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Monday, June 18, 2012

Motherhood Mondays: Brooklyn househunting

The other day, Alex and I saw the raddest apartment in Brooklyn...

Right now, we live in a teeny apartment in Manhattan. We're comfy in our home, but our apartment is a third-floor walk-up, gets mice every now and again, and a piece of the kitchen wall literally fell off the other day. It's the kind of shabby shoebox apartment you love when you're young...but do you raise kids there?

Plus, our friends in Manhattan are leaving in droves. Some have moved to New Jersey or Westchester or Connecticut; others to California or Portland. But we're thinking Brooklyn might be best for us. That way, we can still be part of our beloved city and close to the action, but we can retreat to our tree-lined street and have a garden for Toby (and, fingers crossed, another little one soon). Plus, it's so safe, apparently people forget to lock their doors! We're starting to poke around and consider moving.

The fun part is looking at real-estate listings! Our friend Porter is an agent, so she emails us with beautiful homes she finds. This LOVELY Brooklyn Heights brownstone apartment, below, would be at the tippy top of our budget, but how gorgeous is the ENORMOUS living/dining room? Plus, there are two fireplaces to keep you cozy in the winter. And wouldn't you love to wake up in that sunlit bedroom? The dealbreaker, though, is that the second bedroom is the size of a walk-in closet, so it wouldn't work to squeeze two kids in there. Bummer. Otherwise, isn't it a lovely place?
Where would you want to raise a child? Do you live in Brooklyn? Do you live in Manhattan with kids? Where did you grow up? Did you share a room with a sibling? I'd love to hear your thoughts...

(Top photo by the Brooklyn Home Company; home photos by Corcoran)

226 comments:

1 – 200 of 226   Newer›   Newest»
Melissa Blake said...

Do you watch House Hunters? I love seeing all the neat homes people tour!

anne. said...

that place looks amazing!

Simone said...

Two kids??!! Do you have news or is that just part of your plan? :)

I would love to live in Brooklyn, I've always wanted to - this is a dream apartment.

Two of my Manhattan friends have both moved out to Westchester - to Rye, They grew up there & their own children were starting school so I guess that makes it easier.

Happy home-hunting!!

anne. said...

that place looks amazing!

alinablogs said...

My boyfriend and I are moving from one tiny Manhattan apartment to another July 1st! Since it's just the two of us, and no kids anytime soon we opted for an adorable studio loft right off of central park. It was literally the first and only apartment we looked at, and it just fit perfectly with what we wanted. I'd never be able to raise a family here though, and props to you guys for doing a great job! Good luck on your hunt! Here's a photo of our new place: http://photos2.zillow.com/p_e/IS-1nyku02pnsmsd.jpg

Lauren @ In Her Two Shoes said...

Oh my goodness, I die for house-hunting posts!

Moving to Brooklyn sounds like a perfect move for you guys, but is it weird that I'm a little sad that Manhattan will lose such a cool couple? :) I live in Brooklyn, but part of me would love to cross back to Manhattan, but I feel weird admitting it! So many people I know are doing the BK thing, too.

Joanna Goddard said...

haha, simone, i wish i had news! but not yet:)

hello, Friday said...

I grew up in a big city, and I can't imagine myself moving to suburban areas. Of course, I don't think Brooklyn as a suburb. Good luck on your house hunting. xoxo
http://www.hellohellofriday.com/

Joanna Goddard said...

omg, alina, it looks awesome!!! i love the sleeping loft.

Christina Marie said...

I love house hunting. So fun to see how others live and decorate. Good luck finding a good home for you and the fam. :)

Christina
www.becauseofmadalene.com

Anonymous said...

Moving to Carroll Gardens from the UWS in two weeks. Cant wait to live on a quiet, tree-lined street. That area is super cool, safe, and not too far from Manhattan and all the action. You should check it out!

Kristin said...

I grew up on a farm. We rode horses instead of bikes. It sounds idyllic, but I actually hated being so far away from everything. Now we live in a shotgun house in downtown Louisville, a close walk to everything. But I know what you mean. We bought the house in our 20s and being close to the bars seemed like a selling point. Now with a toddler, not so much...

Love, Y said...

I live in the tiniest little shoebox on the uws, I feel ya.

I am considering moving to Brooklyn as well!! Maybe within the next year or so! this apt looks amazing!!! so HUGE for nyc standards!

xoxox

Mrs. P Vega said...

We own a small cottage in LA {2 bedrooms plus an office}. It's small in comparison to some of the large 5 bedroom homes our friends are purchasing outside of LA but we love being close to the city. My sister and I had our own rooms growing up but I would always scoop her up and carry her to my room in fear that someone would kidnap her.

Chelsea said...

What you said about your friends reminds me of Seinfeld - "George is gonna get married, move to Westchester, I'll never see him again" lol. Even though I own a home my husband and I still have this discussion all the time. And he watches House Hunters occasionally with me :)

Claire said...

Brooklyn is the best. Truly. Even as a young, unmarried, non-mother. While Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hil, Boerum Hill & Park Slope might be the more obvious choices for child-rearing, FORT GREENE is an absolute gem! Culture, architecture, history, families/art school students/4th & 5th generation residents, good schools like Community Roots etc. You must look here.

Ike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nicolette DeLuccia said...

We currently live in Brooklyn (Carroll Gardens, not too far from BK Heights!) and LOVE it. I'm 8 months pregnant now, and our current apartment happens to have a tiny second bedroom. There are lots of neighborhoods around us that are full of kids and parks, you should definitely check it out!

Joanna Goddard said...

anonymous, that is awesome!!

Desiree Fawn said...

Two kids?? Are you trying to tell us a secret? :)

Amelia said...

I live in Fort Greene Brooklyn, and it is absolutely wonderful, can't wait to raise our kids here! My husband and I love the idea of city kids, aren't they just so adventurous? plus Brooklyn is just so cool.

Sage Crown Parker said...

this place looks so amazing!!!
you know everyone has the same conversation where i live on st thomas.... so many people leave the island when they have kids so that they can do more with their children (like go to museums and zoos) and they have better options for schools.... but i can't help but wonder if they are leaving for the wrong reasons. where we're from shapes us sooo much :)
good luck with your move!!!

elizabeth said...

I live in Brooklyn Heights -- it's HEAVEN. Lots of trees, playgrounds, and closets. And only one stop away from Manhattan. I definitely recommend it.

Corrie Anne said...

We just bought the cutest bungalow in Denver! We are so excited. I know it's nothing compared to Manhattan but housing prices here compared to the Midwest where we grew up. It has three bedrooms!! Hooray!! A room for us, a room for my piano, and a room for my dog. Okay, and maybe a few kids someday!

Avery said...

You know whats weird? I had a feeling a post like this was coming.

All I know Joanna is that you will make ANY apartment in ANY city a beautiful home.

Audrie said...

I would love to move to Brooklyn but we're in Connecticut for now because of the hub's job. We're visiting Portland, OR next spring, and I told the hubs if we like it, he's going to have to take the OR bar exam lol!

I grew up in the city in Singapore and Australia, and space was always a bit of a constraint but we always managed to have a garden, and I got my own room (my twin sisters shared one till they were 12). I think BK would be fantastic for you guys, especially with a growing family.

Vanessa said...

We just moved to Portland, and love it! No kids, but my dog is having a blast :)

Meaghan said...

We bought a condo in a great neighbourhood in our city last year, but we never stopped looking at real estate listings! It's like fantasizing about the lottery...

I grew up in an apartment, and I'd happily raise kids in one to stay downtown. I love living car-free and close to everything!

Katie said...

I live on the UES in a true 2 bedroom, 2 bath, but we put up a wall to make a small third bedroom. We still have a pretty big living space, and the other two bedrooms are huge. It's actually a great place to raise a family, but my boyfriend and I are living with two other roommates. Definitely no family on the horizon (we're in our early 20s)

Prescott Perez-Fox said...

Careful Jo. While the subject of real estate is usually on the front of every New Yorker's mind, posts like these tread dangerously close to humble bragging. Not all of us are in a position to compare fireplaces and period features of Brooklyn's most well-maintained Brownstones.

I'm not mad at ya, but I would be careful about posts like this. It's a fine line between sharing and showing off.

Deanna (Silly Goose Farm) said...

Wowie, I always thought that if you moved, you would go to California!

I live on a farm, and I can't imagine raising a family anywhere else. It's a lot of work, but hugely rewarding work. I honestly feel like I never have to leave.

Melissa@Julias Bookbag said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jill V / TerraSavvy said...

Ahhh, Brooklyn how I love thee.

Mark and I lived in Cobble Hill on Tompkins Place and being that it was a "half-street" there wasn't a lot of traffic. Perfect for when we had our first baby, Jake, our Brooklyn boy.

We often go back to hang out and visit our neighborhood and even talk about someday moving into a brownstone again.

You guys are going to LOVE it!

Have fun looking (and trying for #2!)

Alison Kilpatrick said...

Beautiful!! House hunting can be so hard; there’s always a sacrifice somewhere. We bought our 2-bedroom bungalow 3 years ago and love it. We already have a 15 month old little girl and we’re expecting a boy in November. We'll lose our sitting room to make a 3rd bedroom for the new baby and are trying to decide to if we should build on, move, or have the kids share. Might be tough though with a boy and a girl sharing?

Sara S. said...

we live in brooklyn and love it. we have a 2 bedroom + office duplex with a garden. it's lovely. our son is 2 and he lives in the 'office'. it's a perfectly fine size room, just no windows. but it has french doors into my daughter's room which is quite spacious. It's VERY difficult to find the perfect apartment with a garden, and in the right school district. It took us almost a year, but we found ours in north park slope. right near the express trains, and in one of the best school zones in brooklyn!

Monica L. Shulman said...

One of our favorites pastimes is looking through the NY times real estate section and the corcoran and NYT RE apps for iPhone are my favorite apps (even more than my camera apps!!) We sometimes go see apts even though we have no intention of moving any time soon. We both grew up in the suburbs of NY in long island and my husband is allergic to the suburbs now. I love being in the city and I think it's a great place to raise a family if you can find enough space to fit everyone for your budget:) I think that's the biggest challenge.

We live in Battery Park and we absolutely love it. I feel like it's got the best of both worlds where we've got lots of open space and amazing parks but also still in Manhattan where I don't feel isolated or disconnected. We lived in the gramercy park area for 6 years and we liked it a lot. Our apt was amazing and then we had the baby and we grew out of it. I still miss that place but now we found something better in an even more amazing neighborhood. It's so great for kids and it's still in the city. The parks are wonderful and so are the schools.

We also LOVE Bklyn Hts! LOVE. My husband when to Bkln Law School and then lived there for 10 years. We lived there together for 2 years and honestly, sometimes I still miss it. We take the baby to Bkln all the time for dinner and to go to bkln bridge park. We always talk about moving back there. It's so charming and beautiful and you're so right...it's right across the bridge to Manhattan and sometimes you just feel so happy to be away from it all in the city anyway.

katilda said...

oh! that is out of control lovely. i want to raise my kids somewhere where i can send them outside to get dirty and build stuff instead of playing nintendo. i also want to have a pet pig. the pink wilbur kind, not the hairy black potbelly kid. that's about all i have figured out.

AVY said...

Looks fantastic.

/ Avy
http://MyMotherFuckedMickJagger.blogspot.com



i think therefore i blog. said...

My partner and I are having this same conversation in San Francisco. To move to Oakland, or not move to Oakland, that is the question! We are the first of our friends to have children too, so moving is an especially difficult pill to swallow.

While we love the city and all that it offers for us big kids, we're slowly coming to terms with the fact that SF is just not a kid-friendly city. It comforts me to know that we're not the only parents examining these difficult decisions.

smalldog said...

Ahem...2 kids? Future plans or announcement?

mosey said...

It looks sooo beautiful. I love that area of Brooklyn too! We just bought a 1 bedroom in Williamsburg and are considering trying for a little one soon so we'll have to make do in the space we have for a couple of years. Our friends too are moving to California, etc and I can't decide where we should be to raise a kid. I love Brooklyn but I love California too. 2 houses perhaps? :)

Merry Meri said...

What an awesome spot!! It's amazing how much variety NYC has to offer. When are you thinking of maybe moving? I'm recently married and still pre-baby so your W Village spot is my heaven on Manhattan island... if you're vacating:)

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, I just looked up that apartment, and got a little bit sad that I'll never be able to afford something like that.

It truly is lovely though, and I wish you guys the best of luck on your househunt! Who knew two writers could afford the best of the best in BK! :)

Naomi said...

I love Brooklyn. My brother lives in Park Slope and I love seeing sweet little families out playing in the park.

Get this, my parents actually rented a brownstone in Park Slope in the 70s for $400 a month (!!!) That price amazes me every time I hear about their multiple floors, fireplaces and backyard that now cost millions to own.

Anonymous said...

This post sponsored by....the 1%!

Jessie said...

I lived in Brooklyn (Bor. Hill/Cobble Hill) area 14 years ago. I loved it! I would highly recommend this area, plus Brooklyn Heights or Fort Greene.

And just to make you jealous ;-) - my rent was $1200/month for 2 bedrooms, a living room, kitchen & pantry. I lived right between Court & Smith. I don't think you can find a closet there for that little anymore!

Magdalena's Madrid said...

That house is gorgeous! The hardwoods and the molding are divine!

J+H @ Beyond The Stoop said...

have you considered hoboken or jersey city? hoboken is GREAT for kids. there are always community events for kids going on, and you feel out of the loop if you aren't pushing a stroller, walking a dog (or both!) but at the same time there's still a bit of nightlife, and amazing views of the city.

i live in jersey city now, near the grove st PATH station. though it's not AS nice as hoboken (or some of the cute neighborhoods in brooklyn), you can get way more for the money, and it's a neighborhood on the rise (at an alarming pace!!). so many renovations going on right now in my mostly-brownstones neighborhood, and highrises on the water shooting up too.

at least give it 5 minutes to check them out. jersey city is big though, so make sure you are looking in the 07302 zip code :D

cheers! and best of luck

kendra said...

brooklyn would be the dream. i love it there.
I live in Charlotte NC right now. It is the perfect combo of city and suburbs. You are 15 minutes away from everything fun, but you can have a big backyard. and houses are crazy cheap.

Katie said...

It's beautiful! Happy house hunting...I know y'all will find something beautiful!

kendra said...

aaaannnnd now i am looking up places in Brooklyn/Boston/DC on Trulia. Sigh. Thanks for feeding my Trulia addiction.

Romina (Decorando!) said...

Hi! I´m Romina, from Argentina
Two years ago I was visiting NY, and I love Manhatan, of course. But I love even MORE Brooklyn!
If I would have to choose, I would choose Broklyn, without thinking :)

Love!
Romi

PD: I hope you can understand my english ;)

Hope said...

We just bought a house in Jackson Heights, Queens. It was 600K for three stories and 4 bedrooms! And we love the neighborhood. Before that we had a tiny one-bedroom in Carroll Gardens. Trust me, I love Brooklyn, but I am officially a Queens convert.

thea said...

My Husband and I moved to Brooklyn from the UWS in January to get more space (we both do a lot of work from home, so needed room for an office) and are so happy! I had lived in Manhattan for almost 13 years and was a little wary but I am having a great time- I hardly miss the city and its really easy to get back there when needed from our neighborhood. We're right on the Ft Greene/Downtown Brooklyn border and love all the surrounding neighborhoods, there is always something fun going on and everything is more laid back. I got pregnant a week after we moved in so now the office will be a nursery- and I joke that it was the Brooklyn water that did it (cause it seems like everyone has kids here) so it sounds like Brooklyn would be a perfect fit for you guys.

Celia said...

I've been living in Brooklyn for 4 years now and I just adore it (yup, I drank the Kool-Aid!). I just moved into a cute little one bedroom/glorified studio in Prospect Heights and I couldn't be happier. I'm steps away from Prospect Park, and a street away from being in Park Slope. My fiancee will soon be moving in with me and we keep on joking that we're truly going to be a married couple since we're so close to the Slope! You should totally move down here, Joanna!

Kristin said...

I live in Brooklyn (Prospect Heights) and I LOVE it. More so than I originally thought, coming from the West Village. We've been here 4 years now, and I literally couldn't imagine living anywhere else. I have so much more space and so many amenities here: Prospect Park, BBG, the Brooklyn Museum, I could go on and on! Also (and this one was important for my husband and I) our apartment is easily walkable to the 2,3,B,Q and C trains so getting places is never difficult.

Lilac In May said...

I was the eldest of 3 girls, we all shared a room. Nightmare. Ignore the negatives Jo, we love that you share - the good and the bad. X

Diane Cayton-Hakey said...

That's a really nice apartment and what a shame about the tiny second bedroom. Finding the 'perfect' place can take time... lots of time and I hope your family can find what suits your needs perfectly. :-)

Kate said...

My Fiance and I just moved to Park Slope this month! We are loving, loving, loving it! Because of my job, I'm also familiar with the schools in the downtown Brooklyn area and they are just fabulous. I'd say make the leap; we'd love to have you in the neighborhood :)
Kate at ummmnowwhat.blogspot.com

Melissa said...

Brooklyn is the way to go! You'll love it!

Simone said...

It didn't occur to me FOR ONE LITTLE MINUTE that you were showing off or bragging, what an odd comment - and usually I love your comments!!! Please continue to share :)

Tia said...

My husband and I moved away from NYC a few years ago, but I lived in Williamsburg Brooklyn when I was there and loved it. It was easier to get to my job from there than when I lived in the city! THe area has totally changed, but I think it is a great neighborhood with some much to see and do! Good luck with you hunt!

onechicklette.com said...

I live in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and, hipster jokes aside, love it. There are tons of babies and kids now too, and amenities that kids enjoy. Just on the floor of my small building, there are two toddlers, a kindergartner and a newborn.

CIA said...

Oh, so exciting! I'm only a visitor to your beloved NYC, but love it every time I make it (from NZ, currently living in the Netherlands!), and always have the privilege of staying with friends in Brooklyn. Love the community atmosphere with lots of families with young kids out enjoying summer evenings in the streets and on the stoop!

And definitely... my bro and I valued having our own separate bedrooms growing up!

Super good luck on your hunt for a new abode and with the possible new little one in the future :-)

www.foldedcranes.com

sumslay said...

I love this post! I'm no where near having kids, but it's so funny that no matter where you live, changes in life happen anyway - friends get married and have kids, other friends are still partying and you lose touch with. Getting older is just a funny thing!

Isabel @alphamom said...

I grew up in Carroll Gardens in the 70s and 80s and it was small-town living, three subway stops from Manhattan. It was magical then and even better now (my parents still live there).

Colleen said...

So excited for your eventual move and hope you share tons more about your Brooklyn search! I lived there right after college and loved it.

My husband and I both grew up in the burbs but ended up in NY. We'd prefer to raise our kids somewhere in between. We live in Kansas City now and our neighborhood is similar to Brooklyn in that its not quite in the city but its definitely not the burbs.

What neighborhoods are you looking at?

Colleen
number7735.blogspot.com

LK said...

Gorgeous apartment! I wish I had the balls to move out there. But I hate cold weather and expensive real estate so I'll stay in Phoenix for the time being :) I grew up in a suburb of LA so I got the best of both worlds. I was doing some preliminary house hunting recently, but put a hold on it because my situation changed a bit (my longtime boyfriend and I broke up, so I don't think I'll be starting a family for a very long time now). I love looking at real estate websites and just found a really neat house in Phoenix that has sparked my interest again. Maybe I should go for it.

Lauren-Kane.blogspot.com

Jolene said...

Can you share the listing for the apartment you described and posted photos of? Would love to check it out!

Miriam said...

We live in DC, and next month we're moving from Capitol Hill to Mount Pleasant. Our new place is gorgeous compared to where we are now, but nowhere near as fancy as that Brooklyn apartment!

You can tell all about the vibes of our current and future neighborhoods from their yoga studios... the Capitol Hill studio offers mostly pre-natal and post-natal yoga, while the Mount Pleasant studio has singles classes and a date-night special!

Nancy Cavillones said...

I would not mind raising my kids in the city but I made the mistake of buying a studio before I got married, and we are definitely priced out of the family-sized apartment market. So, we're off to Connecticut. I'm looking forward to having a backyard and a garden, and not having to share a bedroom with the kids. Plus, my husband is from the South Bronx and he is sick of NYC! He'll still commute though, from our new place.

Amy said...

Go for it! How fun to be house-hunting! You could start off with a two-bedroom because even if your second child is a girl, they could share a room for at least 5 years. Please keep sharing house photos, too. I could look at them all day!

Liliana Costa said...

I love the house, big and with lots of beautiful light, if it has a garden and it's in a safe area than it's perfect for kids :)

Anonymous said...

i've lived in brooklyn for 15 years and i always said i would die here... a wedding and 2 kids later and we are priced out of this city and while 2 bedrooms would be a breeze for older kids who sleep through the night predictably i would STRONGLY urge you to pony up for a 3 bedroom even if one is literally a closet. you need a place for the 2nd baby's crib. unless, of course, you like sharing a room with a baby. mine is terribly noisy and keeps me up so she sadly sleeps in the living room. we are fleeing to new jersey and now that we have made the decision we can't believe how we have gotten through this last 15 months with kid 2. people always told me that NYC is for the very rich or the very young. if you happen to be both then the city is yours! but if you aren't loaded and you have kids i think it is really, really, really hard. so city girl no longer... it's off to the burbs and i can't wait! good luck!

Nancy Cavillones said...

Also, I agree with the poster who said to check out Fort Greene. It's a funky little neighborhood, and you'll be near BAM and all the train lines. I don't know about the schools there, though. And while I'm on that topic, I was a NYC public school teacher for 7 years, and following the ed politics in this city, I'm totally turned off by NYC public schools. This is another factor in our leaving the city. We can't afford private school (and I'm not sure I would want to!) and the town to which we are moving has excellent public schools!

Anna said...

Staten Island, for sure.
I know, I know...people eye roll when they think about S.I, but the truth is...we have great public and private schools. (some are the best in the States, for real)
There's plenty space (you will have your own backyard!)
And the ferry is free...30 minutes and you are in Wall Street.
Great restaurants, big victorian houses, the Children's Museum, Tibetan museum, clean beaches, a boardwalk.
Please people don't be fooled by low budget t.v shows!
Google Todt Hill, Lighthouse Hill...Staten Island is great for families.

Aya said...

This "2nd baby" talk is making me veerrrrry excited (no pressure).

And I didn't think for a second that you were bragging. Next people are going to say you're bragging when you share something about your lovely husband or your new shoes!

sumslay said...

Oh, I also forgot to say: Yea for a possible second ba-beh! :D Can't wait!

Also, I looooooooove watching Selling New York on HGTV. It's fun to see how the other half live, "I really want to keep it at $8500/month, but maybe we could go to $9K..." Hi-larious.

dianasaur said...

i live in a smallish two bedroom house in santa barbara with three other girls (4 total), one of them is my sister and the other is my best childhood friend! it's awesome. we have a teeny tiny glimpse of an ocean view (gasp!) from our kitchen door and its super close to downtown. we have our own washer and dryer too, which is rad. i love it so much and it's going to be hard for me to move away, but you know, you get to a certain age, have a boyfriend, see life moving in a different direction...

Meghan said...

Wow, awesome place! I checked it out online (what can I say, House Hunters has made me a wee bit obsessed with the real estate purchases of strangers), and damn! Blogging has done you well! :) All the best to you and Alex in your search. I'm sure you'll find something fab.

Carrolls said...

That is a gorgeous apartment! I've always been jealous of the apartments in New York and San Francisco. Living in Arizona it's nice because we get big yards and cheap housing but we have the heat to deal with. Good luck with your search!

Christina said...

I live in Greenpoint, Brooklyn with my husband and we love it! We thought we'd have to leave when we decided to have kids, but we're going to start trying soon and have come to the conclusion that Brooklyn would be great for a baby! There are many kiddies in our neighbourhood, so it's encouraging that so many families already do it here.

kt said...

My cousin and his wife are NYC dwellers with twin girls who are now approaching three years old! They initially lived in a cozy one bedroom in the UES, then crossed over to the UWS once the girls turned one where they moved into a modest two bedroom. They also have a home upstate which they visit every weekend and do a majority of their chores (grocery shopping, laundry). It seems to be a really great set up for them.

Alie said...

We don't have kids (yet!), but absolutely love living in Dumbo. It's friendly, safe, and just the best views of the city anywhere. The Manhattan Bridge Park is outside our door, and it's always full of moms. I just met a new family on our floor, and the mom told me they've tried 10 neighborhoods in NYC, and had a house under contract in Cobble Hill. They moved to Dumbo temporarily, and loved it so much, they were able to get out of their contract!

Brooklyn is terrific---hope you can find a great home here!

Jenni Austria Germany said...

that apartment is amazing. maybe the 2nd child (fingers crossed/yes!) could sleep in the bathtub?

Sarah said...

Ahhhh yes you should totally move to Brooklyn! It is so wonderful and quiet out here. I like to find reasons not to go into the city unless I have to. You will love it. The best of both worlds with the city so close by.

We live in williamsburg, no kids yet but soon I am sure. We feel like this is home and want to raise our family here. Brooklyn Heights is gorgeous!

So fun and exciting!

marisa125 said...

We moved out of our 2-bedroom, fourth-floor walk-up in Boston's South End to a home (a whole house!) 35 minutes outside the city on May 1 ... and I'm still weighing the pro's and con's on a weekly basis. One thing that helps as a reminder of a big pro (space!) is our Ikea rug (the Alvine Ruta, to be exact) that we used to have laid down in the living area of our old apartment. It anchored our couch, armchair and tv, with the open kitchen just a few steps away -- it was also where my 14 month-old learned to roll over, crawl and had his first steps within the safe confines of such a 'cozy' area. Now? It is now laid in his play area (aka Ben Town) and it's just for him to spread out his books, toys, and body on. When I gripe about not being able to walk home from work any more, all it takes is one look at that rug -- as well as Ben doing laps around the first floor (easy since we've hardly enough furniture to fill it out yet) -- and I'm pretty sure we made the right move. Good luck with your decision!

Slayla said...

I don't have kids yet but when I do I want to make sure they have their own bedrooms. I wouldn't want the children to think that entertaining or aesthetics are more important than their privacy and individuality. Plus what do you do when you have 2 bedrooms, 2 kids, and the elder child hits puberty?

Anonymous said...

I live in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn and absolutely love it. It feels like a neighborhood and is very family friendly. Definitely a nice area of the borough to consider if you're looking for lots to do, lots of park space, and excellent subway access into Manhattan.

Sami said...

if you really want to get more for your money in brooklyn check out bay ridge. i loooove living here because its so neighborhood-y and there are parks everywhere... the only downside is the R train.

in dream world i'd live in brooklyn forever. realistically though, i'll probably end up leaving the only city i've ever called home when i eventually get married - the boyfriend is a country guy so we'll have to settle somewhere in the middle!

Lauren C.T. said...

We don't have kids yet, but we really want to move to Westchester, where I grew up, once we have them and they are nearing school-age. Our place in Queens is big enough for a little one or two, but I am just scared to death by the idea of sending my kids to school in NYC. Besides, I am a suburban kid and my husband grew up in a country village in Scotland - we can't really imagine kids being kids without plenty of space to run around and play in. It's hard though - we're trying to save up for a house, but the city is so expensive that it seems like it is out to keep us here. One way or another, we'll make it out, though - if for no other reason than having a set of grandparents nearby to babysit. ;)

Anonymous said...

@Prescott Perez-Fox, are you serious? Sounds like someone's green with envy.

Jesse said...

so lovely! and good luck with baby #2, can't wait to hear your news!

Chloe said...

Good choice in moving to Brooklyn! I was raised in Park Slope and it could not have been more idyllic. It felt like growing up in a village--knowing everyone as I walked down the street, playing with the neighborhood kids every afternoon--while still having easy access to the cultural institutions and events going on in Manhattan. Plus, growing up in and around beautiful brownstones has given me a lifelong appreciation for architecture and history.

This may still be few years off for Toby, but the Berkeley Carroll School was an absolute dream.

Shayna from Pattern Pulp said...

We've been looking to jump ship for the past few months as well (!) We've been scoping out Fort Greene very seriously, you get even more for your $ than bk heights...love that the neighborhood's the opposite of the WV, as much as I've loved my time on Jane. x

Anonymous said...

I am so happy for you! I find some of the comments from others tinged with jealousy and envy. You and your husband are hard working people. Kudos to you if you can afford a bigger place.

Hannah Brandt said...

Hmm, what if you made the small bedroom yours, and left the larger bedroom for the kids? It can be cozy to have a bedroom that is all bed. My husband and I have a very narrow room, I can barely walk at the foot of the bed, but I love that our bedroom has no distractions like a desk or even a closet. However with a room the size of a walk in you may not even me able to fit a double bed...and that's not too comfy!

belle said...

We live in Ditmas Park. The housing stock here is amazing and families are migrating in droves from Park Slope.. check it out! There are beautiful limestones and victorian houses and great restaurants on Cortelyou (the main street). We are falling in love with it.

-Belle
www.petitebiet.com

Scout and Rice said...

I know lots of people who have siblings share rooms - I always thought the younger bub would wake up the older one, but apparently they learn to live with each other very quickly and don't wake the other up. There are pros and cons to both I guess. If they're close in age it can be nice while they're very young to share a room and form that close bond that comes with being right on top of each other all day.... but I think once kids get older they need their own space.

monica said...

after much hesitation... i decided to move my 13 year old daughter in with my 3 year old son. awful, right! but other considerations aside, we are so happy. bedtime is great. i go into one room to kiss them and read to or with them. and they are so much closer. having one's own room can be a bit lonely and teenagers are as much a handful as little boys. xx

Mich said...

Once you go BK, you don't want to go back. Our apartment is huge and we live on a historic tree-lined block. I know all my neighbors and we just had a communal stoop sale last weekend.

I've lived in BK Heights, Boreum Hill, Clinton Hill and now Greenpoint. Greenpoint may be my favorite place, so far. So friendly, close to Williamsburg bars and restaurants, close to waterfront park and outdoor movies, the McCarren pool, oh, I could go on forever!

Christy said...

I don't know - Jordan of Oh Happy Day had two kids living in a super cute closet in SF! I think as long as you can get two beds in - even bunkbeds - you can do it! My kids are NEVER in their rooms except when they're sleeping! :)

Jess the Mess said...

Even though we had a spacious house growing up my step-sister and I shared a room until we went on to college! My brother and I shared a room until we were ten years old and honestly I was one of the only people in college that was not overwhelmed with sharing a space. I felt as though I could respect privacy and understood limits and boundaries with other roommates things and there was a HUGE difference between those of us who had shared rooms and those of us that didn't... in a not so great way!

Kerikins said...

Jo, I don't comment a ton but was so excited to see this one! From what I've read (and I feel like I know you, Alex and Toby!) your apartment has been the perfect first home to grow your relationship and family. Time for more space for your growing needs (and future little ones!) I think it's wonderful to make the move. I live in Philly, so am not as familiar with the different NYC neighborhoods, but I am sure you guys will thrive wherever you go! Best of luck! xo.

ryan said...

It's really nice to see other parents choosing to stay in a city environment. We live in Chicago and are also watching many friends flee, which I completely understand, but we are hoping to stick it out! Looking forward to seeing where you end up; I love visiting Brooklyn.

leah said...

My husband and I both love Brooklyn, and if we ever up and moved from Philadelphia to New York, Brooklyn would be at the top of our list as far as a place to raise our family. We currently live on the outskirts of Philadelphia - quiet area, and close to public trans so we can get into the city within 10 minutes.

Growing up I shared a room with three sisters, and I had four brothers who shared a room! My husband is one of five and he had his own room. I think learning how to share space is important.

Anonymous said...

don't buy without touring schools (and I'm not sure you can do that before fall). even if you plan on going private, there are few guarantees. and dont go by what your broker/bff/interwebs tell you. you need to be zoned for a public that YOU like. there are schools that have great reputations that I knew immediately were not right for our family -- and I'm talking bococa brooklyn here.

It's worth doing your homework on this. Being in a school you love makes all the difference.

Anonymous said...

It looks awesome! It's funny, I don't even have kids but ever since I got my dog I've been thinking about how nice it would be to move to a bigger place out of the city and into BK. Oh, and Screw the haters girl. It's no one's business what your finances are so it's very rude to make comments like those. Good luck on your search and thanks for sharing!
-S

happilysmitten said...

Just signed a lease to an apartment in West Hollywood in California! I'm so excited to have a balcony for the first time and rooftop access :)

Carrie said...

We raised our daughter for the first three years of her life across the street from Prospect Park and just moved away to Seattle last summer. We now have a second baby, and needed more space than we could afford in Brooklyn. Nonetheless, we loved loved raising our daughter there.

If money were no object, I'd opt to raise my family in Fort Greene-- but I also love Prospect Heights and Clinton Hill. Gorgeous and historic neighborhoods with true diversity.

Good luck, have a blast house-hunting. We miss our Brooklyn...

geena katherine said...

forgetting to lock ur doors in brooklyn ? really? i live in b.k my doors,windows anything that can be locked is locked. but it is beautiful here.

geena katherine said...

forgetting to lock ur doors in brooklyn ? really? i live in b.k my doors,windows anything that can be locked is locked. but it is beautiful here.

K said...

We live in Manhattan in a 1 bedroom walk up, but are thinking of the same move to Brooklyn in the next couple of years, and I saw that same apartment listing! It looks awesome. We don't have kids yet but probably will and while I would love to stay in Manhattan, Brooklyn seems much more feasible. I can't wait to follow your househunting search so I can copy it soon. :)

Stefania said...

lovely! We have a yard, close neighbors, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths here in PA.

tara polly said...

oh, so fun to dream! can't wait to see where you end up. xo.

Jennifer of JennySue Makeup said...

we left the big city of Atlanta GA just for that reason- we wanted to start a family and have more living space. so for the price of the condo we used to live in with 875 square feet in it, we were able to buy a 2 story house on 1.5 acres of land one hour from Atlanta! and we have 3 kids so it was a necessary jump for comfort and sanity:)

Williamsburg Baby said...

I can't rave about Brooklyn enough. When I moved here, around 8 years ago, it was like the city cracked open for me and became a real, permanent home. I really think it's the perfect place to raise a kid. Sure, you could live in the 'burbs, but then there's isolation. And studies have shown that people aren't always happier in bigger spaces. You need a little elbow room and there's plenty of that just across the East River, so you don't have to totally uproot yourselves.

Polly said...

We have a 2 year old girl and a boy on the way soon. So Los Angeles is the place to be! Cute bungalow house, good school district, close to the beach, yard and a short drive to things of the more urban bend. And we're paying less than our friends in Brooklyn. Who are now leaving Brooklyn after leaving Manhattan after having kids. Oh, the kids.

kate said...

I feel lucky that I grew up on the Upper WEst side in a classic pre-war, three bedrooms plus maids room, there were four of us kids, and I never felt like it was small, but I didn't know differently). I think growing up in the city was such a blessing and I am glad that my parents moved there in 1963. The Upper West side has changed a lot, and I am sure they never would have been able to afford it at this day in age with four kids. My best memories are of that apartment, which I called home till my parents moved to a smaller apartment about three years ago. I think B.lyn is beautiful and such a great place to raise a kids, so many of my friends have left Manhattan for B.lyn....good luck!

reiter8 said...

Brooklyn rocks! We moved to Brooklyn Heights nearly 20 years ago and haven't strayed too far since; we are in Cobble Hill now and love it.

We have found a sense of community, great schools - both public and private - yummy restaurants, trees and parks. And it's all a hop skip from Manhattan.

Check out the children's play areas at pier 6 at the Brooklyn waterfront park. There's something for everyone: swinging, climbing, sand and even a mini water park - it's truly amazing!!

Happy house hunting!

Melissa said...

I would love to raise a family in Brooklyn, but my fiance doesn't think it's green enough. I'm torn. I see the benefit in giving kids the space to explore fields and forests, but I also think that raising kids in a city, like NYC, has plenty of merit, too! I lived near Fort Greene park but think Prospect Park is the best (you have fields + forests : )!

Jessie said...

Grew up in upstate New York, lived in Brooklyn and Manhattan for almost 10 years, and now live in Reykjavik, Iceland with my husband and 15-month old. I pine for my old neighborhood in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn sometimes, but don't know if I would want to go back there now.

Linnea said...

I loved growing up in a city! I'm biased, but I think there are so many more opportunities for kids to learn and grow in the city than in the 'burbs.

I shared a room with my brother until he was 14 and I was almost 12. We loved having a shared play space and at one point we each had a mailbox and would send each other letters. It was a blast!

As we grew older, my parents realized that we both needed more privacy, so we temporarily converted our dining room into a bedroom space. It worked -- and I think I'm a more patient, low-maintenance person for having lived in close quarters (my family of four also shared a bathroom).

I've always thought having your own bedroom and bathroom was a crazy luxury -- my friends who had their own had a totally difference sense of space and sharing.

Either way, you'll be great! Kids are so adaptable...

Anonymous said...

I live in brooklyn. Born and raised [still living here, too actually]- and my heart weeps for the place because of the amount of gentrification we are seeing. While it's the ideal place for you to move to in order to make room for you... and your bikes.... and delis [v. bodegas] the people who have been here for generations and who have enriched the area with a diverse culture not found in the city have to be pushed out... somewhere. Brooklyn is still awesome though-- i grew up [and still am in] a huge home, with a back yard and front yard, a long stoop to sit on, a fare amount of security and safety and neighbors who look out for me, who are kind, and who enrich my life.

Abby said...

I grew up in a tiny town in northeast Ohio. It was perfect. The idyllic "small-town experience" where there's a huge parade on Memorial Day, two waterfalls, and kids can stay outside until dusk in summer riding their bikes. While I'm exiled in Providence right now (and it seems like a great place to raise kids, certainly), I'm aiming to move back to Ohio to raise my own family someday. There's nothing quite like open space.

JacPfef said...

I live in a little city an hour north of Manhattan right on the Hudson, called Beacon. New York mag called it "little NoBro" in an article a few months ago because it's a lot like Brooklyn. In fact, it's residents are made up of a whole lot of former-Brooklynites who are settling down and raising families.

Eliza Jane said...

I would love love love to live in NYC!! I grew up half in Papua New Guinea in a small mountain village (where I was the only white kid), and half in Canada's capitol. Now I'm living in Australia, and I dream of owning a cute little terrace house.

Amanda said...

I live in Greenpoint and I love it. We live in a craphole right now so that we can save to buy (in Greenpoint, if we decide to stay in NY long enough). If I were to move out of Greenpoint though, I'd move to Carroll Gardens or Gowanus.

Lisamarie said...

I grew up about three miles away from where I live in the condo I purchased 3 years ago. A suburban little community in North Orange County, California. Its expensive and I can thus far only afford a condo. But I will - God willing - stay in my little town until I die. I hope to have a nice single family home with a yard and a pool. And no shared bedrooms for my two, maybe three, children. I love for kids to play in cul-de-sac streets and make believe in the backyard. Those are things I did growing up and I loved it.

Elizabeth Alley said...

I shared a room with my brother until I was five, then with my sister (who was 6 months old at the time) when we moved into a 3-bedroom house. She and I shared rooms until I moved out at 18, and I "hated" every minute of it, then realized after moving out how great it was to have a built-in best friend right there! We are all grown up now and just spent a mini-vacation together in Manhattan :)

Shawna Greenway said...

Move to California! We're in Berkeley with two kids and just love it. The weather is perfect, we have a big backyard and there's great public schools and loads of parks. And you're only a BART ride away from San Francisco.

I lived in the East Village in my early 20's and as much as I LOVE Manhattan, I can't imagine raising kids there. It just seems like it would too hard to do and way too expensive!

Stephanie said...

Have you considered making the small bedroom yours and using the large bedroom for kids? My parents would always do this because they figured they had the rest of the place for their stuff, and used the bedroom only for sleeping, whereas kids play and study in their rooms too.

AWASH said...

We rent in Fort Greene and my daughter is in preschool in Brooklyn Heights. Make sure you have your school situation figured out before you buy. Most of the good public schools are overcrowded and the private schools are really hard to get into. Trust me when I say, alot of people love Brooklyn right now and they all have kids and the city is not opening new schools.

I love Brooklyn too but I definitely don't leave my door unlocked.

June said...

Joanna! It's so good news that you guys want a new baby!! Wish you all the best!!

Can't wait to hopefully see you pregnant soon! :)

xoxo

June

Anonymous said...

I'm leaving this as anon but my name is Amy! I live in Cobble Hill and while I'm just a single person, it's the greatest move I ever made. I lived in Astoria for a few years but BK has been such a major upgrade. Sure, living alone in such an awesome area is breaking the bank but I wouldn't change a thing (other than to meet a hot dude who will pay half my rent...;) There are soooo many babies/strollers/families around here but also lots of bars and great restaurants for the single folks too. One of the most common things I see here are HOT BEARDED DADS in Cobble Hill Park! I think your husband would fit in perfectly! haha :) Go for it Joanna!

Anonymous said...

Bragging.?! Anyone who reads your blog regularly knows that you are extremely hard-working, and so is Alex. I never see you advertising anything ridiculously expensive on your site -- and a home is EXACTLY where your money should go! There's nothing wrong worth working hard and living right!
You go girl.

Anonymous said...

Bragging.?! Anyone who reads your blog regularly knows that you are extremely hard-working, and so is Alex. I never see you advertising anything ridiculously expensive on your site -- and a home is EXACTLY where your money should go! There's nothing wrong worth working hard and living right!
You go girl.

neo said...

We live in Oakland. Which I hear is the Bay Area equivalent of Brooklyn? Close enough to the City and a nice mix of urban and suburban. I never had to share a room because I was the only girl. Good luck with your house hunt!

Meggie said...

We live in Park Slope and LOVE it, it's perfect with our little guy! And while we're still renting for a long time, I love going to open houses in the neighborhood. So fun that you get to actually buy! Good luck finding the perfect place for your sweet family.

Meggie said...

We live in Park Slope and LOVE it, it's perfect with our little guy! And while we're still renting for a long time, I love going to open houses in the neighborhood. So fun that you get to actually buy! Good luck finding the perfect place for your sweet family.

Carly said...

First of all, yay yay yay for a possible baby no.2.

I grew up in a tiny village in England. We had a farm, horses, dogs, cows, sheep. You name it, we had it. I absolutely loved my childhood and the adventures or growing up in the countryside but as I got older I craved something more. I moved to London a few years ago and can't imagine going back to village life.

When we think about having kids I sometimes think I'd like them to have the same childhood as myself, but then again, the city is so amazing. Ah, dilemmas. I'm glad I'm not in your shoes just yet. I think the main negative for me having kids in the city is space or lack of. I'm not into cramped living at the best of times.

C x

melanie said...

you may be surprised with all Hoboken has to offer! it's cheaper, more space for your money, SO CLOSE to nyc, and tons of activities, farmers markets, festivals, all that good stuff. we love it here! uptown is where there are more families.

Danielle said...

When I was growing up the little house we lived in had the same sort of 'dealbreaker' - one big bedroom, one tiny. My parents put my sister and I in the big room and squeezed their bed and wardrobe into the small one. A couple of people have mentioned it already in the comments, and I can vouch first hand that it works! We played in our room all the time, whereas mum and dad just needed a space for sleeping. That Brooklyn apartment is just gorgeous - give the little guys the big bedroom, problem solved :)

Chaucee said...

Wow this is gorgeous!!

Anonymous said...

Brooklyn works out great for some people but you really need to do your research. If you work in Manhattan and work late the commute can get bad if you are tied to one train (which might not run that reliably in off hours). Also, I used to be a prosecutor in Brooklyn and I can tell you that you should definitely lock your doors and keep your wits about you. In my experience, Manhattan below 96th street is much safer than Brooklyn. But I totally see wanting more space.

Tara W said...

I love living in Brooklyn! Moved to Prospect Heights a year ago after 10 years in Manhattan. I love my neighborhood. It feels like me, my husband, and my toddler moved to paradise! We are just a few blocks from Prospect Park, the library, the botanic gardens, the zoo, the park carrousel. Not to mention restaurants, shops etc in Park Slope. On Vanderbilt in prospect heights check out Amorina for pizza Ample Hills for ice cream! We also frequently ride our bikes to Carroll Gardens for brunch, Fort Green for Brooklyn Flea, the playgrounds at Pier 6 and to enjoy the views in Dumbo. Brooklyn is so much fun for families!

tamara said...

I grew up in the suburbs and desperately wish my parents had settled somewhere more urban and vibrant, which I think is a pretty common sentiment. I think Brookyln would be awesome; it would be nice to have some more room and a bit more outdoorsy stuff. I've never shared a room with my sibling, and I imagine I wouldn't really like it. (Though I love my brother dearly!) Exciting to see you actually say, and not just hint, that y'all are hoping for another little one.

I live in Atlanta now, a city I love, but hoping to move somewhere fun and hip and a little more community-minded in the near future--probably Oregon--Portland, maybe Eugene. I also like Austin and Asheville but my sweetheart isn't so keen on those two.

The Higher Common Sense said...

I think you guys are such Brooklyn people and don't even know it! I am expecting my first baby (and just got my first puppy!) in Park Slope and feel so set up for success. I just still can't believe I'm going to have kids who will say they grew up in Brooklyn...

Aya said...

Joanna-RIGHT as I pressed the send button for my comment about my excitement on your future baby #2, my best friend called. She said hi and I said, "oh gosh..." Then she told me she's pregnant with baby #2!!! (They've been thinking about it for nearly a year now). It was like MAGIC!! What a coincidence, right!?!

Lesley said...

So exciting on so many fronts! I lived in Park Slope for almost 10 years and would not have left had it not been for my company relocating to San Francisco. Granted, there are much worse places to live but now that my husband and I are expecting in just over a month we too wonder if SF is the right city to raise a child. We would LOVE to move back to Brooklyn - maybe one day. Good luck to you and I look forward to updates on the adventure(s) :)

lainie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lainie said...

I live in Park Slope which is as much the brownstone, tree lined cozy gem people say it is. I babsit in the area as well and couldn't imagine a better, more connected neighborhood to raise kids. Prospect Park, the Brooklyn Library, Botanical Gardens and Museum, great parks, lots of schools- and a ton of great bars, coffee shops, shops, and conveniences like drug stores/banks for adults. It is perfect. :) Even as a single lady I can appreciate how cozy and safe it is. Close to the city, too. It's full of young-ish, stylish, seemingly awesome/hip parents, too.

brian and amanda said...

we visited new york a few months ago. once we got to brooklyn heights, we LOVED it! it felt like a real neighborhood. that people did live in new york city. we thought it was just beautiful and to die for!

good luck on your search. i bet y'all find something amazing!

www.wewouldlovetoadopt.blogspot.com

SEB said...

Blogging must be a pretty lucrative career if you can afford that place! What does your husband do?

Debbie said...

I grew up in a military family so lived all over the place. My parents were both born an raised in Maine and that is where we moved when it was time for our son to start school. It was the best decision we ever made! Maine - it's the way life should be!

Anonymous said...

Didn't you say your husband was private about money? Eeks!

Alexa said...

this is so exciting! apartment hunting in nyc is one of the most daunting tasks i've ever undertaken, but oh gosh is it fun to look--and find :)

i was just in brooklyn heights yesterday and it really is a beautiful, quaint neighborhood. i'm 24 and single, so these thoughts are a few years away for me, but i'd love to raise a family in/around nyc. it's a world away from my small town southern upbringing--which is wonderful in its own way!

Michelle Glauser said...

That dining room red gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling in my heart.

princess butterfly said...

If we had jobs that would bring us back to NY, we would live in Brooklyn in a heart beat. At this point in our lives, I think we would prefer Brooklyn to Manhattan. There just seems to be a more welcome family vibe out there. Don't get me wrong, I love visiting and playing in the city, but I also like to retreat back to a 'homey' home.

Best of luck in the decisions!

J.Elizabeth said...

I know you're both pretty avid New Yorkers, but have you considered Hoboken? Yes its New Jersey but its beautiful and you'd get crazy amount of space both inside and (gasp!) outdoor space. I live here and have a back deck and a grill. You might even have enough room for a puppy ... The path makes it so easy to jump back in the city. Just a thought!

Brooke said...

I grew up in Brooklyn during a different time...and not in a neighborhood that is at all trendy, even today. I shared a room with my sister. I really loved my childhood there. We moved to the 'burbs (long island) when I was 8. I always kind of wondered what life would be like if we hadn't left...

MyNameIs said...

I grew up in Manhattan and shared a room with my brother. My parents might have decided to stay in a tiny two bedroom if we were both girls - I have friends who shared a bedroom (and one bathroom!) until college!

I live in Brooklyn now and LOVE it. Come on over to the other side! It is much quieter and calmer here but there is still LOTS going on, delicious food, parks, bars, museums, music - and great bike riding!

Anonymous said...

We live in Ditmas Park, which is a super lovely neighborhood full of old victorian houses. It's the best of Brooklyn and the burbs all rolled into one! You should check it out.

Catherine said...

We lived in NYC with our 2 year old son (in the Theatre Disctrict). We went from a studio to a one bedroom in the same building.

But as my son began to approach school age, we decided to leave NYC and move to Toronto, Canada. Instead of making a move to Brooklyn or NJ, like most of our friends, we took a big leap and left the U.S.

I am from Toronto, but my husband is a New Yorker. He applied for immigration status, received a job transfer to a Toronto office with his NYC company, and we started anew north of the border.

At first we lived in a condo in an area called Harbourfront, along the lake, in downtown Toronto. It happens to be my favourite neighbourhood in the city (here are a few photos http://sweetspectacle.blogspot.ca/2012/03/this-is-our-neighburhood-on-sunday.html).

But soon, we wanted a little more space for my son, a garden, and an ideal school. So, we recently moved to an area called North Toronto (still downtown, but filled with families and tree-lined streets, very Park Slope).

Despite the fact that moving was he best thing for our family, I still miss NYC. My American husband loves living in Toronto and has no interest in moving back to the U.S. I, on the other hand, have a few other ideas for the future :)

Celeste said...

How exciting! On all counts.
I shared with my sister for years (until I was 15, actually) and I am so glad I did. I learned tolerance for having people in my space, which helped when I went off to college so much! I'm pro-room sharing.
Best of luck.

Christine said...

I live in a teeny tiny town in northern Wisconsin and the other night (after celebrating my fiancé's birthday at the bar) we forgot to even SHUT the front door. Wide open all night. Who needs locks when the door doesn't shut!
We're moving into our first place of our own on Sunday, the day after our wedding - can't wait!

Anonymous said...

Move to BK! You won't regret it. The culture, the people, the diversity, the FOOD, the fun is all amazing. I'm a Manhattan girl who moved to BK two years ago, and I would never move back to Manhattan after all the glorious sites I've seen in Brooklyn. Highly encourage this!

Carol said...

That apartment is beautiful!

I didn't grow up in Brooklyn or Manhattan - I grew up in Perth, Western Australia. It's nothing at all like New York and while it can feel a bit sleepy when you're in your 20's, it's a great city. It's so clean and the weather is amazing.

I grew up in an old 4 bedroom house as the youngest of 4 siblings. I shared a room with my brother when I was younger, but got my own room when I was about 8 or 9. We had a big playroom and a HUGE backyard, with trees to climb, a trampoline, a pool and a big dog. And it was awesome.

I don't know where I'll end up when the time comes for kids (I'm just about to move to the UK). But I've always thought that I would never raise kids in an apartment, I would want a place with a big yard and plenty of space.

Anonymous said...

I'd love to know the square footage of your current apartment. My husband and I live in a teeny tiny "2 bedroom" cottage in Los Angeles (under 600 sq ft I believe) and are thinking about expanding our family. Curious what you are working with.

Anonymous said...

We lived in a tiny apt in midtown west when we got married and till our son was 9 months... Then we moved to Austin and we love it here! Good luck to you and your adorable family!

Teddi b said...

Hi Joanna,

I moved to Denver about 8 years ago 8 months pregnant with my second child after living 4 years in a one bedroom walk-up on the upper West side. I just couldn't do it anymore. I wanted my kids to have a big yard and a house they could grow up in. I so miss my favorite NYC, but gave it up for my kids, boo. We love it here though!

Diana said...

man, big time decisions. Funny thing is that I was under the impression that you already lived in Brooklyn! hahaha. So I think it would be fitting for you and your fambam.
I was born and raised in LA, but at the same time I don't know if I would raise my kids here or could even afford raising a family in this city (deciding on public schools in LA can be a nightmare and private schools are very $$$). It's such a different story when you factor kids into the equation...
You're always shelling out awesome posts, simple yet though provoking!
Good luck on the move!!!
xoxoo

Kathleen said...

I was born in San Jose, CA, but moved to a ranch in rural San Luis Obispo County when I was five. I have 5 brothers and 1 sister. my sister and i shared a room until she went away to college for one semester (she missed home so much) and then moved back and got married a few months later. i really missed her! she was so comforting when I was scared at night. even though we had twin beds if i was scared she would let me get in bed with her. we've lived in small towns ever since. my husband built out current house and we've lived here for 27 years and raised our 4 children here. i want to live here the rest of my life. i love the apartment!!!

Sara said...

We were living in California, but when my husband and I were ready to start a family we bought some property in the small town in Washington State that I grew up in. I wanted my kids to be able to play in the woods like I did growing up. We have a huge vegetable garden, a wrap-around porch, I love it. I sometimes miss the conveniences of living in a city (Seattle is 45 minutes away), but it is worth it to me for this stage of our life. I think sharing rooms is good for kids :) My sister and I shared a room until I was about 6. When my parents moved us into our own rooms we would sneak into each other's room to sleep.

VintageDanielle said...

I grew up in CT so I was always close to NYC. I'm moving to VA in August and had to search for an apartment and lease without being to look at it (10 hour drive wasn't justifiable) so I'm more nervous than anything.

Anonymous said...

I live in Ditmas area (Flatbush) Brooklyn. We lucked into a wreck of a single family Victorian. My house rocks, but I would love to be back on the Upper West Side or out of the city altogether. The school issues really suck and are of serious concern. Oh, and we have 2.5 year old with 2.0 on the way.

Signorina M said...

I just love househunting posts (that appartment is amazing)! So, I'll be super happy if you decide to share your househunting process with us readers. :)

I'm from Finland, but I currently live in Italy with my italian husban-to-be and two dogs. We lived in Milan for few years, but moved to a smaller city a year ago for many reasons; one of them being to be able to start thinking about starting a family.. In a small city life is less expensive, and more safe.

Sure there are plenty of pro's living in the city too (lot's of things to do and see, schools to choose from, etc.), but for me it's very important that our future children will have a little garden where they can play and taste self grown strawberries.. ;)

sian said...

househunting is fun but the actual process of selling/buying/moving = hugely stressful. sounds like you might end up doing the whole thing while preggo. we did that, i was 8.5 month pregnant when we finally moved in and we had a lovely home birth surrounded by boxes of our belongings. why do people always move house, undertake massive building works or buy a big dog when they're expecting?!?

we live in brighton on the south coast of england in a skinny victorian terrace. it's a fab town for bringing up kids EXCEPT i have had to accept that our boys may end up with southern accents - gulp.

good luck with the hunt. x

Lisa said...

We're about to move out of Berlin for work reasons, but I think it's a GREAT place to raise kids! Really kid-friendly, but at the same time very urban. The only real downside is that it is so sprawling that it takes forever to get anywhere.

We're going to the North German coast now, and I'm pretty excited to raise my kid by the sea.

Casey said...

I moved to Brooklyn two years ago and never want to leave. Right now, I live in Greenpoint, but could definitely see moving to Brooklyn Heights/Park Slope in a few years. Brooklyn is magic.

Volare said...

I grew up in a small college town in Illinois, but have always felt so at home in Brooklyn. My fiancee and I are actually in the process of closing on an apt in Sunnyside, Queens now. Just last night, I was home here in the Gowanus feeling majorly melancholy about leaving our neighborhood. We've come to know our neighbors and have a really awesome life here. However, buying in our beloved neighborhood is out of the question.

So, I'm treating myself to a little bit of sad time, but then focusing on all the positives to come: elevator!, washing machines!, views of the city!, 2 real bedrooms!...it is taking some adjusting, but at least I'll still be in my lovely city (and a train ride away from the "home I grew up in" within New York.) Also watching some Woody Allen and reminding myself everything is as it should be :)

Best of luck in your search! It really is quite fun.

Wendy said...

Living vicariously through you, Joanna. :) Oh to live in a little brownstone in Brooklyn and have the city across the bridge!!!

Lauren E. said...

I know you get TONS of comments on here and I'm not sure you ever get to read them all, but my boyfriend and I moved to Astoria for the reason that most people leave Manhattan: space and money. I know Queens is not as "cool" as Brooklyn, but the amount of space you get for the rent prices is unheard of, and half the cost of Brooklyn. We're just as close to Manhattan (if not closer to midtown), the neighborhoods are just as safe, if not safer, than Brooklyn, and a good friend of mine rents an entire free-standing 2 story HOUSE (complete with a backyard that includes a fig tree and a peach tree and concord grape vines!) for $2500 a month. Central Park is a 10 minute subway ride away and the entire neighborhood is incredibly family friendly. If you've never considered it, I highly recommend it! I'd never live in any other neighborhood (and... our building is FULL of kids). Happy hunting!

Lauren E. said...

PS A friend who lives in the 'hood writes a stay-at-home-dad blog you'd probably enjoy http://skinnedkneesinshortpants.blogspot.com/

He references Astoria all the time as a great place to raise kids.

Wilkie said...

Nth-ing downtown Jersey City! I live down by the Hudson waterfront, a few blocks from the Grove Street and Exchange Place PATH stations, and can easily get to say Union Square Greenmarket in about 20-25 minutes from my front door. Not that I usually need to, since there are five different farmers markets a week within a couple blocks of my house. Lots of gorgeous (and roomy, for farrrrr less $ than BK) brownstones with yards, a huge arts community, young progressive families, parks & activities for kids (we just took our six-year-old to a fantastic local children's theater that also runs a summer writing & acting camp) ... etc! etc! anyway! So yeah, I get excited, and really love the neighborhood. Best of luck with the search!

Dóri said...

that place looks amazing!
good luck on your house hunting. :)

www.sparklingcharcoal.blogspot.com

Freya Lily said...

My parents moved to LA from England in the 80's and when my sister and I were in their future vision, they moved to Portland, OR. It was the best place to grow up. Back then, it was still dumpy and we had some land. Now it's more bustling and I still love it.

I would love to live in Brooklyn!! Next year, my boyfriend's job may take us to New Jersey but he said he would consider moving to Brooklyn and accept a bit more of a commute!

Fromfreyawithlove.blogspot.com

Aja Lake [the gold hat.] said...

what a beautiful home! i'm a fifth generation native floridian but sometimes i dream of the city:)

xx,
Aja Lake
the gold hat.

Erin Marra said...

We moved to Pelham, NY. Great town- right over the border of the Bronx in Westchester County, 25 minute train ride to Grand Central, Lots of interesting people, warm community. And I said I'd NEVER leave the city. . .

Anonymous said...

Love the thought of another Jo-Alex baby! Brooklyn sounds great!

Ashley / Happy Penguin Press said...

Oh my, I'd move into that bedroom in a heartbeat! My family moved all the time, and I often shared a room with my little sister. There were times I loved it and times I didn't, as siblings will be. :)

Anne Lariviere said...

I bought an apartment in Brooklyn last June and I love it! It's in Fort Greene and if you have not looked here yet, you really should. The location is perfect: it has proximity to subways, beautiful park, and tons of delicious restaurants.

Amanda said...

I grew up on the West Coast and lived in an airy, windowed house in the hills of Eugene, OR. Now I have three daughters (4,6,7) and live at the base of a mountain between Saratoga Springs and Lake George. We've constructed a tree fort for the girls and have a garden w/broccoli, cukes, tomatoes, beans and herbs that the girls pick for me. They alternate between living "orphan style" (their term, not mine. They love Annie) with three beds and having their own rooms.

All that said, they are rhapsodic about NYC. I think the gift in any home is that it gives you a place to love as well as places far away to appreciate.

Good luck on the home and womb front ;)

Ali said...

Are you sure you can't take that fabulous place? Jordan at Oh Happy Day made a lovely bedroom for her two boys in a closet and they looked happy as pie and cozy to boot.

Emily R said...

Last year I moved from the West Coast to NY with my two boys (both in elementary school). I think I ended up mostly stressed about the school they would be going to and the safety of the neighborhood. I know people love Brooklyn, but I love Forest Hills. My dream is to one day afford a place of our own in The Gardens - honestly, it's like they took some old English town and transported it to NY - tudor houses, shrub lined yards and all.

Anonymous said...

i am a huge fan of your blog -- but i think this post made me realize that i am nowhere close to having a life like yours, nor will i ever be. my husband and i can't afford to buy in the HOOD of the the same city that you love. right now, we rent in astoria. again, not trying to be a hater -- but i think i just need to realize that reading your blog is just like reading a magazine or seeing some movie that makes me want a life i will never have.

Anonymous said...

We live in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. In the past year their has been a baby boom of 25-35yr old first time parents. You can't walk down the street without passing a stroller. Mommy happy hrs at bars on Mondays. A huge pool is opening in a week in MacCarren Park. Waterfront, Good food. It's getting really expensive so many are retreating as all the Manhattan folk invade :). I love to hate it. We have a 14month old son and it's great, but at times it's almost too much. We are thinking of moving to Jersey actually. I think one is doable but not two in Brooklyn unless you have a lot of money. Best of Luck on expanding your family! I adore your little family.

CamMi Pham said...

that is a lovely house i used to look at houses a lot but i have never seen a nice small house like that....the nice one always in the 3M+ range...even 1-2 M most of the house's interior design still look horrible
x
cammi
http://www.cammilicious.com

Anonymous said...

We moved to Brooklyn Heights for that very reason, but now that w have a kiddo we never get out to see th city... But we're still paying insane rates for mortgage, groceries, and more. We're thinking of moving back to my hometown, Cleveland, which I swore i'd never do, but i can't see it nattering much for the next 10 years or so.

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