New York is an ugly city, a dirty city.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Its climate is a scandal, its politics are used to frighten children, its traffic is madness, its competition is murderous.
But there is one thing about it - once you have lived in New York and it has become your home, no place else is good enough.

John Steinbeck

I am such an unfocused blogger lately. Although real life resumed a week ago, I have yet to settle into the in-between. I have fallen into a regular CrossFit schedule, which serves as something concrete to tether my day to. That helps. But my 6a wake up call hasn't gotten any easier, and I'm lacking focus. My goal for this month was to sit down and write every single day. To portion off part of my day and dedicate it solely to putting fingers to keyboard. It's simply not happening. Perhaps I need to take a more aggressive approach. Because I wasn't going back to school this semester, I neglected to buy a planner. That appears to be a misjudgement. I'm finding that my day feels better when I know what I'll be doing and when. I have a list of blog topics on a virtual sticky note, but I have yet to organize the photos and get started. I also have over a dozen drafts that have been abandoned and need to be deleted, rewritten, or finished. That's my goal for this week. To get a planner and use it to divide my time, meal plan, and find a rock solid period to write. I know how it feels to be over scheduled. I lived that way for years and will again when I go back to work and as grad school approaches. And while I don't want to resume that rather heart-racing pace, I'm finding that having (almost) every second planned isn't such a bad thing. When done with intention. When at least a few minutes are blocked off to "do nothing."

In the meantime, here are some photos and thoughts about our New York City trip over the holidays. (Check one post off the list!)

Every time we are in The City, no matter how long the visit, Mario and I begin to test out the idea of living there. There is no denying the buzz of city life... the hustle and bustle carries a certain attraction for us. The thought of selling our stuff and giving up our cars in favor of walking and a smaller dwelling carries a lot of appeal. No more junk in the basement and closets... space is at a premium in The Big City.

Two things cause us pause: First, could we maintain our quality of life? We checked out an apartment on a whim while we were there, and although charming, $2500/month would buy us less than 500 square feet and just a single bedroom. By the American standard, our house is pretty small (but perfect for us) at just 1300 square feet on the ground level. And our mortgage is over a thousand dollars less per month. Second, how does one raise a child in the city? Hundreds of thousands do, but how exactly? Private or public school? What neighborhood do you decide to live in? So many questions...

We have always said that if city life calls, Chicago would be at the top of our list. But there is simply nothing like New York City. There isn't. While we certainly say hello to tourist favorites like Times Square and Rockefeller Center, we love nothing more than to find hidden gems... places prized by native city dwellers. To take the subway to and fro. To scope out a funky flea market in Hell's Kitchen. To walk through neighborhoods and imagine ourselves living in a particularly lovely walk-up in the West Village.

The seed has been planted. Perhaps once Kiddo is on his own journey. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps. But for now, it is just a dream.
(Did the Nelly song just pop into your head, too?)


  1. I completely agree! Moving to NYC always sounds magical after every visit but the logistics are just crazy.

  2. We loved our visit to NYC, after growing up in Vegas the idea of living in a big city honestly scares me anymore.

  3. Beautiful pictures! They seemed less tourist-y and more like general observations. Which, imho, is better. I don't know how to explain the difference, but there is one or two... :)

    1. Thanks, Shelby! We are definitely not the tourist-y types.

  4. Beautiful photography Sarah! Before you even mentined the dream of NYC towards the end of your post, your photos had already pulled me in and coloured my imagination with thoughts of life in the Big Apple. Having only visited once and for a few hours only, I always wondered if living there was really like what we see in the movies... by what you are saying, it does seem so! Thank you for the virtual visit and please move there so that I can live vicariously throught you my friend!


    1. It is like the movies! I never thought about it... but it is definitely one of those cities that can live up to the hype. I will put it on the must-live list! :)

  5. There is something appealing about that city - even to a country girl like me. The energy is contagious and visiting just wets your appetite for more and what ifs. Thanks for sharing your pictures. (I am also someone that functions well with structure in the form of schedules and day planners).

    1. Thanks, Nicki! You summed it up perfectly! And I'm glad I am not alone in my undeniable need for structure. :)


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