One takeaway that surprised me from the reader survey I did earlier this year was how many of you were interested in hearing about our move to Greenwich and life in the suburbs, particularly as a twenty-something couple without kids (well, Will just turned 30 and I just turned 29, but we were 27 and 28 when we moved here!). I’ll try to answer the most frequently asked questions here, but feel free to leave any additional questions in the comments section and I’ll respond to you there!
What made you move to Connecticut?
I grew up in Darien, Connecticut, and had a pretty open mind about where Will and I would settle down. I was never hell-bent on living in a certain town or even a certain state, but we both agreed we’d ultimately want to raise our family somewhere in the suburbs as it’s where we both grew up (me here and Will in the suburbs of Dallas).
After college, I lived in San Francisco for three months (on my own), at home in Darien for a year and a half (while I launched the e-commerce site I ran from 2012 to 2017), New York for two and a half years (when I met Will), and the University Park suburb of Dallas for two years (where we moved in together), before moving to Greenwich about a year and a half ago.
When Will accepted a new job back in New York in late 2016, we briefly looked online at apartments in Manhattan before deciding we didn’t want to give up many of the suburban conveniences we’d come to appreciate while living in Dallas and could recreate several of them if we moved to the Connecticut suburbs where I’d grown up. These were things I didn’t even think about when I was living in studio apartments in New York, but once I’d gotten a car and a walk-in closet, there was no turning back! (Incidentally this is how Will feels about a double vanity in the master bathroom as well; I never knew someone could feel so passionately about a sink, but he’s informed me that it’s “life-changing” not to have to remove my makeup bag from the sink before he shaves, so there’s that.) And it was a huge bonus that my parents still live in Darien and two of my siblings are in New York, so Connecticut also solved the homesickness I’d been experiencing in Dallas.
Moving across the country in 2015 and moving back in 2017 made for a lot of chaos in our lives during that time, but it also gave us a lot of perspective and made us both more confident in making the move to Connecticut. We definitely could have lived in New York for a few more years before moving out to the suburbs, but after so many moves we were anxious to start putting down roots in a place we could see ourselves living long-term.
What do you like most about living in the suburbs?
Where do I start?! We love living in a house and being able to walk Rory to the park or run around with him in our own yard. Living in Fairfield County isn’t exactly affordable, but we do have more space here than we’d be able to afford in New York. We’re still walking distance from a few coffee shops and restaurants so we don’t feel like we’re in the middle of nowhere, but there’s still a level of peace and quiet that’s impossible to find in a major city.
We share one car since Will takes the train into the city during the week and I think we both feel like life is just easier here than in the city. When we lived in New York, we used to think we were killing it if we got coffee, walked Rory to the dog park in Madison Square, and ran an errand at Bed Bath & Beyond on 6th Avenue before meeting friends for dinner. Now we feel like we can do all those things in the first two hours of the day; seriously, when we first moved to the Dallas suburbs after living in New York, we would look at each other at 11 a.m. and go, “What do we do with all this extra time?”
I also love living 10-15 minutes from my parents and know we’ll value that proximity even more when Will and I are ready to start our own family. Plus we can still be in midtown Manhattan in 45 minutes, so we get our fix of hustle and bustle and then come home to peace and quiet.
What made you choose Greenwich over other towns?
Greenwich is the CT suburb closest to the city which means the shortest commute time for Will. It’s also bigger than Darien and has a little more going on in terms of restaurants and nightlife. That said, it’s also more expensive than Darien, New Canaan, etc. and we talk about potentially moving north once we have kids. But for right now, this feels like the right fit for us!
How did you find a place to live in the suburbs?
Good old Zillow! We knew we wanted to rent as we were still in the process of selling our townhouse in Dallas and we didn’t know (and still don’t) whether we’d ultimately want to be in Greenwich or another town in Fairfield County. So we started looking at rentals online and contacted the realtor for one of the listings we were interested in and she wound up showing us a few places before we signed the lease on the original listing we’d found. When we had to move again last year, we again found a rental listing online but contacted the same realtor as last time to show us the house and draw up the lease.
How did you make friends in the suburbs?
I’m lucky to have grown up in the area which has helped immensely with making friends outside the city. One of my best friends from Bucknell grew up in Greenwich and has introduced us to lots of her friends in town and I’ve gotten to know a bunch of Fairfield County bloggers and small business owners thanks to group get-togethers organized by Julia from Lemon Stripes. I’ve also met up with friends of friends who are new to town… It definitely takes time to get to know people in a new place (or a place you haven’t lived in several years), but then all the best things do! I wrote a post on making friends in a new city back in 2016 and still stand by all the tips I shared there. And of course we still have family and friends we adore in New York so I try to make plans in the city a few evenings a month as well!
What is it like living in the suburbs without kids?
We have a few friends with kids but for the most part we’ve found a crew of fellow late twenty-somethings or early thirty-somethings who either grew up here or moved here for reasons other than the relative ease of raising children here. We’d love to have kids in the next few years and I’m happy we’ll be here when we start down that road, but for now we definitely don’t feel like we’re the only couple in town without kids! I can’t speak to the suburban dating scene or any bar that’s open past midnight, but there are definitely more DINK (dual income, no kids) couples here than we were anticipating!
Is there anything you miss about living in the city (either New York or Dallas)?
I really miss the restaurant options we had in both New York and Dallas. There are some great spots in Fairfield County but nothing like being able to walk down a street in the West Village and find five new places you want to try. We also had an ideal takeout situation in Dallas which I reminisce about embarrassingly often (True Food, please make your way to CT/NY!). In Dallas we lived only ten minutes from an airport (whereas I now sometimes have to budget 90 minutes to get to JFK or LGA from CT) and appreciated being equidistant from both coasts. And we miss family and friends in both places for sure!
Do you think you’ll be in Connecticut for the long haul?
Yes, we do! I never really thought I’d wind up back so close to (or maybe even in) my hometown, but living in so many different places in my twenties made me so much more appreciative of where I came from. I now appreciate that we’d be insanely lucky to send our future children to the public schools my siblings and I attended and that I’d taken a lot of the area’s natural and architectural beauty for granted growing up. I was a little nervous about how Will would like living in Connecticut given the commute into New York, but he really loves having more space and more amenities than we would have had in the city (maybe even more than I do!). It’s less affordable here than in Dallas but anyone who knows Will knows he is extremely positive and there are days when he’ll just say, “I love this house” or “we have a great life here.” He definitely misses being able to play tennis year-round in Dallas but thankfully our friends here have introduced him to paddle, which he will happily play even when it’s snowing outside, which I fail to understand even as a born-and-bred New Englander. And while it’s tough to be a three- or four-hour flight from his parents, we’ve been making plans to see them every two or three months and are trying to get our guest bedroom up and running so we can finally host them at our house!
I’d love to know: do you live in a city or the suburbs? What do you like most about where you live?