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”

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”

Tips for expat families starting New York schools

Many New York schools start term again tomorrow, closed since mid-June (Yes. Summer vacations really are that long over here).

For any expats gearing up for their first New York school experience this term, here are some tips. Continue reading “Tips for expat families starting New York schools”

Passports and other useful admin for British babies born in the US

Four months ago today, our third child was born in New York, and is therefore officially entitled to an American and a British passport. There’s quite a lot of admin involved in having a baby here (British or not), so I thought it might be helpful to share what we’ve learnt. Continue reading “Passports and other useful admin for British babies born in the US”

Giving birth: London vs New York

Well, Baby J arrived two weeks early, the very day after I posted a comparison of pregnancy experiences between New York and the UK, so it seems only fitting that I write a follow up piece comparing the births (my two eldest were both born in London in the local NHS hospital). Continue reading “Giving birth: London vs New York”

Comparing pregnancy experiences between London and New York

As my regular readers will know, I’m 38 weeks pregnant with our third baby, who will be born an American. Our two daughters, now aged 5 and 3, were both born in London. A lot of people have asked me how the experience compares between the cities. Continue reading “Comparing pregnancy experiences between London and New York”

22 helpful things to know before you move from the UK to New York

 

There are many similarities between London and New York. There’s also a whole lot of differences. Heare my top, genuinely helpful things to know before your own move to NYC:

  1. Tips. Everyone gets tipped here. Restaurants expect 18-22% for good service, taxi drivers like you to add a dollar, hairdressers, supermarket check out staff all like tips (not obligatory). Clothes shop staff work on commission, so don’t get tips. Schools may well ask you to contribute for staff and teacher tips at Christmas. Doormen, concierge and janitors in your building also bank on a generous tip at Christmas. There’s a sliding scale for how much you give each person in your building, factoring in how long you’ve lived there, how much help each one gives you throughout the year, and how fond you are of them. It’s not unusual for a friendly Manhattan apartment doorman or concierge to get $100 tip at Christmas.
    Continue reading “22 helpful things to know before you move from the UK to New York”

10 reasons to live in Battery Park City with kids

Teardrop Park
Teardrop Park

One of the most daunting things about moving a young family to New York (especially as an expat) is picking where to live. Manhattan, Brooklyn, or way out in Connecticut? If Manhattan, which part? Each neighbourhood has a really distinctive personality, and you want to get it right. After a great deal of street-pounding and house-hunting by C, we ended up picking Battery Park City.
Continue reading “10 reasons to live in Battery Park City with kids”

Three great carousels in New York

Carousels are endlessly popular with our two girls, it is their ultimate weekend treat. In case any of you are in a similar boat, here are three of our local favourites:

Seaglass Carousel in Battery Park - Carousels
SeaGlass Carousel, Battery Park
  • SeaGlass Carousel – Battery Park, Manhattan. $5 per ride, or $45 for a pack of 10

Continue reading “Three great carousels in New York”

Our favourite New York books for kids and adults

I am a big reader. Always have been. At school I used to climb up trees with a paperback stuck down the back of my dreadful ginger-brown cords to read during lunchbreaks. So when we found out about The Big Move, I started to read up on New York. I put a call out for recommendations on this blog and on Facebook, and started ploughing my way through them.

Here are some of my personal favourite books about New York.

For adults:

  1. New York: A Novel’, by Edward Rutherford. By far and away my favourite book about NYC. It’s a brilliant book, following the lives of one merchant family down the generations, from Dutch Beaver skin traders through to 9/11. It gives a fantastic grounding in the city’s Continue reading “Our favourite New York books for kids and adults”