Hey there, I’m Jack. I’m kinda new here — new to the paper and new to the area. Allow me to tell you just a bit about myself so you’ll know whether or not you want to spend three or four minutes of your busy Thursdays with me.
My wife, Katie, and I moved permanently to Adirondack Park from Montclair, New Jersey last July.
If you’re at all familiar with Montclair, you know it’s a very progressive suburban town about 12 miles (yet half a day’s commute) from Manhattan. The young couples from Brooklyn pour in with their toddlers and Teslas seeking happily-ever-after lives among the box hedges and old money.
We, on the other hand, sought happy, nature-nerd lives away from the Starbucks, Grub Hubs and Home Depot’s that sprawl like milfoil into an already crowded world down there. We chose to live in Piercefield so we were pretty successful — restaurants won’t deliver to us, nor the post office. I’m not complaining — it’s quiet, it’s beautiful, it’s … different.
Life in the North Country is a big change for us in many ways. And we’re still learning even though we’ve visited the Adirondack Park together for over 30 years. But before last July we were tourists. Now we’re residents — big diff! Not all bad, not all good.
Anyway, just a few examples of what I’m babbling about:
In Montclair, if your car’s in the shop and you need to get to a doctor’s appointment, you call a cab, an Uber, or a Lyft. Up here, you call a neighbor.
Down there, if you forget to thaw something out for dinner, you eat delivery. Up here, you eat eggs.
Up here, when you take the dog out for a walk, you might run into a bobcat. Down there? Bob.
Some say life’s much simpler up here. But I’m not sure “simpler” is the right adjective to describe it. Prettier? Certainly. Friendlier? You bet. Slower? A little. That is to say we still deal with in-laws, heart burn and sore feet. But in the North Country, our grievances are tempered with the trees, the lakes, the peaks and that young girl at our local Stewart’s. She’s got a smile that’ll melt your snow drift and an attitude that makes Aunt Bea seem like a grump — it just lights up the North Country.
Our family and friends don’t understand why we’d ever move up here … and then they visit. They breathe the air, hear the loons, spot a bald eagle, meet our neighbors, feel their stress just dissolve in the lake water and then go home, not only understanding, but jealous. Which is the best compliment to our new lives that we could ever imagine.
Anyway, my column is dedicated to celebrating life up here in the North Country. I’ll talk about all sorts of things — some that’ll make you nod your head, some that’ll make you shake your head.
Nod or shake, I hope you enjoy it and hope it brings an occasional smile to your face … even if the thought behind that smile is, “You dumb greenhorn.”
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Jack Cardone is a resident of Piercefield. He’s retired after working as a creative director at a major New York City advertising agency for over 40 years. Have feedback on this column? Email us at email@example.com.