Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Paul and I went this past Saturday. It was like going to Gallery Hop in Columbus, except we only visited one (very large) gallery.
The Brooklyn Museum is famous for it's collection of Egyptian artifacts. That bores me, and I feel guilty about that since it really is a big display. However, I did learn about crocodile cemeteries, so at least I came away with something.
I preferred the paintings (only one or two that I recognized) and The Dinner Party. The museum had also recreated rooms from homes of different eras, and I found that very interesting.
We spent about about three hours there and didn't see the whole museum. I guess that gives us something to do next month!
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Friday, November 23, 2007
and an Applebee's to our right.
The parade got to us at 9:30. The parade featured a few semi-celebrities: Good Charlotte, Dolly Parton, Lifehouse, Wynonna Judd, Menudo and I think a few people from High School Musical. Of course there were several high school bands from around the country, and I couldn't help but recall how jealous I was when the Defiance High School band were invited to perform years back.
The parade ends at noon on TV but was done at 11:30 where we were. Then everyone crowded onto Broadway to take pictures and maybe catch a last glimpse of the parade as it winded south. It was strange to be standing in the middle of such a normally-busy throroughfare.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
This isn't really by choice. Paul's boss says he has to have one, although he's only used it for work two or three times. The subway goes nearly everywhere in New York City, but there's a few places that are just impractical to get to by public transit.
Here's some food for thought-- Almost all of the subway lines were constructed to get from one borough into Manhattan. So even though Queens is connected to Brooklyn (directly north), the quickest way to get there by train is to go to midtown Manhattan.
Anyway, the car has come in handy a time or two. We've gone to Bay Ridge's big (by comparison to others here) grocery store (it even has a parking lot!) twice and loaded up the trunk with food. Luckily there's a fire hydrant in front of our apartment building, so we park there and turn on the flashers. Paul hauls everything upstairs while I stay in the car to make sure we don't get ticketed.
Parking is a pain but not impossible. Street cleaning occurs every week, so you have to pay careful attention to the signs. For example, one side of the street we live on is cleaned every Thursday and the other is cleaned every Friday. So we have to move the car every week, whether we use it or not. When I didn't have a job, I would move the car five minutes after street cleaning ended and get a good spot.
I'm still not comfortable parallel parking, but I'm making myself do it. The car had to be moved yesterday, so I got in the driver's seat when I was walking back from the subway after work. Unbeknownst to me, Paul rode the same train home and had the same idea. When he saw the car pull away, he initially thought someone had stolen it! It would probably be a lot easier on both of us if someone really would.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Monday, November 12, 2007
Still, Paul was excited to watch the game with the OSU alumni club at a bar in Times Square on Saturday. Of course, he wasn't very excited when we left with a loss to our name.
The game was preceded by a visit to Bierkraft, a store selling (what else?) specialty beers in nearby Park Slope. He was happy with the selection but has been disappointed with the surprising lack of homebrew supply stores in New York City. As in, none.
After the game, we headed back to Park Slope for a visit to The Chocolate Room. Paul and I agreed to celebrate my new job at a place of my choosing, and this was it. It's a small cafe seating maybe 25 people at the most and sells only chocolate desserts and wine. I got a delectable piece of cake with fudgy frosting. Paul's hot chocolate was as thick and rich as fondue (which is also on the menu).
But today it was back to the real world. I started my job proofreading documents translated from other languages, and tomorrow I'll learn more about the writing aspect. Some good news: the dress code is superb (jeans are OK) and I get the day after Thanksgiving and all the typical holidays off (albeit without pay). And work starts at 10 a.m. I can live with that.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
I start work Monday as a proofreader/writer for a language translating business in downtown Manhattan, near the World Trade Center site. I became a NY resident by finally getting a driver's license here. I have only a temporary license now-- the real one is sent in the mail, so I'm not sure how my photo turned out.
My mini celebration continued with some shopping in Park Slope and a piece of Oreo cheesecake at a Bay Ridge bakery.
I also stopped at a grocery store a couple of blocks away that I had never yet visited. And this might be the highlight of the day-- they have the small flour tortillas I've been searching for! Now I can go back to making quesadillas without rationing my dwindling supply.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
1: The noise. Our apartment is on a busy road above a bar, so that means traffic at all hours and people talking (and screaming) until the wee hours many nights. Drunk patrons in yelling matches are not at all uncommon.
On the plus side: Living on a busy street means there's a lot of stores and restaurants nearby, the sidewalks are well-lit and I never feel unsafe walking back from the subway.
2: Walking outside in bad weather. I got my first taste of that last weekend, and how I longed for a car and garage! As I found out Saturday, my boots aren't exactly rainproof. Luckily, boots with cute designs on them seem to be quite popular, so I think I'll be getting myself a pair.
On the plus side: We spent a lot of money on gas in Ohio. We're spending a lot less here on transportation, even with monthly subway passes for both of us.
3: Not having a thermostat. I didn't anticipate this one. The landlord controls the heat throughout the building. He turned it on yesterday and it was about 90 degrees throughout the building. Everyone here had all their windows open. Luckily it's off today. I always thought nyc apartments were supposed to be cold.
On the plus side: It should be nice and cozy this winter, and I don't have to pay for the heat.
4: Grocery selection. Who would have thought 6-inch flour tortillas would be so hard to find? These were a staple of my diet in Columbus. Now I'm rationing all I have left from the move. A few other faves are expensive, hard to find or both. For example, a small jar of peanut butter is about $2.50, and I can only find graham crackers in one shop (a drug store), and they're $4 a box. I guess we'll be putting all the money we saved on groceries into food.
On the plus side: A Greek grocer less than a block away has pitas in all different flavors at reasonable prices, and the larger grocery store in our neighborhood has several varieties of couscous. Also, the fruit and veggie grocer across the street is quite convenient.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Little Italy abuts Chinatown and is more my style. Lots of streetside cafes and restaurants, and the smells are hard to resist. Paul and Ryan got some gelato at Ferrara (which dubs itself "America's oldest pasticceria") while I continued on my quest for the perfect cannoli.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
I had exchanged a couple of e-mails with a friend of a former co-worker (that's you, Sam!), and we were arranging a day and time to meet. Then she e-mails me Thursday afternoon and writes that her husband got two free tickets to a show and he can't make it. Would I like to come? Of course!
"The Overwhelming" is an off-Broadway play about an American family who moves to Rwanda in 1994. I really enjoyed it (now I have to see "Hotel Rwanda"), and the seats couldn't have been better-- third row, dead center. Even better, though, is knowing someone in New York besides my husband!
Friday and tonight we have Paul's former co-worker/friend staying with us. He suggested getting some cheap pre-season NBA tickets for last night, so we spent much of the evening watching the Knicks play the Nets. I was eager to go-- not to watch the game, but just to see Madison Square Garden.
As the photo illustrates, our seats were pretty high (we were about a half-dozen rows from the top), but the view wasn't bad. It was actually easier to see what was going on by watching the court rather than the giant TV screens.
We left during the fourth quarter and ate dinner at ESPN Zone in Times Square. Not normally my type of thing, but it was a good experience. My burger was tasty, but it reminded me of all the yummy burgers Paul won't be able to grill now. :-(
It rained most of the night, and this was the first time I'd had to lug an umbrella for more than a few blocks. It made me long for the warmth and shelter of a car and garage.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
First up: the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Entrance is free from 10 a.m. to noon Saturdays (yep, I'm still a cheapskate, even here). According to a brochure we picked up there, it's 52 acres with more than 10,000 plants. I liked the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden (Gail and Joe-- that photo's for you!), and Paul enjoyed walking around the Herb Garden. It almost felt like we were back at his mom's house.
The trees and plants were green and lush, and I look forward to going back in the spring to visit the rose garden. But even among what must be one of the most peaceful places in Brooklyn, you could still hear the traffic not terribly far away.
Next up was the Brooklyn Brewery. Obviously my home-brewing husband was looking forward to the Saturday morning tours (also free) and samples (alas, $3). He hadn't been to the brewery before, but he had visited the neighborhood for work not long ago and assured me I would like it.
But first, the brewery. The tour is in one large room of a warehouse and the "bar" is an adjoining room with picnic tables and taps. I believe the bar is only open on Saturday afternoons for the tours and on Friday nights. Oh, and there's a skinny and extremely tame cat that has the run of the place and seemed to like to nuzzle against the guests and sit on the table where you buy your beer tokens.
It's in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, near Queens and just east of Manhattan. I fell in love with the neighborhood on the spot. But besides the rents being out of our price range, we agreed that we're probably not cool enough to live there. As Paul said, we would probably always have to eat at vegan restaurants where they used humanely-slaughtered beans. The place did have a lot of vegetarian, vegan and environmentally-friendly options (we ate lunch at a cafe where we ordered organic pancakes and organic french fries). I like that. And I really enjoyed all the one-of-a-kind specialty stores and the young crowds (I find that "hipster" is often repeated when referring to this neighborhood).
Another possible problem to living there-- I probably don't have the required number of ironic t-shirts. They were so prevalent that I think we started ignoring them and then had trouble remembering the good ones when I tried to make a list (examples: "Jesus was homeless" and "Relationships are hard work" with pictures of tools). But I'm sure I could up my collection. I would probably start with the shirt in the photo. (It's not true-- I love
Friday, October 19, 2007
When Paul and I came to New York City on our honeymoon four years ago, we stayed at a nice hotel near Madison Square Garden, a stone's throw from the theater district.
But when Paul accepted a job in Brooklyn, living in midtown Manhattan wasn't on the table. We probably could have afforded a large shoe box or maybe even a small refrigerator carton. Instead we're in Bay Ridge, a Brooklyn neighborhood about 40 minutes from those same theaters.
Bay Ridge offers plenty: restaurants, bars, shopping and a great view of the water and a major nyc bridge. But learning to navigate the subway was priority No. 1 if we were ever to explore beyond about 20 blocks or so.
We've only been here 12 days, but I already know the R train pretty well. The stop nearest our place is small and clean. (Although a sign I saw along the route today doesn't exactly reassure me-- "CAUTION: This area has been baited with Rodenticide," complete with a nice picture of a rat.)
But our very first visitor didn't use the subway at all. My brother-in-law is in the city on business and on Thursday was the first person to enter our apartment who wasn't either our landlord or a repairman of some sort. Hopefully he gave the in-laws a good report.