New York City in the summer is like, well, New York City in the summer. It's so perfect that there is nothing else to compare it to. I can't get enough of this place. I am simply addicted to this crazy gorgeous city and all its grit and wit and glimmer and glamour. My little family had such a fun 5-day stretch in the city, exploring new places, paying homage to our old standbys, and reconnecting with friends. There are days when I miss living on the grand old Upper West Side, with all it's stately trees and delightful park access and established, artsy vibe. I loved our season there. It was hard, trying to make it as an actor and feeling some level of rejection all the freaking time, but- I am so proud that I took on that challenge and did my absolute darndest. I really did. And so I can always look back on my time in New York with a smile.
But I have to admit, this trip was good for my soul in a whole new way. Because as much as I love this place and I hold it dear to my heart, I felt certain in my gut that it was the right thing to leave this city when we did. And this visit really solidified that choice. I wasn't sure if I would come back and feel an incredible sense of longing, of regret. I am so happy to report that I didn't, in fact, I feel the opposite! I feel proud of our choice to move back home.
All that being said, this trip was even better than the first time we brought Everett. He's bigger, more mobile (though not walking yet, he's so close!), and even more curious about the world. And all the hustle of the city really had him intrigued: he was silent when we were in crowds. He was assessing, taking everything in, considering the moments and looking to me for reassurance every other minute. What a good boy he is.
I have to admit, one of my favorite memories from this trip is the evening that I went to dinner with a girlfriend all by myself. You have to understand, I am almost never alone. I haven't been alone much at all in the past year. Every mom who's reading this KNOWS WHAT I MEAN. It's just this thing, we are never, ever alone. We have these babies that need us and these families that need us and we tend to spend all our time providing for those familial needs and then time seems to always run out. And sometimes, I want to be alone. I'm the kind of person that needs alone time to recharge.
So one evening in New York, I made plans to meet my friend downtown for dinner while Stevie stayed at the hotel and put Everett to bed. And I have to say, it was THE BEST. I loved getting on the subway all by myself, NOT lugging a diaper bag, and remembering how to get around on public transportation using just my memories to guide me. I loved walking down the twinkly streets, sidestepping all the trendy youngsters who were getting off work and rushing to meet others for post-work cocktails. I loved seeing all the beautiful people, dressed up in weird trends that I will finally think are cool like 2 years from now, when those things are finally mainstream and the New Yorkers will already be way past it, on to the next. I loved meeting my dear friend at a super cool restaurant, waiting entirely too long for a table because the place was packed to the brim with the aforementioned beautiful people, paying entirely too much for a cocktail (a cocktail! Oh the joy!) and laughing entirely too loudly because I was having a ridiculous amount of fun. We talked about our dreams and talked about our mistakes and talked and talked and talked and - I felt so ignited after leaving that meal that I almost floated the whole way home. It was all very New York. I left feeling young, full of life, full of promise, and excited about the next chapter of my own personal journey. I don't know why this city always makes me feel that way, but that magic worked again. I know I don't have life all figured out, but I've got some light that I will keep on keeping on. I guess you call this feeling rejuvenation.
Stevie worked while we were there, so during the day times, Everett and I would gallivant, meet with old friends and play in the park. We walked sooooo much and it was awesome. My feet reminded me that it had been a while since I'd walked miles in sandals. We might have even fed Everett his first Shake Shack burger and fries... although I'm surprised that he didn't LOVE it the way I do. Ugh that healthy kid. It's gotta be all-organic, locally-grown with that one. Just kidding, unfortunately I've probably made him that way. But in all seriousness, I learned about a lot of places that are perfect for babies in the city, and I'll share more on that later this week.
Saturday was our family day, and we pretty much ate our way through the city. We spent the whole day just lazily munching our way through downtown, stopping only to frolic on the different tufts of grass we found along the way, listening to street musicians and watching Everett's eyes light up at, you know, everything. It was so much fun. I'm so lucky to have this little family that I just love love love. And to share my favorite city with them? Well, I think that's what we call bliss.
It was the most unexpected trip of the summer, but an infinitely important one. I'm so grateful that we don't live in NYC anymore, because it's so much fun to come back and dream and laugh and eat and reminisce. I wouldn't change this life for any other life.
Sidenote - Is it cheesy that I sang "Welcome to New York" to Everett every morning that we woke up in the hotel room? Because I totally did that. And now he raises his hands and claps to that song. That boy.