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Posts Tagged ‘Life in NYC’

A good friend told me that you cannot really call yourself a true New Yorker until you have lived in the city for 10 full years. I am not sure if this is an urban legend or just something New Yorkers say to make sure that people realize that being a true citizen of the city has to be earned. Nevertheless, I find it a bit ironic that I will be leaving New York exactly 10 years to the day I arrived.

Yes, I am leaving New York City. This city that I truly love. I have always said that you either love or hate New York City, that there is no in between. There is no possible way that you could live in New York if you “sort of like it” here. You cannot simply put up with it. It would be impossible. New York demands your attention, it consumes you, becomes a part of you.

New York has and will forever leave its imprint on my heart, soul and spirit. This city has shaped me in a way that really is, in many ways, indescribable. I have explored its vast neighborhoods and cultures, logged miles and miles on its streets and in its parks, dined, shopped, got lost, drank, people watched, cycled in the dark, danced, worked, screamed, laughed, cried, loved, lost, learned, saw many, many amazing exhibits, shows, street performers and have taken more pictures than I can count. Most of all, I have met some of the best people I could ever imagine, friends who are like family.

But, it is time to go. Time to take a big leap, to jump off and chase a dream that has always been in my heart. At the beginning of July I will be hopping in a car and traveling cross country to California to start a new adventure. For those of you who know me well, I have always had a strong desire to live in the San Diego area. My love of the ocean and the great outdoors is no secret.

I have been thinking and planning this move for a couple of years and then of course the pandemic hit and like many people, I began to question everything. In the end, the decision that I had made is still the right one and I am excited (and a little bit terrified) to start this new life. A is heading off to college (fingers crossed) and R has somewhat enthusiastically agreed to go along with this crazy plan. If I have learned anything with recent events, it is that nothing in life is guaranteed and I cannot let fear drive my choices.

I do have to admit that it feels very strange to be leaving New York during this unprecedented time. Sort of like sneaking out in the middle of the night. Not only will I not get to say a proper goodbye to many of the friends I so dearly want to see and hug, I will also not get to say a proper goodbye to this incredible city.

One thing I do know, is that my love affair with New York City is not over. I will always have a bit of New Yorker inside of me, the invaluable lessons that this city has taught me, the pride I feel as I walk down the street, the faces that stare back at me, the secrets the buildings hold, the love and strength that will not break. New York strong.

I will not say goodbye. But simply, until we meet again. Much love my friends, I will catch you on the west coast… please be patient with me as I flood my page with pics of waves and sunsets.

Until then, be safe, healthy and keep spreading love and kindness.

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The other week I wrote a love note to NYC. Today I want to recognize all of the incredible teachers and school staff working around the world making online/remote learning a reality. YOU ARE ALL AMAZING. End of story.

Teaching is an in person profession. There is nothing remote about it. From the moment a child steps into a school building their interactions are endless. They are greeted by friendly faces who check in on their well being immediately. A smile, a hello, a breakfast offered, extra help, a safe space to meet up with friends. All of this happens before they even enter the classroom. In the actual classroom, teachers spend the day with their students, caring for them emotionally, mentally and academically.

Teachers and schools have been tasked with a herculean ask- to move all this to students online. It an impossible idea. And yet, in a few short days, teachers and administrations all over the country and in other parts of the world, stepped up, recognizing that in this unprecedented time, their students would need stability and a sense of normalcy. I have watched friends and family swallow their own feelings of fear, sacrifice family time and spend hours learning new technology, planning new lessons and collaborate virtually with colleagues, to make sure that their remote classrooms were ready. Here in NYC, I have coworkers who are still reporting to kitchens in schools across the city to make sure that students are not going hungry. True frontline heroes.

As a parent, I recognize it has not been easy transitioning to remote learning. There have been many moments of frustration with my own children as we navigate this new world. But this frustration is largely with the situation as a whole. Working from home while trying to help your own children with their online curriculum is exhausting. I am fortunate that my kids are old enough to not need my help, for the most part. Their schools and teachers have been amazing and I am very grateful for that.

I applaud my fellow colleagues in education that are managing their own children, mental health, relationships, physical health, anxiety, stress and the craziness in the world right now. And, I just want to take the time to acknowledge that we are all in this together. It is more important now, more than ever, to lead with patience and kindness. Sacrifices are being made daily. Please remember that you are awesome and human. There will always be people out there that expect more, that send messages that are not helpful, that sit in their own bubble and forget the bigger picture. Ignore them and remember that you are making a difference. Every single day. Even remotely. Especially remotely. Especially now. Thank you.

I can’t wait until we are all back in the physical building. I miss my colleagues, I miss the parents, but most of all, I really miss the noise and energy of each and every student. Until then, a BIG thank you to all of us, working as a community, it really does take a village. Be well, be safe and stay home!

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I know it sounds more than a little scary in NYC right now. If I spend too much time looking at the news or pursuing facts and the latest stats about the Coronavirus spread I find myself almost paralyzed with panic or fear. So I have stopped doing that. For my own sanity and well being it is not helpful. I refuse to watch the news, especially the orange bastard who offers little encouragement or insight.

Here is what I am doing. I am staying informed. Each day I get the city alerts and updates. At around 7:30/8:00 pm I get a personalized email in my inbox from Governor Cuomo letting me know what all New Yorkers need to be aware of and and what we need to be doing. I am so very grateful for Cuomo and his direction. He is the calm in this very real storm. We are staying home. We only go out to take the dog and if we absolutely have to get something from the store/pharmacy. We are doing our part to flatten the curve.

I am so very grateful for my girls and Mr. Memphis. We are trying to stay positive. We are getting used to the new norm. We have our ups and downs. We laugh. We cry. We dance. We try and workout. We schedule Zoom, FaceTime and calls with friends. We eat chocolate. We cry. We get angry. We watch a lot of tv. We stay in our comfies. We nap. We read. We stare out the window. We take our temperature. We take long baths. We listen to music. Adriana and Regan make music and sing. We hide. We socialize. We work. We are doing the same things as the rest of you.

This morning I decided I would take Memphis on our normal Saturday walk in Central Park. We were missing our walking buddies, but it was good to have some normalcy. As we entered the park the sun began to rise and a feeling of calm settled in. I couldn’t help but be reminded of how much I love this damn city. It is BEAUTIFUL. It is tough and hard and some days you will wonder if living here is worth all the effort but then it will wrap you up in its arms and remind you of its strength, beauty and incredible community. Yes, we are in the middle of a dark and scary time, but time and time again New Yorker’s are stepping up and looking out for one another. I did not see a lot of people on my walk today and that was a good thing, but those that I did, waved and said “Good Morning” from a distance. A little reminder that we are not alone.

I am having a hard time putting in to words all of the emotions that I felt as I walked, but it felt like deep love for NYC. A reminder that even in the worst of times, this city is resilient, strong and working together to get through this. I needed that little reminder. Sometimes being in your apartment you feel very alone, but walking in the big, empty city, you also realize that in each of the buildings hold the hearts of others just like you, doing the same things as you, and together we will get through this.

Thanks for reading and listening. May you find some peace in your day. Stay healthy, keep laughing and smiling. BIG love to all of you.

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Hi Everyone. I guess this as good as time as any to get back to writing. I seem to have a wee bit of time on my hands. And a little bit of nervous energy to get rid of. So, I hope you will indulge me as I bang out a few thoughts on the keyboard over the next days, weeks…

This is a crazy, unprecedented time for all of us. We are navigating an unknown world, not sure what each new day will bring. If you are like me, not looking too far in to the future yet. Right now I am just trying to focus on today and maybe a few days in advance. My brain has been on overload and I already feel like I am a bit burnt out. The constant news cycle and social media blitz has taken its toll. I need to control it and slow it down. Once or twice a day is enough. More than enough. I get it, we are living in the middle of it. And yes, it is fucking terrifying.

Transitioning to remote learning is insane. On both ends, from the school side as well as being a parent of two teenagers. I will write more about this later but can I just say that I am not surprised that all educators and ALL school staff have stepped up in this time of need and are going above and beyond to make this work. But, please remember, this is a learning curve for EVERYONE, we all need patience, forgiveness, patience and please practice kindness above all else.

Like most of us, I am still trying to make sense of this new norm. There have been some meltdowns, tears, anger, frustration. We will have to figure out a schedule. School time, work time, down time, nap time, reading, exercise, binge watching, zooming with friends… But right now I am trying not to be too hard on myself or the girls, just letting us work through our “stuff”. A weekend to regroup and then get organized.

I do love that the girls have been doing adult paint by numbers, we should have some beautiful new art pieces to display soon =)

I have been keeping my sanity by continuing to get up early and taking Memphis on an early morning walk. We leave when it is still dark and return to the apartment when the sun starts to rise. It is at this time of day that I find some moments of clarity and peace.

This morning the streets were nearly empty. I saw a couple of police cruisers, lone runners, fellow dog walkers, a few people heading to work and the mighty sanitation workers. As I passed the fearless trash collectors, I stopped to say good morning and thank them. That brief interaction moved me to tears. All of the good people in the city, bravely going to work. The unsung heroes. It is so strange to see a city like New York with so few people on the street, but I looked around and still felt connected. Lights warmed windows, lone runners still made eye contact and smiled, a good morning shouted from a doorman across the street. We are still connected. As I continued to walk, the sun started to rise and the birds started chirping.

And really, that is all I have for today… the birds were chirping. A new day starts. Not sure how it will all go, but we are all in this together, connected.

Love you my friends, may you all be healthy. And thanks for reading my ramblings.

Here are some pics from the morning walk including the last telephone booths on the UWS, located at W.91st and W.101st. Oh, and a pic of the gigantic bottle of bourbon the dude at my liquor store convinced me I needed 😉

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I woke up this morning not sure what time it was, what day it was or where I was supposed to be. I had a feeling of unease like I was supposed to be somewhere or I had forgotten something important. And then I remembered that it was New Year’s Eve day. For some reason I always feel incredibly restless on this day. It didn’t help that my inbox was flooded with emails reminding me to give to various causes before midnight or to go and spend money as these deals would be over by the end of the day. TIME WAS RUNNING OUT!!! “Did I still need to make a reservation for dinner?”, “Had I thought about my resolutions?”, “It wasn’t too late to commit to a better, more improved me”…

This time of year is supposed to be a time of reflection but right now for me it is giving me a bit of anxiety. All of the posts asking you to look back on the decade to see how far you have come. Whoa boy, right now I am lucky if I can remember what I ate for breakfast. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy looking back, especially at pics of the girls, I mean look how darn cute they were 10 years ago!

I guess the thing about it is, that a tremendous amount has happened in the last 10 years. Lives have been lived. Good, bad, ugly, exceptional, mundane, fantastic, crazy, insane, all the emotions in moments both big and small. It was everything. It IS everything. And in 2020 there is much to look forward to. Major life changes will happen. That is the beauty of it all.

In the past few days I have found myself stuck in a funk, feeling a sadness, a weight if you will. I have been dwelling on the past and also fast forwarding to the future and scaring myself with the unknown and what ifs. I have not allowed myself to just breathe and be in the now. I know that it is unrealistic to think that we can totally just live in the now, there are responsibilities and decisions and planning that does need to happen in life. However, I have decided that I am going to try and find the strength this year to put a bit of a pause on the over thinking and worry regarding the unknown. I know, I know, easier said then done. For those of you who know me, I come by my worry gene very honestly 🙂 I guess I am just trying to step outside of my fear and have the courage to take steps into these new adventures with an open heart and mind knowing that I can’t control everything and that it is perfectly okay.

My wish for you all as we enter 2020 is more time to be in the moment with those you love. May we all share a bit more patience, kindness and compassion with our fellow humans. Peace, love, health and happiness my friends!!

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I am tired.

2018 has been exhausting.

Raising teenage daughters, exhausting.

Navigating the NYC high school process for the second time, exhausting.

Trying to eat healthy and stay fit, exhausting.

Keeping up with the orange monster and his daily horror show, exhausting.

Doing shit on your own, exhausting.

A little too much entitlement at work, exhausting.

Dipping toes in to the American college process, exhausting.

Figuring out what the hell to do next in life, exhausting.

Grieving unexpectedly at odd times about your lost family of four, exhausting.

Worrying about real and imagined crap, exhausting.

Sorry, (Canadian apology) I am not meaning to make this last post of the year all doom and gloom. I guess I just wanted to say that if you are feeling a bit out of sorts, I get it and you are not alone. You are NEVER alone. I am sending ALL the love and courage.  Looking at the NYTimes Year In Pictures and damn, we have all had A YEAR!

As the year draws to a close it is the time to reflect back and look forward. Reflecting back I am just glad that I have such a strong support group to laugh, cry, talk and be with. Looking forward, I am going to remind myself that I am doing just fine. I am far from perfect. Thank god. I am doing the best I can and that is enough. I have amazing friends, daughters who challenge me daily and at the same time make me so proud and happy I could burst, family I love dearly, my health and a pretty darn good life all in all.

2019, I have no idea what you have planned, I have learned that life throws dodge balls and to always be ready for anything, so bring on the new adventures. I may be tired, my cape may be a bit dented, but my heart is full, my smile is ready and I accept the challenge. Let’s fucking do this!

Love, laughter, warmth, health, happiness and more laughter to all of you, my dear, sweet friends xoxo

I leave you with a few of my fave pics from 2018…

 

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January, February… the toughest months of the year, in my opinion. It is tough to find the sunshine somedays. Easy to get bogged down in darkness.

We always have the most beautiful flower arrangements in our building lobby. Today they are daffodils. My favorite.

I share them with you and offer a little bit of golden sunshine. Have a wonderful day my friends. 💕

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This past Friday I was cleaning out the supply closet with a couple of colleagues. We came across a publication of the “87 Observer” from 1960. While going through the newspaper we were struck by a poem written by a 6th grade girl named Debbie Green. I am going to publish it here today to offer up some hope, light and love in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. It is through the eyes of children that we can remember the true meaning of being united, being equal, setting aside hate. So, thank you Debbie Green, wherever you may be now, for a little reminder, especially in these trying days.

“A Poem of Brotherhood”

Human Rights- Debbie Green 6-5

When thinking of human rights,

A phase oft comes to me,

“All men are created equal”

And should be equally free.

Most of us have been made to realize

Just what human rights are,

If only the world would awaken

We might go much further than far.

Someday this whole world may unite,

Unite as never before.

With every land, we’ll clasp a hand

To signify freedom galore.

Someday I’ll glance over my shoulder

And display a widening grin.

For I’ll notice that all are ignoring

The difference in race, creed and skin.

Well, I’m thinking of human rights,

And that phrase is coming to me

“All men are created equal”

But what ever will be, will be.

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Well, here it is, the end of another year. Is it just me or are these years flying by faster and faster?

I am back home in NYC. Very happy to be back together with my girls and Mr. Memphis. Santa even dropped in last night and we had a wonderful morning opening gifts and having a delicious breakfast.

Tonight the girls and I are planning to snuggle on the couch, devour some special treats, watch movies and I will hope to stay awake until midnight. The perfect way to say goodbye to 2017 and ring in 2018.

I don’t really think I have any “BIG” resolutions for the new year. I have decided to just look forward, be more in the moment, enjoy this time. Be true to me and the people I love. To try and let the things that don’t really matter, go… To have fun, keep smiling, be open and always be kind. Here’s to 2018 and all of the new adventures that lay ahead!

May all your wishes for 2018 come true my friends. I wish you happiness, health, laughter, love and light! Happy, Happy New Year!!!

(Here are a few more pics from my Christmas adventure in London 😊)

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Taking Memphis for a walk in Central Park on Saturday mornings has become one of my favorite things to do. No matter what the weather we are out there. He has a chance to run off leash and chase squirrels and I get to enjoy the quiet beauty and chat with a friend. It really is a perfect start to the weekend.

Today, with a light dusting of snow, was incredibly beautiful. Cold, but so beautiful. The park was packed with people and their dogs. I think a few tourists were even braving the chilly walk.

The calm in the holiday storm =)

Just thought I would share the pics. Have a wonderful day. Stay warm, stay sane and enjoy some time with the people who mean the most to you. Happy weekend xox

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