Dreams and sh*t

I can actually say that tonight the words ‘that was really a dream come true’ came out of my mouth.
I made the move and gave myself a night out tonight on 5th ave. All alone.
No rush, no deadline, no attending to snacks/potty-breaks/negotiating toy turns/cold legs/she looked at me/I don’t want to’s.
Me. 5th ave. Some lights. And about 85 million other dummies.
And my goodness was it swell.
I forgot to eat today in a focus to really try to close a few things off for a few days of a break. So by the time I left work I was hun.gry. I’d debated eating somewhere out. But got too caught up in wandering, and instead delved into the whole experiencing, treating myself to $3 samosas from a street cart. They were really spicy. And awesome.

So- first stop- Bloomingdales. Interactive and mobile and awesome.
Then on to Barney’s. This was insane. Baz Luhrmann insane. Talking owls, mechanical suns, and skaters. Nuff said. So cool.
From here on to Bergdorf Goodman’s tribute to the arts, followed by a stumbling ( and near trampling, no joke) at Saks and Rockefeller. And a whole sprinkling of other pretty spectacular sights in between.

I was also lucky enough to stumble into St Thomas’ Church. The doors were splayed open, and I could hear singing. I stepped in and saw a choir of red-robed boys practising for a Christmas Eve service. I sat quietly and enjoyed on a pew alone…

Along the whole way I leisurely shopped- didn’t buy anything, other than a pretzel (Duh), and hopped into a few hotels to see if any felt right for a solo drink ( the St. Regis, the Peninsula, Sherry-Netherlands, the Plaza and the Waldorf Astoria) but something wasn’t quite right for me to settle down in any. They were all stunning and iconic, but I was shockingly not in the mood to sit still and drink.

There are enough moments where I’m pretty tired or frustrated or scared or… Just not up. Like everyone. But tonight was just really nice. As vacuous or silly as that sounds. There are so many other elements that can complicate situations. I’m keeping tonight simple and am appreciating it for what it was. A dream come true, without evaluation, or analysis, or judgement.

Also, my one kid officially says ‘Santa’ with a new twang/slant. I’m simultaneously horrified and delighted.



We are celebrating Christmas this year on our own.
We made that decision as we were moving here, oddly enough, already panicking at the prospect of coordinating more travel logistics so quickly after arriving here.
Maybe it was the right call, maybe we took the easy way out, avoiding the stresses of travel while sacrificing time with family and friends. We will see.
Selfishly, it has allowed us to approach this holiday with a much calmer, less chaotic energy. There are only the expectations that I’m setting, so if I am getting anxious and panicked and hyper, it really is my own fault. I have my husband and kids alone evaluating my Christmas morning breakfast plans, and time has proven that they have prettttty low expectations. Not sure what that is a reflection of…

If I get consumed by what kind of dips and cheeses and bubbles I have, what scent of candles I have lit when, what table centre pieces I craft up from late night trolling on f€*# ing Pinterest, I really have myself to blame.
But really, that is always the case.
Of course we, especially as women and as moms, are judged, and judge each other. And of course it gets to us at busy times, at scary times, at weak times. But when we’re able to liberate ourselves from this judgement, you realize how much lighter, calmer, and happier you can let yourself feel…
So- I’ve ordered a shit load of food that will be arriving tonight (a few extra bottles of wine and baileys in there for me, and chips in there for the kids), I picked up some wrapping paper last night, and I have new pjs for the gang to wear as many hours of the day on the holidays as we like. We plan on making our way through the usual Christmas movie repertoire, maybe adding a few extras with some more NY flair. We are thinking about joining a Christmas Eve service at nearby Trinity Church, (should probably make sure the kids know what a manger is and who this God guy is first), and I miiiight try to sneak in an extra giant tree sighting or Christmas market,  while chugging hot cocoa (sounds so much more festive) or apple cider, if the gang cooperates. We are intent on ordering in Chinese food for Boxing day. That is the extent of my planning this year. In theory I am delighted. We’ll see how it translates…!

I know we will miss our families immensely. And I am complying with my default response of deny, deny, deny until I absolutely must confront the feeling…It’ll be a season of skyping…

So- our traditions will, for now, be founded on however we interpret the spirit of giving, saying thanks, and enjoying whichever family and friends you are near to. Or far from.

Here’s to rest, reflection, and…rum? (i needed an ‘R’, and it really is such a versatile drink, seasonally-speaking.)

Winter wonderland

I’ve always had a dream of being in New York for Christmas.
Until coming here, I wasnt exactly sure what it was about it that drew me to this experience, but now 10 days into December, I am basking in the Christmas glow that this city is come December. Well, technically by the 2nd week of November the term ‘holidays’ is being woven into nearly every interaction here…

It’s again a fine balance between actively plotting out our Christmas experiences, and allowing serendipity to play it’s role, allowing you to stumble upon Christmas markets, bask in the heavy evergreen smell of the pop-up Christmas tree stands around the corner, or dipping in to a dark and cozy pub for a warm drink, boughs and berries and candles enveloping you.

We have hit the usual suspects up, in one weekend making rounds to Santaland at Macy’s ( which was sadly ended abruptly with protestors- it was difficult to explain why this was happening and why they were chanting ‘ I can’t breathe’ and ‘black lives matter’ to a 5 year old. Difficult but important.), a $10 performance of the Nutcracker that Nora and I went to at a theatre in the Upper East, and then rounding it with a 9am performance Sunday of the Rockettes.
But somehow it all felt manageable.
This weekend we have Nora’s dance recital for the Nutcracker… And then Sunday we’re planning on taking in some Christmas train activities… Not sure where the Christmas and train connection came from, but there are displays everywhere, so that’ll hopefully be something we can take in.
And- I stumbled along one particularly cozy looking pub that we will be sipping a warm drink at.

Taking it all in. It’s a silly magical feel… With all the crazy to ground it…


Lone Ranger

This weekend someone presented me with the idea of being ‘isolated’ and ‘sheltered’ from so much, living in New York.
Initially I was dumbfounded. Sheltered living in this wack-job of an awesome place? Isolated in a place that doesn’t have a space that isn’t connected to another place? I don’t think so.

But in an ironic way, I could see how there are some truths to this statement…
This place is so consuming. So intense and so… Itself. It makes no apologies for its flaws, it doesn’t make excuses for its ways, it doesn’t necessarily even celebrate it’s graces.
It just is. It pulses, it beats, it whirs along. And you’re along for the ride, as active or passive of a passenger as you chose to be.

There’s so much here. An embarrassment of riches, really. You just have to make it available to you with your own two hands. New York isn’t the kind of place that holds it’s hands out to you. It’ll point you along, or even open a door or two, but it doesn’t strike me as the kind of welcoming guide who will take your hand in hers, reassure you of your route, and wave goodbye at your destination, sending you off with a friendly and encouraging wink.

It is also a city of extremes.
At least once a day I remind myself to show respect to one of the many mentally unstable persons rocking himself on a street corner, by acknowledging him instead of turning away; or I have to resist the urge to shy away from a tired and hungry looking mom riding a train with her equally tired and hungry-looking child much too late at night.
And then on another day I scratch my head at the parade of orange-skinned oldies congregating at the south edge of Central Park, crisp shopping bags accompanying them in and out if their shiny black cars. I pass through stunningly picturesque streets, lined with ornate brownstones, and spilling over with shop and restaurant after shop and restaurant, little treasures waiting to be discovered.
And then the next day my kid squeals with horror/delight ( another extreme reaction) at the dead rat she sees on the road. The pretty road.

And I forget about the ‘rest’ of the world. I’m absorbed, and consumed, and overwhelmed, and inspired, and conflicted.
But all of it so immediate. And in my face. And shadowing what else might be going on ‘outside there.’

Maybe it’s all of that that can make it seem isolated, or sheltered, or removed…maybe from ‘the rest’ of the world, but certainly not from the extremes within this New York world..

Sitting at my desk today this little dude paid me a visit. 30 seconds after I took this picture a see another little buddy floating by.
Funny stuff.