The highs and lows of moving from London to New York with young kids
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.
The Times today reported that my favourite ever tea shop, Tea & Sympathy, may be forced to close. This has jolted me out of my blogging apathy for the first time in about a year.
Yes, that’s right. It’s been a year. A year of thinking, ‘Oh no, yet another month without posting any new content. My SEO must be rubbish’, yet failing to write anything. Well, not today.
I was literally making myself some tea and flicking through the paper when I saw the headline, ‘New York’s Little Britain Under Siege‘, and I recognised the shop in the photo. Loyal readers may remember that this tea shop quickly became an essential survival tool for my time in NYC. I still associate it with comfort and familiarity on days when expat parenting felt a little overwhelming. I’m pretty sure it was the first place I reviewed for this blog, here. With a fish & chip shop two doors down (marvellously called A Salt and Battery) and a tea room that stocked mince pies and Hula Hoops, it’s heaven to visit.
And now, according to The Times, ‘New York’s Little Britain is under threat. [The owner]… is fighting to keep her shops alive in the face of rising rents and a demand for back taxes from a new landlord.’
If any of you are in New York right now, are feeling a little cold, a little hungry, perhaps you could pop round to Tea & Sympathy for a cup of tea and a slice of cake? You’ll find it on Greenwich Avenue between Horatio Street and Jane Street. Thanks guys.
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…
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.
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.”
The DCs walking through NYC
My favourite family portrait taken by lovely teacher, Kay Bermudez. Love sculpture on 6th Avenue & West 55th Street
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”
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”
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.
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.