Flat Iron v. Flat-screen: Hosting Visitors Outside of NYC

In Austin, J and I have been living in a guest house next to an old Victorian home. For the last 10 days of November, the family that lives in the big house (our landlords) were out of town, and asked us to house sit. We decided it would be a great opportunity to have some guests, so my parents came down for a few days. They stayed in the guest house while we took over the big house.

(Coincidentally, the owners lived in New York for a few years, so we were surrounded by NYC-related paraphernalia!)

It was a funny little experience on a couple different levels.

First, it felt very, well... grown up. J and I had our nice big house, with a dog and a cat, while my parents stayed in their own private guest house. We cooked a full Thanksgiving meal in the large, well-appointed kitchen, made big cozy breakfasts every morning while the coffee maker percolated away, and watched movies in the evenings on a gigantic flat-screen. It was like a preview of what our post-NYC life could be like once we settle down somewhere; it was the Ghost of Thanksgivings Yet to Come! And, I have to say, it was pretty darn cozy.

Second, it was interesting to contrast the experience of having visitors in NYC vs. outside of NYC. In New York, I always felt a responsibility to give my visitors the full "New York experience" - museums, restaurants, shopping, tourist attractions, tours of all the Manhattan/Brooklyn neighborhoods, etc. It was exhausting, expensive, and by the end it usually felt like we hadn't really spent that much time just hanging out and catching up - we were always on the go. During this visit, while we did go to a couple restaurants and shops, we spent most of the time just hanging out at the house, cooking and talking. It felt like they were really visiting to see US, not just where we live.

Views: 17

Comment by Adit Nathan on December 11, 2009 at 2:14pm
I guess it cuts both ways. A lot of times in NY it was nice because if I didn't really want to spend much time entertaining. I could just send them out for the day and that was that. It's an adventure! Find your own way to Rockefeller! Plus whatever deficiencies my living situation had, I'd be given a mulligan.
Comment by Anna on December 17, 2009 at 7:03pm
That's a good point, Adit. My problem was that I usually felt too guilty to send people off on their own... but I guess it all depends on the visitor.
Comment by Adit Nathan on December 18, 2009 at 12:15pm
I didn't feel guilty. Get outta here! See the damn sites!


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