It really is hard to believe that this is our third summer in Manhattan. Some days it feels like we just moved and on other days I feel like I have lived here forever, weird. What I have noticed is that summers in Manhattan are a bit different than in other places. In NYC people are always talking about leaving for the summer. “When are the kids in camp?” “When are you heading upstate?” “To the Hamptons?” “On vacation?”. There is a mass exodus by the local residents. I know in other places people look forward to vacation time and escaping to the cottage, camping etc. but it just doesn’t seem to happen on the same level as Manhattanites. But, I guess NYC always has to up the intensity even on vacationing, right? ;)
Perhaps the drive to escape the city happens because when the first heat wave hits it can seem a bit unbearable and oppressive. In a city where people rely on getting around on foot or by using public transit in a very fast and to the point way, slowing down and escaping to the shadows or hiding indoors just doesn’t seem to work very well. The concrete jungle sure does get hot and in a city with so many people I have noticed that as the temperatures rise the patience level lowers. Well, mine does, anyway. People can be pushed to the brink by riding in a non air-conditioned subway car! And, as much as NYC loves tourists (I have been one many, many times) locals are not always fond of the extra people invading the city and adding to the crush of humanity. As a resident now, I just wish the tourists would learn to not stop in the middle of the sidewalk…
Summer vacation can also be a bit disconcerting and chaotic, routines are in upheaval and there is the pressure to do something, anything… It can also be a bit lonely as friends (both the kids and mine) go their separate ways for two months. This year I have embraced summer in the city and have tried to find a nice balance.
So, now that our honeymoon stage has worn off a little bit, meaning that we don’t always want to go out and explore each and every sight. Okay, meaning that the kids are tired of me dragging them to each and every new cool thing I find, I think we have become a little bit more local this year. What I mean by this is that we have arranged a summer that has a nice balance of enjoying the many amazing things that are happening in NYC in the summer as well as getting a bit of break from Manhattan and taking some time to get away.
The girls are doing a couple of weeks of sports camp in the city and then they are also spending some time at camp “mom” with me where we still seek out cool new spots to explore. There are so many amazing things going on right now, that I promise they will not utter the words “I’m bored” more than once a day ;) This is also the first year that our girls are both going to sleepaway camp. We are all excited and nervous about this experience. Most city kids do this and I think it will be an incredible experience. The ultimate get away in beautiful camp country with opportunities to do and experience all of the non-city type things- swimming in a lake, horseback riding, archery, climbing, hiking, water skiing, etc. I would be jealous except that it means that Ron and I get two whole weeks in Manhattan together where we don’t need to worry about babysitting to go out- woohoo!!!!!
I guess what I am trying to say in this bit of a ramble of a post is that we are getting comfortable with our new life in Manhattan and are embracing the local customs, so to speak. Camp, mini-getaways, vacation time, day trips and favorite ways to beat the heat are easier to navigate this year. I am settling in to this life and learning the ropes. Sometimes you need a little bit of a break from the Big Apple to come back and truly enjoy why so many tourists flock to the city every day =) It also helps to ease the stress, take a fuller breath and of course up the patience quota even on those really hot days.
Hope you are all enjoying these lazy, hazy days of summer.