26 January 2012

Living in New York

Oh, how I love New York.  This place sits deep in my heart.
I came here a girl with big dreams and plans.
And I now sit here with the biggest heart, feeling grateful for the experiences I've been able to have here.  I have grown up here.

My long time Brooklyn friend told me she and her husband are trying to collect some books about New York.  I thought that was such a great idea!  I got one for Danny while bustling around SoHo in our last days before Christmas.  We ducked into a charming bookstore on Prince Street (McNally Jackson).  Danny was in the restroom in the bookstore, I was playing Santa in the New York book section.  And to my delight, I came across the sweetest little gem, New York Finger Paintings.  I love this book.  I just want to keep looking at it.  It's filled with places I know & places that make up this life that I love.  I feel I've seen every detail of this book with my own eyes.   

Presenting... New York Finger Paintings by Jorge Colombo.  
(HIGHLY recommended for a Valentine's Day gift!) 
I've had some of the best moments in taxi cabs.  I don't take them often... 

-Only if I was hauling our HARVEY Fall or Spring collection to meet a buyer (in the rain, feeling like my arms were going to give out from hauling so many clothes.  TRUST ME when I say that owning a fashion line in New York is not all glam!!  haha :) :)
 -or if I was driving home from JFK, feeling so happy to return back to New York (& anxious to get off the BQE with a crazy driver behind the wheel!)
-or if I was on a date, feeling glamorous & driving through the city, feeling spoiled that someone else would be paying (strange to have a date pay for everything when you're used to being married & forking out from your combined income.  But, well, it was quite wonderful to meet so many gentlemen who had jobs!  I decided to be comfortable with them treating me and to just enjoy it & be very grateful!)
-or if there was an EARTHQUAKE! (yep, I hopped in a cab the moment after running my heart down 44 flights of skyscraper, after feeling quite a rumble while sitting at my desk.  The thing is, you don't think "earthquake" in New York if something rumbles, you think "bomb".  Regardless, I had a nice cozy ride home to Brooklyn after my first earthquake.  I guess earthquakes and skyscrapers are not my thing.
-or if there was a 3 day Subway Strike (like in 2005).  New Yorkers all just crammed into cabs to get to work.  It was kind of awesomely communal.  I wondered why we don't share cabs more often.   
-or if I was taking a late night car from Midtown to Brooklyn after work (late night being 9:00, 9:30, 10:00 pm+?).  Oh, how I couldn't wait to get home....tunnel please!  (Luckily, in New York most companies foot the bill for late night cars & tolls!)  

I also think of some great conversations with drivers from all over the world...  
good bosses, bad bosses, going after your dreams, living in America, future parenting advice, making changes in your life, who will win the election?, best infertility herbs from India, a healer cousin in Africa, have you heard of the Mormons? Haha (a mormon.org ad is on the top of your car!), would you please slow down on the FDR?, thank you for getting me home safe, "You're a good wife" (after he hears me talk on the phone to my husband).  

And I think of the drivers that waited for me to get into my building safe late at night, as I fumbled for keys.  And I think of some stinky drivers, too. :)
what it's like to live in new york
All New Yorkers love to peak inside windows while walking around their neighborhood (or looking out their own windows!)  There's always someone's window there, all lit up.  It's like your fourth grade  diorama came to life.  You can't help but look in to see the way someone else lives, to see if there is a life or a space there that piques your interest.  I love seeing a home's style.  I renovated (3) of my own apartments in New York and so I was always looking at other people's details.  Like..."how about that wall of books for the next renovation?  Or that modern crystal chandelier?"  Of course there's the... "I wonder how much they pay in rent" or "how many sq. feet do they have?"  "What are they having for dinner?"  "What movie are they watching?"  "Eww, did I just see them naked? " or even worse..."Did they just see ME naked?"  Oh, the windows of New York.

Oh, the money I have spent at parking garages in NYC.  You see, in the early days, my Rover was the delivery truck of HARVEY FAIRCLOTH.  But the garment district is a "No Standing Zone".  That means you can't stop or a cop will be on your butt in two seconds.  Oh, the crazy moments we had loading up fabric & racks of clothes with interns as fast as we could before the cops could get us.  


best pizza in new york
Do you have any idea how sad it is to not eat pizza?  The gluten free/dairy free diet really leaves no mercy for pizza.  But I still have great memories of grabbing a slice at Nino's in the heart of Italian Carroll Gardens.  Or at Sal's.  Or at Grimaldi's, Patsy's, Smiling Pizza, Anthony's, Guisappina's (one of our favorites), Di Fara's, or Spumoni Gardens.  Oh, the memories.  Sitting by the waters edge eating a "pie" under the Brooklyn Bridge with friends.  Tailgating across from the Statue of Liberty.  Or sitting in church and having one of my young women (who came to church alone her entire life & traveled 1 1/2 hours to get there) walk into class carrying a pie from the pizzeria next door. :) [Girl, you know who you are & I love you!]  Well, there is nothing quite like New York pizza.  In Paris, people tote baguettes.  In New York, people walk with a steaming hot pizza box.  And everyone within sight is jealous. 

Do any of these pictures invoke some memories for you?

More to come.

Have a wonderful day. And go have some pizza for me :)



  1. Now I have an new crush, just went to the Harvey Faircloth collection page. Love. Just love. Let me know if you ever want to collaborate jewelry into it:) Now I want pizza. Very, very much.

  2. I love New York too. My husband doesn't, but he's still taking me there today (!) for our 21st wedding anniversary! We've got tickets to Anything Goes and reservations at a 4 star hotel (thanks Priceline!). Now if I can only get out of jury duty. Wish me luck! (We're still deliberating on where to eat dinner. We love Indian and Mediterranean.

  3. i've only been to new york once, and it was a dream. my best friend and i made quick flight plans and headed there without telling anyone. i don't know if i've ever had so much fun on a trip. the picture of the cab makes me think of our only experience with a cab in new york...the driver started yelling at us for being so indecisive. we knew where we wanted to go but had no idea how to get there so he was not amused with us. eeh. i heart new york. although...i must secretly admit that chicago has now become my favorite city.

  4. So many things about your blog that I love Mara, and I feel like I have so much to share with you! Thank you for being so open and honest about your faith and relationship :)

    It's been exciting reading your entries about New York since I'm planning a short trip there in March... definitely gonna try one of the pizza places you recommended :) Hello from sunny Singapore by the way!

  5. Oh, I love New York too, and lived there for many years! The taxi drivers ARE the best...I had 2 marriage proposals! And those that kindly drove me home when I wasn't feeling well, and like you said, waited for me to get in my apartment safely. Funny...on some rating scale, NYC came up as one of the most unfriendly places! Can you imagine? I don't think New Yorkers are unfriendly at all...maybe just rushed? So, you may be interested, my twin sister and I wrote/illustrated a kid's book about NYC. Here's a link if you want to take a look, and I'd be happy to send you a copy since I've loved reading your new blog so much! http://www.amazon.com/Journey-Around-New-York-Journeys/dp/1889833320/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1327590093&sr=8-1

  6. How fun. I'd love to live in a big city some day. I go to San Francisco quite often since we're only 40 minutes away, but actually living in the city sounds fun. Although I do like the idea of having my car parked in my driveway mere steps away...

  7. What a perfectly descriptive post, so accurate and memory inducing. The book looks incredible, it's definitely on my want list for coffee table books!

  8. Oh my goodness, yes!! One time Joseph and I were driving home from the airport in a cab (from Queens to the Bronx), and it was on a day that there was a downpour of rain, the kind of rain that the wipers can't even wipe off fast enough. This old man was driving, and he was looking out the front window with squinted eyes, going 20 below the speed limit, and was holding his hand above his eyes as if that would help him see somehow. I honestly thought that we were going to die...we died laughing when we finally got out of the cab and home safely. What a memory to cherish for sure! Ha ha.

  9. My husband and I got married and 2 weeks later moved to NYC. That was a lot of change at once! As we grew into our marriage we also grew into the city. I became a mom in NYC and to this day I think it was the BEST place to become a mom. Such an amazing experience. We were there our allotted 4 years, still have some great friends and I miss it all the time. Funny how when I visited New York, the memories and feelings are nothing like actually living there.

  10. Oh Mara this was just what I need tonight! As we get ready to pick up our lives and move to NYC for no good reason than we feel like we need to. We're not young newlyweds in our early 20's anymore, we're older and still doing it. At the end of March we go up to find an apartment and I am SCARED! I have 6 days to find an apartment. What am I to do with all the stuff from my current 1700 sq ft house!? Where to live? Oh the rent cost!? So overwhelming, but so right at the same time. I can't wait for all the craziness.

  11. Thank you for this sweet post! I live in Brooklyn too and adore NYC. There are so many incredible things about the city like an amazing slice and the occasional taxi ride that I will always recall with such fond memories.

    I'm new to the blog but always enjoy your kind and touching words. Keep up the good work! :)

  12. Miss Mara,

    I don't know how I managed to stumble upon your blog, but I have. Well, I might have typed something along the lines of "blogs about love" into the search engine. And then you guys came up. I'm pretty sure that's how it went. Regardless, I was met with joy when I not only learned the purpose behind your blog, but that you're a New Yorker... from the West Coast. I currently live in California and am making my way to NYC this Spring to live. It has long been my dream, and I am chasing after it whole-heartedly. I'M DOING IT! And I cannot wait for the adventure that lays ahead of me.

    While my journey getting there has begun, it's been anything but smooth and simple thus far. I've had to keep my head above water in what has been a very uncomfortable period of transition between the post graduate life I built and rather impulsively abandoned (in order to do this, to go to NY) and the highly anticipated actual arrival there where I can officially begin my new chapter. Lots of fear, stress, and second-guessing that seem to wanna hang out and pick on me, every step of the way there.I don't discount that all these feelings are probably absolutely normal, but that doesn't make it any easier.

    I wanted to comment and let you know that finding your blog, in many ways, feels like prayers answered. It's been so unsettling having ambition and passion mixed with so much confusion at the same time. I have been desperately asking God for both patience and trust in myself and my decisions. Reading your story and about the turns your life (& Danny's) has taken, is both refreshing and reassuring. Faith is restored and peace is offered in your tellings. Thank you so much for sharing.


    1. Oh...so happy you found us! Especially cause you're moving to New York! How awesome. You do, indeed, have a great adventure ahead of you. A friend just recently had to move from New York unexpectedly and she said, "New York City, you taught me about Impossible. I think my heart is a bit more apple-shaped for it. I will kind of miss you and your magic/meanness." It thought this was great. It's a difficult place to live, but magical all at the same time...it's a great to experience it all.

  13. So jealous that you live in NYC. I have never even been but dream of living there someday. Maybe eventually I will move from glamorous Oklahoma =)

  14. What a beautiful little post about NYC! Your beautiful words had me feeling like I was right there with you noshing on some pizza. Oh pizza how I miss you! I'm on no dairy now and it sucks!

    Oh, and I've been reading along here and there for awhile, but had no idea that you were one of the brilliant girls behind Harvey Faircloth. That's rad! I remember drooling over the designs when I first heard about the company a few years ago! What do you do now?

  15. I've been here for years and love the city too. It's been an incredible experience. Love your post.

  16. It's been interesting examining your records about New You are able to since I'm preparing a brief journey there in April... definitely going to try one of the chicken wings locations you suggested :) Hello from warm Singapore by the way!
    living in nyc

  17. I want to move to NYC! But I'm soooo lost. I live in Portugal and as you know, this country is going down :S I need to get out asap! There are no future perspectives here not so ever! But finding a job in the US online is not easy and getting a contract, worse! I don't know what to do but I just want to catch a plain and go! Can you give me advise please? I studied TV and film production, I work in a reality TV show here in my country but I'll be unemployed in January... Thanks so much!

  18. Nice photos, i like that city :)


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