Beavers, home maintenance bedevil NYC ex-pats upstate

After riding out the coronavirus in rural digs, many New Yorkers are ready to come back to the city

Tri-State Weekend Edition /
Feb.February 27, 2022 03:00 AM

Some fish out of water now have a beaver problem.

Andrew Joseph and his partner, Paul Pearsen, ditched their Harlem home In March 2020, for a four-acre property in Saugerties, the New York Times reported. The two took to rural living, enjoying the baby beavers that swam in the brook in their yard. The cuter rodent relatives of the rats Joseph knew in New York soon became tormentors.

They dammed a brook, creating a swamp, and built a den the size of a van. The trapper who was supposed to evacuate the animals fell through and Joseph was stuck with the invaders until a neighbor’s gunshots sent them scrambling.

A number of the thousands of New Yorkers who fled the city during the pandemic are regretting the move, griping about everything from pesky wildlife to home maintenance, loneliness and far-flung services. While many say they’re staying, some have thrown in the towel and returned to their old digs – if they can still afford them.

The Times cited a November study from the U.S. Postal Service tracking address changes that showed net migration has returned to its pre-pandemic level.

Some 13,500 people have joined a Facebook group called “Into the Unknown,” which connects people who have left or are considering leaving the city for greener pastures. Rebekah Rosler, the group’s founder who moved to Fairfield, Connecticut, from the city, says it has two types: Those who are thrilled with the open space, reduced congestion and a connection to nature. Others are itching to get back.

“Leaving has broken their identity,” Rosler told the Times.

In the fall of 2020, Jasmine Trabelsi and her husband decamped to a $600,000, three-bedroom house in Woodstock from Williamsburg. Surrounded by renters on their mountaintop escape, the couple soon felt isolated. They were back in Brooklyn by last summer.

For others, skipping the city opened their eyes to the downsides of city living. Tisha Brown, a jewelry designer who moved from Dutchess County to Wappingers Falls, found she’d lost the ability to carry groceries on a recent trip to see an aunt on the Upper West Side. Her Subaru Outback hauls the bags upstate.

Joseph the beaver-battler said he appreciated his pandemic escape. Yet he’s yearning for the city. “I’m hungry for that again,” he said.

[NYT] — Joe Lovinger


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