any more. Most of the parents that I was introduced to had even grown up in Pelham, married their high school sweethearts and moved back to raise their own families here. True Pelhamites! Doesn't that speak volumes in any community?
It wasn't until I came back from a girl's night out in the city that I truly learned to appreciate what I had. I took the last Metro North from Grand Central back to Pelham one night, arriving at the Pelham train station around 1am. Never thinking that I would have a hard time getting a cab, I was shocked to see the last one of the night pull away from the station, filled to the brim. Looking around, I became desperate. I didn't wear my Jimmy Choos so that I could walk home in them. I began to cry. Just then, a Pelham police officer pulled up.
"Excuse me, are you ok?" sobbing I said "No! I just moved here from the city and now I don't have a cab to take me home!"
"So, you just need a ride?" he said.
"Yes!" I answered.
"Well, hop in. I can give you a ride home."
As he pulled up to my house he said, and just FYI, you can always call Pelltown or Bluebird cab services. They can be here in just a few short minutes. Oh—well, I hadn't thought of that.
Kimberly McGreal is an agent at our Pelham brokerage office. When not selling real estate, she can be found moonlighting as a "secret agent" during her kids' sleepovers.
She can also teach you tamper with your FitBit to show you've walked 75,000 steps.