What have you done to me, New York City?


Oh god, it’s SUCH a cliche, but this city gets under your skin. In a way I’m not quite sure how to explain.

I have never forgotten it since I went this time three years ago. June 25, 2010, we headed first to LA, Vegas, and Vancouver on our way to New York City and then Washington, DC. While I remember the other places fondly from time to time (particularly DC), it’s New York that seems to have embedded itself into my psyche. We were only there for three days but I feel an almost daily physical pull to go back.

Currently my brother and sister in law are there (as is my buddy Caitlin Mother Down Under) and their photos are slaying me. I need to go back and I need to go NOW.


Sure, the whole of Manhattan smells like sewage and you almost get killed every single time you cross the road (even at a crosswalk), but the energy, the buildings, the people, the food and the atmosphere totally outweigh the bad things. I only saw the smallest portion of what that great city has to offer, but it was enough to hook me for life. Everything looked just like it does in the movies and I so badly wanted to sit on a stoop and drink a 40 in the afternoon sun. I ate a lot of bagels (and came home to make them myself), drank a lot of coffee and did a lot of walking. We saw screeching cop cars, wailing fire engines and homeless people aplenty. We ate huge slices of cheese pizza, tipped our waiters, and lolled about on the grass in Central Park.

I nerded out BIG TIME in both the American Museum of Natural History and the New York Public Library. We went to the very tippy-top of the Empire State Building and we sailed on the Staten Island Ferry past the Statue of Liberty.

IMG_0596We walked from Battery Park all the way up Broadway and Avenue of the Americas. We saw Wall Street, and Grand Central Station, and hung out in Tompkins Square Park like a proper couple of punks. I still want to live in the East Village.

IMG_0695We filled every waking minute of those three days going everywhere and seeing as much as we could but it wasn’t enough. Is it ever enough?


New York City was on my mind in the weeks after I had Abby. It had been nine months since we had been there, and we were already planning other trips. Once I had the baby, though, I realised how far away another overseas holiday would be. Hell, any holiday. Newborns are relentless and all-consuming and for the briefest of moments when I was full to the brim with baby blues, I wondered if I had made the right decision to have a baby at that point in my life. Once I had one baby I was going to have another, which pushed travel even further back and that pained me greatly. Partly because I had a list as long as my arm of places I wanted to go, and partly because hormones had made me feel awful. Thankfully they passed pretty quickly and the blunt-force shock of the reality of having a baby softened and I realised my dream of travelling the world with my babies was actually going to be easier than I imagined. Mostly because they grow out of that newborn stage VERY quickly! It was actually the perfect time in my life to have a baby, and I wouldn’t have done it any other way.

Anyway, I needn’t have worried, as we took our next overseas trip just nine months later. And another one the year after that, back in April. Baby blues, you suck big time! They tell you big, fat lies.

So New York is in my blood, in my subconscious, and in my future. What about you? Is there a place you just can’t shake?




  1. Reannon Hope says

    I’m probably a bit weird in the fact I have no huge desire to travel overseas. Sure, I’d love to go to Italy, Canada & the UK someday but I’m more likely to dream about travelling around Australia. I still haven’t seen Broome or the Northern Territory or Tasmania or Cairns & I really want to!
    When we lived on the east coast each Christmas we’d pack up our caravan & travel for 3 weeks. It was the best way to travel with babies/toddlers/kids. We loved it. Unfortunately when we moved to Perth & built our house we sold our van. It was necessary at the time but I miss it. I wish we had it so those long road trips could have continued because even though I feel like we’ve seen so much of this country there is still soooooo much more to see!
    So I guess you could say that a way to travel got under my skin more than any one place. One day I hope we own a van again, one day…..

    • says

      Oh we’re going to do the van thing too. And probably the around Australia thing. But i moved around the country so much as a kid, I saw so much. Having said that, I’m dying to go to Uluru! I’ve never been. Even as a very tiny fella I was always keen to go overseas, I was so thrilled by the idea of being in another country, totally immersed in another culture. I was a bit of a dreamer.
      PS Canada is pretty rad!

  2. heidi says

    Oh good one, now you’ve added another trip to my ever-growing list! For me it’s Italy. The food. The fashion. The people. The history. The romance (funnily enough I’ve never been there with my hubby, it’s almost the romance of the city and the buildings?!).

  3. says

    I didn’t even want to go to New York and now I really want to go back. You’re right about it getting under your skin. Siem Reap did that to me too, the humidity the small but frenetic bustle and the jungle together. I wish we could travel again right now!

    We got to see some pretty cool things in New York – Ghostbusters car among them, but we still missed so much of it and sometimes I dream of Ty taking the bar and working there for a little while, although I still wonder why Manhattan was stinkier than the open sewers in Cambodia.

  4. Reemski says

    When I turned 30 I took myself to NYC for 4 weeks. I wandered around, ate, drank coffee, sat in cafes, visited museums and walked some more. I didn’t even scratch the surface. This year, we’re travelling to Europe with the girl who will be 2. 6 weeks away, covering Athens, Rome, Florence, Venice, Geneva, Barcelona, Paris, London and a couple of days in Dubai on the way home. It will be our first proper holiday in 5 years. I am by turns terrified of the travel with the small one, and totally beside myself at the things we’re going to see, eat, smell, and touch…

  5. MotherDownUnder says

    I guess I must be used to the NYC smell…it doesn’t bother me. The feeling on constantly having dirty feet does though!
    As for the homeless people, Toddler C kept pointing to them, saying sleeping!
    Last time I went back to NYC I thought I was over it…I now know that I am not!

  6. nellbe says

    We went to NYC for the first time last year and loved it so much we are heading back again this year! We took our 2 boys (now 8 and 3) with us and we love that we are giving them the love of travel. We all loved NYC, I didn’t even notice the smell.

  7. says

    yes, it’s nyc for me too. I didn’t even think I’d like it before I went there then after I visited for the first time in 2003 I was completely sucked in and I keep trying to plan my way back. I blame the movies/sesame street for some kind of subconscious imprinting.

  8. Jane says

    Yesssss! New York City got under my skin big time in February last year. I went back in July and got engaged in the middle of Central Park which made NYC even MORE special to me. I miss bagels and Shake Shack soooooo much and I dream of going back there every single day. There are plenty more places to see before I go back to the USA though. Hopefully I’ll be visiting the UK and Europe for the first time later in the year – I just know that Paris and Rome are going to suck me straight in, just like NYC did. I have the travel bug big time at the moment.

    • says

      Me too, it’s hard to shake! I’d like to do London before going back to New York but with a Disneyland trip looming for the girls, I dare say NYC will be first. Shame, huh?! Getting engaged in Central Park must be the thing to do, because my brother in law just did it last week!

  9. Lisa Mckenzie says

    I am not much of an overseas traveller though that is due in part to my knee I really want to go to Europe but all the things I want to do involve walking and I am not good at that ,but one day not too soon I am going to go somewhere I am not fussed about the US but want to see Italy,France Greece , though there are still a few places I want to see in Australia so might see them first.You go for it Stacey you are young and healthy save up and do it.

  10. Amy Zempilas says

    Oh I hear ya! I have only been to New York once, for five days in 2009 – but I think about going back there almost every day too…. I follow loads of New Yorkers on Instagram, so I get my daily dose… but I crave the incredible food (including Magnolia Bakery cupcakes!) coffee, flowers, fashion, culture, art – everything!! I’ve already asked my hubby if we can head back there when our children are old enough to walk around and appreciate it. Apart from NYC, I also think about Kastellorizo… a teeny tiny, magical little Greek island where my husband’s family are from and where we had our 3 day wedding festival almost 4 years ago. We had 100 of our closest family and friends with us, and many of those people have since told us that they think about the incredible time we had every day. A x x x

  11. Ms_Critique says

    You’re so right. I don’t know what it is, but once you go to New York something in you changes. It really is a magical city!

  12. says

    Oh I know that feeling!! Actually, that’s why we went overseas this most recent time, because I was so desperate to go Israel again. It’s just the most beautiful, friendly (and VERY baby-friendly!!) country. It was our second time, and I have no doubt we’ll be back again.

    After being in Japan last week that has instantly gone to my list of countries I simply MUST go back to!! So beautiful and peaceful!

  13. Steph @ Lipstick & Cake says

    I just returned from a trip to NYC and I am already dying to go back!
    I am so, so in love with the city’s sites, food and atmosphere and I am already planning a return. x

  14. Katie says

    NYC, would go back in a hearbeat. The people, the chaos, Central Park we biked it, Brooklyn Bridge we walked it, Manhattan and the people, finding locals and chatting with them. The food, good natural food stalls, The fashion, the eclectic mix of people walking the streets. Everything open at at all hours, a pharmacy on every corner ( Duane Reade), the chaos of Times Square, MoMA, Central Station Terminal watching the people dashing to trains, Central – with all the lines, and the old traditional seating and awesome architecture.. yes the architecture. The people, yet the community of the place, downtown the local community/ Battery Park and Statue of Liberty. Next time I would go for a month… loved it loved it loved it. My absolute fav place.

  15. says

    you got preggers in NYC?! I’m heading on my first trip there in 3 weeks time and im so excited! But I dont want to get knocked up there…I hope NY isnt THAT good! Great post by the way, have just discovered your blog and im loving it :)

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