We’ve been New Yorkers for 133 days now.
On November 16th, Molly and I showed up in Brooklyn as newlyweds, 6 weeks into our marriage and soon to discover the relationship challenges that come with downsizing from a 5/3 in Austin to a 1/1 in Cobble Hill. Many a discussion has been had about exactly what items are worthy of a reprieve from the governor—my wife—before getting tossed into our nearby 6th floor trash chute or taken on a trip to the Salvation Army truck 5 blocks up the road on Atlantic Ave.
There have been a zillion tiny decisions to be made. And they’ve all been made in the midst of the coldest recorded winter in the history of New York City.
Not that it’s brought me down. You’d think as a native Southern Californian I’d be sulking, in serious need of some sun. But the sheer act of moving to New York—after a lifetime of being fascinated by the place—has keep me in a perpetual state of wonder. The cold hasn’t gotten old. Not yet, anyway. I don’t mind getting layered up and the slow-cooked process of leaving the apartment. The streets are still very much alive every single time we leave our building.
And as long as I’m adequately bundled up, I’m good to go. Even when I’m bitching about the howling wind in my face, I’m secretly loving it and feeling like a badass for enduring the elements.
But, geez, can it be spring already?
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Yesterday was one of our most perfect afternoons yet. Sunny all day. Not a cloud to be found. The bluest of skies. Molly wanted to hop on the F train on our way to Sur La Table in SoHo to cash in a $300 wedding gift card we got from her employer. I pointed out how we were in the midst of the closest thing we’ve had to blissfully perfect weather since we’ve lived in New York and we had to walk over the Brooklyn Bridge today.
So we did. And it was crowded and occasionally scary when an ear budded-biker whizzed by. But the air was crisp and the views were spectacular. And I was with my adorable, bundled up wife—who has been amazing through this transition. My love and admiration grow for her with each passing day. And something as simple as walking from our apartment to the Brooklyn Bridge 5 blocks away for an afternoon stroll over to SoHo, capped off by a walk to the Lower Eastside for a visit with Molly’s aunt Gina—I’m smart enough to know that the little things are, in reality, the biggest and best things. And this simple little day was perfect in my book.
After catching up in Gina’s 4th floor brownstone living room, we walked a few blocks up 2nd Ave. and got a glimpse of the wreckage from last week’s terrible explosion and gas fire. Gina had just gotten off the phone with a copy shop at 7th and 2nd Ave., where the mayhem exploded, and was getting ready to walk up to the shop when the blast occurred 4 blocks from her house. Another reminder to be grateful for what you’ve got—and what you’ve managed to avoid.
We strolled east and ended up at a Jamaican place called Miss Lilly’s 7A Cafe, across the street from Tompkins Square Park—which I’d never seen. My awareness of Tompkins Square is based solely on Lou Reed. But Gina, the perfect New York tour guide, gave me a quick rundown of the last 40 years since she’s been in the neighborhood. After the ladies had a couple cocktails, we parted ways back at Gina’s—with me lugging our new crockpot from Sur La Table to the 2nd Ave. subway stop.
Minutes after we got home, we hooked up with Joel, Molly’s old friend from her previous days as a New Yorker back in the mid-’90s. He took the bus from his place in Prospect Heights and we had our favorite Indian food delivered. It was great to see Joel. He’s lived in NYC for nearly 20 years after growing up in Virginia. Most of that time he’s lived in Brooklyn and worked in Manhattan—at the Garden, at a prestigious prep school and now at the 9/11 memorial. So he’s got some stories and a perspective on living in New York that I’m always eager to hear. It was our first real visit with Joel since we moved here in November, so it was a nice way to end our perfect day/weekend.
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I’m writing all this down because I want to remember what these early days in New York City were like. I’ve wanted to live here my entire life. And now that it’s happening, I want to make sure I’m documenting what the experience is like for me.
So far, I’ve fallen short on doing this.
At least, when it comes to the written word. I’ve been creative in other ways. I’ve shot lots of photos and video with my new camera and posted some of my favorite shots here. I’ve started making videos like this—hopefully with better audio in the future—to start posting at BarstoolPoetry.com. I’ve got a trio of podcasts I’m producing, including this potcast called Amerijuanica. And I’m shooting/editing a series of videos in hopes of getting people to buy these books—especially this one.
But the written word needs to be a priority. And so it was written.
Today is Monday. Hey, we’ve already written this much. Not a bad start to the week. Back to trying to make a buck.