Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Moving Question #1: When?

I'm not going to spend all my time on this blog making snarky comments about NYC and LA (though much of my time will be directed towards that)--I also wanted to use this space to outline our move, including creating our plans, finding out what actually goes according to plan, seeing what compromises/modifications we'll have to make along the way, etc. All these nitty-gritty details will be answered in a series of Moving Questions we'll be posing to ourselves. Here we go...

The first obvious question we had to answer was the question of When. We're both on leases for our apartments that end at different times (N and I live separately in different neighborhoods in Brooklyn), and I have a college-friend roommate who I won't coldly ditch with no warning. N is working a flexible job where he can telecommute while I've been at the same not-for-profit for 2 years, and owe a lot to my organization and my current boss, who have treated me very well since I started working there. And even if we pretend these factors didn't exist, could we just get up and move tomorrow? Not unless we hitchhiked our way across the country, cuz, well, our bank accounts aren't exactly overflowing at this moment.

After a lot of short bursts of discussion over several weeks, we are now planning on making the move in April 2009. We chose this month for a couple reasons: first, N's lease on his apartment conveniently ends May 1st (my lease is a little more flexible, so I think I can make it work); second, this will give me enough time to phase out of my current job and also get the graphic design coursework I'd like to get done out of the way; and third, it gives us time to plan and save money. This also gives everyone in our lives (including my roommate) a nice heads-up about our future plans. This gives us roughly 6 months to prepare. Prepare how? That's still something we need to figure out ;)

Friday, September 26, 2008

I <3 NYC H2O

ohmygod. I haven't started to appreciate this until recently, but NYC has the BEST. WATER. EVER. I really don't know the mechanics of it all, but for as long as I remember the house I grew up in the Chicago suburbs always had hard water/soft water issues. We'd try to control it by adding salt/mineral blocks, but it was never exactly right. To this day, whenever I take a shower at my parent's house the water is always way too hard or way too soft. Oh, and the tap was undrinkable since the water sometimes got mingled in with sewer water due to flooding or something.

But everywhere I have lived in NYC (the upper west side, hell's kitchen, prospect lefferts-gardens, downtown brooklyn and what the hey, i'll throw in N's spots, too--crown heights and bay ridge) has had the absolutely perfect level of hardness/softness. Perfect. At first I took it for granted because I thought that my family's house in Chicago was just a freakish place and was the only one that struggled with this. But when I visited LA, the small hotel we stayed in had terribly hard water that made my skin hurt! Yes, my skin would hurt after showering. And N's parents' place upstate near the Adirondacks also has water on the hard side. And my siblings' places in San Francisco and outer Bay Area is also too hard and too soft.

NYC water...I love you! It's something that you'll only miss once it's gone.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Best and Worst Thing About NYC

The subway. Can't live with it, can't live without it. The worst moods I've ever gotten in while living here are due to the MTA. And yet I ride the MTA everyday because, well, I don't have a choice. I'm not sure how I tolerate it, really. The other day I had to wait 45 minutes on a platform packed with pissed off passengers while waiting for a train to arrive that wouldn't go out of service right after it pulled into the station. And let's not forget the stifling un-airconditioned car during the summer that crops up when you're sweating the most. And that one mysteriously empty car with many empty seats you enter...and then...BAM. The utter intense BO of someone sleeping on a far bench hits you in the face and makes you gag. Or the subway gropers, pissers, loud talkers, and beggers. A few weeks ago a group of men decided that it would be especially impressive and a great moneymaker if they blasted their boombox and did breakdancing moves...yes, head spins and flips and all...on the moving and packed train. Needless to say, my foot got stomped on more than once.

And then you have to deal with signs like this. And you're lucky to even get a sign like this--usually you just find out once you get to the next stop (oh, I guess this train is going local...I'm annoyed, but what can I do? I guess I'll just take it out on the next person who annoys me). I'd say the worst part about the subway is the overall feeling of helplessness. I bet half of the stress New Yorkers experience comes from repressed subway frustration. Let's say your train stalls between stations and comes to a halt for 15 minutes. What can you do? You sigh, look at your watch, shuffle your feet, try to take calm deep breaths, once in awhile let out a low grumble, or, if you're some people, loudly complain to anyone who's willing to listen in the same car as you. Then the train starts moving again and you try to forget that that ever happened, but it festers in the back of your brain as you get off at your stop. Then someone's backpack hits your shoulder and suddenly you find yourself yelling WATCH WHERE YOU'RE GOING SH*THEAD! Yeah, I haven't really yelled at someone on the subway yet, but I've been yelled AT plenty of times. But one day...one seemingly peaceful, beautiful day...I won't be able to take it anymore and all hell will break loose. I hope I'm in LA by the time that happens.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Soderbergh @IFC Film Center

I'm gonna miss having the IFC Film Center around. It's so conveniently located and surrounded by lots of interesting/small places to hop into and eat at (by the way--Famous Joe's Pizza? Disgusting. Okay, maybe it's not disgusting, but the tomato sauce is bland, the cheese managed to taste old and stale even though I got slices off of a pie just pulled out of the oven...I can think of 3 pizza places on the spot in Brooklyn that are a zillion times better). N has brought me to lots of the smaller film spots around NYC, and they all have their own charm to them. There's something about the snooty nerdy film crowd that I enjoy. We watched a screening of Schizopolis there which was followed by a Q&A with Steven Soderbergh himself. I thought N might pass out from being overwhelmed by his presence, even though he didn't show it.

I think most of these director Q&As tend to be the same thing over and over again...most of the questions being something like "How did you become a genius, and can I become one too?" or "I know more than these other idiots who are asking questions, let me rub my film knowledge in your face before I ask my question" or "Was that bird flying in the background in the second scene supposed to symbolize the character's spiritual journey through rehab?" I feel bad for the directors sometimes.

I know LA is the film mecca, but I'm sure the crowd and culture there are different than New York's. I think I'll miss it.

Monday, September 15, 2008

scaffolding, scaffolding everywhere

yet another reason why i dislike nyc:

scaffolding. all of this scaffolding went up around my office in the past week or so. now everyone in midtown (including a lot of lost-looking tourists) are corralled and herded through narrow spaces like cattle, as if it weren't crowded enough already. and the blocks and blocks of skyscrapers already blocked out 90% of any natural light, and now the scaffolding takes care of the rest. oh, and don't forget about the rash of construction accidents during the past year (concrete falling from above, cranes collapsing, and, of course, scaffolding falling). yay.