We've Got Your Back, Shaq
Welcoming the biggest of stars to our hometown.
It's not so much about a professional athlete or a celebrity living in Sudbury, because several have and do.
And we Sudburians are too cool to care, Tweet and Facebook about the other celebs, because the Stars, as they say in US Weekly, "are just like us." But this time it's a colossal-celeb. It's Shaq. Shaquille O'Neal. Shaq-Daddy. Superman. Diesel. The Big Aristotle. Shaq was the biggest (in every sense) athlete in L.A. and now The Big Shamrock is playing for the Boston Celtics and has decided to move to Sudbury. Suddenly, every high school kid who is counting the days until they are "outta here," can't say enough good things about Sudbury.
Sudbury is a great town. Now that Shaq is here, we're enjoying a little bit of well-deserved good national press. It does have a lot more to offer than Route 20, Babe Ruth's piano and amazing schools. I grew up in Sudbury (L-S '88) and did what was then considered preposterous. After graduating, going to college and living all over the world, I moved back to my hometown and have been marketing and selling real estate in Sudbury. Moving back home is not an uncommon story in Sudbury and that says a lot. I am here to tell you, Shaq, and all Sudbury newcomers following in a fraction of your footsteps, that there is a lot more to Sudbury than meets the eye (and a few Google searches).
Shaq (we met once – at the Olympic Games in Atlanta, so I feel comfortable calling you Shaq)– your house is perfect for you and your fiancee. We (the town) congratulate you on your engagement and know that you will be very happy in our town (most people pronounce it SUDBERRY). Across the street from your new home is Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School (known as L-S, not to be confused with your alma mater, LSU). One of the top schools in the state academically and athletically, you will love attending the games – basketball, football, baseball, tennis, lacrosse – you name it, we play it. And it's all a short walk from your house. I know you love the stage, so don't miss the L-S production of West Side Story this year. If you're an early riser, Bonnie's Bootcamp starts at 6 a.m. in the L-S gym and on the track. Don't expect any favors from the former Miss Vermont turned personal trainer. She'll make you work. If you prefer a health club and spa experience, I'm inviting you as my guest to Bosse Sports. You can join my husband in the new men's boxing class. You'll love it, I promise.
People may ask if you live in North Sudbury or South Sudbury. South Sudbury is everything South of Route 20. North Sudbury is everything North of Route 27. Central Sudbury is everything in between. You live in North Sudbury. All of Sudbury is fabulous and only takes about 10-15 minutes to get from the point farthest north to the point farthest south. There are plenty of shortcuts to Boston, Waltham, Framingham, etc. Sudbury is in Middlesex County.
Overall, Sudbury is a very friendly town alive with interesting and fun people. This may sound unoriginal, but there are towns that are hard to describe that way. To meet some of your neighbors (and by neighbors, I mean everyone who shares our 01776 zip code), you may want to join the Sudbury Newcomers Network. The Sudbury Family Network is also a great resource for playgroups and events for young children and their parents.
If you're looking for other things to do, perhaps you could join the Sudbury Police Department. You probably wont be as busy as you were during your time on the LAPD, but you'll get to protect and serve a fabulous town. Call my fellow L-S alum, Lt. Scott Nix. The Sudbury Fire Department is also one of the state's finest.
When you get hungry, you have options. Sudbury Farms (Roche Bros) delivers, but make sure you order the day before. If and when you need to go there, know ahead of time that they take everyone's groceries to their cars (no tipping allowed). If your recipes call for more gourmet ingredients, run to Duck Soup in Mill Village. If you like coffee, we have Karma Coffee, Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks. On Sunday nights, Lotus Blossom is the place to be for Chinese food (the best in Massachusetts). If you have the urge to belt out some Rick James in public again, visit Lavender on the weekends for karaoke. You could also try Bullfinches or Sierras. For Japanese, we have the best — Oishii and Fugakyu. Paani for Indian cuisine is fantastic. Chili Basil for Thai. No shortage of pizza joints either. No need to leave 01776 for good food. Bistro 20 also just opened (I've decided to call it B20). Feel free to do take-out and go to the Gristmill and have a lovely picnic.
I know you have a pool, but it's still a good idea to get on the wait list for The Sudbury Swim and Tennis Club ASAP. Hopefully you will still be playing for the Celtics by the time your name is at the top of the list (it'll take about seven years). There are plenty of conservation areas and walking trails throughout Sudbury and we have more history than I can write about in this piece.
The not-so-fun stuff – every house in Sudbury has it's own septic system. It will need to be pumped every other year or you'll end up being the smelly kid in town. If you have any questions about your septic system, stop by the Board of Health and talk to Michelle. Trash pick-up in Sudbury is private. Sounds fancy but it just means you have to pay for it. There are a number of companies who can do this for you (or you can go to the dump on your own). I like BP Trucking, they pick up everything. Don't freak out when you see bugs – this is your warning that you will see them. You are in the 'burbs. Not a big deal. My daughter's first-grade class will take them off your hands as they are studying dead bugs this year.
Oh, and when you call Verizon or Comcast to get your phone number – ask for a 443- prefix and make sure you list it. If you need to use my name as a pseudonym, feel free.
And if you ever need anything; names for a plumber, electrician, exterminator, garage door guy, handyman, heating, delivery dry-cleaner, fence company, painter, housekeeper, interior designer, insurance agent, professional organizer, landscaper, snow removal, trash pickup, manicurist, or want to buy another house in town, feel free to call, text, Facebook or Tweet me anytime.
Gabrielle Daniels Brennan may be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org