This weekend we were blessed AGAIN with lovely weather. It was warm and sunny on Saturday morning so I took Fletcher off to the playground across the street in the morning to give Maarten an little time to rest after a tough week. Citibabes, a local indoor playgroup that offers classes, had set up activities at the playground, so Fletcher had a ball playing with large foam blocks and painting.
Drawing at the playground
After a little while we headed down to the Financial district to do a little shopping at Century 21, then had a quick lunch waterside and walked over to the Hudson Park so Fletcher could run around at the Playground (Do you sense the theme of our trip yet?)
Playing with water at the playground in Rockefeller park
Maarten had dinner out with a friend visiting from the Netherlands, so Fletcher and I picked up Pizza on from the corner Pizzeria (really good Pizza) and had an early night.
Sunday turned into another beautiful day, so we decided to rent bikes and ride across the Brooklyn Bridge. I've been wanting to take pictures of the bridge and it was a good day to do it!
We got the bikes, and headed towards the bridge, where I was able to take a few photos...
The Brooklyn Bridge
Fletcher and Lori and a bit of the bridge in the background
The Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Bridge
...before the chain on Maarten's bike broke. We decided it wasn't our time to bike the bridge, so to speak and took the bikes back and went to Grandma's House for lunch at Peck Slip (Near South Street Seaport). Yummy and very family friendly. The construction out front with a large digger was a big sell for Fletcher.
After lunch and another stop a playground, we headed back home to rest up and get ready for our first date night in New York! We are lucky to have a babysitter in the building- Alexandra, a french girl who lives on the 2nd floor.
Maarten and I went to Birreria for dinner, a rooftop beer garden on top of Eataly, the large Italian market/grocery store in midtown. The weather was still great so I was able to take a few photos of the flatiron building and the Empire State Building before we went up
Looking downtown from Madison Square
The Flatiron Building at Dusk
The Empire State Buidling
The restaurant was bustling. We enjoyed our meal, even though it was a quick one (we were finished in under an hour!). Good beer, great cheese and sausage and good service.
We also had a nice view of the top of the Flatiron building. Beautiful.
Something I am really enjoying about being in New York is becoming personally acquainted with so many iconic symbols of American Movie Culture. The Flatiron Building and the Empire State Building in particular. It draws the eye. I have seen 'An Affair to Remember' more time than I can count. Deborah Kerr's character calls the Empire State 'The nearest thing to heaven we have in New York.'
After our dinner we walked a few blocks uptown and decided to take in the Empire State building at night. We have visited the building before, on our last trip to New York together in 1998, but that was during the day. At night, it wasn't as busy and the views were just as magical
The view downtown from the Empire State Building
The also iconic Chrysler Building
Lots of buildings, lots of lights!
It was a lovely evening out for us and a nice end to the weekend.
Monday morning, back to work for Maarten! Fletcher and I spent most of the day at the key park
playground, then took a walk into the East Village to wander a bit and get some Frozen Yogurt.
On Tuesday Maarten left for a conference in Mississippi, so Fletcher and I were on our own for the day, which was spent...at the playground! We did see a total of 5 Fire Engines on Tuesday, so it was a good day!
On Wednesday, my friend Melody, whom I call Bob (and she calls me Bob in return, long story), arrived for a quick visit from Georgia. Bob is a great friend of mine from High School. One of those friends that you might not see often, but when you do, you just pick up where you left off.
The Bobs at Washington Square Park
We went to the Wee arts session in the morning, hit the Milk Truck to pick up Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and Dark Chocolate Milk Shakes (Yummy!), which we took to the playground (where else would we go??)
Fireman Fletcher was on duty today!
Engine No 9
Bob and Fireman Fletcher
This New York visit has been an interesting experiment. In Amsterdam, Fletcher goes to daycare 3 days a week, but here, he is with me full time. While that has it's challenges, it's also been good for the both of us. We are venturing out more- going to classes, checking out playgrounds and such. In Amsterdam we have a big garden, lots of toys and a petting zoo on the corner, and kids his age all around. There's not much I need to do to keep him entertained. Both options are good some of the time, so it's good to change it up a bit and explore with him. The bonus being that we almost always run into firetrucks on our walks. That doesn't happen much in Amsterdam.
The last two days it's been on the news that the 'Frankenstorm' is coming and due to hit New York and New Jersey on Monday and Tuesday. On Friday morning Fletcher and I went out early to get some basic supplies- a few candles, a flashlight, matches, etc. We just need water and some food items and I think we will be set. After stocking up we walked out of the store and a firetruck was standing there.
After spending some time admiring the truck up close, a few firemen came back to the truck and one of them asked Fletcher if he wanted to sit in it!
He was a bit shy about it, but I think he really enjoyed it!
After that exciting adventure we walked to the key park and I ate a sandwich while Fletcher ran around and played. We were there for a few hours and as the afternoon wore on, Fletcher started playing with other kids there. My new New York Aussie friend Kate came to the park with her daughter Scout, and she and Fletcher played around a little while before we did a little shopping and had a quick play date with Scout and Fletcher.
We're just chilling at home before Maarten comes home, so I'll wrap it up here. Next week is a busy one, with Halloween on Wednesday, my Parents arrive on Thursday and my friend Riley arrives on Sunday. Lots on the horizon!
We had more great weather last weekend, so we decided to head uptown to visit Central Park and the UWS. We did this without much planning, so by the time we got to the park, it was lunch time and Fletcher and I were hungry (oops!)
After a little exploration of the playground and admiration of the horses that were pulling tourists in carriages (Kijk! Paardje!), we headed back out of the park in search of lunch.
We walked a little ways and ended up at Gray's Pappaya to experience the world famous Hot dog. I had a chili cheese dog. YUM. Fletcher enjoyed his hot dog, which was followed by some frozen yogurt. By then we had realized how tired we both were from a busy week and headed back downtown to relax for the afternoon.
On Sunday we walked up 5th avenue to midtown and spent the afternoon checking out the playgrounds and shops of the area. We stopped at lunch at another local hotspot: The Shake Shack, at Maddison Square Park. All I can say is OH MYYYY. I'm glad I'm walking as much as I am. The burger was Lekker!
Monday came around and it marked the beginning of our 3rd week in New York. We did the normal things, playground, grocery shopping...nothing to remarkable. The weather was holding on- still sunny and warm :).
Tuesday I went to the playground as per normal, and ran in to a woman I had met last week at the Wee Arts class, an Australian named Kate who lived in New York with her daughter Scout (3 1/2). We got to talking and after a while she mentioned she was going to the 'Key Playground' a playground a few blocks away that you needed a key to get access to. We went along with her and spent a very enjoyable afternoon at the Washington Square Village Key Park. It's a big park surrounded by NYU residential buildings. There are toys scattered everywhere- lots of dump trucks and buckets, plus a large 'Fire Engine' climbing structure. Fletcher was in heaven. My first question was "how can I get a key?'
On Wednesday Fletcher and I went to Wee Arts again at the Children's Museum of the Arts where we painted, stamped, built, sang and drummed, then spent a half an hour in the ball room bouncing around.
Afterwards we went to grab lunch with Kate and Scout and took it to the playground across the street from our house. After a while we decided to go to the WSV Key Park and I picked up a key from the main office (we live close enough to the park to get one, yay!).
It was nice hanging out with Kate- having someone to chat with besides Fletcher! She came up to me in the Wee arts class last week and asked if I was Australian. We got to talking and when I told her I was from Huntington Beach, CA, she said 'That must be it. You seemed so relaxed compared to most of the mothers here'. :). Her daughter is also lovely. She's a bit older than Fletcher, but when we walk next to each other they are chat with each other in their strollers. Really cute.
Thursday we went to the New York City Fire Museum which is just down the street on Spring (Did I mention we live in a fantastic neighborhood?). At the museum we mostly looked at the history of Fire Engines in New York city, from horse pulled carriages to steam engines. Pretty cool.
We also scored Fletcher's first Halloween costume as....wait for it.... a Fireman! So adorable! He loves it!
On Thursday night we decided to go out, so walked to China town and had dumplings and shredded beef at Joe's Shanghai.
We tried hailing a cab, but it was rush hour so we decided to just walk. Fletcher did his best too...Our little New Yorker.
Fletcher has had a developmental milestone of sorts this week. Every night before Fletcher goes to sleep, I ask him 'What did we do today?'. Normally I ask and I answer, but on Wednesday night when I said 'What did we do today?' He answered for the first time! He said 'Speltuin' (Playground) 2 fire engine (we say two fire engines on the street) and Paint! (we painted at Wee arts). Very cool!
On Friday it rained, and I wasn't feeling well, so Fletcher and I mostly hung around the house. On Saturday, however, it was a beautiful day, so we went to the playground, then headed down to the Financial District to do a little shopping, have lunch and walk back along the hudson.