Adjusting from New York Pace to the PA Way

New York City – the most populous city in the country – is rich with culture, sites, and activity.  Although there are many positives to living in New York, there are some who choose to escape the “craziness” of the city and relocate to states that are primarily suburban and rural areas, like Pennsylvania.

My parents were two of those people. Born in Manhattan and raised in Queens and Long Island, I lived in New York for 13 years. Once my little sister was born in 1997, my parents decided that they wanted to raise her in a better environment. Five years later, we were able to move fom Elmont, New York to East
Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.

Naturally, I didn’t want to move. I just knew I wouldn’t like Pennsylvania, the complete opposite of New York, where I had grown accustom to the city life.

Whenever New York is mentioned the first thing that comes to mind is the various nicknames used to describe the city such as “The Big Apple” and “The city that never sleeps.”

One of many New York skyscapers
One of many New York skyscapers

“The city that never sleeps” is true indeed. The fast-paced life of those living or working in the city, New York’s 24-hour subway system is the most appealing form of transportation. The New York City Subway is the world’s largest mass transit system by number of stations and mileage of track. New York is the only
city in the United States where more than half of all households do not own a car.

Although access to a car is limited, there is always something to do in New York.  Whether it’s visiting the various museums like the Museum of Modern Art, shopping on Fifth Avenue, going to see a play at the many theatres such as Juilliard School, or even visiting Times Square, visitors are guaranteed to have a good time.

Because of centuries of immigration, New York City has become culturally diverse, which has made dining options numerous. Eastern European and Italian immigrants have made the city famous for bagels, cheesecake, and New York-style pizza.

56th Street and Third Avenue
56th Street and Third Avenue

It was tough for me to leave all this, but once I was in Pennsylvania, there were many perks to living here that I did not have living in such a big city. The first thing I noticed is how quiet it is. The constant sounds of cars, police sirens, fire trucks, trains, and planes are almost nonexistent.

Unlike New York’s daily occurrence of traffic jams during rush hour, suburban areas tend to have a lot less cars on the road at one time. Because of the decrease in traffic, there is a lot less air pollution in Pennsylvania. Large amounts of concentrated pollution in New York City leads to high incidences of asthma and other respiratory conditions among the city’s residents.

Of course, Pennsylvania is a lot less populated than a state like New York so when I was enrolled in school here, there were only 15 to 20 students per teacher compared to the 25 to 30 students per teacher in some areas of New York.

BU student Mercedes Smith, 17, along with her younger brother and sister also moved from Elmont, New York to East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. “When I was first told that I was moving to Pennsylvania, I thought it was a joke. Once I saw the house, I realized that they were serious about this move. This was something my parents dreamt of…Owning a big house in an area where my little brother and sister could grow up in a slower environment with a lot less distractions.

“It’s still taking me time to adjust. Whenever I can, I am right back in New York where I feel is truly home for me,” Smith adds.

New York City is a wonderful city to live in but clearly city life isn’t for everyone. There are many who could never imagine living anywhere other than a suburban area such as East Stroudsburg or Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania and to others city life is all they will ever know.

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