The Great Yankee Invasion of The South:
My Personal Story of
How I Became a Relocated Yankee
I’m a Native New Yorker; I was born in Brooklyn and grew up in Queens. Graduated from St. John’s University in 1986 and worked in the broadcasting field in Manhattan for a few years. But after years of taking subways and buses I got tired of the commute and moved to Long Island. (It actually takes longer to get to the city from parts of Queens than it does from Long Island…go figure.) I always said to myself that this was my big move to “the country”, little did I know what kind of move lied ahead. My job as a television producer was on Long Island too, which meant I could finally drive to work. Yay!
Then in December 1990 in Amityville (yes, that Amityville, and not too far on the infamous horror house), I met my future husband, Jim, at a Christmas party.
A few years later me married, adopted a rescue dog, and purchased at our first house in Amity Harbor. Then the kids came a long and we moved one town west to Massapequa. Moving is already very stressful, but moving with kids is one of the most stressful life events ever. I swore I would move again! I was there to stay…FOREVER…or so I thought.
You know how to one decision that seems minor can change your entire life? Well, that’s what happened to us. All I did was set someone up from my husband’s family with a neighbor of mine, and it caused a chain reaction that is still affecting us today. Don’t get me wrong I don’t regret the decision. I just never believed it could lead to so much change.
To make a long story short these two people I introduced really hit it off. But then the neighbor decided to…you guessed it…move to North Carolina! Then the family member decided to look into it, and they bought a house there too! We were shocked! But this was back in 2005, when there seemed to be a huge influx of Long Islanders moving to North Carolina, so I guess we shouldn’t have been so surprised.
Now my husband and I got very curious about all these moves. He was the one who always said, usually while we were stuck in stop dead traffic on the belt, and I quote “we gotta get out of New Yawk”. And I always said, “I already did when I loved to Long Island.”
To be honest, we always talked about it, but never acted on it. But things were different now because we knew people who were doing just that. So in April of 2005 we took a week long road trip to North Carolina to do what many people would never do…we pictured ourselves leaving everything and everyone we had known our entire lives. We pictured ourselves as North Carolinians.
Now when you think about it, this changed not only our jobs, our friends, and where we grocery shop…but also our interests, our lifestyles, where our kids would go to school, who our kids will date…all the way down to where our final resting places will be.
I had many sleepless nights worrying about this decision. But that week we came to visit it all just felt right, like we were meant to be here. Plus our kids were still pretty young, so we thought if we were going to this, now would be the time.
So here we are living in Concord. It has been 13 years now and we never looked back…ok, maybe sometimes. Like when I hear the Billy Joel song “New York State of Mind” and I get choked up. Or when I see pics of old friends getting together on social media, sometimes I want to Photoshop myself along with them, like that would actually make a difference. And maybe someday when I learn Photoshop I will do just that.
So what happened to the couple I set up you ask? Well now only one of them still lives here, the other eventually moved back to NY. It’s funny how things work out…or don’t work out...depending on how you look at it.
OK, so that’s my story, now I want to hear about you. How did you become a part of this “yankee invasion” of North Carolina? Please call/text or shoot me an email so we can chat. I look forward to hearing from you!
Thanks for reading!