It’s Up to Me, New York, Neeeew York. Day 9 of My Favorite Things: Manhattan

Day 9 of My Favorite Things: Manhattan

20140810 The park

@NYCGO_Press Facebook

I lived in Manhattan for thirteen years. I had the wonderful honor of having her provide for me exactly what I needed at each stage of my life. Including what many loved ones need at some point in the relationship – to be set free. Today’s post is not about a product, but it is about a place – a place close to my heart which I once called home – Manhattan.

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The Mint Chip Mama and Papa the day after they got engaged – November 2004

I drove into the city yesterday for a camp reunion – which was fantastic in itself (thanks again SL!) but it was one of those days in the city. You know what I’m talking about if you – at some point – lived there too. One of those summer days, when the weather was perfect, the sun was shining, the hustle was bustling, everyone had a dog or stroller, and the city reigned. One of those days I use to long for – you would spend the day sitting on the Great Lawn with your friends/paramour/kids/parents/thoughts. It would feel like heaven and you would want to freeze that moment in time forever. Then you would go home, get ready for dinner, and spend the rest of your day sitting outside uptown/downtown/all ‘round the town watching the people go while you sipped a nice glass of Riesling/Sangria/water/beer. I could have sat in those moments forever.

 20140810 NY   20140810 Nov 2013

My daughter’s first and last walk as a New York City resident.

When I graduated from The University of Michigan I couldn’t wait to move in to my first apartment on my own. When I was young and single I took advantage of all Manhattan had to offer. Hot new restaurants, clubs, bars, lounges, shopping, museums, shows, you name it. Then I fell in love (awwww) and my interests changed. Still many of the above, but add in long walks holding hands, romantic sunsets, special pictures taken for a future wedding montage (I will not mention the number of times I tried to force my husband to take black and white pictures “Mad About You” style).  We moved “on up to the East Side” to nest. We spent our weekends in “the park”. We had great commutes –I used to walk over to The Met and take the (fingers crossed Limited) bus down Fifth Ave to 56th street. We got engaged, got married, got pregnant. We had a daughter. I thought having a kid in the city would be a nightmare but it was the most amazing thing in the world. Instead of only seeing pictures of Jackson Pollock art in Fancy Nancy: Aspiring ArtistFancy Nancy books we could show our daughter the actual paintings. Then number two came along and our 750 square foot apartment was a bit tight. Our knuckles holding on were getting white. She had to let us go. We left in the midst of a terrible winter and we had had enough. Even though I have been back a few times in the last eight months, I haven’t “looked back” until yesterday, when that perfect summer day reminded me how much I loved Manhattan. The crazy thing is – going back – you realize the city doesn’t miss you. The city doesn’t know you. You were a rat in her race and life goes on without you.

I thought of this as I drove up Third Avenue – a street I walked up and down countless times and saw so many new things. Things I would have known about the second they opened, if I still lived there.

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My daughter in front of a Jackson Pollock painting at The MoMa.

I think the key to leaving New York is having lived the full New York life every moment along the way. My approach was always to do it 110% now so when the time has passed I can’t look back and say I wish I did more. Even at the darkest time, we all banded together and wanted to show the strength of our city could not be worn. One of my favorite memories, back in 2001, was a campaign NYC & Company had to get New Yorkers out of our holes and to pump that love and life back into the city. It’s something that – over a decade later – just makes me think of the strength of New York and how we, at over eight million – are also one. Their commitment was something that always stayed in my heart and because of that, it was my pleasure to follow them and their success over the years. As parents, one of our favorite things was their different “Family Ambassadors”– The Muppets, Where’s Waldo, and this year’s Curious George. Although, my favorite thing right now about NYC & Company is their campaign asking people who have special moments in NY to post on Twitter with the hashtag #ThisIsNewYorkCity.

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My daughter and “baby”, her favorite thing at The Met. To me #ThisIsNewYorkCity

Thank you New York City for the last thirteen years and for introducing me to the world – around every nook and cranny – of your five boroughs. Thank you for showing my children the most important works of art and culture in the world. Thank you for your strength and your constant inertia. You have been and will always be one of my favorite things!

*GIVEAWAY* NYC & Company has offered to give away a gift bag filled with NYC goodies to one lucky reader!

To win – please post in the comment section below:

What was your most special moment in NYC? (Mine was being proposed to in Central Park next to a little waterfall).

Winner will be chosen Sunday, August 17th.


Here is a little more on NYC & Company because as you know – I LOVE learning about the heritage of brands:

NYC & Company is New York City’s official marketing, tourism and partnership organization. Our mission is to maximize travel and tourism opportunities throughout the five boroughs, build economic prosperity and spread the dynamic image of New York City around the world. With an array of major communication channels—including, our digital kiosks, Official NYC Information Centers and publications—NYC & Company becomes the ultimate resource for visitors and residents to find everything they need about what to do and see in New York City.

Through unparalleled access to the City and its vast array of media assets, the organization provides partners with maximum return on investment and the opportunity to participate on the world’s greatest stage. NYC & Company is driven by a commitment to fiscal responsibility.

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Published by Stacey Wallenstein

Stacey Gish Wallenstein created The Mint Chip Mama blog in 2013 to share her love and passion for giving children meaningful life experiences and helping moms like her navigate the challenges and benefits of raising children in the New York metropolitan area. Before becoming a full-time mom in 2010, Stacey spent the better part of the preceding decade as a high-end customer relationship management (CRM) professional for some of the most well-known brands in the hotel, luxury, fashion, and beauty industries, such as Harrahs Entertainment, Chanel and Christian Dior, Inc. She managed customer loyalty programs for thousands of clients around the country and created social media strategies for a span of industries including healthcare services, restaurants, consumer packaged goods, specialty foods, local attractions and retail locations. After 13 wonderful years in Manhattan (the last three of which spent as a city mom), Stacey and her husband moved to Long Island in 2014, where they now reside with their three children (11, 7, and 5). There, she is a founding member of her local Parenting Center, which provides classes and coordinates events designed to educate and inform parents while fostering an environment of support and friendship within the community. Stacey is also an active PTA member (and former president) as well as a Girl Scout troop leader. Her musings on motherhood, Manhattan, the suburbs, and more can be found here and on Facebook at The Mint Chip Mama. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Stacey has been active in the New York area alumni organization for nearly twenty years, serving as a board member on the schools University of Michigan Alumni Club of New York City. She also holds a Masters in Psychology from The New School in New York City. For more updates, follow her on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

7 thoughts on “It’s Up to Me, New York, Neeeew York. Day 9 of My Favorite Things: Manhattan

  1. What a fun giveaway! My favorite NYC moments have been walking my kids home from the hospital when they were just 2 days old each. No cars for us – we bring our babies home like real New Yorkers!

  2. I got engaged in CP too–August 12, 2006! On a bench that said “For Lisa” near the lake at the southern end of the park. My husband took a picture of the spot recently when he had to have oral surgery and the dr’s office was overlooking that spot on CPS!

  3. mine was giving birth to my son in a taxi, in the brooklyn battery tunnel – true story! AND the help we got from the NYPD and NYFD after he was born, before we went to the hospital.

  4. As a born and bred Manhattanite, it’s tough to pick just one moment! One that stands out is the night of my wedding. My husband and I went out to do some photos in Times Square. It was after dark and all of the lights were on and shining. It was like a rainbow of lights! We shared a kiss right in the middle of traffic and, to me, it was a true NYC moment.

  5. My most special moment was probably the first trip I ever went on with my fiancé before we were dating, he took me to a little ramen shop in St. Marks and I really fell for him 🙂 5 years later and we still frequent it!

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