Chipotle Coming to Cobble Hill

Few things in life make me so happy I can cry. My wedding day was one. The birth of my son was definitely another. And the recent discovery that a Chipotle Mexican Grill is coming to my neighborhood brought me to tears. Literally.

It’s not like there isn’t already a Chipotle close by. The one in Brooklyn Heights is a 10 minute walk and around the corner from our bank. We normally pay (no pun intended) the two a visit once a week. But now that we’re in Cobble Hill, the Heights is kind of a hike, especially in the winter when it’s cold and gets dark super-early. So the fact that the new one is going to be just up the street from us is more than convenient.

While doing errands on Friday, I glanced through the open door and saw stools and a maroon menu board. Though still under construction, the familiar decor was unmistakable. I tweeted Chipotle shortly after, told them how excited I was and they responded, “We hope to see you around the beginning of December!”

The new Chipotle is at 140 Court Street and will be adjacent to Trader Joe’s and the Brooklyn Wine Exchange. It stands to get a gut renovation seeing how it was home to a pet store for as long as I’ve lived here. When Beastly Bites’ rent went up last year, they moved out and opened up shop across the street. This small store front has sat empty for over a year!

Posing in front of the soon-to-be Chipotle on Court St., my husband gets a kick out of my love for their vegetarian burrito bowl.

It’s a brilliant move location-wise. Sure it’s a chain, but a Chipotle in Cobble Hill makes a whole lot more sense then the Five Guys Burger and Fries that opened up in July 2011 and didn’t even survive a year.

My childhood friend and upstairs neighbor likes to hate on Chipotle, mainly because I like it. He calls it “glorified fast food.” Maybe it is, but at least it’s healthy fast food.

Welcome to the neighborhood Chipotle!!


A Bittersweet Move

I am anxious. I am torn. And I am excited. We are moving this weekend.

The good news is that we’re leaving our one bedroom apartment in our Brooklyn neighborhood for a three bedroom apartment down the block. We’re leaving behind floor to ceiling windows with partial Manhattan views for a quiet street view in a one floor walk-up that costs less than a two bedroom where we live now. We’re moving up (no pun intended), but why then am I so sad?

Brooklyn sky

One of my favorite things about our Brooklyn neighborhood is the strong sense of community it invokes. The community which I feel so connected to is even more present in the building I have lived in for the last seven years. With 320 apartments, we don’t just have a lot of friends here, but our dog Ella does, too. Of the few hundred apartments at The Courthouse at least half have dogs. We have forged close relationships with neighbors over the years and with the staff, too. Two doormen in particular. We have seen new life enter the building, our own son Mylo included. We’ve also seen old life – like the producer with Lou Gehrig’s disease – leave the building. And tragically, not so old life, like the mom on the eighth floor who recently left behind two young children. And of course Kitty died here, too.

It would have been nice to stay on in our building. Two years ago we left our cozy studio in the south tower for our big one bedroom in the north tower. Having a baby in a one bedroom apartment was doable until Mylo was five months old and no longer co-sleeping peacefully. It became even more difficult though at about eight months when he wasn’t even sleeping in his crib peacefully.

So the kid got the room and mom and dad moved out into the living room. That’s right. We’ve been sleeping on the floor college-style since April. It’s been fun, and cozy, and I’ve grown accustomed to watching my Tivo’d shows in bed, but let’s face it, it ain’t practical. So moving to a three-bedroom is a big huge step up. I should be happy, right? I am.

But I am also sad. There are lots and lots of memories here that don’t quite feel transportable — I can’t pack them in a box with all our belongings and take them with us.

But I will try.

Beers and Babies, My Guest Post on CafeMom’s The Stir

The wonderful Michele Zipp of The Stir was kind enough to let me guest post about my beer drinking, breastfeeding forays around my Brooklyn neighborhood. She was a bit perturbed. Not because I enjoy the occasional beer while breastfeeding my son, but because she’s a breastfeeding mom of twins who happens to live just a few blocks from me. Small world, right?? Well you can bet who’s getting an invite at the next bar meet-up!

You can check out the post, here.


Springtime in Brooklyn, if Only for One Day

It was an absolute gorgeous spring day in New York City today. There’s something in a New Yorker’s’ step when the first signs of spring begin to unfurl themselves. The sidewalks are jam packed with strollers, parks fill up with screaming children, restaurants with sidewalk seating become standing room only.

I spent the day in the new park at the foot of Atlantic Avenue with my son Mylo, four of my mommy friends and their sons.

Matias, Odin, Mylo, Eli and Lucas


The wind coming off the river had our hair running amok.

My friend Katie and I peeled off and took a stroll down Court Street so our little guys could nap. We landed outside Abilene’s where we sucked back a couple of pints and a plate of nachos, too.

The park, the boys, the sun, the Hoegaardens, the nachos. It was all very wonderful. And very telling of a delightful season that’s just around the corner!

Teaching Manners to Children Other than Your Own

Growing up, manners were no small joke in our household. Lessons learned that I used to find embarrassing I am grateful for today. I was taught to not only say hello to the parent of a friend I was calling on the telephone but announce who I was. Friends who called me on the phone and gave the usual, “Is Reedu there?” were answered by my mom with a “Yes,” and a dial tone.

Something else they ingrained in our youthful psyche is to always respect our elders. That not only meant holding open doors, we were also taught to offer up our seat as well. Respect for my elders became more finely tuned years later when I began volunteering with hospice and Alzheimer’s patients in New York City.

While I am grateful that my friends’ parents found me polite and respectful, and that elderly people have had visions of me settling down with their grandsons, I don’t know that I would have taken lightly to such discipline being enforced by anyone other than my folks.

So you could imagine my horror, (not necessarily surprise) when me and my mom were exiting Chipotle today and she snapped at two kids who didn’t hold open the door for me and the monstrosity of a baby stroller that I was pushing.

The kids were 12, maybe 13 years old and were walking in through the first set of double doors as we happened to be walking out of the second set of double doors. They changed their young, adolescent minds at the last second and turned out the door they just came through with the glass making a notable thud against the front tire of my baby jogger.

It was not purposeful so I didn’t think much of it, especially when I saw a package of “bang snaps” in their hands. But my mom thought a whole lot of it and let them know. She marched up to them and cracked, “You don’t close a door on a baby carriage!” Bang. Snap.

Should manners be taught by non-parents?

Up until that point they stood on the busy Brooklyn sidewalk giggling and frantically trying to open the package of bang snaps as if they were about to pull off the prank of all pranks on a friend who was following close behind. But now they stood there dazed and confused, looking around for a baby stroller. (Mind you I was I was halfway down the block at this point.)

Part of me knows that my mom was merely trying to protect me and stick up for me, which I appreciate, as I would certainly do the same for my children. But at the same time, I took issue with the fact that she felt the need to discipline somebody else’s children. I’m not sure I would want a perfect stranger scolding my son should he get caught up in an innocent pubescent moment. And there will be many of them, I am sure.

Maybe it was the zen mood that comes with a satisfying meal at my favorite fast food joint, maybe it was the kids’ look on their faces as they facetiously negotiated the bang snaps, or maybe it was the fact that children today are hopeless. In any case, I didn’t think it was a big deal. I also didn’t think it warranted a lesson from my mom.

My thinking is that kids who purposely close doors on women with baby carriages, or on their elders’ for that matter, will have many of life’s doors close on them. What’s that saying… what goes around comes around?

How do you feel about other people, or even strangers for that matter, teaching manners to your children?

Gov. Cuomo Comes Through for Long Island College Hospital

I was thrilled to hear the news that New York State will reach into its coffers for the promised $62 million in grants needed to keep Long Island College Hospital alive and running. I wrote in an earlier post, here, about how LICH – the birthplace of my son Mylo and the hospital in my beloved Brooklyn neighborhood – could close as soon as next month after state officials said they were reconsidering the funding.

Cuomo coughs up money for troubled Long Island College Hospital.

The LICH grants are reported to be among more than 100 health grants totaling $683 million that Governor Cuomo has decided to reconsider.

It goes without saying that I am thrilled for the hospital, their staff and anyone who has plans to bring their children into the world there.

Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn May Close

Saying I was sad today when I read the news that Long Island College Hospital may close, is an understatement. I wrote about my experience giving birth at LICH in an earlier post, here.

I am not just lamenting the loss of the physical place where my son Mylo was born, but the loss of the place where I became a mom and where I first laid eyes on my son. Any time I drive by LICH now, whether from the BQE, Hicks Street or Atlantic Avenue, I feel indescribably moved. I glance up at the building where I gave birth and quickly count four floors up while trying to scan to the window that I labored behind until Mylo was born at 9:00 am. It’s not just any room. It’s a room where a lot of blood, sweat and tears produced precious life on August 9, 2010, and has been churning out babies since the 19th century.

Long Island College Hospital: Where I first laid eyes on my son.

And of course I can’t help but think about Janelle, LICH’s best labor and delivery nurse and Bebeth, the kindest nurse on maternity, and above all, Beverly, our midwife, who’s only privileges since St. Vincent’s closed, is at LICH.

I know what this means for Mylo’s future siblings — we were already planning to have home births from now on, but what does this mean for Janelle, Bebeth, Beverly and the 2,500 other employees at LICH? What does this mean for New York City, home to more than eight million people, now that a third area hospital may close? Cabrini Medical Center shut it’s doors in 2008, followed by St. Vincent’s in 2010.

What can I say? I hope Cuomo’s administration forks over the grants. I hope jobs will be saved. I hope babies will continue to be born there. I hope more women will become moms at LICH and have their lives changed, forever.

LICH In Danger Of Closing

Double 3’s

I turned 33 today. It’s the day I flew out of my mom’s vaj-jay-jay in Nigeria. It’s also my first birthday as a mom. And it’s for this very reason that the day I entered the world feels that much more important.

Mylo's trying to open, make that, EAT, my present!

Ever since I turned 30, birthdays have served as nothing more than a reminder that I am getting older. But now that I have this new role as a mom, each year that I age will also be marked with more wisdom (and hopefully more grace). I am responsible for guiding my son Mylo through this scary, albeit beautiful shifting terrain called life.

On a note-so-deep note, I began my morning as I like to begin most birthdays: with a run. And that’s not always easy being that my birthday is in February, and it doesn’t help that New York City has been getting slammed by fierce weather this winter. Luckily it was almost 40 degrees out with the sun shining when we took a 4-mile run over the Brooklyn Bridge.

Last year, while preggers I ran on my birthday with Jason and our foster dog, Lucy. This year I ran with Jason and Mylo, which is an extra treat AND an extra workout pushing a 20 pound jogging stroller and a 16 pound baby! I made us a late breakfast (J did the dishes), and then Jason is taking me to dinner at Buttermilk Channel tonight. Never ate their before and they are known to have a pretty killer pecan pie sundae. So much for that run this morning!

Cool Pad, School Bad

We went to look at a new-construction apartment last Sunday in Brooklyn. We weren’t initially looking to move until this summer, when our son Mylo is about 1 year-old, but that ever-ticking time bomb that serves as a reminder that we need a bigger apartment, is beginning to tick louder and louder.

We saw a few different units, and the one I liked the most was the one with the biggest open kitchen – which is ironic given the amount of cooking that I do. Another appeal of the apartment is that the bedrooms and living room overlooked a New York City public school yard. Convenient, I thought seeing how we’re looking to get at least five years out of our next apartment. But my Internet search on the school when we got home quickly killed any visions of me baking a casserole in the big kitchen while watching Mylo play in the schoolyard.

The apt. overlooked this NYC public school.

The school rated a 1 out of 10 and was hurting in the test scores and in the quality-of-teachers department. We didn’t take the pad. But even more alarming was that some parents reviewed the school as home to “Brooklyn’s roughest”. These are kids mind you, PK – 5! One parent wrote that her son came home with bumps and bruises. Bumps and bruises?!

It fast-forwarded me to a place of parenting that I haven’t even considered yet. Math homework, mean kids, schoolyard scuffles, bullying… was I prepared for any of this? No, not yet. Which is why we high-tailed it out of there and back to our cozy one-bedroom apartment complete with Manhattan views and our innocent, not-yet-ready-for-school 6-month old baby.

Still Sick

Hack. Wheeze. Cough.

After being fed-up of my almost-week long cold (that I so luckily got from my husband Jason and passed on to our son Mylo) I went to the Brooklyn Heights after-hours clinic on Sunday. The doctor I saw listened to my chest and told me I had an upper-respiratory infection. I told him I was breastfeeding and he prescribed me medication accordingly. An antibiotic and a steroid. I never really questioned him because a) he’s a doctor and knows better than me and b) I was willing to sniff glue if that’s what would make me feel better.

But it’s been 2 1/2 days since I have been on the meds and while my voice has cleared up, my cough certainly hasn’t. But I am so sick of hacking up a lung while I am mid-sentence that I went back to the doc’s office again this morning…

So $60 later (co-pays are a pricey $30 for each visit), the doctor I saw today told me I had nothing more than a common cold and that he never would have put me on an antibiotic. Seriously, WTF?