I think the most interesting part of our journey in each city we live in is that Lilly gets assimilated into each different way of life. She adopts a "When in Rome" attitude. It proves her strong adaptability.
In New York City, we live in a high-rise 36 story apartment building. And while it still is strange to me, Lilly is not phased. Each morning we get ready in our small 2 bedroom (they actually call it a junior one bedroom apartment because it's only one bathroom; Lilly's room is actually a converted den or dining room). She eats her NY bagel while she gets dressed (compared with New Zealand when she ate a scone every day). And as we walk out the door, she makes sure we each have a hat and a purse, of course.
We walk down the long hall to the elevator and Lilly always manages to step on our neighbor's newspaper - on purpose. She pushes the down button, and when she's being cheeky she pushes "up" as well, although she knows where we're headed. When we get inside the elevator, she pushes "L" for "Lilly" (and lobby). It's amazing that I don't even have to think to tell her what to do anymore; she knows exactly what the routine is.
When we get downstairs, she puts her arm out to block the elevator door from closing too fast - just like the adults usually do - and holds it there until everyone gets off and on - then Lilly gets off. She looks at herself in the mirror opposite the elevators, and makes sure she's pretty enough and might even give the mirror a few cream cheese kisses.
Lilly walks into the lobby like she owns the place. She says hi to her doormen - sometimes in English, and sometimes she says "hola" and "adios" instead. When we sit in the lobby to wait for the bus, she greets all the business people walking buy: "hi morning!" We look out the door and wait for her school bus, and sometimes the public bus comes by - usually with a big "Mary Poppins" advertisement on the side of it - and Lilly gets excited about that. She talks about "Broadway" and Mary Poppins, Mamma Mia, and Lion King. She tells me she wants to go back to see Mamma Mia with mommy and daddy, but that she only wants to see Lion King with daddy.
Some days I pick her up from school, like on Wednesdays (soccer) and Fridays (dance class). When we leave school, Lilly always tries to hail a cab by sticking out her hand and yelling "taxi!" Even though most Wednesdays we walk home across Central Park, and Fridays we take the subway downtown. When we do walk across the park, Lilly knows it's Central Park. She loves seeing the horses pulling the carriages, the bikes, the runners. She's satisfied when I tell her it's too cold to play on the playground, but can't wait for warmer weather.
Her daddy usually takes her to the park on the weekend. Central Park is just 4 avenues away - a 5 minute walk - but usually we go the other direction where she likes the playground better. It's still so odd to me to see a great playground surrounded by tall buildings and traffic, but it's normal to Lilly. With daddy, she usually gets an ice cream or a cookie at some point in their adventure.
Another "When in Rome" thing is the pizza. If you ask Lilly what she wants to eat for dinner, she'll most likely say "pizza." Which is interesting since last year in Charlottesville she didn't like pizza. But I guess NY pizza has converted her. We don't actually eat pizza every night although Lilly would prefer it; and the one or two nights a week we do have pizza we usually make it homemade. I sneak veggies by mixing spinach with the sauce. I can't wait for the three of us to try "real" pizza in Naples this summer!
New York City isn't an easy place to live for a year, but we'll definitely miss these things when we leave in 3 months. I think what I'll miss the most will be the convenience of being able to go down an elevator and walk outside and have bagels, pizza, coffee, and anything else you'd want a second away - definitely a big convenience factor there, although so many other things are very much not convenient. But what Lilly will miss is definitely the Broadway shows - she so appreciates big productions and great performances.