First Week in NYC

This past week has gone by incredibly slowly, but I don’t mean that in a bad way. I feel like time has been very deliberate, and I’m okay with that. It feels like we’ve been here much longer than a week, but maybe that has to do with the fact that we’re still sleeping on the floor because alas, our furniture won’t be here for another 7-10 days.

I’ve taken to exploring the city and scouting out coffee shops during the day. I successfully went running outside twice already. I feel like my feet have taken me all over the city, but I know I’ve only scratched the surface of everything there is to explore. I still haven’t been up to the Upper East or Upper West Sides yet, or over to Brooklyn, or north of Central Park, or even much more downtown than I am right now! The city is positively endless, and I’m really excited about that.

What’s still a struggle for me though is waking up in the morning. Since my work is 1) remote, and 2) three hours behind me, I have no real motivation at the moment to get up before nine, and that really isn’t helping me adapt to the time change. It’s also throwing my entire day off. I’m going to work on creating a schedule for myself (and actually sticking to it). But I want make sure I’m patient with myself – we did just get here, after all.

Another thing that I need to be patient with myself is (and this is kind of embarrassing) my shock at the bugs here. And by “bugs”, I mean roaches. I never thought bugs really bothered me before, but goodness, they freak me out here. They’re HUGE! And they look scary, and they creep… everything about them gives me the heebie-jeebies. Thankfully I haven’t seen that many of them, but there was this massive one yesterday that made it kind of hard to sleep last night. I do find myself peering into rooms and around doors before I enter, and jumping at any little noise. Davis is incredibly wonderful about my reaction to them, never getting frustrated with my cowering and doing the dirty work. But I need to get better about them. I think I will in time.

Right now our experience still feels so temporary. Sometimes I find myself thinking, “Oh, I need to talk to so-and-so about that when I get back…” and then I catch myself, realizing I’m not going back anytime soon, at least not in the permanent sense of the word. I think it’s going to be so much better when our furniture does get here – it will feel more like home and finally seem real.

I’m excited to make friends too. I have to say, the people here have been really nice for the most part. I’ve been “welcome to New York”-ed at least four or five times, and that’s kind of a cool experience (like, “whoa, people actually say that!”). But both Davis and I are still strangers to almost everyone except each other here, and we’re ready to meet more people. We each have acquaintances or old friends in the city, and our social calendar this weekend has gotten rather busy with plans to reconnect. Good things lie ahead, I can feel it.

Oh! One more thing. I’ve joined two establishments already, both of which I’m excited about. The first is the New York Public Library! And I did it at the huge branch too, which was really cool. The second is a gym. So now I have no excuse: I can work out day or night, rain or shine. Time to get back into shape for the half marathon I’m doing in September! So that’s where I’m off to now – yay for new places and fun adventures!

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We’re here!

We arrived in New York yesterday afternoon. Our flight was quick, and I had so much legroom! We got to sit in an exit row seat on a 757, so it was almost more room than I knew what to do with. I want to sit there every time I fly on one of those planes. I made friends with one of the flight attendants, and it was fun hearing her story. She’s from Chicago and has been working for the airline for 30 years. She has a whole bunch of crazy cool hobbies, like papermaking and teaching Burmese people how to speak English. It was really inspiring talking to her, and it reenergized me and reminded me that this world is so big and that I can have crazy cool hobbies too.

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All the legroom!

JFK is a really big airport, and we must have walked a mile to get to where we were picked up. I was so excited to spot the city on our flight and drive in! We got to our new apartment pretty quickly, and gosh, I don’t even know what to say about it. It feels so New York. It’s in this really cool brick building, and it’s on the first floor. It’s got hardwood floors, full-size appliances (!), and a washer/dryer (!!). It’s definitely tinier than our last place, and the bedroom is itty-bitty, but I’m so excited to make it home.

Seeing it from the plane!

Seeing New York from the plane!

We’ve already started exploring our neighborhood (East Village). We live in such a cool place! Already we’ve been to two different restaurants and a coffee shop. The place I’m in now is called Pushcart – it’s not too far from our apartment, and it opened this morning for the first time! I feel like we’re kindred spirits somehow – we’re starting our NYC adventure together.

We slept on the floor last night, and we’re living very simply until our furniture comes in a couple weeks. We went to Kmart (they exist here in the big city… but somehow Target does not) last night and stocked up on bare essentials (plastic plates and cups, paper towels, etc.). I think I’m going to go back today and get another twin-sized air mattress: I saw they were on sale, and even with padding, the floor is really hard! We’ve already been to Duane Reade (the drugstore) twice. Another cool thing: there’s a Trader Joe’s not too far from us!

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Our sleeping arrangement for the next 10 days or so

Already I’ve had such a good time wandering around and watching people. Everyone is so different, both from what I’ve known previously and from each other. I feel like I’m getting great fashion ideas just by keeping my eyes open. I have this overwhelming feeling of friendliness: while it is big, the city doesn’t feel scary to me. I want to go up to everyone and ask them about themselves and about their relationship to this place. I want to be friends with them all. And I feel like I can be.

(I also have seen a lot of runners around, and at all times of the day. Where on earth do you run? I want to ask them. Can I come too?)

For being so close to a pretty busy intersection, our apartment is surprisingly quiet. But when I walked out the front door about an hour ago, I was hit with a wave of energy, almost like a thumping of life that I could feel as clear as my heartbeat. We really did it, I thought. We made it. We’re here. This city is now ours to call home. And I’m so excited about that.