I’ve been living in Quincy, MA for the past eight months, almost. The greater part of my thirtieth year has been spent here, in this historic city that birthed two of our founding fathers. Honestly, I don’t think about that fact, most days. Most days are spent preparing for the next day, preparing for work, for survival. So what’s changed since I got here? What’s so different between living in New York and living in Massachusetts, anyway?
Not much, really. There are still rent and the bills to pay, after all. They just get delivered to a different zip code. We have Chinese food restaurants, pharmacies, clinics and barber shops. I’m not using cash as often, I find. Doing the laundry still sucks. And watching Jeopardy, when we have good reception, is still a reliable guilty pleasure.
I’m back to driving regularly, and not loving it. Sadly, another similarity between the two states is bad traffic. I miss my folks. I wish they were a 20- minute instead of a four hour ride away. I miss mom’s cooking. I miss the corner bodegas and loud, drunk, party animals disturbing the peace at two in the morning. I miss the uncensored dramas unfolding on Roosevelt Avenue or just about any block in Jackson Heights. I miss the domino games amidst bachata and Johnnie Walker and bad Spanish soap operas.
I like my job here. Well, I like it better than the one I had back on Wall Street (where I was not making Wall Street money). I like living close to the shore and catching the sun rise on the way to work. I love the trips to the supermarket with my girl. The nightly ritual of watching old episodes of The West Wing, imagining having a smart, charismatic, sophisticated, enlightened, compassionate and empathetic leader once more. I love our crazy cat and the fact that she never tires of the game “chase the string”, or anything else we might be holding. And I like living across the street from a park and basketball courts, where on any given day (like today, for example) you can catch a full-court battle amongst fiercely competitive locals.
It’s not Queens. It’s Quincy, and also beautiful.