Guest Post by GayNYCDad
I live where I do by necessity. I am gay and wanted to raise a child, I thought the safest place for all involved would be Manhattan.
In order to have the space needed to get our stamp of approval from the social worker, we moved from a studio in Chelsea to a 2 bedroom apartment on the east side of New York City into a community called Stuyvesant Town, a large group of buildings built right after WW2 for returning vets.
We loved Chelsea, our location was 1 block from the #1 train line, we were perfectly situated. And furthermore, the neighborhood had tremendous amounts of coolness attached to it. The east side had nothing, or so we thought.
Within a day of moving to the east side, we knew we had made the right decision. We quickly learned we were a short walk from a great amount of activities and fun. And, most importantly, the restaurants in the East Village were fantastic! We were happy we had moved, and I was incredulous at the amount of space I now had in Manhattan, it was a dream come true to have a 2 bedroom apartment in the heart of the greatest city in the world!
Our adopted son was born 3 years after we moved. He went to a daycare in our apartment complex and that was the first part of our community building in NYC. We quickly made friends with many people. After a few years, when the kids were a little older, we would all stop at the same playground after daycare and the kids would play and the parents would bond even more.
At 5 years of age our son started Kindergarten. We thanked our lucky stars that we made the zone for a great public school by 2 buildings. Who knew how important these things were? Also, 7 other kids from our daycare/pre-K were attending this same school. For me this reinforced the community aspect of our life in the city, starting a new school with 7 friends already on hand.
After 3 years, our after school activities often include a trip to the city playground adjacent to our school. We are joining many other families from the school in this activity. Everything we do reinforces the community aspect of the life we have built. We can walk along the streets and see many friends. The east side does not feel like a city with millions of people, it feels like a neighborhood filled with our friends.
I thought I was giving up a better life by not raising my son in suburbia. Now that I am settled into city life in our local school, I suspect I am at an advantage. We have several nearby playgrounds where we know we will always see friends. In suburbia, you play with the few kids on your block that are your age and how often can younger kids be outside unless their parents sit on the front lawn and monitor them? I get to sit in a protected playground and chat with many parents from my area for hours at a time (it pays to have a flexible blogging job!).
I am in the best possible situation for raising a child in Manhattan. I have blogged about my surprise at the great community aspect of life in the huge NYC borough of Manhattan. I never thought that would be a part of city living.
We are extremely grateful that the path we are on led us to this great place to live in an amazing neighborhood where I feel everyone is my friend! I am corny that way.
Daddy Mitch, stay at home dad of an 8 year old son. We live in NYC and therefore get to experience a lot of great sights and events. I started a blog about 1 1/2 years ago to share our adoption story and talk about the fact that my son has 2 dads. I share with the world the fact that we have more similarities than differences in comparison to other families. Then I started doing product reviews and giveaways to build readership. I often get to review items with my son which gives us an extra opportunity to work together and bond in an additional way. Check us out at www.gaynycdad.com