Friday, November 30, 2007

I'm sorry, but nobody says 'potarto'

I've got a new job and it's in America!

I'm from England, specifically Cambridge and I've been doing what I do from the same desk for nine years come February, so when I was offered something a little different in some-place very different I slightly bit their arm off.

It will mean moving my family across the Ocean to New York. The job is in Manhattan, and I'd like us to live in a nice-sized house (which just means bigger than we can afford in Britain) somewhere quiet, so that means New Jersey or New York state.

I was actually offered the job in July, but there was a surprising number of i's to dot, plus some extended holidays that delayed things so we only agreed everything a few weeks ago. All that left was the visas and buying a house. Visas are in the capable hands of the company lawyers, so that just leaves buying a house.

Buying a house in a foreign country. Hmm.

So this last week I've spent with my wife and young son in a Comfort Inn, outside of New York City and looking at houses, while youngest is back at Cambridge base camp being watched over by her Mother's Mother.

When I spoke to people (American people) about this move, they all said, "Get a house in New Jersey, it's cheaper." Obviously, I ignored them.

The thing is, New York - even the state, as opposed to the city - has a certain cache, it creates a frisson of excitement in me when I say it. The name's associated with Wall Street, Broadway, the Empire State Building, Robert de Niro & Martin Scorcese, King Kong and Fay Wray (and Naomi Watts). When I hear of places like Harlem, The Bronx and Tribeca little catherine wheels go off inside me. When I think about New Jersey all I think about is Bruce Springsteen. Now I know that New York state is not New York City, but it sounds the same so as far as I'm concerned it counts. Plus, the house prices are more, so there must be lots of romantic morons who agree with me.

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