High walks – Brooklyn Bridge and the High Line

Continuing the ‘exploring at height’ theme, we’ve recently had two brilliant family walks above street level. Brooklyn Bridge and the High Line are both great family days out, offering exercise, fresh air and world-class views – for free.

Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge is that world-famous icon with the gorgeous stone arches and the suspension wires that often appears in footage of New York.

Several friends had recommended walking across it for the best views of Manhattan, and they weren’t wrong. There is a narrow, two lane footpath above the traffic lanes, with highly photogenic views of Manhattan and Brooklyn, and of course the bridge itself. Found the route fairly clogged with people taking photos the whole way along. Rather wished we could copy the cyclists, and blow whistles to clear the way.
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We’re Going On a Bear Hunt – Bear Mountain State Park

We went on a bear hunt – and actually saw a bear. Two bears, in fact.

An hour’s drive from Manhattan is Bear Mountain State Park, which we’d happily recommend to families of any age.

We had such a brilliant day. Got up pre-dawn (ugh) and drove our rental car up the motorway deceptively called West Street, over the George Washington Bridge… and suddenly you’re in the countryside. The leaves are just starting to turn golden and orange, astonishingly beautiful.

After two months on one of the world’s busiest islands, it felt wonderful to see such long distances with practically no sign of man. You could just glimpse the Manhattan sky line in the very far distance, and the occasional suspension bridge crossing the Hudson River. Apart from that, just densely wooded hills and misty valleys. Brilliant. Both girls loved scrambling over the rocks at the summit, Perkins Memorial Tower.
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Winter is coming

“Winter is coming”, say the Starks. Actually, it’s the school moms who have been warning me that winter will come “super-fast and super-cold”, so I’ve been stocking up on kit.

One pair waterproof snow boots each? Tick. Umpteen sets of thermals each? Tick. Balaclavas for the wind? Tick. One pair snow-proof mittens each? Tick. Two pairs woollen tights each? Tick. Phenomenally warm second hand pram blankets from 7am Enfant? Tick.  Fancy 7am Enfant fixed stroller gloves for me? Tick (yessssss).

For anyone else facing their first New York winter, here are the main brands other mothers have recommended to me: Continue reading “Winter is coming”

Spotted – dainty red shoes for the dog

It’s been a week for spotting strange sights. Yesterday both girls went potty over a little fluffy dog, Bella, who was twinkling along in – wait for it – red rubber shoes. 

Have been teaching the girls to first ask the walkers, “Is this dog friendly?” before swooping in for strokes and pats. We couldn’t resist making a fuss over Bella, who enjoyed the attention and even rolled over to wave her little red shoes in the air. All most extraordinary. Her dog walker explained that the three large black “English Labs” with Bella were all part of the same household, but that only Bella needed the shoes. Apparently her paws “act like swiffers“, and bring all the New York street muck into the house.

I’m still snorting.
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