{ Northwest Comes to the Northeast }

We got so lucky over the last week and a half with visits from familiar faces and some expert New Yorkers. Being the newbies has its own fun but learning so much from people we love and have called NYC home before was awesome!

The Future Mr. & Mrs. Angus. We were so thrilled that our friends’, Mitch and Kylie coordinated an overlap of their pre-planned vacation with our move date. Our new city had an immediate warmth of familiarity. The BEST part of their visit? They got engaged! Congrats, again, friends! We love you both and can’t wait for your wedding!

Kylie lived in NYC for 6 years and has resided in Portland with Mitch and their baby boy, Axel, for the past few years. Not only did Kylie know so much about so much, but she introduced us to some of her closest friends, Amy and Charlie, that we clicked with almost immediately. Z and I got to explore Brooklyn for the first time by dining with them and their friends at the Two Door Tavern in Williamsburg. The food was delish and the vibe reminded us of a Seattle-esque bar and restaurant. The night ended at a karaoke dive-bar in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn which couldn’t have been more perfect. Kylie and I were the only ones to rock the mic but there were a plethora of, shall we say, very special locals that kept the evening incredibly entertaining. The rest of the weekend included a visit to the bar Kylie used to bartend at in the Upper East Side, Gael Pub, where they let her behind the bar for old times sake, a quick pop-in and hello/introduction to her Uncle Frankie who owns this classic NY Italian restaurant, Campagnola, and then right across the street to (by far, my favorite part of the weekend!) The Banshee Pub. Kylie is very close friends with one of the bartenders, she knows the Irish musician who plays 90s’ cover music on guitar, and before the night ended Uncle Frankie brought an entire fresh, hot, cheese pizza from his restaurant into the bar. Is this girl the Mayor of NYC or what?! Thank you for the awesome playtime, Mitch & Kylie! We loved meeting all of your wonderful friends and NYC family and thank you for showing us the city through your eyes! Come back soon!

My One Day with Renee. My sweet and adventurous friend Renee has one of the craziest schedules I’ve ever heard of. Working for an international hotel & restaurant design firm keeps her travel schedule packed and I was humbled that she squeezed in a day in NYC to see me on her way to Philly for a new hotel opening party. Despite this particular Tuesday being one of the rainiest days of the year, we were determined to make the most of it. We dined at the famed Central Park restaurant, The Loeb Boathouse, and it did not disappoint. It was definitely a “fancy pants” place but the view of the lake and Central Park is worth the extra expense. The food and wine lived up to our expectations and overall it was just a perfect NYC moment. We caught a movie after lunch to avoid the rain and shared some vino the rest of the afternoon and evening. The next morning we squeezed in a brunch at the Blue Dog Kitchen which was one of the tiniest restaurants I’ve seen in NYC yet. But the food, fresh-pressed juices, and grilled avocado benedict were worthy distractions from elbowing your neighbor while you ate. It will definitely become a staple breakfast place for visitors. Thank you for making the time and effort to come visit, Renee! So glad you have a job that allows these impromptu visits! Looking forward to the next one!

Writing about all of these restaurants and eating and drinking should serve as a great example of how much Z and I are splurging in the New York cuisine scene. And subsequently how much we’ve increased our frequenting to our building’s fitness center. Totally. Worth. It.

{ This one is just right! }

We found an apartment! After 3 days, 20 apartment viewings, and 4 different neighborhoods we found the ONE. I’ve never experienced anything like the NYC real estate market. It is truly uncanny!

Before I get into the details of our search and the winner, I have to give a huge shout out to our broker, Eric, at Douglass Elliman. He has been in the business for 20+ years and his knowledge and candor about neighborhoods, building management companies, and market pricing was invaluable. Not to mention he was a class act with a great sense of humor that we took to quickly. After we decided on our place, he even made a point to text us on a Sunday to check in and see how we were feeling about our choice. Z and I both agreed we’d totally grab a beer with him and keep in touch in the future. It’s the exact feeling you want to have with someone who is helping you find your home. Should you or someone you know ever be in need of a New York City broker we’d be happy to share his info!

The Skinny on Our Big Fat Search. Eric taught us before we left Seattle that picking an NYC apartment should rely a bit on where your work place is located. For example, Z’s office is located on the Eastside so we should really focus on neighborhoods on that side of the island. This is mainly due to the subway system which is very efficient North to South but it is much harder to commute East and West. It’s not impossible but it does take much longer to get to and from work if you live on the Westside and work on the Eastside. Thankfully, most of the neighborhoods we were interested in were on the Eastside anyway. We narrowed our search to Gramercy Park, Murray Hill, and the Upper East Side. Not only did these areas fit our budget but we also loved the vibes that were unique to each ‘hood. I spent two days with Eric while Z was at work so I could familiarize myself with all three areas but so I could also create our short list for Z to see when he could look with us on the weekend. House hunting in Manhattan is fast and furious and when you’re only looking at one bedroom apartments you pretty much see the same layout over and over. The only real differences being the (a) condition of the building and unit (b) amenities included like fitness center, doorman, etc. (c) the neighborhood. The last item seems obvious, right? Of course, where a house/apartment is located obviously affects the price. However, in NYC the price can be different from one apartment to another by an additional $500-$1,000 and the latter apartment may only be 10 blocks away. And the trendier the neighborhood, the smaller, older, and more expensive the apartment. It still stupefies us and we may never understand it. But that’s just another thing we’re learning over here!

Home Sweet Harris. The apartment we picked was the very last place we saw. Towards the end of our day, Eric mentioned this particular building and thought it would be worth it for us to add to our search. And my, are we glad he did!


Our one bedroom, one bathroom home looks out onto the entire south end of Manhattan. It took our breath away when we first saw it! It sits in a fantastic building in the Murray Hill neighborhood, which we’re very happy with. Central to our other favorite areas, close to major subway lines, and within walking distance to Z’s work. After days of seeing apartments that were too small, too old, and too expensive, this one was juuuuuust right!

We officially move-in next week and we couldn’t be happier! This makes things so official and REAL. Really friggin’ real.

Special shout out to my husband for enduring the intense application approval process. You’re a stud. Cheers to Eric for really getting to know us, hearing our needs, and finding us our new home!

And a little pat on the back to me for doing the legwork of seeing 20+ apartments before we landed on the one. *Boop*


{ First Week in NYC }

Our first official NYC post! I can’t quite believe I am sitting in our corporate housing apartment that we’ve been talking about for months. It is completely surreal and it definitely still feels like I’m on vacation. Zach started work on Tuesday and is pretty much in a routine already that looked similar to his Seattle schedule. The past week has been a complete whirlwind but an exciting one at that!

First Class. What a trip. Zach’s company provided us with First Class seats for our one-way flight from Seattle to NYC. I have only ever flown in premier seating once and THIS was nothing like that experience. We each had our own lounge chairs (with the option of turning into a bed…of course, I tried it!) with private televisions with hundreds of free movies (heaven!) to choose from. A gourmet meal with an unlimited snack basket accompanied with unlimited pours of any alcoholic beverage you could imagine (Why, yes, I’d love some more Chardonnay!) which not only made the flight even more entertaining, I think it helped calm our nerves about what exactly we were doing on this one-way flight to NYC. Needless to say we were feelin’ real good by the time we landed! Unfortunately, our buzz quickly evaporated as we sat at the baggage claim for 40 minutes waiting for our luggage. Apparently if it’s too cold outside they will not get the luggage from the plane until it warms up. Huh? It’s the Northeast! How can THAT be a rule? Our luggage finally arrived and we hopped in a cab to begin the 30-minute ride into the city. As we approached that infamous skyline, you could feel the energy in the car shift. All of a sudden, it just hit us. We’ve made it.

Corporate Housing. AKA Times Square. Our building is quite literally just off of Times Square which has been so exciting as newbies to the city but we now understand why locals have no interest in living in this area. It is very congested with tourists and traffic and while it’s been convenient and fun for the time being, we certainly won’t miss the Times Square billboard sounds and lights from our living room window. The apartment itself is beautiful and a great size considering how small it could have been given the size of an average NYC apartment. I’ve been feeling incredibly grateful for Z and how hard he worked to get to this point in his career, a place where his company is taking such good care of him and his wife throughout this entire relocation process.

SNOW DAY! Our first true day in NYC was Monday and oh what a day it was! The coldest day of the year (nope, not kidding!) and it was snowing buckets from noon until late in the evening. So after grabbing our morning coffee & tea we headed straight for Macy’s Herald Square to get proper East Coast winter weather attire. That place should have it’s own zip code! It is bigger than any department store I have ever seen. For two people who have little patience for shopping I think we navigated it pretty well. Once properly attired, we walked around in the snowfall which was, at first, almost magical but then it caught real cold, real quick and we were soon ready to find a cozy neighborhood bar or cafe to take cover for awhile. We braved our first jaunt on the subway which I am pleased to say is much easier to navigate than I originally thought. We took the green line on 6th Avenue to Gramercy Park and spent some time there exploring and then meandered our way into the Flatiron District and Union Square. All great areas we’re exploring for our potential, new apartment.

Back to the Grind. Bring on the Sunshine. The majority of this week has been in two parts for the Harris duo. Z Harris has been back to work as of Tuesday and has already fallen into a familiar routine of long days, late happy hours, and early mornings. His team has been so welcoming and they have expressed many times throughout the week how happy they are to have him. #ProudWife. This J Harris has been out exploring and connecting with some of the few familiar faces we know that also live in NYC. Met up with a girlfriend on Tuesday to explore her neighborhood, the East Village, and had a one of our all time favorite meals together in a sweet, little Italian wine bar. I’ve also been in full blown apartment hunting mode and spent all of Thursday with our broker trying to find our NYC home. So far I am completely in LOVE with the Upper East Side but we’ve still got a handful of neighborhoods to go before we make a decision. And thankfully, while the temp has still stayed pretty low, the sun has finally made an appearance. What a difference the sunshine makes!

All in all, it’s been a surreal week and I am looking forward to having my honey back for more exploring this weekend. Tonight we’re headed to SoHo to meet some other familiar and friendly faces, Erin and Trevor, at their favorite pizza place, Kesté Pizza & Vino. Also excited for our first Northwest visitors, Mitch and Kylie, who arrive tonight and will be here for playtime all weekend long!

Cheers to week one!


{ Curtain Call: Visit Seattle }

It is a bittersweet day today. My last day at my most favorite job of all time. While I have met and worked with great people throughout my career I never thought I would come across an organization with more passion, creativity, and impact than I did at Visit Seattle. It launched my career to new heights and a unique background I know will take me places I never imagined I could go. I am humbled to have worked with exceptional and passionate individuals who are truly the best in their field. To have created an economic impact to a city I love was a privilege. My co-workers have been so kind, supportive, sad, and thrilled for my next adventure…the love I feel from them is overwhelming. I am humbled as I move into this next chapter of my working career.


What’s next? I’m still not sure. But I am grateful for my husband who, without reservation, has stated he will support whatever decision I make under the condition that I am happy and I love what I do. As long as I don’t become the next Naked Cowboy playing guitar in Times Square.

10 days, sweet Seattle. NYC, you’re on deck.

Last day view from my office. Gotta love those grey Seattle skies!