Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Green Acres Criteria

Last week, I spent Wednesday in Manhattan and Sunday at East Hill Farm near the base of Mt. Monadnock in New Hampshire (my family always spends Columbus Day weekend in New Hampshire).

I have many friends and colleagues in New York City, so I have great respect for the people, culture, and environs of the Big Apple.

Here's a few of the contrasts I experienced.

Manhattan: As I boarded the Subway, a few folks walked into me as if I was invisible.
Monadnock: As I climbed, everyone stopped to chat, commented on the changing leaves, and reveled in the beautiful day.

Manhattan: People ran from the Acela to the Subway looking stressed and overwhelmed
Monadnock: People looked forward to their journey and their destination

Manhattan: People wore stylish heels and designer attire
Monadnock: People wore flannel shirts and boots

Is one better than the other?  That's a function of the weighting criteria of the observer.

If I had to make a personal judgement based on "Green Acres"  criteria:

"Green acres is the place for me.
Farm livin' is the life for me.
Land spreadin' out so far and wide.
Keep Manhattan, just give me that countryside.
New York is where I'd rather stay.
I get allergic smelling hay.
I just adore a penthouse view.
Dah-ling I love you but give me Park Avenue.
...The chores.
...The stores.
...Fresh air.
...Times Square
You are my wife.
Good bye, city life.
Green Acres we are there. "

then I'm a farm, land, hay, chores, fresh air kind of guy.

I love to visit New York, but the back roads of New England feel like home.

5 comments:

ConcernedCitizen said...

As a simple ol' country boy transplanted to Detroit and spending about as much time as you on planes, trains, & automobiles, I share your sentiment. I used to tell people that my father made Billy Carter look like a city sophisticate.

Thanks for the levity this morning and for the reminder that we can have it both ways - just not at the same time.

CT! :)

(PS: If you want a really enjoyable, reflective "night at the movies" with "the mrs.", rent a little known cult film from 1982 called "Local Hero". You'll love it. Promise!" :))

Marc said...

John,

I realize that your comparison between Manhattan and Monadnock is not meant to be objective, but your choices of experiences in each example are worse than "apples and oranges" and undermine the levity of the comparison.

I currently live in both Ann Arbor and Manhattan and each city has its' pros and cons like any other city or location. Awe and beauty can be found almost anywhere. You might have to look harder for it in one place versus another but that is actually a good thing.

I discover something beautiful in Manhattan almost every day, especially while riding by bike which is easier and safer to do, using an objective "apples to apples" comparison than riding my bike in Ann Arbor!

Cheers,
Marc

Jeff said...

I can never hear "Purple Haze" anymore without thinking of the words to "Green Acres".

Also: "Local Hero" is highly recommended.

thielst said...

I must admit that I break into the Green Acres song often and my family cries out each and every time. They really got worked up when I found the original song on YouTube and played it for them one weekend!

I grew up in the City of New Orleans, but absolutely loved getting away to the country and visiting my loving grandparents on their farm. My grandparents are gone now, but I still love getting away to the country.

I long for my 40 green acres and a mule! My home in Santa Barbara is close, but the dream is truly a blessing!

Thanks for sharing!

Amanda Parsons said...

Regardless, we're pretty glad you came to spend the day with us. We thoroughly enjoyed hearing the latest news and brainstorming plans with you. Thanks again for coming down.