Friday, November 18, 2011

We're Moving to ...


New York City


Last Saturday Tim formally accepted a faculty position at NYU.  I am thrilled to be watching all the years of hard work and sacrifice finally result in something so wonderful. This is his dream come true.

We're going.  And we're determined to make it amazing.

The reality of what we are about to do is overwhelming. My initial impression of New York city as a place to live is daunting - and not in a good way. Part of that comes from old ideas, media-driven stories and pop-culture representations. They may be all falsehoods but when I tell people we're moving there it's like they can hardly wait to tell their horror stories! Like how so-and-so got mugged. I hear about how the schools are cut-throat competitive and the playgrounds are downright violent. Then there's the traffic and rudeness and how long it takes to get anywhere and the expense. The ending of these stories is always punctuated with, "Oh, you'll be fine though!"

Goodness. Really?

Cause all that leaves me feeling like this:

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When, once the shock wore off, I really feel more like this:

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I'm slowly learning about this city and my impression is improving - greatly!! As if we know what we're up against, the work of preparation has already begun even though the move isn't for several months yet. Our bedside table has a stack of books on it that looks like this:

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We've been watching Seinfeld and Sex and the City as if some salient information will be woven amongst the witty banter. I even watched When Harry Met Sally and bought a Sunday New York Times that I never got around to reading. In all seriousness, we are reaching out to everyone we know and even some people we have never actually met to get information about where to live, schools and commute times. We have spent hours on Craigslist and various real estate sites. We have a scouting trip in early December. I even bought a new hat for the trip. What do you think?

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I never imagined myself there. On one hand, it might be a good thing that I have no idea what our life will really be like. So often whatever thing I had been thinking about was so incredibly built up by the time it happened that reality could never match the fantasy and disappointment followed. Seems to me that some of the very best times I've had were those that were pretty spontaneous had no expectations attached. On the other hand, a small-town girl is the cornerstone of my personal foundation. That girl needs room to spread out and lately, I've been dreaming of space: closet space and a yard and a parking space. There's also the reliable comfort of seeing the same familiar faces and being a familiar face. I have a tendency to turtle in new situations and can easily get lost in the crowd - a lonely place to be.

Believe it or not, the biggest issue I have with moving to New York has less to do with the cost of living or  small rental spaces. My bigger question, my biggest question really is - where in the hell am I going to fit in there? In this city, you can get the best of everything and the best of everyone. Really. Even Frank Sinatra said it in a song lyric: "if I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere." It scares the shit out of me. I mean, what if I don't make it there? Does that mean I won't make it anywhere?

Then it occurs to me: I'm not really interested in joining the competition. I have her and I'll be as good of a mom as I can be regardless of our address. Right now, she doesn't care about how much storage space we have. She just wants to hang out with us and that's pretty cool. We're going to be just fine.

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3 Lovies:

Anonymous said...

NYC is amazing. I have lived here for many years. The food is amazing, the neighborhoods are so fun to explore, there is ALWAYS something to do. And if you are concerned about $, you don't have to live in Manhattan. There are great places in queens and brooklyn as well. COngrats - - there's no way you won't love it.

Aunt Barb said...

I love the new hat! It is so you!

I loved NYC when I was there in July. Of course, I didn't go see everything but from what I did see, I loved it. I just hope you can find a nice place to live where you can go to the park and Ada finds a new friend, find a great nanny, get fresh fruits and vegetables, grow a garden, find a pumkin patch, go trick or treating, see a sunrise, and do all the other wonderful things you are used to doing.
Like Frank said "...."
Love you all, Aunt Barb

Anonymous said...

Riverdale, Park Slope, Gramercy or Murray hill... that is the question now...