Monday, December 22, 2008

New Digs

On Sunday, we rented a U-Haul and maneuvered our way through Manhattan to the new IKEA store in Brooklyn. It was my first time, and it was amazing.

In New York City, IKEA is like a Mecca, this magical place that has everything to make an apartment awesome. Most things are cheap, functional, and look good when on a budget.

We prepared for the adventure by first enjoying a light lunch at the IKEA restaurant located on the second floor. Then, we grabbed our tape measure and notepad and scoured the football field sized store for two bookcases, a TV stand, baskets, picture frames, and a mirror.

We didn’t have room for furniture in our studio (just a bed, table, dresser, and couch), but we do have a little extra in our one bedroom apartment. And, yes, you read that correctly – our ONE bedroom apartment.

It’s still a small place, but it is TWO ROOMS. The kitchen is more of a kitchenette and you can comfortably brush your teeth in the sink and sit on the toilet at the same time, but it’s NEW YORK. It’s just part of the living here.

A one bedroom apartment AND brand new IKEA furniture. Life just got a little, wait, a lot better.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Still Unpacking

Once again, sorry for the lack of posts this week. Unpacking and organizing everything "just right" in a little apartment takes time and thought, at least I think so. Although, it appears that Ben has a different philosophy. He prefers the ole "toss and throw" approach and randomly stuffing things into any available space. I've caught him, once or twice, using his body weight to shut cabinet doors to stop the flow of junk from overtaking the floor. Moving always does bring up the question... who really needs all this stuff?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Status Update

Sorry for the lack of posts. This past weekend we spent five hours cleaning, seven hours packing, twelve hours painting, and five hours moving and maneuvering through the city in a 14 foot U-Haul. More about it later.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

More Stars

Two more celebrity names need to be added to the list: Anne Hathaway and, Oscar winner, Philip Seymour Hoffman. I totally forgot that I watched Anne Hathaway film the upcoming movie, "Bride Wars", at the subway station by our apartment on my way to work this summer.

We passed Philip Seymour Hoffman on the street on Saturday when Ben, his mom, and I were walking to a play around Times Square. Ben, rarely star struck, excitedly said, "There's Philip Seymour Hoffman." I didn't hear and said, "Who?" With much gumption and enthusiasm, Ben yelled and pointed "IT'S PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN!" Just like we were cheering at a UK basketball game. Oh yeah, we definitely played it cool.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Friday Night

On Saturday, Ben and I joined tweens and their parents for the movie “Twilight”. At first, we felt out of place since the median age hovered around 13, but our self-consciousness faded with the arrival of a few “older” folks (the parents).

Two sisters, eight and 12 years old, settled next to Ben. They chatted and giggled excitedly. Who was their favorite character? Who was cuter? Which book was their favorite? How many times had they seen the movie? Ben jumped into the conversation, happy to finally talk freely about his love of the series. As a guy, he had repressed his true feelings. Something about a 27-year-old man reading girly teenage love stories about vampires and werewolves didn’t sit well with him.

We knew the phenomenon Twilight had become before the movie started, but didn’t anticipate the reactions of the young female fans. When the lights dimmed and the previews ended, Edward Cullen sent every girl into a screaming frenzy with his big screen debut. I forgot how fun it is to become obsessed with books and movies. It’s like Harry Potter all over again.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Movin' On Up

We have decided to upgrade. On December 15th, we leave our apartment for one with more storage and TWO ROOMS (by New York standards). We will say goodbye to our one room “home” and start over somewhere new… somewhere that has TWO ROOMS. A door actually separates them. Hard to believe, I know. My toes curl in anticipation. I will be able to talk on the phone without Ben hearing or turn on lights without waking him on Saturday mornings. Imagine!

We entertained the idea of moving for some time, but never jumped on it. Then, last Sunday, we decided to do it. Just like that. We “craigslisted” four places on Saturday, looked at them on Sunday, and then picked one on Monday. The entire process took 48 hours.

Apartment hunting IS one of the most stressful New York experiences. You encounter brokers who cost thousands of dollars and eager owners dying to get current leases off their hands. There is no time to leisurely peruse apartments and score good deals. No time to mull over which apartment is better or which one has everything you want. You only have a small window of time to tell your landlord you’re leaving before rent overlaps at both places and leaves you broke. You literally have hours to decide whether or not to take a place based on one viewing because thousands of other people are also looking for an apartment. The process is quick and dirty, much like the city itself.

Our move 20 blocks north won’t be a major change. The new place is still old and still small, but it will work. We’ll make it our home, just as we did with the studio. Moving does mean finding a new diner and handy corner market, a new bar and a new barber. But, it will be exciting. Fun. And, everything will fall into place. I just (cross-my-fingers) know it.