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March 24, 2008


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If it's an enormous house, abundant acreage, barn and horses you're looking for, let me offer you this piece of advice: don't quit your day job to become a teacher just yet. I'm married to one. We live in a dwarven condo in the suburbs that we sold our organs to be able to afford, and we both commute two hours a day to get to work.

If they'd pay teachers what their counterparts in the private sector knock down every year, we might be able to afford to live in the communities where we work. An actual single-family home would be a dream come true.


When I was growing up in rural Indiana, the local drive-in theater was a big part of our lives. It was where we kissed our first boy, drank our first beer, and smoked our first cigarette. It was so idyllic and I look back at those old memories fondly.

This past summer, I returned home for the first time in many years. That old drive-in theater? Replaced by a suburban parking lot for the new mall across the street. More than anything else, this made me so sad. It's like a part of my past died also.


I can't believe that I live somewhere that has something of interest to you! I live about two miles from a drive-in movie theatre. There are, I think, only two left in the Twin Cities area and the last I heard they were talking about tearing down the one in my city. It'll be open this season, at least. I think we'll have to make a point to get out and enjoy it before they build a Wal-mart in it's place. Blag.

marsha p.

This post made me laugh and cringe at the same time. I laughed because I love the idea of an indoor drive-in theater in NYC. I cringed because, this past winter, our roof leaked AND our basement flooded. I love our home and the suburb we live in but sometimes being a homeowner makes me want to kill myself!


Well, if you're willing to drive a bit closer to the PA border, there's a drive-in in Port Jervis, NY. About 80m from the center of NYC. I can give you pretty specific directions since it's relatively close to me ("just up the road" takes on new meaning in the sticks).



What a great idea for an indoor drive-in movie! My wife grew up in Europe and has always wanted to go to a drive-in. Since we're coming to NYC next month for vacation, maybe I'll take her to DRV-IN.


We have a drive in by me that does ALL the activities from the old days. Pony rides, 'character nights' even an all night marathon (usually happens in September)
It is Becky's Drive In up by Allentown PA (not that far away!).

Check out the website (I'm even on the newsletter distribution). WWW.BECKYSDRIVEIN.COM


I've always thought it has to be either right in the city or way in the country. To me, th suburbs have none of the benefits of either. Of course, it helps to live in a city where a 15 minute subway ride from the major hub, I can live in a house with a backyard, yet it's still urban. A slightly more relaxed version of city living that I'm loving.


Hell, I'd live in a trailer park with that doctor. He's quite handsome. :)


Now I live in upstate NY in a big house (arts & crafts style) on a school teacher salary. Yes, we have several choices of drive-in theaters around here. As a patron for more years than I care to think about there is an important quality to drive-ins that you appear to be unaware of. They are all built next to swamps. That means that when it is hot as hades out, the evening air is full of mosquitoes. They are an important part of the romance of the drive-in. You get to choose between sweating to death or being eaten alive. I think I'd like to try the indoor drive-in myself.


Hey I was like you pe'shawing suburban life. I lived in midtown Manhattan for most of my life and no way am I going to commit malls! But alas, as I live currently in a town for my hubby's job it's actually nice to know there is no traffic no gross subways and crazy crime! So who knows...you might be swayed!


Last summer, my husband yelled at our neighbor's kids because they were riding their bikes on our lawn. The kids' father came over to yell at my DH for yelling at his kids. The dad was wearing a pink golf shirt and green pants. My husband saw the outfit and started laughing hysterically. It was right about then that he started talking about building a giant fence around our house.

Life in the suburbs. Ain't it grand?

Backpacking Dad

No, movies were meant to be seen with your daughter sleeping in her backpack on the multiplex seat next to you.

leslie c.

That indoor drive-in theater looks so romantic. What a great idea for a date night!


Truth comes out, buddy. How much you want to bet you'll be trimming the hedges and patching the stucco in anticipation of your big fancy friend (i.e. me) coming in from the city to visit you? Maybe we should start a pool to see who caves first...


We compromised and when we left NYC....we settled here in the suburbs of Philadelphia. We still have a house and yard that's affordable but I am 15 minutes from downtown and can get there by public transportation if need be. I am still near Starbucks and good Sushi. It can be done MetroDad!!!!

mrs. moffitt

Never say never, MD! One minute, we were happily living in the west village with our daughter and cat. Next thing you know I'm pregnant with twins and we're forced to run out of the city faster than Spitzer left the governor's office.

Now, we're about halfway between NYC and Philly. It's definitely country here. We're surrounded by working farms. We love it much more than we ever expected.

Of course, that's easy for me to say. I don't have to commute 3 hours/day to get to work like the hubs does!

Paige Jennifer

Great, now I have a crush on Bosslady AND Metrodad.

For the record, there is a distinct difference between the suburbs and the country. Refer to the ponies reference in your post if you need some assistance. The closest I came to a horse in my suburban youth was My Little Pony.


I have a crush on MetroDad, BossLady AND The Doctor!

Mama Nabi

I once thought I'd like to live on a hobby farm, growing my own food, changing after little piglets, feeding chickens in my knee-high galoshes... then I smelled a hobby farm and didn't quite like what I was smelling.

Ah, drive-ins. I think there's still one out here... I was thinking about taking LN to one some day.



Oh I love NYC. We call a storefront a drive-in, a rooftop on a school a playground, a strip of lawn in the middle of Central Park a meadow - which we treat like the beach.

By the way, you're lucky you missed the Bklyn Bridge Promenade easter egg hunt. Seriously lucky.


I live in the country. We have some acreage & while we do not keep animals our neighbors do, so I see cows & horses out in the fields. We also have a barn. My house is only 1800sq ft but the roof is solid & it has no basement (it a ranch style),so I never worry about flooding. I have no boiler, I'm not sure what a boiler does. Something to do with heat? We have gas heat. We also have a well & had no idea what to do when suddenly we had no water. We called a plumber & he fixed it (for $1500). There is sushi, 45 minutes away. Nobody delivers anything out here, except UPS.
Come to the country my husband said, wide open spaces, lots of room for kids to play, clean air, no neighbors.
Restuarants I said, groceries, clothing, books, movies.
All less than an hour away he said.


There are still a couple drive-ins in my area (less than 90 miles from NYC). I pulled this for your from http://www.driveinmovie.com/PA.htm

Berlinsville, PA:
Becky's Drive-in (610-767-2249),
located on Route 248

It's s a popular old fashioned gem among traditional Drive-ins,
and much worth wandering the Blue Highways to find it. It is also Pennsylvania's second-oldest Drive-in, and is the oldest outdoor
cinema in America that has been in continuous operation under the same family ownership. William Beck's outdoor movies had
started out back in 1936 originally with sit-down benches and was then converted to a Drive-in movie by William Beck ten years later. Formally known at one point as the Route 45 Drive-in, the locals
inevitably would refer to it as Beck's Drive-in, or simply Becky's (and Old Route 45 in any case would later be renamed Route 248). William Beck is no longer around to greet movie-goers, but his
sons and daughters have kept the lights on all these years, and Mrs. Beck, at 81, still helps maintain the old fashioned flavor of
Becky's Drive-in by making the famous homemade chili they sell.

Orefield, PA: Shankweiler's Drive-in Theatre (610-481-0800)

Located on Route 309, at Shankweiler Road four miles north of Route 22 (from PA Trnpk., take Lehigh Valley exit; then 22E to Rte.309)

This is America's oldest continuously-operated Drive-in theatre— seasonally, since 1934. It has changed owners a number of times, but it has never gone dark. If planning a pilgrimage, then plan to arrive very early. This venerable venue for cinema al fresco parks less than 300 cars and often fills-up early, particularly on the weekends! They're Screening
double features; 7 nites in summer; on wknds April, May & Sept. Movie audio provided with FM (90.7) & AM (530) radio broadcasts.
Admission: $6.50 for ages 13&up, and $3 for children (ages 3-12).


We live in the country too. It's such a great place to raise a family. Neighbors are friendly. The streets are safe. Everyone knows one another.

However, I'll admit that there are moments when I would kill for an espresso, a Whole Foods, and some ethnic food. This weekend, we drove almost an hour (one way!) because my husband was craving Chinese food.


I live in a small house in western NC that sits on 15 acres and has a stream going through the middle of the property. Heaven? You bet. However, there's something to be said for getting cell service at your house(which I don't), food delivery (which I can't), and trash pick-up (which I also don't).

Cheers to wanting the best of both worlds!

Rattling the Kettle

There's a simple solution to this situation: buy a summer house out in Connecticut, or the North Fork, and visit it 12 days a year. :-)

Suburbs suck. I want back. I wonder if Columbia will still rent me an apartment for less than half of the market rent.


Somehow I've morphed from the person who spent their entire adult life in cities to the person who, when the population swells up here on Cape Cod, drives around muttering about all the facking tourists. Guess I'll die a small town girl... wait, isn't that the title of a country song?!? Crap.


There's a drive in theater not far from NYC - in Warwick, NY. It's right near the apple picking farms which are great in September and October. Pick up early, pick some apples and then head to the drive in that shows recent movies. Here's the link: http://webusers.warwick.net/~u1006131/driveinmovie/news.htm


There was an X-rated drive-in in the town where I grew up. Needless to say, boys would always climb the nearby hill and watch them. Because who needs the dialogue?


My parents took me and my little brother to see Flash Gordon at a drive-in somewhere upstate NY when we were kids, I barely remember the movie but it is one of my favorite childhood memories. BTW, if you do decide to join the summer tourist ranks in Cape Cod, the drive-in theater in Welfleet is awesome


Man, I am so disturbed by the indoor drive in. We go to an outdoor one every month or two. My husband especially loves that you can order home made burgers and fries via sms that are delivered to the car.

We currently live in an estate that where you drive past horses, miniature ponies, cows, alpacas, llamas, kangaroo and emu to get to. We love it and being in Australia we're only an hour from the cbd where my husband works. We do miss living in the city though. We were looking at apartments again but we would be compromising too much at the moment.


We not only had drive-ins where I grew up in Indiana, but we had a PORNO drive-in nearby. Sadly, it closed.

All it takes is a house with a couple of walk-in closets and you are doomed to stay in the suburbs. I know I am.


I have a few memories from the drive-in theatres. I got my first hickey while sitting on the hood of a car at a drive-in, my date sucking away on my neck. It kept him occupied, because I wanted to watch the movie, darn it. The hickey was monstrous! My second memory is going to the drive-in to watch Star Wars. Would you believe I fell asleep, (under the influence)? I still haven’t seen any of the Star War’s movies.


The City is great - no doubt; however, it is only half an existence.

I hate to say it but it's a bit of empirical truth that all New Yorkers need to understand, no matter how hard they lobby for their "city living" lifestyle.

It's a little like listening to a wealthy married couple without kids try to lecture you about how "fabulous" their life is because they can go out whenever they want, take spontaneous trips to far off lands, etc. and, oh, did I mention how much they like to tell you how "fabulous" such a life is, you know, without the shackles of children.

WELL, as parents we all know those people are really the ones missing out. It's all about perspective, and obtaining "perspective" on something people don't understand is just that, a lack of understanding.

Owning a home is as difficult and taxing as advertised but a rewarding experience you wouldn't trade for anything. Getting a leaky roof fixed, replacing a driveway and getting ripped off by a plumber are just the costs of doing business. Throwing a football to your kids in the backyard and watching them learn to ride a bike on the driveway I wouldn't trade for anything.

Getting one next to a perfect right point break is just a bonus.

You can come visit us in Cali any time, PK.


We still have a drive in theatre here in N.E. PA. Open all Summer and on Sundays there is a huge flea market. Circle Drive In in Dickson City, PA (a burb of Scranton/Wilkes Barre).


I love cities too, just not NYC. It's just a bit too overwhelming for me.

Give me a mid-sized city and I'm all over that.


Life in the country ain't everything it's cracked up to be. Yes, the peace, quiet, and safety are wonderful. However, in a small town, everybody knows your business. Gets annoying after awhile.


The grass is always greener... I would KILL to live somewhere that public transportation is the norm, where it would be reasonable to walk someplace, or shit, to even live someplace where there are sidewalks. I grew up in the country (ya know, by the Salt Lick, etc.), but was close enough that we could drive in to Austin when we needed something (of course, back then, austin had about 250,000 people as opposed to the million plus it has now...). In a lot of ways, it's the best of both worlds. As it stands now, I live in Winston-Salem and it's kinda the WORST of both worlds. We live on the edge of town, and we have some acreage, but yet, our neighbors are still reasonably close. Our city is so small, but not in that adorable, quaint small-town kind of way, just in the irritating-I-wish-I-could-find-good-sushi kind of way. It's not suburban, so we don't have that sort of neighborly-kids-playing-in-the-culs-de-sac kind of thing, etc. It's great that we can live close to the campus where my husband teaches, but yet we ended up just far enough that walking or riding a bike is out of the question (and no public transportation between here and there. So effin' stupid...).

Anyhow, I hear you with having a yearning for the bucolic life, but shit- you have to know how fucking awesome city life is.


I could never picture you in the suburbs, MD. The country and the city, yes. But the suburbs? Never!


I think you might make it for about a 2 week vacation and then be b-o-r-e-d. We have family that lives on 20 acres in the middle of nowhere on a water pump, septic tank and generator. It's fine for a weekend, but I could NEVER live that way every day.


Maybe one day, you'll come to the dark side. There's also suburbs that don't involve baling hay and suspenders. But, it might involve buying a minivan.


Dude I'm in the 'burbs and it honestly sucks. No Vietnamese to be had at ALL, and plenty of cookie cutter SAHM Stepfords all around me, super tense, super focused and super SUPER vibe giving, "I am not interested in making contact w/you". Which is fine b/c actually I know they drink alone during the day constantly, they must have to in order to keep that forced rigidity going despite their Pilates. (UGH suburban Westchester Pilates is SO poseur).

My parents live 30 min cross town in an equally annoying town and they can't wait to move into Manhattan, and eventually to NJ, a.k.a. Korea Heaven Northeast. They are begging me to move back to the UWS, however this will not happen for a number of reasons, specifically my husband's exponential lack of enthusiasm. However, he is starting to think about Demarest, well sort of.


MD, I don't know you too well, but it's hard to imagine you living in the country. I also can't believe there isn't a drive-ine somewhere in the sprawling NYC burbs.


First of all, that concept is really cool.

I grew up in the type of setting you're describing, but without lakes or Garrison Keillor. We had tons of land (it seemed that way) and all kinds of animals. We spent our days playing in cotton fields and our nights falling asleep in the back of the station wagon surrounded by a ring of movie screens. It was awesome- though at the time I longed for the urban life.

Greener grass and all that.

jane j

Suburbs are ok. My biggest complaints are having to drive everywhere, not enough ethnic food, mom cliques, and high property taxes.


Growing up, I had the best of all worlds. We lived in a big house in Pacific Heights, a suburban neighborhood smack dab in the middle of San Francisco. On weekends, we'd always go camping up in Sonoma. It was such a great way to grow up.

Unfortunately I now live in a 500 s.f. studio. Although I love New York, it sure is hard to live here.


The nostalgia you experience of being at a drive-in theater as a kid is bar none. Hiding under a blanket to forgo paying an extra admission cost; the lawn, in front of the big screen, you play on; the snacks, hot dogs, burgers you purchase; the little radio box you put inside the car to use to hear the movie; indulging in the settling sunset that calms the temperature, is what I experienced before the start of the movie at a drive-in theater that will ever be embedded into my memory.

and during the showing of the movie...that's when you sleep.


I love that idea for a drive-in! And how much fun did you have that weekend?!? I totally understand the desire to live out in the country, but I think it's really a desire for a vacation, not for a lifestyle.

katie j

My parents used to take us to the drive-in all the time. They both LOVED the movies and since they didn't have the money to pay for a babysitter, they'd always pack us up every weekend for a trip to the drive-in. It was so much fun. The kids would all run around while the parents were watching the movie. I miss those times. Harkens back to a much earlier (and more innocent) era.


Never been to a drive-in theater in my entire life. As far as I could tell, the picture quality is bad. The sound comes from a little tin box. No climate control. Too many loud neighbors. I chalk up the appeal to some misplaced sense of nostalgia.

However, I would LOVE to check out that indoor drive-in that you and Bosslady went to. That sounds like a blast.

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