We moved to Stamford from Irvington, New York, a fairly small town in Westchester with a population of about 5,000 if you don’t include the ghosts that haunt Washington Irving’s estate.
So when we started looking for houses in Stamford, we thought we were moving to a big city. Okay, not professional-sports-team-franchise-sized, but, with about 117,000 residents and a major mall, a town that could provide all the modern conveniences.
However, by the time we actually moved, we already knew that wasn’t the case. While we were technically living in Stamford, we had discovered that services I had come to think of as standard were decidedly optional once you crossed the Merritt Parkway.
We had to arrange for our own garbage pick-up, for instance. This was provided by a guy named Tony. Not that Tony was the only option. We could also take our garbage to the town dump ourselves.
Stamford also refused to be involved with plumbing, either incoming or outgoing, if you get my drift, and I sincerely hope you don’t, because that would mean there was something wrong with our septic system. In fact, the only thing Stamford seemed willing to do is pick up recyclables, presumably so they could get the deposits.
But, like I said, we already knew all that. What we didn’t know was how distinctly backwater Stamford was when it came to other things.
An example: Little Irvington has its own post office, down by the foot of Main Street, which gives you a gorgeous view of the Hudson River.
Well, soon after we moved to Stamford, we needed to mail a package. So I went to the USPS website, got the location of the nearest branch, plugged it into my GPS, and took off.
It was on High Ridge Road. When you live in North Stamford, pretty much everything is on High Ridge Road. So I’m driving down High Ridge Road, and the GPS lady, that bitch, keeps telling me that I have arrived at my destination, but there’s no post office, and now she’s just about screaming at me: “You’re there, you idiot!” but there’s still no post office, not even a mailbox, so I look for the address and I find it…on a copy shop…in a strip mall.
Golly gee, Sheriff Andy!
See you soon.