Ok, so last month I wrote about some of the challenges of raising kids in this city I love. Lest you get too bad of an impression – here is the flip side. We really do love this city where we are raising our kids. In the movies NYC is all Culture! Museums! Broadway every day! Restaurants! – well the restaurant one is pretty true. But the rest, those things are here, but in many ways living here is like living anywhere else. We go to work and school and are exhausted and kids are hard. But…
Yesterday, for instance, we went in to the city to the Bryant Park Holiday Market. (It’s just easier to go early if we know what we are buying and avoid the crowded-est of crowds.) We bought our stuff and ate some donuts and skipped the carousel and started walking to Grand Central to see their holiday train exhibit, which we visit weekly until it goes away, and have to pass the New York Public Library. Simon asked if this is the Ghostbuster’s Library. It is! And the Rose Reading Room has just been reopened after years of cleaning, so we can VISIT THE ROOM from the movie. On the way in we see a big exhibit room opened – it turns out it was International Games Day. There are tables upon tables of board games, but also video games on a huge projector and a virtual reality station. So we went, and played. And then there were free snacks. After that fun, we went to the reading room looked around and then to Grand Central. We love how we just stumble upon these kinds of things when walking around. There are so many cool things I would never even think to look for. Like the Bastille Day street fair.
In more planned events, we do plan and make use of all the city has to offer, like going to the Empire State Building at 8am. Or the Hall of Science often. And the Met, and Central Park. We just go to the Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Macy’s Santa each year, like, no big deal.
I love the freedom and street smarts that my kids have that I never did. I trust them to stop at the corners – yes Mom, I know this is terrifying to watch. They can navigate their common environments, and know which subway stops are home. And which trains or busses take us to our favorite places.
I love that we can walk to school and that most of Simon’s friends are within walking distance. This isn’t a huge deal now, but once he’s big enough to be out on his own, they can go to the park and home and it will be great. I love that I live in a neighborhood where I know people. In the last post I talked about the difficulties of getting places that take a lot of time. But the flip side is my grocery store, my church, my knitting group, my babywearing group are all walk able within 10 minutes. This city is vast and tiny at the same time.
We get the choice, do we want the small neighborhood or the city as our playground. And I’ve been enjoying so much, I’m not taking so many pictures these days – oops.