Well, here we go. Most relationships begin with an introduction, so here's mine:
I'm a native of the South. I make no apologies for it, and feel no shame over it. I was born in one of the 13 states of the Confederacy, and have lived all of my life well below the Mason-Dixon line. I say "ma'am." I eat biscuits and gravy with great verve, but as the product of a mixed marriage (my mother married a Yankee from Chicago) I never developed the taste for cornbread or collard greens, so many in the South wouldn't consider me a "true" Southerner.
So why "Manhattan Hillbilly?"
Because after more than four decades living in the South, I am relocating to the North. The north North. New York. New York City. Manhattan. My wife has a tremendous job opportunity on Park Avenue in Manhattan, and since on several occasions I've forced my wife to up and move for my job, now the tables are turned.
So think Jed Clampett, but with Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir instead of the the cee-ment pond.
We will be relocating to Manhattan during the next few months. I've never lived north of Clinton, Tennessee. Needless to say, this is going to get quite interesting.
If you're from the South, right now you're probably pitying me. If you're from the North, you're probably laughing at me. I hope through this little corner of the Internet that you'll find my adventure amusing, entertaining and perhaps a tad illuminating. My hope is to make you laugh, make you smile ... and perhaps learn something about the two distinctive cultures that are about to clash in this space.
My hope is not to delve into the undertow of cliche. I also hope I won't disparage anyone's culture or values. Perhaps holding a mirror up to what it means to be "Southern" or "a Yankee" may show that we're not that different after all.
That said, my quest of finding good barbecue on the island of Manhattan may remain as elusive as finding a great slice of New York pizza on the streets of Atlanta.
Feel free to join the discussion in the comments section. Needless to say, as a Southern boy on 5th Avenue, I'm going to need all the help I can get!