the best friends you’ll never have

While it is never mentioned in the books, it follows that due to its Stamford mailing address that Stoneybrook is located in the county of Fairfield, Connecticut. Fairfield, according to its wiki entry, is often a contender for the richest county in America. Fairfield includes Darien, Greenwich, et cetera. The part along the Long Island Sound is called “The Gold Coast.” If you look at the facebook groups for it you will throw up a little bit in your mouth. Questions such as “What car did you get for your sixteenth birthday?” is answered with “Duh, lambourghini!” I am not joking. So this explains why, even though Claudia’s dad was an investment banker and everyone else’s was a lawyer, only Watson was considered rich.

Some odd things: Why does Stoneybrook have a Stamford mailing address? You’d think a town with so many schools would have its own post office. Then I read about the neighborhood of Stamford named Glenbrook. According to a recent New York Times article (username and password required), residents of Glenbrook don’t see themselves as living in Stamford. They see themselves as living in Glenbrook, a small town. Glenbrook’s not on the water, and Stoneybrook seems slightly larger, but the description of “downtown” Glenbrook sounds an awful lot like downtown Stoneybrook.

Here is a map of Fairfield.:

Stamford is sandwiched between Greenwich and Darien. Adjacent to Glenbrook is Darien, which has a billion schools like Stoneybrook and its own newspaper. Glenbrook is not big enough to have its own newspaper. So does Darien=Stoneybrook? If so, why did the BSC always have to pay for half its vacations? Another odd fact: while obviously in Fairfield, no other town in Fairfield is mentioned except for Bridgeport. There is no Mercer or Lawrenceville in Fairfield. Plus, Stamford is close enough to NYC to be a relatively easy commute, which is what Mrs. Stevenson does. For Stacey’s family though, it required a move when her father was transferred back to NYC. I understand why they moved when he was transferred to Stamford–why pay Manhattan prices when you don’t have to?–but why uproot Stacey when you just hop on the Metro-North? Plus, why does the BSC spend two weeks in NYC and act like it’s such a big deal when geographically, it’s just not? And yet Mal says that her family calls NYC “the city.”

Ahh, inconsistencies!

17 Responses To This Post

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DSharpe113 said, August 24th, 2007 at 10:42 am

Interesting! that makes a lot of sense now… hmmmmm. Nice research!

bbb said, August 25th, 2007 at 4:07 am

I think I remember an actual mention of Darien in a book… like a boy one of them meets says he is from there. I could be wrong but maybe it is in Baby-sitters on Board. And re: Stacey’s uprooting, didn’t the McGills do that very intentionally, move her away from her bad NYC memories to a simple sleepy little town?

greer said, August 25th, 2007 at 8:07 am

I’m not sure where they mention Darien, but what I meant with my Stacey comment is not the initial move–that I understand because, as I said, why pay Manhattan prices when you’re working in the ‘burbs?–but the second one, where Stacey’s dad was transferred back to NYC. If part of the move was motivated by Stacey’s well-being, isn’t the fact that she was healthier and happier in Connecticut be enough motivation for Stacey’s dad to commute instead of moving the family back?

wanderingfrog said, August 25th, 2007 at 9:55 am

I’m pretty sure that Darien was mentioned, too, but I have no idea what book it was in.

bbb said, August 25th, 2007 at 4:08 pm

Ohhhh, I didn’t read carefully enough, lol. Yes, I see what you’re saying now and agree.

sotypical42483 said, August 29th, 2007 at 10:02 pm

really interesting. living on the west coast, the east coast makes no sense to me. i can’t imagine it at all. all those little towns put together, it seriously doesn’t register.

greer said, August 29th, 2007 at 11:48 pm

@sotypical42483: what are towns on the west coast like? I’ve never been there.

lilafowler said, September 1st, 2007 at 5:03 pm

It actually is mentioned that Stoneybrook is located in the FFLD — in the LS book where Karen makes it to the state spelling bee, her sash says “Fairfield” on it.

lindsay said, September 16th, 2007 at 3:51 pm

I think there’s more than the picture of the sash in the LS book — I believe she actually says her sash says Fairfield because Stoneybrook is in Fairfield County.

lindsay said, September 16th, 2007 at 3:52 pm

Also, I’m reasonably sure that Stoneybrook is modelled after 1960′s-1970′s Princeton, NJ more than anything else. She just changed the location to CT to not seem terribly unoriginal.

greer said, September 16th, 2007 at 6:46 pm

I agree, Lindsay. I think it’s just fun to think about. I also think that rich smalltown enclaves in new jersey are not so different from rich small town enclaves in ct.

Mishney said, January 4th, 2008 at 12:28 pm

I’ve often tried to pick out where exactly stoneybrook would be, especially since I am from CT myself (but up in Hartford County). I recently reread the Babysitters on Board book and a. I think I also remember that some boy said he was from Darien (the one that has a crush on Claudia, I believe..?) and b. at the beginning of the book, Kristy says that she has never traveled more than to the West side of CT, which is only a little far since she’s on the East side. Um, now I know geography isn’t my best subject, but itsn’t that oh a LIE? Wouldn’t at that point in the series it have already been established that they are near Stamford and therefore definitely NOT on the East side of CT? That really made me angry. lol.

devika said, August 22nd, 2008 at 12:19 pm

I know this is a year old entry, but I just found your blog, and the “Mercer” and “Lawrenceville” are NJ references. I grew up in a town next to Princeton, which is located in…Mercer County! Lawrenceville is a small-ish town about 5 minutes from Princeton (and it also has the nearest mall). I didn’t even remember seeing those places when I read it.

karenforyou83 said, December 3rd, 2008 at 2:11 pm

Even though this is an old entry, I have to comment! My boyfriend grew up in Easton, went to high school in Fairfield, worked in Norwalk, and his parents now live in Newtown, CT, all in Fairfield County. I’ve been all around there and there are plenty of people who are just marginally well-off or middle-class (as well as the Watson Brewer-type millionaires), so I could definitely buy the BSC being in one of the smaller towns around there and their parents not being fabulously rich. Where bf’s folks live in Newtown, there is a rural, country atmosphere and long winding roads that make you feel like you’re in a paved forest. His mom still knows like EVERYONE in Easton, too.

I am soooo psyched to think that Stoneybrook is really a place I’ve been before!

karen brewer said, October 28th, 2009 at 10:52 pm

Just stumbled on this blog. I assume you are talking about the Babysitters Club.Believe it or not, I am karen brewer and live in Darien CT. All the locations you mention are real in one way or another.Stony Brook is an actual brook here in town.Glenbrook is a neighborhood in Stamford,CT. I wonder then if I know the author or editors of the books and if they ever met me. All pretty strange.

» Princeton! Stoneybrookite: the best friends you’ll never have said, September 23rd, 2011 at 9:33 am

[...] of mine. I’ve written about it twice: here on the Princeton/New Jersey BSC connections and here, where I examined [...]

» Imagining Stoneybrook, Part One Stoneybrookite: the best friends you’ll never have said, February 12th, 2014 at 9:08 am

[...] looking at towns in Connecticut to try to figure out a reasonable analogue to Stoneybrook, as I did here, is futile. This is because Stoneybrook’s inspiration is actually the Princeton of [...]

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