Before we left Australia, we organised an apartment to stay in for our first week in the city. Once we arrived and were able to have a look at some other places, we’d make a decision on whether to stay put, or to move on.
Our first week we spent staying in a duplex apartment in Chelsea, that we not-so-legally rented from a pair of girls on AirBNB. It wasn’t until we arrived in NYC and were told by the girls to not tell their building ‘Super'(intendant) that we were paying guests, but rather ‘friends’, that I looked up the laws on people renting out their apartments in NYC. Nonetheless, the girls were nice. Their duplex apartment (meaning it was 2 stories) was just blocks from Herald Square and the Empire State Building, and a nice base for all the ‘touristy’ things New York City has to offer.
We spent the days of our first week sleeping in, and afternoons and evenings wandering the local area; being only 10-15 blocks from pretty much every Broadway theatre was something my dreams were made of. But we felt it quickly, and it didn’t feel as easy as it should be. 3 of the ‘bedrooms’ (2 of which were created from a large living space, which had only curtains, not doors, as well as walls that didn’t go right to the ceiling – another NYC apartment law thing) were downstairs, which meant constant carrying of children up and down. The ground-level apartment was handy for going out, no lifts or stairs, but was dark during the day, which didn’t help us to adapt to the time difference as quickly as we should have. There were too many “little things” that bugged us, and we decided to look elsewhere.
Fast forward a week, and we are now staying at an apartment hotel on the Upper East Side; further from the hustle and bustle of Midtown, but 23 floors up in a 3-bedroom/3-bathroom wonderland. It’s basic, but homely, and most-of all, kid-friendly. Times Square is 40 blocks south (and a few avenue blocks over). There’s a subway station a few blocks away, or if we’re feeling lazy (or just plain cold) the doorman will hail a taxi right to the front door. We have a grocery store 3 minutes walk away, and the 86th St shops only 7 minutes further. And the views are gorgeous.
The weather has been… wintry. We arrived the day after a snowstorm (and the day after a lot of flights into and out of JFK had been cancelled) and since then daily highs have averaged around 4 degrees, and have ranged from -4 to 12. We have proverbially shivered through some cold nights (but not really, thanks to good heating) of -7 and -11 degrees, and some cold days. Yesterday and today in particular were cold ones – I stepped out of the theatre last night at 9:30pm and it was -8 degrees… more on that later though.
The snow melted away a few days after we arrived, and now only small piles of grey ice remain to remind us of what has been. A new storm is forecast for the coming weekend and tipped to bring 6 inches of snow to New York City. The weather has stopped me from venturing to Central Park, but after the next snowfall I plan to head there to take some photos!