cold spring, north and east

December 30, 2014 |  Category:   life outings






The kids have this thing when we drive through small towns (which seem to be one of our favorite weekend pastimes) of calling out all the big houses we pass and “claiming” the ones they like as future houses they want to live in. It isn’t a surprise that they get curious about living in houses since all they’ve ever known is apartment living. I wonder too if we’ll ever live in a house someday, though we’re most certainly staying in the city for the foreseeable future. But it’s been on my mind more lately. I’ve admitted on more than a few occasions that I’m not cut out for home renovation, at least not in the lives that we live right now, but I also know that we won’t be living in this apartment forever. It’s a bit strange to think about where we might retire someday and I can’t believe I’m already thinking about life after the kids leave home, but it’s not *that* far away when you think about it. Maybe that’s why we like bumbling around small towns on the weekends because you know, the grass is always greener…


Two towns that stood out to us in our recent adventures coincidentally have the same name: Cold Spring. One is north of the city along the Hudson and the other on a harbor on Long Island. When I daydream about living in an old Victorian house in a charming town, these are the kinds of places that come to mind. They’re both near water and have small, walkable Main Streets full of shops and cafes. Seems idyllic and quiet, but I also know it’s because it’s a nice change coming up from the city. So the questions always remain: would I get restless in a small town like this? Would I feel isolated? When I think about the girls, I know that where we are is the right place for us. They’re both homebodies by nature; sometimes they need to be motivated out of the apartment. I fear that if we raised them in a small town they would be too isolated, but that assumption could be because it’s all we know. So we remain, city folks, with a weekend hobby of visiting old estate mansions, antique shops, and charming small towns along the water.

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  • Linda December 30, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    When I was in my teens and early 20s, I dreamed of living in a small town like the fictitious Stars Hollow in Gilmore Girls, haha. But now that I’m older, I know where you’re coming from about the idea of feeling a bit too isolated if I live there for long. It’s hard not to fall under the spell of those small and charming neighborhoods though!

    • Jenna December 30, 2014 at 4:32 pm

      Linda, if stars Hollow was a real town, I think we’d all want to live there!

  • Alex December 30, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    I have never been anywhere near NYC, so I always imagine that even with all the gritty details, living in such a place is a unique and amazing experience. Maybe when the girls are older and are able to settle elsewhere, having lived in Brooklyn will be an easy and fun conversation starter, at the least. Like, do you know how many people wish they were you right now? Haha. And they’ll be thanking their parents for cramming them in a little apartment for all of their childhood!

    • Jenna January 3, 2015 at 5:22 pm

      I’m pretty sure the girls are having a good childhood and I’m grateful to be able to raise them here, despite some of the challenges. I tell them they can live in a big house when they’re adults, haha

  • SY January 1, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    I know exactly which two towns you’re talking about…when I was about 14 years old, we visited NY from California and then proceeded to visit my mom’s friend in Cold Spring Harbor. My dad mistook one Cold Spring for the other, so we landed up seeing both. I still remember dreaming about living in those towns, so, so charming!

    • Jenna January 3, 2015 at 5:23 pm

      Oh that’s funny! They’re also not so close to each other, so I imagine how flustered your dad must have felt. Amazing that you still remember it.

  • Clara January 5, 2015 at 9:49 am

    Happy new Year for you and your family! I wish a peaceful and energizing year! I love to read your blog! my best from Quebec )))

  • Jhope January 6, 2015 at 8:05 pm

    We moved from Brooklyn to “Star’s Hollow”, (a tiny, lovely seaside town) about four years ago. Even though we’re done with city living in the U.S., your photography still allows me to feel a daily connection to the city. Happy 2015, Jenna. Hope this year is a restorative one for you.

  • brooklyntobrussels January 26, 2015 at 3:40 am

    I wonder if there’s a New Yorker out there who doesn’t go through these mental somersaults. (Well, there probably are some.) We moved abroad almost two years ago and, like you, we know we won’t be here forever. But where to? Back to Brooklyn? Or go for something totally different? I hope we (all) figure out someday!