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Posts Tagged ‘life in Manhattan’

Well, winter came back with a vengeance. 11.5 inches of snow and frigid, freezing temperatures, yep, we get it, no need to rub it in quite this much 😉 And yes, it is freakin’ cold in Canada, I know, I know… Do we need to have the car vs. walking debate again??!! The point is, this winter is turning out to be a nasty one- everywhere. So, nothing to do but bundle up, get out and get moving or hibernate. Two very good options. I intend to keep doing a bit of both. Here are some pics from the last couple of days. Hope you enjoy them. Happy Wednesday everyone!! Stay safe and warm xoxo

P.S. Do you know how I can tell it is really cold in NYC? They take the fruit in from the outside stands at Fairway and West Side Markets.

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I am not sure what happened this year, maybe it was the extra week of vacation or the anxiety and excitement with the transition into middle school and third grade but the beginning of this school year has been hard.  And it is not just me, everyone I have talked to seems to be a little overwhelmed, a little stressed, a little shell shocked, a little off their game and a lot tired. Phew, at least it is not just me 😉

The one thing that I have always said that was the toughest thing about moving to NYC was navigating the school system. There is no such thing as just registering at the local public school and going. When we moved there was the stress of moving into an apartment in the exact neighborhood to make sure the girls were zoned for a good public school (private school at $40, 000 per child was not an option) and even then there was no guarantee as we were still a part of the lottery into kindergarten for R. Just recently we went through the crazy middle school process with A- touring, auditioning, testing and applying to schools and then anxiously waiting to see if she got into her first choice. I am trying not to even think about the high school process…

So, here we are with a brand new school year ahead of us and I feel like we have barely had time to catch our breath. There has been the endless stream of information coming home from both schools, meetings, back to school events, emails, newsletters, requests for supplies, navigation of new routines, planning creative lunches and easy to prepare dinners and of course the dreaded homework. There have been a few days when I have found myself dreaming of flip flops and sandy beaches. Or at least cocktail time. And just right at this very moment an email has popped into my inbox about cheap air fair to Hawaii- no fair!!

I guess I am just finding it a bit hard to find my groove right now, I am struggling with the whole balance thing, instead of organizing, I am ignoring, trying to dive back under the covers and bury my head. Not helpful to anyone especially when I find my patience snapping right around dinner and homework time. Can I get a woooosaaaa??!!!

I have decided that I need a reset and a few reminders. For one, I need to remind myself that I have to take a step back from the insanity of NYC schooling and remember sometimes that it is just school and dammit, it will all work out one way or another. Holy crap, we all survived school and ended up okay. Homework is just homework and is not worth crying or yelling about. It gets done or it doesn’t and the world will not end. Secondly, let’s have some fun, why so serious mom? Can we go apple picking this weekend? Yes, yes we can. And thirdly, I am re-visiting my mantra to choose kindness. We are all going through a crazy time and we should be a little bit nicer, it will go a long way. Most importantly, I am reminding myself to just breathe. All is good, life is good and I am pretty damn lucky. Breathe.

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Today the girls and I had the honor to attend a press conference for Bill de Blasio. We eagerly stood beside him and supported him as he outlined and defended his incredible education plan for NYC. If you have not yet heard about Bill, you should go to his website http://www.billdeblasio.com/ and read about his plans to improve NYC when he is mayor. Bill de Blasio is clearly the leader that stands out beyond the rest of the candidates. He definitely has my vote- and the kids were pretty impressed too! Happy Wednesday 🙂

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I am proud to say that yesterday I voted in my first ever Presidential Election. Now that I live in the United States, I feel that it is my duty to exercise my right to vote here. Many other countries fight hard for the freedom that we enjoy and that is why it is incredibly foolish to not get out and let your voice be heard at the polling station. So, off I went. I stood in line, marvelling at the positive energy, enthusiasm and patience of my fellow voters. When it was time to cast my ballot I felt a nervous energy and excitement. After I voted, I hung out with my kids, volunteered at the school bake sale for voters (all proceeds to Hurricane Sandy Relief!) and then went home and sat on the couch anxiously awaiting the results. I don’t think I have ever been that nervous for an election, ever. I had also never been as informed about any election as I had for this one. When President Obama was announced as being re-elected I could barely contain my excitement and relief. YES, YES, YES!!!!!! And for all of you Canadian friends who were getting the guest room set up “just in case”- thank you 😉 Four more years, it is definitely time to move forward!!!

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We just got back from visiting family in Calgary and I will post more about our incredible trip later on this week but because it is Wednesday I thought I would post some pics of some of the great signs and the beautiful scenery we saw on our day trip to Banff. What a gorgeous spot!  All I kept thinking was… well that is definitely not something you would see in NYC! Hope you like the pictures, have a fabulous Wednesday!!

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We arrived in beautiful Calgary a couple of hours ago. It is wonderful to be back in Canada, with cherished family and in the glorious fall season. There was even a light dusting of snow. Here are a few pics, we are definitely not in NYC 😉
Happy Wednesday.

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You would never know it by the crushing heat and humidity in Manhattan today, but yes it is September and there are signs of Fall approaching all around the city. First of all, the people are back. The streets are crowded with residents not tourists and everyone is on a mission- shopping, school supplies, mani/pedi’s, back to work, back to the gym, back to school. There is a buzz and the streets are hopping! Look out if you are still in summer mode, you might just get run over- literally 😉 Time to get your head out of the clouds, your brain back from the beach and get organized (at least that is the pep talk I am giving myself!). So here are a few pics I took when I was out and about today that definitely signal to me that the seasons are changing. Now, if Mother Nature would catch up and chase away the heat, I would happily pull out the jeans and sweaters!!! Happy Wednesday and I wish everyone a fun and fabulous transition into all the changes that Fall brings with it.

All of the yummy Fall classics are back at Starbucks… can you say Pumpkin Scone??

Ugh, taking the kids for flu shots, think I will leave that to hubby 😉

These signs seem to disappear in the summer, or maybe I just don’t notice them.

The leaves are falling already!

The ads for new shows are everywhere!

Bye summer, we will miss you so!

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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…

I’m Melting!!!!

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!!!!!

At camp “mom” we headed to the Liberty Science Center- LOVED IT!

Escaping the city sometimes just means getting a different view of it- Lower Manhattan from New Jersey

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.

Where will our feet take us today?

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Life is busy. It just is. End of year picnics, travel, visitors, rehearsals, performances, the wacky science tests, new jobs, changing weather… Tons of whirlwind adventures. So, yes, I do promise (no Krista, really, I will) to get back to writing soon. I miss it! I have some crazy New York stories tucked away to share but for today I will fill the blog with recent pics from various spots in NYC that I recently wandered through. Hope you enjoy and don’t forget to stop and smell the roses 😉

Roses on the UWS

All this and brains too 😉

Cheese!

The High Line Zoo

LOVE the creativity in this city!!

Pausing for a photo op

Looking between the buildings

Real grass between the toes, a special treat in the concrete jungle

So very, very true!

Practising their Lady Liberty

Chillaxing in the City

Great architectural minds at work

Swapping spit!

A rare adult night out =)

It’s tough being six, ALMOST seven

There is always time to squeak in a nap, right Gim?

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Things are a little bit crazy lately, I mean really, when are they not? Life in general moves at a pretty insane pace. Not that I am complaining. It is all good. Ron is traveling a lot, the girls have activities, school work, testing, the 1/2 marathon approaches, as does the the auction, the list goes on… It is during all this insanity that I really feel that we are truly at home here. After almost two years of living in NYC, it really does finally feel like we live here and are not just caught up in a whirlwind vacation of some sort 😉 This is home. This past weekend we took a family walk in Riverside Park, the weather was gorgeous and we were just enjoying being out. It was great to just have some relaxing moments with the family. I captured a picture of the girls looking out over the water. ‘A’ turned to me and said “You know what I am looking at mom, I am am looking at home”. My heart felt warm and there was a feeling of peace. Home. Perfection.

Dopey Dog taking a time out in a puddle!

Soldier And Sailor Monument

Sun is setting over the water

Beautiful Riverside Park

Home

Home =)

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