Pied-à-terre in SW CT?
May 21, 2011 8:19 AM   Subscribe

I'm considering a short-term - four to nine months - relocation to southwestern Connecticut (Norwalk area). It will be all work, with not that much time for whatever pleasures are offered by the East coast. I would like to know some practical things about a move like this:

1) I am not finding much information about how tight the rental market is (I'd be looking for nothing more than a studio, I won't move much stuff). Decent broadband is mandatory. I will have a car, but probably very limited time for socializing so city access isn't too important. Tranquil surroundings is.

2) Rock climbing / bouldering venues. Of course I will get to the Gunks as much as possible, but I'm looking for a decent local spot too.

3) An Anusara yoga studio.

4) The name of a good CPA.

5) What does a West coast person need to know about differences in tech business conduct in the East? I assume that business drag is more conservative there but how much different? Ties? Suits?

I've looked at the AskMes tagged with Connecticut. Anon because I am in the middle of negotiations. Throwaway email: johnpetzval@gmail.com
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
2) Traprock: many sites in central CT. The nearest to Norwalk is probably Hubbard Park, NW of Meriden. Lots of good climbing from there north toward Farmington. There is an extensive guide, "Hooked on Traprock" by Ken Nichols but it can be hard to find.
posted by TruncatedTiller at 8:59 AM on May 21, 2011

Expect to pay higher than average rent - Fairfield County is expensive, but Norwalk is one of the areas where affordable places can be found. Honestly? Try Craigslist and focus on Fairfield County (on CL, it's a subheading in the NYC listing). Quieter areas in the Norwalk area are Cranbury, Belden Hill (near the Wilton town line), and the area on Rt. 123 north of the Merritt Parkway heading toward New Canaan (lots of condos). I'm sure there are more, but when perusing CL, these will be keywords used to designate those areas.

Yoga studios of all kinds can be found aplenty in this area. Tons of them. Everywhere.

CPA/Climbing: Can't help you there.

Another issue to expect - traffic and congestion on the roads. Ffld County is densely populated and the I-95/Merritt Parkway/Rt.1 options tend to slow everyone down at the am/pm rush.
posted by sundrop at 4:40 PM on May 21, 2011

South Norwalk can be dodgy-ish. Even Sono, which is probably too noisy for you anyway. I doubt you would mind much in Cranbury, but you never know - there are some houses with apartments in the areas closer to downtown. Strange mixture of neighborhoods in Norwalk.

There are also rental apartments near the hospital, which may fail the noisy test, but again, YMMV.
posted by IndigoJones at 6:17 PM on May 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

As to dress - ask the employer. It's a legitimate question. Pretty casual, though, from what I've seen.
posted by IndigoJones at 6:18 PM on May 21, 2011

For climbing, stop in to talk with the very helpful and friendly staff of Outdoor Sports Center (80 Danbury Rd). I worked across the street from them for 3 years; they never failed to impress me.

Cool Story Bro: I was shopping for hiking shoes in there one day, when I realized the guy beside me, shopping for rock climbing shoes, was Robin Williams. Wearing sunglasses, as celebs tend to do, and I wasn't sure until I heard his deep voice say, "Do you have these in 9's?" Tapped him on the shoulder (he was reluctant to turn), and thanked him for his work. On the way out I heard staff whispering about him; Wilton (Norwalk's north-edge rich neighbor) is accustomed to celeb visitors, so the staff knew better than to make Mr. Williams uncomfortable.

Anyway, the staff there know every local outdoor getaway.

Housing: 2-bedroom houses start at $500k. No shit. However, occasional cheaper units can be found in South Norwalk... which is noted for weekly shootings. Sigh. It's where the unemployed kids of the South American immigrants who work for the rich people of Wilton live. I had a 2-bedroom apartment for $1800/month on Plattsville Ave off Broad St in Norwalk. Overlooked the highway and a tire reclamation center. Safe neighborhood, though.
posted by IAmBroom at 11:48 PM on May 23, 2011

3) An Anusara yoga studio.

Don't know the type, but several yoga studios service Wilton.

5) What does a West coast person need to know about differences in tech business conduct in the East? I assume that business drag is more conservative there but how much different? Ties? Suits?

P'shaw. Not on either coast. Button-down short-sleeves and khakis are fine. Earrings are common on men. No sandals for men; some will rarely dress above t-shirts and jeans.
posted by IAmBroom at 11:51 PM on May 23, 2011

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