Cold is way harder without a car (and heated garage)

It seems obvious enough, but man, weather is tough when you don’t have a car.

Three nuggets of wisdom for anyone else moving from one of the driest places on earth to a city that rains at least a few times a week.

1) Get a decent rain jacket for your entire family, including your dog.

2) Get good umbrellas.  Our HBC specials aren’t doing the trick.  Golf umbrellas seem to be the way to go.  The kids have awesome umbrellas from this company.

3) Don’t forget about your feet.  Rain boots or waterproof shoes are a must.  I’m still in runners and I pay the price at least once a week.

I’ll have one more nugget once I figure out how to keep my thighs/shins dry! 🙂


Classy girl

I dropped my first f bomb today.
Not bloody likely, given neither the industry I work in, nor my heritage.

It was my first f bomb-dropping while travelling on the subway.

And entirely unnecessary.
I’m finding it interesting to navigate a much more… assertive environment than what I’ve been accustomed to for most of my life.
And I think I’m ok in calling it assertive.
Initially I’d maybe considered NY aggressive, offensive, and hostile at times even.
But I don’t think that’s it.
To grossly simplify, and really give myself permission to explore this every day that I’m here for the next while, there are just so many god damned people here, doing so much god damned stuff, and going to so many god damned places, it’s inevitable that people seem to develop an efficiency in operating that could be mistaken, or could slip, into an aggressive mode… It seems that it’s just a function of the intensity here though. In the time I’ve been here, I’m the only a-hole that I’ve heard mutter an f bomb while being hammered and jostled on the subway. People generally just seem to expect it, and take a shove in no way as a personal or aggressive attack. It’s just being efficient in getting to their next destination.
And a shove is just a way of clearng a path. No harm. No hurt. No ill will.
Aggressive? Assertive? Direct?
It’s still f$*%ing irritating and jarring to my generally reserved, cautious, stand-in-the-back-and-observe nature.
And it extends to other arenas of my life here.
It’ll be interesting to see how this pace and interaction and jockeying changes me over the next while…
Until then, I’ll calm myself down and chuckle at how me and the big dude who also managed to score a rare seat had matching pants tonight…

I’ll also do yet another head shake as I recall the concerts I heard on the platforms today. It was a real spread, ranging from happy Hari Krishnas, being heckled by punks ( no joke), to a Jimmy Hendrix inpersonator, and rounding it out with a Russian guy playing ‘La vie en rose’ on an accordion.

You’re killing me, NYC.



Nothing remarkable here. Just a moment of pause. To remind me of how I want to try to live right now, from moment to moment.
Who knows if that is the ‘right’ way to do it, but it feels as close to right as anything…

It’s been a demanding and busy week. Crowded, and hectic, and a bit chaotic. And tiring.
Nothing at all dramatic, just life in this moment feeling a bit- busy.

So waking this morning, rallying myself for the immediate tasks filling my inbox, I was lacking in a vim, in a brightness, in a hop.
Focused on doing what needed doing,  and trying to use that as a motivator to raise the energy levels.

An extremely crowded and delayed train ride nudged me to treat myself with a coffee. Starting to feel a pick-up, I step out and see one of those classically New York scenes on the street. Suspicious (anywhere else but here it seems) van parked on the corner, doors splayed open and random clothes, boxes, shelves and shovels spilling on to the street, people busily sorting and shuffling said gear- and a line of bald plastic heads lined up on the roof. I’m sure they’ll eventually get hats or wigs or sunglasses to warm their cold heads, but at that moment, there they ‘sat’ looking down on my stunned and tired little face, as horns honked, people hollered, and the air whirred around them.
And I instantly was filled with an excitement, an energy, a reminder of the little moments that lift you, that fuel you, that give you a buzz to get from one slower moment to the next. Bald heads on a  rooftop.  That’s what it took.

Maybe the key that I’m thinking about is managing the swings. Taking it all in for what it is. But managing just how much you feel ready to take in, good or bad. Giving yourself permission to feel to the max if you want to, but also letting yourself walk away or put your head in the corner if you’re not in to feeling it.
Remembering what fuels you. And making that one of your missions in life- to spend as much of your valuable energy on the ups, and doing your best to be as strong and calm with the lows. And looking at things through the moment-to-moment lens, a reminder that nothing is permanent, and everything will change. Like it or not.

Moment to moment.
Beer to beer. Bald head to bald head.



Like many parents I’m sure, I struggle to not get ahead of myself with worry and fret about what’s next for my kids.
For me it’s not about anticipating what they’ll learn next- I have no problem seeing them take in new experiences one day at a time, especially here in our new home. I really do relish seeing them squeal with pure delight at something, oftentimes, ironically, oblivious to the fact that it is something new and broadening for them; it’s these more organic, more spontaneous, more personalized experiences that really fuel me as a mom. To suggest that they’re unintentional experiences, however, is entirely inaccurate, given my tendency to plan and plod, and methodically and very intentionally craft these… It’s still in my control, and still with my vision guiding it. And that all settles me.
Instead, I have a hard time not worrying about whether or not I’m preparing them and me for their academic and their formalized ‘skills’ development like music, swimming, soccer, chess club, banjo interpretive dance theatre class, and mandarin literature study, architecture analysis lecture hall… Or whatever.
I worry about the disservice I’m doing in not having them enrolled, enlisted, engaged in all of these formal programs, wondering what lessons they’re not learning, what confidence they’re not gaining; what damage I’m doing to them.
Logically I know that they’re good. They’re happy, they’re sweet, they’re kind, and they’re learning. I think back to all of the formal and informal learning that my parents guided us through. Lessons and teams and groups. But also many special lessons that happened through focused, respectful, and timely interactions between parent and child.
I realize how much we’re exposing them to with this experience here in NYC, and I realize too that parenting is fluid and evolving, and news flash, we can make changes to what we’re doing with them…

Just when I worry about how I’m letting them down and am convinced that I’m raising two self-absorbed, unaware, little brats, N looks at me while at Rockefeller Plaza the other day, eyes bright with delight, hands flickering with excitement and pronounces that she has the BEST idea for Daddy’s birthday. She describes with very intentional detail the full day, connecting everything to the thread of making her Dad’s day ‘very special’. And then E announces today that he ‘loves me very much this Tuesday.’

There are days when I’m sure I am breaking them, and other days where something is sinking in and they’re growing into socially conscious, kind little turds. Who are also learning the days of the week and the geography of the city.
Thank god.


Goblins to Gobbling

We celebrated our first Halloween state side last night.

The nice mom that I accidentally invited myself along with a few weeks back stayed true to her very kind words and sought me out at kid drop-off at school yesterday to make sure we knew we were welcome to join their troop of trick or treaters.
We first ventured to the shops in TriBeCa along Duane and Reede streets.
Way too cute seeing all of the excited, sugar hopped kiddies parading up and down the warehouse steps. Hard to tell if the shop keepers or the kids were more excited, really.
After our share of shop treating, we hopped on the subway and made our way to the Village.
And this is where the dream continued… I’ve never been a massive Halloween fan. I like dressing up and since kids it’s definitely been amped up in excitement… Eagerly anticipating their happy reactions, their curiosity just on the verge of fear when one costume or decoration teeters on the line…
The village. Still very new to us all.
But what a place from some dream it is for me…
Tree-lined streets, narrow sidewalks, tucked-away hallways of restaurants, and so quiet…
The iconic brownstones, the rod iron fences, the elaborate chandeliers way, way up those formidable steps.
And us goofs trolling along with a group of welcoming families, the parents all stepping back into our own childhoods and remembering for a few moments that magic we felt each year when our pillow case were filled with packs of chocolate and gummies, and we stayed up well passed our bedtimes.
How special that Halloween fell on a Friday as well this year.
We insisted that the kids layer up, and for a few minutes we neared pulling the chord when Nora freaked out at being a ‘fat cheetah’, with her jacket adding bulk to her svelt costume… None of the other kids had layers above, let alone beneath their costumes, so this might have been a hangover from previous halloweens where hypothermia was a real possibility…

And now November 1st my Starbucks cup is red, and there are tiny evergreens replacing the pumpkins at Whole Foods.
Bring on the turkeys dressed in Santa Claus hats.
I.Cant. Wait!