Friday, June 28, 2013

Edith Crosses the Brooklyn Bridge

My Brooklyn baby couldn't leave New York without first crossing the Brooklyn Bridge, could she? So last weekend Paul and I made our more-or-less annual trek, this time with Edith in tow.

Although the scenery changes very little from year to year, it's one I never tired of. I always loved making the walk with out-of-town visitors.

This time, however, we did something we rarely ever did when crossing the Brooklyn Bridge: We walked in both directions. The three of us started in Brooklyn and turned around only when we reached Manhattan. Usually we walk only in one direction, or cross halfway before backtracking.

The Brooklyn Bridge isn't too exciting for some babies.

The bridge is always crowded with sight-seers and bikers, and I was afraid that taking a stroller was going to be much more annoying than it actually was. But we weren't the only ones up there with a baby by far, and in a way the stroller was an asset. It parted the Red Sea of tourists.

Afterward we walked down to Brooklyn Bridge Park, but only long enough to get a few photos of Edith before her squeals were too much for even us to handle. So my Brooklyn baby is going to have to wait for a really good shot of her with the Brooklyn Bridge in the background!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Video: Coney Island's Parachute Jump Light Show

I'm not the first to call Coney Island's Parachute Jump the Eiffel Tower of Brooklyn. The similarities are hard to miss: Easily recognizable and just as beautiful lit up at night as it is during the daytime.

After last Friday's Brooklyn Cyclones game, we got to see the Parachute Jump's initial lighting of the summer. The 8,000 multicolored lights were the stars of a spectacular show:

The only thing better would be if the Parachute Jump were still an actual, working ride. Alas, it last terrified riders in 1964.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Brooklyn Cyclones: Minor League Baseball at Coney Island

With the contents of our three-bedroom apartment being stowed away in increasingly more boxes, the last thing Paul needed for Father's Day was, well, another thing.

Instead, Paul got a note from Edith asking him to take her to her first baseball game. That's how we ended up in Coney Island on Friday for a Brooklyn Cyclones game.

The Cyclones are a single-A affiliate of the New York Mets, with a small but tidy stadium with seats overlooking Coney Island's major attractions: the Atlantic Ocean, Parachute Jump, Wonder Wheel and the Cyclone roller coaster.

Wonder Wheel on the right, (though not very wheel-like from this view!),
and the Cyclone in the distance

We arrived at Coney Island a couple of hours before the first pitch, giving us plenty of time to stroll the boardwalk and grab a bite to eat. Of course, when we saw a place called Paul's Daughter, we had to eat there. (Fried clams and fries for Paul, a corn dog for me.)

Restrooms raised above the beach.

Although we live so close to the ocean, it's easy to forget until you're only a short walk away. That's why it always slips my mind how much cooler it is there than just a few miles away in Bay Ridge. I was glad I brought a wrap, even though it was quite warm at home.

The game started promptly at 7 p.m., and like at most minor league games, the majority of the crowd seemed to be there to soak up the atmosphere rather than to cheer on the home team. That's OK; that's what I was there for, too. Paul watched the game while I entertained an easy-to-please Edith.

She was largely content, and any coos or cries were easily overshadowed by the hum of the crowd. When she got more fussy toward the end, I took a walk with her around the stadium. She fell asleep at the top of the ninth, just before the Cyclones clinched the win over Aberdeen.

Edith stayed asleep during the lighting of the Parachute Jump, and she didn't open her eyes until the grand finale of the weekly Friday night fireworks. Even then, the drowsy baby could barely keep her eyes open.

Parachute Jump, and a full moon.

Edith's first baseball game was -- dare I say it? -- a home run. And Paul's Father's Day wasn't half bad either.

Friday, June 21, 2013

One Last Time in New York City

Central Park

How can you see and do the things you've loved best about living in New York City for six years ... all in six weeks?

We're going to see if it's possible. Paul and I made a list of all of the sights, parks and restaurants we wanted to visit one last time, and started crossing them off last Saturday.

Since it was Father's Day weekend, Paul picked the restaurant: East Japanese, for one last meal of conveyor-belt sushi.

Next up: Central Park, where we strolled down our favorite section -- the Mall, with its towering trees -- twice with a stop at Bethesda Fountain in between.

The Mall at Central Park

Bethesda Fountain at Central Park

We left in time to walk to St. Patrick's Cathedral for one last Saturday night mass. (That was also one of the first things we did upon moving here in 2007, only then we visited after a Brooklyn Brewery tour and an afternoon exploring Williamsburg for the first time.)

Renovations being done at St. Patrick's Cathedral

St. Patrick's Cathedral

The best was last: a picnic in Bryant Park. One of my favorite things to do in all of New York City is to buy a giant slice of cheesecake at Junior's in Times Square and devour it with the sun setting on Bryant Park. This time we added a couple of things to the picnic: street food and a blanket.

This was Edith's first Bryant Park picnic, and while she couldn't partake in the devil's food cheesecake, she did have fun playing on the blanket while we chowed down on one of the park's tables.

Edith having fun with Daddy at Bryant Park

And the street food? Eh, it was street food. But believe it or not, I think I had my first New York City street cart hot dog since moving here!

I'm going to miss the hot dogs. Oh, wait. No, I'm not.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Pretty in Pink, or Any Color

Sleepy baby.

When Paul and I found out our baby was to be a girl, we swore to each other that we would largely avoid pink.

But now, as Edith turns seven months old on Friday, I can say that is a promise we have largely broken.

Is it our fault she looks so darn cute in pink? But really, that's not even the reason she wears so many "girly" colors.

For one thing, we forgot about gifts. People love buying little girls pink outfits. Who can blame them when they're so adorable? And, in fact, one of my favorite outfits she wore as a newborn was emblazoned with pink strawberries -- and I bought that myself.

But I've also learned another reason why pink outfits are so convenient. One I didn't anticipate. Baby's outfit is largely the only thing strangers have to go on to determine whether said baby is a boy or a girl.

Tights say GIRL!

Honestly, people seem to have trouble with this 50/50 question quite frequently, no matter what she's wearing. Once I was asked when she was sporting pink camouflage pants. Really? Another time she was wearing a blue outfit adorned all over with pink flowers. REALLY?

So forget about it if she's wearing anything even slightly unisex. Yellow, white, red: They all beg the question.

I'm not offended when people ask. Her pediatrician even got it wrong during one visit! Truthfully, I've made the same mistake with at least one other baby. When they're this young, there's nothing that makes them look like a boy or a girl except their clothes and accessories. And don't think you're going to see Edith with her ears pierced anytime soon.

Monday, June 17, 2013

On Leaving New York

A storm rolls into Bay Ridge, Brooklyn

Bittersweet is a word overused by me and nearly everyone else on the planet, but it's the single best word to describe how I feel about leaving New York in a month.

Sometimes "bitter" predominates, particularly on these perfect spring days when the city that never sleeps is so welcoming that you don't want to sleep either. But leaving seems particularly sweet when you're hauling two loads of laundry around the corner, or Paul has to spend 20 minutes finding a parking spot.

Needless to say, I'm looking forward to being closer to my family and Ohio friends. And equally obvious should be the fact that I'm going to miss the friends I've made in New York. But even aside from these connections, I'm going to miss Brooklyn and all of New York City themselves.

I'm still working this all out in my head, and when I do I'll have a longer blog post on the subject. It's difficult to explain, and I'm sure whatever I come up with will sound trite. I suspect this post already does.

In the meantime, life now is much more prosaic, filled with the ho-hum chores of packing, picking a moving company and finding an apartment we can call home until we find an actual home.

Friday, June 14, 2013

A Day on the Hudson River: Tarrytown, Sleepy Hollow & Nyack

For someone who's lived in New York for nearly six years, I've seen surprisingly little of the Hudson River.

I see it lap against Manhattan's western shore a few times a year, but usually at some distance. Maybe from the High Line. Or the Cloisters. Most likely from the car.

This past Memorial Day weekend we decided to fix that by taking a day trip to three Hudson River towns just north of the city: Tarrytown, Sleepy Hollow and Nyack. The towns are just minutes from one another and about an hour away by car from Bay Ridge.

First stop: Tarrytown. Specifically, Lyndhurst. We skipped the tour of this Gothic Revival mansion, designed in 1838, instead opting for a ticket that granted us access only to the extensive grounds. We walked along the trails, shielding ourselves as best we could from the smiting wind whipping along the Hudson. One path followed the river, but the other was more inland and secluded. Both were pleasant.


After a bite to eat and a short walk through the center of Tarrytown, we drove to the neighboring village of Sleepy Hollow. Yep, that Sleepy Hollow. I had one goal and one goal only: to see the grave of the author of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow." Luckily, the entrance to the cemetery had a good map with Washington Irving's grave marked. A nice drive then a few snapshots and we were on our way.

The Irving plot at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery

Washington Irving's grave

On our way to Nyack, that is. Nyack is connected to Tarrytown by the Tappan Zee Bridge, which crosses the Hudson River. We arrived just before the Edward Hopper House closed, so I made myself content with just a few photos of the exterior. Most of our time in Nyack was spent perusing the many small shops in the downtown area, and then finding a spot along the river to admire the view.

Edward Hopper House

Paul in a Nyack bookstore

Boats on the Hudson River

We were back in Brooklyn before the sun had set, perfectly happy with our Hudson River day.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

An Eventful Two Weeks

The last two weeks have been extremely busy, for better or (mostly) worse).

Two weeks ago today, Edith and I flew home in advance of my mom's surgery. Mom had a kidney removed, but it didn't go as planned. Long story short, there were complications in what was supposed to be a simple procedure requiring two nights in the hospital. Instead, Mom was in the ICU for several days and spent five nights in the hospital. Happily, she's now doing very well.

On that same day I went home, Paul found out that he got a position in Ohio. Same company, same job, only in Columbus. We'll be moving there next month.

After a week of visiting with my family, Paul drove from New York to Defiance to join Edith and me. We spent a couple of days together in northwest Ohio and then drove to Columbus to look at houses. We'll likely be moving into an apartment when we first return.

Between the surgery and the impending move, it's been a sad and stressful two weeks. I'll be doing my best to keep up this blog three times a week, but don't be surprised if you see a few skipped days, as you did on Monday. On the other hand, I have a lot to write about.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Edith Odds and Ends

To round out the week of Edith photos, here's a few that I don't think have appeared on the blog so far. Enjoy!

A few days after turning six months old.

My first Mother's Day.

Mother's Day, continued.

Edith's first Easter.

Edith being cute, like usual.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Edith Outtakes: The First Six Months

I've taken about a million photos of Edith, but somewhere in the range of 999,500 of those have been deleted.

Blurry. Eyes closed. Finger in viewfinder. You get the picture.

But I've saved a few of the best outtakes and compiled them here. I swear I'm not a bad mom, although some of Edith's faces might convince you otherwise.

The outtakes started on the way home from the hospital ...

... and continued once we got home.

Weren't the last 500 pictures good enough, Mom?

I'm too tired for photos!


Let me teach my cousin Wyatt how to cry in the middle of a restaurant!

The most adorable outtake ever.

Nap time!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Edith's First Food

I'm taking a break from my normal blogging this week, but I still have some special posts prepared for today, Wednesday and Friday: Photos of Edith.

I know what you're thinking: Isn't every other post about Edith already? I protest! Maybe when she was first born, but I'm trying not to make this a 100 percent mommy blog. Perhaps 33 percent, however. But I digress.

Today's topic: Edith's first food. I few days before she turned six months old, she ate her first solid: avocado. More of it ended up in her stomach than her bib, so I called it a success.

And yes, I -- the person who absolutely hates cooking -- am making all of her baby food. So far the avocado and bananas she's tried need only be smooshed with a fork, but I've whipped up sweet potato puree and pea puree, too. I've also ground rolled oats in a tiny food processor and cooked up some oatmeal for her.

I don't quite have my first Michelin star, but this is a big accomplishment for someone who hates turning on the stove for any reason other than boiling water. Our freezer is filled with food cubes waiting to be thawed for her next meal!

Gimme food!

Baby's first bite.

Daddy's turn to feed me!

Hmmm, interesting ...

You saw correctly -- her high chair is in the living room. The kitchen is too small, not to mention pretty dreary. So it's tucked between the couch and recliner. Another joy of New York City living!

The high chair is the same one my sister and I used as kids, and Edith is still a bit too small for it. The longer she sits in the chair, the further she tends to slip-slide down. When her chin starts to hit the tray (it gets closer and closer in each of the photos above!), it's time to pull her up and sit her up straight once again. She's still working on that whole sitting thing!


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