Giving birth: London vs New York

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”

Comparing pregnancy experiences between London and 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”

Exploring the Children’s Museum of Manhattan (CMOM)

The Children’s Museum of Manhattan (CMOM) is the latest in Operation Explore New York. Located in the Upper West Side, it’s a good choice for young kids with short attention spans.

Together with T’s school friend L, we headed first to the new ‘America to Zanzibar, Muslim Clutures Near and Far’ exhibition. T and L made a bee-line for a two-story dhow boat exhibit complete with a fun contraption to haul goods up and down. There were also exotic fruit and spice markets which the kids could examine and sniff. L’s mom and I were drawn to the Turkish tile puzzles. You know, the ones with a square missing and you have to slide the pieces around to recreate the original picture. Loved those as a kid. Continue reading “Exploring the Children’s Museum of Manhattan (CMOM)”

Our favourite New York books for kids and adults

I am a big reader. Always have been. At school I used to climb up trees with a paperback stuck down the back of my dreadful ginger-brown cords to read during lunchbreaks. So when we found out about The Big Move, I started to read up on New York. I put a call out for recommendations on this blog and on Facebook, and started ploughing my way through them.

Here are some of my personal favourite books about New York.

For adults:

  1. New York: A Novel’, by Edward Rutherford. By far and away my favourite book about NYC. It’s a brilliant book, following the lives of one merchant family down the generations, from Dutch Beaver skin traders through to 9/11. It gives a fantastic grounding in the city’s Continue reading “Our favourite New York books for kids and adults”

Our favourite playgrounds in Lower Manhattan

In a city where hardly anyone gets a garden, playgrounds are essential. Luckily, they’re everywhere, squeezed into unlikely corners between busy roads or empty building lots. The water fountains have just been turned on, so Summer is just around the corner. (Spring and Autumn are ridiculously quick seasons here). Have now added swimming costumes, flannels and suncream to the general clutter under the pushchair, ready for impromptu drenchings in the fountains.

I love this about New York playgrounds, almost all of them include water play. The kids are entertained for hours, joyfully skipping under the cold water and rushing out again with shocked expressions, before heading straight back in again. B’s nappies get so waterlogged, they drag around her knees. It keeps the kids in one place, too, so much less stressful for me trying to keep track on where each child is at any given moment. On the downside, it’s even harder to get them to leave. Resorted to striding into the water to catch slippery, giggling children and frogmarch them home for supper, covered in wet sand. At home in England I could have hosed them down in the garden, but that’s not possible on the 38th floor. Instead it’s gritting your teeth and holding them in the water stream as you get completely soaked too.
Continue reading “Our favourite playgrounds in Lower Manhattan”

Piecing together some time for myself

Drum roll please, I’ve finally finished T’s quilt. For all you non-quilters out there, this is not a small thing. This is a really big thing. It’s taken over two months of snatching time away that really ought to be spent on useful things like emptying the dishwasher, checking the credit card statement, tidying up toys and cooking supper… Even this blog has taken second place.

Instead, I’ve been hurrying home from the school run, putting BBC Radio 4 podcasts on (got to keep up with Woman’s Hour and The Archers), and sewing. It’s been heaven.
Continue reading “Piecing together some time for myself”

How British expats cure homesickness in New York

My homesickness  – when I get it – manifests itself in two ways. Family and food. Sometimes one or the other, but usually both. C’s mother is staying with us at the moment, the extra pair of hands with the kids is so appreciated after all these months out here just the four of us.

Yesterday I took advantage of the childcare during Spring Break (that’s Easter holidays to us Brits), and nipped out for an afternoon’s English nostalgia with my v. pregnant friend from University and fellow New Yorker, H.

We met at my old favourite, Tea & Sympathy, and gloated over the menu. Welsh Rarebit with bacon and baked beans. Bangers and mash made with actual, real English sausages. (Have to agree with T; American sausages do taste weird). A pot of leaf Earl Grey tea and a sticky toffee and pudding with custard later, my craving for English food was sated. I’ve blogged before about this cafe, and can’t recommend it enough, with the one caveat that it’s not big enough to handle small children. Once they’re old enough to appreciate a full English afternoon tea, then you’d be able to enjoy it with kids.
Continue reading “How British expats cure homesickness in New York”

Exploring the Liberty Science Center

Liberty Science Center
B hugging a cardboard Ernie

I’m terrible at maths. It’s like the numbers drop into a black crevasse, they just vanish. C is v keen to make sure our girls grow up with a better grasp of numbers and science than me, so he suggested a visit to the Liberty Science Center as a good, fun introduction. We can actually see it from our apartment window, across the Hudson River on the edge of Jersey City.
Continue reading “Exploring the Liberty Science Center”