It's all over the news today: our city within a city is about to be sold, and life as we know it in NYC is about to end.
But we've nearly outgrown our little apartment anyway, and we've known that we'll have to leave sometime soon. On the other hand, two of the families on our floor are raising two children in one-bedroom apartments, so it could be worse.
Aside from the New York that you see on TV, with its daily cocktail parties and limo rides and the constant noise and lights of Broadway, I thought it might be fun to tell you what life in New York is really like. Particularly life in our little neighborhood.
Our neighborhood in Manhattan is truly unique. The complex is closed off from traffic and includes lots of grassy lawns and playgrounds. We have sprinkler parks, basketball courts, bocce ball, and even a small astroturf soccerfield. In the summer we attend free concerts on the big lawn. We know many of our neighbors and enjoy bumping into them within the community. Older children can freely ride their bikes on the walkways without the worry of traffic. In many ways it truly is an idyllic place to live. It has its problems, but I will be very sad on the day when we finally leave.
Like many NYC dwellings, our apartment is small - about 750 square feet on a good day. This includes all closet space. And I've mentioned before that the baby sleeps in a closet. If we stay much longer we'll need to divide the bedroom with a a false wall, since Kiddo has almost outgrown her Pack and Play.
Essential elements for living in a one-bedroom with a baby:
*White-noise machine. So baby doesn't wake every time you make even the smallest sound.
*Head lamp. So baby doesn't wake every time you turn on the light. And so you don't bruise your shins banging into furniture. And so you can read in bed.
*Sense of humor. After all, you're walking around the apartment wearing a head lamp.
*Ability to part with items of sentimental value without a second glance. Who has room to store it all?
*Creative use of space. Witness that closet-turned-bedroom.
Anyway, this is Lola. Or at least she's named Lola until the kiddo can decide on a name for the doll by herself. She's based on Danger Baby, the doll I made my niece last year, with a few revisions: her legs are a bit longer, primarily.
Lola is made for play. Otherwise what's the point? It's not like we can store her someplace, after all. She's made from heavy wool felt with quilting thread used for the seams so she'll withstand loads of exuberance. Her dress fastens with snaps (they're underneath the back buttons, which are just for show) and was meant to have matching polkadot shorts underneath, but I got tired of fiddling with doll clothes and shoes for a while. The shoes are supposed to look like a simplified version of these, but they don't really resemble very closely, do they?
During our photo session for this post we were trailed through a park outside of Stuyvesant Town by a very drunk homeless man who wanted to pat Kiddo and Lola on their heads. We gently but quickly made our escape to another part of the park. It seems Lola loves adventure. I'm sure we'll have plenty to go around. Especially when we have to leave Stuyvesant Town and find other places to play.