13 days in nyc

2nd Ave. subway stop. Lower Eastside.

I should have known our move to New York City would be fraught with an extra dose of the usual challenges when we woke up with a flat after our 1st night on the road. My co-pilot Chris and I didn’t even get out of Austin until 2 a.m. the night before. I put in a solid 2 hours behind the wheel before we called it a night at the Motel 6 in Hillsboro.

The next morning, I let the land of Instagram know we started our day with a flat tire. Our early morning departure turned into a 2 p.m. lift off. We’ve been a step slow and a day behind—figuratively—ever since. Or maybe it just seems that way.

It’s late at night—nearly 3 a.m on a Saturday night—and I really should be in bed with my new wife. But I promised myself that I was going to record the happenings of our new life in New York. And if I couldn’t even get this thing started by this, our 13th day in Brooklyn, well that didn’t bode well for the future.

So as far as I’m concerned, the worst is behind us. And really, in the grand scheme of things, it hasn’t been thaaaat bad. But there have definitely been…frustrations.

For instance, we’ve recently taken to calling our new home Casa Limón. Let’s just say it’s no Casa Verde, the house we lived in and loved back in Austin. We’ve gone from just over 3,200 sq. ft. to just under 800 sq. ft. Our 5/3 has shrunk to a Tamale-sized 1/1. And our quirky, colorful home—the product of Brother Will’s architectural genius and Tamale’s eye for design—is an urban white shoebox not unlike the other 60 units in our brand new building.

In 13 short days:

—Our brand new washing machine didn’t work.

—We noticed the paint on the living room window sill is bubbling from condensation.

—The brand new dishwasher didn’t drain the 1st time we used it. It still doesn’t work. (At least “the super” fixed the washing machine.)

—We found our big, ugly space heaters to be loud and unreliable. Unless you prefer cool air heating up the room when it’s 30 degrees outside.

—We realized there was a yapping dog across the hall. Despite the fact that the real estate guy told Tamale this was a no pets building. (I saw the “no pets” paragraph in the lease with my own 2 eyes.) “The lease also says you can’t have a washer and dryer, but you got those, right?” the property manager told me when I complained about the barking dog. (What I didn’t see in the lease, according to the property manager, was the Rider on page 54 that allowed for a pet waiver. Damn page 54 Riders!)

—We met a nice gay couple who’ve lived in the building 3 weeks longer than us. They made us feel better when they let us know their washing machine, dishwasher and heater all sucked too. And they’ve seen mice. Possibly due to the dog food they may or may not leave out for their dog. (What do you say to your nice new neighbors whose yapping mutt might possibly drive you insane while you’re trying to work at home during the day?)

To top it all off, our little apartment has been stuffed to the gills with boxes. And boxes. And stuff that, to this day, is still being unearthed, put away, tossed out or gifted to the Salvation Army outlet 5 blocks from our new love pad. As much as our newlywed love is still blooming, this abundance of stuff in our small space has elbowed its way into our new life, leaving us little room for things like patience and a sense of home. It’s like we’re trying to unpack our way out of an over-stuffed hotel room.

The good news is, I finally started feeling like a true New Yorker when my bike got stolen 8 days after I pulled into town. I got the good news when I went downstairs to go for a ride to buy a new lock. So I saved a few bucks on a lock too. (I was not gonna pay $25 bucks a month to store it in the building’s “bicycle room” that still wasn’t finished.)

But if you think I’d change any of it, you’d be wrong.

I love New York City.

I love Brooklyn.

I love my wife.

In fact, maybe I should join her.  Damn. It’s almost 4 in the morning. That’s what I get for moving to the city that never sleeps.


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