March 27, 2017

Our Love Letter to NYC

There’s never been a city or place that’s meant so much.

For me, that’s not terribly hard as I wasn’t a born and raised kind of kid. Unlike my husband and friends who still go back to the same hometown, are incredibly close with childhood pals, parents’ friends and have a real community to call theirs, I don’t really have one. (I was born in New Jersey, moved to Philadelphia, moved to Florida, spent holidays and summers back in Philadelphia, went to college in rural PA and moved immediately to NYC when I graduated.) New York has become my home.

It’s where I’ve lived the longest and the place that’s shaped me the most. It’s where I started my career, firmed up my friendships- and let go of others, it’s where I fell in and out of love, was lonely, homesick, heartbroken, happiest… Where I changed careers multiple times, where I fell in love for the last time, got engaged, had my first child and will give birth to my second. It’s where Lilly made her first friends, began her education and helped her parents see their beloved town in an entirely new light. It means so much to me. And I leave it, once again, with a heavy heart.

There’s no place I love more (I mean Italy, Cabo and California come to mind!). But, truly, as a place that’s kicked my ass, sobered me up, taught me and given me so much, nothing else can compare. And that’s why I’m so glad we’re not going far and we’ll continue to be cultured by the city that matters so much to all of us.

First, (Our) New York by the Numbers:

I’ve lived here a collective 13 years, Zach, 12, Lilly, 4.

Zach and I’ve lived (separately and together) on the Upper West, Upper East, Park Slope (Brooklyn), Chelsea, Midtown Manhattan, Murray Hill and, finally, our favorite, Tribeca.

Between the two of us, we’ve had 8 full time positions here (NBC Page, Zenith Media, 4 Kids Entertainment and Fox for Zach and, for me, Talk Magazine, HarperCollins Publishers, Bookspan, Us Weekly) and many side gigs like: babysitter, temp, substitute teacher, freelance writer and producer, blogger and social media consultant.

Below, a few photo highlights…

Zach flew from Texas to NYC to celebrate New Year’s with me, our first.

Once he moved back and we moved in together (after 9 months of long-distance dating), he made pancakes for our first morning in our apartment in Chelsea. Check out my apron and his bedhead.

Enjoying the sunset on our roof in Chelsea the first month of our move-in. My dress. Oy.

I look possessed (I’d also just gotten my haircut and hated it- I think there might’ve even been tears.) but this was the toast at our apartment warming party.

Twinsies at Wollman Rink.

Our second U.S. Open together (besides one when we were in CA, we’ve been every year for eleven years).

NY Rangers game.

Impromtu club nights with my girls.

One of the most magical nights.

Our first move as a couple from Chelsea to Midtown. We still own that couch. It’s since been covered in white fabric and is now filthy.

My besties and former roomies.

Celebrating New Year’s at our Midtown apt. No matter where we are or how tiny (or ugly) the apartment is, it doesn’t stop us from throwing parties. Can’t wait to continue at our new, much bigger, prettier space!

Moving from Midtown to LA post-wedding. Once we got to CA and unpacked till 3am, Zach threw himself on top of empty boxes and, tired of moving so much, said he’d be buried in that home. I predict he’ll say the same thing once we move to the burbs.

Back in NYC– after two-and-a-half-years in California- with a baby.

Rocking our fussy girl on the terrace of our new TriBeCa apartment.

This is a warm and fuzzy memory: I wanted to take our newborn girl to experience her first fireworks on the Fourth across the street from our apartment and Zach was not on board. A fight ensued. You see who won.

One of my favorite pictures ever. Mama’s gotta get her wine in.

Taking the ferry to see our friends in New Jersey.

Obligatory Central Park leaf photo.

Including a marathon photo with dad, a former NYC marathon runner.

I loved that little bear suit.

It was, naturally, a rough winter, our first back from CA and with a baby. Undeterred, Lilly and I made it out almost every day. We’re hardcore.

Natural History Museum.

Followed by Serendipity for Frozen Hot Chocolate.

Her first of many shows (Elmo & Friends).

My new mom friends were game-changing.

Picnics in the park were a lot more doable when she didn’t move.

We stalk the tulips every spring at Washington Market Park.

We spent several amazing summers in the Hamptons with new-found friends.

I love taking her to new exhibits.

Play dates (and wine!) were necessary.

We’ll continue to come back here year after year. It’s now a tradition.

Girls since our days at HarperCollins. My second job. Wouldn’t have survived without these three.

Greenwich Hotel fireside afternoons will always be a special memory.

We won’t miss tiny bathrooms though.

We spent a lot of time at Gymboree. Now, we’ll have a playroom, basement and backyard.

My favorite bridge in the entire world. Never gets old.

Bubby’s was (and will continue to be) a staple.

So were farmer’s market Saturdays.

Three out of these five are soon-to-be suburbians (within 15 minutes of each other!). We’re working on the other two.

Hamptons Part Deux.

Trick or Treating will be very different next year. No Locanda Verde and other restaurants.

I had to bid adieu to FAO Schwartz before they closed. Talk about the end of an era. I grew up going and am so glad I got to bring my girl before they shut their doors.

The splash pad across the street will be missed this summer. I sense a few trips in for just that!

Despite this photo, we’ve LOVED Lilly’s school. That will be the hardest to leave. (See her first week of 3’s here.)

Her dance studio is pretty special too.

But the friends we’ll be heading back in for (and having out). The shots, I can do without though.

Broadway will continue to be a big part of my life too.

As will the Open.

We’ll also continue to visit the NYPD (and FDNY).

Billy’s Bakery will also be a frequent stop.

As will Grand Banks. So I guess we’ll be back a lot more than I originally thought.

What an adventure it’s been. Off to our suburban one (soon)!