Bean bags and ferry boats

IKEA, New York

One week in, and starting to feel at home. Have bought a king size bed and been to IKEA – see, we’re already living the American dream.

Feel should write something really profound and insightful about the move. But I don’t feel ready to, it’s all still far too new to say anything beyond the simple fact that I know we’re in for a wonderful few years. Feeling v lucky.

Slowly getting to grips with all the admin involved with any house move. Work out how to do the communal laundry? Tick. Find a source of utterly plain ham sandwiches T may actually eat? Tick. Buy a nifty whistling kettle to make tea? Tick.

Shiny red whistling kettle - New York, IKEA
Shiny red whistling kettle

Still haven’t worked out what phone to get, though, so have been completely phone-free for a week. Not easy. I even resorted to carrying B into our building’s management office to ask to use their phone, thinking she could help with the charm offensive. Turns out my secret weapon was unnecessary, they couldn’t have been more helpful.

Actually the general helpfulness and friendliness here has been really astonishing. I asked a police officer near our local playground to explain to T how she could spot an NYPD officer if she ever got lost. He knelt down to show her the badge, shield (featuring a cowboy and Indian! Who knew?) and radio. She absorbed it all with enormous eyes.

Am having to remind myself that friendliness and great customer service doesn’t mean I don’t have to double check things. The taxi we’d booked to meet us at JFK had brought the two requested car seats, but had simply plonked them on the back seat. Completely unattached, let alone isofixed.

We realised we had to go to IKEA as our apartment didn’t come with any lighting except in the bathroom and kitchen, so we had been sitting in darkness. The obligatory IKEA shop was made much more fun by catching the bright yellow ferry from Wall Street’s very own Pier 11 to the Brooklyn store (free at weekends, though allow for 30-45 minute queues with little shade or seating; bring snacks!).

We’ve been really lucky with the free entertainment so far; we wandered past the Downtown Dance Festival artists rehearsing by the river in Battery Park. The Statue of Liberty was in the background, all v picturesque.

Also v much enjoyed exploring See/Change at South Street Sea Port, which was brilliant fun. Giant bean bags and a fake lawn for charging about on, with live country music playing.

Planning to go back there again in a few days to meet some other kids in T’s class so she has some familiar faces when term starts.

Operation Make Some Local Friends begins. Watch this space.

If you’re considering a move between New York and the UK, check out this removals company.

Author: Alex

Hello. Toddling Round New York is my own little blog of our family’s experience of moving young kids from London to New York… And of having a baby out here. They are my own baby steps of exploring this incredible city. I lived in five countries in four continents growing up, so you’d think I’d be good at this by now.

Here you’ll find stories and photographs of our adventures, the highs and the lows of expat parenthood, and some ideas I hope you’ll find useful if you’re in New York with young kids.

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