Saturday, August 30, 2008

Honeymoon with a Giant

I have just realized that New York is so metaphorically and psychically "BIG", I can barely sit down to put my tiny little experiences into words. It is big energetically - not even the physical bigness. It takes you over. I can't even take photos because I seem so little here. Besides, I live here now and don't want to look like a tourist. It's a little weird because i am so visual - i usually need to be taking photos. But here, the experiences are so big I can't really even handle it. I am taking it in with every inch of my being - my eyes, ears, skin, nose, and sense of balance as I walk, watching for a runaway cab ready to run me down, looking for the markers that tell me I'm on the right path.

But, for now, I will catch you up with words...

Once I get the hangers I need, a wastebasket, and an incense burner, we are officially moved in. (Ok - the art is still missing. But everyone deals with art for awhile.) We love our apartment and the more we hang out in other parts of the city - as much as we enjoy them - the UES (Upper East Side)is it for us. QUIET! Last night, our "date" was an evening at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to see the Turner exhibit. I got sidetracked by a photography exhibit, which was fabulous. Then, we walked 5 blocks to 2nd ave and found a pizza place - anxious to find a substitute for our beloved Broder's in Minneapols. Well, this was good - very good. But, hey, the pizza cost $34.95! Ok, we had it for lunch today, too, and it was very good, but, boy, food is a chunk of change here.

On Wed. night this week, we were invited to a distant shore....the WAY Upper West Side - near Columbia - to a fun Mexican outdoor on-the-rooftop kind of bar and restaurant with Lee's colleagues. Well, let me be the first to say - they are a fun bunch! They were welcoming, margarita-drinking, order-for-the-whole-table-sharing kind of people. It was great. I was delighted to see them all enjoying each other so much (after the LA experience - BORING!) Dale, one one of the teachers said, "We like each other." It was obvious.

Today we walked to the MOMA at 53rd and 6th (recall we live on 81st -it's a numbers game here.) Really, we walked 2 1/2 hours and it was fantastic - we walked Madison to see Armani, Chanel, St. Laurent, Missoni, Valentino, Donna and on and on. But, really, quite wonderful. then on to the Apple store, which is so incredible - a big glass ice cube at 60th and 5th. So brilliant. A big old tourist attraction. I rarely heard a word of English - all Europeans ending their summer in New York? I ducked into Bergdorf's for some necessary Bobbi Brown makeup I was out of and felt overwhelmingly out of place in my jeans, walking shoes and tie-dyed Lucky t-shirt. But, hey, no one knows you in New York. Still, please, Alecia....dress the part if you are going to Bergdorf's.

This is a crazy place. And we love it. We love discovering it together. It is like a honeymoon. With each other and with life.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Hunting and Gathering

Lee walking into our new market, Citarella.

Really. I'm behind. Our phone line doesn't work so we don't have the internet. We are poachers. We are using someone else's line in the meantime. Unfortunately, it doesn't work all the time. So when I am in the mood to blog...well, maybe it works, maybe it doesn't. It certainly won't upload my photos. Our TV doesn't work either. So I'm missing the big picture version of the convention. But the things that matter seem to work. The toilet. The shower just rocks. The hot water. The kitchen. There is a breeze through the apartment. The general vibe is as good as it gets. We are basically just hanging out in bliss...and hunting and gathering.

Yes...hunting and gathering. That's all we do. We go out for medication. We go out for groceries. We go out for hangers. We go out for screwdrivers. We go out for dinner. We go out for getting cash. We go out for coffee, wine, vodka, bread, stamps, band-aids and hydrogen peroxide. We go out for box cutters and garbage bags. We actually walk to get these things and, pretty soon, will weigh about 88 pounds, because after we go to walk to get these things, we have to climb four flights of stairs to bring them home. We are very happy, but we take a lot of naps. And drink a lot of cappucini that we make here in the apartment. And for now, I'm so tired thinking of all the hunting and gathering, I'm going to bed.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

New York: First 24 Hours

I made my first mistake when I got off the plane. I took a cab from Newark Airport and it cost me (PLEASE DON'T TELL ANYONE THIS!) $93.00. I wanted to throw up.

My alarm went off at 3:59 AM. I was out of bed by 4:15, showering, feeding cats, finishing my packing, organizing my client files and in a cab at 5:30 AM. By the time I got to Newark at 10:45, I was ready for a cab. Not a Super Shuttle that takes another 2 hours to my apartment. The movers were there and I wanted to be in the thick of it! So I took a cab and literally felt sick all the way into the city as I realized how much I was spending.

But, que sera. I just realized that part of learning about how to survive in New York is how to do things the economical, smart way. When to spend - when not to spend. Where to go for groceries, wine, hardware. It's a learning curve. And we are learning!

I learned that I will never take a cab from Newark again - unless I am sharing it with someone else.

Monday, August 11, 2008

"Change is certain. How will you respond to it?"

Jim, the moving man, takes a load of boxes into the truck.

My sad and empty library / den.

My library / den after I couldn't stand it empty.

I go to a doctor who practices Chinese medicine. He's my first line of defense because he was the only one who could cure me of the most bizarre combination of symptoms one year ago at this time. It was a no-brainer for him. It stumped my traditional doctors.

Anyway, he is always talking to me about change - because it can cause a lot of problems with our energy / bodies if we are not adaptable. So he says, "Change is certain. The only question is how will you respond to it."

I have thought about that a lot lately. My husband is moving to New York while I mostly stay here in Minneapolis. My daughter is off to Madison. My son has moved to New York to take his first job out of college. I'm living alone here from the day Lee and Izzy leave until (probably) Christmas, when Lee comes home for 5 days - the rest of the time we are in Boulder.

So, that's a little change. And, today, the movers came and that felt like "rock the boat" change. I had to send 1/3 of my furniture to New York and I was left with a shell that I could hardly stand, so in complete exhaustion, I set to work and arranged the little that was left. And I will start again....

It helps me to see that home is about the people and the activity ---- and, yes, a few good pieces. My pieces happen to be anywhere from 2 - 200 years old. Some I love, some are just okay. But mix them sparingly, add a bit of green, a modern light and it kind of works. It ain't perfect, but it will do in a new york minute.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

On the Road Again

My sketchy layout drawing for the apt.

Piles going to New York.

And more piles.

When I say "on the road again", I emphasize the "again" part. I've moved a lot. I must like it because I keep doing it. The moving truck comes tomorrow morning and all these boxes and half the furniture in our apartment will be loaded for New York. I'm kind of in a muddle. Because the two things most dear to me - my family (and friends) and my home are being torn up. We just aren't in a position to do this move AND buy all new furniture for New York, so we have to use what we have and that means good-bye to my finally "decorated" apartment in Minneapolis. I just have to make choices. (Still, I've spent the last two weeks fully stocking a kitchen, a bathroom, and creating a bedroom. I mean, you can't move everything!)

In the last week, I actually got Lee to think about furnishing this apartment - I needed his help doing a trial run. Because I can't take a thing we won't use - or doesn't have a place - I had to be sure everything would fit. So we taped out the living area (12 x 19) in our apartment and started moving the furniture into place. Wow. I could really start to see what it might feel like.

Oh, yes - the bedroom is 6' x 16'. You did not read that wrong and it is not a typo. 72" wide. So we are using our double bed (full) but got the Simmons Beauty Rest with separate coils so I don't have to feel like I'm rolling to the middle of the bed when he gets in. We've always slept on a full and looks like we're going to keep sleeping on a full. How european! We went shopping for a mattress and got a salesman with a really bad hair piece and horrible voice. the poor guy could have been a character on SNL. Buying a mattress is just goofy because you are laying there on your back talking to a stranger. Apparently Lee and I are unlike 90% of the population (this is actually fine with me when I think about the state of America right now) because we like an extra firm mattress without the pillow top. I hate my pillow top mattress now and can't wait to have a good night's sleep again.

Yesterday we bought a slab of marble at Room & Board outlet store for a table. (I have a base.) Lee liked it because it reminded him of Florence. I still have to figure out where all of his papers will go. he's a pack rat and won't part with notes from a class on Freud from three years ago in case he needs it for his dissertation. Or power cords from god knows what, but since he is not sure, he won't throw them away - just in case. This apartment has no "just in case" space, but he doesn't know that, yet.