Our favourite playgrounds in Lower Manhattan

In a city where hardly anyone gets a garden, playgrounds are essential. Luckily, they’re everywhere, squeezed into unlikely corners between busy roads or empty building lots. The water fountains have just been turned on, so Summer is just around the corner. (Spring and Autumn are ridiculously quick seasons here). Have now added swimming costumes, flannels and suncream to the general clutter under the pushchair, ready for impromptu drenchings in the fountains.

I love this about New York playgrounds, almost all of them include water play. The kids are entertained for hours, joyfully skipping under the cold water and rushing out again with shocked expressions, before heading straight back in again. B’s nappies get so waterlogged, they drag around her knees. It keeps the kids in one place, too, so much less stressful for me trying to keep track on where each child is at any given moment. On the downside, it’s even harder to get them to leave. Resorted to striding into the water to catch slippery, giggling children and frogmarch them home for supper, covered in wet sand. At home in England I could have hosed them down in the garden, but that’s not possible on the 38th floor. Instead it’s gritting your teeth and holding them in the water stream as you get completely soaked too.
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How British expats cure homesickness in New York

My homesickness  – when I get it – manifests itself in two ways. Family and food. Sometimes one or the other, but usually both. Continue reading “How British expats cure homesickness in New York”

How to survive the school run when it’s -12c

We’re back in New York after a wonderful Christmas break in the UK, and now adjusting to the reality of a school run in our first New York winter. This morning the building’s thermometer read -12 degrees Celsius.

The cold has brought some fresh challenges to the school run this term. Normally we drop B off for the morning at her little local nursery, leave her pram there, and then T scoots beside me on the way to her school. But it’s simply too cold for scooting now, T’s eyes keep filling with water (not sure if it’s the cold or the wind chill – probably both). So I’ve assembled the gigantic double buggy, and bundled them up like little Eskimos.
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