June 23, 2015

Coming Back to America: New York City

The #SwagVilUSA quest has begun!

Our week in New York City was marked by a lot of relaxing and walking.

We learned how to navigate the subway system and street grids, even during the cloudy and rainy days.

We gave World Trade Center 4 the new name of Sky Building.

We loved stumbling upon old churchyards and their previous parishioners.

We took in the bright lights and sounds of the city.

We were privy to free seats at both a Yankees game and Smalls Jazz Club. (Thanks to Marc's relative, Al, and our great friend, Tanya!)

We took advantage of the free Staten Island Ferry for front row views of the Statue of Liberty.

We ate at European restaurants as often as we could. The Belgian "Wafels & Dinges" was a favorite.

We wandered through Central Park and drank a lot of smoothies.


But we didn't see anybody famous or go to the top of any buildings.

By far the most intense moments were spent at the World Trade Center memorial pools. Overhearing parents tell their young kids about what happened. Seeing name after name after name engraved into the edges. I remembered those planes crashing and September 11th like it was that very morning, and it was upsetting. I hope everyone feels these emotions when they go to the memorial. I also hope that the new World Trade Center 1 building inspires the planet to look terrorism in the face and never back down.

We both experienced several instances of culture shock this first week back in America. Every summer it gets more severe the longer we live in France. It's a part of the trade-off in living abroad. We have an amazing life overseas, but every month away from the USA creates a gap between us and our home country.

But we know why America is great, and even if it isn't where we choose to live anymore, we can still appreciate this incredible nation that raised us.

And where better to do that than in Washington, D.C.?! That's what's up next!


  1. Too bad we missed each other in NYC! I love your last tweet about friendliness here - I was shocked by how friendly New Yorkers are. And a little exhausted by all the meaningless exchanges, like having to answer to "How are you?" when the person doesn't care. But there are good things too, like 24 hour stores and efficiency and brunch! Trying to get used to it all #reversecultureshock

    1. Hey Sara! I know, I'm so bummed! Isn't it crazy how Paris can shift our perspectives so much?! We benefited a lot from the brunch while we were there! :) Good luck with your transition back!!

  2. Wish we could meet up in DC! But I'm beginning to think it's going to be a logistical and physical impossibility. :'( I'm so worn out that I barely make it from my bed to work to the couch and then to bed again.

    1. Hey Katrina! No worries at all! Saw your family announcement - congrats! Totally understand, and really excited for you! Get your rest, and we'll raincheck somewhere in Europe! :D

  3. Hiya!

    I found your blog via The Sommelier Chef.

    Wow looks like you are having a blast in NYC.

    I have only been once, in 2004, almost a lifetime ago now. Would love to go back, especially to Balthazars which was very French and very NY at the same time.


    1. Hi Louise! Thanks for stopping by! NYC was really cool! You need to come back soon! :) Love all the diversity and melting pot of cultures here!


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