Found a good baby kit shop

Good news – have  found a seriously good baby kit shop, called ‘Buy Buy Baby’.

Recommended by a friend of B’s godparents, it seems like a bigger, better Mothercare or Kiddicare, with loads of stock. The store has ramps where needed, plenty of open cashier desks, and lots of tempting presents for young relations back home. You can also bulk buy diapers (that’s nappies to you and me) at what I think is probably a pretty good price, but confess am still getting my eye in to New York prices. Loved this window display outside.

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Learning the modes of transport

Been here nearly four weeks now, and have been trying out the different modes of transport. There’s a brilliant free, air conditioned Connection Bus which runs a loop Downtown through Battery Park City, Tribeca and Sea Port. V handy for nipping around with the girls when it’s hot. Only downside is you always have to collapse the pram, even if the bus is practically empty – not cool when it’s heaped with bags, scooters, and a sleeping toddler. But despite that, it’s still our favourite. T loves to pull the yellow bell rope to request a stop, and solomnly calls out “Thank you, driver” when she clambers down to the pavement.

The Metro is our least favourite, so far. It feels grimy, far too hot, and borderline scary when the trains whizz past on both sides of your narrow platform. While the trains themselves are (usually) air conditioned, you get pretty scorched by the hot winds on the platform. It’s particularly hard to navigate with a pram – most stations have flight after flight of steep steps, and precious few elevators. The ticket barriers are also really hard. Apparently you’re supposed to leave the pram, swipe your card, nip through the  turnstile and then rush back through the emergency exit gate to retrieve your child, holding it open with your foot so you can push them through. Luckily I’ve had C with me each time so one of us has stayed with B, but I’d be really uncomfortable leaving her in the pram while I ran round. The answer would probably be to unclip her and carry her with me, but either way it’s difficult and stressful.  In fact, I think I’d use my beloved Ergo baby carrier if I had to do it on my own.
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Calling all New York novels

Have been asking friends, teachers and other ‘moms’ (see, am getting the lingo) for their favourite books about New York. Here are a few:

‘New York’, by Edward Rutherford

The Goldfinch’ by Donna Tart

Just Kids’ by Patti Smith

Netherland’ by Joseph O’Neill

New York Trilogy’ by Paul Auster

Let the Great World Spin’ by Colum McCann
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Schools, statues and sloshing water

Big week – both girls started settling in at school and nursery, so finally getting back into a routine.  B had no trouble at all, and T’s first settling in session was probably the most restful hour I’ve had since The Big Move. I got to sit back on (another) enormous bean bag whilst T and her new friends romped about playing with adorable wooden building blocks that looked like they were actually bits of a tree. Makes a nice change from the insidious bright plastic toys you see so much in the UK.

Over the summer, T’s new school asked all the children to make a cushion that reminded them of home, as a comforter. “T” (i.e. me and her grandmother) duly spent a good 20+ hours stitching this little beauty. Many thanks to Julia at Pickwick Papers in Greenwich for getting hold of some curtain samples with lovely drawings of London. T got to choose which to put where – a Beefeater standing guard outside Buckingham Palace, a bus heading to 10 Downing Street. She also helped to pick and dry some lavender from our garden, so it smells of home. Wonder if she’ll always associate the smell of lavender with Greenwich, now? That’d be quite nice. So the cushion is currently wedged in her little cubby hole next to her two changes of clothes, suncream and water bottle.
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