the flatiron & nostalgia...

mike's office is right across from the flatiron building. the sight of that neighborhood- the building in particular- always brings a flood of emotions for me. when mike and i visited nyc years ago, we went looking for city bakery hot chocolate & the flatiron building. we looked & looked, and didn't see the building anywhere, even though my phone said we'd arrived. i was SO FRUSTRATED! well, turns out, we were standing at the base of it- we just needed to look up. from our angle, it was tough to get the perspective we assumed we would if we walked up to it from the front (more of that trip here). the nostalgia i have for this little nook in the city is tangible. this area is a really big deal to our little family! being in this spot with harvey is sort of a trippy time warp.

 the prettiest home depot in all of manhattan is here. the flower district. madison square park. gold-capped-rooftops. incredible views. some of the prettiest architecture. so much good food (including the first nyc &pizza location, which is our favorite dc pizza they opened here in the city last year)! jude's favorite lego store is here. and the museum of sex! we've never been, but it is one of our favorite places to walk by because, well, you should SEE THE FACES OF THE PEOPLE INSIDE!!! hiiiilarious. 

as often as i can, harvey & i meet mike here for a lunch date- i try to take advantage while this season of opportunity exists. we never go on dates in the evenings, and half the time we meet, harvey takes a little nap in the carrier, so it's mostly mike & i. the last few weeks, harvey is acting older. bigger. heavier. more curious. wanting to climb out and explore. fling food. you know, be a kid instead of a baby. the day after his 9-month birthday, we met mike at by chloe (one of my favorite restaurants in the city).

the magic of this city still never gets old. the fact that we're living lives here, and hustling to make our not-so-small family succeed (by our own definition, most certainly not the definition of our peers), is a fight that i'm so proud of- not in a prideful sense, but in the sense that my heart swells with gratitude and joy that we can feel so alive and happy to experience as much as we do each day. 

there are moments periodically when i feel like this city sucks. like when it's overly-rainy. or when people swear at me. or make rude comments. (or when i write our rent check.) but sometimes when i'm running home from the gym, dodging people walk as i run down the sidewalks, or when i'm pushing the stroller & walking with the kids as we all gnaw on a baguette and a sweet old man tips his hat and mutters, "now that's how you life your life!", and especially when the sun comes out, and the light hits the buildings just-so, and the breeze blows around fresh air that doesn't smell like dog *&$%, and i take it all in- in those moments (and so many more)- i'm sure there's no place more perfect. it's the city of [our] dreams for sure. 
(mike & jude on a lunch date before harvey was born, also in about this same spot, here.)


on jude's 5th birthday (and the weekend before)...

"the big lego robot set, orange starburst chapstick, and hatchimals!!" 

those were the birthday boy's only requests in the days leading up to his b-day. (we know better than to buy anything in advance.) 

jude's been having a rough time lately with some things, so we really wanted to slow down and focus on making his birthday special. it fell on a tuesday, after the 3-day weekend, and right in the middle of winter break- which was awesome!!
we went to a geronimo exhibit at the nyc ballet at lincoln center- i told jude they were his birthday balloons. kid likes balloons, so i'm a hero!

we also stopped for donuts at the coffee cart. i should mention that our stroller ride board clip broke, so we were roaming all day on feet & scooters. we walked a solid 5 miles that morning- stopping on the way home for groceries at trader joe's because, well, who doesn't want to do that on their birthday? ;)

i had a photo shoot in the afternoon so mike worked from home in the afternoon- which the b-day boy loved! then we grabbed chipotle & went to see "peter rabbit!"

before i forget, a few other fun winter-break-festivities. 
we kicked off the week by going to the met cloisters w/ becca & her boys! 
(for the record, the word "cloisters" is rising to the top of my least favorite words list.)

there was also a number of meals at chipotle, and a handful of additional movies (moviepass is the greatest thing to hit nyc- we're taking FULL advantage before it gets shut down for misuse:)
it was a 2 mile hike UPHILL to get to the castle. haha 
and last mention- a little saturday morning exploring! carb-loading (and a stop for a black & white cookie) at barney greengrass, then we walked to check out pomander walk!


rainy day at the moma...

friday marked our last weekday of winter break. and such a good break it was!! to be honest, i was semi-bummed because everyone we knew was gone, AND most of my kids' friends were in crazy-awesome locations like egypt and italy and st. baarts. but JUST like last spring break, it was amazing after all!! why was i worried??? 

mike had monday off for president's day (we went to see "paddington 2" as a family); jude's birthday was tuesday (went to see "peter rabbit" that day- why not, right?); wednesday was our warm day when the kids & i went to chinatown (last post); thursday one of my best childhood friends was in town so we went out for thai then headed to the american museum of natural history... and then there was friday! friday was the day i wanted to go to the moma. i've put it off becaus it's pricey, and i really wanted to go with mike. but mike doesn't care. and it was rainy. and i'm going hog wild with things we haven't done yet... so i made a plan! well, go figure, kids are free, and i have a nycid which allowed me to get a year membership for free! (!!!!) can you believe the luck!? happy turned happier!

we met mike for lunch at chick-fil-a, then the kids & i walked in the rain to the museum. it's dicey to adventure sans-stroller (mostly because that means i can't carry ANYTHING except what fits into the ergo pocket. namely, sanitizer, a wallet, and a diaper), but i knew it would be packed and the stroller would be a hassle, so i bribed the kids with a visit to the museum shop at the end of our visit (and my old coworker, kristen, has raaaved about this shop for years, so i wanted to go anyway. win-win). 
we did it. 
we did it!!!
roy lichtenstein!
van gogh!
this piece was elle's favorite- "the dream" by henri rousseau.
jude's favorite were these projections.
pollock! (i LOVED this piece)
this projection was so magical.
the kids did amazing- the art was so varied, and the museum wasn't overwhelming (the met is overwhelming to me. kind of like the louvre- too much to see!). we saw the museums in dc and as much as i loved so many of those, they were each SO different. this was amazing since it felt like a cohesive grouping of modern art. i'm a terrible museum-go-er, so this was for sure a win. also, that gift shop did NOT DISAPPOINT! 


78 degrees in chinatown!

the kids are on winter break, and i was terrified it would resemble holiday break. the weather has been erratic, but some looney weathermen predicted a 40 degree spike on wednesday. just wednesday. 35 to 75. then back again the next day! well, they were RIGHT! 
it was like a different planet.
i started the day with a photo shoot, then after harvey took a glorious nap (those don't always happen), we headed to chinatown! because, well, we never get to chinatown. and we had time. and weather on our side! plus, my kids have been dyyying for these binki cafe ice creams since last summer. 
it was time.
i'm glad the line wasn't long. it was slow-moving-art to create cotton candy on ice cream, let me tell you. 

cotton candy hello kitty & baymax on soft serve vanilla (my kids are real adventurers, let me tell you). also, the seaweed details had their eyes popping, but of course it didn't stop them from plucking off pieces and throwing them in the gutter (they tried seaweed once. once was enough). also, i told them it wouldn't stop me, and that i would eat their treats, which got them moving.

elle went face first.
thinking we needed more sugar in the form of bread to balance our treatage, we went to kossar's! grabbed some bagels. and black & white cookies, which are my new obsession. i don't even love them, but i ALWAYS want them! i've tried a ton of versions. i'm still perplexed about these creations- not a cookie, not a cake. when i see one, i try it. kossar's weren't my fave. too sweet. and dry. anyway, i order these cookies i don't even like multiple times a week (that's embarassing). so far, the best i've found is from barney greengrass, if anyone's wondering. but the search continues.
we found a park around the corner, and on the way we found this! the pickle guys! an open entry and barrels of pickled... things inside. elle chose olives. elle LOVES olives. she called them her "babies" as we walked.
later that night when mike got off work and after we ate dinner, we went for a walk to central park. we passed katie holmes on the way. nbd. mike noticed her- i never notice ANYONE. katie holmes!! 

it was seventy five as we sat in a pitch black playground and the kids ran around.
mike said exactly what i was feeling: "THIS is why we live here. i was forgetting. this is when i fall in love with this city all over again." and it's true. magical "summer nights," minus the bugs and crowds and humidity. 
also, it's february.

oh, and here's katie:
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