We’ve almost been NYC residents for three months now, so I wanted to give a brief update on how we’re adjusting this time around. I still can’t believe this is our second time living in the city! And honestly, it feels totally different than last time. For one, we’re on the West side instead of the East side, which has a totally different, more neighborhoodly vibe. Also, we have a kid (and a half), which has been a game changer. If given the choice to walk 20 blocks or ride the subway with Sally, I usually choose to walk. At least at her age, public transit is rather difficult because she doesn’t like to sit still. That said, I’m actually really excited to spend a summer in the city with a toddler… I hear it’s pretty great.
Speaking of summer, in case you haven’t heard, we’ve had a brutal winter. It’s been tempting to stay indoors all day every day, and we sometimes do. But more often than not, we head out because two-year-olds who stay inside all day turn into little hellions. Some of our favorite free activities are the public library, Petco, and Riverside Park. They’re all within a 10-minute walk of our house, and Sally can get her fill of books, animals, and scooter practice. We haven’t been able to go to a playground for weeks because they’re all covered in snow! We’re more than ready for the winter thaw to begin.
For groceries, we mostly do delivery (read all about it here), but every other month or so, we take the bus to Costco, stock up, and then take the bus home with a suitcase full of food. It’s unconventional and inconvenient, but that food is definitely well-earned. It’s been tough to stick to our grocery budget out here, but I’m hoping we hit our stride soon!
So far so good on small-space living. We’re not sure how many square feet our apartment is, but we’re guessing 900 or so. It’s enough that we don’t feel like we’re living on top of each other, but we (read: mostly me) start going a little bit crazy if things get messy or cluttered. Our hot water consistently works, and we have a full-size oven and dishwasher — all perks we missed out on last time we were NYC residents. We also haven’t encountered any vermin yet (and hopefully never ever do), which makes this mom very happy. Before the baby comes, hopefully I can get around to sharing some more photos of our place out here.
We’re a little over six weeks out from my due date, and we’re getting really excited! Sally and baby #2 will be sharing a room eventually, but with the shared bedroom situation, I think the new baby will sleep in our room longer than Sally did. Having the baby will definitely be different out here. The hospital recovery rooms are shared in NYC, so once I’m moved out of my labor and delivery room, I’ll most likely have a roommate. And Johnny won’t be allowed to spend the night with me. It is what it is — just another unique aspect of NYC living! Also, we are totally stumped on a name for baby #2!
Sally’s adjusting as well as can be expected for a two-year-old. We’re not sure if it’s her age or the move that caused it, but she’s become quite an expert on tantrum throwing all over the city — from the subway to the library to the playground to the middle of the sidewalk. But we’re working with her on it and realize it’s just a stage. It’s surprisingly fun to see the joy Sally gets from this city. She especially loves the subways, everyone’s dogs, and the endless playgrounds. She’s already learned to stand still on street corners until it’s time to cross the street — a random life lesson she probably wouldn’t learn anywhere else.
Sally’s recently started waking up in the middle of the night and asks for milk, books, songs, etc. While we usually give her something to drink and sing her a song, nothing seems to satisfy her. And so she screams and yells and cries. We got a visit from our neighbor whose bedroom shares a wall with Sally’s bedroom (oops!), and understandably he’s tired of hearing her wails in the middle of the night… so that’s been fun!
I figure if we can be happy during this most terrible of winters, we’re really gonna love NYC once it warms up a bit. I’ve had a few moments when I’ve missed our car or Walmart, but overall, we’re enjoying ourselves. Would you ever consider big city living? Better yet, would you ever consider living in Manhattan?