Wednesday, May 5, 2010

City Mouse & Country Mouse

Born in Dallas, Texas and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina, Brett has always been a city boy. Schooled in the 'hood, he watched two homeless men duke it out from his playground. A wine bottle over the head was the deciding factor in that knockout. In extreme contrast, Heather grew up in a relatively rural area of Southeast Missouri and Northeast Arkansas. Kids at her school drove their tractors to class every year during FFA week. She got three television stations (ironically ended up working for two of them) and if the President was on, tough luck kiddo. But they say opposites attract and in this case, when city mouse met country mouse, the rest was history.

Now that these two mice live in the 'big city' together, they are finding it offers many advantages and chances to take part in new things.
  • First of all, the food in NY is a totally different ballgame. We've been here for about a week and have eaten pizza for nearly every meal. (But it's just so good 'maw!) Italian food, sandwich shops, Dunkin Donuts and ice cream parlors are on every corner. There's actually a butcher shop just down the street from our apartment. Yes, a on the Brady Bunch. And no, Heather didn't get to watch that as a kid, she's only seen reruns on Nick at Night. New Yorkers know what they like and they do it well, very well. I Love New York Pizza is possibly heaven sent. Amazing, huge pies with topping combinations Southerners would never dream about. We also inhale the Antipasto Salad...because it's important to eat your veggies too! And don't even get us started on the cannoli. Un-freakin-believable! The Sicilian pastry desserts consist of tube-shaped shells of fried pastry dough, filled with a heavenly, sweet, creamy filling that usually contains ricotta cheese and chopped succade. Our favorites, so far, come from the Bella Napoli Bakery in Latham, NY. We're gonna look like Tony Soprano though if we keep eating these things....ahh, forgeddabodit!

  • Second, Going green isn't just a bumper sticker here, people actually do it! We've noticed that folks actually use those reusable tote bags at Wal-Mart. They carry out all of their stuff in these cute little bags and look so trendy! But, by far, the coolest thing here is the recycling machines at Wal-Mart! Apparently, the state of New York actually pays you money if you give them your trash!! Crazy, isn't it?!? Shoppers haul in huge carts/bags of plastics, glass and aluminum to Wal-Mart and the vending machine sucks it in...and gives you $.05 for each thing you deposit. Arguably, the most amazing thing this country mouse has ever seen! Shopping for water or Cokes now involves a bit of fast calculation of what the kickback is going to be...

  • Third, there is always something to do here! Our neighbor Miss Peggy happily gives us her paper when she is finished with it and not since Heather worked for the Daily American Republic has she read one cover to cover like this! Choked full of upcoming events, festivals and just things going on, it's a treasure trove of local flavor. We've mapped out the next month's worth of weekend activities just from a couple of days worth of articles.

  • The fourth and probably most surprising thing is how nice people are here! Upstate New Yorkers are some of the most polite and helpful people we have met anywhere. They are more than happy to let you into traffic, hold the door for you and even ask if you would like to go in front of them in line. Now we are trying to work on being nicer ourselves after we realized that we were the rude ones...seriously though, who lets people into traffic?? Don't they know its every (wo)man for himself out there?!

Be sure to look for more city mouse and country mouse stories as they embark on this new adventure!