When you live in a resort town, summer can end so abruptly it feels like someone has flipped a switch and shut off the summer goodness in the blink of an eye. There’s that bittersweet celebration of Labor Day weekend, three days filled with all the best B’s (BBQs, beaches, boats, beers, bliss…) and then there’s “the Tueday after.” Most of us are still high on our end of summer buzz, suntans still shimmering, sundresses and still sandals still on, but as the days of September roll on, the talk of “Fall” and “Apple Picking” and “Pumpkin Spiced EVERYTHING” quickly fill the void of Summer’s sad departure.
Here in Newport, the end of summer literally happens overnight. And that night – contrary to popular belief – is not Labor Day evening (although there is definitely a noticeably lighter feel to the town as most of the summer people trickle out of town over the following few days), but the real last blast of Summer is actually the Newport International Boat Show which I attended for the first time this year. The boat community (AKA the “yachties”) show up in their finest Nantucket Red (cough PINK cough) pants to either A) shop for boats (the lucky ones) B) show the boats, clean the boats serve the drinks, etc. or C) (this is where I fit in) marvel at the boats and hope that they let you on a few without an appointment!
It was a beautiful day and we got to go on a few boats and walk the docks and even slurp down a couple free beverage samples (sweet tea vodka!) but for the average boat owning wannabe like myself, the $18 entry fee wasn’t quite worth it. Especially when you can go next door to the Lobster Bar and buy a round for the same price (which is exactly where we ended up after about an hour or so of ooohing and ahhing at the shiny boats).
So as the first storm of Autumn blows in, and I run along the empty beach, see the browning leaves blow around the cobble stone of Thames, and make the semi-annual switch from iced coffee to hot, I say a little goodbye to summer and look forward to all those upcoming perks of Fall for a Newport local, including restaurant specials! no traffic! beer and wings! apple picking! and about a million other things I’ll continue to share in the coming months.
Happy Fall friends! (Now throw on a scarf, lace up your suede booties, and go get yourself a pumpkin-apple-carmel-spiced-chai-cider and welcome the season in style)… 🙂
Your first week in Newport – especially when you’ve never lived outside of NY state – can be an eye-opening experience to say the least. My boyfriend doesn’t blog, but if he did, he’d probably have a laundry list of “differences” to point out between lil’ rhody and the big apple. Since I’m his roomie now, I’ll graciously share what we’ve both learned over the past week – him being a complete Newport Newbie and me being a born-again, after nearly 6 years away in NY.
- Things move a little…slower up here. There’s just not the same “sense of urgency” that NY’ers have. People live up here for the laid back lifestyle, which I’ll be the first to admit I adore, but every once in a while I feel the urge to say “move it along folks! (expletive deleted!)”
- If you’re not from RI, you’ve probably never had an Awful Awful. It might not even sound appealing but trust me, IT IS.
- You’re just going to have to learn to view pizza in a new way. It won’t be a staple food anymore and you’re not going to “grab a slice” like you used to. Even if you do find a (rare) place that actually sells it by the slice, it’s sadly not the same. Possible replacement meals include chowder, stuffies and lobster rolls so really, whose complaining?
- The bars close at what time?? In NY, bars don’t close – or at least anytime that concerns you when you’re in your 30’s. You’ll be long gone and fast asleep before “closing time” hits the juke box in NY, but in RI, you’re always staying ’til closing because if you can’t stay out until 1am, well that’s just sad…
- Cabs around here are of the pedi variety. As in, they’re actually bikes. Sure we had these in NYC but we also had about 10 million actual motor vehicle cabs racing through the streets at ANY given hour. Here in Newport, if you’re not driving, you’re either walking, biking it or having someone else pedal you around. Except for those few and far between orange mini-van things (newsflash RI, cabs are YEL-LOW not orange…) cabs are pretty much non-existent. The upside? I’m getting great exercise walking to and from work everyday and the view can’t be beat!
As a Newport to NYC to Newport transplant, I was prepared for the differences and am about 90% adjusted to being back in the good old Port of New. I know it’s a lifestyle that I can get onboard with and it’ll feel like home again a lot quicker than NYC did. The little things like the friendly lady at the coffee shop, that bartender who remembers my name (and if I’m very lucky, my drink order!) and the nautical style I love so much remind me of why I chose to move back and comfort me as I get re-acquainted. Although the adjustment may be slightly slower for my Newport Newbie BF, I feel confident that he’ll learn to love it just like I did so many years ago. Now if only we could get a NY bagel shop and ban those damn “Yankees Suck” chants we’d be all set!
When I last left off, I was leaving NYC unsure of where I was headed but sure nevertheless that I was headed somewhere. Well folks, I’ve returned to my twenty-something stomping grounds as an older, wiser, non-single, non-tray-carrying (or dropping) version of my former self.
The rumors are true – I am officially a Newport, RI resident once again! So how did I end up back where I started (ironically about a half mile from the scene of this blog’s masthead photo)? The short answer is: I had a feeling. I read the signs. I did what felt right in the moment. I went with my gut. I made a decision. I made a choice. And here I am. In the matter of two months I got a new job (SM/Digital Marketing for a social impact agency where my clients actually change lives, change minds and (attempt to) change the world), got a new apartment (a two-story, charming little place with a 200-year-old elm tree in the backyard) and somehow convinced my boyfriend to come along for the ride (I think).
People keep asking me if I miss NYC because really, it all happened pretty damn fast! To be honest, this past week was the first time since leaving that I had a NYC nostalgia episode. It came in the form of reading Emily Giffin’s latest beach read, set on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. And even though every NY’er without a trust fund knows that it’s never as glamorous as the book makes it sound – I still had an “ohmygod I don’t live there anymore” moment of panic…but then I looked up from my kindle and out at the Atlantic Ocean and rolling hills of Newport’s Cliff Walk…and got over it pretty quickly.
So as I attempt to resurrect the Allie Zog Blog, I do so with a new angle. I’ll be blogging about returning to a place where I spent my post-college “glory years”, going from an independent NYC girl to a co-habitating Newport couple, and most importantly I’ll be commenting on all the unique, crazy, overrated, underrated, and downright awesomeness that Newport has to offer. I’m one part local, one part tourist and one part NYC snob, so I guarantee to provide some pretty interesting commentary! Join me, won’t you?
Rich greens, deep blues birds chirping and ocean breezes-things I rarely (ok never) see from the confines of my 15th floor NYC apartment were all just part of the norm at a place I like to call paradise. Nope, not the Carribean or even Hawaii, my slice of heaven can be found in the wonderful little state of RI, and most recently on Block Island, RI.
Life in RI is so simple and peaceful and when my boyfriend and I recently visited ‘the Block” we honestly felt like we were on some fantasy island. People were friendly and said hello as they passed you by, cab drivers were jovial and helpful and chatty in the good way not the-I’m on my phone speaking erraticly in a foreign language-way. Ironically both cab drivers that we had while visiting (you only needed a cab to and from the ferry, the rest of the time you strolled or rode a bike-ahh sighhhh) were people that lived on Block Island year-round and loved the peaceful picture perfect setting. One guy told us he came for a job as teacher and never left. At this point I was convinced that I should cancel my return trip and apply for a job at the Block Island Times but my cab driver just laughed and agreed that they “probably didn’t pay much.”
After a lovely and relaxing trip of seafood, beaches, coronas, moped-riding and pretty sunsets, we headed back to NY and I found myself wondering “Am I really a city girl, or do I belong in a tiny little beach town?” I’m constantly torn between the desire to be really successful in my career which probably requires at least a few years in a big city and the desire to live in a quaint town near the beach. Unfortunately I’m not sure there’s much of a market for a Social Media Marketer, blogger or otherwise-at least on Block Island. In fact, I kinda got the feeling that if I tried to explain what I did to any of the locals, they’d be confused in the way that my 80-year grandmother is.
For now, I’m back to city-girl Allie, but I can’t wait for my next vacation! I highly recommend a visit to Block Island for anyone looking for a relaxing and perfect little beach getaway in the Northeast.