Monday, August 1, 2005

From New Jersey to Palm Bay, Florida


By David Gewirtz

Over the past week, we've gotten a number of concerned emails and voice mails, most of which we haven't yet been able to return. No, we haven't been swallowed by a sea monster. Instead, we've been moving -- from North Brunswick, New Jersey to Palm Bay, Florida, shown in Figure A.


You're not in New Jersey anymore. Picture courtesy City of Palm Bay, Florida Web site. (click for larger image)

Both Denise and I grew up in New Jersey, but we both lived in warmer climates as well. Denise lived in Hawaii and I spent nearly a decade in Silicon Valley, where the snow stays in the hills and you can visit it if you're bored.

Despite its reputation, New Jersey is a pretty wonderful place. There's a lot to like there and a lot we're going to miss. But one thing we're not going to miss is the cold winters. Each year, we'd lose about five months of outdoor freedom to the cold.

If you live in a northern climate, you know about winter. It's not just shoveling the car out when it snows, it's wondering whether you're going to slip on a patch of black ice, and it's bundling up just to go to the corner store.

Neither Denise nor I like winter at all.

As many of you know, Denise and I are co-founders of ZATZ and have worked together for twelve years. In January, after years of friendship and co-worker team spirit, Denise and I finally got married. Seven months later, for the record, I'm still the luckiest guy in the world.

After getting married, we tried to combine our two households into one condo. This proved to be quite difficult, especially since we also do most of our editorial work from home and we each have a lifetime of stuff. It soon became clear we needed to get a much larger place.

Yes, we could have looked for a house in New Jersey but Denise and I run an Internet-based company. Our servers are located in a secured facility in a former Air Force base in Illinois, our editors live all over the world, from New York to Honolulu and from the United Kingdom to Australia. Our advertisers are also all over the world, from India to Malta (and most of the countries in between).

We thought about this a lot. All we really need is a solid broadband connection. We can run our company from just about anywhere. Why shouldn't we live where we want? Why, we reasoned, shouldn't we live somewhere where it's warm all year round?

Why not, indeed?

And so, after many, many months of preparation work and some exceptional support from our hosting provider, Prominic.NET (at http://www.Prominic.NET), we moved. I'm writing this from our new house in Palm Bay, Florida.

Unfortunately, the move was a bit harder than expected. Not only did we have to pack everything (and kudos go to Denise for a superhuman effort!), but the movers weren't exactly the most responsive people on the planet. They showed up a day late to pick up our stuff and took a lot longer to load than expected. That meant we wound up setting off for Florida two days later than we wanted.