Bad Break

A family I know moved to NYC last summer “for the kids’ sake.”

Obviously, they couldn’t have known but imagine that. First, they were homeless because rent is crazy. Then, NYC had the worst COVID outbreak. Now there’s vandalism and looting in their neighborhood.

What a bad break.

21 thoughts on “Bad Break”

      1. I do not know where your friends are from, but in Iowa one American family – our friends to this day – moved to Ames (the university / national labs town) because they wanted more diversity. Moving to NYC for that purpose is a bit extreme…
        But I guess Ames was always different from [where Clarissa lives]. The schools were diverse all right, with probably 1/3 not white and non-American, but most of these families were university-related. There were so many foreigners that kids were allowed to not recite the pledge of allegiance. 🙂 and this I actually liked, because I dislike any indoctrination of the kids.


        1. Nice! I came from a good patriotic Christian family, but even in middle school, I used to sit out the pledge of allegiance. It seemed really questionable to be pledging allegiance to anything other than God. I still feel that way, and I still sit that one out.


  1. Well, my parents always claimed we were in suburbs for the kids’ sake but the only time I didn’t feel incarcerated was when we lived in Madrid … or those summers we housesat in S.F. … or out camping. Later they actually came out and said it, the suburban atmosphere was their preference


    1. “parents always claimed we were in suburbs for the kids’ sake ”

      I read once that what children enjoy/like the most is being in the countryside and nature while teens gravitate more to the city and urban environments. The suburbs is, among other things, a way for parents to try to square that circle in a financially possible way… there’s more nature than downtown and it’s more urban than the boonies (so doesn’t make kids or teens very happy… though of course being happy is not the point of the teen years).

      As a small child I spent the summers with cousins who lived in the countryside (cattle ranchers) and loved it but by the time the teen years rolled around I was chaffing at the small town I grew up in though I had no real desire to live in a large US city either (victim of TV portrayals of urban dystopia).
      In Spain as a young adult (first time out of the country, and after getting through the initial culture shock phase) I loved the urban buzz and density… which is probably why I ended up in a European city….


      1. I liked the countryside as a small child, and the city. Suburbs were bland / nothing to do. Neighbors had it figured out, they watched tv and then socialized at the supermarket / drugstore, but I had issues with screens and flourescent lights, so it wasn’t right for me


        1. “Suburbs were bland / nothing to do.”

          Well suburbs imply the existence of a larger urban area and I have no experience with those… I grew up in a small town which is an entirely different animal… it was over 20 miles to the closest, larger (though not big by any means) town… and no one that I knew of commuted. It was maybe a bit closer to the country model (since there were lots of woodlands around) but had a rapidly growing population (mostly retirees which mostly did not provide welcome company for teenagers).


          1. People with little kids and jobs are strictly limited to doing kid things. For kid activities, the suburbs are paradise.

            There is a great theater and an opera house in St Louis but I haven’t been in years because what am I supposed to do with my kid? Put her in my pocket?

            For young people, the nightlife, etc, all that is important. But with a small kid, you want to murder everybody who makes a sound around where you live after 8 pm.


          2. My suburb was 13 miles from the metropolis, which had 76,000 people in it and there was no public transportation. So that was too far to bike, partly because of the lack of safe-enough bike paths, although we could bike to the beach and the university.


        2. These days, there’s a lot more screen watching in the cities because everything is either far and you get stuck in traffic or very expensive. I love Montreal but the amount of time people with kids spend stuck in traffic is untenable for me.


            1. Montreal’s public transport has become a disaster in the past 10 years. It’s packed and very expensive.

              You can’t live downtown with kids. My sister had to sell an apartment in the Old Port because it was cruel to kids to keep them there.

              For a single person, it’s paradise. But for people with kids it’s really untenable.


              1. I don’t know Montreal well. In Madrid/S.F. you could just walk. But it does have to be a city with parks, there is a period where if you do not have a park you must have a yard


  2. It reminds me of the man who wanted to move somewhere safe, and after looking at the world map, moved to the Falkland Islands, a couple of months before the Argentinians invaded and occupied them.

    Another instance of “It seemed like a good idea at the time.”


    1. Gosh, one kid Klara’s age and another an infant. And months without being able to find a place. Finally, they did, and it’s a nice place! But then all of this started happening.


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