Brookfield Place, New York City

If we were moving back to NYC today…

…well, first off, we’d be poor. We just cannot seem to manage ourselves frugally in New York City and its constantly rising prices. When we visit, we go in fast and furious, making up for lost time. Living there, that temptation dissipates eventually, but at least initially, we’d be so eager to make up for everything we’ve missed, we’d go overboard.

It’s just a fact.

Of course, we’d probably be making up for all the reckless spending by working a ton, just like we used to, sacrificing time together to afford our spendthrift ways. Three years removed from our lives in NYC, we’ve changed, adapting to the lifestyle and culture in London. But what if we were moving back to NYC today?

Moving back to NYC: Rebelle crudo, New York City

Moving back to NYC: Hudson River, New York City

If we were moving back to NYC today, we’d probably live in DUMBO.

We adore this Brooklyn neighborhood and what it has become over the years. Its picturesque setting between the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges can’t be beat. It is full of amazing loft apartments, cobblestone streets, and a fantastic riverside setting with a killer view of the Manhattan skyline. Plus, it now has Brooklyn Flea every weekend, which means cool vintage clothing for sale and the newest street food stalls right on our (hypothetical) doorstep.

It is unfortunate that one of our old favorite art spaces is now a massive West Elm furniture store, but that just comes with the territory.

Moving back to NYC: DUMBO, New York City

Moving back to NYC: DUMBO, New York City

Moving back to NYC: DUMBO, New York City

If we were moving back to New York City today, we’d be back on the brunch train, every weekend.

Sunday brunch is one of our favorite things about New York. The variety is endless, and there is nothing we love more than squeezing into a table at a tiny cafe with our closest friends, bed-headed strangers surrounding us, all of us downing massive coffees and omelets while rehashing the weekend. And since we are brunch professionals, we would know when to go to avoid the dreaded hour-long queues during peak brunch hours, slipping in right before the rush to secure our spot for the morning.

In New York you’ll also find plenty bottomless drinking brunches ($14 for all-you-can-drink Bloody Mary’s? Yes, please!).  We tend to save those for special occasions though, or for particularly nice weather, or we deem it appropriate to be totally intoxicated by 1pm with no plans to do anything the rest of the day.

Moving back to NYC: Sarabeth's, New York City

Moving back to NYC: Sarabeth's, New York City

If we were moving back to New York City today, the cynicism would creep back in.

New Yorkers have a reputation for being loud and abrasive with plenty to complain about. And it’s really easy to get sucked into it. In no particular order, the best things to complain about are: vehicles that don’t pay attention to pedestrian right of way, exorbitant prices, politics, the poor state of the subway/crumbling buildings/landlords, and how Williamsburg residents won’t have a good way to get to work in Manhattan when the L train shuts down for a year.

If someone were to cut the queue, we wouldn’t hesitate to raise our voices, shouting our disapproval at the line cutter, rather than be quietly upset, a British trait that we’ve come to accept. We would push our way onto the subway. The aggression would set back in.

Moving back to NYC: New York City graffiti

Moving back to NYC: Brooklyn Flea

If we were moving back to New York City today, we’d be on the cutting edge of culture.

It is really and truly fantastic to live in a place that proudly considers itself the center of the world. There’s a reason why people come here to open new restaurants, debut plays, and sell art. For those dedicated creatives and the people who admire them, New York City is a never-ending revolving door of talent and it is so much fun to be part of a place that is so intent on discovery.

We tried ‘cronuts’ before they were a thing, we saw plays in tiny off-off-Broadway theaters that eventually made it to the grand marquis of Broadway, we were there to see the advent of the french-fry-only restaurant.

It’s a fabulous thing to be on the cutting edge.

Moving back to NYC: Jersey City

Moving back to NYC: Julie

Moving back to NYC: Brookfield Place

To be clear, we don’t actually have plans that involve moving back to NYC anytime soon. When we visit, we shudder at $8 orange juice, but cheer on the opening of an amazingly revitalized space in lower Manhattan (below, the oculus, which has opened recently on the World Trade Center site). We revel in weekend markets, and seethe through yet another subway ride with dilapidated platforms and chaotic carriages.

New York City holds a special place for us, and yet, if we found ourselves living there, we’d be poor drunk Brooklynites. The kind that go to hyped restaurant openings, exhibits, and yell at irresponsible taxi drivers.

In other words, we’d be New Yorkers once again.

Share your thoughts about NYC in the comments section below!

Moving back to NYC: Oculus, New York City
Moving back to NYC: Brooklyn Flea

Moving back to NYC: Brooklyn Flea

If We Moved Back to NYC...

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  • September 8, 2016
    Katrina Ahuja

    Williamsburg residents aren’t the only ones who won’t be able to get to Manhattan when the L shuts down. What about the Bushwickers? ;)Well. Most Bushwickers don’t work in Manhattan. Haha.

    I’ve visited New York City dozens of times over the past few years (I was living in Boston) and although I haven’t lived here long, I haven’t yet experienced any of the cynicism. The subway system is an impressive masterpiece compared to the subway in Boston or the lack of subway in other U.S. cities. I think perhaps the Manhattan lifestyle is stressful. If I was relying on public transit and taxis to be on time to work and was having to fight the midtown crowds on a regular basis, I would lose my mind. Which lines up with my belief that Brooklyn is best. (I’m only half joking)

    But in seriousness, have you folks spent much time in Bushwick or Williamsburg? I love your recommendations and would love some more recommendations for this side of the river!

    • September 9, 2016
      Julie

      We noted NYC specifically because so many people in London are like, “NYC is so much better than London” and say things like “the Tube is so dirty”. Heading back to NYC, I realize, “no, this is what dirty looks like!” I’ve never waited for more than 8 minutes for the Tube. I waited 12 minutes in the middle of the day at Grand Central. Certainly better than a lot of US cities, that’s for sure, but not close to the efficiency of the Tube.
      Sorry about not mentioning Bushwick (think a lot of non-NYC people are still unfamiliar with the neighborhood), no disrespect. We spent a lot of time in Williamsburg, Bushwick, Green Point, Cobble Hill, Carrol Gardens, and Columbia St Waterfront. Food wise, of course Roberta’s is always solid, and Arrogant Swine for some bbq pork. Sauvage just opened in McCarren Park and supposed to be solid (same owners as Maison Premiere). Olmsted in Prospect Park, St. Anselm in W’burg for the steak. Love the nachos at Commodore. Tortilleria Mexicana Los Hermanos in E. W’Burg for tacos and a large pack of freshly made tortillas to bring home!

  • September 10, 2016

    New York is such an amazing place! We hope to one day be able to stay in the city for 6 months so that we can truly explore everything it has to offer. We wouldn’t become true New Yorkers in that time but I am sure we would get a genuine feel of what the city and the people are all about. $8 orange juices with a family of 6 means we need to start saving now :)!
    Bryanna recently posted…14 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Making the Decision To Travel Full Time With Your FamilyMy Profile

    • September 11, 2016
      Julie

      A NYC adventure for your family would be amazing! I’ve heard that in Brooklyn you can find pretty large converted buildings these days that might house all of you 🙂

  • September 10, 2016

    It’s an incredible city with so much happening but for me I couldn’t live in any big city full time. As good as that brunch scene sounds and all the galleries and shows for us it’s a visit not live place. Which with NYC prices is just as well 🙂
    Toni Broome recently posted…10 fun free things to do in KyotoMy Profile

    • September 11, 2016
      Julie

      Now that we’ve been out of NYC for a while, I’m not sure I could manage to live there again. I think it would be great if I was filthy rich and could afford drivers and a massive house and a yard and someone to do errands…etc!

  • September 10, 2016

    I think NYC would be a pretty exciting place to live. I’ve visited a couple of times for work but don’t really know it very well and would love to spend more time there. Thanks for the info. Maybe I’ll figure out how to move there for three months.

    • September 10, 2016

      Another thing I was wondering what’s the best time of the year to visit if you’re looking for the best hotel prices?

      • September 11, 2016
        Julie

        Unlike some other destinations, in our experience, NYC isn’t super seasonal. The very highest prices would probably be found during the summer and American school holidays. But when we’re looking, we use the normal search tools, and always keep in mind that rooms, in general, are tiny! Space is at a premium in NYC!

  • September 10, 2016

    Love this post. Photos want me to go back to NYC 🙂

  • September 10, 2016

    New York has been on my bucket list for such a long time, but I never managed to visit the city yet. I think NY is so different from other cities and can’t be compared. By the way, BEAUTIFUL pics! Congrats.

    • September 11, 2016
      Julie

      NYC is a lot of things and photogenic certainly is one of them. It’s definitely worth a visit, so hopefully you’ll make it soon. We were there in August and thought we’d melt straight into the sidewalks, but we’re also now used to mild European weather!

  • September 11, 2016

    I’ve only visited NYC one, but it was enough to fall in love. It was my first live musical experience too, so that might have made it even more precious. Plus first frappuccino… I would love to go back and explore the city a bit more, as for living there? I don’t know, I thought I’d miss Bucharest, but it turns out I got used to living in a smaller city quite fast. I like not having to spend more than 10 minutes getting… anywhere. London though? I’d brave the crowds for London.
    Alina Popescu recently posted…Traveler Spotlight: Sona Sethi and the Vacation Begins BlogMy Profile

  • September 11, 2016

    What a splendid love letter to NYC. I feel this way about Paris and would be so sad to leave. There are some cities that just seep into your soul. New York is one of them.
    Leah recently posted…It’s in the Bag: 6 Essential Items I Never Travel WithoutMy Profile

  • September 11, 2016

    Love your photos. I have never been to NYC, but hopefully will make it there one day. There will be many things you would miss about your city. For example, when I am away from home I miss the local food, but on the other side I enjoy the food of the place I am in.
    Travelwith2ofus recently posted…The Magnificent 7, a visitors delight in Trinidad and TobagoMy Profile

  • September 11, 2016

    Ah, NY definitely has some amazing views, bridges, rooftops in the living buildings and last but not least picturesque hipster Brooklyn. But everyone is saying about NY and London that prices keep getting up to the point that it is becoming notoriously expensive. Would love to visit the Brooklyn flea market.
    Sia recently posted…Fritolin pri Cantini: where to eat in Piran, SloveniaMy Profile

  • September 12, 2016

    Living in NYC has always been a prospect with many pros and cons for me – I love the city with it’s amazing atmosphere, vibe and culture, though I’ve never been sure if I could live there. I love visiting and renting apartments for our short stays though – makes me feel like a local even if just for a day :D!