Sunday, December 30, 2007


There's no graceful way to say this, but Exurbitude is a year old today. While that's only a drop in the bucket that barely makes a flash in the pan, I know that, similar to adult sea turtles, for every blog you see there are 1,200 that didn't survive. I'm pleased to be one that made it safely to the sargassum.

In that analogy, dear readers, you are the sargassum.

As of January we'll have lived outside of New York for half as long as we lived inside of New York, and neither of us works there anymore, so it's a little hard to continue the pretense that this is a blog about leaving New York. The idea was that I felt so much an outsider at the auction house -- a non-wealthy, non-art-history-major who barely knew anyone famous -- that my evolving country life stood out in even starker contrast to the city lifestyle I practiced at work. This was exemplified one night last May when I got home from a Contemporary art auction attended by Jay-Z and Toby Maguire, my tie loosened and my suit jacket over one shoulder, having had some champagne and taken a hired car home, to find the front door covered an inch deep in a throbbing mass of insects that had been attracted to the porch light. I went around the back into the dark and used that door instead.

But that's behind me now. From here on out, it's all bugs.

Therefore, in the coming year, you might expect more stories about living in the region where we live, and how the economics of that lifestyle work out for a professional couple with two kids, and how bad air plays a role in that lifestyle, and how regional development and the expansion of our nearby airport and the scattered train service and increasingly congested roads and poor water planning and density planning affect that lifestyle. Since I've got a few readers in New York City (hi gang!), I'll always look for the amusing contrasts (none of you own these, do you?), and I'll never stop angling for my friends to move here and buy knee boots and keep us company (as long as you settle in established towns and don't build anything), so I'll continue to post pictures of how pretty it is.

Feed Me
I have one desire for this blog, and it is a lowly, base wish shared by 112 million of my pals, at last count: readership. (Quality? Usefulness? Beauty? Ha!) I would institute a badge program for the hundred or so people who check in here semi-regularly -- so that by recruiting readers you can become an Exurban Scout, Pioneer, Ranger, etc., and whoever gets me the largest number of readers could eventually have the URL and write the thing him or her self, sending me the royalty checks -- except that I can't afford badges and who would administer the program and there are no royalty checks. Why do I persist with the Google ads, way down there on the left side, you ask? Who knows? To date they've amassed something like nine dollars, but I don't see Penny One until I hit twenty. They're not elegant, more often than not they're off topic, and the likelihood that they'll reap riches one day is slim. But I could use twenty bucks.

So bring your friends! Put Exurbitude in your blogroll! Talk about my blog at cocktail parties! Use the little mail-to-a-friend link! And thanks for reading; I've had a good year writing for you and me both.

I Beg Your Indulgence: A Few Posts from Exurbitude's First Year That Deserve Greater Scrutiny
  • I know I scoffed at the concept of usefulness before, but I do have some hope that the Ex-Urban Shopping List might actually prove useful to someone, somewhere. So lurkers, comment there! It'll be fun.
  • My antlered shark painting hasn't had a nibble since I put it on eBay, where some Philistine asked "how much for just the frame," if you can believe that. I would HATE to throw that painting away. Please to buy it; we can talk price.
  • If you know anyone who knows anyone who keeps goats, I'm curious about that.
  • And if you're looking for the bio, here are some posts that'll give you the general idea. Going Small | Weight Watchers | Back on Track


wcs said...

Congrats, Bill. Looking forward to more 'tude in 2008.

Antonia Cornwell said...

Happy 365.25. You have at least one new reader. I shall blogroll you and hopefully bring you more.

May your birthday cake be delicious.

Anonymous said...

I don't have a blog. I discovered you on wcs. I read you everyday. I'm not very smart. Sometimes I don't understand a word you're saying. I actually look in the dictionary for some unreal expressions. We have nothing in common. French-speaking at birth, married British. Took me years to unravel Shakespeare. At 78, I only have a few left. Why not Exurbitude? You're a challenge but certainly not boring! I'll speak of you to my friends. All the best!

Bill Braine said...

Thanks, team.

Antonia, welcome aboard. Claudia, thanks...Shakespeare's a tough act to follow, but I'll give it a shot. And all the best to you as well.

Anonymous said...

As I said once before, I was directed here by a friend (Hi Susan!) some months ago to read your post about contractors and I've kept on reading ever since. It has truly been a pleasure.

My husband and I left the city in 2000 and never looked back. We now have two kids and an old house. We live further up in Columbia County, where the snow keeps coming down gorgeously.

Keep on keeping on.

Suzanne said...

I've enjoyed your blog for some time... and you were one of the first blogs I listed on my blogroll (even though I felt like a complete stalker back then).

Congrats on a year! Much like celebrity marriages, being alive after a year in the blogosphere is nothing to sneeze at.

Bill Braine said...

That's her, officer!

Amy Plum said...

Congratulations Bill! A hundred or so regular readers is GREAT for the first year! It's always a pleasure to read about what y'all are up to, even though you spurned my advice to move your family abroad.

And you've made WAY more money with your Google ads than I have with my Amazon recommendations!

looking forward to 'Tude Mach 2.