Posts Tagged ‘moving to Manhattan’

Okay, it is hard to imagine, but it is coming up on our one year anniversary of living in New York City. What an adventure it has truly been! Over the past few days I have started to reflect back on this past year and all of the challenges and changes that we have encountered. I wouldn’t change a thing. Although I do find myself desperately missing a BBQ, but I will save that for another post 😉 This city is crazy, intense, awe inspiring, but best of all it is now our home. Over the next few days I am going to post some “top ten” lists about moments/events/sights that I think reflect this past year. Today I am going to start with phrases/thoughts that I find myself saying/thinking repeatedly since I have moved to the Big Apple. I hope you enjoy my insights. Happy Friday!!

1. “Please don’t lick the pole!!” -I never thought I would have to say this, but with small kids, I am always reminding them to get their faces away from all parts of the inside of the subway- EWWWWW!!!!

Anyone have some hand sanitizer? 😉

2. “I moved from Ottawa (blank stare), it is in between Toronto and Montreal (nodding)” It still amazes me how many people do not know where Ottawa is. I like to remind them that it IS Canada’s capital. The response is always “Oh, our Washington”. Exactly… sigh.

Oh Canada!

3. “Yes, I live in NYC with these two big dogs” It is a bit strange for a person living in NYC to have two large dogs. The norm is owning pets on the smaller side. We get lots of attention on the street from natives and tourists alike. The truth is, as long as they get some daily exercise big dogs just like to find a nice quiet space and chillax.

Dopey taking over the couch 😉

4. “If you want to go to the American Museum of Natural History keep walking up 79th street and you can’t miss it” I answer the question of how to get to the AMNH at least three or four times a week. Tourists always get off at the wrong subway stop and need some help getting oriented. I LOVE getting this question because I feel like they know I am from here and it makes me think that I look a bit like a New Yorker, or maybe I just look a little less lost than they do 😉

American Museum of Natural History

5. “Yes, that is the Empire State Building” My children are always asking as well as friends from out of town. There is a certain magic about the building. In certain parts of the city it almost seems to be following/watching you.

The Mighty Empire

6. “Be prepared to expect the unexpected” Walking the NYC streets is ALWAYS an adventure with interesting people and places around every corner.

Why hello there Superman!

7. “Look Up” I am constantly telling friends and family to do this. You will miss most of the true beauty of Manhattan if you never look up and enjoy the amazing architecture that surrounds you.

Buildings in Battery Park

8. “What’s the weather like today?” I have discovered something interesting about New Yorkers. They are as obsessed with the weather as much as Canadians. I think this is due in large part to the fact that we rely on walking as our main form of transportation. It is essential to know if we will need to pack umbrellas, sunscreen, hats etc…

Miserable in the rain

9. “Are we taking the 1, 2 or 3 train?” Just as important as the weather is the subway schedule. It is important to always be on top of schedule changes due to construction, incidents etc. I feel like I spend tons of time googling stops and routes from the subway to various places. I am not sure what I would do without mass transit!

The "1" train buried in snow

10. “Always keep your eyes open for the next adventure!” You never know when something interesting will cross your path. The joy of living in this city is that there is always something to look at and experience. Don’t be afraid to embrace it. “It’s always an adventure” 😉

A very cool little factoid that I found on my walk last night!

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The thought always hits me at the strangest times. I will be walking down the street, notice my shoelace is untied, bend down, tie my shoe, look up and think “Whoa, I live in New York City!”. It has been nine months since the big move and I guess just like it takes nine months to ease into the fact that you are having a baby, it has taken me the same amount of time to adjust to the whole living in NYC thing. And Manhattan is one helluva a baby! 😉 I have gained confidence, explored the neighborhood, learned the fine art of grocery shopping, am able to successfully walk two dogs down a crowded street, made new friends and most importantly I am adjusting to life as a stay at home mom/wife. But, every once in a while, usually while doing something totally mundane like laundry, I stop dead in my tracks and think “NYC, seriously??!!”.

A night out in the City

This city is awe inspiring. Every day I walk down my block and notice something new and different. I am not exaggerating. This city is also hard, fast and unforgiving. Surrounded by millions, it can feel incredibly lonely. At the same time it is welcoming, vibrant and alive. There are good days and bad days, just like anywhere. I have asked a few of my friends who have lived here for a long time if the feeling of awe about living here ever truly goes away and the answer is no. Even when the rain is whipping sideways and the wind is howling, you only have to look up to see the strength and beauty in the surrounding buildings.

The New York (a new building by Frank Gehry)

There are many people I have spoken to who are ready to get out of the city. They have had enough. We of course, are in the honeymoon period, looking at everything through bright, new, positive eyes. Not jaded… yet. I hope we never become bitter and hard in our attitudes. If we start to feel that way I will know that it is time to leave. That the love affair has ended. But right now I am enjoying being caught up in all that the city has to offer, even the realities that can sometimes seem overwhelming. I feel extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to live here and partake in all of the incredible experiences NYC has to offer. It is never boring. Always changing. Full of adventure. Exactly where I want to be.

Learning the ropes to be a New Yorker 😉

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