Sunday, March 31, 2013

Some of New York

Visiting the New York Public Library
Lego lions at the New York Public Library
Dylan's Candy Bar
Children's Museum of Manhattan
The Big Piano at FAO Schwartz
Amazing bakeries at Chelsea Market (these are cookies!)
Museum of Natural History
Ellen's Stardust Diner
Times Square
Isa and Greg on the Staten Island Ferry

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Aaaargh..... can't keep up!

I've been falling behind terribly on my blog this month.  New York is just a whirlwind.  Between all of the houseguests we've had, and the birthdays, and trying to make some kind of normal life here and see the sights and the shows... I feel like I'm just sinking into the quicksand of my own idealistic expectations.  (we're back to that "Life's Table of Contents" quote, you'll have to refer back a couple of years in this blog to find that one.)

Anyway I have not given up all hope of blogging and will make some attempts over the next few days to chronicle the events of the past month.

The first thing to note - our apartment here is utterly wonderful in almost all respects.  But there are a number of things it is conspicuously lacking.  Such as coffee cups.  This is the first apartment we've ever had with no coffee mugs, only a few tiny tea cups.  This mug, a thrift-store gift from Rebecca, has saved Greg's mornings.

We also had to go out and buy ourselves a normal-sized kitchen trash can (there were only miniature ones), plastic drawer units for the bedrooms, and a sharp cutting knife.  We have learned to live without a baking tray, with only two pots, and without any clocks.

Another first - this is the first apartment we've had that would not allow us to remove the television sets.  It wouldn't be so annoying if they didn't take up so much darn table space.  We've had to be creative in our use of them.

There are two grocery stores nearby.  One, Food Emporium, has a good selection of regular groceries, including plenty of major brands and processed foods.  The prices are outrageous, but this is to be expected.  The other one, Fairway, a half-block away, is where the locals shop.  It is an extensive, eclectic, richly stocked place full of fresh natural ingredients and gourmet assortments.  (the prices here are really not much better).  I took this picture because it represents Fairway's gloriousness and insanity to me - an entire section of the store dedicated to Artisanal French Vinegars.  

Honestly, I shop at both stores.  There are some days I just need a box of cereal or a gallon of milk, and can't be bothered with Fairway's complexity.  I don't always need reminders that I should be cooking more exotic dishes or trying new kinds of cheeses.  But in general this is a fun place to have in the neighborhood.  

Friday, March 22, 2013

Birthday kids

In the past week we celebrated Baz's 10th birthday, and Isa's 6th birthday.  (Greg's 42nd birthday was in the middle there as well!  but not as festive.)  Here in New York City, birthday party options were all prohibitively expensive.  We opted for different ways to celebrate.

The gift Baz wanted more than anything was this City of Atlantis Lego set.  Everything is about Legos for him these days, and I can't keep track of all of the various Star Wars, Atlantis, etc. sets he's acquired over the last couple of years.

Isa made cupcakes for him and that evening we invited some of the other kids over to decorate them, and sing happy birthday.

A few days later, Greg took him, Yahor, and Ilya to see Spiderman: Turn Off The Dark!  A spectacular Broadway show, with all kinds of special effects.  They really enjoyed it.

For Isa's birthday the following week, her Grandma Terry came down to visit, and we took her out for the day to the Children's Museum of Manhattan, and to FAO Schwartz.

Here's Isa on The Big Piano at FAO Schwartz!

And here is her birthday cake.  We also invited the other kids in the building over to sing and eat cake that evening.  

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Deliriously happy in New York

"New York remains what it has always been : a city of ebb and flow, a city of constant shifts of population and economics, a city of virtually no rest. It is harsh, dirty, and dangerous, it is whimsical and fanciful, it is beautiful and soaring - it is not one or another of these things but all of them, all at once, and to fail to accept this paradox is to deny the reality of city existence." - Paul Goldberger, architecture critic

This is the view from our amazing 23rd Floor apartment in the Upper East Side of Manhattan.  It is breathtaking.  The apartment itself is incredibly spacious - it reminds me of our place at the Devonshire in Boston: 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms. Our building is old and elegant, with chandeliers in the elevators and astonishingly cordial doormen.  We are, in short, living a dream.

My happiness living here is a type of delirium.... I walk around the city just in love with everything and everyone.  Maybe this will wear off.  But for the moment, everything just gets me glowing.  I love running in Central Park, and going to my new Bikram Yoga studio.  I love mingling with the morning commuters on the street and wrestling with the evening commuters on the subway.  I love the noise and the busy-ness and the fact that everyone in the world seems to be here. New Yorkers are hard edged and gritty and genuine. 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Break between cities (road tripping...)

We had nearly two full weeks off between Miami and New York, a real vacation.  We spent a lot of it road-tripping - going first to Cape Coral, FL, to visit Greg's parents and sister at their vacation house; and then driving north to Natick, MA [1425 miles in 2 days], to visit my parents and sister in the frigid Northeast!  The kids went from shorts and T-shirts to snowsuits.


All in all, these two weeks have been very relaxing.  Greg and Baz played a lot of Monopoly.  We all played a lot of Scrabble.  We watched the first Harry Potter movie (a first for all of us!).  Greg and I had a double-date night with the Marthinsens.  Over twelve days there was some swimming, some shoveling, some cookie-baking, and a whole lot of packing and unpacking suitcases!  We are looking forward to our trip to New York tomorrow, and settling into our new apartment in the Upper East Side.