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In a New York Minute

Today, August 8th, is the one year anniversary of our move to New York City from lovely London…so how does that feel? Well, to quote an LCD sound system song, ‘New York I love you, but you’re bringing me down…’ except in our case just remove the love… New York you’re okay but you’re bringing me down. Perfect.

You see I don’t mean to make a once-in-a-blue-moon appearance and then just whine…but with all the hype over new York and everyone loving it soooo much you start to feel a bit alone, when you possibly, perchance, definitely don’t agree. What am I missing? It’s dirty, it smells ( because I’m a nice person and you might be snacking while reading this, I won’t be saying what it smells like. Lilac bushes and freshly cleaned laundry it is not). There are rats, and more rats.  And the amount of people that just give you the heebie jeebies is just, well, crazy. To say it doesn’t compare to London FOR ME is the understatement of the year. But we’ve done it, and that’s gotta count for something? ‘if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere’… like an advert for the armed forces. Yay, I’m lying in a barbed wire ditch. It can only go up from here, eh?

But it’s not like we haven’t made it– we have, there are positives. David and I both have good jobs, a beautiful apartment and for the past few months have found a place to call home that makes us feel happier. We’ve made DUMBO, Brooklyn our home, which is fantabulous on it’s name alone. Who doesn’t want to live in world of hat-wearing baby elephants?! But in actuality it stands for Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass. This also means that we are few short blocks from the Brooklyn bridge, from the water and from glorious views of the city. I know, you probably don’t believe that after the last little rant, but honestly the city is pretty from afar, with the statue of liberty waving her little flashlight in the distance, the sun setting behind the Financial district, the Empire state building and Chrysler building peeking out of the skyline and saying ‘hello!’. Whew, I feel a bit calmer already. I’ll detail DUMBO a bit more in the future, but it’s very creative, great industrial buildings and a regeneration with some serious love behind it.

 

And lastly, the thing making me avoid Pillar Box Post for months. A bit of sad news…our little Olive Juice, the french bulldog life and rumpled-faced-soul, of our little family is no longer with us. In April we had an emergency visit to the vet and sadly our little girl had to stay there to go to sleep. It was in connection with her back issues we first had a year ago, right after we moved to New York. It’s been seriously hard for David and I to get over not having her around…and we still miss her every. Day. When you aren’t satisfied with other areas of life, sweet puppy breath and kisses on your face is always an instant soother. Sigh. There I got that out, not that most of you don’t know that already..it was some how a mental struggle to come out with that on here. She was quite the star of PillarBoxPost…so here are some of her best bits… biking around Kensington Gardens , relaxing around the house , travelling in England , visiting Rye England , and her introduction.

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A quick list of  where and what we’ve been up to this past year, as per the photos above.
Starting in the Top, going left to right…

——— FIRST SET ———

ROW 1: 1. Two weeks after arriving in New York we ‘survived’ an earthquake and a hurricane hitting NYC. Yay for crazy Northeast weather! | 2. Our second flat on the upper west side. | 3. Oh Olive, and your crazy outfits…silly girl

Row 2: 1. Christmas tree hunting, on a real life tree farm…yay for being back in Central PA. | 2. Family photo, frenchie fur babies and all! | 3. All ready for the ‘First Annual Forest Friends Christmas Eve Feeding’ which consisted of taking the deer and other cute animals of the forest a lovely christmas dinner of carrots, corn etc. at midnight on Christmas Eve

Row 3: 1. Taking Olive out for our annual New Years walk, but bag style. | 2. Gondolas…indoors…waaaaitaminute? This must be crazy-vegas. | 3. Out at the Grand Canyon, right before the hail blizzard started.

Row 4: 1. Yep, that hail blizzard has now started…very impressive my face doesn’t look like swiss cheese after that encounter! | 2. Zion National Park, yes that IS a real photo. Places like this DO exist. Wow. | 3. And yep, these little sheepy guys do too. Right next to the road! Saw a roadrunner after this, it was like Wild animal Bingo.

——— SECOND SET ———

Row 1: 1. Brooklyn Bridge with the lovely Clare. | 2. David and Olive…oh she’s. so. happy. Can’t you tell? | 3. We fled for some winter sun down to the Riveria Maya, Mexico. Beautiful eco resort full of canalways, crocodiles and other potentially less dangerous things. This is the view of our casita, aka adorable little building, on the canal, taken from our nature boat tour.

Row 2: 1. Lunchtime at work–fabulous view of the Empire State building. | 2. Our UWS flat, or one corner of it, at least. | 3. My 29th birthday at the Standard Grill, where I made a pact with myself to make a penny floor in my imaginary house.

Row 3: 1. Drinks after work…palm trees and that same pesky little Empire State building. It’s everywhere. | 2. ….like right here…in between the arches, do you see it, yep it’s piercing the Manhattan bridge in DUMBO | 3. View of DUMBO and the Brooklyn Bridge from a Manhattan rooftop.

Row 4: 1. Finally had our first trip back to England for a few days…just in time to catch some beautiful summer fields | 2. …and take some random pictures of ourselves on said train | 3. and catch the London Olympics site, sadly just 2 weeks too early.

 
 
 

Leaving on a jet plane…

Well, well well..lookie what we have a here. A long overdue post, and a big announcement as well. I’ve been spending the last few months working on a few life changes and finally it’s time to come clean. No, sadly it’s not a lottery win, or a baby (as it seems is quite a common blogger ‘life changer’), but rather a relocation. Pillar Box Post was created as a way to catalog my love of my life…which was a step out of the ordinary as a born-American, that lived in London and my journey of becoming legally and emotionally a citizen of both the US and the UK. But now that things were just finally settling down, why not shake things up a bit? Perhaps accept a job relocation to New York City!? Which is exactly what we are doing. In three. short. weeks!! Eeek!!

I won’t bore you with all the details, but the short version is that the design agency I previously designed for is opening an office on 5th Avenue and I am heading off to see to all things creative! So the past few months have been spent organizing, and then organizing…oh and a bit more organizing so that David and Olive can enter the USA with me. Things are really starting to kick up a notch now and fall into place, so hopefully posts will be happening a bit more frequently. Obviously, I’ll have new things to keep an eye on as I learn New York, but I hope to keep a foot firmly planted in the English side as well. I think I need that to make this transition a little less weepy! This opportunity fell on my lap, when I wasn’t looking for it, and I’m very happy to be doing it. I feel no wrong can come from it, but it is emotional, as I don’t feel like I’m going home…as here is home, but where is here and well I could talk this around in circles. I’m not American, I’m not British…I’m both, and well that’s probably a good place to be! So here’s to Kensington, home of the Pillar Box Post v1…roll on West Village, home to Pillar Box Post, the future!

 

Well so much for being less weepy, just got a bit emotional reading this post before I published…oops! So let’s concentrate on something a bit cheerier – Olive’s method of transportation– a stripey inner tube! I thought this post needed something a bit fun, so I set to work this weekend to bring our move to life. And what did I come up with? Olive floating across the pond, without parental supervision. Sheesh, well at least she took the luggage with her as well…which is unusual, because from my experience she isn’t the most helpful of puppies!

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Illustrations by Pillar Box Post

 

 
 
 

European Vacation ’09…

As I went through our recent holiday photos, it dawned on me that our holiday last year had taken place the exact same week (yay for may bank holidays!) As this trip took place when Pillar Box Post was a mere twinkle in my eye (or more realistically a registered domain name with nothing to show for it) I thought I’d share a few photos from it now. I won’t bore you with all the details…so I’ll just say it was 11 days. 6 stops. 3 countries with just a train ticket in our hands and a pack on our back. Or more often two packs on David’s back. Oh how I love you David. We flew to France and flew home from Venice and all along the way was our quick whistlestop tour of Europe as David showed me the things he loved and we discovered some new things together. As time goes by the memories grow more and more cherished – it was a fabulous time and one I feel extremely lucky to have completed. If I can do half of what i’ve done in my first quarter of a lifetime with the rest of my time I will be a pleased girl!  If you want more you can visit my flickr and visit the travelling set.

all photos by pillar box post