Jersey Girls!

Date: March 29, 2016 at 9:13 pm- by Ali- Comment(s): 23

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.

These are our Jersey Girl smiles!

These are our Jersey Girl smiles!

I guess the wedding. And the honeymoon. And the day we brought Ellie home. And the time I found out Celine Dion was coming back to Vegas. Other than those times, though, this is the best time.

So far, everything is going great here in our new New Jersey home.

new-jersey-sunrise-1

The sunrises, for one, are pretty decent.

The move went super smoothly — thank you, moving company, for doing the packing and the moving — and we’ve settled in pretty immediately.

Me and the donut on moving day!

Me and the donut on moving day!

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.

BEING VERY HELPFUL!

BEING VERY HELPFUL!

GOOD USE OF A DAY OFF.

GOOD USE OF A DAY OFF. We have floral pillows IN CASE YOU COULDN’T TELL.

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.

SOMEONE very quickly learned that one of the bathroom doors doesn't close completely. So this is a fairly common sight...from the toilet.

SOMEONE very quickly learned that one of the bathroom doors doesn’t close completely. So this is a fairly common sight…from the toilet.

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.

See? This is not so bad!

See? This is not so bad!

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.

ZOOM ZOOM!

ZOOM ZOOM!

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.)

Ali On The Roads! Watch out, world!

Ali On The Roads! Watch out, world!

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.)

This felt a bit too indulgent...

This felt a bit too indulgent…

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.

The happiest puppy in all the land!

The happiest puppy in all the land!

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.

Ellie-Oop says, "Put me in, Coach!" WHO VOLUNTEERS AS COACH? I already asked my dad and he said sure, but he lives in New Hampshire, so is there anyone closer who is skilled in coaching a dog-slash-human basketball team? APPLY IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.

Ellie-Oop says, “Put me in, Coach!” WHO VOLUNTEERS AS COACH? I already asked my dad and he said sure, but he lives in New Hampshire, so is there anyone closer who is skilled in coaching a dog-slash-human basketball team? APPLY IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.

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.

So much space for puppy play!

So much space for puppy play!

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!

#seenonmyruntobenandjerrys

#seenonmyrun #tobenandjerrys

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!

Turns out, if you want to see the even better views from up high, you have to ride up some gnarly hills to get there. WORTH IT, THO.

Turns out, if you want to see the even better views from up high, you have to ride up some gnarly hills to get there. WORTH IT, THO.

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.

SO MUCH HISTORY! But more importantly, the greatest Broadway musical of our time.

SO MUCH HISTORY! But more importantly, the greatest Broadway musical of our time.

"THIS MAN WILL NOT MAKE AN ORPHAN OF MY DAUGHTER!"

“THIS MAN WILL NOT MAKE AN ORPHAN OF MY DAUGHTER!”

WHAT'S YOUR NAME, MAN? Ali Feller Hamilton. My name is Ali Feller Hamilton. And there's a million things I haven't done. Just you wait. Just you waaaaait.

WHAT’S YOUR NAME, MAN? Ali Feller Hamilton. My name is Ali Feller Hamilton. And there’s a million things I haven’t done. Just you wait. Just you waaaaait.

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.

Perfect family photo. Thanks, Ellie.

Perfect family photo. Thanks, Ellie.

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.

23 Responses to "Jersey Girls!"

Congrats on your move – it sounds like the perfect place for you! I love your views of the city – beautiful! Enjoy all of your newfound space 🙂

Yay! I have been dying to know how the new digs are!!! The 2 bathrooms … Dreamy! And no elevator to wait for when Ellie has to go … We are moving from the country back to a city apartment and I can’t imagine what I will do if my dog has to go in the middle of the night! Congrats … This has been fun to follow:) and my dog has a buck front tooth that is as cute as Ellie’s bite. Maybe you should have a cute dog contest?!

I live in a city with an elevator and a dog who occasionally goes out in the middle of the night. I do with lots of complaining and a very bad attitude. That seems to work for us 🙂

Sounds like it was the perfect move for you guys! I live in Philly but sort of outside the city but not quite suburbs and it really is the perfect compromise! Every time I read your blog now I want a dog more and more <3

Stephanie says: March 30, 2016 at 8:33 am

This post makes me so happy for many reasons:
1. Two bathrooms is epic amazingness! We lived in Hoboken for 10 years and I love it so much (isn’t the running so happy!?) But we only had one bathroom. We are in the sorta-burbs now and have three and I get so excited still!!!
2. Ellie is really smiling so much!!! Maybe when she feels 110% you can try the south mountain dog park. My pup loves it and there are awesome running and hiking trails too!
3. There are so many fun routes and great places to eat (& shop -did you find the great stores on river road? Home goods!!) And I’m so happy you guys are loving it!
4. Random/slightly funny question: I have two bar height chairs that we used in our apt in Hoboken and don’t have a home for in our new place. Would you like them? This is sounding like a Craigslist ad now 🙂

Goldfish. Swedish Fish. Fish-flavored treats for Ellie. #GuessTheRoadTripSnackTheme

Jillian J says: March 30, 2016 at 9:46 am

You guys seem so happy!
I am glad you got a car, I guess I have been spoiled, just the thought of getting to a store and getting home with groceries without a car seems impossible to me.
and road trip snacks, I am willing to bring trail mix, but will happily bring anything else that is completely necessary (ie brownies)!

Welcome to NJ! Glad to hear you’ve found its not quite as bad as they say. A little bit of suburbia can’t hurt every now and again 🙂 Also, TWO BATHROOMS FTW!

Thanks for shignar. What a pleasure to read!

My husband and his brothers tried to turn their childhood dog into “Air Bud” as kids so I bet he’d be a great Ellie Oops coach 😉 Although we’re in California sooooo…e-coaching?!

Loving your Snapchat and pictures of New Jersey – I still miss it a ton! That ride in the Palisades is amazing (but sooo hard).

Come visit! NYC and NJ miss you.

I want to go on a road trip and my snacks of choice are avo toast or pb and j :).
Now, lets pick a destination.

Jennifer says: March 30, 2016 at 2:29 pm

You have my car – hope you love it!!

Ellie has butt swirls like my dog! So cute!

My dog has those two and we call them butt tufts. :o)

Hahahaha Brian calls them her butt wheels! What are they?!

I don’t even know how I landed on your blog, but I love you already! You are adorable! I’m a runner and a dog person too. And I never lived in NYC, but I have always loved it, and always think what a great young-adulthood experience it would be to live there. And you did it! That’s awesome! Now enjoy the convenience of the ‘burbs for the next phase!

Samantha says: March 30, 2016 at 5:01 pm

Congrats on the move!! Looks like a beautiful place (and view!!)

I am SO glad Hamilton made such an appearance in this post. When you wrote “New York City is the greatest city in the world” it was already stuck in my head…and obviously it got more stuck and more lovely from there.

Congrats on your move. 🙂 So glad everybody is happy! I just had a good friend move across the river too, and she seems pretty pleased as well.

I’m so in for a road trip…if you’ll come to the East coast of Canada to pick me up? My food snacks are anything cheesy and of course nutella!

It is like you have the best of 2 worlds. Ellie and you and Brian have lots of space to run and ride and you can be in the city in 20 minutes!! And yay for a car. We are visiting NYC for the first time this summer and I love taking public transportation while we are visiting but a car is so nice for more freedom. And Ellie can ride and have the wind in her face!!

So glad you are all loving your new home! It looks beautiful and you’re still so close to your old stomping grounds when you need a fix.

I am so jealous of your 2 bathroom situation – even if Ellie likes to intrude on occasion. I live in a teeny tiny house with my husband and HATE sharing one bathroom.

The bike rides up through the Palisades sound lovely and CONGRATS on the car!!

I volunteer to bring ALL the fun snacks for road trips. Also pool party? Ok cool. See you this summer.