The first time I came to Connecticut, I came by way of Amtrak which has free WiFi by the way and is one of the best ways to see America. That first trip I got off at Stamford, a city with Manhattan’s money but not the character. I go to Stamford when I am not in the mood for the one hour train ride to NYC.
My realtor picked me up that first time from Stamford and drove me to Norwalk where my new job was and where I wanted to live. I can’t do commutes of more than 30 minutes. The closer to the office I am, the better for world peace.
To get to Norwalk from Stamford you have to pass through Darien. So it was that I fell in love in July 2013.
My friends tell me if I am so enamored with Darien I would never leave Greenwich if I visit. I disagree. There is something about Darien that screams “The American Dream” to me. Why would I go anywhere else if I have found the place dreams come true? Especially to a place called Greenwich. The ‘W’ is silent by the way. Such pretentiousness.
Old churches and roads that have traffic stops every other mile. Small ice cream shops with soft music and thrift shops that are more expensive than Macys. Buildings with walls that have green Ivy. Giggling teenagers wearing Ugg boots and an exuberance for life I must have had but no longer remember. Young parents with the cutest blue eyed babies you have ever seen taking walks on Post Road while their BMWs, Audis, Benzs, are parked only meters away.
People always talk about how young people can’t wait to leave small towns. I think that Darien would be the antithesis of that. It is one of those small towns that feels like your parents’ arms. When life takes you out, Mama and Darien will be there, arms wide open.
If there was a theme song for it, it would be The Commodores’ Easy. In Darien you can forget that evil exists, that you have to go to work on Monday mornings. Life is easy here, easy like Sunday mornings that forget to translate to evenings.
Everywhere smells like old regurgitated money. Young families that wouldn’t dream of bringing up kids where they work (NYC) make the 45 minute train commute daily. Rent here is crazy but not as crazy as Manhattan. If you live here, your kids will probably go to school with children of Fortune 500 executives too stingy to pay for private schools. Even the Dunkin Donuts feels like a Starbucks and makes me feel inadequate.
I like the people here. They smile at me hesitantly but hey it is better than no smiles at all. (Hola non-smiling Manhattan people!) I walk past the people here and wonder who they are voting for. I wonder if they are voting at all. When I am in Darien, it is so easy to forget everything that is not right with the world.
There is a movie, Revolutionary Road, staring one of the best onscreen couples to have ever graced our screens, Kate and Leo. Some of it was shot in a house in Darien. It is a movie set in the 1960s and based on a book by the same name. There is so much that is unsaid in the movie. And that is why I think it was shot here. Because some places, if you are patient enough, the truth will show up, with no words.