Photo by Christopher Barth
Larchmont resident and humorist Dan Zevin (rhymes with “Kevin”) has been chronicling life stages—from surviving an entry-level job and getting married to turning “uncool”—for almost two decades, and now his latest book explores what may be a uniquely suburban period. Dan Gets a Minivan: Life at the Intersection of Dude and Dad, which came out in May, is exactly what it sounds like: a surprisingly funny take on the necessity of a collapsible third row of seats and onboard DVD players, surviving when the grandparents come to babysit, and the importance of cargo pants.
Westchester Magazine: The book opens with you living in Brooklyn but having just gotten a minivan to make things easier with your two toddlers. Now you live in Larchmont. Is Westchester inevitable after a minivan?
Dan Zevin: It was like the gateway drug to suburbia. When I first moved here, I thought the best part would be having a backyard, but the best part is all the driveways. In Brooklyn, I spent twenty to thirty minutes driving around every morning looking for a legal parking space.
WM: You grew up in Short Hills, New Jersey? How do we compare?
DZ: I feel like I grew up in a suburb that was famous for a shopping mall. The suburbs of Westchester are more connected to the City. Don’t get me wrong: I am happy to go to a good shopping mall, as long as they sell cargo pants.
WM: Do you miss the City?
DZ: Every now and then, I think I really miss all the culture and all the cool bars and the clubs and the restaurants. Then, my wife will step in and say, ‘You know what, Dan? We didn’t do any of that stuff. We had two little kids to take care of.’ The reality is we already were the most suburban family in New York City. The only museums we went to were children’s museums. We actually enjoy the City more now.
WM: What’s your favorite thing to do around here with your two kids?
DZ: My favorite part about living here is that we don’t really have to go anywhere. In Brooklyn, you had to get out of the house—the spaces were too small. Here, I have a trampoline!
WM: What about you and your wife?
DZ: We have date night every Saturday night. To me, it’s all about being able to complete a sentence without being interrupted. There are all these great restaurants, especially in Larchmont. And there are two independent bookstores—even small cities don’t have that anymore. But it’s also just a whole lot of fun to stay home. I’m now the proud owner of a gas grill.
WM: In the book, you mention a screenplay you’re writing. Will we be seeing ourselves on the big—or little—screen?
DZ: Adam Sandler has optioned Dan Gets a Minivan as a sitcom. Had I known all I had to do was move to the suburbs and buy a minivan, I would have done that a long time ago. Actually, he and his production company also optioned one of my previous books, The Day I Turned Uncool. So it’s possible that, in the future, you’ll experience the horror of two TV shows based on my books.