Answer: A metaphorical place, beyond Bridge-and-Tunnel land, more removed from Metropolis, heavily residential, not so pedestrian friendly, seemingly free from crime, inadvertently isolating and serviced by commuter rail.
Where is the Seventh Borough?
After our wedding, and I don't mean right after
our wedding, like when you are still finding pins in your hair, or you can trace
the lines from your Spanx all over your torso like a snake tattoo, no I'm
talking about a few months later, when all the hoopla has died down, we found
ourselves in the Seventh Borough.
After our wedding, after the Thank You
cards had been ordered and mailed out, after the sunburn marks from our 4x4 Jeep
drive across Aruba faded away into our pale, dry Northeast winter skin, after I
got over the Cosmo-induced Karaoke session on our honeymoon cruise (but not
before Rob let me live it down - who knew Don McLean's American Pie had an eight
minute thirty-three second version, and who puts 8 minute songs on a Karaoke
list????), we found ourselves in the Seventh Borough.
After our mid-October
wedding, after Thanksgiving, after our wedding China and household gifts had
happily merged into our holiday meals, after looking at the photographer's album
proofs during Christmas week, after New Year's toasts, after what seemed like a
year of toasts and an endless river of Champagne, we found ourselves in the
After buying a home, after securing a mortgage, after minor
repairs and a month-long paint job, after merging two apartments into a
three-bedroom mini-colonial from the 1920's, after planning, living and
recovering from our Brooklyn wedding, after many, many trips to Brooklyn in
preparation for this wedding (to the point where I wondered why I ever left in
the first place), after getting over my fear of the Tri-Borough Bridge (another
story for another day), after fretting over the fact that our printed directions
to our wedding instructed others to cross the Tri-Borough Bridge, which had also
just been renamed the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge, and would that throw off GPS
directions (????) we found ourselves in the Seventh Borough.
wedding, after two years of major life events, after adopting two sickly,
flea-ridden, puss-eyed (read: conjunctivitis) kittens whom we nursed back to
health (with love and a few hundred dollars at the vet), we found ourselves with
nothing to do but go to work, make dinner and put out the recycling on Wednesday
nights. In other words, we found ourselves in the Seventh Borough.
Seventh Borough is a land of routine, uneventful Americana. Most Seventh
Borough inhabitants emigrated from, or at one point lived, in Metropolis, in one
of its Five Boroughs. The Sixth Borough provides a small cushion to keep the
steerage of Boroughs One through Five from accidentally seeping into the Seventh
Borough, as to preserve its uneventful-ness. Not too far removed from
Metropolis, Seventh Borough citizens retain many of their Metropolitan
characteristics: they walk and talk fast, they still compete over parking
spaces, and they return to Metropolis not only for work, but for social,
cultural and dining experiences. The Seventh Borough's landscape is made up of rolling hills, covered with detached,
single-family homes with ample, legal parking spots (despite peoples' tendencies
to continue to fight over parking spots, it's a kill-or-be-killed instinct that
once it's in you, it can never be shaken).
But like any other Borough, town,
hamlet or city-state, it's just a place to live, where other people also live.
Perhaps Borough #7 seemed boring. Or perhaps after two years of major life
events, we seemed boring.
Let's face it, I'm an accountant and my husband is
an engineer. We're not exactly Lucy and Desi, we're more like Fred and Ethel.
No, really we're more like Liz and Rob who aren't on any television show at
all. We are in our thirties and we still have a lot of Ikea furniture. We have
over 7 versions of the game Monopoly. We drive a Toyota. I'm sure we make chicken for dinner more than two nights a week. We put out the
garbage on Sunday nights and we put out the recycling on Wednesday nights. The
big excitement these days includes sitting around the firepit out back with a glass of wine.
slowly, we acclimate, to both regular life, and our Seventh Borough community. We found a new parish Church, we found the best places to
park the car in the church parking lot (they are all legal parking spots, but
you know, some spots are better than others). We found some good local places
to eat, we frequent Stop and Shop and we've figured out what checkout lines are
the best to avoid. We've become friendly with our neighbors in the red house
next door. We voted on the school budget. We joined the town swimming pool.
We are in Rome, and we have begun to do as the Romans do, boring or otherwise.
(Who am I kidding, Rome would be so much better!) Truth is, we may be just as
uneventful and routine as the Seventh Borough itself. But hey, we DVR