Wednesday, January 21, 2009

You Can't Buy Furniture Outside of New York?

I found this comment at YWN. The misconceptions about living out of town abound. The lack of busing mention is, however, not a misconception. This [unedited] comment is classic.
#1: you’re right that when you live “out of town” you can bring up your family in an environment with much less gashmius which is why we live out of town. In general also the people display more of a finekeit and aidelkeit and that overall people have better midos. however you have to realize what you are giving up by liveing out of town. we do pay lower taxes than in NY but we also get alot less. there is alot of mesiras nefesh involved with living out of town. examples: here in Baltimore we have to pay out of pocket for bussing to school and not all schools offer it. most can’t afford it so we are doing carpools. with 10 kids and 3-4 different schools, each with 3 dismissal times it’s carpool almost every morning and afternoon, sometimes 2-3 per
afternoon. school lunches are also out of pocket and again not every school
offers it so 10 kids=making 10 lunches per day! most people have a big
adjustment to out of town also because you just can’t buy here what you can in
NY (lack of gashmius)but it’s not easy when you really need furniture, clothing etc. and have to shlep to NY. after a while you get used to living with less because everyone else is but it takes time. you have higher taxes in NY but you get so much more. its a trade-off so appreciate what you get and the next time NYers want to complain because of those sunday carpools, think of us out of town and you’ll appreciate what you get! living out of town is a wonderful thing and the dividends of having fine, ehrliche children with beatiful midos will pay off but it’s not the easy life!
Comment by cholent lover — January 21, 2009 @ 11:55 am

I never realized you can't buy furniture or clothing outside of NY! I wonder where I got my furniture? Here's a clue: I didn't buy my furniture in NY. I guess even the pricey Ethan Allen isn't enough for the "heimish" shopper.

It is interesting how the commentor wants to leave the materialism of the big city behind, but can't quite escape it. I guess you can't take the NY our of the NY'er.

And can someone please explain to me why any parent is packing 10 lunches a day? By the time I was in 2nd grade, I'm fairly certain that I was packing my own lunchbox with minimal assistance (remember the days when lunchboxes were all the rage?).

Take the comments wherever you'd like them to go.


Ezzie said...

I wanted to mock, but it's just too easy. But this shows just how clueless people are about the differences city to city.

Also, Baltimore!? Baltimore has everything you need. My sister has lived there for almost 10 years and I'm not sure she's even come to NYC except for smachot.

Esther said...

I think the telling comment is in the last sentence, "It's not the easy life." I think the whole theme of your last week of posts has been the feeling of entitlement to "the easy life".

In secular society, "the easy life" is used to refer to what only the super-rich can expect to live. (As in, "sure would be nice to live the easy life.") No one expects to achieve that unless they succeed professionally.

Lion of Zion said...

the furniture is ridiculous, but maybe it is difficult to get clothing that is צנוע in OOT places?

ProfK said...

Out of conviction I do not shop in the "frummie" stores in Brooklyn and the 5 towns (I hate getting ripped off by anyone, but certainly not in the name of "frumkeit.") There are plenty of opportunities to shop in stores in the SI malls and the NJ malls. Many of these stores have national outlets all over the country, but certainly in places like Baltimore. Moreover, the Internet makes the whole country my shopping venue and there is no problem getting tsniusdik clothing from a variety of merchants. Is it "Brooklyn-type" clothing? Not necessarily, although sometimes, and that is a plus in my book.

I lived OOT for many years. My family did not sit on boxes nor have any trouble furnishing a home. Can you get a custom-made seforim schrank for "only" 10K? That I would imagine is a lot harder, although still possible.

Re the school busing--yes, in some places carpools replace school buses. If that is the worst thing about out of town, hand me a ticket and get me out of NY. I also agree with SL--if this mother is packing 10 lunches her oldest has to be about 11 and probably older. Why aren't the kids helping?

Orthonomics said...

You can find צנוע clothing outside of NY. You probably won't find the brands the average American hasn't heard of. And there is always internet shopping or mail order shopping.

Anonymous said...

We live in Baltimore and have no problem finding tznius clothing for our children.

We have a Jewish hospital within the eruv, many shuls, multiple schools, top notch rabbeim, affordable housing, decent food options and the greater Jewish community has an amazing sense of achdus. The city is 10 miles away, we have a decent airport (including a Southwest hub), and we don't need EZ pass because we don't have to pay tolls.

Forbes just had an article about the top 10 cities where the're hiring. Baltimore made #7. NY didn't make the cut.

NY may be a nice place to visit (only 3 hours from Baltimore) but Baltimore is a great place to live.

rosie said...

Why would lunches be covered in any school public or private unless the family qualifies for federal school lunch assistance? If they qualify, it is a federal program and is good anywhere, unless the school does not provide meals at all. This person says that 10kids=10 lunches per day but this does not state that one person is making all the lunches; only that the parents income must provide it.
Built in seforim shelves seem to be the one type of furniture that is available primarily in NY but why would anyone shlep to NY for furniture. North Carolina has better stuff.

Anonymous said...

If you live in Baltimore, you should stop in Delaware on your way to New York. Notice all the tax-free furniture...... why not go there if you're going to travel?

My biggest complain is with the comment that you are being moser nefesh because you have to pack lunches, or pay for your own kids' transportation to private school.

You wonder how we got a national of people looking for the government to do everything for them? Government should pay my mortgage, pay my gas bill, pay my health care, etc. You wonder how we got Obama, who is promising that there isn't a thing that the government won't provide on the backs of the productive? The attitude in this letter is identical to the attitude in America today.

It wasn't that long ago that Jews worked 14 hour days so their families didn't starve to death, and the whole family lived under 1 roof in a small apartment because that's all they could afford. Can you imagine tell them the horrors that they might one day have to buy a press-board bookshelf instead of a custom-made one with glass shelves for their silver?

Jews running a Chabad house in Mumbai are moser nefesh. Jews living in Hebron are Moser nefesh. Jews living in Baltimore live the most graced and convenient life yidden have known in 2000 years. I don't think not having taxpayers foot the bus cost to your $10k/year private school counts as moser nefesh.

Ezzie said...

Josh - Well said.

SL - For men, obviously it doesn't make a difference; our friend who used to travel a lot and lived in much smaller frum communities who sometimes had trouble finding tzanua clothes made even that simple, buying a few cheap "shells" that she can wear any non-tznius piece of clothing over. (I'll admit to not understanding that so well, but that's what she said.) To top it off, she said that has cut her clothing costs dramatically, since she no longer feels like she has to buy from frum clothing stores.

Ezzie said...

(Oh, and Serach saw me laughing at the post and made the same "why not order online?" comment. :) )

Houston Ima said...

I'm sorry, but this comment is so ridiculous I don't even know where to begin. But lets be real - NY is NOT the center of the world, and there are Jewish communities ALL OVER the world. All of my observant friends shop in normal stores at the mall, at local boutiques, and NO ONE has a problem finding tzniyut clothing. (and I do not live in NY and refuse to refer to it as "in town" and where I live as "out of town", because I actually do live in the city limits of Houston).

And the pain of carpool or packing 10 lunches a day...oy the horror. It's called...getting organized? Since when do ppl rely on having everything provided for them?

concernedjewgirl said...

Bravo Anonymous 7:11PM

Anonymous said...

I suspect that the school doesn't have lunch at all. Many schools in NY do (of course, covered by part of the tuition), which presumably makes things more obscure (rather than charging a separate optional fee for lunches, they just include lunch automatically). Incidentally, I work at a school in NY that is debating cutting lunches- it's a big money loss for the school, and a number of the kids go to nearby kosher places anyways, so the school thinks it might be a good place to cut without too much pain.

Ezzie- "buying a few cheap "shells" that she can wear any non-tznius piece of clothing over. (I'll admit to not understanding that so well, but that's what she said."

I have heard "shell" as referring to a tank-top like garment, though fairly high cut and occasionally more tshirt like. The concept would presumably be that your friend wears one of those under whatever top she wears, which means that she can wear a lower cut shirt or blouse (blame the fiancee for that piece of knowledge/understanding).

Anonymous said...

What do you expect from someone who loves chulent :)

Orthonomics said...

This person says that 10kids=10 lunches per day but this does not state that one person is making all the lunches

I don't know about you, but if I (or we, my husband and I) are making 10 lunches, we would say that we made 10 lunches. But if 5 of 10 kids put together their own lunch, I would say that we made 5 lunches.

Anonymous said...

Sweet L-rd. It's hard to be frum in Baltimore?! The writer has probably never tried to find kosher food in rural Indiana.

If the writer wants to live a frum life, it comes at a cost in time, money, etc. If it's not worth it, s/he should admit it and realign his/her life in accordance with his/her priorities. If it is worth it, s/he should recognize that. A little complaining is okay, but if the problem is finding frum furniture (what does that even mean?) it's time to step back and count some blessings.

alpidarkomama said...

Oh, how odd! I didn't realize Craigslist wasn't available in New York. :) :) :) :) :)

alpidarkomama said...

Re. clothing I just had to add, every one of my everyday and shabbos blouses has been purchased on ebay for a maximum of $8 each. You can't even tell they're not new. I've only rarely purchased an oops.

Ariella's blog said...

I would hazard a guess on the furniture: the frum stores in NY sell "chosson/kallah" sets. They also offer beds in a nonstandard 48" width, which is supposed to allow for 2 to fit in a less than palatial bedrooms. But then one needs to buy custom linens that are probably only also available in NY or NJ.

Anonymous said...

As someone who travels to rural Indiana on a regular basis---you can find kosher food. Just find a grocery store and look for the organic section. Lots of soy meat and similar. If the grocery doesn't have an organic section, try to get to a collegetown like Bloomington or Lafayette.

Anonymous said...

When we first got married (and lived in Monsey), everyone said we HAD to buy furniture from the frum stores. I never saw a 3/4 length bed before. They said it was a "heimishe" size. Of course, you could only buy sheets there, and the beds and sheets were 3x normal prices. We tried to buy a tablecloth, but the chepaest we could find was $200 for a tiny cheap white one (Bed Bath and Beyond had a beautiful shabbos one for $20). The worst was the bookcases. My friend said we had to buy these $5000 custom wood bookcases because "goyishe bookcases can't hold seforim". Of course, I had to point out that even if they did fall apart, I could buy a new Staples bookshelf every year for the next 30 years for the cost of the Frankel's ones. I ended up buying a high-quality Staples press-board bookcase, and many moves and years later, it still holds books just fine, thank you!

Anonymous said...

Perhaps it's easier to find kosher food in rural Indiana than I think; I was new to keeping kosher at the time, but I remember it being very hard. It might have been just that I didn't know what to look for.

Staples has the best bookcases, bar none. You can get the folding kind that are all wood (3 shelves) and stackable and they hold anything. I have all my sefarim and also my textbooks (heavy and hardcover) on these shevles. They are $30/set on sale and Staples will deliver for free if you buy enough.

mother in israel said...

Well, at least he didn't mention having to be the tenth in the minyan, and the need for his wife to take a turn helping out with the mikvah. (from the last thread)

Ezzie said...

Oooh, the 48" beds. SL, that should be a post unto itself - it's gotta be among the top Jewish scams out there.

My sister advised us before we got married to invest in (cheaper) full beds, which we could then get linens for at normal prices. I think it was excellent advice and we've passed it along to friends who wonder about these "Jewish-sized" beds when they're engaged.

(We also know of people who got a queen + a twin or futon, though typically people don't seem to like the look of that.)

Lion of Zion said...


i have to say that i'm glad we bought 48" beds (although i never would have done so if i knew this was the "heimsish" thing to do), but it is very difficult to find bedding that is both decent quality and semi-affordable. personally i would just use flat sheets, but my wife won't let me because she knows i'll just let the sheets hang down.


regarding my statement about the difficulty of finding צנוע clothing: i'm just repeating what i've heard and i figured i'd give the commentor the benefit of the doubt. but don't worry, i won't make that mistake again :)


"My friend said we had to buy these $5000 custom wood bookcases because "goyishe bookcases can't hold seforim"."

i'm speechless

Anonymous said...

How can people who live the extraordinarily purposeful but generally simple live here in E"Y relate to such ridiculousness? Having grown up in Baltimore, where all of my needs were amply met, and then made the necessary move to Israel, I strongly realize that what I had once understood to be a "need" was nothing more than a "comfort zone luxury." I'm growing increasingly frustrated with my inability to relate to the values of Torah communities in chu"l. "Easy life?" (as in exemption from packing your child's lunches, as opposed to the necessity of putting bread on the table and paying rent) -- since when is this a Torah value?

Scraps said...


Living in Baltimore is a "sacrifice"?


The letter writer clearly spent too many of his/her formative years in the NYC (dare I guess, Brooklyn?) area. I grew up in a town with a very small Jewish community and even smaller frum community (as in, not quite nonexistent but they sometimes struggle for a minyan). We managed to find clothes, buy kosher food, etc. And this was in the days before internet shopping, mind you. After that came along, it all got that much easier! Not to mention, there is a LOT more tzanua clothing available in mainstream stores these days than there was when I was growing up (which wasn't even that long ago). And furniture? Honestly, a lot of what my family has was purchased by my mother before she got married to my father or by my parents jointly when they got married. Most of it is still holding up just fine, and I can guarantee none of it was purchased in "heimishe" stores!

Honestly, I think that this person is whining about lack of convenience. No, you do not have dozens of stores that sell only tzanua clothing. No, you do have have dozens of kosher restaurants on each and every block. No, the schools do not provide lunch. (I remember packing my own lunch from a pretty young age, too. Boohoo, poor me. [snort again]) No, Maryland does not provide busing to private schools. (I didn't have busing for a good part of high school, despite living in NY. You learn to live with it.) What I have to say about all this is: SO WHAT?! Honestly, if a person whines so much about the "sacrifices" they make for living out of town, they're going to end up instilling a sense of deprivation in their children and forgoing all the wonderful middos opportunities they speak so highly of. (And honestly, no offense to real Baltimore natives, but there are too many NYers there now for my taste, and it's not exactly as "out of town" as places come, these days.)

"It's not the easy life"? Puhlease.

Zach Kessin said...

"My friend said we had to buy these $5000 custom wood bookcases because "goyishe bookcases can't hold seforim"."

Back when I lived in the US we had a wood furniture shop in Town (Waltham Ma) that sold very nice bookshelves. And they would hold a Gamara just fine. I know because I took one with me when I went to buy the bookshelf. I wish I could find something like that here. They had nice stuff. For pretty cheap.

Maybe its time to ask on Janglo

Anonymous said...

1) A twin bed is 39 inches wide. So if you have a less than palatial bedroom, just use two of those. There is surely no need for an odd size that you can't get sheets for.

2) My seforim are mostly in 3 bookcases. One was bought from IKEA for about $75.00, one from an unfinished furniture shop for about $130 (+$10 for a can of stain) And I built one into the walls of our den with about $150 worth of lumber and a couple of Sunday's worth of time.

3) Here in Boston one can get furniture at all price points from heavily used pieces passed from college student to college student for $25 through IKEA and Ethan Allen to hand-made custom pieces for tens of thousands of dollars. I am sure that is true in any other city. No one but a fool or someone who is so wealthy that it doesn't matter needs to spend $5000 on a bookcase.

rosie said...

Most couples would find twin beds uncomfortable if you get the drift but this is not a blog about that aspect of life. The beds can however be joined with when a larger bed is needed by joining them with king sized sheets. Because the heimishe mattresses can be thick, full sized sheets will work. The $5000 bookcase set covers an entire wall and looks magnificent. While I wouldn't advise buying one if you couldn't pay your bills, and I wouldn't label it a necessity, it is a functional piece of furniture that can enhance a home for a lifetime.
For those who do want to buy womens' clothing from Jewish stores online, log onto This was compiled by a Moslem woman but there is a large section on Jewish clothing sites. It is sometimes a challenge, not so much for women, but for teens and growing girls, to find stylish tznius clothes. Most skirts in the average store for kids, if they sell skirts at all, are too short. The site also has links to clothing catalogs such as Blair that sells conservative clothing for cheap.

Lion of Zion said...


"Most couples would find twin beds uncomfortable if you get the drift but this is not a blog about that aspect of life."

granted that i admitted to buying 48" beds, still, most bedrooms i've seen have twin beds (or one bed that is roughly the same size as 2 twins or even smaller). i have no idea what you mean by "most couples"

"The $5000 bookcase set covers an entire wall and looks magnificent."

i guess this is a matter of taste, but i think they look ugly and gaudy. and they're usually of poor workmanship and crappy materials under all those coats of polyurethane (why do people want such shiny furniture?)

Anonymous said...

Actually, having lived in Maryland for a long time myself, I would say the worst thing about Baltimore is that it is becoming too much like NY...

Anonymous said...

"Most couples would find twin beds uncomfortable if you get the drift but this is not a blog about that aspect of life"

Most couples in the country make due with less than a king sized bed, which is two twin XLs next to each other. Most places "in Town" are too small to really accomodate anything bigger than that, if they even will accomodate that.

And for $5k, I can do much better from a non-Jewish bookcase maker.

rosie said...

I would agree that the apartments in Brooklyn often have bedrooms too small for 2 48" beds. As to the size of bed that most married Americans have, it appears to me that king size is a very popular size. In EY, the mattresses are even smaller than twin size and there are married couples who have those. There again, it is a matter of comfort verses price verses space in an apartment.
Today, when couples are engaged, they are usually advised to buy bigger than twin mattresses. They probably need to find an apartment first if they live in NY because that is the biggest challenge and then see what type of space that they have.
As far as bookcase makers, I have seen some beautiful seforim cases and some that were gaudy and overdone. Plain wooden bookcases that can be bought from Sauder and put together yourself, might last a long time but the seforim might stay cleaner in shelves that close. People with little children find that the kids like to pull books off of shelves and destroy them and the closed in bookcases prevent that.

Anonymous said...

"As to the size of bed that most married Americans have, it appears to me that king size is a very popular size. In EY, the mattresses are even smaller than twin size and there are married couples who have those."

The most popular size of American bed is actually Queen, not king, and so it's substantially smaller than two twins together.

Incidentally, the size you'll often find in Israel is about 27" wide- it's essentially half the size of a full sized mattress, and is also the reason why full sized mattresses are called "doubles" (since they were double the width of a traditional mattress).

Anonymous said...

Why is it untznius to say that some couples like to sleep in the same bed when it's halachically permitted, and that is why they like at least one big bed? Personally, I don't think that the 48" or full size bed is big enough for two adults to be comfortable, anyway, so if that is you, go with the two twins.

Anonymous said...

And who advises engaged couples what beds to buy? Can't they even decide things like this without following a party line?

rosie said...

I think that the purchase of mattresses, like other large purchases, need to be done after careful research. The buyer needs to figure out how to get the most for his money. Engaged couples are often first time buyers for many things, mattresses included. Some people are tall and need extra long mattresses. Cheap mattresses are often uncomfortable and interfere with a good night's sleep. Yes I know that many of our ancestors slept on straw with lots of bedbugs and had chamber pots instead of toilets but today we are not accustomed to primitive life. When couples are buying for the first time, they ask advice from other couples, look at mattress ratings, visit several stores, etc. They try to picture how beds will be used in the future; for example kids who cuddle up with the parents, bed frames that provide storage, or when they will want to replace the mattresses. A five year warranty mattress will probably need to be replaced before a 10 yr warranty mattress. Then there is determining how well the couple intends to protect their purchase. Kids who wet beds can make a mattress old before it's time, unless it is properly protected.

Anonymous said...

I think too many people believe the propaganda of the mattress makers who say they need to be replaced every 5 years. Imagine, what an embarrassment, not following the industry guidelines! And as for kids, you can buy a waterproof mattress pad, which I use, but you don't even need to. My frugal mother always used a shower curtain under a snug fitted sheet. People don't always know what they will really like or need early on, a point I made in a prior thread, which is a good reason not to spend a fortune.

Ariella's blog said...

We still have our original twin beds, though I admit they were bought from a "heimishe" store; I don't think they were pushing the 48" mattresses as much 16 years ago, though I do know that they did exist then. It's funny about how people insist on matching, as Ezzie pointed out that pairing a twin with a full is not popular. When I was in a "heimish" mattress store recently, the wife of the couple was going to order both beds in the same firmness -- though she preferred one type and her husband another. The store owner explained that they could order one of each, and they would not look any different, particularly when dressed in bedding. It had not occurred to them that the two beds could be anything other than identical.

Esther said...

OK, I have to share this. My husband and I have never used two twin-size beds. At least one of the beds has always been a full or queen, and usually the other one as well. Obviously during the appropriate time, we use the same bed.

So when we were moving out of New York, we showed our apartment to prospective tenants who were also a yeshiva couple. When they saw the full size bed, they were quite shocked. Their exact words (said with amazement) were, "Who told you you could do that?"

Esther said...

I'm wondering if part of the problem is lack of wanting to use one's brain and common sense, and preferring not to have to make decisions. For example, it is certainly not true that there is no tsnius clothing outside of New York. There is probably tsnius clothing, and/or clothing that can very easily be tailored to be appropriate, in pretty much every mainstream clothing store. (Here in Cleveland, there are apparently tons of long skirts at Walmart according to our babysitter.)

However, this involves going into a store that sells all kinds of clothing, and using common sense to figure out what will be appropriate to wear. Or kosher food - the major grocery store in Des Moines, Omaha, or rural Indiana pretty much sells most of the same brand names as in New York or Baltimore. Things that have a hechsher are still kosher even if you buy them in the midwest. Yes, it involves looking on the package for a hechsher, asking your rabbi or contacting Rabbi Eidlitz if you're unsure of a hechsher, and walking past things that you can't eat. It may be easier to just go to a "kosher" grocery store, but you will pretty much end up paying a much higher price, and even those stores have been caught making errors in kashrut (intentionally or not).

Ariella's blog said...

Esther, was the objection to the fact that the bed exceeded 48" which would mean it was not the 'standard issue?' Hey, if I had room for it, it would be nice to have full size beds, but then I think I wouldn't be able to open the draws on my dresser (inherited from my husband's grandmother BTW -- not purchased as a chosson/kallah bedroom set)

Anonymous said...

And about the heimishe stores, I make it a point not to patronize them since their prices and service are not up to par. I will only use a heimishe store for something like a mezuzah cover. When we were expecting our long awaited first child we went to the place in Brooklyn that "everyone" recommended. Not knowing better, we shlepped there from Riverdale. Not only were their prices not great, but the order time of 12 weeks was 4 weeks longer than other stores. We then were told of a non-Jewish place in Manhattan that frum people used, so it was socially acceptable. We never even went there, since in the meantime we heard about Darling on Central Avenue in Hartsdale, A"H, where the prices were fine, the service was amazing, the location convenient. And it was not "heimishe", but it was homey.

Esther said...

Ariella - yes, we actually used a larger size than the "regulation" size. (And I think they were also surprised that we slept in one bed together when appropriate.)

Happens to be that we've always ended up with bedrooms that are wide and short. I think in one apartment I may have had to climb over the bed to get to the closet.

Obviously no offense to anyone who has twin size beds because of a space consideration. But doing it just because "it's done that way" just seems silly to me.

rosie said...

With regard to mattress warranties, it is obviously not really a time frame but an estimation of how long the product will hold up under normal wear. If a mattress is used by someone who is very heavy, it may break down much sooner than expected and if a mattress is only used as a guest bed, it may last much longer.
Obviously there is no reason to replace a mattress that is still comfortable, even years after the expiration date.

G said...

"goyishe bookcases can't hold seforim"

LOL - right, only those thin and light legal books.

re: the bed thing-

I'm confused, do you mean to tell me that all you people have TWO the same room?...and here i thought this was a forum for people of correct upbringing and standards of modesty.

Anonymous said...

Regarding tznius in Baltimore, it can be difficult to find tznius clothing in larger sizes. Regarding regular size clothing, if you want to shop at a frum store, they generally have "NY prices." The best bet is to wait until trucks from OOT jewish stores come and have big 1-day sales. There are also basement stores that have some cheaper items.

Regarding the school situation, deal with it. If you want to live in an OOT place, you have to deal with the trade off of no school lunches and carpools. Yes, carpools can be a hassle, but the bus is not very expensive. It is $11 a week for BY is less than $500 a year.

Anonymous said...

I am a BT who used to live in a very small Jewish community. Finding clothing (even in large sizes) that was tzanuah was never an issue. Anyone out there ever heard of TARGET??? If you want to spend more money then go to Nordstrom, they have a huge variety, and there are stores in the middle of that spectrum that have clothing. The problem is the clothing is not served on a silver platter saying, "Look I'm tzanuah, you can wear me right now". You actually have to go and look and try it on. Wow, how ridiculous is that… right???

Furniture is only available in New York!!! You can have custom built bookshelves in any city that you live in. Just because it's not a frum guy doing it doesn't mean it won't hold your books! What, nobody heard of IKEA? Ikea shelves hold our books just fine!

Beds: if you are willing to pay more money for custom made beds that you will then need to pay even more money for sheets then you really are an idiot and you should stay in NY – we don't want you here where "common sense" lives.

As for lunches for 10 kids: When you were having your children, did you think your mom and dad were going to raise them? Did you think that you would have no work at all? Wouldn't you, as a parent, want to make sure that you pack them a good lunch rather than feed them the slop that they get at school… or was that the same issue as the beds… way to much common sense?

The only thing that this person is lacking is taking responsibility for action taken by them. If you want to have 10 children then you need to not only think of having them but to also think thirty seconds in advance about also feeding them, clothing them, educating them. If you want to buy custom made furniture and you are not rich then prepare to live in debt. If you want to kvetch about living away from the Mecca that you think is NY then prepare to be made fun off by everyone who thinks you are a fool.

Ahavah said...

Since my husband is 6'4" he has to have a queen size bed just so his feet don't hang over the end (and even then there can't be a footboard). So our room has that plus a sofa that I sleep on at the appropriate times - since I'm only 5'2.5" it works fine. Take the back cushions off and it's as wide as a narrow twin bed. Plus, you don't need fitted sheets. I just fold over a regular sheet and tuck it in the 3 sides of the sofa seat cushions, and let the front side hang over a bit. Then throw in the wash - no specialty products needed. That might not work for a taller person, but I'm the tallest woman in my family for 3 generations - and lots of Jewish women are similarly short, so this would work for many.

rosie said...

Regarding NY being the mecca for materialism, LA, Aventura, and just about most communities have the "in" crowd that it takes money to be a member of. Where I live, there are Mcmansions which are basically monster houses that are built on lots where small houses are demolished. They tower over the other houses nearby. These are frum homes.
I wonder what percentage of Pesach hotel goers are NYers and what percentage come from OOT.
People in OOT communities are not as into clothes because there are fewer events to dress up for. In NY, there is something to do almost every night. It is considered in poor taste not to at least go to a chuppah, or l'chaim and say mazel tov but that requires getting dressed.
When it comes to furniture, I am not sure how many frum families buy at Ikea. Ikea themselves admit that their stuff is temporary. It may cost more in the long run to buy cheap in the short run. Frum people are hard on furniture. They have big families and entertain more. Sturdy furniture is a worthwhile investment.

ProfK said...

Lol Rosie re the comment on the clothes because of all the smachot. For one thing, only in certain circles is it necessary to wear something different every time you walk out the door. It used to be said about the Boston Brahmins that "we don't buy our clothes; we have our clothes." If it was good enough for them, it's good enough for me. And I smiled and took it as a compliment when a friend said "I've always liked you in that outfit." And when I tire of an outfit I put it in the closet for a few years until it becomes "new" again. Yes, sometimes I get something new, and then it and I will have a long, satisfying relationship. At this stage of my life it's not really about budgeting and spending but has everything to do with my not seeing the point in becoming a "slave" to anything, certainly not fashion dictates.

Re the "sturdy" furniture, this isn't a polarized situation where the only choices are Ikea or that custom furniture for $10K--there's a lot to choose from in that range, some of it both inexpensive and sturdy. It's not that there isn't any choice available; it's that one has to be willing to recognize that there is a wide choice and be willing to go and look.

BubbyT said...

I'm a former NYer living in Baltimore for almost 4 decades and all my furniture was bought here and most of my clothes were bought here (or online)... the trade offs to no bussing...everyone trusts the vaad hakashrus here, everyone trusts the eruv (unless they don't hold by the concept of eruv)...the rabbonim talk to each other and interact with each other, + people generally say Good Shabbos even if they don't know you......carpools are hassles, (and I know I'm a bubby still driving weekly carpools) but the pluses of this city outweigh the minuses.
I don't miss living in NY one bit!! It's nice to visit on occasion...but nicer to come home, "out of town".

Ezzie said...

Just wanted to say Hurray for BubbyT. :)

Ariella - I think one reason people don't like the uneven pairing is the feeling that one or the other is being 'relegated' to the 'other' bed.

Anonymous said...

did anyone every hear of belsky's furniture? all the "ny style" furniture you could ever need in baltimore. end of story.

Anonymous said...

1) OK. My wife and I fit in a twin. Not everyone does, I concede.

2) The bookcase I build is a very functional piece of furniture that covers 2 walls. Even if you hat to buy a table saw and router to do the work it would still be far less than $5000.00

Anonymous said...

I'm surpriced that is this debate of cheap vs. good quality furniture nobody has mentioned a very important point. The thing that destroys furniture more than anything else (except a spoiled toddler) is moving. So anyone who is planing on renting should not buy good furniture until they buy a house.

When we got married we got only used (usualy fouth hand) or free furniture because we knew we were going to rent and move apartments for a while. At the end we made aliya so it worked out perfectly, we bought decent stuff in Israel that actually fits inside the house.

Anonymous said...

Um, Belsky's is shutting down his store.....

Dina said...

Am speechless.

My parents became frum in the mid-seventies, in Soviet Russia. We lived on vegetables, grains, fish & eggs; there was kosher chicken about 2x a year and someone would bring in these little processed-cheese triangles for Pesach. My sister and I never felt deprived.

Perspective, get you some.

Unknown said...

We couldn't get what we want if the rule is like this!!!
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