The Midwest vs. Manhattan

I’ve officially been home for 16 days now and tomorrow I return to (what people here like to call it) the big city to 1. mark my 1 year anniversary to moving to New York and 2. finish my (6th and) last year of school.  I suppose this means it’s time for a comparison between the two places I call home.  So. Here. We. Go.

Since my move to Brooklyn a year ago (and in my many trips home since then -6 altogether!) I have gotten better at switching from ‘Indiana’ mode to ‘NY’ mode.  However, there are still a few things that surprise me every time.

1. The water. Tastes funny in Indiana. Well water. And I still think it tastes funny.

2. The sky.  Day or night.  The milky way. The sun. The clouds. The fact that I can see an entire sunset without craning my neck.  It’s beautiful and sad all at the same time.  I love the space in the country.  I can feel it.  It’s a palatable sensation of having room for things.  For nature. For life.  But it also gives me a feeling like the opposite of claustrophobia.  Instead of wanting to get out of a small space I want to find one.  All the emptiness of space around me- the fact that I can stand (and sleep) without touching anything- makes me feel like I could easily get lost. A small spec of humanity in a galaxy of orbits.  Something like an ant must feel as it walks among humans.  So tiny and precarious and yet part of it all.

3. The night.  It’s so dark.  When I drive. The signs are blurry a mile away.  And I realize that maybe I need to update my contact prescription.  And then I realize I don’t need to because I almost never need to see anything a mile away in the city- because everything is closer together than that.

Plus. Driving in the dark is a little bit scary. The city is almost never dark.  But here in the country- I can’t see a thing.  And that’s kinda scary.  But I’m brave.  And I get over it.

4. Air conditioning.  Everyone has central air.  Sometimes I’m freezing cold.  That is weird.  In Brooklyn we all have (if we’re lucky) window air conditioning.  So if I don’t want to be cold I can just move away from the window.  Totally different.

5. The cost.  Of food.  In Indiana. In New York I consider a good/average meal to cost between $10-$20.  $20 is usually more than I want to spend.  Which is why I never eat at sit down places (which can easily exceed that range.)  But here in Indiana.  Breakfast for $5. Dinner for $12. I’ll take it!

6. The people. In this part of Indiana they are white.  Amish. Mennonite. Christian people.  No. Not all of them. I know. Some people are black.  Some are from Mexico.  Some are from somewhere else.  They may be Muslim. Or they might not be.  But even our local public high school my sister (a senior) says that she thinks almost all of her class would be ‘professing Christians.’  To note: This is the same senior class that lost a classmate to suicide last week.  The first documented suicide of a Fairfield student in history.  In response they spent the entire day in the auditorium crying, talking, and praying together.  At a public high school. I wish that feeling of community was available to all children of the world.  Especially in New York. I also wish suicide and death were treated like the dramatic and tragic things that they are.

7. But the largest difference I have seen so far between the ‘city slickers’ and the ‘country folk’ is their different world views.  This is a working theory and is subject to change.  And for that reason I will keep it to personal conversations rather than the world wide web.  But once I came to this realization- transitioning from one place to the other got a lot easier for me.

Ok. I think we’re ready for the photo montage part of this post.

Corn.  Sometimes gets in the way.


My most ‘urban’ view in Goshen.


I went to a high school football game while I was home.  These Amish boys were in the stands.  So funny to me.


Also. Our family went to the zoo.  Just because we wanted to do something together.  It turned out to be a pretty fun day (even if we were the biggest ‘kids’ there)!





The end. Of this blog. Of summer vacation. Of no homework, staying up till 2 am, and sleeping in till 9. Of seeing my family every day. Of sleeping in my big bed. Of homemade bread and ice cream from the Chief.  As always.  Going home is bittersweet.

I LOVE this quote!

2 thoughts on “The Midwest vs. Manhattan

  1. I love it… I definitely see a lot of those comparisons in my life here too. =) I also really love the quote at the end. It’s a great description. =)

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