Suburbs 101 contributor, Marissa Millman leads a full life- balancing life as a corporate lawyer, Blogger and mother of two. It is amazing how she can do it all. Here is a peek into Marissa’s life in Greenwich, CT.
Tell me about your journey to the suburbs.
I’m originally from Long Island and I went to school upstate New York at Cornell University. After college, I moved to Manhattan for law school at Fordham and then stuck around while working in law firms. So before moving to Greenwich, I spent my entire life in New York. My husband is from Westport, CT and he owns a business there. I didn’t know too much about Connecticut before meeting him, but when our relationship got more serious, I knew that we’d have to settle down closer to his job. We rented in White Plains (more NY!) for a few years after leaving the city, but started looking for a house once we found out we were having our first daughter.
Why did you choose to move to Greenwich, CT? What other towns were you looking at?
We were drawn to Greenwich for its proximity to both our jobs (I still work in Manhattan three days a week) and my family on Long Island. We also really liked that it’s a larger town with a lot of offerings. And of course, we fell in love with its beauty.
We looked a bit at houses in Rye, NY, too, and we initially thought we’d end up in Westport down the road. But we’ve made such a wonderful life here in Greenwich, I wouldn’t think of leaving for another town now.
How old are your kids? What do you like to do with your kids in Greenwich or in the area?
My daughters are 7 and 4.5. They love Stepping Stones Children’s Museum in Norwalk and my older one is obsessed with the arcade that opened at RPM Raceway in Stamford recently. If we need a quick and easy local indoor activity, we take them to Stew Leonard’s!
What are the best playgrounds and parks in the area?
Bruce Park in Greenwich is really great, but sometimes it’s nice to switch things up. We love the playground at Cherry Lawn Park in Darien, CT and we’re so excited about the new town pool and splash pad that opened last summer in Byram (Greenwich, CT).
What are your favorite restaurants in Greenwich or in the area?
My husband and I love dining in restaurants so we drag our kids out to eat more than the usual family! And when we can get family or a local sitter to watch our girls, we love trying local restaurants or even driving 40 minutes or more to a not-so-local restaurant.
In Greenwich, we enjoy Mumbai Times and Little Pub with our girls. But we eat in Port Chester, NY more often than Greenwich. There, we love Kneaded Bread, Acuario, Aqui Es Santa Fe, Colony Pizza, etc. And without a doubt, our favorite date night restaurants in the area are Chef Bill Taibe’s three spots in Westport – The Whelk, Jessup Hall and Kawa Ni. Yum.
When you moved to Greenwich did you know anyone?
We didn’t know anyone too well in Greenwich when we moved, but we immediately gravitated toward a local family whose husband/dad went to high school with my husband. Almost 7 years later, they’re still our best friends in town! I did a few “Mommy and Me” type classes when my older daughter was a baby – such as Great Play and Music Together – but I made my closest friends through my daughters’ preschool, Selma Maisel Nursery School. The community there has been just fabulous.
Can you describe your social life?
We feel really lucky to have a great group of friends we’ve made over the years living in Greenwich. We do a lot of dates at each other’s houses where the kids run around and the adults eat and drink together. I just love that our children’s friends and our friends are the same families! We also love going out to dinner just the two of us or with friends in the area when we can get a sitter.
Can you describe Greenwich residents?
One of the best parts about living in Greenwich that is fairly unique for the suburbs is that, because it’s a larger town, there is something and someone for everyone. There are over 60,000 people living here so you will experience some diversity and anonymity and eventually, everyone finds their niche. It’s not the kind of suburban town where you run into the same 10 people every time you’re out running errands – and I love that.
Are you a member of a country club/beach club/yacht club?
We don’t belong to any club right now. In the past we have done the Greenwich Water Club.
What are some things you don’t like about Greenwich, CT?
Like many suburban towns in the Tri-State Area, Greenwich can be competitive. There is a feeling sometimes like everyone is striving for perfection, which can be intimidating. Even if you occasionally feel some snobbery here, there are so many warm, down to earth, lovely people in this town to make up for any of that.
What has your experience been so far with schools in Greenwich?
So far, everything is great! My older daughter is in a Greenwich public elementary school now and my younger daughter is in her last year at Selma Maisel Nursery School. We’ve been at that preschool for five and a half years and, as I mentioned, I’ve met so many of my closest friends there. It is such a warm, loving and nurturing preschool; I will be sad to leave it behind next year. I am, however, looking forward to both girls finally being at the same school together!
Do you or your spouse commute to the city? What has your experience been with the commute?
I commute to Manhattan three days a week by train. I LOVE it. I look forward to that 53 minute quiet train ride. And I always will be a New Yorker at heart, so I adore still getting to be in the city every week. I park at Cos Cob with a monthly parking pass. I don’t think I waited too long to get that pass – maybe about 6 months. I love the balance of then getting to work from home the other two days, closer to my house and kids.
Any tips/advice you wished someone had told you when you were looking to move to the suburbs?
If you can, renting first is a good way to try out a town without too much risk. Our first house was a “starter home” and selling it to move into our current house two years ago was very stressful. It’s not so fun buying and selling houses all at once. If you can rent and take your time getting to know the area better, it can make buying later when you’re ready and more informed a lot easier.
You have a blog, tell me more about it.
Yes! I started my blog, Donuts at the Disco, this past June. It’s a place where I can share details about the activities, travel and dining that we’re doing as a family or sans kids when we snag a sitter. I’m the complete opposite of a homebody and I love exploring – the blog is a window into those explorations so that hopefully, other people will want to also explore those things.
Before I started the blog, I found lots of food blogs and parenting activity blogs but nothing that put it all together in one place for those of us who have kids, but also still love to eat, drink and travel, too. Hopefully Donuts at the Disco fills that hole. The blog was something I’d been thinking about doing for a while, and I’m so excited that I finally pulled the trigger.
About Marissa Millman
A corporate lawyer by day and blogger at Donuts at the Disco by night, Marissa Millman is so excited to finally let her more creative side shine as a blogger. Marissa was born on Long Island and spent her entire life in New York before meeting her CT born husband, Michael, in 2006 and eventually moving with him to Greenwich, CT in 2011. Together, they have two CT-born little ladies, and over time, their passion for exploring and experiencing all that’s around them has become a family affair. Marissa started her blog in the summer of 2018 to share what her family is up to in hopes that it may inspire other families to do some of those same things.
@donutsatthedisco on instagram and facebook
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