In Town versus Out of Town

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  • #1663816

    Joseph
    Participant

    What are the primary differences between an “in town” attitude versus and “out of town” attitude.

    Define what in town means to you and what out of town means to you.

    Do you prefer in town or do you prefer out of town?

    Wherever you prefer, explain the benefits and positives of the other side. (So, for example, if you’re the out of town type explain all the benefits and positives you know about in town.) Afterwards (and only afterwards) explain the positives of what you prefer.

    This applies to both the people as well as the amenities.

    #1663994

    1
    Participant

    In town are the 5 Boroughs, only.

    #1663998

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    As usual, a question whose answer turns on “which town”??? If I were to guess, the originator of this thread would assume that the rest of the United States is an island off the coast of Brooklyn, so in-town presumably is NYC versus the rest of the civilized world. In that case, an “in town” mentality and lifestyle turns very much on where in the NYC metropolitan area one resides. I would submit there is a wider gap between BP and Willy versus upper West Side of Manhattan or even Staten Island then BP or Willy versus Lakewood or Baltimore.

    #1664043

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    Obviously the phrase technically means the 5 boroughs, but the Jewish community has definitely come to include 5-Towns folks as in-towners.

    #1664068

    1
    Participant

    5 towns is different because it’s a suburb of Queens, but it’s design is to be out of town.

    #1664055

    Meno
    Participant

    The Jewish community also considers Farrock Away to be in-town. (I know Farrock Away is technically in the 5 boroughs, but the Jewish Community generally considers it to be outside of NYC).

    #1664096

    Joseph
    Participant

    Is Lakewood (and Monsey) considered to be out of town in the frum community?

    #1664100

    MDG
    Participant

    From the perspective of being out of town, we see being from the New York area includes having many Jewish amenities, like chessed organizations, Yeshivot, kosher restaurants and food Stores, sefarim stores, and Jewish clothing stores.

    on the other hand we see living in the New York metropolitan area as being intense: lots of traffic, lots of rude people. We often see the people, while being outwardly religious, also appear to be materialistic. Furthermore there seems to be an attitude of showing off religiosity. In smaller communities every child is welcomed to the school(s). We often read about how kids are left out in larger Jewish communities because they are good kids but not great kids. And the school wants the reputation of being great.

    speaking of schools, I was the treasurer of my kids Day School. When people apply for scholarships, they were generally pretty accurate with their financial situation. No one claims poverty while driving a brand new luxury car. I heard of the New York area it’s not that way. And the schools are much more invasive and what they ask when it comes to a family’s financial situation. To put it simply, it seems like there’s more straightforwardness (yashrut) out of town.

    #1664103

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    “The Jewish community also considers Farrock Away to be in-town. (I know Farrock Away is technically in the 5 boroughs, but the Jewish Community generally considers it to be outside of NYC).”

    Wait, let me try to follow this… Far Rockaway is truly part of NYC, BUT the Jewish community considers it to not be NYC even though it is, BUT the Jewish community considers the people from Far Rockaway to be New Yorkers even though they don’t consider Far Rockaway New York even though it is. Did I get it right?

    #1664133

    1
    Participant

    Far Rockaway is the Baltimore or NYC. Monsey is the Baltimore or NYS

    #1664134

    1
    Participant

    Far Rockaway has a complex. It’s in Queens, letters are addressed to Far Rockaway, NY, but uses nicknames like West Lawrence.

    #1664182

    anonymous Jew
    Participant

    There was a reason for the use of West Lawrence as an address. When the first pioneers moved to Far Rockaway in the 1970s and 1980s, Far Rockaway had become a crime infested slum. 6 bedroom homes on Reids Lane were on the market for $18,000 and people couldn’t get mortgages for them ( my sister tried but the banks had redlined the area ). Customers had to be buzzed into the kosher bakery on Mott St because it had been held up so many times. My wife’s friend was pistol whipped in her apartment house lobby by a mugger during the daytime.
    So, people who moved into the section of Far Rockaway that bordered on the western edge of Lawrence started using West Lawrence as an address to avoid the Far Rockaway stigma ( they still got their mail because they used the correct zip code )

    #1664212

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    Four generations of my family lived in NYC from 1868 until my parents decided to make a 75 mile move OOT in the early 1950s. They chose a city with a yeshiva, day school, mikveh, many shuls, kosher bakeries, butchers, delis and restaurants. My mother did remark that there was only one appetizing store. My older siblings were born in NYC, but I was born OOT.
    My parents found that NYC outer boroughs were becoming ghetto like with the settling of the remnants of frum European Jewry. Growing up they had lived in mixed ethnic neighborhoods and buildings and they wanted their children raised in a mixed American community. This was important as we were expected to be professionals who made our living from the populace as a whole. The family was proof that we could live the American dream, live outside an exclusively Jewish enclave and remain frum.
    My grandchildren (and my siblings’ grandchildren) are now 7th generation frum Jewish Americans. Our localities no longer have the plethora of shopping and dining choices as the Euro-Traditional Jews who supported them have died out and their non-Frum children no longer kept kosher out of habit (as opposed to belief) as their parents and grandparents did.
    All of our children and neices/nephews spent some time in Yeshiva or seminary in NYC. None wanted to settle there.
    Personally, I would not want to live in a high rise apartment of 5 or 6 rooms or a city house that is only 12 feet from my next door neighbor’s wall.
    I like being close enough to go into the city to shop or attend cultural events, but not have the hassle of living in a city of 8 million people.
    When I read the complaints in the CR about the school buses parking streets, or neighbors who have illegal curb cuts, fake garage doors, etc. I say who needs the hassle. If I never rode a subway again, I would not miss it.
    OOT we have a true feeling of community, all Jews make an effort to get along and respect each other’s differences.
    As a young married, I belonged to a shul that was composed of two shuls established in the late 1880s who merged in the 1950s. One was a Litvak misnagid shul, the other Lubavitch, but not chasidim (they were families who came from that town in Russia and davened Nusach HaAri. The shul put the Litvak name first and used the Lubavitch siddur and followed their calendar.
    I started attending minyan each morning and the shammos started asking me to daven for the amud. I explained that I did not daven that nusach. He said to me: I’ve watched and see you daven from a Tikun Meir nusach Ashkenaz…that’s frum. Go to the amud and daven from your siddur, no one will object. I refused the honor and said I’d check with my father and Zaideh. They both told me, in your own seat use your own siddur, but for the harmony of the kahal, from the amud daven with the shul’s siddur. You will not be betraying your minhag, but honoring the shul’s.

    OOT is not for everyone. My children’s spouses are all OOTers. I don’t know if a potential spouse who was dependent on picking up prepared food at will, and being a short walk to most of his/her relatives and friends would have wanted to make the change. I know that my children did not want to make their lives and raise their families in NYC.

    #1664225

    YankelFromYennevelt
    Participant

    Living OOT for a few decades now, every once in a while I think “it would be nice if it were easy to…” The pluses of living in-town, from our point of view, are mostly about convenience and choice: we imagine there’s 24-hour drive-through where you can get your tefillin checked, and we know there are a lot of restaurants, even if most of them are terrible; our town has fewer than 10, though none are terrible. Truth is, none here are as fancy as any of the 20 fanciest restaurants, though 2 have food as good as or better than anything available in NYC.

    We are usually entertained by people from NYC who (often) come here on business. They can’t believe that we can survive without many of the conveniences they have. On the other hand, we don’t understand how they can survive the rampant dishonesty (we saw the article on tow trucks in Boro Park and said “of course – that’s what we expect in NYC”) the extravagant displays of observance and wealth, and what seems to us people frequently confusing the two.

    One simple example: in NYC, in many neighborhoods, people are afraid their neighbors will think they’re poor and their kids will never get a shidduch if they don’t drive a Lexus, or at least an Acura. Here, genuinely wealthy people often drive Toyotas and Hondas.

    Another simple example: when the chasuna takana came out, we had to laugh at all the people saying you just can’t have a nice event within those guidelines: every chasuna OOT is automatically within those guidelines! Why would we spend immense amounts of money we don’t have to throw a super-elaborate party that lasts a couple of hours?

    It amazes us when people from in-town come to our supermarket and have no idea which hechshers are good, because they never have to look for a hechsher where thy shop. And they in general know exactly nothing about anything or any place outside their dalet amos, although, being New Yorkers, they are usually very impressed with how much they know, on every subject. OOT people generally manage to know about many different OOT communities, and also to know a fair amount about NYC. It’s not that we’re smarter, just that we’re not so provincial. Here, when I say “there’s no-one so provincial as a New Yorker,” everyone just nods their heads in agreement, especially the former New Yorkers.

    Our daughter is looking forward to setting up her own bais ne’eman soon, and has told me that she doesn’t think she wants to raise children in our city because “it’s become too much like New York.” She has lived in NYC for the past 3 years!

    #1664247

    Joseph
    Participant

    MDG: There’s no differences in materialism, showiness, or honesty specifically attributable to in town versus out of town where one is more prevalent than the other. You’ll find all of those in equal measure both in town and out of town.

    #1664249

    馃崼Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    Apparently not Joseph. Although you wish it were so you cant just make peoples observations go away.

    #1664257

    Out of town more polite and less materialistic but often less energetic about religious life.

    #1664264

    MDG
    Participant

    Joseph,
    We’ll have to agree to disagree. BTW, Los Angeles is pretty much like in town in attitudes, so I’m not including it.

    YankelFromYennevelt is saying similar to me.

    I don’t think in town people get it unless they live OOT for a while.

    The one thing I have is my ability to do without and not take things for granted. Because Chalav Yisrael is expensive here, $10 a gallon, and because it was hard to get (now easier), I drink a lot of soy milk. I have to stock up for yashan, like buying 200 pounds of flour in the summer. No complaints. I think it makes a strong impression on my kids. Rav Moshe said that one should not complain about being a Jew. I try to have a good attitude and create positive feelings. In town, you can take it all for granted.

    #1664277

    Joseph
    Participant

    TryingToStayCalm makes an excellent point. Out of town people are often less energetic about religious life. Some out of towners, like my friend MDG does above, mistakenly dismiss this as merely being “outwardly religious’ not realizing or accepting that this is typically real ehrlichkeit and a truly felt and lived higher level of Torah life. But it is, despite the OOTers misimpression.

    There truly is a higher standard and level of daily life of Torah, Avoda and Gemilas Chasodim in town than elsewhere.

    #1664279

    馃崼Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    Poor, poor Joseph.

    #1664293

    MDG
    Participant

    Joseph,
    It’s both. There is clearly a lack of religious energy here. The bigger crowds create more energy, which creates more action. If you are around motivated people, that can motivate you and help you reach higher. That’s the biggest thing I miss from living in the NYC area.

    On the other hand, it’s much easier to fake it with externalities, like clothing and manner of speech. In such an environment, one can mistake going through the motions as being frum, even while a person does a lot of bad.

    If you want to be frum out here, you got to really mean it.

    This reminds me of an idea concerning the difference between Yosef and Yehudah. Yehudah is a frum guy with the family, but on the road he succumbs to temptation. Yosef looks like a spoiled soft kid until he goes out and develops his Tzidkut. Yosef gets tempted for a year and holds strong. Different people thrive in different environments. Some need support to grow, while some need more challenges.
    I read that from Rabbi Riskin many years ago.

    #1664282

    Joseph
    Participant

    That there’s more Torah and Gemilas Chasodim in town is not debatable. Anyone with eyes can see the tremendous of Torah with the incomparable number of yeshivos and butei medrashim in town, back to back — often multiple on a single city block in densely frum neighborhoods — literally hundreds and hundreds of such mekomei kodesh always full of many Yidden loudly learning Torah, saying Tefilos and having uncountable number of Shiurim all hours of the day and night, literally seven days a week.

    And the same applies with Gemilas Chasodim. It’s hardly a secret the numerous 24/7 Chesed organizations that operate in town covering the gauntlet of Jewish daily life from A to Z. Hatzalah, Shomrim, Chaveirim, Misaskim, numerous Bikur Cholims, all sorts of gemachs, free loan societies, tzedaka organizations, helplines, hotlines, health services, etcetera etcetera.

    The only possibly arguable point is Avoda. But with their being so many Rabbonim (including multiple places with rabbonim reachable 24 hours/day), Roshei Yeshivos, Rebbe鈥檚, Gedolim, and so many plain poshete Shomrei Torah U鈥橫itzvos than anywhere else in all of Chutz L鈥檃retz, even in Avoda no where else holds a candle in coming anywhere close.

    Is it then any wonder that so many thousands upon thousands upon thousands of former out of towners moved in town which is now their home?

    #1664289

    ZionGate
    Participant

    Bells are gently chiming .. perusing Tryingtostaycalm’s few comments here & elsewhere , gives me this “Where have I seen you before?” feeling. A triplet??
    Nah, can’t be.. lololo..

    #1664299

    馃崼Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    Ha ha, what a joke. Joseph asks people for some very open thoughtful opinions and then comes back with extensive essays why they鈥檙e wrong. It鈥檚 like the self absorbed co worker who only asks you about your vacation for an opportunity to talk about how much better his was!
    馃ぃ馃ぃ馃ぃ馃ぃ馃ぃ馃ぃ

    #1664288

    YankelFromYennevelt
    Participant

    Truthfully, Joseph has a point: there are communities where you really can find a higher level of yiddishkeit.

    But, in-towners often mistake appearances for meaning. They think that, because there’s a big organization that packs up hundreds of Shabbos meals every week there’s a higher level of g’milus chasadim. OOT, we don’t have hundreds of families in need, but we do have still have more than a couple of chesed organizations to try to make sure everyone has what they need. The difference is that, with our smaller community size, it’s easier to do things quietly. An outside observer could easily think it doesn’t happen, and that’s proper.

    Also, consider that the aibishter isn’t counting how many chumras you observe: he’s noting how much effort you put into doing what He wants. The last Mishna in Pirkei Avos says that explicitly, in 3 oft-quoted words. Simply observing a basic level of kashrus, in some OOT communities (not ours), requires more effort than all the chumras you might be proud of in-town.

    And yes: there is a lot more diversity in-town, and there are some neighborhoods where all the things I said don’t apply. (I’ve been in parts of Flatbush and Flushing where I certainly felt that was the case.) And there are certainly individuals in almost every neighborhood who are exceptions to the rule.

    But my understanding of the question is that it was asking for generalities and impressions, so that’s what I gave. Obviously, with scores of different neighborhoods, and more than a million individuals, there are many exceptions to the rule.

    One last thing: please consider, if you’re certain you and your community are an exception to the rule, that you might be mistaken.

    #1664291

    jdb
    Participant

    Depends on where you live. If you are born and raised and live in Boropark, Marine Park (still in Brooklyn) is way out there. If you are in Lakewood, then you consider the 5 Towns to be in town.

    As an outsider, I break it down like this. If the average community member feels a responsibility to build and contribute, to be the core of your community because without you the community won’t be the same, then you are out of town. If you feel missed if you aren’t there, then you are out of town. If you feel pride in every growth and milestone for your community, every new family moving in, you are out of town.

    If you are just another face in the crowd, you are in town. If you see yourself as different rather than as part of, you are out of town. If you see your neighbor as an “other” and not as an extension of your family, you are in town.

    See, it’s not really about where you live. It’s about how you live.

    #1664306

    Meno
    Participant

    Poor, poor Joseph

    Well that’s the price he pays to live in-town.

    #1664311

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    “Joseph asks people for some very open thoughtful opinions and then comes back with extensive essays why they鈥檙e wrong.”

    I knew it was going to end up going in that direction. I used to respect his trolling, but it’s gotten a bit predictable. Maybe it’s just because I’ve been around long enough now. It seems now like a sort of sad desperation for confirmation bias on decisions he’s made (like living in NYC) that he’s no longer fully confident of.

    Don’t get me wrong, I display the same kind of behavior in the CR myself, but I don’t have a reputation to uphold.

    #1664336

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    In all liklihood, Little Joey lives in some smelly apartment building in Flatbush and sits around all day peeking out from behind the shades

    edited

    Sometimes life just isn’s fair. In reality, the frum tzibur has taken root in many OOT communities in the years since I left NYC with thriving yiddeshe populations with yeshivos, shuls, and a wide range of mosdos. Obviously, they don’t reach the same scale of NYC neighborhood offerings but that same scale carries with it the noise, pollution, congestion, high prices etc. that many of us were escaping when we left.

    #1664342

    Uncle Ben
    Participant

    MDG; I hope you have a climate controlled storage room for your flour and/or sift it before use, otherwise you might have an infestation problem leading to 讬爪讬讗转 砖讻专讱 讘讛驻住讚转讱.
    How’s that for a display of outward religiousity?

    #1664382

    midwesterner
    Participant

    There are national brands of flour available all over that are Yoshon year round. No need to stock up like that.

    Good old Joe went on a rant in which he describes the greater quantity of yiddishkeit on the East Coast. Not sure he proved anything about the quality. Where I live there are also places with 3 shuls on a block. Not so many such places, but they are there. We fill our shuls, we fill our yeshivos. Brooklyn has more, because they have more people. But that is quantity, not quality.

    We have Hatzala, Chaveirim, Bikur Cholim, a Chessed Fund Warehouse that is unmatched anywhere in the world including Lakewood. And we don’t antagonize the police when they try to give a parking ticket, so they like us, and respond when we need, so there’s no need for Shomrim. And a Chevra Kadisha that does much of what misaskim does.

    We don’t have hundreds of gemachs, but we probably have dozens.

    I’m not finding children of local people moving to Brooklyn any more that are moving from there to here. Lakewood is different, because they go there to learn.

    #1664384

    馃憫RebYidd23
    Participant

    “Town” is full. New adults have to move out when they start their own families because they need to move into a house that is not occupied.

    #1664424

    Joseph
    Participant

    Herr Nur mein teire OOT Rabbosai, you’re jealous with envy of the quality and quantity of Torah Yiddishkeit in town. But that’s okay; it’s actually a good thing. We’re supposed to be jealous of others’ Mitzvos. The problem only arises when you try to paper over your inadequacies and insecurities by trying to knock those better than you down a peg or two to lower them to your level. Instead bring yourselves up to your betters’ level.

    Unfortunately when people visit out of town a common theme they’ll sometimes hear from out of towners, unsolicited I might add, (and C”V by no means from all or even most OOTers, but certainly common enough that it is a constant recurrent) is how they disparage Torah Yidden from New York. Just out of the blue. Instead of doing that try to increase your local Torah, Avoda and Gemilas Chasodim.

    Ah Gutte Erev Shabbos!

    #1664434

    ZionGate
    Participant

    Joseph,Daas Yochid, TryingToStaycalm,

    Too bad you have to bash a whole legion of. Jews before Shabbas , and especially before Shabbos Shira..
    And for market price, I’ll also give you proper Yiddish lessons.
    Shabbat Shalom

    #1664442

    MDG
    Participant

    Joseph asks people for some very open thoughtful opinions and then comes back with extensive essays why they鈥檙e wrong.聽

    New Yorkers always think they know best. That I don’t miss.

    #1664441

    MDG
    Participant

    “MDG; I hope you have a climate controlled storage room for your flour and/or sift it before use, otherwise you might have an infestation problem leading to 讬爪讬讗转 砖讻专讱 讘讛驻住讚转讱.”

    I like to freeze it first. Sometimes I put dry ice in the box to remove the oxygen.

    “There are national brands of flour available all over that are Yoshon year round. No need to stock up like that.”

    I have a particular brand that I prefer.

    #1664510

    DovidBT
    Participant

    For me, the difference is:

    Out of Town is where I am. In Town is where I am not.

    #1664515

    Joseph
    Participant

    That’s right, MDG, I asked people for some very open thoughtful opinions. And if some folks post critical opinions that are incorrect, I certainly will come back with extensive essays why they鈥檙e wrong.

    #1664519

    鈥淭ryingToStayCalm makes an excellent point. Out of town people are often less energetic about religious life. Some out of towners, like my friend MDG does above, mistakenly dismiss this as merely being 鈥渙utwardly religious鈥 not realizing or accepting that this is typically real ehrlichkeit and a truly felt and lived higher level of Torah life. But it is, despite the OOTers misimpression.

    There truly is a higher standard and level of daily life of Torah, Avoda and Gemilas Chasodim in town than elsewhere.鈥

    I anticipated this from joe that鈥檚 why I haven鈥檛 posted here

    #1664530

    馃憫RebYidd23
    Participant

    There is a higher level of Torah in town due to population density.

    #1664538

    鈽 DaasYochid 鈽
    Participant

    Joseph,Daas Yochid, TryingToStaycalm,

    Too bad you have to bash a whole legion of. Jews before Shabbas , and especially before Shabbos Shira..

    ZionGate, what did I say that got you riled up?

    #1664552

    MDG
    Participant

    Joseph,

    I tried to point out good and bad in each. It seems to me that you don’t accept that anything out of town could be better. I don’t see you wanting a dialogue.

    A few months ago a son of a friend of mine was home for Bein zmanim. Although he is from where I live now, which is way out of town, he’s been learning in New York for a few years. I found it interesting that when he speaks he ends a sentence with a little bit of a push, as if there’s some level of ready to argue about anything he says. There is a truculence in the attitude that New Yorkers have. I consider this a survival mechanism. The city can be overwhelming, and if you don’t have a strong demeanor you can get lost emotionally and spiritually.

    #1664591

    Joseph
    Participant

    I tried to point out good and bad in each.

    MDG: Please point out where you pointed out the bad about OOT.

    #1664625

    馃崼Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    He should make something up just to make you happy?

    #1664636

    MDG
    Participant

    First of all, I pointed out the great amount of Jewish amenities and services in town, implying the lack thereof OOT.

    I pointed the lack of energy OOT, which causes less motivation and action. I mean to include learning.

    I usually am using a phone the type, and I’m not one of those millennials who can type really fast on a phone, so I keep it brief, maybe too brief.

    #1664637

    MDG
    Participant

    “He should make something up just to makeyou聽happy?”

    Joseph was asking where I said something negative about OOT, not to say anything new. It was a legitimate question IMO.

    #1664725

    Lucy
    Participant

    Out of town families have the zchus of Habotzas HaTorah

    #1664792

    馃憫RebYidd23
    Participant

    Out of towners and in towners are not different species.

    #1664893

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    “ZionGate, what did I say that got you riled up?”

    That fact that you didn’t say anything at all on this thread just really rubbed him the wrong way. It’s just the vibe. Like, are you too holy to get involved in this thread? Do you think you’re better than us or something? Jeesh, you’re riling me up too now. How dare you?

    馃槈

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