8.01.2013

TRAVELS WITH ALEX: WILLIAMSBURG AND OTHER THINGS



i feel like i'm getting my new york city back. the new york city that was mine before it started to belong to other people, if you know what i mean. 

when you first move to a place you sort of have to make it yours. you have to own it. i have a theory about this, but that's not the point. the point is that when you move to a place like new york city it is huge and you are small but you find these little pockets and certain street corners that somehow in the process of being lost and overwhelmed accidentally become undeniably yours. for a little while there it felt like nothing here was mine anymore. but today it felt like i'd taken my city back.

we stopped in at a subway sandwich shop on 5th and twenty-somethingth to get us a giant diet coke (take that, bloomberg!), and as we walked in i realized that i'd been there before. we stopped there for lunch one day when huck wasn't quite ten months old. we sat at that table right there! i remembered. and just like that i was there with my then huck and my now huck, and my then me and my now me, and and alex was there too and it was all so wonderful i could have kissed that filthy old table right there. without my knowing it, that little table had been mine all along; a little pocket of me.

it was a good diet coke, too.

ready or not! our day in photos.


55 comments :

  1. Sending all the best wished to Alex. Starting over is hard work, but it can be the beginning of something great. Best you start teaching the Huckleberry how to use the camera ;)

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  2. God your photos are stunning. You can take pictures of mundance things or activities and make them pure art. I envy that. Also best of luck to your sister, its a very hard decision she made, but obviously the right one, which takes a lot of guts. You two are truly (a good) something ! xoxo

    Madeline | Its a Mads Mads World

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  3. I love your sisters outfit. Haha I can't wait until Huck is old enough to start taking your pictures. -Hanna Marie

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  4. The midwest (more specifically...Omaha!) is one of the best kept secrets in this whole country. Dead serious! So tell Alex she's always more than welcome. :)

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  5. That part about starting over. o my. I needed that right now. like right now. thank you for writing those very important and refreshing words. sending my very best, encouraging energy Alex's way right now. she gets to start over and that is a very exciting and freeing prospect. even if it doesn't feel entirely that way right now.

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  6. You have such an exquisite way with words. So talented. Thank you for letting us into your life through your words. Because I could read them all day!

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  7. How do you Lovin ladies make a simple t-shirt and jeans look so good?! And: the parts about starting over--hit the nail on its dang head.

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  8. Yep, as a military wife, I know exactly what you mean about starting over -- "getting" to do it again and again. I recently wrote a post on it. It's exhausting. And as you put it, "slumpy." Oh yes. But it's good too. Hang in there, Alex! And you as well!

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  9. how fun it must be to have a sister. jealous, party of one over here.
    but really. you two and these photos and your jeans and your pretty hair and gramercy park and the tap dancing and the sandwich shops! oh my! in my book, you have it all. and by all, I mean all the best little things with all the best people.

    I love the idea of having little pockets of a city that are "yours", especially when that city is new york. what an unlikely pair. thanks for that.

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  10. that nowheres-ville stage of life? oh i know it well. belonging nowhere and everywhere at once. the good news is that it's exactly where she is meant to be. perfect and meant, perfect and meant, say it on repeat and it slowly begins to be the start of what will become your favorite song.

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  11. Love your writing as usual! Always gives me a little peace of mind. But now I must ask, where did you find those adorable sunnies??

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  12. To Alex: I feel ya girl. Big breakups really knock the wind out of you feeling hopelessly lost and utterly confused. I'm right there with you. It's exhausting to say the very least. Time marches on, you move forward, and the sweetness returns. Which is just not helpful when you want specific answers of what to do. Life is hard but we are all very capable of hard things. My heart aches with you just from the little Natalie has divulged. Prayer, prayer, prayer.

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  13. I am rooting for Alex to stay in NY with you, I'm loving all the sister pics! I think you described the state of transition so well. Alex, you are beautiful and good luck in your new beginnings.

    (and I am in love with your bag.)

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  14. I know just how you feel! When we moved from California to Germany a few years back, it was easy to feel completely lost and as if nothing were 'ours'. Forget the whole new, big place, the language alone was enough to feel as if we were drowning. Now that our slump has set in and we have firmly decided to start again in another new, bigger German city (Berlin!), the excitement and the scariness has started to set in a little bit. But I know, as with any great city, we will find 'our' places and it too will become home. Thanks for the reflections, Natalie. Couldn't have come at a better time.

    Also, really digging your shoes. Per usual.

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  15. You two are the cutest !

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  16. Good grief - I love when you have a new post because they are like opening a gift on Christmas morning! I'm so excited and soak in the words. I'm sure Alex is in a slump, but you turned it around by saying she "gets" instead of she "has to". Amazing things await her! xo

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  17. amazing photos! love this outings posts...and about Alex I really hope she gets it together soon, I'm sure she will, she is lucky to have you :) best wishes!

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  18. A diet soda would not have been banned.

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  19. Where did Alex get that purple shirt? Love it! You guys look great.

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  20. You two are beautiful ladies. I love your photos Natalie, I always do!
    My thoughts are with Alex. She should take lots of comfort from the fact you're confident she'll strut out the other end of this feeling really good - and she will, eventually! It must be a real limbo and only time will give her more pockets that are hers. Best of luck to her.
    And I'm sorry she will be leaving you soon! I wish I had a sister because you guys look like great friends.
    xxxxx

    Flora
    www.twowithseven.blogspot.co.uk

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  21. I just adore your blog so much Nat. I feel like usually I visit blogs just to *look*, but with yours, I always come to *read*. Your writing just blows me away, every time. You and your sister are just beautiful! x

    www.ciderwithrosie.com

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  22. I'll come and take ridiculous photos of you Natalie! (that sounds super creepy)

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    Replies
    1. that's just what i thought but just couldn't get myself to write it in my comment. ha ha.

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  23. i love the way you write, natalie. always a pleasure to read.

    the »getting out of the slump« part is always the hardest. facing it is a good start. it is scary though. i wish you sister all the best.

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  24. That Bloomberg comment made me laugh. And I loved that whole entire paragraph about Alex's slump, and slumping in general. Not that I like that she's in a slump, because that's a real bummer and I hope she finds her place again soon. I just liked the way you wrote it.

    Also, can you tell me where both of your jeans came from? I'm experiencing such jean-envy right now.

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  25. Love this, Natalie. I totally get slumps, too. I know they're inevitable and they often come before something good, but in the middle they still feel never-ending. Best of luck to your sister, I can tell she's the kind of person who will take life by the storm and not apologize for it, and I think that's awesome.

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  26. Wishing you both all the best! Luckily she's got a sister like you to help her through!

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  27. ahhhhh LOVE! i can't wait to move back to ny!!!

    xoxo kerri
    kerrinchance.blogspot.com

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  28. Love you both. For Alex, I recommend reading plenty of A.A. Milne. It is miraculous for heartbreak. "Don't underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can't hear, and not bothering."

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  29. So jealous of this trip. like forreal.

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  30. I don't want this series to end! I was just in New York last weekend and I ended up at a gay bar in Williamsburg with a drag queen singing "Killing Me Softly" (the Fugees version) to me (and the rest of the crowd, but it felt like she was just singing to me, you know?), and that was the best impression it could have left on me. But the two hours we wandered around looking for a place that didn't feel like a scene also elicited a "meh" from me.

    That said, good luck to Alex. These posts have made me ache for my own sisters. Oh, also, the way you wrote about Alex's slump, I think you would write great children's books. You have a way of writing about difficult or heavy subjects in a way that makes them less frightening or mind boggling. You make them seem simple and conquerable, and well, that's what I think good children's books are made of.

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  31. natalie, you are so good at writing about life. so many times i read something here and think: yes, that's it! you put into words so many hard-to-express (at least for me) feelings. i am so very excited for your book, and i totally agree that you should write a children's book! i hope that things become very un-slumpy for alex soon. big hugs to her (if virtual hugs from strangers on the internet are of any help).

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  32. I need to explore nyc more. I live and work in the bronx but iblove exploring and its been awhile since ive gotten lost in the city with my camera..... thanks for the impsiration. And i secretly hope to run into you and that oh so adorable little guy of yours!

    Good luck to Alex and may she keep her head up as she starts a new chapter in her life. She is young and beautiful. There is so much to do and see out in this world!

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  33. This series was really beautiful. I applaud your sister for her bravery and her strength. Life goes on and she is a testament to that. And it's so amazing you were there for her this whole time. The two of you are beautiful souls.

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  34. Im coming to NYC in the fall. Lets get together and I will take lots of photos of you!!!

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  35. a) that paragraph about alex starting over is beyond beyond beyond. it's just straight truth and i am so grateful for those words right now

    anddd
    b) that picture of the flatiron is DIVINE. like i want to blow up print and frame it divine

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  36. Umm (I'm a straight and taken but...) Alex has some of the most delicious lips ever.

    xx
    josie
    www.straightnochase.com

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  37. I loved this post.
    You made me wanna be somewhere else, new, finding my own pockets :)

    Thanks for this
    Vix

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  38. I live in Williamsburg (although nowhere near Bedford, no way, never, no how, not a chance) and I love my 'hood and really love my apartment but I totally get what you mean. It's so easy sometimes to forget I'm in NEW YORK. Not just some whatever normal city. And then I walk up to Bedford area and I really feel like I'm in a joke. Or something, I don't know.

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  39. oh, and you two made me wanna have a sister so badly (I'm an only child)
    :)

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  40. I love this post.
    Also - I love that bag & must know where you got it! :)

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  41. Where is your bag from? It's amazing!!

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  42. Oh geez louise I needed this today-I'm doing the same thing as Alex...figuring it all out and boy is it terrifying but you know I think God has to have a bigger plan in mind. Love you girls and lots of prayers for Alex and her path xo

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  43. I've been in that slump too! It's amazing though how the Lord just kinda let's everything fall into place..
    xo Lisa
    Making Life's Lemons

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  44. Did you get that tattoo you have been wanting? That circle on you arm? Also loved this post, you two are so beautiful!

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  45. Bella! Pretty sisters and what a wonderful post on NY. I think I need to apply that to London.

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  46. OMG your bag! May I ask where its from?

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  47. you are such a good sister! tell alex i'm going through something very similar and friends and family are where its AT! she's not alone

    xo xo

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  48. Your sister is not alone. It really is a brave thing to do. Even though it seems silly to say so.

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  49. That's not so fun for your sister right now. It sucks to be in a place where you're not sure where to go, or what to do. I've been there! And I'm going to be there again in the future I'm sure!
    But I hope that she figures out the right thing for her :)

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  50. i lived in gramercy park until a month ago when i moved to fort greene and yes...memory of memories, was proposed to inside gramercy park. we often talk about when we're old and shuffling about we'll be stopping the young kids walking past us at the park and saying "see...right there! that's where he got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife!" a magical place indeed.

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  51. Your bag is amazing!!!! May I ask where its from? :)

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  54. Hello! I love this bag you have in the first pic. Where did you get if please?
    thank you! You're lovely!

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