It’s My EmptyNestiversary!

The anniversary art Tom and I bought for each other this month. It’s a significant change from the Asian-focused art we usually buy. We think it perfectly illustrates the new chapter in our lives.

It’s hard to fathom that it’s been a year since we became empty nesters, and moved back into the city. In some ways, it feels like we’ve lived here forever, and yet I still pinch myself knowing I get to call NYC my home. I’ve learned more in the past twelve months about myself than I learned in the five years prior. And that is because I grow the most when I’m in a changing environment. When things are unknown, when my curiosity is at its peak, I expand and stretch. Since I started this blog, I’ve written about finding new friends, adapting to a new set of family parameters (aka squeezing six large people into a two bedroom at Christmas), looking for meaningful work, running errands without looking like a bag lady, and other assorted empty nester challenges. I’ve learned a lot since last July…

  1. Love is actually all around. No day goes by that I don’t see people hugging and kissing.
  2. Comfortable, cute shoes are a must. If you find a pair you love, buy three.
  3. July 4th is the best traffic-free day. You can drive from downtown and make every light.
  4. Bicycles are more dangerous than cars. Look both ways, then look again.
  5. Focus on the sidewalk when walking – there is dog poop everywhere.
  6. When it rains, $5 umbrellas magically appear on every corner.
  7. Everyone walks and texts.
  8. In winter, don’t leave the apartment without gloves and a hat.
  9. It’s impossible to keep up with every new restaurant and bar that opens in NYC, but there are some incredible ways to try: The Infatuation Eater Time Out NY Times
  10. There is nothing you can’t get in NYC (and usually at any time).

This weeks new restaurant recommendation: Yakitori Nonono loved everything! Make a reservation because it’s new and popular. Would be an excellent place for a group. Perfect sharing menu.

Can’t wait to see what year two brings!

Have fun. Be bold.



A Perfectly Imperfect Marriage

I recently read somewhere that if we only fell in love with people who were perfect for us, then there wouldn’t be so much fuss about love in the first place. That easily could have been written about my marriage to Tom. When we met, we had almost nothing in common.  I was a born and bred Jewish New Yorker from a divorced, and remarried family with several half-siblings, who attended college in NYC and only dated guys with accents. I wasn’t athletic in the least, and I’d never had a beer in my life; I preferred Kir Royales sipped slowly in dark wine bars in Soho. My hobbies included reading, dancing, and shopping in flea markets and second-hand stores. Tom grew up in a Catholic family in Rhode Island, with a football captain father, and a homecoming queen mother. His entire life centered around sports, all sorts. When the family would come to the beach house for weekends, they would get a keg (just for the family).

But from almost the first moment we met, in a training program at Merrill Lynch, we were melded to one another. It was a match that many couldn’t quite understand. This weekend, we celebrated our 28th wedding anniversary, and although it wasn’t a “big” number, each anniversary we celebrate is the most important day of the year. In my high school yearbook, when asked to list my life goals, it says, “To be the President of something, and to be married successfully.” I was 17 when I wrote that, and although I have given up on the first part, I couldn’t be happier that I have managed to attain the last.

Each year we make sure to make a big deal out of our anniversary, and this year was no different. We shared one of the best meals I’ve had in a long time with old Tokyo friends who now live in Napa. On a side note, if you want the inside scoop on all things Napa, follow Hilary’s blog at Napanista. I had somehow scored a reservation at Legacy Records, and it was the perfect place to celebrate our anniversary. From the gulp-able cocktails to the unbelievably delicious food, to the decor, and overall buzz in the room (not to mention sitting next to Sting), made it a great start to an exceptional evening.

From there, I reserved a table at our favorite champagne bar Air’s Champagne Parlor. Amanda saved us a fabulous corner table where we ordered a bottle of Louis Roederer vintage champagne and continued our celebration. Tom and Chris had fun with their Chambongs.

We ended the night at the bar at Gramercy Tavern with one last drink and a shared hamburger and homemade chips.

Saturday morning, Tom and I made our way to Raoul’s for an anniversary brunch. We had many dates at Raoul’s back in the late 80’s, and it continues to hold a special place in our lives. Not to mention, it has somehow managed to stay relevant 30 years later. The drag queens are gone, but you can still have your tarot cards read while you wait for the bathroom. They make an incredible hamburger au poivre that you can only enjoy at brunch or the bar. Somehow the soundtrack yesterday was from the 80’s and we ate our way out of our hangovers listening to the Pet Shop Boys, Soft Cell, and Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark.

The last of the planned weekend anniversary festivities was a real treat. We returned to Westchester for a small and very delicious dinner party with the two couples who were there when it all began. Some “never before told” stories were revealed over a perfectly cooked meal, accompanied by very old Moet. The perfect end to a magical weekend.

There is no such thing as a perfect marriage, but if you’re lucky, you’ll find yourself in a perfectly imperfect one.

Have fun. Be bold.