Thanks so much, everyone!
I should also probably mention that we will be in the NYC area for 4 years, not permanently...so it's not a question of wanting to buy a home or raise the kids somewhere. We are based in Switzerland and then we have these abroad posts every few years. I am from California, so for me it's "almost" like going home, but then again, not quite. My father grew up in Brooklyn and moved to California as an adult. He is still somehow very much a New Yorker...very feisty. lol I have been there a couple of times, loved it, but felt very out of my element. Last time I went I stayed with family in Brooklyn for a week, had tons of fun, but was really happy to leave, too. It's just so much to take in. We took the subway into Manhattan every day and it felt far to me...I don't call that my idea of fun at all! But we definitely weren't in Park Slope...never been there, so maybe the coolness of it would make the subway seem more tolerable to me, I don't know. I wonder if I would even go into town at all with a little baby and two other kids in tow. I know myself...not into crowds and feeling trapped in public transport like that. We shall see!
Well, if those rents quoted above are anything in the ballpark, we should be livin' SWEET! I love all the enthusiasm for city living!!!! Really, I do. I even forced myself through the Sex and the City movie that came on TV last night just to try to soak up some New York vibe. I'm just not sure, ya know? I'm totally nature, flip flops, sunshine (I remember walking around Manhattan on a sunny day and not feeling the sun because the buildings were too high!), my ds8 is into all things nature...observing wildlife and looking up their zoological classification etc. So even if "I" would love a 4 year radically different city adventure (not sure if i would), I wonder about my little ones. Restaurants and museums...great...but not every day thanks. Cultural events? Super. But I'll have a newborn and a 3 year old...not exactly the life phase to take full advantage. So much to think about. It's probably the one time in our life that we will be able to afford such a nice lifestyle in Manhattan and yet, I can't help wishing it was like 10 years from now.
I'm not feeling Westchester at all. I haven't heard much positive about it. DH has totally vetoed anywhere going into Penn Station. If I have to be around the country club set, then I may as well go to Connecticut where at least I can have a lot less homeschooling hassle...and if not there, then it will just have to be the city! We will have to stay in Midtown at a hotel for at least a month as we wait for our stuff to be shipped and do some home hunting. That time staying right in the middle of the action will let us know right away if we can hack city life...so that's a bonus.
About the noise, I was more interested about neighbor noise...like hearing your neighbors through the walls. We've had uptight neighbors here complaining about kid noise and that was in a pretty well-made place...totally stressful. I don't want to be shushing my kids all the time. I also know Americans like their big old tv's and surround systems...will I be listening to their shows, too? That kind of stuff. I worry about the most random things regarding city life...
I really appreciate all the input. I'd be looking at this a bit differently if we weren't moving there post-partum! man, the timing. lol