The Manz Family of 5 in NYC

Brianne and her husband are both native New Yorkers and have three children growing up in NYC. They love their city deeply and think the sacrifices of space are worth it to live in such an energizing place! Brianne writes about city life, travel, kids, and fashion at Stroller In The City and has her own mommy and me fashion line. We love her positive outlook and unabashed love for her city!

Brianne, Jason, Ryder, Siella, & Gemma in NYC

Where do you currently live?

I live in Battery Park, New York City with my husband and kids, Ryder, Siella, and Gemma. I always call Battery Park the suburb within the city because it’s a very residential area with water views of the Statue of Liberty and New Jersey. Battery Park has an amazing promenade along the East River for walking our pup Cooper, going for a run, or just getting out for some fresh air. I also love how adjacent it is to Tribeca and all the amazing restaurants in the neighborhood. 

If you ask me, New York City is the greatest city in the world! The energy that flows through its streets and its people is like no other place in the world! The diverse population allows for a cultural melting pot of cuisines, art, music, fashion, professional backgrounds, and overall interests. I think New Yorkers have the stereotype of being rude, but I find them to be some of the kindest and strongest people I’ve ever met. We care deeply about others and our community. We have a strong sense of camaraderie and unity. I feel honored to be a New Yorker. I participate in charity events and fundraisers to continue uplifting those less fortunate in our community and I’m always so humbled by the experience. 

I have felt the energy of NYC—it’s so real! How long have you lived there? 

Born and raised! My husband and I are both New Yorkers and our families are all mostly still here. Having family close by for Sunday dinner and birthdays is something I’ll forever be grateful for. I absolutely love traveling and seeing new places but I always come home to NYC. I could never picture myself living anywhere else in the world.  

What do you love about city life?

I definitely think my passion for fashion, art, food, and city life in general. I love the hustle and bustle the city brings while having access to museums, restaurants, and design. 

When my daughter was accepted at the American Ballet Theater it was a high point for our family. We often head uptown to Lincoln Center together for mommy and me nights at the ballet. Seeing the city through my children’s eyes is so rewarding. Being exposed to so much culture will allow them to grow into more well rounded little humans. 

Your love for this city is not hard to see! Do you feel it every day?

Yes! I feel joy in New York City everyday! It’s my forever home. That said, I do enjoy weekend road trips out east on Long Island & up north to the Hudson Valley. Reconnecting with nature from time to time does allow the city joy to never wear off. 

Seeing the city through my children’s eyes is so rewarding.

Has there ever been a time when you felt like you were merely surviving in the city?

Yes, there was a time when the city was getting the best of me. When I was in school full time while also working full time I felt very overwhelmed. I was in this exhausted state of trying so hard without truly being able to enjoy a social life or the city I love so much. It was all temporary and I got through it but it was a difficult time. I overcame it by working less. I set boundaries in my schedule for some self care and personal time. 

Have you ever thought of leaving the city or made any sacrifices to be here?

Of course! Our apartment is super small and there are definitely days where I’d love my kids to have a backyard. As much as I love the city and I don’t think we’ll ever leave, it definitely comes with a lot of determination to make it work as a family of 5.  

The lack of space can be tough. It’s a constant reminder of everything we’re trading to enjoy the hustle and bustle of one of the best cities in the world. 

What have you gained by living in the city?

Along with the cultural diversity that provides art, cuisines, and interests, my children also have access to amazing resources. Two of my children have dyslexia and they have incredible professional support systems helping them build lifelong tools. 

Do you have any advice for making the best out of city life?

I would definitely recommend researching neighborhoods. Take a weekend to really compare and get a feel for each area of the city. For example in NYC, Tribeca is very different from the Lower East Side, as is Battery Park to the Upper East Side. Theres a a neighborhood that will speak to you the most and best fit your families needs and interests. 

What are your go-to kid-friendly spots in NYC?

Hudson Yards is an amazing new indoor/outdoor installation that’s totally kid-friendly. and my kids love Alice’s Teacup. It’s a whimsical tea house filled with delicious treats and makes for a great family activity.

Follow along with Brianne and her family on Instagram and Stroller In The City for more NYC love. You can shop her In The City clothing capsule here. All photos courtesy of Brianne!