Saturday, January 12, 2013


Williamsburg, 2013

I may have sounded a bit moan-y about the challenges of traveling with a baby for nearly a month when obviously it's wonderful to have that transatlantic experience.

Really it was just a feeling of being out of my comfort zone, with new logistical hurdles that made me appreciate the simplicity of urban parenting.

To me, living in Brooklyn makes having a baby so much easier. Take last night: Will was a block away having drinks with a friend after work. In less than 5 minutes door to door, Axel and I could join them on a whim, head to another friend's apartment, where Axel had milk and passed out in his stroller at his usual bed time, and then go out for Thai food at a new place called Qi. When we got home, we transferred the babe back to his crib, and he seemed totally unperturbed by the whole experience. This all went down in maybe a 4 block radius, so if he'd woken up, or if we'd forgotten some critical piece of baby gear, we could have been home in minutes.

While we were away, going out often involved a car (and the car seat to stroller to car seat transition usually resulted in an awake, cranky baby.) London is certainly a city, but its residential neighborhoods are often quite distant from commercial areas with any kind of urban atmosphere, so going out for a bit of people watching or a simple coffee requires a larger effort. Often, when you balance up the pros and cons of an excursion, the cons win, and you decide to stay home (feeling cooped up and frustrated.)

It's no secret that I love living in Williamsburg. But while neighborhoods like Cobble Hill and Park Slope are often considered to be more family friendly, I think we're gaining an edge. I feel like I can take Axel just about anywhere here, and if he gets out of sorts, we'll be home in a matter of moments. We rarely have to get on the subway because we live in a little village within the city that has just about everything I could dream up.

I know that in New York we trade living space for this kind of spontaneity, but I think getting out without a lot of fuss makes me more sane and definitely more relaxed as a parent. There's a lot for the baby to see, and he seems just as taken with the local flavor as we are.

Incidentally, there are some great Brooklyn photos here.

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