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.
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.