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Life in Cary, North Carolina for a native New Yorker...


A few years ago, I joined the thousands of New Yorker's before me, when I made the move from New York to North Carolina. I choose Cary because of its nearby location to Raleigh where my High School friend from NY owns a home.

I was surprised to learn a few weeks after arriving what a few NC natives told me what Cary stood for: Containment Area for Relocated Yankees. This did not make me feel comfortable or wanted. However, there were many folks who welcomed me, especially those that were originally from up north.

At times, I wonder why I made the move when I was bored and broke. I wondered why as I drove along a near empty parkway at night in Cary which has well-kept landscaped medians. This is unheard of in New York. They're pleasant to the eye, but the near empty roadway makes my mind wonder. I still do appreciate the quality of life here in North Carolina and all the greenery I see as I drive on some new road I never heard of.

Most likely if I was a IT professional I would have landed that good job already since Cary is located in the center of Research Triangle Park (RTP) which is loaded with many leading IT companies including the mighty IBM, Cisco Systems, SAS Institute and Lenovo. I'll admit I miss my remaining family in New York as well as the great tasting pizza I enjoyed often.

North Carolina is a beautiful and peaceful state that operates a slower southern pace. NC is still developing and growing and that's a positive. It has soothed my soul to some degree after the painful loss of my parents. I’ve almost accepted my days of living in either Manhattan, Astoria or on Long Island all locations where I lived for many years are likely gone. Watching my favorite shows "Law Order SVU" and "Seinfeld" make me feel homesick and relive my past since so much of each episode is shot in my favorite city; Manhattan where I lived for 12 years. There’s no city I’ve either lived in, or been to, that can match the vibrancy, excitement and energy that Manhattan radiates.

To think now; one of my favorite places is a local Harris Teeter supermarket, where seriously everyone knows my name and I say cheers to that. The staff there bought me a birthday cake and that meant a lot. I’ll confess I’m there often to buy groceries and play numbers. Once one of my Pick 3 tickets fell behind the lottery machine and the customer service person saved the ticket and gave it to me the next day. That would not happen in NY. It did happen in Cary, NC I’m happy to say $250 later.

After my lease ended, I signed on for one more year and was hoping soon enough I would be making a better salary via one job and not two stop-gap low-paying jobs. No doubt there is an abundance of affordable housing in North Carolina, especially well-maintained apartment complexes to choose from. You for sure get a lot for your housing money compared to what you would get in NY.

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What they say is true; home is where your heart is.


Gary Fitzgerald on October 23, 2014:

James, you need to write a follow up telling your story about your return to New York and family. The Grass is not always greener…

Nice reference to "Cheers" and play on words.

Audrey Surma from Virginia on July 29, 2012:

Wishing you more happiness and it sounds like it is coming your way in small tokens. I'm sorry that your parents are no longer with you - an unwelcomed life change, and one I don't look forward to in any way. Stay strong and keep reflecting on the positive like you have here.

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