Thursday, July 30, 2009

Signed A Lease

We signed a lease for a new apartment! After looking at 23+ apartments, we finally chose one. Ben would have picked apartment number three or four just to have been finished looking, but I was in search of the perfect one. Our new one may not be perfect, but it’s pretty darn good. And, we got the best New York deal ($) ever.

Our new apartment is 2x the size of our current place. To provide a point of reference, the living room/kitchen/entry way in our current place is roughly 10’3’’ by 12’ with 2 windows that look into our neighbor’s windows. The bedroom is a little smaller with a window that looks into an alley, and the bathroom has a mini (think airplane) sink.

Crunch those numbers and try that on for size.

Our new place is definitely bigger, and I am very, very thankful for that. The building is mostly Columbia graduate students, Julliard students, teachers, and professors - a good mix. I looked in one building that was all established families and realized that we’re not quite ready for that yet. Being loud at get-togethers and playing Wii Rock Band late at night is still a top priority.

Our new place was renovated about 10 years ago, so it’s newish. It’s on the 5th floor (there is an elevator) and gets lots of sunlight. It will be repainted, the floors refurnished, and the bathroom re-grouted in time for our arrival next Saturday. Exciting!

I am now on the hunt to find decent priced movers because I already put my foot down and declared that I will NOT move boxes and furniture up five flights of stairs. Can you imagine? Ben did it once and survived, so I know that it’s possible. But, I don’t think the two of us moving everything up five flights of stairs would be good for our marriage. And, I would not even dream of asking friends to help do that (everyone is off the hook).

In a nutshell, that’s the update on the apartment situation. We found a place. It’s bigger and better. We will NOT be homeless. We are very excited and ready for the big move!

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Hunt

We are apartment hunting. Again. No easy task in New York City.

We’ve looked at roughly 20 apartments, and will continue to look at more tomorrow. I compare apartment hunting to dating. Let me explain.

You want to find “the one”. The perfect fit. The one apartment (or person) that has all of the qualities you have always dreamed about. But, you also want one at a good price. A price that is neither too costly nor leaves you bankrupt.

So, you go see a lot of apartments (or go on lots of dates with lots of different people). Before you see a new apartment, you cross your fingers and pray that this is the one and that you will never have to look again! But, within the first few minutes of entering the apartment (or being on a date), your heart sinks and you realize that this one just won’t do. The good doesn’t outweigh the bad. It’s awkward, or too small, or has no character. It’s boring, or dirty, or has an unpleasant view. Sometimes it needs a lot of updating. Maybe, it has small noticeable flaws that indicate potentially much bigger problems that you will not be able to fix.

You politely say “no thanks” and leave with a defeated and heavy heart. How many apartments (or people) do you have to see before finding a good one? How many apartments (or people) will you see before you find the one that is worth keeping? You don’t really want to settle for something (or someone) average. Ah, the headache.

Then, you think, maybe it’s just not meant to be. Everyone else found their perfect apartment (or person). Why can’t you?

But, before you jump into a pool of self-pity, something changes. Your hope and faith and belief that everything will work out starts to grow with every step you take on your walk home. You feel it in your gut. You just know that the perfect is waiting for you out there! You begin to get excited again. You feel a resurgence of hope and know that it will work out!

You cross your fingers and believe that tomorrow will be the day you find the perfect one. Tomorrow will give you the best, most perfect, suits-you-to-a-T apartment (or person). Since I did find “the one” perfect person, I have faith that I will find “the one” perfect apartment.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Found On A Phone Booth

We have neither a two bedroom apartment nor a large kitchen, but I'm sure we could work something out.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Quick Eats

I needed a little snack, a quick bite to eat while on the run. Where did I go? To McDonald’s Walk-Up Window, of course!

Our McDonald’s doesn’t have a drive-thru. Why would it? Most New Yorkers don’t drive. We instead have a ‘walk-up window’.

I joined a line of customers on the street. I placed, waited, and picked up my order from a smiling girl squeezed inside a small plexiglass box. What a brilliant, brilliant idea.

* Just want to note that we rarely eat McDonald’s now because there are so many local delis and restaurants in our neighborhood. Plus, fast food restaurants are not very popular in NYC.

** But, we are HUGE Subway fans thanks to the introduction of the $5 foot long.

Friday, July 17, 2009


Thank you to everyone who reads my blog. Readership has climbed from an average of two readers a day (Ben and myself) to four (Ben, myself, and my parents) to a now impressive 40-50 readers a day. I. AM. PRETTY. PROUD.

I started “Itty Bitty” when I first moved to New York and had no license, no job, and did nothing but watch Rock of Love and eat nachos all day. Naturally, Ben became worried about my mental health and suggested that I do something “creative” and “useful” to make the time pass. Fast forward to the evolution of the blog.

I always wanted to be a professional writer and photographer, and although this is a different form than I would have originally dreamed of, it works. I get to share experiences and memories with those I love. I hope that the friends and family who read Itty Bitty continue to enjoy it.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Fourth of July

We went to the Cape for the 4th of July weekend.

Oh yes, the Cape... as in Cape Cod, Massachusetts... the only place to celebrate the fourth. Ha! Are you wrinkling your nose and swallowing a mouthful of disgust yet? Because I loooove the way it rolls off my tongue… “the Cape.” Makes us sound so New England snooty - like we chartered sailboats, wore loafers and salmon colored pleated shorts, and stayed at the Kennedy compound.

Seven of us rented a pretty rundown minivan to travel five hours from NYC to Cape Cod. Not only were we perpetually worried that the roof was going to blow off while driving, but the rubber piping that outlined the door fell out and the absent shocks made every pothole feel like a crater. Did I mention the vehicle had not been cleaned in the last 10,000 miles? Nonetheless, the old junker got us there. Thank you, Prestige car rentals.

We stayed at our friend’s parents’ house who were away for the weekend. We did nothing but cookout and go to the beach. Whenever we get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, all we want to do is relax and breathe clean air and enjoy knowing that we are the only people within a hundred foot radius. Several group members had trouble sleeping the first night because a nest of birds kept waking them up in the morning. Our ears are now tuned to busy streets full of honking taxis and car screeching – not the early morning wakeup calls from nature.

Below are some pictures from the weekend. I took some great pictures at the beach and more at the house, but most of them included us in our swimsuits. And, since I don't want to be blackballed from the group for posting swimsuit pics, those will just have to remain private.

A happy couple.

A group shot (minus 4 people).

Puppy love.

Kadima kept our group in shape for the weekend.
Luckily, no one sustained any serious injuries.

Nathan mans the bacon station at breakfast.

So Hollywood.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Mama Mia!

Coincidentally, we (me, mom, Aunt Dorothy, Aunt Patty, Marilyn, and Janessa) happened to eat at the same restaurant in Little Italy that we ate at last year. We wouldn't have even recognized the restaurant if it weren't for the gregarious and effervescent personality of the host (pictured above) who wooed us off the street and into chairs by dancing and singing songs in Italian. More pictures below...

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

What did you say?

It just so happened that a movie was being filmed as mom, Aunt Dorothy, Aunt Patty, Marilyn, Janessa, and I walked by Bryant Park last Sunday. We stood on one side of the street while they filmed on the other. Instinctively, my celebrity antennae zeroed in on someone in the crowd that looked young and hip enough to know who we should be watching. I turned to the girl beside me and said, "What movie is this?"

She said, in another language, "What?" That wasn't much help.

I then scanned the growing crowd for the closest member of the production crew and found a nice guy who told me that Harrison Ford and Rachel McAdams were across the street! I triumphantly returned to my group with the good news. I tapped the girl beside me on the shoulder and repeated (with gestures), "They are filming the movie Morning Glory."

"Maury Gloria?!" she replied with a quizzical look.

"Uh, yes," I said. "With Harrison Ford and Rachel McAdams."

Although, most of what I said didn't translate well, the name Harrison Ford did.

"HARRISON FORD!" she exclaimed throwing her hands in the air. I was amazed that his name translated so well. Who knew that Indiana Jones could stop a communication meltdown?

* I would have included a picture that I took, but Harrison is the size of a sharpened #2 pencil tip. Basically, unrecognizable. Time to purchase a telephoto lens!

Thursday, July 2, 2009


My mom, Marilyn, Janessa, Aunt Dorothy, and Aunt Patty visited us in New York City this past weekend. A Van Kersen/Hasenour/Boehm mix is always full of fun, laughs, and mishaps that can only happen with the right people in the right situation. This time, the situation involved six crazy women and the Big Apple. Kudos to Ben for surviving the weekend. He is INCREDIBLE at dealing with such a crew.

On the first day of their visit we checked out Chinatown so that Janessa could experience the absolute craziness that Canal Street has to offer. No New York experience is complete without a trip to Chinatown and the chance to bargain for knock-off designer purses. Here are a few pics...

Marilyn very excited about the potential bargains that await her in a hidden back room at a stall in Chinatown. In one fell swoop, Chinatown visitors can get a year's supply of birthday and Christmas presents.

If purses or sunglasses or faux Tiffany jewelry aren't your thing... how about a Rolex?

Mom on the lookout for a good deal.