Hands down, one of my favorite things about living in New York City is Thanksgiving. Long, long ago, when the husband and I were just dating and I was still in college, I started coming here to his family for Thanksgiving…and the parade! I have ALWAYS loved parades and the best one of all is the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Every year, my house was filled with the sounds of parade coverage as we lounged in the living room waiting to go to my grandma’s to feast. When I had a chance to actually attend in person, I jumped at it…and kept going every year after.
I have so many parade memories that they sort of start to meld together into one awesome parade: there was the year we had brunch at Jean Georges and watched from the patio, the year my sister-in-law and I froze to death and laughed at a family near us that had a comment for EVERYTHING, the year my mom and sister came up and we took selfies with the balloons before it was cool (with a real camera no less), the year we watched from an apartment high above Central Park West, the year Declan was a tiny baby in the Bjorn.
But two years ago, we said no more. It got to be a hassle getting the kids there and then getting them ready to go to the in-laws. So instead we went to the balloon inflating the night before. NEVER go to the balloon inflating!!! It is a nightmare that knows no equal where people are herded like cattle past giant cartoon characters captured in nets. We escaped into the subway halfway through!
So last year we scrapped the whole parade. It was sad, but it was relaxing. This year, we were all prepared to watch on TV and hang out at home. But after 40 minutes of interviews with sitcom stars, commercials, and clips from Broadway shows, Brady and I couldn’t take anymore. So we went for a little walk and got us some parade action.
In Manhattan, this is unique. There are a handful of houses like this on the UES. I love seeing them among the brownstones and highrises, like a little piece of the past or the suburbs sneaking in among the rest.
Lately the issue of money has been weighing on me. Maybe it’s the holidays and the issues around money that can bring up. Maybe it’s the fact that we are seriously outgrowing our apartment. But it’s definitely at least partly because of the people around me and the things that they are able to afford.
My feelings on this subject are so complicated that it’s difficult to get them out. I wanted to write about it partly because I thought it might make me feel better and also partly because I think it’s a major issue living in Manhattan. There are people who live here who have SO MUCH and it’s hard sometimes to look around at what other people have without comparing it to the things in my own life.
I’m not saying I’m jealous, although I am a bit. I hate jealousy. I think it’s an ugly feeling and one that rarely brings any good. I hate feeling jealous. I’m not a person who wants a huge house. It makes me happy to think that we have a smaller carbon footprint since we live in a smaller space, use less energy, use mass transit, etc. I also realize that in so many ways we are very fortunate. We never have to worry about having enough food or clean water or access to medical care. We have wonderful family and friends in our lives. We are healthy. There is a lot to be thankful for.
But I also wish that my son had a real room, that my kitchen was big enough to hold a dishwasher and a full-sized fridge and stove. I wish I had enough space to have people over, or even for my own family to eat at a table together on a regular basis. I wish that the stroller wasn’t in the living room and that I didn’t have to get into fights with my in-laws because they buy Brady big trucks and I don’t know where to put them.
It’s sometimes difficult to be around people who can afford the things that I want so badly. Especially when it seems as if they don’t think twice about it.
Yes, New York offers a lot for families. We have endless things to do, educational opportunities, parks, museums, zoos, etc. It’s a different kind of life and one that I’ve learned to really love. I’m happy right now having a family in the city. But it isn’t easy. This is a VERY expensive place to live. A two-bedroom apartment is a dream that even those who would be considered wealthy in other cities often can’t achieve.
Not sure that that went anywhere at all. It’s something that runs circles in my head and now it’s running those circles in cyberspace as well. My kid is a city kid for right now and he’s happy to be one.
A boy who's happy to have Central Park instead of a back yard.