We are way behind on this blog for many reasons, one them being we are getting ready for a big change. This Friday we are moving to a house in Pelham, the first suburb in Westchester bordering on the Bronx. Mark has been eager for more space and less hassle for a while now, and when we found this beautiful house in a great location he convinced me it would a great move for our family. It is about an 8 minute walk to the train station (it often takes longer just to get to our lobby on our crazy elevator), then around 17 minutes to 125th Street and 29 minutes to Grand Central. Mark’s commute will be around 40 minutes, much of it on an uncrowded, clean Metro North train. The drive to the Upper Westside is about 20 minutes depending on traffic. We plan on coming into the city lots with and without the kids.
The house was built in 1900 but newly renovated, with lots of new and old details we love. And everything seems so big compared to our cramped apartment – 5 bedrooms and an awesome kitchen (2 ovens & 2 dishwashers!) for all the cooking we’ll have to do without all the delivery/take-out options (though there is a Harry’s Burritos a short drive away).
After living in the city for so long (13 years for me, 21 for Mark), usual suburban advantages are so exciting – an actual laundry room and a backyard. We can’t wait to use this big electric grill and eat on the patio (at least when it’ not too cold/hot/raining). We just bought this comfy glider for the porch.
Here are some of the rooms with the previous owners’ furnishings. We have had fun picking out paint colors and furniture shopping. There is a playroom/library with built-in shelves, a guest room (come visit!) and a finished basement with lots of storage. Mark’s Lamborghini and George Gervin ‘Ice Man’ posters will finally be on display again in his subterranean man cave.
One thing I will miss about Manhattan is never having to drive. We will be a short walk from Pelham’s downtown, but we will often rely on our new sensible Toyota Highlander (in Moulin Rouge) that can seat 7 but isn’t gigantic with an amazing GPS system and rear camera that will hopefully make my driving experience smoother than it was it was before I moved here. It will be nice to always have a climate controlled transportation option after trying to forge through giant muddy ice puddles this brutal winter. Max is super excited when he gets to ride in the car.
We have such a good time in NYC and will miss so many things. This city has seen me through some of my most joyful and most challenging times – I followed my dreams, learned how to let them go, met the love of my life and was blessed with two delightful city kids who love Zabars Nova, Italian prosciutto, Lauderee Macarons, truffles from fancy chocolate stores, storytimes at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, international concerts at Lincoln Center, shopping at hip boutiques, and playgrounds, puppet shows, and castles in Central Park. They can hail a cab, swipe a metrocard and find the ‘door close’ button on any elevator. I treasure all our adventures and look forward to continuing to explore the city, though it will take a little more planning and commute time. There is much we will miss but much we won’t. When I was pondering this move an old woman pushed Max on the subway stairs because he was too slow and a man digging through a trash can exposed himself to Julie. This Onion article kind of says it all (excuse the profanity, it’s unavoidable here).
There is so much exciting energy around us but also so much negative, grouchy energy, especially when the weather is bad, which is often. We have met so many interesting, wonderful people here and have said goodbye to many of them as they search for more sustainable, less stressful lives elsewhere. We will be sad to not see our neighbors and the families at Max’s wonderful school as often, but we are looking forward to joining a more settled community with many ex-Manhattanites like ourselves. Max is going to camp this summer at his new school, which is on 10-acres with an outdoor swimming pool and horses. Julie will be joining him there in the fall a few days a week. The following year he will be making the three minute walk to the excellent public elementary school around the corner (with no application process or wait list, unlike our current neighborhood’s public school).
We will be moving two days after Max’s school ends and two weeks after Brittney’s 10-day Russian adventure (more photos from that later) but we have movers helping us pack and unpack and look forward to getting super organized, at least to start. Someone asked if I was going to go on a cultural binge before I left, Mark laughed because I’ve been averaging about 1 live show a week since I moved here, and 1-2 museums a week since I had kids. I just got tickets for two shows this summer in Manhattan -‘Heathers The Musical’ and Christopher Wheeldon’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ – but we are excited to explore the new neighborhood. We will be a short drive to the Bronx Zoo, the Bronx Botanical Garden, farms (including one, Stone Barns, with an acclaimed restaurant), nature reserves, and an athletic club with an Olympic size pool, kiddie pool, outdoor cafe, and private beach. So many suburban joys nearby – Costco! Target! Giant groceries where people with strollers don’t get pushed and yelled at. A mall with a Nordstroms and a Cheesecake Factory! I’m hoping to continue conducting research in Manhattan for Kid On The Town and also expand to Westchester and more general-interest content. Mark has been going to the house a lot lately to get everything ready for our move, and the kids are overjoyed when they get to go with him. Hopefully they are as happy when they are sleeping there (in their own rooms!). I am a little scared and sad but grateful to have such a lovely place and lovable people to share this new adventure with.