Monthly Archives: July 2014

Schlepping

What’s worse than sweating in and out of the subways you ask? it’s schlepping while sweating in and out of the subways. Schlepping through the city is a bitch. I will outline examples of why schlepping sucks so much below.

For those that don’t know I got an apartment! It’s the exact one I wanted and had been asking the universe for help in getting. Everything is super convenient and close to me. Subway lines, a dog park, Central Park, bars and restaurants, bus lines. It’s perfect! My roommate seems super chill, is in her 30s, has her shit together, loves dogs and decorated the apt adorably. (You guys know how much I love to decorate and how important the aesthetics in my personal space are) My room has an exposed brick wall! I’ve always wanted a brick wall with that cozy feel. AND i have a window that brings in light! You all may be thinking big deal but it is a fucking big deal to get a room that has a window with natural light. My closet is in the living room but it’s really big for NYC standards so I’m thrilled. I am in love with this apartment people. In love. I am sooo sooo excited and grateful I got this place! Anyways, I digress. Back to the schlepping…

I was lucky enough to have my amazing friend Ela help me move my shit from her apt to the new digs. She still had her car from our Montauk weekend celebrating Asia’s birthday (it’s usually parked in jersey at her parents house) so she graciously caravanned me and my shit across town to the West side and even more graciously help me bring that shit up 4 flights of stairs. (Does it need to be stated again that I’m soo very grateful I have such awesome friends?? I am soooo very grateful I have such amazing friends) Tuesday I schlepped my 3 suitcases, an air mattress and some odd number of bags up the 4 flights of stairs. I left lil’ Huxley on the East side to get him later. After I went to Macys to pick up pillows and sheets. More schlepping. Imagine me carrying 2 big bags of pillows and sheets looking up directions on google maps to get me back to my new area. Yes, I sure did walk the wrong way with all that crap for a block and have to turn my ass right around to get to the subway.

Schlepping.

Walking up and down subways when you have transfers and you’re carrying shit is a pain in the ass. Even more a pain in the ass when it’s hot, the subway cars are packed, you can’t sit, and you and your shit are occupying space. I am starting to really appreciate what having a car means for transporting crap. I always took advantage of that because I knew no other way. All you West Coast folk with cars say a quick prayer of thanks.

Here’s another example of the schlepping. I needed to get Huxley, his bed, the dog carrier, a large bag of clothes and my huge purse bag of my laptop and other heavy things across town. That’s hella shit. I walked Huxley carrying all my shit for about 8 blocks until we got to the bus stop. There I put him in his carrier. In NYC dogs are allowed on public transportation if they are in a bag, even if it’s like a tote. Because this was around 8 AM, the busses were packed for those going to work so I had to stand there holding all this shit with hux in the carrier trying to scratch his way out. I get to my stop by the new digs, walk a block, get in the building and of course walk up the 4 flights to my apt.

Schlepping.

Another day I went to Bed Bath to pick up bed risers so I can put storage under my bed when it arrives. (New Yorkers utilize space any where they can find it. Again, like I’ve said before New Yorkers are efficient with a purpose) I also picked up other essentials. Took the big bags back to the apt via foot and subway. Again, the schlepping. Are you starting to get it? How about when I went yesterday to save spots for movie night at Riverside Park on the Hudson River. I had 2 medium sized bags. 1 with a blanket and 1 to throw Hux in while I was in the wine store picking up 2 bottles. I probably walked about 30 mins with that shit to get to the place early to save seats.

Schlepping.

It sucks people. But ask me if it’s worth it. I’m happy. Really happy. I have been having so much fun and am so excited I have a new home. I love walking everywhere and taking in the sights and of course, the eating. I also had another great NY weekend under my belt that was spent in Montauk. I’ll write about it in another post but it was beautiful and fun and Hux got to run around off leash which made my heart soar. The little things..

Now back to more schlepping.

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2 weeks in

I’m sitting here in Bryant Park again. This is only the 2nd time I’ve been here since I moved. I’m in the area because I had an interview with a recruiting agency and decided after I wanted to sit in the park again to update you all. My friend Dahlia works right across the street so we plan on grabbing lunch together although I doubt she’ll have time to eat with me. She’s a tv producer and is wrapping up a travel show. How fun that must be!

As far as updates go I’ve been trudging along the productivity line slower than I would like. A lot of that is attributed to the fact that I’m very impatient. I’ve had some things in the pipe. Phone screens/interviews, a couple onsites, a skype and more calls tomorrow. So really, things are moving along, I just don’t have a job quite yet. And ok, maybe I need to give myself a break. It’s only been 2 weeks since I’ve been here and I’m really enjoying this time to get to know my new old city more.

My days are so wonderful. I’ve been walking around and exploring and stuffing my face with delicious food every chance I get. Every day I fall more in love with this beast of a city. Every day I marvel at the tall buildings and beautiful parks. Every day I’ve been subway-ing it or taking the cross town bus. I’ve seen some weird ass shit (for example a crazy lady unpacking her homemade pigeon stuffed animals on the ground at Washington Square Park while talking to them, a guy on the 6 train with a parrot on his shoulder, another guy on the 6 seemingly speaking alien in a chanting manor) but also some heartwarming ass shit (random people frequently giving up their subway seats to mothers or kids, someone giving a homeless man money even though no one else on the train would make eye contact, and even every musical street/subway performer [I really loved the homeless guy on the 6 train’s rendition of stand by me with his cane tapping to the beat, he had such a beautiful beautiful voice],  the burly manly man construction worker who walked by me and Hux on 2nd Ave in the UES when Huxley was sitting and was like “what a good boy. He is so cute and walked away smiling”). I am in love with New York City. Like head-over-heels-this-bitch-is-sprung in love. I find myself thinking why didn’t I move to New York sooner. My soul needed this. My heart is happy. It’s my mind that every once in a while if I let it shows it’s bouts of anxiety or nervousness…

I found an apt that I love in an area that I love that’s “affordable” and the chick is seemingly normal and someone I could really be friends with. It’s just a waiting game. She’s met Huxley and he thankfully was so sweet and quiet, no barking and sat when she asked him to sit and things of that nature. I did walk him across town through central park and took him to the dog park to tire him out beforehand but I’m still all proud mama about it. She’s supposed to get back to me this week. I have been praying to the Universe and all of the powers that be that she chooses me. I’m also secretly hoping all the people she meets are weirdos. Everyone please continue to send your good vibes, well wishes and prayers. The sooner I get an apartment situated the sooner you all can come visit. Ex-actly.

I’m so eager to get my life going but I need to remind myself that my life IS going and that this is the fun part. I get to explore and my adventures are daily. I should enjoy this time before life gets hectic and all I’m doing is struggling to keep up with the New York pace. This feeling is the same excited feeling when you know you have a trip on the horizon. But the only difference is I’m already at my destination and as I soak it all in I’m lucky enough to get to stay. That’s some good shit and I’m very grateful to have the opportunity and the people who support my endeavors.

Others things that may be of interest:

I probably walk at the very least 2.5 miles a day

I am continuing to sweat pounds and pounds of sweat and still look not cute doing so

I’m so happy and grateful to know people in NYC and even more happy and grateful they run in different groups so I am having different experiences and conversations and insight

I’m giving in to the idea that I will have to pay for a wash and fold laundry service even though the idea still kinda grosses me out

I probably gained 8 lbs being here but am hopeful that will taper off once I get a job and am not able to eat 50x a day

It feels like everyone is a runner

Huxley is acclimating to life here nicely, so nicely I think Ela is now his favorite and not his mama (boooo)

I surprisingly haven’t gotten as drunk as much as you all probably think I have. (Drinks are pricey here and I eat enough of my money away)

I miss you all dearly and can’t wait til the visits start rolling in

Can’t.stop.eating.

It’s not quite a problem yet but it will be if I keep on the way I have been. There are so many choices I can never decide what I want to eat. I just spent more than 30 minutes researching food you guys. For reals. I found a pizza tour that I have no shame in purchasing a ticket for. It’s $60. No qualms. That shit will be happening.

I love food. I will probably need a support group soon.

That is all.

The day I conquered the subway

Okay, time to get this shit going. What shit, you ask? Life dude, life. Really. Week 1 has come and gone. It was a great first week getting to know my new old city, getting Huxley more acclimated, partaking in the fun events and marveling in man made architecture. I need to stop fucking around and start the hustle….Then Monday night drinking happened.. Of course Tuesday I spent the entire day doing jack shit. That’s a lie. I did leave the apt to get an everything breakfast bagel and to let Hux out to shit on the street but I spent my day watching gossip girl on Netflix and eating the cheeseburger and tots and grilled cheese and fries  (yes, all of that. don’t act surprised) I got delivered via Seemless (the equivalent to myeatclub in the bay). Ladies and gentleman, hangovers are a mother fucker and they leave you feeling like your life is stuck in purgatory.

Why the hangover? Because your genius friend here decided that drinking without eating dinner would be a fine idea. 1 beer and 4-5 (I say 4-5 because I didn’t quite finish that last one) bourbon cocktails later I got out of the cab in the rain stumbling to my temporary home and alas I couldn’t open the door to the building because the keys obviously had morphed into a shape the door lock wouldn’t accept and had to buzz up for Ela to let me in. Of course that got Hux going 4 floors above me so Ela was having a fun time dealing with that. Once in the building I look at the elevator and decide to say fuck it since it was on the 6th floor and didn’t want to wait. I precede to go up the stairs. I probably made one  before falling on the right side of my body. Yeah, probably just one. I have a huge multi-colored bruise right below my right hip and one below my left knee on the right side. Since my limbs failed me I was humbly relegated to taking the elevator which I should’ve just waited for in the first place. I get upstairs and after telling Ela about my night while cradling Huxley like a baby in my arms I decide I want water. I open the cabinet and out falls a mug and lands on a glass and both break into a gazillion pieces. Put in my place I thought to myself that at that point I don’t even deserve water and crashed on my “bed”. The universe was laughing at me that night while whispering in my ear welcome to New York.

With all that being said, I am happy to report that yesterday, Wednesday, was quite productive. I checked out 5 apts in different neighborhoods as well as had an almost 2 hour job interview. Go me! All the while learning the subway system and breaking for lunch or to send out more apt inquiries at free wi-fi coffee shops. I was transferring and walking up and down subways left and right. Gone is the anxiety of figuring out how to ride that shit solo. Albeit once out of the station there were a few times I walked the wrong direction and had to turn my ass right around and walk back like an idiot. But, with that said, I still feel like a winner! I also feel that because I got the unlimited monthly metro card I was winning even more, as if I was coming up on the system and getting more than my money’s worth. I calculated that I need to ride the subway at least 50 times to get my money’s worth. Yesterday I swiped my card 5 times. The transfers don’t require you to reswipe since you’re already in the subway station. I should probably plan to subway at least 80 times a month to really get on top.  I know, the little things that make me happy. Feel free to send me congratulatory texts, emails, cards or care packages regarding the major feat I’ve accomplished. I welcome them. They will not be turned away.

I left the house yesterday at 10:45 and got back to the apt at 7:40. I was spent, my body was exhausted and my feet had a type of burning sensation that also felt like they had a pulse of their own. (Those damn Cole Haan ballet flats better start becoming more comfy soon) But I was so energized. It was a really great day for me. I celebrated my day by order chicken parmigiana and mozz sticks via seemless. (I love that shit. Seemless is amazing and I anticipate it will be my savior on those cold snowy winter nights) There is  an apt possibility in Chelsea but it seems off. Actually it was the chick that seemed off. I can’t quite pinpoint why but if someone told me she was bipolar and slept with her best friend’s boyfriend or something I wouldn’t be surprised. The room was huge as well as the closet for NY standards and was in such a great area but it was also a bit pricey  for a walk up with no amenities so I may let that one go. Se la vie.

The job interview surprisingly got me juiced and ready to start pumping out productivity. It’s a recruiting agency gig. I was never open to them before but I think I am now. What’s wrong with working hard and getting paid more? This city is already doing great things for me in pushing me in ways I never thought I needed to be pushed. Why not go all in with the same mentality with the job. Earn that shit the harder way and get a bigger paycheck in commissions. Need to stack up them ends. I have always been an all or nothing kind of girl. I guess it makes sense I would think like that. Esp since I really disliked my last job. I gave it nothing. I’m ready to work hard. We’ll see what happens with the job situation but as of now I keep reminding myself to soak it all in. All the varying nuances as well as all the minor/major feats all while continuing to marvel at New York City’s beauty. This is the exciting part right?  I’m usually one to be more on the self deprecating side but fuck it I’m proud of myself.

To satiate your aesthetics here are some photos that I’ve taken since I’ve been here.  In no real order:

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* I’m well aware I take a lot of photos of my pup. Durr. lilpupbigcity.

** I’m also well aware I take a lot of food pics. I don’t want you to forget I love food and eat crap and am unapologetic about it.

*** The Washington Square photo of the arch has the Freedom tower in the bottom right corner. I still need to go see it in person. Almost 13 years later. Crazy.

Awareness: Germs, spatial and otherwise

Very quickly I’m learning things that I never was truly aware of before. Every time I’ve visited I just did what I was told by whoever I was with. I followed those that knew where they were going and never paid attention too much to my surroundings. I never had to.  Now that I’m here with a different agenda (read: survival) I’m trying to soak in as much as I can. I think i’m becoming annoying to those I’m hanging out with. My questions are incessant. Is that the East River? What bridge is that? How do you know where to transfer? Where are we now? What is your favorite garlic knots spot? What should I do during the day to get to know the city? I was just told yesterday that my curiosity is childlike and endearing. I’m sure some would disagree and call it bothersome. People are starting to tell me they feel bad they don’t have the answers to my questions not for my sake but I think because I’m stumping them with my ceaseless questions therefore making them feel like they don’t know their own city. I’m such a dick. I should probably let up soon if I want to continue hanging out with the select few I do know in New York. My bad friends. I’ll start googling shit. I promise.

I’m finding it a battle grappling with the fact that there are germs everywhere and I may not have easy access to a sink to wash or purrell my hands. It’s gross you guys. The one thing I’m super OCD about besides my organized closet is washing my hands and germs. It’s just not that feasible to stay so fresh and so clean when it’s muggy and humid and I’m sweating off literally pounds of sweat and you’re touching things like subway poles and doors of bathrooms. I find myself feeling gross and so not cute all the time. I need to acquiesce to the fact that this is just how it’s going to be. I don’t have the money to cab it everywhere and I am enjoying so much FINALLY living in a walkable city. It’s a problem that can’t be rectified. Unless my predisposed sweat glands decide to let up on me I’m going to be a sweaty germ ridden blob. Come and get it boys! I’m sure I also smell quite lovely.

Another thing is spatial awareness. When you’re jam packed on the subway or walking the crowded streets downtown it would behoove you to make yourself as small as possible. Don’t lean against the pole making it difficult for others to use. Grab it with one hand and make space for others. Otherwise, better believe asshole that you’re asking for dirty looks and scoffs. If you’re lost and need to bust out your app map on that super smarter than you phone of yours don’t stand there looking like a fucking idiot in the middle of the stairwell exit once you get off the subway. Walk out and off to the side. (sidenote:even New Yorkers need to bust out their map apps and figure out where they are. Makes me feel sooo much better about myself. Go me!) If it’s raining and you have a gigantor umbrella and walking super slow on the sidewalk people may hope that you knock your eye out on it or trip over yourself and break your stupid umbrella. Jerk.

Also, if you want to blend in quickly in New York and not stand out like a tourist there’s no need to use the crosswalk to signal you when it’s ok to walk. I don’t even know why they’re there. The city could probably save thousands and thousands if they got rid of them completely. The lil man is a mere suggestion. What you do if you’re being told to halt  is look to see if it’s safe to proceed then hurry up and do so. If you walk up to a store/coffee shop/restaurant counter to order better make sure you know what you want. I will guarantee the order taker-er will sigh with impatience if you’re not on top of your game. If there’s a line behind you I hope for your sake the order taker-er won’t call you out and put you on blast. Again, let it be know. I said it before and I’ll say it again. People of New York live their life with efficiency and purpose. Get on that tip and I feel like you’ll do just fine.

These are really minor adjustments in Phase 2 of my big move. There will be more musings and observations, more city living quirks. The hard part hasn’t even happened yet. I still got money in tha’ bank. As I sit here at Kofeeecake Corner  on Lex (Lexington) and 85th on the UES sipping my condense milk iced latte listening to Purple Rain on speaker system (I don’t even like coffee. I just needed wi-fi. Who am I? I should’ve saved that $5. idiot.) I’m well aware of what I’m up against. I know this city isn’t always kind. I know beginners luck and murphy’s law applies to those somewhat ignorant to harsh realities. But I’m optimistic. I live by the motto that it always works out. Always. (That and if I’m not learning I’m not living. But this post ain’t about that. Read earlier posts to get on my level.).

For now I’m out. A friend is in New York later this afternoon/early evening and I anticipate drunken shenanigans and right now I want to walk some more and but an umbrella. It’s raining on and off today and my umbrella is in a box in a garage in West San Jose waiting to be shipped along with other goodies. I hope my friend is paying tonight because this just-moved-to-New-York-city-bright-eyed-explorer (read: anxious-don’t-got-a-job-yet-does’t-really-know-Manhattan-30-something) is counting pennies as her savings quickly dissipates. (Really shouldve started saving money 20 jobs ago…)

Happy Monday you beautiful people. Next post will include photos and maybe if you’re lucky I’ll tell you about the time a fucking glow stick exploded in my eye in Central Park for the Party in the Park NY Philharmonic.  Good times.

P.S. (that means Post Script. Also meaning”after writing”. You know I like to drop knowledge. You’re welcome)  I just realized you all need a Hux update. Huxley was and is still super confused about where to shit given there’s no grass or dirt anywhere except the planters that have signs to “curb your dog” or “keep dog off planters”. What he’s done is decide to shit in the street where the cars park or right in the middle of the cross walk when you’re crossing the street (on a red light, of course). Ask Ela about her first experience walking a dog herself without me around and Huxley’s need to defecate. I should probably carry around a fake 1×1 patch of grass for him to make his life easier. Mental note: look on amazon. Given his current where to shit problems, he’s adjusted very well to the temporary living sitch. He is still very attached to me and hates being left alone in the apt but he loves having more people to play with and bark at when they come home. Ela and him are basically besties ever since she took him for that shit in the middle of a crosswalk stroll and bought him a toy. Dogs are sooo easy. Oh, that Huxley bear. What a lil shit monster.

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The Jump Off

I had big plans for today. I was to get up and out of the house by 10 AM. I was going to sit somewhere outside so I can take in the energy of the city while being laptop productive. I wanted to blast out my resume and troll craigslist for apartments. I was going to google an awesome place for a gourmet sammie and maybe have a glass of sauv blanc to wash it down. Instead I got out of the house by 1:45 PM after doing a quick 2 block walk to get Huxley’s heart pumping only to leave him behind the apartment he’s not quite ready to call home, albeit, a temporary home.  From the 96th street metro station, 3 blocks up from Ela’s UES (Upper East Side) apt, I take the 6th line downtown towards Brooklyn. I observe all those hopping on and off and make up stories in my head of where they are going. I get off at the Grand Central Station/42nd street exit. The station, if you haven’t seen it in person or in movies is awe inspiring.  It really is Grand and it really is Central given it’s in midtown.

I walk the steps up so I can take this photo for you all but this photo does not do it justice. I would probably have a better one but I get embarrassed being a tourist sometimes.

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I take the photo and pause for a second and marvel at the grandiosity and at all the people headed quickly in different directions around the tourists milling about snapping photos. Snapping photos like me, but unlike me, they have a New York expiration date. (Well talk to the bestie and she’ll tell you otherwise. She gave me 2 years then back to The Bay I go) It’s crazy.

I’ve never really been one to just jump in without testing the waters until the last couple of years. It was right before my 30th birthday when I decided I was going to go sky diving.  I wanted to feel alive. The only way I thought I could do that was by facing my biggest fear; heights. I can’t even stand on a balcony or a 2 foot step stool without getting anxiety. I’ve always hated roller coasters and hold railings when I walk up or down stairs. Skydiving, I thought would push me in ways that I longed for. In ways that a man or even traveling couldn’t suffice. I was terrified. I had Rochi by my side as we signed our lives away in waivers.  I don’t even remember watching a video. Maybe we did, maybe we ddn’t. I just remember thinking could I really do this? If I could do this I really could get through anything. It’s funny how when life doesn’t test you you decide you want to test yourself.

I jumped out of the plane that day. I can’t say I really enjoyed it. I was exhilarated in a way I had never been before. I was terrified beyond belief.  Afterward, I was the proudest of myself I had ever been. I faced a fear I thought I couldn’t conquer. Ever since then I continue to push myself in ways that still surprises me. I went hangliding in Brazil last October. I ran and jumped off a cliff nearly 20 stories high and landed on a beach. I fucking loved that shit. I had all the same feelings that I did when I went sky diving. But actually, at the initial jump off I was even more terrified. Unlike sky diving when I jumped off I made sure to keep my eyes open. Think about that for a minute. Picture it in your mind. Right. That feeling alone, to jump off a cliff eyes wide open, strapped to a man who barely speaks English, 20 stories high above the ground, after running about 10 feet, is the most exhilarating, stimulating, freeing, liberating feeling in the world. I jumped off and instead of hitting ground I hit the air and at once we were gliding. Again, my heart swole up with pride and I was able to love myself and who I was molding myself to be that much more.  We were flying with the birds. For reals. Fucking birds were right there with us! I looked to the left and there was the Favela I drove over yesterday while on a sightseeing tour. I looked to the right and more mountains. Below was greenery and then the beach line separated by the 2 lane road. It was magnificent. After about 10-12 mins we landed.  I couldn’t believe what I was able to witness. I felt so much more a part of the universe. This must be what the Buddhist way of “being one” meant. It was fucking awesome.

8 months later I find myself here in New York. On my way to Bryant Park. I heard they have free wifi. I’m energized because the last time I’ve been to Bryant Park was 7 or 8 years ago.  I get discombobulated as I try to figure out what exit I need to walk through in Grand Central. I accidentally walk to the exit for the Met building. I feel slightly embarrassed. Oops! I find my way out to 42nd street and holy shit it hits me, I’m in New York! Like for reals. I’ve moved here! Today is my 3rd day here but the UES doesn’t feel like New York to me. It does but doesn’t. It’s not the New York tourists picture. They picture Times Square or the Statue of Liberty. Even walking along Central Park, Museum Mile and sitting at the steps of the Met didn’t feel like New York to me as much as this moment. As I exited Grand Central, Pershing Square was directly in front of me (you know that café in that Mila Kunis and Justin Timerblake movie where she’s a headhunter and he’s a guy from Cali getting a job and they fall in love after having a friends with benes relationship? The movie ends with them 2 having a date in that café. I forget what’s it’s called. That’s not important) and I’m hit with droves of people walking the only way new Yorkers can. With purpose and efficiency.

I walk along past Madison to Park Ave. I go left and there to my right is the New York Public Library. It’s beautiful. I walk through the park and all the people sitting in chairs along the outer edges. I think to myself. How the fuck am I going to find a place to sit? I find a good place overlooking the back of the library and the park and bust out the trusty MacBook Air that was part of my consolation prize for being “laid off” at Appcelerator. Assholes. But fuck, I forgot to get a drink. Dammit. Now I screwed because I don’t want to lose my awesome seat. So here I am thirsty as shit. I already moved here knowing full well I was giving up space; personal, mental, etc. I was not going to give up my prime location in Bryant Park esp when it’s crowded as fuck.

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Ok, it’s time to find my next stop.  I really deserve the cold glass of wine that’s coming to me. After all, I have decided to jump again, although metaphorically, I’ve jumped nonetheless. I’m left again to trust in myself and the decision I’ve made because there’s no turning back. I may not have been as productive as I wanted to be today but it was a great day. I’m here in New York and I’m fucking exhilarated. .

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