Galinie Zisimopoulou’s Move from the UK to Brooklyn to Greenwich, CT

Galinie Zisimopoulou's Move from the UK to Brooklyn to Greenwich, CT

Galinie Zisimopoulou is a stay-at-home mom in Greenwich, CT balancing life with a pre-schooler and her Etsy store. Originally from Greece, Galinie gives us a peek into her life in Greenwich, CT. Here is Galinie Zisimopoulou’s move from the UK to Brooklyn to Greenwich, CT.

Tell me about your move to Greenwich, CT

I am originally from Greece I grew up in a small town at the Eastern part of mainland Greece in Thrace. I loved my childhood there, the close proximity to everything, the relaxed lifestyle. I moved to the UK in 2002 in order to continue my studies and lived there for 15 years. I loved the UK and the Town of Reading, Berkshire which is where I lived. I moved to the US in 2016  because my husband wanted to return home and we moved to Bay Ridge Brooklyn where we stayed for a year. Brooklyn was nice and vibrant and we enjoyed having such a large Greek Community there and the friends my husband had but when we visited Greenwich during a long weekend I knew this was the place I wanted to live and raise my child (George). George was 14 months old when he first moved to the US and 2 years old when he moved to Greenwich, CT.

Why did you choose to move to Greenwich, CT? What other towns were you looking at?

We did consider staying in Brooklyn and also considered other areas in Queens but once I visited Greenwich I really knew that it was the place for us. My husband had previously lived in Greenwich while working in Stamford and always wanted to move to Greenwich too to raise a family. We liked Greenwich because of the beautiful scenery it offers, the proximity to the beach that we can use in the summer and the fact that it is an easy commute on the Metro-North to Grand Central Terminal. We also like the fantastic public school options in Greenwich and of course lower taxes in CT than New York. I loved the fact that Greenwich reminded me so much of the UK and I enjoyed the fantastic nature that it offers, the parks and various sights for kids. 

When you moved to Greenwich, did you know anyone? How did you make friends?

When we moved to Greenwich, we did know one couple who my husband was friends with for many years which really helped. They also have a young child and so we bonded very soon and still remain good friends. We also became really good friends with the former owners’ of our house who we happened to meet when we first moved in. They introduced us to more Greenwich friends. We also met our neighbors also who are also great. I find people in Greenwich are very friendly and it is easy to meet new people at the gym, playground and through neighbors and friends. If you are new to Greenwich with young children I recommend joining toddlers’ groups, there are quite a few in the area. Also check the Greenwich Library schedule because they have some really nice programs for babies and toddlers as well as really nice training sessions for adults too. I have met a few people through Greenwich Library too. Another nice way for newcomers to meet people in Greenwich and to get involved in community by volunteering at a local charity chapter. I volunteer for JDRF and met some really nice people through there. 

Can you describe your social life in Greenwich?

Our social life revolves are family activities at the moment. We love to go out for lunch to local restaurants in Greenwich and Fairfield County (Stamford and Norwalk). We also like to do kids activities at local museums, farms and different programs through YMCA and YWCA as well. We are in the process of finding a babysitter now so that we can go to the Cinema or go out for a meal without our 3 year old!

What do you like to do with your son in Greenwich or Fairfield County?

My boy is 3 years old. He likes going to local Greenwich playgrounds and parks. He loves the Stepping Stones Museum for Children, the Norwalk aquarium and the Stamford Museum and Nature Center. And there are still a lot of places in Greenwich we would like to visit. We hope to visit the Greenwich Audubon and take a ferry to Island Beach!

What are the best playgrounds and parks in Greenwich?

We love the Byram playground, Bruce Park and the Glenville playground. I like that the playground equipment are geared for both younger toddlers and older children. My son loves all of them! The Greenwich town pool is really nice as well although they could do a bit better with creating more shade. Tod’s Point park in Old Greenwich is absolutely amazing. We loved going to Tod’s Point beach during the summer or for a run whenever the weather is nice.

What are some things you don’t like about living in Greenwich?

I am really struggling to answer this question because I love living in Greenwich. I guess one thing that can be improved in Greenwich are the parking meters. I wish they could be updated to allow credit card payments in all the parking meters. I would also really like it if Greenwich had more places where kids and adults could go for a coffee, perhaps a coffee place with a toddler area where children could be occupied or maybe more outside areas like beer gardens, etc. that we could use more of during spring and autumn months. But apart from that I would say that Greenwich is the perfect place for family life. I love how close Greenwich is to New York City. I don’t feel isolated living in the suburbs because I can go as often as I want to NYC. However, one of the good things about Greenwich is that there are really nice shops downtown on Greenwich Avenue- I can get everything I want without having to go into New York City.

After living here for many years, how would you describe Greenwich residents?

All the Greenwich residents I have met have been friendly and nice. They are always happy to help with advice and give pointers as to what to do or where to go. I haven’t had any negative experience at all. 

What are your favorite restaurants in Greenwich?

We really enjoy going to The Little Pub in Cos Cob and Harvest on Greenwich Avenue. L’Escale is also a really lovely restaurant, it has beautiful grounds, wonderful view and a nice brunch menu.  

What are your go-to places in Greenwich?

When we are out shopping, we like going to Meli Melo on Greenwich avenue for quick lunches. And we really enjoy the coffee at CFCF Cafe on Greenwich Avenue. 

Are you a member of a country club in Greenwich?

We are not members of any country club as yet but maybe we will join in the future. 

What has your experience been so far with schools in Greenwich?

Greenwich has a good variety of schools and the public schools are highly rated. My son goes to preschool here, he loves the program and the teachers are wonderful. We are very pleased so far. There are plenty of preschool and daycare choices in Greenwich. Some of the preschools offer longer hours for families which is great when both parents work.

Do you or your spouse commute from Greenwich to New York City? What has your experience been with the commute?

My husband commutes into New York City from Greenwich once a week. His experience is positive he always finds a seat on the Metro North train. The trains are pretty decent. It takes about 50 minutes on the Metro North train from Greenwich to Grand Central Terminal. It’s a good commute and most days the trains run on time. We couldn’t get a parking space at the train station and was put on a waitlist. But since he only commutes into NYC once a week it wasn’t a big issue for us. But I do hear from friends and acquaintances that it has become very difficult to get a parking space at the Greenwich train stations

Any tips/advice you wished someone had given you when you were looking to move to the suburbs?

No specific advice, but just do it! Make that big move to the suburbs! Greenwich offers a lot to people in general but most definitely for families. Greenwich is a great place to live.

About Galinie Zisimopoulou

Galinie Zisimopoulou was a social worker with years of experience in Child Protection in the UK. She is currently a stay-at-home mom balancing life with a pre-schooler and her Etsy store. She volunteers at the local JDRF chapter as a Gala Committee member. She is very passionate about supporting JDRF’s mission since she was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at age 14. She lives with her husband and son in Greenwich, CT.

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