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It’s been a week since Brian, Ellie, and I moved to West New York, New Jersey, and I don’t remember a time all three of us have simultaneously been quite so smiley.
So far, everything is going great here in our new New Jersey home.
The move went super smoothly — thank you, moving company, for doing the packing and the moving — and we’ve settled in pretty immediately.
We moved on Tuesday, and Brian was able to take off from work on Wednesday so we could spend the day unpacking and getting ourselves situated.
Let me tell you a bit about our new living arrangements across the Hudson River!
Well, as I mentioned, our apartment on the Upper East Side was lovely for four years, but we had totally outgrown the apartment itself and the area. It started feeling small when we began accumulating more bikes than people. It felt even smaller after we got married and got a lot more stuff, and then once we got Ellie it was game over. Not to mention the whole “I have Crohn’s, but we only have one bathroom” thing.
Our lease was set to expire on April 15, and we knew it was time to move.
Manhattan is just too expensive for too little space. I loved living in the city for the almost nine years I was there, but it was clearly time to move on. The things I had always loved about the city — it’s so fast-paced! people shove you on the sidewalks if you don’t move fast enough! it never sleeps! it’s competitive and crazy and people are rude! — weren’t really thrilling to me anymore. I still think New York City is the greatest city in the world, but it’s nice having a bit of distance from it.
I always told people I wanted to live in the city, not somewhere you could see the city. But now we live where there are pretty unbeatable views of the special little island, and I’m absolutely digging it. We’re not right in the city anymore, and we’re not totally in the suburbs, either. It’s a nice in-between.
Our apartment is bigger (and, uh, cheaper), it’s surrounded by grass and water, and we have fun things like a pool and a gym and a cozy lounge I can work from during the day (instead of on the couch, which is what I did for the past year and a half). We also have two bathrooms. Talk about a game-changer.
We’re close to the ferry (Brian’s commute is now 20 minutes and doesn’t involve the downtown 4/5 trains), and are right near a light rail that takes us into Hoboken or Jersey City, where we can pick up the PATH train into Manhattan. There are buses, too, but I haven’t researched them yet because buses are my least favorite way to travel. THEY ALWAYS SMELL. EVERY TIME.
We also got a car this weekend (!!!), so we can go on road trips and take Ellie to fun dog parks on the weekends. (RSVP in the comments if you want to go on a road trip, and please confirm which snacks you will bring for us to share.)
Yesterday, I drove to Whole Foods, loaded up a cart, and then wheeled my groceries out to my car. It was revolutionary. How did I spend nine years buying just two bags of groceries at a time and then lugging them 10 blocks home? (Oh, wait. I didn’t. I was a Seamless.com addict…) I’m very excited to actually cook dinners, and I’ve been whipping up some pretty dope avocado toast for lunch every day. (And then I eat it standing at the breakfast bar, because we don’t have chairs or stools yet.)
In the week we’ve been here, Brian and I have each been noticeably happier and more relaxed, and best of all is seeing how supremely psyched Ellie has been.
She’s always been a happy puppy, but she is loving all this space to run around and play. You may recall I mentioned I am starting a basketball team called The Ellie-Oops, and since Ellie is our starting center, I wanted to make sure she could practice. So she’s been dribbling her little basketball around the apartment every day, and her ball-handling skills are developing nicely. (Thank god we live on the first floor.) Now we just have to figure out where to get sparkly costumes. I mean uniforms.
That’s the other thing: We live on the first floor.
Before, we were on the 28th floor of our building, so taking Ellie out was a chore. The elevators took forever, and were notoriously crowded or slow or broken, and it made potty training tricky. Now, when she needs to go “potty,” she walks to the front door, sits down, and looks at me. And then I walk her outside and she goes. On the grass. As soon as we got here, the potty training finally fully clicked. Yay for everyone involved.
There are lots of little dog parks along the water, and half the time we’re the only people in there (which is good for now, since she’ll still somewhat recovering from her spay surgery and can’t play too hard for another few days).
And the running!
The waterfront path is great. I’ve explored it to the north and the south, and did a long run this weekend (if by “long run” I mean “I ran 13.1 miles and took 31.3 walk breaks,” which is exactly what I mean) down to Jersey City and back. I’m loving getting to scope out the area this way.
I’ve also gone on two bike rides with Brian!
We went for a little ride last Wednesday to see the dueling grounds in Weehawken where Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr had their famous duel. (“Weehawken. Dawn. Guns. Drawn.”) I asked Brian if we could reenact the duel, and I wanted to be Hamilton and he had to be Burr, but he didn’t take me seriously. In due[l] time.
This weekend, we went for a longer ride up through the Palisades, which is a ride we used to do from the Upper East Side, and it sure is a lot more convenient not having to ride up and over the George Washington Bridge! We covered 40 miles and I saw some bald eagles! It was awesome. There was a mom and a dad, and three babies in the nest! SO MUCH NATURE IN NEW JERSEY!
So life is good. I’m loving the change of pace and the cleanliness and the quiet and the birds chirping.
And I’ll be back in Manhattan all the time. Starting this weekend when I attempt to run a 10K without making walk/bathroom/Instagram breaks. Stay tuned. Should go great.