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Let's Panic: The Book!

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How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
who Will Ruin Your Body, Destroy Your Life, Liquefy Your Brain,
and Finally Turn You
into a Worthwhile
Human Being.

Written by Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy

Some Books
I'm In...

Sleep Is
For The Weak

Chicago Review Press

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Let's Panic

The site that inspired the book!

At LET'S PANIC ABOUT BABIES, Eden Kennedy and I share our hard-won wisdom and tell you exactly what to think and feel and do, whether you're about to have a baby or already did and don't know what to do with it. → 

« The Verdict | Main | In which I don't bother coming up with a conclusion. »

I leave the tough decisions up to the Internet.

I can’t stop thinking about real estate, Internet. Specifically: should we stay in Brooklyn, or should we beat a shameful retreat to the suburbs? I need you to tell me.

We bought our two-bedroom apartment a few years back for a quarter and some old gum wrappers, and it is now worth billions. While this is lovely, it also means that if we hope to buy a larger space in our neighborhood—well, we can’t; it’s not even worth talking about. Our space is not quite large enough for us, and will definitely Not Work if we have another child (NO I’M NOT PREGNANT). With the crazy inflation of real estate prices in NYC, we will only be able to afford a lean-to on the banks of the Gowanus, and Henry and his imaginary sibling will develop extra limbs from all the fumes coming off of the fetid waters. So that’s probably not the best option.

So it comes down to this: either we stay in our place, which in addition to being on the small side is dark and loud (we’re on the first floor on a main avenue—in the summer people walk up to our window and ask for money. We’re like an ATM! An ATM for crazies!), or we move to an As Yet Unnamed Suburb. We’ve found a couple of areas that seem to suit our needs: we could probably afford a smallish house in one of these towns, which are close to the city and artsy/liberal. However (need I add this?) they’re Not Brooklyn. We would not have the library, the museum, the park, and the Botanic Garden all within a few blocks of our home. We would have to own a car (gasp!). On the other hand, we would have a backyard. And a decent school district. And amenities within walking distance. On the other hand I will be dead inside (probably). My youth gone, I will spend the days watching soaps and drinking Chardonnay; when Husband arrives from the city I will greet him at the door with pies made of Play-Doh and cigarette butts. Isn’t this what you suburban types do? Yes?

In a nutshell, I am driving myself bonkers. One moment I think I can never leave Brooklyn how could I even think such a thing and then in the next moment I’m dreamily picturing mornings with Henry and Scott in a sunny breakfast nook instead of our dank living room/dining room/kitchen that is periodically infested with vermin. I would give up a lot to never have to worry again about stepping on a waterbug on my way to the bathroom. And don’t try to tell me about the cicadas or grasshoppers or whatnot you have in the suburbs--they are not the same thing.

Basically what it comes down to is there are many pros to moving, and one big con: we wouldn’t live here anymore. We feel superior to you non-Brooklyn people. Now you know.

Opinions. Yours. Let me have them.

EDITED TO ADD: Before I get more defensive comments: do I really have to say that I'm being facetious when I say I feel superior? Do I have to say that? I guess I have to say that. Sigh.

Reader Comments (203)

my parents left the bronx to raise me in a suburb of phoenix, and i'm kind of sad they did, even though i agree with all those people up there who say the suburbs is great fun until you hit puberty. then it is a hellish prison, etc.

one of my best friends has lived in new york city her whole life. she grew up in brooklyn, and she got into stuyvesant for high school, then went on to NYU. in college she lived in school housing in manhattan, but has moved back into brooklyn now that she's in her 20s. she, like her parents, never wants to leave.

she's brilliant and lovely and hilarious and i blame brooklyn.

i am glad you are staying.

and um, i live RIGHT NEAR THE GOWANUS and i live alone in a huuuuge palace for pennies and IT NEVER SMELLS and i can see the manhattan skyline from my bed.

there are also tranny hookers just outside, but who's counting?
May 3, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterlara
This is all so very interesting and gives me the insight that most want and seek out what we've become accustomed to. Some of us try to recapture what we had in our childhoods.

I grew up in the country where you had only one hour to play with the neighbors' kids and after that everyone had to get back to work on their farm chores. We made a wonderland out of the outdoors and stayed close to our family unit. Yes we were hicks.

I can relate to the blogger who said she would have misanthropic seizures if she moved to the city. As adults we've lived everywhere from big cities (got that out of our system after several burglary and dangerous criminal element exposures) to this current small island of 3000 people. We love it here because of the simplicity, peacefulness and after 10 years of knowing everyone, and every beach, trail, nook and cranny, love it like it was our home town. I shop the net alot. When we do get to a city we shop and haul back tons. In the meantime I have all the free time of eternity to work on my art.

We are getting ready to move in a few years due to retirement and I'm thinking: coast of OR, because I love the ocean and like/need the constant humidity.

We are looking for opposite things. But I'm sure your life experiences will dictate to you what is a good fit.
June 25, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterCharmaine baseinchesmelted
September 1, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterescorting

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