It’s nearly Christmas! C is the most Christmassey man I’ve ever met, mocking up a spontaneous Nativity play using dressing gowns, muslins, and various stuffed animals. He also organised a traditional British lunch at The Churchill on East 28th Street for some other expat friends of ours. The Churchill’s a good British pub, check out the menu here if you fancy a roast with all the trimmings. It also plays recordings of Winston Churchill’s speeches in the loo, which is initially unnerving but then surprisingly hypnotic.
We had a v funny conversation swapping stories of cultural or language barriers, British expressions that can unwittingly derail any conversation with an American. Continue reading “Tasty expat Christmas pub lunch”
I’ve had a couple of days to get my head around the US election results, and have been looking about me a bit more than usual to see how New York has reacted. On Friday my eye was caught by this particularly timely and inspirational sandwich board on the street, quoting Hillary Clinton: “Diversity is a strength, not a weakness. If we lift each other up, we can make each other stronger.” It was outside Torly Kid, a tiny kids’ boutique on Hudson & Duane Street in Tribeca, and I decided to pop in.
I’m so glad I did. Continue reading “Found a cool kids’ store – Torly Kid”
Many New York schools start term again tomorrow, closed since mid-June (Yes. Summer vacations really are that long over here).
For any expats gearing up for their first New York school experience this term, here are some tips. Continue reading “Tips for expat families starting New York schools”
Four months ago today, our third child was born in New York, and is therefore officially entitled to an American and a British passport. There’s quite a lot of admin involved in having a baby here (British or not), so I thought it might be helpful to share what we’ve learnt. Continue reading “Passports and other useful admin for British babies born in the US”
Well, Baby J arrived two weeks early, the very day after I posted a comparison of pregnancy experiences between New York and the UK, so it seems only fitting that I write a follow up piece comparing the births (my two eldest were both born in London in the local NHS hospital). Continue reading “Giving birth: London vs New York”
As my regular readers will know, I’m 38 weeks pregnant with our third baby, who will be born an American. Our two daughters, now aged 5 and 3, were both born in London. A lot of people have asked me how the experience compares between the cities. Continue reading “Comparing pregnancy experiences between London and New York”
Had the embarrassment of being busted mid-temper tantrum in the communal laundry room by a neighbour early this morning. And it was *probably* (i.e. totally) her fault in the first place. But being English, I couldn’t bring myself to directly accuse her.
With Baby Number Three due in six weeks, my patience and inner calm has rapidly drained away, leaving me screeching, gesticulating and – in real extremes – sighing so heavily it ruffles paper. Continue reading “Losing my rag over communal laundry”
Sorry about the radio silence. I epically ran out of blogging steam in the run up to Christmas, and then used the excuse of toddler jetlag to avoid writing. It’s now well into January so I can procrastinate no longer. **sound of sleeves rolling up and a big gulp of tea, brief pause to google ‘what is the opposite of procrastinate’?**.
We flew back to England for Christmas, and had a fab time catching up with friends and family. We tried something new this year – staggered presents. Last year we packed up the lot and carted them to Devon via London, and then all the way back to New York again. This year we decided to exchange our own immediate family’s gifts a couple of weeks early in Manhattan, and then for the girls to open one or two a day (as and when friends gave them something, providing their behaviour had deserved it) throughout our trip.
Continue reading “Starting a new Christmas tradition”
There are many similarities between London and New York. There’s also a whole lot of differences. In no particular order, here are some really useful things to know before your own move to NYC:
- Tips. Everyone gets tipped here. Restaurants expect 18-22% for good service, taxi drivers like you to add a dollar, hairdressers, supermarket check out staff all like tips (not obligatory). Clothes shop staff work on commission, so don’t get tips. Schools may well ask you to contribute for staff and teacher tips at Christmas. Doormen, concierge and janitors in your building also bank on a generous tip at Christmas. There’s a sliding scale for how much you give each person in your building, factoring in how long you’ve lived there, how much help each one gives you throughout the year, and how fond you are of them. It’s not unusual for a friendly Manhattan apartment doorman or concierge to get $100 tip at Christmas.
Continue reading “22 helpful things to know before you move from the UK to New York”