Alex and I have a recurring conversation topic; it comes up over dinner all the time: Where should we raise Toby?

We love New York and it has been an amazing place to fall in love and have a baby. But as Toby has gotten bigger, our apartment has started feeling smaller, and I have daydreams about having a backyard (and maybe even a grill or a hammock!).

And New York can be a tough place to live. It sounds random, but I keep having a vision of trying to teach Toby how to ride a bike on the crowded Manhattan bike path, and having to yell to my sweet wobbly five-year-old, “Toby! Toby! To the right!!!” as groups of cyclists, rollerbladers and runners blast past. I can’t get that image out of my head. Wouldn’t it be nicer to learn to ride a bike in a sleepy subdivision or country lane? But then again, Alex and I are in love with the city; with some thought and practice, it could be a really rad place to grow up (I mean, there are 8,000 different kinds of pizza:).

So, I’d love to hear your thoughts: Where did you grow up? Where would you want to raise children? Your hometown? A certain city or state? Do you envision your children’s childhood to be very similar to yours, or would you want it to be different? I am SO curious and would love to hear! (I always think Maine sounds amazing.)

P.S. A list of the 100 best places in the United States to raise a family.

(Top photo by Jenna Park of Sweet Fine Day; bottom photos of my sister and me growing up in England and Michigan)