& the (City) Living Is Good…even with Little Ones & a Stroller in Tow
I grew-up in the ‘burbs in Central New Jersey. Never in a million years did I ever envision raising my own family in the city, especially in “The City that Never Sleeps.” Growing up when I played “house,” I don’t even think we ever even vacationed in a city!
I knew early on during the dating phase that Scott hated commuting and had no desire to relocate from NYC and have to commute to work. I didn’t sweat it because truthfully I figured I could get him to change his mind when the time came. While I am good at persuading my husband, he is also adamant on certain subjects and when his mind is made up, he won’t bend. Yes, both of our moms preferred we move back to New Jersey to start our family.
Marriage is all about compromise so I accepted buying an apartment in NYC instead of a house with a sprawling backyard. Truthfully, I still had my doubts, but I made my bed, so now I had to lie in it.
Well, guess what? I wouldn’t trade raising my son in NYC for almost anything in the world. Honestly, I would be devastated now if Scott was to come home one day and suggest moving to the suburbs.
The ease. The convenience. The accessibility. The endless choices and possibilities. The energy. The excitement. I embrace the whole crazy city lifestyle while pushing a stroller.
So why am I running this post NOW?
I was forming it in my head while quickly walking home from a midday appointment. I am so fortunate that my husband works nearby enough that he is able to arrange his schedule to sometimes come home lunchtime and watch Ian IF/WHEN there is something I need to do during normal working hours. This is a luxury I would never be able to happen IF we didn’t live in NYC.
By writing this post, I am choosing to “stop and smell the roses.” I am recognizing the advantages of what I do have in my life and not allowing myself to take this wonderful experience for granted.
In the February 2011 issue of New York Family (in honor of the magazine’s 5th anniversary), publisher Eric Messinger did a piece, “100 Reasons to Love Growing Up in the City.” Here are some that stand out to me from his list:
1. The Diversity
2. All of the wonderful neighborhood playgrounds
4. The great (often free) programs in the parks department and the City Parks Foundation
13. Central Park
16. The museums
22. Incredible eats (whether ordered in or sought out)
31. All of the wonderful Y’s (and the JCC)
42. Amazing birthday venues and entertainers, and all sorts of birthday cakes
47. A pizza place or bagel store every three blocks
56. The public pools around the city
60. It’s not unifromly so, but there are a lot of great neighborhood public schools
65. Braodway Shows (Ian has already been to Freckleface Strawberry & The Gazillion Bubble Show, just to name a few off the top of my head)
69. Yankee Stadium or Citi Fields (Take your pick)
79. If you have a child with special needs, there are social service organizations to turn to
82. “Big box” event shopping like The American Girl Store and Nintendo World Store (comes in very hand when buying gifts for my niece and nephew)
86. Being from the city, chances are kids will grow up with a good sense of humor
90. It’s a city that applauds hard work and big dreams (and kids get that)
93. Neighborhood green markets
98. From grand candy emporiums to ice cream shops…it’s a yummy city
100. if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere
Here some additional favorites of our family, Team Gutterman:
* our son learned how to hail a cab at an extremely young age.
* There’s nevera shortage of things to do
* Open play at City Treehouse and Appleseeds
*Best people watching
* Quick runs by foot to Dunkin Donuts, Pinkberry, Jamba Juice, McD’s and Melt
* Our annual father’s day tradition of brunching at Park Avenue Summer
* Organizations like Divalysscious Moms and MomTrends which provide opportunities to meet other great moms and families while having fun at fabulous events
I could go on and on!
What do you love most about where you live? Is there anything you wish you could change?