Tag Archives: new york city

Feed Your Soul

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

I know that occasionally I wear it like a badge of pride, my lack of “me time”.  I devote myself to my children—nearly every moment of my life—and I am proud to do so.  It’s a defense mechanism, though.  Although I love spending time with my children, I do occasionally wish for an afternoon to myself.  Not because my children are annoying or difficult, but because when they are present, I am automatically bumped to the bottom of my priority list.  I don’t begrudge them their spots at the top of my list; I believe that is where they belong.  It’s just that sometimes, it’s nice to have my name up there too.

While I was in New York earlier this month, I spent a whole afternoon alone.  I think all the kids (and Matt obviously) would have loved that day–riding on the subway, walking the city, going to the Met.  But I appreciated it so much more because it was all mine.  Not once did I have to remind anyone not to get to close to the edge of the subway platform, or to hold on when the train started moving, or not to put their hands in their mouths after touching everything in the subway they could.  I just worried about me.

It was re-energizing in a way I did not expect.  Not just the time alone, which was much-needed, but spending it walking the city and seeing new things.

I miss the city a lot.  Not New York City, precisely — I’ve never lived there and it’s not MY city –but it is A city.  And I miss being in A city.  (Ideally, the city I would spend my days in would be Boston, but I’d take NYC or DC in a pinch.)  Just walking around, even on a rainy day like the one I spent in NYC, made me feel happy and awake and alive.  I think I really am a city girl at heart.

photo 3 (2)I’d never been to the Met before, and was really excited to spend an afternoon there seeing what I wanted to see, without having to consider other opinions or desires.  I thought I wanted to see the European paintings exhibit.  It turned out that I was wrong. 

About five minutes into the exhibit, I realized that although the paintings were lovely and amazing, I was bored.  I don’t know enough about art or artists or techniques to really appreciate what I was looking at.  I was disappointed in myself.  So uncultured.

And then I walked out to a balcony in the museum and looked over the railing and this is what I saw:

photo 1 (3)And I knew I found my place.

photo 3 (3)Rooms of armor, weapons, and medieval accessories. 

photo 2 (3)Entire old world chapels complete with gorgeous paneled walls and ornate altars and stained glass windows and intricate tapestries. 

photo 4Paul Revere’s spurs.

photo 4 (3)King Henry VIII’s final suit of armor, from when he was old and fat and stricken with gout.

THAT was the part of the museum I loved.  I spent probably two hours wandering that exhibit.  It was amazing.

It was a rainy, grey day in the city, but the weather did not matter.  It was food for my soul.

A New York Sprinkle

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I was in the city last weekend for a little “sprinkle” for my friend, who is expecting Baby Girl #2.  A weekend away was a much-needed break after the endless snow day insanity we had going on here the last few weeks.  I always love being around my kids, but there is such a thing as TOO MUCH togetherness.

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Taking Manhattan

Waaaaay back in November, on the way to Boston for Thanksgiving, we made a stop for two nights in NYC.  Breaking up the ten hour drive from DC to Boston with a layover in New York just makes everything about the trip better.

We are so lucky to have wonderful friends who live right in the city and let us crash with them in their gorgeous home with their AMAZING roof deck where my kids would like to just live forever. Or at the very least, camp out there occasionally.


roof deck

My kids love—LOVE—going to New York, but I think what they love most of all is staying with friends who are more like family.


This time we took the kids on a touristy adventure and went to the New York Botanical Gardens in the Bronx for the holiday train show.  I thought it looked really cool when I checked it out online, but I was amazed at how much I loved it, and the kids did too. (It’s still running for another week–you should totally go check it out if you’re in New York.)


Plus, we had to ride the subway to get there.  The adventure is in the little things.

subway boys

subway selfie

At the train show, tiny scale replicas of historic and famous landmarks are placed throughout the Botanical Gardens, and each one is handmade entirely from natural materials.  Every window pane, Roman numeral on a clock face, shingle on the roof—they are all made of bark and twigs and acorns and leaves and moss.  The attention to detail is remarkable.  Each one is a little work of art.

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And some are not so little.



The trains run in and around the buildings and the whole thing was pretty gorgeous.


After the train show, we got lunch and then took an Uber car to Central Park.  My kids are far too impressed by taxis and Ubers—it makes me a little sad that they’re such country mice—but at least they’re easy to keep happy when stuff like that is so exciting.

And then, Central Park.  I keep trying to tell Matt we could live in the city, if only we lived near the park (he disagrees)—there was not a rock in the place that our kids did not try to climb.  And Central Park has some impressive climbing rocks.

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And then—the piece de resistance: Wollman Ice Skating Rink, right at the edge of the park.

I tell you, my children loved it.  I loved it.  We skated for over an hour, but I think my kids would have stayed all day.  Skating outside, surrounded by this huge park, surrounded by this amazing city—it was magical, truly.


We ended the weekend with pizza, yummy treats from Baked, and a Frozen movie-watching party.  frozen partyI don’t care if you’re an adult or a kid, it doesn’t get much better than that.

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