New York in Review

I know this is mostly a Singapore blog, but my wife and I just spent 3 weeks in New York, and I just felt like sharing some of my observations from our time spent there:

1)   Parents are Super Heroes….and I am NOT ready to be one yet.

We spent a week living with my wife’s aunt, her husband, and their one-year-old daughter.  Actually, to be accurate she turned one at the end of the week we were there.  Let me start by saying this:  I absolutely LOVE my little niece (well I think technically my cousin, but because of the age discrepancy I am Tio Dan, or Uncle Dan for you non-Spanish speakers!).  She is the funniest, most inquisitive, prettiest little girl in the world (so shoot me, I am biased), and I loved walking her around the back yard showing her flowers and bugs and anything else we could find.  We played with her toys and watched Sesame Street.  It was a wonderful week, but I could sum up my feelings by the end of that week in one word: EXHAUSTED.  We were woken up every morning to the sound of crying, and probably a little earlier than we would have liked 🙂 Being a parent means being on point ALL THE TIME.   Your life is not yours anymore.  Everything you do is for the sake of your child.  I spent one week playing, changing, and bathing my little niece, and by the end of it, I needed a vacation!  So to sum up: children are wonderful. parents are rock stars for their commitment and sacrifice, and I am NOT ready to be one 🙂

Tio Dan with Giada

This is my little niece Giada.  Love her to the moon!

2)   NYC is still the greatest city in the world.

With all due respect to Rome, London, Paris, my most recent home Austin, and every other city I have visited so far, you are all amazing and unique in your own way, but NYC is still king.   My wife and I spent three days playing tourist in the city and it was truly wonderful.  I have not actually done something like that in a long time.  We went to three of my favorite museums on the planet (The Met, The MoMa, and my personal favorite The Museum of Natural History), and we just walked around for hours taking in the art, history and science.  We also met up with a friend my wife met through this blog who is also moving to Singapore to teach!  We had a great lunch, met face to face for the first time, and started a friendship that I am sure we will have for a LONG time. We also met up with one of my all time best friends who was also in the city visiting family in Brooklyn at the time.  He is in your face, funny, and the best story teller I know, and he does it all with a Brooklyn accent that just fits perfectly with walking around Central Park and the city catching up on old times.  And don’t forget the food!  I am sure I could have better Thai food in Thailand, French food in France, or Italian food in Italy, but there are no other cities in the world I know of that if you know where to go you can have high quality food of SO many different cultures from around the world (not to mention the pizza and bagels, best in the world!).  I have not even mentioned yet the original reason for going into the city, which was my gift to my wife for her birthday, which was going to see Book of Mormon on Broadway.  I have been to probably 20+ shows in my life, 6 of which were on the West End in London, but as great as those 6 shows were, there is nothing quite like taking in a Broadway show.  This was especially true of Book of Mormon.  It was one of the best shows I have EVER seen.  My wife and I were laughing so hard at times we cried.  I feel like I should go back and see it a second time just to catch all the lyrics and dialogue I missed while laughing! I highly recommend it to my theater going friends in New York.   NYC truly is the city that never sleeps (even though we slept plenty and soundly after a week with the baby!).  It is a city like no other, and it is one I will always love and come back to time and again.

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I got really nostalgic walking through this museum.  My grandfather used to take my brother, cousins and I seemingly every month.  I used to be TERRIFIED of that whale hanging behind me!

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My beautiful wife waiting in line to go laugh her butt off!  Go see Book of Mormon!

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One of my best friends James and I on the bridge in Central Park where they shot a scene from Spider-Man 2!  

3)   All gyms should have cardio theaters (sorry random one, but really like it!):

Let me start by saying I am known to sweat just a bit when I work out.  And by bit I mean in buckets.  I have spent my adult life (when I was younger I was a swimmer, so not much gym time back then), running on ellipticals or treadmills and using my headphones to either listen to music or watch the TV overhead by plugging them into the machine.  Within 30 minutes of running hard, I am sweating into my ears, the buds get water logged and I am trying to keep running while drying them on my shirt and get them back in without slowing the pace.  However, the cardio theater at Vision gym in Pearl River has this amazing room called the cardio theater.  It literally is a dark room, with stadium rows of cardio machines (bikes, ellipticals and treadmills) that plays movies and TV shows!  It was like I finally found MY workout room.  Now I could run as hard as I wanted for as long as I wanted and not worry about head phones or anything else as I took in an awesome episode of Seinfeld, 24, Lost, or Community.  They also played some great movies like Friday Night Lights, Meet the Parents, Top Gun, and The Green Mile.  I do have to admit to the one flaw of the room….no choice.  I did walk in one day….saw Never Been Kissed playing on the screen….and walked back out to go back to sweating into my headphones 🙂

4)   I love the HELL out of my family and I am going to miss them something fierce.

This may seem like a dumb thing to say.  Obviously you love your family and of course you would miss them right?  Well yes, but allow me to explain this one more thoroughly.  I have spent my last 8 years in Austin, Texas.  Until this most recent trip I had not spent more than a week in my hometown in almost a decade, and the week was usually split between time in Rockland with my family and time in Westchester with Ana’s family.  That made these last 3 weeks the most time I have spent with my family since I was an undergrad in college, home for the summer.  Spending that much time with my family (both the Westchester and Rockland families), allowed me to truly spend quality time talking, laughing, bonding, and having more intimate meals (as opposed to the usual EVERYBODY has to come over because you only have a 10 minute window before I fly back off to Austin again, so let’s stuff 20+ people in the house and get loud and crazy!).  It meant the WORLD to me to be able to spend a dinner with just my siblings and their significant others (wife for my bro, BF for the little sis).  We had an amazing time and ate more sushi than you can shake a stick at!  My wife and I were also able to have several lunches and dinners with my parents.  I don’t know how to describe to people how lucky I am to have the parents I do, but suffice it to say I am one of the luckiest people I know, and even luckier because of how much my parents love my wife and how much she loves them in return.  The four of us at a meal are like four great friends getting together for a double date.  The ease of the conversation, the laughs, and the stories shared are something special and things I will treasure and miss while I am gone.  It was so easy to fall into a rhythm and flow with our families spending this much time with them, and it made it that much harder to say goodbye.  I love you guys, especially the ones reading this 🙂 Technology will keep us close while we are away, and we will be back next summer before you know it!

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We really enjoyed a rare dinner alone with my grandparents.  We had an absolute ball hearing old stories and enjoying some delicious food!

Well that’s it for this post folks.  My next post will actually be from Singapore!!  It is finally here and I cannot be more excited to start this journey.

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