On having a dog in NYC

July 17, 2014

Bruiser

When we moved to NYC in March, our 13-year-old Boston Terrier, Bruiser, made the move with us. When we told people we were moving to NYC, one of the first questions almost everyone asked was, “Is Bruiser going, too?” The thought of not bringing our beloved “B” didn’t even cross our minds until people started pointing out how challenging it might having a dog in NYC–or any city for that matter. And not just an any dog, but our 13-year-old Bruiser, specifically.

Bruiser

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Bruiser, like many older Boston Terriers, is blind, and, like many older dogs, she’s deaf. She started developing cataracts when she was about 9 years old and within a year or two, her cataracts had fully matured making her almost completely blind. She can see shadows and tell when a light is switched on in a dark room, and sometimes when you move your hand close to her face, she knows you’re there. Also, sadly, Bruiser has a serious heart murmur, a condition that we learned about after moving to NYC.

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BruiserPlayingVideoGameswithDan

Twice at day, if not more, we carry Bruiser half a block to Central Park (because of her heart condition, she can’t walk very far anymore without starting to pant or struggling to breath) where she lays in the sun if it’s not too hot, goes to the bathroom, sits on the bench with us, and gets lots of “Aww”s and “So sweet”s and “Oh, is she old?”s. You would be surprised how many people ask about our little B. Even though there are hundreds of dogs in our neighborhood, people seem so intrigued by her. It’s surprising, really. Maybe it’s because we (literally) always carry her or perhaps because she has funny looking eyes now, but mostly, I hope, it’s because people can tell how much we love her.

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So, to say it is challenging having Bruiser in New York City is right, but it’s a welcome challenge. And, in all honesty, we wouldn’t have it any other way.

We love you so, so much B.

Would you buy a house with another couple?

July 17, 2014

Photo by Kelley MacDonald

This morning, I read an interesting article about two couples that purchased a home together in a Northwest D.C. neighborhood. Ari Weisband and his partner Rebecca had lived in houses with roommates for most of their adult lives, and when they started to discuss marriage they both knew they didn’t want to “leave these important kinds of friendships behind and end up living in what she jokingly called a “love/torture cave of nuclear family loneliness.”” Two of Ari and Rebecca’s closests friends felt similarly and they decided to buy a home together. Before the couples had time to paint the walls and move in, one couple found out they were expecting.

Here’s an excerpt…

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Yes, all four of us are on the deed and, yes, we share the 30-year mortgage and food and maintenance expenses. No, there’s no division of the house into separate sections. And no, all four of us are not all having sex with each other. (Why do many people assume that if adults are willing to share a kitchen, they probably also want to share a bed?) We are just two couples who plan to live together and raise children in one household, hopefully for decades.

When we talk with friends who already have kids about our living arrangement, some are shocked that we are willing to subject ourselves to living with a crying newborn who is not our own. Others can’t imagine trying to agree on consistent rules for the kids or having every minute of their parenting observed by other adults. The idea spooks them.

I do share those concerns to an extent, but raising kids with just one other adult scares me even more. I’ve seen these same friends with children struggle to balance work, family life, community involvement, exercise, and the occasional fun activity. There’s just no way to “lean in” to all those directions at once.

While most people take for granted that dual-parent households usually have more resources to deal with life’s challenges than single parents, why stop there? By forming a household with friends who share our values, we realized we could build an even stronger system of support than we would have in separate homes.

It’s a real advantage the way four different people can each bring our own skill sets to the house, and it helps us to divide up the work in ways that suit us each. I bake bread, roast coffee, and make yogurt, another housemate grows the herbs and vegetables, and another loves to mow the lawn. Most of us hate negotiating with contractors, but one housemate relishes it. Two of us are lawyers and can draft the legal paperwork we need. The other two aren’t and can pull us back from some lawyerly excesses in what we write. We all have cleaning chores we don’t mind and others we dread, but with four of us we can usually divide up the work accordingly.

***

Interesting, right? While I don’t think sharing a home without division of the house into separate living spaces is for me, I would definitely consider buying a townhouse (with separate “homes” within it) with another couple. It would be great to know that you already like and trust your neighbors, wouldn’t it? Also, down the road, when we have kids and want to sneak out for a late night date after the kids are already sleeping, it would be comforting to know that someone we trust is just up/downstairs (and we’d be able to return the favor :).

So, what do you think? Would you buy a home with another couple? How about raise children in an environment like this? Shared grocery shopping, house cleaning and a mortgage split four ways sound like great perks!

(Image via my Instagram feed.)

Etsy Find: Pretty Summer Sandals

July 16, 2014

I’m consistently surprised by the amazing products and creative entrepreneurs I come across on Etsy; the Etsy community really is a total gold mine. These classic Greek leather sandals from LoveFromCyprus are chic, elegant and so pretty! They would be perfect to pack for summer vacation or to wear while out exploring the city or for date night. I’d love to wear this gold pair with a white summer dress (like this one). Handmade to order from the island of Cyprus, LoveFromCyprus sandals are made from soft, genuine leather and are available in many different colors and styles (bonus: LoveFromCyprus summer sandals are unisex). Check out the entire collection here.

And, how about this fun winged style?!

What summer sandals are you wearing this year? These?

(Images link to source.)

A Brooklyn Bed & Breakfast

July 11, 2014

Yesterday, while perusing Instagram, I came across the Urban Cowboy B&B in Brooklyn. Described as “an opportunity to experience Living in a Modern Luxury Brooklyn Townhouse, with an Industrial Williamsburg/Adirondack/Cowboy Sensibility,” Urban Cowboy B&B is the perfect mix of cabin, cowboy and industrial chic. The Brooklyn bed & breakfast offers guests six accommodation options: The Dream Catcher (average $100/night), The Peace Pipe (average $200/night), Vision Quest (average $250/night), The Lion “Master” Den (average $300/night), Kanoono Cabin (average $400/night) and The Full Cowboy (average $2000/night). I’d love to stay in the standalone cabin in the backyard for a weekend and relax in the hot tub. Wouldn’t this be a perfect way to escape the city for a night or two (or maybe a week) without having to travel a few hours north?

Urban Cowboy B&B just featured some pictures on their Facebook page taken by The Weekend Edition. Here are a few, if you’d like to see, and check out the whole gallery here

I just love the decor and that kitchen is amazing. And, how about that marshmallow bed!?

(All photos by The Weekend Edition.)

20×200 Favorites

July 7, 2014

Have you heard of the affordable art shop 20×200? The shop, launched in 2007 by Jen Bekman, offers limited-edition artwork from legendary, established, and emerging artists at affordable prices. Each piece even comes with artist-signed and numbered certificate of authenticity. Starting at $24 per print, 20×200 is a great place to start when searching for affordable art. I’d love to start a collection soon.

Here are few of my favorite 20×200 prints right now…

This post was not sponsored by 20×200, in case you were wondering : ) in fact, none of my posts are sponsored. xo

(Images link to sources.)

Happy Fourth of July!

July 4, 2014

Happy Fourth of July, friends! I love it when holidays land on Fridays, don’t you? This photo sums up what we’ll be doing this afternoon (if the weather cooperates), and I wouldn’t have it any other way! Hope you have a relaxing weekend.

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Mergers and Acquisitions (well, only the mergers part)

July 2, 2014

photo credit: Kelley MacDonald of The City and Us

Please excuse my absence over the past couple of weeks or so, readers (if there are any of you out there…hello…?). I have some catching up to do–that’s for certain–but, first, I have a bit of blog related news: over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be importing some content here on The City and Us that lived elsewhere for a while but will now be taking up residence here, and I’m happy to have all of these memories and musings in one spot (finally). I hope you enjoy reading the new (old) posts!

And just for fun, how gorgeous are these peonies!? Peonies are one of my favorite flowers. I took these pictures last June when we were house sitting in Vermont.

photo credit: Kelley MacDonald of The City and Us

photo credit: Kelley MacDonald of The City and Us

photo credit: Kelley MacDonald of The City and Us

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A Weekend of Scooting, Carouselling and Cuddling

June 21, 2014

Sam&Dan1 Just a few photos from a relaxing weekend last month spent exploring our Upper West Side neighborhood with Pat, Meg, Sam and Caitie.

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In Central Park, Sam climbed on the rope structure at the Heckscher Playground and practiced scooting.

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Little Caitie was happy to meander through Central Park and let us snap pictures of her and cuddle with her at every stop. 

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Dan, Meg and Sam rode the Central Park Carousel; it turns out, the Carousel is as fun for adults as it is for kids ; )

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Thanks Pat, Meg, Sam and Cait for coming to stay with us! We had the best weekend! xo

 

P.S. Our Blue Apron gift to Pat & Meg.

Spiral Vegetable Slicer

June 17, 2014

Do you have a spiral vegetable slicer? I came across this nifty kitchen appliance the other day and I can’t believe I didn’t know about it! Have you used one before? A spiral vegetable slicer turns veggies into curly spaghetti. How genius is that?!

I’m thinking fresh spring pasta in flavors of zucchini, squash, carrots and kohlrabi! If you have/use a spiral vegetable slicer and have any good recipes, please share in the comments!

(Photos via)

Have you read any good books lately?

June 16, 2014

I’ve mentioned before that I stick to fantasy and SciFi novels for the most part, but I’m trying to branch out and try other genres, especially since several good books have been recommended to me lately like The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, The Kite Runner by Khaled HosseiniIs Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling, and The Power of One by Bryan Courtenay (have you read any of these? Thoughts?). To be honest, I’m not a big novel reader, but I read a lot of online articles and magazines. So, when I do get the motivation to read a novel I want to be really into it; otherwise, I just get bored and don’t finish the book. I’d love to know any book recommendations you might have. What are you reading now? What genre is your favorite? Any fantasy fans out there?

(Image via)

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