It has been a while I wanted to share with you my favorite restaurants in NYC. This time I chose to do it through a map. Super handy. I ll add more restaurants to it in the week to come and other maps will follow, best park, my favorite museums and many more.

Enjoy

Pour vous une liste de mes restaurants favoris à NYC profitez bien:

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Some tips on my top french restaurants:

1/Maison Harlem, love the food the ambiance the wine, it’s just like being in Chaletet les Halles in Paris or la butte Montmartre. Their ratatouille is amazing and there merguez home made, duck, tarte flambée…

2/La tarte Flambé highly recommended, to be tried asap

3/ If I want French or Swiss Raclette, I ll go to http://raclette.nyc ( Lower East Side)

4/Orsay for everything

5/ Demarchelier for the cheese fondue

Just click on the  Map… bon appetit

 

It has been a little while I wanted to write about our move from Luxembourg to New York !

We are travelers in our souls and until our finger tips, but this goes beyond traveling, even if, in its direct continuity!

If you follow me since the beginning or for a while you know that I am a French American girl brought up in Paris France, married to a Dutch guy, with 3 children born in Luxembourg, and a dog coming from Friesland and extensive traveler as he joined our family. and that I write my blog from my iPhone (at 95%).

For those who joined more recently here you are into the confidence 😉💫.

I take advantage of this post to thank you for following me, and to all passing by, I give you all a great smile!

So moving to NYC was meant to be, and arrived at the right time, NYC was not unknown to us all ( except to Rocky our dog ;-)).

But moving and becoming a habitant of NYC is different from all the visits we did to the big Apple before!

We moved from a very international and cosmopolitan  city  in the middle of the green  with around 107,247 inhabitants to one of the hugest country in the world, in one of the biggest city with around 8,336,697 New Yorkers.

Some of the people we would meet, would barely knew Luxembourg, and joke that the city had as many people as in a NYC block!

Funny how it did not feel like it, but yet the difference was obvious and the energy we found here as inhabitants was what we were looking for.

We were Green as it can be!

But happy, as if we were mounting a rodeo bull, we might have felt a little or let ourselves go with the speed, but soon managed to ride it and remind him of our own pace.

So much to deal with, first and most important for us was finding a good school for the kids, and leave near by Central Park for the sake of us all.

Further to our searches, we chose the apartment.

And off we go! New language for the kids even if they were familiar with English. There is a definite gap between understanding a little and getting fluent in writing and reading.

Sticking to the French ! Our French and European culture bursted even more after we arrived!

As visitor we were found of US food, as resident it was a “no way” for our daily meals, we had to find ways to get the quality of product we were used to! Hard hard hard, as we were very organic in Europe, possible for sure in the USA but so hard! You need to be attentive to everything, in the USA as a lot more is permitted as far as food’s production. In the USA the labels are mandatory to read, I am looking for Meat: hormone free/antibiotic free/ non GMO ! Pasture raised! Same with eggs, same with Dairy! I could write a complete book on that matter! Not mentioning the bread ( no high corn syrup or high fructose or non GMO) or flour ! So complicated not to mention the price of good quality food ! Outrageous! Welcome to the country where 12 eggs “good quality” would cost not less than 6$/13$ if you do not own your own  chicken 😰. To be clear as you cab see in the below pic, you cab find 12 Eggs for 2.79$ even in NYC, but What are They Made Of!!!! Well compliant to the Us regulations is not food to me if That means That the chicken were raised inside in pour conditions, fed with hormones, antibiotics GMO grains ! Further to animal cruelty it seems like not human friendly neither. Really sorry !

 
Some options for good organic good:

No wonder so many American have health issue, it s a sin to let them eat so bad! Not their fault! If you do not have enough money to eat quality product it is very hard, thus I think they might not realize… let’s come back to that an other moment…

The “relocation” story to be continued in Part 2… With some insides in discarding and what led me to reading Marie Kondo book, and meeting her at Barnes and Nobles yesterday at Union square, while she was sharing with her audience her Konmari method….
Feel free to follow and pass on…

A bientôt,

Hopeje

Instagram @hopeje

 

This is very central “theme” in my life, and one of the main concern of our Time.

Look at “Time” magazine, the abundance of clocks, our stressed figures running after time, do more in less time, faster, faster.

Wake up! Where we not laughing or horrified, while reading Alice in wonderland, or watching it on screen. “look at this rabbit”, “he is always late, running after time”.

Have we became that rabbit?

How do you value time?

This morning, we all overslept! First time in so long, at least 9 month or a year. Yes, we overslept, but thankfully we were on time, for my husband to arrive at his meeting, first late pass for my girls…Our first daughter was so concerned. Crazy stressed, for no reason, to me. She was the only one in her class not taking a test this morning, therefore she was really not missing anything, as she needed to wait for the others to finish that test, but being late makes her horrified! Since she is 3 years old and her first kindergarden teacher was bullying any late arrival parents and kids. I was back then also very stressed by time, and I am still in a way. But taking step back not to, and trying to get that stress out in my kids head as well. I will hate this teacher for ever, for what she did. She explained that she was trying to make us understand the necessity to be on time. How stupid, to put such a pressure on a 3-year-old little girl and her pregnant and working mother.

        Oh yes, I do understand the necessity to be on time. It has a very deep social meaning and helps people living together, adjusting their life “on the same timing”. It is indeed very useful and necessary when you impact on someone else “timing”. It is necessary to respect time when you gather people and need to achieve something as a group, a society, when it involves more than yourself; but should it be a stress, should it create anxiety? I have learned that you need to respect time when it involves others, or when time is mandatory. You would not want to cause harm to someone else, nor to be penalized by your “late arrival” (for example at work when someone counts on you at a precise timing, to arrive to an exam, in court, at an appointment etc…). Jean-Jacques Rousseau is always popping up in my head with “du contrat social et du droit politique”,  the social contract and of laws of politics, written in 1762 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Social_Contract, this came back as one of the most likable thing I have had the privilege to learn in my life.

Time passes anyway, the sun goes up in the morning and down in the night. Season goes by and year passes by; the question is what is your priority? Time ? Moment? Just living, without prioritizing?

But let’s go back to my first question, how do you value time?

La cigale et la fourmi de Jean de la Fontaine (the ant and the cricket by Jean de la Fontaine), is a central written piece. The cricket enjoys the spring and summer, he sings and enjoy life, while the aunt is gathering food to survive the coming winter.This amazing poetry written in 1668 by Jean de la Fontaine, is very actual. It talk about how you live your life and use your time. I guess you need to be thoughtful as the any, but not as bitter, and enjoy life as a cricket but not absent minded from your future need. It is all about equilibrium.la-cigale-et-la-fourmi

So let say that this morning we lost time, as we woke up 2 hours to late. No way, I  am not buying that. No harm was done, compared to the good that was made. Our bodies needed to rest, and we gain strength and energy that way. It was a gift. Of course in our family of 5, 2 out of the 5 were very stressed by it….not helping…plus it’s just one time.

My morning plan, is changed and I did lost 2 hours, my kids went to school with a banana in their stomach and no lunch packed. That’s  ok, I ll take out of my time and Repare that after they are all in school.

While I went outside, as we were rushing a little, not to arrive super late, I did not take my wallet, so I had to go back home (and lose more of my time) go out and buy something and bring it to school.

That is went the time value came up to my mind!

I said to myself “”what should I do”? go buy a quick meal and drop it back to school? It will cost me some money and save me some time. My kids will end up eating a low quality meal, and I will have spend money not so well spent”.

In the contrary, if I cook something, yes I will lose more time but my kids will eat homemade, and I know what I am using, organic flour, free range organic eggs, organic milk. (I don’t always take the time), It s Also a way to give them a message and to vote with my money.

Oh, yes, time goes by, so fast and you won’t get it back. Time is something money can’t buy. You buy replacement solution  to allow you to use your time differently, and it is fine. You have to do that, to be well with yourself and your needs. And that brings you to an other question : “what do you want to do in life (with the time you have been imparted with)”.

It is all about choice, values, needs, some don’t have many options. But is it not again about the time, you will have to take your decision, to make your choices.

This makes me think about Jean-Jacques Goldman (an other Jean-Jacques) a french musician, a song writer, a singer. It makes me think about “Si j’étais né en 17 à Leidenstadt”, saying that your life would not be the same depending where you were born. http://www.paroles.net/jean-jacques-goldman/paroles-ne-en-17-a-leidenstadt True and I am thankful to be born in Paris France. Yet, whether you are born in Russia, China, USA, France, during a war, before woman were given equal rights to man, it is down to the same things. Health first, Values, Respect, choices, humanity, smiles, generosity…

When I got 31 years old, after 8 years, I stopped working as a lawyer. I had a successful career and I was earning well my life. I decided to give up my carrier and the money I was earning. Of course I could not have done that without my husband support. But if I did not have his support, I would have made changes anyway. I was earning well my life but it was not worth what I was loosing. I was losing so much, as I did not have time to enjoy our children growing up as much as I wanted. I was running after time, my children were nervous, it was not worth it.

Yet, the time problem did not improve, as you are bound to live with this clock ticking…I was still running after time, but in an other way, and at least I was indeed spending more time with my children. I was there for them. Giving them my time.

As  I lived the 2 situations, I can tell you that being a house mom, is somehow more difficult than any other “carrier”. When you are working, you earn money, and you are respected for it. You get excused for being, yes just being, tired, grumpy, helped at home or whatever. You own the right to rest without too much culpability toward society, toward yourself, never toward your kids, (smile).

While you are home not earning money, you work as much, or even more, you never count your hours, and you hardly take breaks. No, mothers at home, are not spending time in front of a mirror styling their hair and arranging themselves. No they are not watching TV, (I think I sit on the couch turning on the TV once or twice per month,and that is a lucky month). No they are not just shopping and spending money. They do not get paid, nor get holidays (still taking care of the kids once in holidays) or coffee break. Until you decide that you should really take also time for yourself. But this time is precious as it is so rare. Two years ago, between our 3 children I had only 3 days for myself from November to March with kids out of the house, as for the rest they were one after the other sick at home. Oh I know it is crazy unbelievable, and thank G. I was not working, how would I have done otherwise? Plus With no family around to help. It would have been even worst. This year it was just the entire month of January, not too bad.

When I was working, I was working, more than 40 hours a week for sure and ok sometimes up to 50/ 60 hours per week, and still cooking and arranging, taking care of our paperwork. Yes  I went to court taking care of my clients with a nine month pregnant belly, not even able to fit my shoes, wearing hugs under my robe. But I had time to make breaks, I had most of the time, I took time out to eat my lunch, or at least a sandwich, time to take holidays and change my mind.

One of my biggest challenge  in life is to master my time, to take time for myself without guilt nor culpability. Today  I have learned a lesson. Oh sure, I have lost morning time, minding for my family to be where that had to be, work,  school. I have used my time making sure they’ll have something to eat for lunch. I have used my time to write this post and share my thought with you. It is now 1.31 pm, I have not eaten my lunch, I have to pick up my girls by 2.30 pm. I had a list of administrative tasks, and many other things to do. And yes  I have lost the 5 hours I had to myself to do it. In this 5 hours  I have to fit, my family needs, (administrative, house maintenance, my own studies, setting up my photograph exhibit etc….).

And yet time has passed and things needs to be done  today, things that if undone will induce penalties, or loss. As my best friend Emy says  “You just have to give up your sleep””maybe then it will be enough”. I do spend my life running after time, and that is why I try to find an other way to do things.

I say it’s enough. I value my time superior as money. (And i don’t say you do not need to earn money to live. You do need money to live, but not to live for money.) You can’t calculate everything. Than from that, time is Choices. I wish (not going into the woods, tho there is so much there) to master my choices over time; I wish to life my choices without culpabilities of lost time. You need to be in peace with yourself, who you are, who you become. A smile on a stranger’s face could change your life, making you smiling while you were down. A kind work to someone in need. A donation of your time to others. Yes you can’ be a “cricket” and only live of dream and songs, but you need to respect yourself and choose how to use your time. it is still for me the hardest. But I try with all my heart to stop and feel, to free myself of time pressure that won’t help anything. I try to pass it on to my kids. Oh I am Human and I ll surely be running again after time, after a plane after a taxi, after the clock,  but I hope it will be according to my choices and my rhythm, at least  I’ll try. Life is faster than you anyway if you don’t live at your own rhythm.

After all, moment is what you keep in mind, not time.

I dedicate this post to my beloved grand-mothers, that both passed away this January and March 2015.

Yes  I know I ham so lucky to had them in my life such a long time :-).

To My grandma Gaby, my french grandma, for the time she dedicated to her family, always there and always giving, love, authority, strength and knowledge. She lived her life taking the best advantage of what was given to her. She was “fast” always running, but not after time, just on time to accomplish what she had to do. She was such a strong character with twinkle in her eyes, a great eyes and a huge heart. She dedicated her life taking care of her children and then her grand-children, never giving up studying in the meantime and teaching children twice a week for 30 years with passion and dedication. She also never forgot to put blush on her chicks before e leaving the house, always wondering how I could go out without ticking this box.

I will always cherish the time she gave me, it is priceless, and I would not be who I am without her amazing gift.

To My grandma Myra, my american grandma, who found her way of being, by surfing through life with a smile and an open heart, always seeing the bright side of things, always eager to learn, and giving back in return. Very modern for her time, yet traditionalist. She saw life through the prism of poetry. She wished with all her heart she would have been a movie star, and yet I think she gave as many smile to people, as a movie star can give. She wrote many poem, and one of her last was “JUST DO IT”, no it’s not about Nike. She welcomed every new day, as a new chance to be alive and was everyday as thankful and happy to be there, just living, even if getting old she could not do as much as before, she was so happy of what she could still do and enjoy.

This is also a priceless gift to live by….

Now  I need to hast myself and pick up my girls, I’ll lunch an other day.

I wish you all a good time…until Later.

Craving for grapes,
I have just discovered witch fingers!
It is good and unexpected! But not organic!
The 3 other type are!
Miam miam….

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