Farewell Florida, hello Princeton


Well my Naples adventure did not pan out as expected. So after two years I have moved to Princeton, New Jersey.

The root problem is that Naples has a very skewed demographic. Naples is the preferred spot for retired, wealthy, white (read conservative) Midwesterners (Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa) to retire or semi-retire, so the population is them and the people who serve them. It is very difficult for a middle-aged, middle class, educated, single person to thrive. In fact, other than some fantastic colleagues, I did not make any friends in two years. And I am not a totally antisocial fellow: I go to church, volunteer, go to the gym, to yoga, to the Symphony, to the bar, the cigar lounge, coffee, I lived “Downtown”, etc.

So, yes, I am grossly generalizing, but at the end of the day that was my problem. I was not happy personally, professionally, socially, culturally. I was troubled by the lack of diversity and the normalization of this lack of diversity. To be fair, Naples sits on land stolen from the Everglades, the biggest sub-tropical jungle in the world, talk about environmental disasters! What it means is that it is very new, nobody lived there until the mass production of air conditioning in the middle of the 20th C, (although native Americans did live there). It does have a gorgeous beach, however, and I will miss running on it, in shorts, in the middle of January!

But enough of the griping and whining, that was the past.

I have accepted a position to teach French and Spanish at The Hun School in Princeton, New Jersey. Mr. Hun, or rather, Prof. Hun was a professor of math at Princeton who dedicated his free time to helping and tutoring kids with math, (apparently including F. Scott Fitzgerald). He was so successful with his side gig that it became his main gig and he started a school in 1914. Princeton is like all good college towns a thriving, dynamic, diverse, young and restless town – 45 minutes from New York City!

I will be living on campus but not in a dorm, although I will have residential staff responsibilities, I will also coach the Girls Varsity Tennis team! I could not be more excited for this new chapter of my life. But first, Summer in Spain with the family: Finishing The Camino de Santiago that I started last summer, going to Mallorca with my nieces and nephew, and hanging out in the country.

5 thoughts on “Farewell Florida, hello Princeton

  1. Muy inteligente tu forma de reconducir tu vida!! Sin miedo al cambio!! Seguro que te va a ir my bien en tu nuevo destino!! Te deseo lo mejor!! Besotes fuertes.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear friend Antonio.
    I am happy for you and your new adventure in Princeton. I met you last year to my way to santiago. You have a great passion for your work and I hope you could share your passion with American young students.. Not the most clever ones I would say… 🙂 I am sure you would love Italy. Our history and heritage.I look forward to hearing news from you. I wish you good luck . Bye friend.


  3. Antonio….so happy to hear you are making a move! Life is to sweet to squeeze yourself in a space that doesn’t fit. I can’t imagine you not making friends you are so social and fun I bet this new chapter will be a great one. Have fun in Spain!


  4. ola, antonio, i am enlightened from reading your description of naples very unlike the napoli i visited in february. you are wise to move further north. was prof. hun related to attila?
    cheers, karen


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