Three years ago, we left our little life in Atlanta, GA for the bright lights of New York City. We left our families and friends, we sold our two cars, we down scaled our furniture and belongings, we put our plans to buy a house on hold. We took one of those big chances, a big step of adventure, because we felt we needed to experience a new place and a more urban, pedestrian-friendly, culturally rich city. We wanted to walk, walk, walk and feel life was waiting for us right outside our front door!
Would I do it over again knowing what I know now? Was the move worth it? Though I miss family and friends terribly and the desire to see them can almost hurt on certain days it is so strong, I honestly do not regret a single thing. New York (Park Slope, Brooklyn specifically) feels as though it was always in our blood and surprisingly, I find it an ideal spot for a stay-at-home mom such as myself. Every change we desired has been fulfilled through our move.
In no particular order, here are 6 reasons I love New York and specifically, our neighborhood of Park Slope, Brooklyn:
1. Around the corner from us are a plethora of quaint shops and boutiques lining the street for miles. I have only to pack up a few belongs in the stroller and we are off, able to window shop and browse to our hearts content if we want to! A few of my favorite little stores are Bob and Judy’s, Pink Olive, Lion in the Sun (for beautiful stationary), Lulu’s Then and Now (a resale children’s clothing store), Scaredy Kat (nick nacks) and Loom (gifts and other unique items).
Bob and Judy’s
2. Everywhere, there is delicious food and drink! Rick and I love the satisfaction of feeling money spent on dinner and/or coffee was worth every penny. Fortunately, in these parts, it is rare to be disappointed by a meal and the there is a diversity of ethnic fare. Any craving you might desire can likely be fulfilled with in a few blocks.
Our favorite restaurants and eateries include Song (Thai), Two Boots (a great family restaurant), Bogota (Latin), Oko, Blue Sky Bakery for the best muffins and an Indian restaurant called Baluchi’s. Our number one place to load up on caffeine is Gorilla Coffee, located around the corner from us. Any dessert craving can easily be satisfied at The Chocolate Room, a quaint little sit-down chocolatier also around the corner from our apartment.
Blue Sky Bakery
The Chocolate Room
3. We have been blessed with many precious friendships, both for ourselves and for our children. In the neighborhood and through three years of being part of the amazing body at Sovereign Grace City Church, God has taken care of our need for community, for a sense of place.
Yes, there may be times that feel lonely but that is all part of life on this earth. Our greatest relational need can only be fulfilled through Jesus and that has never been as clear it has been here, living away from family. But God has been very faithful, sending many dear people our way!
4. By having different burrows and neighborhoods, a big city feels small. Park Slope, Brooklyn has been our cozy little cocoon for the past three years. Rarely do we stray out of the area but honestly, we do not feel a need to very often. The lure of Manhattan becomes smaller each year and with each child. Everything we need is nearby and it is by far the most family-friendly neighborhood.
There is Prospect Park, a plethora of large playgrounds to choose from (the New York City version of a child’s backyard), an open air market each Saturday, the Brooklyn Zoo, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, the Botanical Gardens, libraries, sing along times in local coffee shops, and The Atlantic Center to name a few places. A little further from our area are excursions such as Brooklyn Bridge Park and Coney Island.
5. There is a beautiful blend of cultures here. You lose your sense of noticing black and white, foreign tongues and English speakers. We all just blend in with one another and the diversity feels so healthy. In fact, Micah is the only Caucasian student in the small Christian school he attends nearby yet he is making friends and fitting in perfectly. We do not see it as a draw back but as a beautiful picture of how the body of Christ is truly a body of racial and ethnic diversity but yet, one body. Our children get to see tangible evidence of this truth from an early age…what a blessing!
Micah at age 1
6. Our sweet girls were each born here. No matter what our future holds and whether we put down long term roots in New York or not, the fact that Ellie and Amelia were born at the same hospital in Park Slope will always make this place dear to our hearts! No earthly treasures can compare to the blessings of more children and we are thankful to learn raising three children here is doable!
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share a little of our life here with you! Visitors are welcome anytime!:)