Thursday, September 15, 2005

NEWSLETTER: English (wo)man in New York (State!) by Joanne Farabaugh

Dear all

Its been a while but finally here is the first edition of our newsletter which should be regular but we’ll just have to wait and see….

After 3 weeks in the UK (including a fab week in Scotland touring one or two whisky distilleries…), we finally got on the plane to the US on Thursday Sept 1. We left ourselves a 6 hour gap between arriving in Washington DC and our connecting flight to Syracuse to allow for any delays I might have because of immigration. Unfortunately (or fortunately!) the immigration process took no longer than 10 minutes, so we had plenty of time eat, sit, walk around a bit, sit, read, sit and then catch our plane. We finally arrived in Syracuse at midnight.

Kane started work on the Friday but it was mainly just a meet and greet and administration day. He was able to get off work early and the hunt for a new home began… After looking at some thoroughly disappointing places and also some fabulous loft apartments (which we had no hope of affording!), we finally found a great little townhouse. 3 bedrooms, 2 ½ bathrooms, a double garage and, bonus of bonuses, a big den in the basement, which Kane has already commandeered as his office/movie theatre/Star Wars room. An added advantage is that it is right on a street which goes to downtown Syracuse, I can get a bus or even walk downtown in 20 minutes so if I can find a job downtown we won’t need to get an extra car yet.

We moved in on Saturday but our furniture shipment is not due to arrive until Oct 17 so we have rented the basic pieces of furniture (TV!!!) until then. On Sunday (Sept 11 – eek!) we flew to New York to collect our car as it arrived earlier than expected. Even though some would have considered it bad luck to be flying to NY on this date, we consider ourselves very lucky as we visited Ground Zero when all the memorial ceremonies were taking place. It was a very moving experience and I cried like a baby!

Now that we have our own car back we have to reregister it and both get NY State driving licences….no problem for Kane but I have to take a driving test as I do not yet have a US Driving licence – bleurgh :o(

Syracuse is a nice little town although it is difficult to measure the size because things are organised a little differently over here than what I am used to! Imagine taking all the high street shops and department stores out of the downtown area of Frankfurt, Bournemouth or wherever you are and dumping them in a shopping mall out of town. There wouldn’t be much left downtown apart from offices and bars/restaurants and maybe some smaller boutiques. That’s what Syracuse is like. There is a huge (!!!) shopping mall on the outskirts of town but downtown is mainly made up of the yuppie coffee shop and boutiques, the bars and restaurants, and larger offices like Chase, Axa Financial and the Federal buildings. Its great for a night out and there are lots of festivals, in fact when we arrived the New York State Fair was on (that was big!) and the following week there was an Irish festival downtown (which we visited in memory of Yours Irish bar in Frankfurt!).

Kane has been working hard and settling into his new job as lead reporter for WSYR an local Syracuse ABC affiliate. His stories are mainly on the evening news and you can also see them on if you are interested…

I on the other hand have been cleaning our new home….the tenant before us had two dogs apparently and there is dog hair in places I would never have dreamed of! I’ve been cleaning for 9 hours a day for 2 days and every part of my body is hurting. I’m obviously not cut out for this manual work – come back desk job all is forgiven!

The weather has been unbelievably hot here, over 30 degrees every day. Everyone is warning us that this is NOT NORMAL and to “just wait until you experience a Syracuse winter”. According to the locals, winter lasts until April and it will snow most days….looks good for the skiing!

We are off to Ottawa, Illinois tonight for Kane’s 10 year high school reunion. Kane is really looking forward to it and after some of the stories I’ve heard about his school days, I must say I’m quite interested in meeting some more of his partners-in-crime…

We are all set up with internet at home now so please email us and let us know how you are getting on!

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