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updates from the bradfields
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25 Jun 06 A party day for the Bradfields

We were running all over Toronto today in the name of fun. Our first stop was my Uncle Bill’s 75th birthday party and a celebration of his engagement to his partner Eva. It was great to see many family members. Marley had a chance to hang out with her second cousin, Anna (my cousin Michael’s daughter who is only a few months older than Marley).

Anna and Marley sipping OJ

After this bash, we made our way back to the west-end for Matthew Milburn’s 5th birthday. The dinosaur-themed party was great too. A homemade dinosaur cake was incredible and the kids were so excited to be together.

What's a birthday without dinosaurs? Check out the dinosaur cake

07 Jun 06 We have a place to live!

Just a quick update, I signed a lease yesterday for the apartment on 9th Street. So we now have a place to live! Yay!

Here’s a shot of the building we’ll be in. It’s the salmon coloured building. I can’t bring myself to say pink yet. For more photos, view our Park Slope album on Flickr.

Our building on 9th Street

06 Jun 06 Meeting the landlord

Today, I head back to New York for a business meeting. I am scheduled on this trip to go back to see the apartment on 9th Street and then meet the landlord. If all goes well, we might even sign a lease.

It’s funny, as we do all this trying to find a place to live stuff, we’re getting ready to do the opposite at home, readying our house for rent. We’re about to become landlords ourselves. I think that will be our next big stressor.

We really have so much on the horizon, between the move, my new job, the new baby, preparing Marley for the move and Karyn’s new life in New York. It’s going to be a challenging time. If we can get through this…

04 Jun 06 House-hunting in New York City (pt 3)

Brooklyn was great! In fact, we’re going back today to spend more time in Park Slope. We went back last night as well for dinner. We ate at a great bistro called Bellevue at 5th and 5th.

Yesterday when we surfaced at the 9th Avenue stop on the F subway line, both Karyn and I turned to each other and smiled. It was one of those moments where you know you’re both in sync. We’d found the place that felt most like home.

The first place we saw was on 9th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues. It was good. The ad billed it as a “garden duplex”. This means the tenants get the main floor and basement, plus a small garden. It was funny though. When we first viewed the apartment, we didn’t even notice that the kitchen was in the basement. Apparently this is quite normal. The apartment had a good-sized principal room, a bathroom, three bedrooms and two closets on the main floor. The basement contained the kitchen, a pantry, a second bathroom, a laundry room, a small spare room and an eating area. It also had the walkout to the garden. We could see ourselves there and asked Henry to express our interest.

We then carried on to Williamsburg for lunch and to view another apartment. We ate at a very cool spot called “Lodge” and then made our way to a beautiful duplex apartment. It was incredibly finished, with a great backyard, but the neighborhood was a little dodgy. Nice but not ideal for where we envision ourselves living.

This afternoon, we made our way back to Roosevelt Island to see another new building called the Octagon. It was good, but expensive. Par for the course. There was one thing that bugged me though, and I think it’s just a personal pet peeve. Parquet floors. I don’t know what it is about parquet floors, but I don’t like them. The ones we saw creaked and crackled beneath our feet. I much prefer planked hardwood floors or broadloom.

Today is our last day in New York. Hopefully we luck out with the place on 9th Street. It’s really close to Prospect Park, which seems to be quite beautiful and is a stone’s throw from great shopping and restaurants on 7th Avenue.

03 Jun 06 House-hunting in New York City (pt 2)

So we’re off to Brooklyn today. Quite a few people have told us that Brooklyn is great, especially Brooklyn Heights and Williamsburg. We don’t have anything lined up in Brooklyn Heights, and to be honest I don’t think we could afford there. Manhattan was too expensive for us, at least for what you get.

Moving from Toronto has forced us to evaluate what’s really important to us. We know that the kids can share a room. And outdoor space is a luxury. Parking? Well, let’s not even go there. But convenience, ah yes. Apparently everything we could possibly want is within walking distance or can be delivered. Everything else is just a short subway ride.

So going to Brooklyn means that we may find the perfect mix. More on that later…