Solitude In The City is a series in which I locate places in the city where moms can go for a little R+R.
For this inaugural post I ventured to my favorite spot in the city, SOHO. Located in the southern region of Manhattan is sandwiched between the East Village and Chinatown.
SOHO is home to upscale boutiques, restaurants, art galleries, and other affordable shops. People from of all financial walks of life converge on its cobble stone streets for browsing, shopping and outdoor dining. And for the select fortunate you may actually be lucky enough to call this neighborhood home. Apartments and lofts may outwardly look unappealing but the inside is nothing short of jaw dropping as no expense was spared when converting these once rundown art studios into luxury apartments and office spaces.
Of all of the neighborhoods that make up New York City, SOHO is by far my favorite. I could spend all day here getting lost on purpose. So on a day where my patience was being pushed to the limit at home I left my husband in charge and hopped the G to the C train and decided to spend a lazy Saturday afternoon here.
And in case you’re wondering SOHO stands for South of Houston, pronounced House-ton, not like the city in Texas. You can tell who the real New Yorkers are by their pronunciation. Now that you know this information I can proceed.
Twenty minutes later, as I stepped out of the Spring Street train station I got a sweet tooth and the first place I thought about hitting up was Laduree. I have heard about shop and their macaroons for years. But I never made my way over to try one.
What better time to try one than today. Especially being alone since kids don’t let you enjoy anything in peace.
When I walked in to Laduree my jaw dropped. I mean how is it possible that I never visited or even ate here before now? It’s beautiful! The moment you step in you’re automatically transported to Paris. I’ve never been to Paris but I can assure you this is (in my mind) the essence of Parisian culture. It’s perfect for a quick snack stop or tea time alone or with friends.
And if that wasn’t enough as you keep walking through the restaurant you will come the outside gardens
I had never seen anything this beautiful in the city in a long time. You know as a resident its easy to become desensitized to the things around you. But you you can find something so tranquil, well hidden and quiet you have to stop in your tracks and marvel at it. The hostess let me sit for a moment since that area is for dining patrons. I’d come here just order water if it meant I could sit back there all day long.
So I left the secret garden and found a bench next door, copped-a-squat and got ready to eat my very first macaroon. This is why I love SOHO, lots of the businesses have steps or raised platforms out front which makes it easy to rest your feet and enjoy a snack.
I opened the pretty mint paper and took a bite out of sheer heaven! Why had I not had one before? The world may never know. But what I do know is, I will be back for more. They are delicious! I’m mad that I only bought 2. If the line wasn’t wrapped down the block I would have gotten back on line an bought more. A mental note for myself…get here earlier.
As I sat there chewing on this chocolatey deliciousness it dawned on me how quiet the city was. Here I am in the city that never sleeps yet it seemed like everyone was home taking a nap. Actually no they were just in the Hampton’s. That’s where those who can afford it go on the weekends during the summer. It’s amazing the things you an hear when the typical NYC sounds aren’t hindering your hearing. I could hear birds chirping and the normally busy streets didn’t have that many cars on the road. The quietness of the world really allowed me to tap into my inner thoughts.
As I sat on that bench, I reflected on the importance of moms (and dads) having moments of solitude. When you get time to yourself it allows you to clear your mind of whatever is taking place in the home. Will it cure it? Yes and no. Some things take reflection so the best choice can be made. Other times you just need the stillness to help ease the stress that family/work life can bring upon you.
Do you notice when you get back from having time alone you can handle whatever is happening in the house. When I got back home after sitting on that bench for more than an hour, it didn’t matter that the kids were a little extra loud or fought with each other about who had the most blocks. The time by myself allow me to recharge my patience meter. By bed time I had enough strength to put the kids to bed and stay awake to watch a movie with my husband, something that we hadn’t done in weeks. It’s amazing what a little solitude can do for your mind, body and spirit.
Stay tuned and see where my next quest for solitude takes me.