Carl and Laurie Farness move house at the start of his Time Patrol career. They are in a Pennsylvania college town in 1980 when Carl, born in 1936, departs for the Patrol Academy in the Oligocene and returns on the same day. Leaving the unintended impression that his new job is really with the CIA, they move to New York in the early 1930's, where he is a retired professor and she can work as an artist.
They wanted "...reasonably familiar surroundings, where we didn't have to learn everything from scratch and stay always on guard.'" (p. 343)
In Carl's opinion, the thirties are "...marvelous..." for those who are white, American, healthy and well off. Time travelers can install air-conditioning for private use and New Yorkers, unlike Middle Westerners, tolerate eccentricities. But he is "retired" so how long can they stay there and where/when will they move to next?