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Sunday, July 10, 2005

Summer Weekend Getaway?

This article in Friday's NY Times about the long drives some people put up with in order to get away for weekends in the summer was cute. But the descriptions of the endless traffic jams that beset those making the exodus just reinforced my resolve to stay home, this summer and every summer. The mention in the article of a particularly obscene twelve-mile backup one vacation weekend sounds like a nightmare, especially the thought of getting caught in it with four kids in the back seat. But going to the "Country" (the Catskill Mountains region) for the summer is a time-honored tradition for many Orthodox and Chasidic Jews. I can actually understand the reasoning behind getting away for those who live in Manhattan, in tiny apartments, or in Brooklyn, for those living on busy, overcrowded streets with tiny yards. I have yet to understand why people from my community empty out, though. It is incomprehensible to me why anyone would want to leave a neighborhood with shaded, tree-lined streets, houses with large backyards and a five-minute bicycle ride to the beach. I'm not complaining. Last weekend marked the start of my favorite season in the Five Towns. No endlessly circling the main shopping drag for a parking spot. No long lines in the supermarket. Fewer rude people cutting lines and double parking. And best of all, a shorter commute to the City to work.

But that's not the only reason leaving for a summer home community isn't for my family. Another time-honored tradition for those who summer in the "Country", is for the women and children to spend all week in the summer homes, while the husbands, who obviously have to go in to work, drive back to spend the week as bachelors in the city. I always get a kick out of going out to dinner with OrthoDad at PG on a summer weeknight and seeing the tables of Chasidic and Orthodox men living it up, with no one waiting up for them at home. Not for me. I don't enjoy being away from my husband when we don't have a choice, i.e. for business trips and the like. But to voluntarily spend five nights a week apart for two or three months just ain't happening.

Oh, yeah. And I also can't do it because I have a job. Right.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm surprised I don't see more people writing about this phenomenon. How about the fact that many people leave their air-conditioned homes with fancy custom kitchens and bathrooms to crowd their usually large families into shacks with few amenities and usually no A/C. I don't understand the point either.

10:39 PM  
Blogger Krum as a bagel said...

This is a lot less common in 5ts than in Brooklyn. I think most people who go up are those with parents who already have places in the mountains.
I always have this same awkward conversation with husbands whose wives go away for the summer where they brag to me with this knowing smile about how great it is to be without wife and kids for the summer.

11:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, yeah. And I also can't do it because I have a job. Right.

See, that's your problem. You should have married richer. Don't you know that your only activities in life should be to get twice-weekly manicures and write checks to the nanny, cook, and housekeeper? :-P

9:13 AM  
Blogger Air Time said...

Funny. I thought you couldn't go to the mountains because you have to blog.

12:35 PM  
Blogger Krum as a bagel said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:05 PM  
Blogger Krum as a bagel said...

Mountain air is actually beneficial for blogging. Less oxygen to the brain.

5:05 PM  
Blogger Lawyer-Wearing-Yarmulka said...

>I'm surprised I don't see more people writing about this phenomenon. How about the fact that many people leave their air-conditioned homes with fancy custom kitchens and bathrooms to crowd their usually large families into shacks with few amenities and usually no A/C. I don't understand the point either.

I spent 14 summers up in the Catskills when I was a kid, and loved every minute of it.

That's the reason why adults put up with the seperation during the week. The mountains are just a better place for a kid to be during the summer. Who needs A/C when you spend the entire day outside? At night, it's much cooler than in the city.

5:10 PM  
Blogger Air Time said...

CWY - Just curious, as I have spent a total of an hour in the mountains during the summer.

We always heard rumors that the mountains are full of infidelity during the summer. Did you see anything in your 14 summers their to either confirm or deny those rumors.

5:39 PM  
Blogger queeniesmom said...

So that explains why I was able to shop so easily in the 5t on sun. wondered why it was so empty, in my stupor just thought it was the hour. It was a pleasure going for pizza with the kids, too.

2:10 AM  
Blogger Lawyer-Wearing-Yarmulka said...

I heard those rumors too, but considering that there is ZERO privacy in many of these bungalow colonies, I'm going to guess that they are just rumors. Unless of course, everyone was in on it.

There were rumors of wife-swapping, so I guess it was possible.

9:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard the wife-swapping runmors too from my friends at the last MO colony in the 'skills. And then, of course, there's the "blouse man" from the movie "A walk on the moon."

It's easy to see how the mountains works better for the kids. And the temps are usually 5-10 degrees lower. But it clearly made more sense when there was no air conditioning anywhere other than the movie theaters.

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