01 May 2013

"Everything Significant in My Adult Life Has Happened in New York"

There is a new book that just came out called Mapping Manhattan: A Love (and Sometimes Hate) Story in Maps by 75 New Yorkers.  (Thanks, Shannon!)

Blank maps were handed out to people on the street and they were asked to "fill it with whatever best fits your experience in the city."  I love what people sent in...and it's made me think so fondly about my own experiences here.  Oh my, I feel so similarly to this first line, "Everything significant in my adult life has happened in New York."

Here are some of those pivotal New York places and experiences that I carry with me...

  • My first drive in Manhattan...in the snow!  From Brooklyn to Manhattan and over bridges and everything!  haha.  It seemed like such a big deal at the time for this girl who had just barely arrived to NYC from Mesa, Arizona at age 23 who had never driven in snow.  This was the beginning of becoming a New Yorker.
  • The upper east side - where I used to work for 7 years as the personal assistant to one of New York's hedge fund owners.  Nearly every day I got to go for a fancy walk along Madison Ave. (from near Barney's to Laduree) where I would go between my office and my boss's apartment.  I loved that walk.  I loved that job.  Some of the greatest opportunities, travels, and experiences of my life resulted because of it.  I learned so much about life in the world of wealth, private schools, private jets, chartered boats, courtside seats, and galas...and I also learned about huge levels of philanthropy and generosity and kindness.  It's a wonderful mix. 

  •  My first apartment purchase on Berkeley Place in Park Slope.  It was my first little home purchase in New York.  A big move :).  260 sq. ft., weeks after experiencing 9/11.  There were many reasons to leave New York.  But I stayed.  My gut said I should do it.  And it was one of the best decisions I've ever made.   

  • Montauk.  The place I first got married.  We eloped.  
  • Walking up and down 7th Avenue in Park Slope, Brooklyn, going to various friends' homes.  In those early days, we had THE tightest group of best friends.  There were 6 couples in the neighborhood.  We had dinners and rooftop BBQs together, rode electric scooters together, and helped each other renovate apartments :)   All of those couples have since moved and now have kids, garages and lawn mowers.  :)

  • 22nd St. (same office as Frank Lipman.)  This is where I met with my beloved acupuncturist/healer/mentor, Angela Le.  This is where I learned I could heal my soul.  And I did.  I will never, ever forget that time.  It truly was a miracle - one that is still very much alive today.
  • Park Avenue near 90th St. - the spot my first marriage ended.  After many, many months of healing and lots of wonderful times that last year or so, we had just visited a fertility office and received some very hopeful news.  But the dr. mentioned a few other details and side effects that made my husband uncomfortable.  We walked out the door and on the sidewalk, my husband said he didn't want to have a baby, and he didn't want to be married.  Obviously, there was a lot more going on there.  But his plans to leave were in full motion from that day. 

  • My beloved Prospect Park.   Oh, the healing I have done in that place...  I have walked and walked my heart out around that loop and through the meadow.  

  • The Mormon church on Court St.  That place is FULL of some good, good people.  I so love being a part of that community.  Some of the best experiences of my life have resulted from my friendships and experiences there.
  • The Garment District.  Oh, the hours I spent in that area back in the Harvey Faircloth days.  We had some amazing moments.  Sometimes we had meetings in my car.  And half of the time I was dodging cops and parking tickets while trying to load and unload clothing.

  • The corner of 42nd St. & 8th Avenue.  This is where I met Danny. Oh my, there has been no greater moment of excitement and joy in my life!!  (except our wedding day!) And also...this is  the very corner where Danny proposed.   :)  :)  That corner has seriously gone down in history for us.  We smile and kiss whenever we walk by it.  :)

  • Our current little home in Park Slope.  We really love it here...and I couldn't be more grateful to share a life with Danny.  :)  Everyday is a miracle and such a gift. And I'm just so grateful for every learning experience that has made what we have possible.   :)

What are some pivotal places or experiences that are meaningful in your life? I'd love to hear!    

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  1. Mara good morning from the Upper East Side! I love this post so much!! I want to write my own NY story now :) Thanks for this!

  2. I love that i know where Pinehurst is in my old Wash. Heights hood...

    --My NYC list could include 115 Haven Ave. in Wash. Heights. 2 weeks after our wedding we move across the country and I see our little apartment for the first time, which includes an AMAZING view overlooking the Hudson river and GW Bridge.

    --Broadway. Scoring Wicked ticket via lottery our first weekend in the city. I needed that boost of excitement and confidence as I was completely overwhelmed with this new life I choose!

    --58th and 10th (I think?) St. Lukes Hospital. Giving birth in the middle of NYC. For some reason I love that image. And I LOVED becoming a mom in the city. Best place ever to become a mom.

    --Ft. Washington from 171st- 191st. The walk that was my sanity saving, grace during those early baby months as I walked my baby up and down that street for exercise, to 'get out' for the day, and later to meet up at play groups and parks. That street is the well worn path of my early motherhood career. Also my favorite running path as I would end up in Ft. Tryon park as my midway point...look over the water and take in the view before heading back.

    So much more... I am now swimming in nostalgia for our NYC days. :)

  3. I'm just a small town girl from Washington State, and NYC has always seemed a little intimidating. But OH this post - so lovely! I must go! Your history there is so beautiful!

  4. I am a newer reader and just wanted to share how much comfort your blog has brought me. I too have infertility and am beginning my first round of IVF later this month. In fact, we're going to Hawaii next week for a wedding and last bit of relaxation before all the appointments (sound familiar)?! Anyway, thanks so much for being so open and honest about everything. It's such a comfort to know there are other women out there going through the same things as me.

  5. I have never thought of mapping my life. I love the concept!

  6. I didn't know you eloped for your first marriage? Did you plan that or was it spontaneous?

    1. Well, we were planning to get married. But we had no money. My parents out west also didn't have any money. And so it just seemed kind of complicated to even consider putting together an event in NYC (where - the courthouse?, on site somewhere else - which would mean rental cars, beds, food, etc.) I really didn't care much about blowing a bunch of money at that time in my life. Though our parents did want to come out for something - anything. But the only time I was going to be able to have off of work was a Sat. and Sun. only. I had not seen them in a long time. It's extremely rare that they would ever be able to come to NY. So it just seemed kind of crazy to try and get married, visit with family for 2 seconds, and have a "honeymoon" and everything - all in two days before going back to work. SO - a few weeks or so prior, we decided to just get married on our own the weekend before family came (they were aware or our plan). And then the following weekend, we could focus on visiting with and celebrating with the family. We had a party at a cool loft space where my husband worked. And friends and family helped put together a fun little party. It was actually really great. And it really was the best, most practical way to make it all happen at that stage of our lives. Obviously, I was completely in a different stage of life back then. It certainly wasn't the most ideal way to start out. But I think that's ok - that's life and it was all a part of my path.


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