What I DON’T Miss About NYC

The view from Brooklyn Bridge
The view from Brooklyn Bridge

After my last Top Ten, “What I Miss About NYC“, I think it’s only fair that I write another…..”What I Don’t Miss About NYC”. So, let’s get down to it.

1. My smoking neighbors. I think everyone in my “non-smoking” building smoked weed and cigarettes. Since our walls were thin and a billion years old (give or take a few) we had a constant whiff of smoke seeping into our apartment. Eww.

2. The extra expenses. EVERYTHING in NY is soooo expensive. Groceries, toiletries and restaurants are two or three times as expensive as anywhere else. Don’t even get me started on the fashion…

3. Winter. Way too cold and way too long. Brrrrrr rabbit.

4. Rude waiters and sales clerks. I am typically on New York’s side when I hear that “people in NY are rude.” I defended New Yorkers by saying “People just keep to themselves,” “people are in a hurry,” or, “they are just as nice as people anywhere, you just don’t know them!” The majority of waiters and sales clerks do not get my defense though. They are just plain rude. New York has the worst customer service I have ever experienced.

5. The radiator. The radiator in our apartment sounded like someone was beating metal poles with a baseball bat ALL NIGHT LONG. It also made our tiny apartment exactly 250 degrees, even when we turned it off.

6. The laundromat. I don’t really think this needs explanation, but in case you are one of those lucky people who have always had a washer and dryer in your home I’ll help you understand. The next time you need to do laundry, preferably when the hamper is over-flowing, grab your hamper, detergent and bag of quarters and walk 2 or 3 block to the nearest laundomat. Now spend a couple of hours doing laundry, throw it all back in the hamper and walk back to your 4th floor walk-up apartment. Then, let me know how much fun you had.

7. No bathtub and no dishwasher. We missed both of these very important amenities in both Albania and NYC. I will never again take these simple things for granted!

8. The stairs. Our house has stairs, which I love, but they are nothing compared to living in a 4-floor walk up. Carrying groceries, shopping bags and luggage home always sucked. But the worst…the absolute worst…is when I’d leave for work with just enough time, get to the bottom floor and realize I left either my keys, my purse, an umbrella, my shoes or my lunch upstairs.

9. Tiny space. Our NY apartment was less than 400 square feet. It was cozy and just right for a short time in the city, but only  a short time. I LOVE how much space and how many closets we have now! It’s glorious!

10. Dog poop. I hated picking up Belle’s poop when I walked her. I hated constantly looking out for other’s dog poop that was not picked up even more.

There it is…sorry New York, but you aren’t perfect.

(I still miss you though.)

Cheers!

Home Owners

Today we officially became home owners!

homesweethome

I cannot exactly describe how I feel right now… I am super excited about the house and moving back to Tennessee. I am sad that Husband is there and I am still in New York. It is strange to know we own a house that I have only seen once, and Husband will be living in it without me. The reality of the whole “home owner” situation seems very surreal now; it’s so unattainable to me that it feels like a dream.

Since I cannot be there ,and Husband is doing all the manual labor, I have taken over the other responsibilities. My day consisted of changing our address for a thousand different places, turning on electricity and water, getting home owner’s insurance and a myriad of other exciting and wonderful tedious tasks. I got to speak to numerous wonderful automated tellers who mis-heard every number I spoke. I was transferred to hundreds of various departments, all of which had no intention of helping me. And, the hours and hours of elevator music…well, that was just the cherry on the whole delicious cake. Who knew things like canceling a gym membership could be so challenging? I do love a challenge.

I have had a migraine for almost 48 hours. Manual labor has never looked so good.

Yesterday was Husband’s last day in the city. We spent the weekend moving out and cleaning our apartment. When we thought everything was out, I remembered the fridge! I left a carton of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and a jar of pickles. Our friend Steve, decided he was hungry enough to eat the ice cream with a ruler (utensils had all been packed). The moment was too funny to not catch on camera!

sadsteve

Husband and I spent Saturday night sitting on the bare floor with Belle reminiscing about our two awesome years in NYC. We held each other and remembered how very lucky we are..we’ve traveled the world, lived in the most exciting places, now we have a beautiful home in Tennessee… but most of all, we have each other. We slept in our loft bed one last time feeling very very grateful.

After eating an early morning breakfast at the local diner, we said “au revoir” to our apartment and “see you soon” to each other.

Our one an only New York apartment
Our one an only New York apartment

It’s been bittersweet, but I am ready for the next step. Now, I have exactly 26 days to live it up in NYC before I get to reunite with Husband and FINALLY move “home”. There are definitely more NY adventures to be had, and now I’ll be writing to you from  Grandma’s apartment. I took two baths within the first 12 hours of living here…and spent a good half hour lying on the couch listening to the church choir voices waft through the open windows…not too shabby.

grandmas

*HUGE thank you to our family for helping us so much with this great big move. We’d be lost without you.

Cheers!

We Bought a House, Not in NY

Remember that blog I wrote about making my biggest adult decision? I wrote about how I always make plans, how those plans always change and how our newest plan is to buy a home in New York City. Well, as you all have figured out now, our plans changed again.

We have had lots of trouble finding a home here. The apartments are either too expensive, too small or too far away. After months of frustration and terrible realtors Husband said words I never thought I’d hear him say…”Why don’t we look in Tennessee?” I was shocked, but excited because I have been secretly looking at houses in Middle Tennessee for months; not because I didn’t want to live in New York, but because I knew we would move back eventually and I just liked looking at what was on the market.

We  agreed to keep looking in both places, but Tennessee kept looking better and better. Over spring break I flew to Nashville to look at dozens of houses with our new realtor and my in-laws. I was supposed to look alone because Husband was in Boston, but fortunately he was flown in to work and had the day off my last day there. We spent this day looking at the house that was my favorite. We spent HOURS in this house discussing, planning, crying and debating.

Choosing a home is HARD. We want the home we buy to be as close to our dream house as possible because we want this to be the home we raise a family in, the home where we stay. This home has to have plenty of space, a big yard, outdoor seating areas, lots of windows, a good school district, big closets and character (no cookie cutter homes please).

The house we looked at that last morning has almost every one of those qualities, and where it’s lacking, it makes up for in potential.  After a few hours of discussing every possible pro and con we put an offer on the house, just minutes before I hopped in the car to head to the airport. I was so sick to my stomach when I landed in New York that I made the taxi driver roll down the windows even though it was 35 degrees outside. I felt like I couldn’t breathe and would vomit at any moment. Also, I wanted to soak in every bit of the city possible. I know Husband and I will be happy no matter where we live, but how do I know if this house/move is the right decision for us? For our family?!

The next day, while waiting in the airport for my friend Sara, I got the call that our offer was accepted, and I stood in the middle of the airport with my jaw on the floor because excitement and terror hit me like a train. We get a house. We get a real home with real rooms and bathtubs, closets, dishwashers and a laundry room. We get to start a family. We will be so close to family and friends. BUT, we have to leave NY. I have to quit my job, the job I love. We are going to settle down. We are going to live on 3 acres where no one will deliver Thai vegetarian duck at 2am!

All week I have had dreams that my teeth are falling out or that I’m in a pageant and I have no makeup on and my hair is a mess. My face is breaking out. I cry because I feel too blessed. I cry because Central Park won’t be 5 blocks away. Then, I spend an hour pinning home decor ideas on Pinterest. I’m pretty sure this means I feel unprepared and that I deal horribly with change. I am really very excited to move and start a new life, just a little sad to leave too.

I cried when I told my boss, but feel better now.

I want to tell you all about the house and share pictures, but we still have inspections and whatnot to go through before it closes so there is still a little chance something terrible could be wrong with the home, but let’s hope that’s not the case. Once everything is said and done, I will be thrilled to share many many more details. (Like the fact the most adorable little coffee shop is right down the road and they make the best lattes!)

Anyways, send us lots of love, luck, prayers, and positive vibes until then. Nashville….looks like I’ll be seeing you in June!

Cheers!

Christopher Columbus: Up close and personal

Thanks to this blog I am always looking for something new and exciting to do. I often feel like I should write more about my “excited outbursts”, but that tends to take more time and often causes more anxiety, so I usually put it off and write about a play or a new exhibit instead. The problem is that I am constantly having to find something innovative and interesting to see and do…this often takes research, a few train tickets, lots of picture taking, and then the blog writing…. woah.

I just this second realized that if I sat down and wrote about panicking instead of researching, traveling, watching, and reviewing I’d probably save a lot of time… oh well.

Anyways, the good news is that I live in New York and there is always something new and fun to write about! This week a new art installation opened at Columbus Circle.

View of Columbus Circle from the Time Warner Building, pre-art installation
view of the art installation

Columbus Circle is a landmark on the Upper West Side, on the Southwest corner of Central Park. In the center of the circle is a 70-foot column with a 13-foot statue of Christopher Columbus on top. This statue is basically impossible to see next to the skyline. It most often looks like a silhouette. I only noticed it because I was reading a tour book that described it while I was sitting in the circle.

A famous Japanese artist, Tatzu Nishi, has come up with a plan to fix this viewing dilemma. Nishi is known for recreating our experience with well-known monuments and statues. His idea is to allow people to get up-close and personal with our environment and even change how we look at these famous memorials. The Christopher Columbus statue is his first public project in the U.S!

His installation, “Discovering Columbus”, puts the statue in the middle of a modern 800 square foot NY apartment. You can very easily get free tickets for a designated time, walk up 6 flights of stairs, and then find yourself in the middle of a fairly cozy air-conditioned New York apartment. There are comfy chairs, a long couch, large windows with incredible views, a flat-screen TV, and leisurely reading material.

A little conversation piece in the living room

view from one “living room” window
The wallpaper was covered in American icons.

The idea is to combine New York’s modern style with the historical monument. Visit it, relax in the living room, take it all in, and let your imagination run free in this surreal world. We loved the installation so much that we considered moving in permanently; it is twice as big as apartment after all.

Thanks for reading and keeping me motivated to get out there and explore the world! Can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings!

Cheers!