Thursday, July 07, 2011


Every time it rains here in the afternoon and the sun comes out during or right after the rain shower a perfect rainbow forms right on the edge of the river, perfectly positioned in front of our living room window. I can't get a great picture, so this does not do it justice, but it's been a fun surprise to find out about.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Outside of Our Four Walls

It's so hard to describe to people what our neighborhood is like. I was reading the history of it on Wikipedia the other night and on there it was described as a neighborhood for New Yorker's to " to live in a park- to live in the country in the heart of New York." This is a pretty good description of how we feel. We LOVE it here and feel like we've finally found our place to call home. It's not uncommon for New Yorker's to move as often as we have, especially in your early years, because you just don't know which neighborhood fits your needs the best till you give it a try. It's a lot of trial and error. We were told when we moved to NYC that you have to choose space or location. In other words, most places that are very spacious are in a not so convenient location and the apartments that are in a great location are small. It's just the way it is! In our first apartment we had location and in our second we had space. I knew within a year of having space that I didn't care as much about space, give me location! So here we are in a great area, within walking distance (20-25 minutes) or a bus ride to church, and in a smaller apartment. We are so happy and grateful to be here!

So welcome to our neighborhood. On our way to the grocery store yesterday we took a little tour of the property to get some pictures to show you around.

This is our building. I blurred out any street signs or our building number, no need to share those details on here, but this is where we live. You can't see our windows from this direction, but we live on the 13th floor. We may be weird, but we like living on the upper floors.
As we walk toward the center of the neighborhood, called the Oval, you walk on quiet sidewalks lined with trees and flowers, so peaceful.
In the center of the Oval is a big, fun fountain. The kids always want to go try to stick their hands in the water.
At each corner of the Oval you'll find Oval Study, Oval Lounge, Oval Kids, and Oval Film. For a very low monthly fee you can become a member of the Oval Amenities and enjoy all the activities that are offered in these places. From the time we moved to NYC Freddy T. has been looking for a quiet, nice place to study. The offices at church are open air and don't provide the environment he needs to study and prepare messages. Now that we live here, Freddy T. goes to the Study most mornings. There are big tables you can spread out on and there is a no cell phone policy so it's quiet. We really feel like God has provided for him in a bigger way than we even knew to ask. It only takes a few minutes from our door to walk here. The other night we ordered take out and had it delivered to this location and we met Freddy T. there and had dinner together out on one of the picnic tables.
This is Oval Kids. We haven't made it over there yet, but look forward to enjoying all the activities, especially in the winter!
And this is Oval Film. You can kind of see that dark hole in the picture, that goes into a small movie theater. Every night they play 2 movies and as long as you are a member you just pop in and watch! They play a huge variety of movies, every genre, older movies and newer releases. I didn't take a picture of Oval Lounge, but it looks generally the same.
There are 12 play areas on the property, 5 are actual play grounds. The others are basketball courts, soccer fields, tennis, etc. Here are pictures of 3 of the play grounds, we didn't pass the other two.
We call this the clock play ground. You can kind of see on top of the play area a little clock. When we first came to check the area out and walked upon this playground Jack stood at the entrance and spread out his arms and yelled "this is perfect!"
The Train Playground
We call this one Peter Cooper Playground because it is the only one on the Peter Cooper side of the property. This is the one closest to our apartment.

This is a glimpse of the big lawn that is around the fountain.
More sidewalks and trees.
(I know this seems petty, but we don't take great sidewalks and trees for granted)
The Empire State Building in view as we cross the street to the grocery store.
This is looking South down 1st Ave. All the red buildings on the left are part of our neighborhood.
More trees :)
This is a grassy knoll outside our building. Ours is the one in the back of the picture. The other day Freddy T. brought Jack out and taught him a little about the great game of baseball. I have a feeling we'll be out in this area quite a bit.
Another thing that is so fun about this place is that they do community events all the time. Our first weekend here after vacation we spent a Saturday evening out in the Oval with our neighbors at a Carnival/Circus type thing. There were clown acts, a cowboy, jugglers, and other circus type performances.
Lillie found a little crack in the barriers to look through.
Jack and Elliott standing on the gate watching the juggler. One of our neighbors is to the left of Elliott.

Did I mention there are 9 kids that live on our floor... Jack is the oldest and boy/girl twins live right next door.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Welcome to Our New Apartment!

This is becoming a somewhat yearly blog post. Welcome to our new home!
(our first NYC apartment on the Upper West Side)
(our second NYC apartment in Harlem)

There are still a handful of things we need to do, but welcome!

I can't remember what all Freddy T. shared with you about our new place, but we are living in a 1 bedroom apartment. Our living room is so large we have made the back part of it our bedroom. I've kind of been wanting new bedding. Yesterday I put the tan quilt over the bed and folded up our red on at the foot. It's a nice change and it kind of helps our bed not stick out so bad when you first come into our apartment. Now I want to get a new bed skirt that has some pattern in it. Maybe a red and cream stripe, something like that...maybe.
This is the view standing at the front of the living room looking toward our "bedroom." We bought those bookshelves at IKEA and had some good friends help (we encouraged, they installed) us anchor them to the wall... they aren't going anywhere. The main thing we still need to do is hang a curtain from wall to wall right behind the bookshelves. Most of the time the curtains will be wide open and this is what you'll see, but there are times, like this weekend, when we have company and it is just better all around to be able to have separation from us and the person sleeping on the couch :)
This is standing at the front door looking into the living room.
And this is the view standing from the window looking toward the living room. To the far left you can kind of see the front door.
And this is the view from our living room/ bedroom window. It is really great! At our old apartment I looked at a brick wall. This is SO much better! This shot is looking over the East River toward the Queensboro Bridge, Roosevelt Island, and Queens, across the river.

The kids have a great bedroom. Everything fits so well. We have done nothing as far as decorating goes in this room, so it's pretty plain, but they like it. I'm anxious to pull it all together and make it a "comfortable" feeling room. I have some ideas!
This is standing in the corner of the room looking toward the beds. Lillie is in the twin bed on the left, Jack and Elliott sleep in the bunk beds. Elliott says "Jack sleeps up, I sleep down."
Another shot towards Lillie's side of the room.
This is from Jack's bed looking toward the opposite corner.
Here's the view from the kids bedroom. The pointy building on the left is the Chrysler Building, so cool to see it from their window, especially at night!
Our bathroom, not much to say about it. It's small, but nice.

Our kitchen is bigger than our previous 2 apartments. I'm really enjoying it. It has a dishwasher and a pantry and lots of cabinet space and the best part is a window! We even have room to put a small table, maybe a little round top with 2 chairs. We aren't looking for one right now, but we'll keep our eyes opened in case one pops up.
This is what you see when you walk in our front door.
The right side of the kitchen.
The left side looking from the window.
Another view from our apartment, this time from the kitchen window.

This place fits our family perfectly. We still have plenty, but have learned to live on less. It's very refreshing to me to only have to clean a small space, only have to clean one bathroom. We did loose a washer and dryer in our apartment, but there is a laundry room on the bottom floor of our apartment, and since Lillie and Elliott are mobile it's much easier than it used to bed to get laundry done. Now we all just walk or occasionally the kids all ride their scooters down. It's not been bad at all. Our apartments have a website where I can view the laundry room and see how many washers and dryers are occupied and how much longer they have on their cycle so I don't haul everything down there just to find that they are full. So convenient.

Next week I'll try to take you on a little tour of our great neighborhood... get ready, you're going to love it!