A portmanteau of “city” and “idiot” used to describe urban expats who lack country smarts, the term “Cidiot” has been reclaimed by Mat Zucker as the title for his monthly podcast on the transition from city to rural life.
The region’s scenic landscape lured Zucker in, and he and his husband Brian explored towns in both Columbia and Dutchess counties before deciding on Red Hook in 2014. Zucker, a longtime podcast listener, started “Cidiot” in December 2018 as an “audio journal,” he says. The culture shock of moving from New York City to Dutchess County was positive but intense, so he began recording episodes as both a way to process his experience and “make the rural move an accessible idea” for city dwellers, while hopefully bridging the divide with locals through humor and earnest efforts.
With a property of their own to manage for the first time, surrounded by a goat farm, a sheep farm, and an orchard, the two had a lot to figure out. Episodes consist of Zucker’s learning moments, funny mishaps, and advice for moving into and living in a rural area. The first installment begins with disputes with their neighbor, their dog befriending that neighbor’s donkey, and the subsequent escape of the donkey onto their property.