Do you live by family? It seems like such a luxury these days, doesn’t it? Most of my friends don’t live by family and have to travel far and wide to visit them. When we found out we were moving to NYC, I sought out as much advice as I could. You’ll need a car! Don’t bring a Car! Use a broker. Don’t use a broker! The funniest/passionate advice I got was from my cousins in Harlem. Their advice: Don’t move to Brooklyn! They knew that if we did, we would never see them. I’m so glad we listened!
My cousins knew Brooklyn had its benefits: Bigger apartments, cheaper rent, family-friendly, Prospect Park. I was drawn to Brooklyn in a way that I wasn’t with Manhattan because one of my favorite books of all time: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. There’s a moment at the end of the book when she’s walking down the her street in Brooklyn and explaining how much she loves where she lives. That scene made me want to move there before we were ever thinking about moving to NYC. It’s really beautiful writing. Brooklyn seemed like the ideal choice. But it was lacking one huge benefit Manhattan had: family. And not just family, but people I wanted to hang out with. Built in friends. Our cousins in Harlem are awesome.
So we took their advice and didn’t even look at any of the places in Brooklyn. We ended up moving to the Upper West Side in Manhattan, which is about 15 minute drive to their apartment. It’s always been one of my favorite things about the city. We spent Thanksgiving and birthdays together. We swap babysitting without any strings attached or tally charts or awkwardness. We see each other weekly if not more. We talk about vacationing together someday. And what makes the situation even more ideal is that my daughter Ella has a match! Our cousins in Harlem (that’s how I refer to them most times) have a little girl around Ella’s age. I’ve always loved the idea of them becoming best friends in the city and shopping together and withholding secrets from us parents. My twin boys always had a built in friend, and now so does Ella. Here’s a picture I took last year of them holding hands and talking. I’m going to take a wild guess that the subject of their conversation was none other than Pinkalicious.
Do you live by family? Does family play a factor when you are deciding where to live?