We moved to New York City in July 2009, the same year the song Empire State of Mind was released.
We probably played that song on repeat dozens of times! We were immediately enamored with this City. I can't believe we live here was a common phrase and we walked the blocks of our neighborhood with a sense of wonder and excitement. We initially moved to NYC thinking we’d live here for about two years and then move to wherever Rob got a job coaching football at a college. I expected that we would probably move every 2-3 years thereafter, since College Football coaching contracts have such high turnovers. Who knew that not only would we live here for longer than two years, but that we’d surpass seven, with the desire to live here for as long as possible!
NYC has unique challenges. Astronomical rent, no central A/C, so many stairs, cereal for $8 a box at your local bodega, and probably the hardest of all, saying farewell to sweet friends too often as they embark on their next adventure! NYC has unique advantages, too. There are so many (delicious and amazing) restaurants, gorgeous parks, great museums, the friends you make here often become like family since most of us are transplants to the Big Apple and have family scattered across the globe, and there’s always something to see or do.
When Rob’s cousins came for a quick visit last December and saw that we (well, Rob :D) take the laundry down to the laundromat on our block a few times a week and that our apartment building doesn’t even have an elevator while we live on the third floor, they commented, “Wow, living in NYC really is a committing to a lifestyle, isn’t it?” It really is!
We started attending a church just two months after we moved here and have been going ever since. It took a while, but that is where we have made our closest friends. Life in NYC wouldn’t be the same without those friendships.
As much as we love NYC, we did try to move back to Florida a number of times but the doors were firmly shut and the answer was clearly, "No". After we passed the initial two-year mark of living here we thought, "Ok, maybe we'll stay another year or so, but as soon as we try to start a family we should move!" We saw people in our church community starting their families here, raising them to be city kids who rode their scooters all over and knew to stop at each corner to look both ways! Then we thought, "Ok, maybe having a family here isn't so crazy after all." I have to say, exploring the city with Lucie has to be on of my favorite things to do! Walking with her up and down the blocks in our neighborhood is what inspired our ABC Song about places in New York City. Maybe we'll publish it to be a book one day! Who knows?
Our apartments have all been cozy and quirky in their own ways. There was the junior 1 bedroom that we lived in for three years where we couldn't shut the the door to our bedroom because it hit the bed. We were on the fifth floor of a walkup all the way at East End Avenue (a twenty minute walk from the subway). Then there was the studio in New Rochelle that we lived in for one year, with a pool, a Miami Dolphins fan as a neighbor, and a great view of the City. But with a Metro North train on a set schedule that we had to make a run for many times so that we wouldn't miss it to then have to wait thirty minutes for the next one. For the past three years we have been in the railroad 1 bedroom apartment where we share our room with Lucie, have a separate dining room (that is extremely slanted), a huge kitchen, a walk in pantry closet and never ending construction outside our living room window from the Second Avenue Subway project.
After seven years, we're so thankful to call this City our home, so glad that Rob continues to build his business here and so thrilled that we get to raise our daughter here. I'll leave you with one of my favorite quotes about NYC...