Resident is proud to be from Cos Cob

FI-Letter-to-the-EditorTo the Editor

I’ve lived in Cos Cob for most of my life and I love it. It has a small town feel where you create connections with the people and the local businesses alike.

Cos Cob is a huge part of my identity. But it isn’t really a town. It’s just a neighborhood. When asked where I’m from, I should say Greenwich, but I don’t. Instead I say, loud and proud, that I, Grant MacFaddin, am from Cos Cob.

I do it because Greenwich is Greenwich. There’s a certain expression that comes over a person’s face when you utter the words “I’m from Greenwich.” Greenwich has a certain stigma attached to it as the intersection of prep, money and snobbery. This isn’t who I am as a person, but nonetheless it gets slapped on me.

Why should being where I’m from define people’s first impressions of me? It shouldn’t, but the truth is that it does.

Being from Greenwich, people instantly assume fleets of cars, pastures with horses and country clubs are your day-to-day. This is reality for only a small, yet sadly very visible, minority. But a town, boundaries and buildings don’t shape who you are. It’s people and the culture that those people create that really molds a person.

Wealth and privilege don’t define a person. It’s how those things are used and dealt with that show who we truly are. Do you see those things as ordinary, commonplace and the norm? Or do you appreciate the advantage you’ve been given and treat it as a gift? Too often I see people who embody the former, unquestioning of their place at the top of the heap.

I’ve taken what I have for granted, but after going to school in D.C. for a semester with students from all over the country, I don’t anymore. I knew Greenwich was a bubble, but I didn’t realize the size or scope of that bubble.

When I came back for Columbus Day weekend, everything seemed to be uncomfortably extravagant. This place seemed alien to me after being “normal” only a few months before. My perspective had changed. So now, more than ever, I’ll cling to the Cos Cob part of my identity and reject the Greenwich stereotype.

I will refuse the culture of extravagance that I once accepted without a second thought. In a town like Greenwich it’s easy to drift and lose sight of the shore, and I, for one, don’t want to let that happen.

 

Grant MacFaddin
Cos Cob

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