If you’ve watched any of my stories on Instagram over the last two months, you probably have realized that we’ve spent a lot of our recent time walking through the park. Luckily, we were able to find an apartment we loved right between two big beautiful parks in the city, Central Park and Riverside Park. If you’ve never visited Central Park before, I highly recommend taking some time to stroll along the more quiet paths a little higher up in the park (70’s, 80’s, 90’s at least). We usually enter the park in the 90’s streets and the first time I walked in there, I felt like I was walking into actual heaven. The lawns were so lush and green and the beauty has only multiplied in flowers and greenery since that first walk. I remember wishing I could bottle up that feeling but, turns out, I somehow still feel like every single day. Central Park blows me away every single time I walk through there and it’s been a definite perk of living in the Upper West Side during this time where almost everything else in the city has been shut down. Before we lived here, I had only experienced the southern part of the park closer to Midtown so this area of the park really feels brand new to me. Colbie is still living her best life sniffing all of the flowers and going on many more walks than she did at her old house.
Every walk I take in the park, I wish I could transport my friends and family here to walk with me so they can experience the beauty in person. Until then, I decided I’ll share a virtual “walk in the park” on the blog and share what I’ve been feeling, thinking, and experiencing while getting more and more settled here in the city… all the things we’d chat about if we were all on a walk in the park together.
I actually don’t think I’ve sat down to share my thoughts in writing about how I’m feeling about living in NYC. It’s obviously been a strange time in the world for everyone, especially here in New York, but aside from the weirdness of all that is going on, I have thoroughly enjoyed this new home that we have created. Of course, there are parts of NC that I miss dearly but, for the most part, I’ve kept a surprisingly positive spirit and a very adaptive attitude about all things NYC.
I didn’t think that I would enjoy it as much as I do but, ever since moving here, I’ve been appreciating the small details that come along with living in this city… the neighbor who sang out of his window (who turned out to be famous), everyone cheering on the essential workers at 7pm, the downstairs pianist in our building practicing their songs each evening at the same time, grabbing a fresh bagel across the street on Saturday mornings, the sunlight that pours into our bedroom (this was not the case in our old home), living completely car-free and being able to walk everywhere (even doctors appointments which is a huge perk), the creaky old floors in our 100+ yr old apartment, the list goes on and on. New York City in general just has so much character in so many ways. I even love the smell of the old laundry basement… is that weird? I already know it’s going to be really hard when the time comes to leave. I’m not 100% sure when that’ll be but, for now, I am soaking in every detail. There is a feeling you get here that is indescribable. It’s not all a concrete jungle – there are actually some really quaint areas that I never knew existed. Very “You’ve Got Mail” vibes. It’s a special place.
Mentally, I’ve been feeling very happy and somehow calmer living in NYC, which sounds like the opposite of what I would expect. I feel calmer yet more motivated and inspired than ever before. I think it’s all of the “new” to me experiences. Maybe it’s because there aren’t a lot of things to do currently other than stay inside or go on walks and it’s forced me to slow my brain down and focus more on what matters. Do you know your enneagram number? Mine is a 3 wing 4 or an “achiever” mixed with an “individualist”. So, previously to living here, I was always “go, go, go” with my to-do lists. I still have daily to-do lists but my approach has been a little different lately. I actually take a lot more time for myself, ex) a walk in the park. I now look at moments like that as “productive” whereas my old self would just let our dog out in the yard if I felt like I didn’t have time for a walk. Setting aside time to reflect and enjoy the present moment has occurred more frequently here for me I guess you could say. This is probably an effect of staying home and also staying at a new-to-us home. Have you taken a moment to just do something for yourself that may not come across as the “most productive”? Those moments are actually much more productive than you’d think. Maybe even the most.
I do really look forward to the time when I can meet new friends in the city or go to dinner and catch up with our old friends here. I can’t wait to go to the park without a mask on so I can really breathe the air.
I also have to say that for the first time, I’ve honestly felt really excited to have children in the future. When we first decided to move here for TJ’s job, our first thought was “well, it’s a perfect time because we don’t have kids”, but truthfully, there is so much to experience here with children and the city just makes me more and more excited for that day to eventually come so that they can potentially experience what we are experiencing. The park brings me back to field trip days and it makes me smile seeing children experience it. TJ says I’m creepy when I say that but you know what I’m saying. That’s been on my mind a lot lately.
My mind has also been on everyone affected significantly by the world’s current situation. At first, I felt so helpless, but then I realized that every little “thank you” and appreciation gift meant so much to those out on the frontlines. I decided to put 100% of my last month’s Etsy shop proceeds towards COVID-relief and essential worker appreciation gift-cards. The shop raised close to $1500 for April so I’m excited to sit down tonight and organize all of the nominations and get all of those sent out. By the way, I just recently decided to sell photography prints on Etsy from our travels and, now, daily walks. You can check out the shop here. If you know of an essential worker that you’d like to thank, I’ve noticed that you can really not go wrong with a Sephora giftcard or gift-card for dinner delivery.
And, now I will leave you with some of my favorite park photos I snapped while on my walks lately. I hope you all have a great weekend. We are supposed to have the best weather here yet this year and I am looking forward to spending quite a lot of time enjoying the sun.
FOR THE WALK: