Archives for category: New York City

Can’t wait to do this in the Big Apple.  Maybe on a date?  🙂

The image above is so rad.  What an experience!

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Training is almost over.  Two more days.  Then I can find a place to live in Brooklyn.  Wish us luck!  I want a 2 bedroom with a bathtub, loads of charm (pre-war?), easy access to subways (hopefully the B or Q, but I’ll take the F too), in or within walking distance to a hip neighborhood, hardwood floors and some sort of “luxury” feature like a dishwasher, microwave or elevator.

Awesome map of Brooklyn’s neighborhoods from Ork (I’m teaching somewhere in Sheepshead Bay and I hope to live in Park Slope, Windsor Terrace or Kensington–can you spot ’em?).

While running errands with August today in the Village, I noticed two men sitting backwards in a convertible with some pretty hefty video cameras.  I did a quick scan in the direction their cameras pointed and spied this guy on a Vespa, orange Crocs and all:

I want to go to his restaurant, Babbo, in the West Village.

Sincere apologies for the lack of posts of late.  But I have some REALLY convincing reasons.

First.  My son (you know–the TWO year old?) started climbing out of his crib last week.  I’d put him down, and I wouldn’t even be out of the room before he’d climbed over the rail and was chasing me out of the room while giggling hysterically.  Thought he was so clever.  So I’d put him back in.  He’d climb out, chase and giggle.  Repeat.  About a hundred times.  Eventually, he’d get out of his crib and just play in the room.  Fine with me.  But he’d eventually crash in MY bed.  I took this photo on the first night that he actually crashed in HIS big boy bed (sorry it’s so dark, but I didn’t dare use the flash).  Hallelujah!


But.  This transition to the big boy bed has been more tumultuous lately.  I have no idea why.  He hates going to bed now.  AND.  He’s waking up early.  Like 5:30.  I don’t like this.  I thought it was bad when he would sometimes wake up slightly before 7:00.  But 5:30 (and what about that 5:15 yesterday, August?!?!)?  He’s killing me…

…because I’m a working girl now.  That’s right.  I got a job!  A real job!  In MY field!  Teaching 4th, 5th and 6th grade combination class at a Montessori school.  AMEN!!!  The one and only drawback to this job: it’s in Brooklyn.  Nothing against Brooklyn.  But Brooklyn is big, and this school is far from my home (even though the Lower East Side is about as close as one can get to Brooklyn from Manhattan).  The commute is one hour door to door.  First, a ten minute walk to the B line, then a 40 minute subway ride (it goes over the Manhattan Bridge, and then after a couple underground stops, goes above ground for the rest of the way), then another 10 minute walk to my school.  Otherwise, though, the job is perfect.  A small, multicultural school with great staff.  For the past two weeks, I’ve been subbing for the assistant teacher for the class that I will have next year, so I’m getting to know the students pretty well.  They’re great!  They remind me a lot of my students in Massachusetts.  Who knew Brooklyn would be so similar to Somerset?!

But wait.  I haven’t told you the best part.  Because even though I hoped that I would find a job, that wasn’t my greatest worry.  I was really scared that I would find a job but not a place to send August during the day.  The daycare scene in NYC is intimidating to say the least (Nursery University, anyone?).  How I would find an affordable, quality daycare that had an OPEN SPOT was beyond me.  But.  My school (you know–the one I work at now?) has a 2-3 year old class.  And August can go.  FOR FREE!!!!

How cute is my two year old (!!!!) with a backpack?!  His teachers love him, and he’s adjusted so well!  He didn’t lose it on the first day or any day since.  On the first day, when it was naptime, the teacher just said, “August, it’s time to go to sleep,” and he walked over to his little mat and fell asleep.  Rock star!!!  I was so proud of him!  Sniff, sniff.

So August and I have been commuting back and forth to Brooklyn everyday for the past week or so.  I’m not gonna lie–the commute can be rough with a toddler.  But we’ll figure it out.  This school is going to be a FANTASTIC experience for BOTH of us.  I’ve had the chance to observe the 3-6 year old class, and it’s so unbelievably awesome (and I have some HIGH standards)–I can’t wait for August to join it!  In the meantime, I’m plain beat.  Good night…I hope my son doesn’t wake me up tomorrow morning at 5:30.

My son is TWO!  Can you believe it?  One year ago, we were celebrating his one year of existence, and two years ago we were first introduced to August Miles.  Whoa.

We had a small celebration in the courtyard of my new building with a small group of family and friends.  Since red is August’s favorite color (He told me.  I know.), I used some of the same balloons he had at his first birthday party.  I covered the table with black and white stripe fabric from Ikea since the downtown, hipster types love a black and white striped outfit (I’m going to turn the fabric into some pillows for my living room soon!).  Then I threw in a little chartreuse in there with the drinking straws, Granny Smith apples holding the balloons down (apples…you know…to go with the Big Apple theme) and lemonade, ’cause you know I love that red/chartreuse color combo.

It wasn’t long before August discovered the pretzels.  Rather, the salt ON the pretzels.  I made two dips to accompany this classic NYC snack: mustard pretzel dip and beer cheese pretzel dip.

Red velvet cupcakes that my mom made the night before–thanks, Mom!!!

August LOVED the sparkling lemonade.

August wasn’t a happy camper in this photo.  The Koskinens were doing all sorts of silly moves to make him happy.  Their tactics were more successful for my mom and dad apparently.  😉

My gorgeous sisters-in-law.

Beth, my bridesmaid, lives in NYC.  This was her first visit to my new place, so I’m pointing out where my flat is from the courtyard.  I really like this shot (thanks for capturing it, Poptart!).

Presents!  August actually helped unwrap gifts this year.

He LOVED the play kitchen from Nana and Grandpa.  L-O-V-E-D it.

He also loved the cupcakes.  Correction: he loved the icing on the cupcakes.

Aunt Liz gave him a photography lesson.

We practiced saying, “I’m two!” all week.  He did it a lot for me when we were alone.  Only a couple times for an audience.  “August, how old are you?”

If you’re reading this, you’re invited!!

I took this photo of August on East 6th between Avenues B and C after spotting this awesome graffiti wall while out one (rare) night.  Then I sent it to my mom to Photoshop the party details in a graffiti font.  Cute!

Today at the Duane Reade on Delancey, I spotted Cortney Novogratz from Bravo’s new reality show 9 by Design, which is about Cortney, her husband, their seven (!!!) kids and the design business they run in Manhattan.  I mostly recognized her at first, but then I knew it was her when I saw the ghetto gold necklace I’ve seen her wear on the one episode of her show I’ve caught.

I bought eco-friendly all-purpose cleaner.  She bought cookies.

She and her husband are also the authors of this pretty rad book, Downtown Chic.

I’m getting good at this celebrity spotting hobby, no?

Today, August and I explored the Hamilton Fish Park, which is one block away from our new home.  There are two large pools open in the summer, but August was happy as could be collecting sticks…

…and running up and down the stairs and ramps…

I’m looking forward to the outdoor film series starting in a few weeks.  Who wants to join?

Sorry for being MIA.  Trying to get settled.  Take a look at my living room so far.

I think I’ve decided NOT to paint.  The ceilings are wicked high, and I think the white opens it up.  Of course, there needs to be loads of pictures on the walls.  It’s a-comin’…don’t worry.

But there’s lots of other stuff to figure out.  For instance, I’m thinking of getting rid of (storing or selling?) the large square bookcase. I don’t really need the storage, it’s taking up valuable living room space and August thinks it’s his personal jungle gym.

My favorite thing by far is the vintage credenza on which my TV is perched.  I knew that I wanted a long, low dresser as my TV headquarters.  After missing the perfect one for FREE on Craigslist, I thought I’d have to fork over $400, which seemed to be the going rate on Craigslist.  But since my budget for furnishing this new place is about $400 TOTAL, I knew I’d have to stalk Craigslist or look beyond NYC.  So when we went up to Providence to retrieve our essentials, I stopped by my fav thrift shops.  And that’s where I found it.  For $50.  Sold.  It was a beast to lift, even with all the drawers removed.  Solid piece–guess they just don’t make ’em like they used to.  I LOVE it.  I just need to replace the handles.

Otherwise, all I need is a rug, coffee table and some pillows.  These are my thoughts in those departments:

RUGS

I’m either going with a bold, ethnic rug like these kilims:

Each rug is $95 from Rugland

Or something more neutral:

$80 from Overstock

$67 from Overstock

COFFEE TABLES

$40 from Target.  Two of ’em.  Storage and extra seating.

On sale from Target for $112.  I don’t think it’s quite right for my place, so maybe one of you should go for it.  Because it’s really pretty (I’ve tried to convince Liz to splurge on the matching nightstands for her bedroom new-do…I’ll do another round of badgering this weekend!)

The spendiest option is $250 from CB2, which means it’s impossible.  But I like that it’s clear and rounded–practically invisible and toddler friendly!

PILLOWS

I’m thinking orangey-coral and teal.  SO not my usz.  But I kinda love it.  The idea of it at least.  All of these options are from Crate and Barrel, CB2 or Target, and they are all less than $40.  But I’m thinking I can score some cheaper versions at Homegoods or just find some fabric and make ’em myself!


Plus this one from eBay and this one from Urban Outfitters and this floor cushion (two of ’em)–I couldn’t figure out how to save the pictures off eBay and UO websites.

So.  Once I make some decisions, I’ll be sure to show the results.  Until then, more settling…

Well, I’m staying in NYC!!!  I’ve found a flat in a building in the hip Lower East Side that has an elevator, dishwasher, laundry in the basement and other sorts of comfortable amenities.  See for yourself:

Living room:

Kitchen, which is opposite the window wall in the living room so it’s all one big open, happy place:

(Yes, that IS Eric.  Back for another visit.  Filling out the application.)

Bathroom:

Bedroom, which we’re dividing into two rooms with a wall (VERY popular option in NYC.  This place was listed as a “one bedroom convertible two”):

And here’s a video tour to put together all the pieces:

(Coming soon…)

A nearby, cute street:

So after we signed the lease and paid a small fortune of first/last month’s rent plus deposit, we drove Eric’s dad’s station wagon up to our old house (sigh) in Providence, where ALL of our stuff is stored in the basement.  Here’s what our stack of goods looks like (can you spy Eric rooting around for things?):

We found a PERFECT sofa option in the “As Is” section (my favorite part of the whole store) at Ikea in New Haven on our drive up to Providence.  Only $350 for a L-shaped sofa that converts to a bed!  We *begged* the clerk to hold it for us for less than 24 hours, when we’d be driving back through New Haven with a U-Haul, but they refused.  So we just hoped that no one would buy it in the meantime.  Alas, someone did.  So I still need a sofa, but otherwise, my place is all set.  Just need to unpack it all!

COME VISIT!!!!