It’s been awhile since an update. I know. I’m going to continue as if that never happened.
We left New York when Alice was just 4 months old. When we made the decision to leave we promised we would bring her back regularly, that she’d know that city as well as our new one.
One full week, and instead of fretting over rent, affordable childcare, transportation and all the distracting realities of life in New York we so eagerly left behind, we focused on just enjoying the city. We visited friends, old neighborhoods and restaurants. We swam in warm ocean water and ate bagels and pizza. We did all the romantic things we had meant to but rarely had time for while we were living there: Central Park, The Museum of Natural History, Jane’s Carrousel, the High Line Park and The Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory.
The most amazing aspect of our entire trip was experiencing the city with a very outgoing almost-two-year-old. Where there were once tense, crammed subway rides at rush hour there were now friendly, outgoing individuals smiling and talking at length with Alice. Diverted eyes and random pushes we’re replaced with smiles, waves and the concerned “pardon me.” Even cabbies and uber drivers were double checking her carseat and asking of the baby was comfortable.
I’m not sure how we’ll recover once we no longer cart around this precious toddler who calls out (“close it!” to the subway doors and “sit down” to each new passenger), waves and dances to anything resembling a beat. I guess we’ll need a really cute dog to carry in a handbag.
For the last week and a half we’ve had house guests, which always presents an opportunity to go out and explore Manhattan and Brooklyn. Because we’re generally homebodies when left to our own devices, it’s always good to try a new restaurant, visit a new park or get to an area we might otherwise overlook.
Our list of “new” places has included:
Dutch Boy Burger, on Franklin Avenue in our neighborhood, which offers an astounding array of modernized takes on the classic 1950s milkshake (nutella!) as well as great beers and (I’m told) amazing burgers. While I don’t eat meat myself, the veggie burger was stupendous, as was the chipotle mayo that came with it.
And Olea, a fabulous mediterranean spot in Fort Greene that exudes summer in decore has has great tapas to share while you take in sun-streaked vintage prints, knick-nacks and flowers in a little oasis.
And, while it’s certainly taken us awhile to get over the notion that winter is long gone and summer’s oppressive heat is here, we’ve also abandoned our take out traditions (Sapid Indian!) in favor of anything with an outdoor patio that will allow us to leave our oven OFF. Most commonly our new restaurant of choice is Zaytoons), which gives us great Middle Eastern food in a breezie little garden out back.
Our favorite summer addition, duh, to combate the heat is ice cream. While the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory remains my favorite (butter pecan. Ummm.) we’re absolute junkies for our new neighborhood spot, Ample Hills Creamery, which is a name apparently derived from NYC native Walt Whitman. Flavors like cookies and sweet cream, maple pecan and the Milk Bar themed breakfast trash (where left-over Fruity Pebbles milk makes its way into ice cream) make us grateful we have something so neat-o just around the corner.