Remembering our first American Halloween

With Halloween just around the corner, I’ve found myself getting a bit nostalgic for the New Yorkers’ way of celebrating. Here’s the article I originally wrote back in 2014 about our first American Halloween…

Continue reading “Remembering our first American Halloween”

What to ship when moving from London to New York and back again

We’ve moved from London to New York and back again, with young kids in tow. The second time was a lot smoother. It does get easier.

Let’s face it. Moving house is a total pain, even if it’s just three streets away. All the logistics of dealing with utility companies, scheduling in the wifi, the tv, the landline, the gas, the electrics… it’s exhausting. But when you move countries, it is a whole other level of stress.

I’m planning a series of posts on how to nail it. This first post concentrates on what to take with you, and what to buy locally. Continue reading “What to ship when moving from London to New York and back again”

Goodbye, New York, it’s been emotional

Start spreading the news. We’re leaving today (well, next week). After three exciting, crazy years, we are leaving New York and returning to London. We’ve experienced New York at its finest, and it’s been way beyond our expectations. As the song goes, in New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of, there’s nothing you can’t do. And anything is possible. We’ve driven in New York traffic.  We’ve lived under the Obamas and the Trumps. We’ve even made a little New Yorker of our own… Fuhgeddaboudit.

I’ve been chatting about this with C, and interestingly, he says he feels like a New Yorker now, whereas I still feel like an expat. He regularly plans his weekend walks to pass specific coffee shops. You drink coffee, I drink tea, my dear. I’m an English girl in New York…

But it’s been three years, and it is time. Six year old T expressed it perfectly the other day. “We’re excited to be going back, but sad to be leaving. It’s like bitter sweet food.”

Continue reading “Goodbye, New York, it’s been emotional”

Family vay-cay in the Caymans

We’ve recently come back from the most lovely, long-overdue family holiday in Grand Cayman to celebrate C’s 40th and to kick off our farewell to this part of the world.

Getting to the Caymans from NYC

Southwest of Cuba and Northwest of Jamaica, the Caymans is a really manageable distance from NYC (one of our criteria when traveling with three young kids) less than four hours direct flight on either Jet Blue or Cayman Airways. Continue reading “Family vay-cay in the Caymans”

Roosevelt Island – a quirky NYC day trip

Roosevelt Island is a quirky and cheap day trip activity if you want a change of scene and a decent, traffic-free walk without going very far from Manhattan.

It’s no Governors Island in terms of green space and bike rentals (click here for my review), but it does have the advantage of being open all year round. Continue reading “Roosevelt Island – a quirky NYC day trip”

Crawling out of procrastination slump

Hello everyone. It’s me. Apparently it’s that time of year when I finally emerge from my Christmas cocoon and force myself to start writing again. Producing a beautifully crafted and polished piece is feeling a tad overwhelming, so I thought I’d break the ice with a brain dump of some recent highs and lows. Continue reading “Crawling out of procrastination slump”

Tasty expat Christmas pub lunch

It’s nearly Christmas! C is the most Christmassey man I’ve ever met, mocking up a spontaneous Nativity play using dressing gowns, muslins, and various stuffed animals. He also organised a traditional British lunch at The Churchill on East 28th Street for some other expat friends of ours. The Churchill’s a good British pub, check out the menu here if you fancy a roast with all the trimmings. It also plays recordings of Winston Churchill’s speeches in the loo, which is initially unnerving but then surprisingly hypnotic.

We had a v funny conversation swapping stories of cultural or language barriers, British expressions that can unwittingly derail any conversation with an American. Continue reading “Tasty expat Christmas pub lunch”

Bryant Park’s brrrrilliant Winter Village

Two old friends from home recently came for a weekend in which they crammed the most astonishing amount of NYC sightseeing. Taking advantage of jet lag and general child-free giddiness, they saw A LOT of New York. It was ace.

The highlight for me was ice skating at Bryant Park’s Winter Village. Our third winter here, and we’d never done it before. Sometimes it takes having visitors to make you explore. Really glad we did. Continue reading “Bryant Park’s brrrrilliant Winter Village”

Found a cool kids’ store – Torly Kid

I’ve had a couple of days to get my head around the US election results, and have been looking about me a bit more than usual to see how New York has reacted. On Friday my eye was caught by this particularly timely and inspirational sandwich board on the street, quoting Hillary Clinton: “Diversity is a strength, not a weakness. If we lift each other up, we can make each other stronger.” It was outside Torly Kid, a tiny kids’ boutique on Hudson & Duane Street in Tribeca, and I decided to pop in.

I’m so glad I did. Continue reading “Found a cool kids’ store – Torly Kid”

Top family friendly cafes in NYC

There are precisely two – TWO – foods that all three of my kids will happily eat. Porridge and pancakes. That’s it. So, like true New Yorkers, we eat out a lot.

I’m constantly on the look out for good places to eat out with the kids, especially now that Baby J, 7 months, is also on the solids. It’s surprisingly rare to find fresh veg or fruit on children’s menus here in New York. Lots of places don’t have kids portions at all, so you have to order full size portions and take home the leftovers in doggy bags.

Here are my top picks for the most family-friendly places to eat in Lower Manhattan. If any of you have your own favourites, please add them in the comments at the bottom. Continue reading “Top family friendly cafes in NYC”