My first impressions:
1) It's hot down here.
2) It's not as hot as I expected. According to locals, this past week has been very warm. It's been in the mid 90's every afternoon. That is hot. The sun is very intense. I would not want to be doing manual labor outside in the sun anywhere from noon to 5 pm. That being said, there is usually a breeze. The morning starts in the low 70's and it usually cools down to the mid 70's to low 80's in the evening. I know the low 80's doesn't sound cool but it *feels* cooler. Both my sister and I remarked that first week, how temps that would feel very warm in NY seem to be more comfortable here.
3) People are very friendly and polite. They like to chat.
4) People are too friendly and polite. They like to waste time chatting away. LOL My NY casual chat tolerance ends at 5-10 minutes. That's usually when these folks are just getting started. And I have the 'hang out' gene. I can only imagine Bridget, who we joke doesn't have the 'hangout' gene, would be going ballistic around here. She has an even shorter chat tolerance than most. :-)
5) Traffic isn't as bad yet as the locals say it will get when the students return. I've already seen lots of UHauls so the students are starting to trickle back - probably mostly freshmen who have orientations and such. I compare all traffic horror stories to my epic traffic tale which consists of me loading a UHaul from a 6th floor Manhattan walkup apt., driving it from W 169th St, through Midtown at 5pm on a weekday, through the MidtIown Tunnel (I was stopped and searched!) into Brooklyn. Nothing compares to that trip. LOL And it was done with a sweaty, cranky and tired daughter! Anyways, I imagine the traffic here will be irritating but I think I can handle it.
6) I think we made the right move living downtown. We like it already!
7) I can't wait to get a bike with a big basket on the front. I plan on riding it around town, doing my shopping like a Parisienne. :-)
8) I LOVE the outdoors-iness of this place. There are sidewalks EVERYWHERE. 95% of the streets have bike lanes. No matter what time of day there are people walking or biking around. I love being able to walk so many places. And I love that the municipal authorities have made it very accesible (i.e. the bike lanes). I've also thought that when the students get here in force, I will have to be in hyperalert driving. There are a lot now, but there will be many more walkers, bikers and scooters on the streets.
9) Lots of smokers. I mean, a LOT of smokers. Young people too. Strange. I would be interested to see the % of smokers here compared to Syr.