A Mama’s Urban Adventure to the Other Side: Part 1

A Mama’s Urban Adventure to the Other Side:

Part 1

By Heather Rachel Rose 

 

I have always been a city girl. In mind, body and spirit. I remember going to my
aunt and uncle’s West Village apartment when I was little and staring out the window
into the bar across the street. I would watch the taxis stop on Christopher Street and
pick up a woman dressed in black carrying a fabulous purse looking like she was
headed somewhere very important. I always wanted to be that woman. And in my mind,
those women only lived in New York City. I thought, from a very young age that I was
going to move to the city and live there. Forever. I was never going to leave. Well, if I
had waged a bet, I would have lost.

Like many of us, after college I lived on the Upper East Side. 78th & York, right
around the corner from Barking Dog Cafe, which, sadly, has since closed down. It
seems a lot of my favorite places have either closed down or dramatically changed over
the years. Maybe that’s just the circle of city life. Maybe things roll in and out as a new
generation takes over the space. Anyway, I thought I was so cool. I thought being a city
girl defined me, and therefore, leaving would mean leaving a part of myself behind as
well.

When I got married, I surrendered, kicking and screaming, as we moved to
Brooklyn. That was about as far out as I was willing to go. Kensington, to be exact. That
was over 13 years ago, when people thought of the Queen when they heard
Kensington. No one even knew where it was. (It’s in South Brooklyn, by the way,
between Ditmas Park and Midwood, or if you need further perimeters, between
Prospect Park and Coney Island.) We were fortunate enough to be able to buy an
apartment with the works – two bedrooms with lots of closet space and a master bath, a
washer and dryer, and private outdoor space. You couldn’t get any better than that.

About two years later, we had a baby girl.  No more sleeping until noon.  No more relaxing strolls down Ocean Parkway to cafe on Cortelyou Road where we could wait the afternoon away until a table was ready. We had a baby. And that baby had stuff. So. Much. Stuff. Suddenly, walking 6 blocks home with a stroller (and all that stuff)
late at night, after we had looked for a parking spot for an hour, was getting old. It was
exhausting. And we started to fantasize, as all new parents do, about driveways. And a
living room on a different floor from the bedroom. I just wanted to watch television at a
normal level after the baby had fallen asleep. You feel me, right?! But I threw a stubborn
tantrum over and over again. “I’m never leaving,” I would declare to anyone who asked.
“This city defines me, remember?” I was afraid to see what was out there.

I wish I’d had a fairy godmother step in and take over. Someone to tell me I
wasn’t cheating on New York City if I entertained the idea of looking elsewhere. I
desperately needed a guide. Not a friend with an agenda to get me to move next door.
Not my sister-in-law who criticized my desire to raise children without a yard. I needed
an impartial buddy. A concierge service, if you will. I needed someone like the folks at
fromcityto.com to help. I needed someone who would listen to my wants and
understand how hard it was for me to move into a new phase. I needed someone who
knew and could expertly explain the endless potential of the suburbs. I was afraid to
admit that a new environment was, perhaps, exactly what my mind, body and spirit
needed.

Click back next week for Part 2…

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Jenn

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