Since I was a teenager, I always said that my preferences are to live in the middle of a big city or in middle of nowhere. This winter I really did it. My husband and I moved from the middle of nowhere Upstate, NY into the heart of lower Manhattan for two months.
In early December, when we first hatched this plan, 8 weeks sounded like a long time. Now that we are approaching the end of our stay, I feel like we have barely scratched the surface. I only have 2 more weeks left, but I have months more of activities to experience!!!
Our 8 week trip was centered around a Mobile Product Management program Allan had applied for, and was accepted to. After SB was born, he began working remotely for a talent staffing firm. After devising a way to distinguish his company from the competition, he got a taste of product definition and management, a field that tied together all of his previous experience. He and his boss agreed that this would be a good road for him. The class was two nights a week plus a third night of subject matter expert lecture in Manhattan – 2.5 hours home each way by car on a good day. That was too much driving to make the class a good experience if he stayed at home. So it was decided, we would all move down to the city.
We moved down the last weekend of January. We arrived on a cold and clear Sunday night. Traffic flowed quickly until we got through the Lincoln Tunnel. Then, everything came to a standstill due to the ongoing Muslim Ban protests. What should have been a quick half-hour drive down town turned into a 2 hour crawl. My happy optimism was quickly overshadowed by the wailing baby, aggravated driver and whining dog.
We finally parked the car next to Fulton Market. Out one window, just a block away I could see the masts of an historic boat bobbing in the East River. Out the other was the new Freedom Tower at the World Trade Center standing at attention next to the Twin Tower footprints. I should have been staring in wonder at everything around me, but I had been cooped up for so long! Frazzled and grumpy, I pulled SB from her car seat to cuddle her while Allan went out to find our friend and host.
Allan came back w/ our friend and a cart. After one trip, we were completely moved in. The three of us took a walk through the complex to help stretch our muscles, breathe fresh air, learn about our neighborhood and walk the dog.
After the walk, our friend offered to follow Allan on a drive uptown to park our car at a long term, discount parking lot off of Times Square. Though we had barely spoken to each other in the past 2 hours, I put my foot down. No – we would swallow the price of overnight garage parking as opposed to saving $50 and parking in our prepaid spot. After 2.5 extra hours in the car, being settled for the night was more precious to me than $50 and the adventure of driving through a mile of protesters – again.
After our friend drove off, we hopped down to the Fulton Market grocery located near our front door to get a quick microwaveable dinner. Our day had started at 7 AM. By 2 PM we had gotten in the car. It was now 10PM and we had not eaten as yet and we still had to put together our apartment.
All the while, SB was and is an inspiration on this trip. Allan reminds me frequently: for her, all of the world is a museum to be explored. Once she was out of her car seat, she was happy to just run around complex – the grassy spots and the sidewalks. She was happy to run through the empty apartment. Happy to see the bed inflate, Happy to see the lights of the city that never sleeps – happy happy happy happy happy! We looked at each other and breathed a sigh of hope and relief. We made the right decision.