Posts Tagged ‘Moving to NYC’

Yesterday my girlfriend from Ottawa, Nina, texted me to let me know that the house that we lived in before me moved to NYC was for sale. Her exact text was “It’s a sign! Your house is up for sale. Time to move back home.” I laughed and responded that she needed to send me the link as I needed to stalk the pictures. And I immediately went online to check out our once beloved home.

When I saw the pics, I had to admit my first thought was “Holy crap, that is a lot of snow and thank God I do not have to shovel that!” my second thought was “Wow, the house is HUGE, what the hell did we do with all that space??!!”. But then as I shuffled through the rooms and looked at furniture in all the wrong places and rooms painted different colors, I couldn’t help but be a bit nostalgic. I do miss that kitchen… a BIG kitchen with tons of space but most of all I miss the incredible gatherings that we hosted in that kitchen, especially the “Late But Great”. I miss my bathtub, in the bathroom that Ron and I so carefully designed. But the thing I miss the most is the ‘Creek and all of the wonderful memories that we made there. I miss my amazing friends that are still there. Sniff.  And no, we will not be putting any offers on any properties in the old ‘hood, but it does make my heart a little fuller knowing that Ottawa and this house will always feel a bit like “home”, even if we have moved on. I am feeling very lucky and thankful today to have such amazing people in my life on both sides of the border. Happy Wednesday and love to you all!! xox

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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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Over the past few days I have been reading some incredible posts from many different bloggers sharing their reflections from the past year and their resolutions for the upcoming year.   So, I thought I would sit down and try and write my own New Year’s post and found that I am not ready to write it yet.

This past year has been one of the biggest adventures of my life.  As a family, we moved from Ottawa, Canada to New York City.  To say that the two cities are different would be a tad understated. It has been life changing. I left my career, extended family and cherished friends to embark on a new and exciting life. I have never looked back, well, maybe once or twice… 😉

As this new year starts I feel like I am finally just settling in.  We are building a home here and we are part of the community.  I am finding my place. I guess that is why I am not quite ready to reflect on it just yet. It still seems too big, too overwhelming. Too new. We are doing it, all of us. Ron is loving his job, the girls are growing into confident little New Yorkers and I am slowly finding my way and that is okay.  We are embracing this new life and that is what it is all about.

So, instead of reflecting and looking back I am going to look forward.  Move forward. I am going to spend some quality time with me and figure out the things that I would like to pursue. A new job- yes! Running a 1/2 marathon- yes! Eating Healthier- yes! Worrying less- I wish! Figuring it all out- a work in progress!

One day, when I am emotionally ready I will sit down and reflect on this past year but not yet, I am just not there. One thing that I do know is how incredibly lucky I am to have such an amazing family, wonderful friends as well as the opportunities that have been given to me.  Here’s to a year of endless new possibilities.  Dream big my friends and remember “it’s always an adventure!” 🙂 xoxo

As Long As We Are Together We Can Do Anything!!

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This weekend I became a little reflective as I was wandering around the streets of NYC with the family.  It was exactly one year ago this past weekend that I arrived in NYC with the task of looking at apartments in the Upper West Side for a possible life changing move to Manhattan.  I remember the trip vividly.  As I took the cab ride from La Guardia Airport in Queens and we crossed over the bridge into Manhattan I was no longer looking at the city as a tourist but with the wide open eyes of a new resident.  It was a beautiful fall day and the city was showing off in the sunlight but I had an uneasy feeling as the question “Could I move my children here?” hung over my head.

I scrutinized everything.  The garbage on the streets, the concrete playgrounds, the people rushing down the blocks, the noise level, the greyness of the buildings, the bright flashing lights, the crowds, the materialism, the over all American-ness of it all.  I sat down on the steps of the Met and the tears slid into my Starbucks cup as I wondered if Ron and I were making the right decision.  And then, something amazing happened and I saw beyond the superficial and remembered why I LOVED NYC and I began to see the possibilities.

I saw the beauty of the sun as it peeked out behind the incredible architecture of the vast array of buildings, I saw the endless culture in the world of the Arts, I saw families and children playing, I saw Central Park and nature, I saw a proud city of friendly, busy people with an energy all its own.  I felt the excitement and that excitement became mine.  I wanted this for my family.  We were ready, I was ready.  And so I began the search for a new home in a new neighbourhood.

I saw over 20 apartments that weekend.  Brownstones, modern buildings, pre-war, door man buildings, walk-ups, rooms with a view, rooms with no view.  It became overwhelming.  And don’t even get me started on the prices.  WOW.  It is not even comparable to anything in Ottawa.  It is a totally different mind set.  I had to get my head in a different space entirely to even start the search.  I pounded the pavement and learned the neighbourhood.  I stood staring at the schools, envisioning my girls inside them.  I embraced the culture, I squeezed every little experience I could into that one weekend.  The decision had to made.  Ron was waiting back in Ottawa, listening to my rambling, barely coherent, expensive cellphone calls about this apartment versus that one and local stores and restaurants. Patient and amused, as always.

Apartment shopping at its finest!

On the plane ride home I remember feeling exhausted and still a bit anxious but I was also impatient.  I was ready, I was sure and I wanted this move to happen.  Ron and I began the discussions in ernest, the countless hours debating the pros and cons, the waiting, the back and forth between his company.  The stress.  The secrecy and then finally the time to tell our family and friends.  At that moment it became real and there was no turning back.  After that everything really is a blur- selling the house, resigning from teaching, enrolling the girls in school, packing, saying good-bye…

And now we are here.  As we walked along the streets of Manhattan on Saturday, I couldn’t believe that a year had passed. When I looked at the girls expertly weaving their way through the crowds and Ron chasing behind them, I felt a few tears sliding down my cheeks.  They were happy tears, amongst all of the craziness, I felt content and at home.  Yes there are challenging days but hey, there are challenging days everywhere.  Who knows what life is going to throw at you?  Every day brings a new adventure and for that I am truly grateful.  Oh, and I am also grateful that the apartment I fell in love with was still available in February 😉

Ron & R goofing around on Saturday night!




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