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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.

Lets-Panic.com → 

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Monday
Feb162009

Recently Asked Questions

Didn't you, like, just move?

Actually we moved three years ago. And you call yourself a faithful reader? You sicken me.

Didn't you say you liked New Jersey?

Sure, there's plenty to like here. We just like it better in Brooklyn.

Why did you move in the first place, stupid?

I do believe you answered your own question.

No, really.

Why did we move? It's all a blur. We were young and foolish. Our parents asked us when we were going to grow up and get a real place to live. Our friends moved out here and loved it. We thought we wanted a yard. We believed that house ownership would be intrinsically rewarding. We thought it wasn't too far from our friends and family. We were sure our other friends would follow our move.

And now you're moving back. Tell us more.

About a year ago, Scott told me he wanted to move back to Brooklyn. I actually fought him on it. I was all, "But the space! And the, uh, space! And Henry has space! And did I mention the space? So much space. Spaaaaace." We squabbled for about fifteen minutes, and then I came to my senses.

We miss our friends. Our family members are either in Brooklyn or much closer to Brooklyn than New Jersey. I loathe having to get into a car to do anything. Scott hates our damn yard. And we both think home ownership is highly overrated. We'd much rather spend our weekends going to the park or museums or flea markets or ANYTHING than spend our time tending to a house. We miss looking out the window and figuring out the weather based on what people are wearing. We miss take-out. We miss feeling like we're home.

How does Henry feel about the move?

It's hard to say. If you ask him, he will claim to be thrilled, but I think it's more complicated than that.

The other day he told me, "If you think I'm sad at all about moving, you just blow that thought out of your mind." I do think he's a little sad, though. Sad but excited.

I live in a big city. Should I never move to the suburbs because you didn't like it?

Yes. You should also like purple, because it's my favorite color. Also, Earl Grey tea is your new favorite. Write that down.

We have many friends out here who love it, who can't imagine going back to the city. These people are smart and hilarious and trustworthy. We have other friends who can't imagine living anywhere but in a city. I think it's safe to say we fall into the latter camp. We just had to leave the city to figure that out.

And we're going back, in eight days. Excuse me while I jump up and down for a few minutes.

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Reader Comments (242)

Congrats on the move. I'm so jealous. We moved to the 'burbs "for the kids" a few months ago and I feel like I'm dying a slow death. Suburbs upset me. I'm ready to go back to work so we can put the kids in private school and move back to the city. (Seattle)
February 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBringontherain
I live in manhattan with 2 kids and am thinking of moving out of the city. Now I am feeling a tinge of panic.
February 16, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterthe mama bird diaries
Sister, you choose your own place to live and don't apologize for it! 5 years of marriage, three countries, 1209802985 houses and apartments and we are now living 12,000 miles away from both sets of parents (equidistant, no-one has the advantage). This is what works for us, and very few others.

Assume the move went well?
February 16, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterbea
I'm new to your blog and love it. Many years ago, we moved from NYC to Mt. Kisco and then back again after a year. I love the city, love the people, love urban life. I get it. Now I live in Los Angeles, which is urban and suburban -- but I do miss those neighborhoods in NY. Good luck with your move!
February 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth
More about the purging please!! I am inspired (even though I'm not moving again soon...)!
February 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth
Was so happy to see your post this am!! have missed you! I am glad you are doing what you really want to do! Keep updating us please! :)
February 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle W.
Hurrah!! for Finslippy moving back to her natural habitat. I told my husband, and he asked hopefully- "Will Henry get to see Frompy again?"

Yeah, we have no life beyond your blog...
February 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNeb
I, too, have friends in the suburbs who love it. Just love it. But I think I would die there.

I love this city (NYC) and we couldn't imagine living anywhere else. At the end of the day, it's just about being happy. Kudos to you for going after what makes you happy.

Welcome back!

Kim
I am so excited for you and this move. Promise we will see pictures? (I love to see how other people live - I am so nosy!).

Anyway lots of luck and happiness
February 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAlison C
Congratulations on your move. There is nothing better than being home, wherever that may be.
February 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSue
I am totally bookmarking this to refer to later when people start pestering me about moving to the burbs when we start having kids. We spend all winter high-fiving each other because we don't have a driveway to plow. :)
February 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHeather Ann
Hi Alice,As the mother of a 10 month old (w/ another on the way) living in an 1100 square foot condo that is steps from shops/library/coffee/etc, I am often asked when we are going to move into a house... Everyone assumes this condo purchase was just a way into the market. But the truth is, we love it here, and our daughters will do just fine sharing a room.

Your post has reminded me that space is overrated. It's far more important to me that my daughters grow up actually seeing their father each evening (our current location has cut his daily commute dramatically), and we will all get family time on the weekends, since we wont have a yard to tend to.
February 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea, 32
We've been wrestling with that whole home-ownership deal, too, being told by everyone how we're dumb not to buy a house, feeling like buying a house makes you Grown Up.

And so I must say, it's so refreshing to read another person saying they think home ownership is overrated. Maybe it's just not for everyone, and we should get over these ideas that These Are Things You Do When You Grow Up.

So yeah, thanks for showing me yet again why I love reading your blog. =)
February 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMarcy
I'm really happy to hear all of this. I am very excited for you guys to move back to Brooklyn. I'm sure Henry will feel at home once you take him back to visit the "dancing guys".

This also lead me to realize I have been reading your blog for way longer than 3 years. Wow. That's a pretty damn long time.

I hope you have a smooth transition back to Brooklyn.
February 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAngela @ Lost In Splendor
I had a romantic notion about living in a small town where we would know everyone and make a ton of friends. Guess which part didn't happen? Because we don't go to church in this small TN town, we don't socialize with anyone besides our kids. So, rather than living in the countryside and visiting the city, I would much rather live in the city and visit the countryside. I need bookstores and coffee shops and Target. The plan is to out of here before middle school at the latest. Congrats on the move, Alice and for knowing where home truly is.
February 17, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteralabama
Man, you're funny
February 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKristin
Yay for you. Seriously, I'm glad you figured it out and took the leap of selling and moving back to the city. I am a city dweller but I live in Minneapolis which is probably like living in Walnut Grove by NY standards but still. I like it. Can't imagine leaving. So, congrats.

Oh...and thanks for the Favorite Tea. I didn't have one and my life has been empty. I'm going to go make some now...and for some reason I hope I have a purple mug.
February 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterVikki
home ownership certainly can be overrated. i think that, whenever possible, savings/investments/whatever are a good idea, but owning a home is only one option toward that end, not the *only* option. people think we are very un-grownup for moving from the suburbs to manhattan and switching from owning to renting. we've gotten lots of flack--as if we are the fiddling cricket among the ants. it's hard to not doubt one's decisions when most other people are doing the exact opposite of what we're doing. but only you know what works for your family in terms of emotional and financial stability and joy. i love my life here and would go back to CT kicking and screaming. and while i hope everyone who lives in a house in the burbs is happy there, it certainly is nice to hear from other people who are not doing the more acceptable thing of house/car/yard/weekends at home depot. :)
February 17, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjoe elliott
That last comment kills me. Tell me what to like. Please? I want to be JUST LIKE YOU.

I love purple. See? See how much we have in common?

When I first got married, I moved into this hovel-like apartment because the neighborhood reminded me of NY. So we lived there in two rooms, the three of us and I was ashamed of the disgusting squalor but only a little. I would have stayed there forever. We only left because they evicted us to turn the place condo. Bastards! But we didn't move to the real suburbs. More Queens-like, is where we are. I still miss that one room hovel. We have spaaaace (well, kind of--more than before) but I'd rather be able to walk everywhere.

So yeah, you are making a good decision. God, you have this weird INFLUENCE over me. What is the source of your power?
February 17, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterozma
I am a Jersey girl transplanted several times to places FAR away from the East Coast and NYC! Ohhhh, I love that city and good for you for realizing you wanted a change and weren't afraid to do it! I'm so jealous...I do Fridays (well, whatever day I get the post up) with The New Yorker on my blog and post different covers I love. Sometimes I can look at them and still hear and smell (in a good way, like all the food on the streets sort of way, not the stinky, as in there are too many cars here, way)that city. And the people! I love the people. Anyone who says New Yorkers are rude just don't talk or walk fast enough so catch up! And seeing the peeps in the parks playing chess, oh, and SLICES! I miss good pizza made by people who know what a slice is. Okay, enough nostalgia for one night. Have FUN! And please write all about it...
February 17, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterbetsy
So glad that you are moving back to the hood. I can only hope to be part of your moments of writers' procrastination when our kids are in school..
February 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJen
Perhaps I should email you about this instead, but I know so many of your readers live in NYC. My family is moving, in April, from Greenpoint to Park Slope. My daughter is 8, so schools are important. I'm thrilled you are moving back, because it means you must really love the area. Here's my question--how in God's name did you find an apartment? Are you using a broker? Are you just searching online? Sorry for all the questions, but I'm frazzled. We both work and with a child I have no idea how to go about looking in a neighborhood I've never lived in before.

Anyway. Love the blog still. Good luck with the move and all the crappy stuff that goes with it! Haha.
February 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLauren
We did the same thing. Bought a big house with yard etc... and discovered we were miserable there. We lived in the house and did not have a neighborhood to speak of so we drove everywhere. We sold our house and now rent a gorgeous condo in town that is both walking distance to my daughter's school and my husband's work. The kids have a sense of ownership over the neighborhood now and we have so much more to do. Best move ever. Good luck!
February 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterZandra
Fantastic, thoughful, and (as always) funny answers. Good luck! Enjoy the city. I admit to more that a wee bit of envy. One day...
February 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHip Mom's Guide
I think you've inspired a possible post on MY blog. DH and I found a house in the 'burbs after we got married. A lot of it had to do with school systems: the Buffalo public schools have a lot to be desired, with about two notable exceptions, and we figured if we were paying the taxes, why not have them pay for a great education for our future kids? We also do love having a yard and a fire pit and an upstairs. Yes, we have a well-paid plow guy.

I think DH's final straw came the day before we moved when, walking back from the pizza place on the corner, some kid tried to jack his pizza. Did I mention my husband's 6'5"? He told the kid to F*** off and when he got back announced how glad he was to be moving.

But we used to live in one of the fun, funky neighborhoods where the block clubs actually worked and you knew your neighbors and I could walk to a ton of restaurants and my favorite coffee house and there were actual SIDEWALKS and people of different races. We do miss that, a lot. People out here all go out to Red Lobster and Olive Garden on Saturday nights and will wait for TWO HOURS for a table. Seriously. We've sworn never to do this.

God, I didn't mean to actually post HERE for my own blog, sorry. What I'm trying to write is that I get it and move to wherever feels like home for you. You'll ultimately feel happier and the good will outweigh the bad. I'm happy that you could find something--good luck! P.S. Liquor store boxes are GREAT for packing books, in case you still need to do any of that.
February 18, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdie Frau

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