On our way

You guys. Today is my last day of taking the LIRR to work.

My friend James told me recently that the railroad must be mad at me because of how many issues there have been this month. Raised fees, derailed and delayed trains, equipment trouble and overcrowding — we’ve seen a little bit of everything in the last few weeks.

Well, good riddance, amiright?

We’ll start moving in today, but I actually have a few pictures to share that Joey took when he stopped in yesterday. Fair warning, I’m a little disappointed that they managed to make a completely gutted and renovated apartment look exactly like it would look if it had been set up over a decade ago. (Ugh…the bathroom tile. The cabinet finishes.) But I know I’m jut being a whiner. It’s all shiny and new and whatever. Here ya go:

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So there you have it. I’ll, of course, post more pictures once we get it more set up. (And after I’ve hidden that dang pink tile I can’t seem to escape behind a shower curtain.)

Assuming I survive the moving process, see ya Monday!

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Good news.

You guys. I know where I’m living in three weeks.

That’s right; we found an apartment! (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Lets all exhale one collective sigh of relief, shall we? Phew.

I mean, it’s not like I thought we would never find a place. It was just really stressful searching, and I was concerned that we would just never find anything we loved and then we’d run out of time and have to settle for something that was just okay.

But, you guys, I really think I love this place.

I say think because when we saw it, it was being completely renovated. So it will have new floors, a brand new kitchen and bathroom, and re-plastered walls. But while I can’t be exactly sure what it will look like when it’s done, I have a pretty good idea from the other apartments in that building we saw. And, honestly, it’s a gamble I’m willing to take for a brand new apartment.

Alas, though, I don’t have any pictures for you yet. But I promise to post a bunch as soon as I do.

For now, we’re continuing to pack and sell off furniture we won’t need in the new place. I sold the china cabinet, our chunky bookshelves I want to replace with something slimmer to take up less space, and now I think I want to sell one of our desks. We might also end up replacing the dining room table, but I have to do some measuring first to make sure it won’t fit if we take the leaf out.

Anyway. Just thinking out loud again.

Thank you for putting up with my crazy while this all got figured out. And for those of you who live in Astoria…watch out. We’re coming for ya.

Obsessed.

Last night. I had a dream I was viewing an apartment. I may have a disease.

But seriously. I realize the apartment hunt is all I can talk about (and, let’s be honest, think about). I’d like to tell you I’m going to chill out about it, but I also like not lying to your beautiful faces.

Plus, I don’t know, I feel like ensuring we have a place to live in three weeks is an okay thing to obsess over a bit.

In the name of OPTIMISM, I can tell you that we’ve switched tactics a bit. Inspired by the lovely Emilia’s suggestion (and, okay, my husband’s subtle requests to look at apartments there) we are officially focusing on Astoria. Why was I resisting Astoria? I don’t know. People who live there seem to love it. And, you guys. You can get so much more for your money. So that’s the new plan.

I’m hopeful that we’ll have a place by the end of the week. Please think good, apartment-finding thoughts for me.

ANYWAY. Once we actually find the place, the fun part can begin. And of corse I mean fun for me because I’m talking about decorating the place.

Hopefully once that starts, my posts will stop sounding so crazed. (Probably not.)

Everything I hate about apartment hunting in New York.

1. Everything is rushed.

You would think that when you’re making a decision that will dramatically affect your life and finances for at least the next year of your life, it would be a decision you’d want to labor over for a bit.

WRONG.

When it comes to the New York City rental market, fortune favors the impulsivequick-thinking. Because odds are that if you even think you want that apartment, there are at least five other people who definitely want it. Like, yesterday.

2. There are too many and yet not enough options.

We all know I have problems with contentment. Which is why I have such a hard time being like, yes! This is the one. Because what if there’s a better/bigger/cheaper apartment out there? Or will be in a day or two? WHAT IF THIS IS A TERRIBLE MISTAKE?

You really can’t think like this. I know that, but it can be hard to remember sometimes. That’s when it’s helpful to remember that this is only a 1-year lease.

But even though there are always other fish in the seaapartments in Brooklyn, the aforementioned rushed atmosphere of the hunt can make you feel like maybe there just aren’t enough affordable good ones to go around.

3. Most brokers are the worst people you’ve ever met.

In the last week, I have encountered two “adults” whom I have wanted to punch in the face. We all know I have issues with people who don’t do their jobs, and when it comes to brokers, it drives me even crazier because they have zero motivation for not doing their jobs. You don’t get paid if I don’t get an apartment. Why are you so horrible?

That being said, there are some good brokers. It’s just hard to find the ones who straddle the line between lazy and pushy.

4. Everything is just so expensive.

I never dislike living in New York quite as much as when I’m looking for an apartment.

The other day, I typed what we’re looking to pay out here into a Des Moines Craigslist search, and guess what? I couldn’t even find an apartment over $900 a month. (My readers who live in New York will find that amusing. My Midwestern readers will probably to a spit-take and say, “You mean you can in New York?”)

The fact that I’m spending more on rent than a lot of people do on a mortgage is not lost on me. This I why I will never have a house in New York.

There are a bunch of other little reasons why I hate this process, but I think I’ve whined enough for now.

If you live in the NYC area and know of an apartment that’s opening up, give me a shout. I’ll be the one weeping as she scrolls through Street Easy listings.

Remembering to be happy

I’ve been thinking a lot about this post I wrote a while back. Recently, an old friend reached out to me and told me that she has read this post multiple times and it really helps her remember to find joy in things even when life isn’t perfect.

That kind of knocked the wind out of me because, honestly, I haven’t been doing such a great job of that myself over the last two months.

Things have been really stressful at work since the new year. I’ve been feeling a bit homesick for the first time in four years. (Not always for a place, but for the people and life I used to have at the time. Ahh ’twas simpler back then.) Compounding all that is our impending move, needing to finish packing, needing to actually find a place in one of the most cut-throat real estate markets, needing to move all our stuff…

It can be really hard to find the joy when you’re dealing with a perpetual stomachache and stress headache.

But I’m not doing anyone any favors (least of all myself) by dwelling on the things I can’t control and just have to deal with. So, in the name of the Happiness Project, I give you a list of things that I am happy about:

1. Joey and I had a really fun date last night. We’ve been so busy lately (me with traveling and work, him with side jobs and work) that we haven’t really been connecting as much. And because my patented stress management technique is bottling up my feelings until I finally burst into sobs over something as unimportant as breaking a dish, I know I’ve been wall-ing myself off instead of opening up and letting him help me. So last night we used up some Outback Steakhouse gift certificates he got from work (SUP.), followed it up with some fro-yo and The Walking Dead, and basically unloaded everything we were dealing with. I know I felt tons better. My husband is pretty awesome.

2. WE SOLD THE CHINA CABINET. I know the all-caps might imply that I’m more excited about this development than the date night, but I think I’m just more surprised.

I had originally posted my (elegantly crafted) Craigslist ad on President’s Day, and despite getting a few nibbles, no one ended up buying it. I renewed the ad on Monday and got three offers by the afternoon (and another one last night). Last night, a woman who lives in our town came by and said she would take it. Left a deposit and everything! So it will hopefully be in its new home by Saturday night.

Lesson learned: No one Craigslist shops seriously on President’s Day.

You guys. I am so relieved. I have literally been stressing about reselling the thing since we decided to move. And it’s especially nice to cross something off my things-we-need-to-do-before-we-move list.

3. I’m looking at apartments tonight! Which isn’t exactly positive necessarily, but it could be. At least I’m doing something besides emailing countless ads only to be told that place I’m looking at has sold but would I like to look at some uglier apartments in bad neighborhoods?!?

Answer: No. And I hate you for tricking me.

So anyway. Those are the things I’m being happy about. Not a bad list, right?

Everyone leave a comment about something that’s making you happy. LETS START A REVOLUTION! (OF JOY!)

Nostalgia tour.

It’s official, you guys — we’re in moving mode.

Last night, we had a couple friends over for what we had already agreed was going to be our last entertaining venture in this apartment. Starting March 1st, we’ll begin looking at apartments, so we’ll want to be as ready to go next month as possible. Meaning we have to start packing. And selling anything we don’t want to bring with us.

And, as I’ve mentioned before, that includes our china cabinet.

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She really is a good ol’ gal. It’s kind of amazing given the amount of dishware/glassware we have (occupational hazard of working for a dinnerware company) we have that everything fits. Plus we can use the hidden compartments in the server to hide a bunch of other random stuff. If you live in the Long Island area (or are willing to make a trip, I guess?) and want to give it a good home, info is here. (By the way, how much do you love my product description? Can you tell I was a professional copywriter for six months???)(Ugh…at least the pictures are nice, right?)

Speaking of which, I guess I must be getting a little nostalgic because I actually took a bunch of pictures of our living room/dining room to share with you guys. A belated apartment tour of the only rooms I really feel comfortable showing people. (Well, except the bathroom…I let people see that. But it looks the same as it did in this post. Minus the weird yellow tinge. I mostly mean that I’m still not showing you our bedroom because it never stopped being a disaster. And the kitchen is clean, but just not that pretty in photos.)(OMG LONGEST DISCLAIMER EVER. JUST SHOW THEM THE PHOTOS.)

Here we go!

{living room, facing the gallery wall}
{living room, facing the gallery wall}
{living room, facing the TV}
{living room, facing the TV}
{living room, facing the windows}
{living room, facing the windows}
{living room, facing the dining room}
{living room, facing the dining room}
{dining room}
{dining room}

So there you have it. All in all, it was a pretty great first apartment. Sure, the outlet in the bathroom didn’t work, the thermostat was super sensitive, the kitchen cabinets were miniscule…I could go on about why it wasn’t perfect. But I’m pretty sure the first place isn’t supposed to be perfect. It’s supposed to give you memories.

Job well done, apartment. Job well done.

I almost got hit by a car today.

I was almost hit by a car this morning.

I don’t want to over-dramatize this. I’m totally fine. For the most part, I was not actually struck by the car. And it was entirely not my fault. (Mom.)

Here’s what went down.

I was walking to my office from Penn Station, like I do virtually every single day. I have to cross a series of streets and avenues to do so. In the name of total disclosure, I’m admitting right here and now that I do not always wait for the walk signal. If no cars are coming, I cross the street.

This is not just a me thing. This is an everyone-in-New-York-who-doesn’t-have-time-to-wait-to-cross-an-empty-street. (Insert: “New Yorkers are so impatient” joke here.)

Despite my penchant for (not actually illegal)(I don’t think?) jaywalking, I’d like to point out that in this case, I was crossing 9th Avenue because the crosswalk sign was telling me it was my turn to walk. The little white man was fully lit. It wasn’t even a blinking red warning hand.

So I crossed.

I was aware of a black sedan that wanted to turn left onto 9th Ave. He was slowly inching out, and I figured he was just waiting for the person crossing in front of me and me to get to the sidewalk. Then he would turn because his light was green.

Just because I know my mom is going to read this and think something to the effect of “If I had only just never let her leave my womb, this would never have happened!!!!”, I feel the need to point out that there was no way I could have seen this coming or prevented it. Short of just never crossing the street ever. I did what any normal person would have done. I crossed when the crosswalk told me I should cross.

Anyway. I was about two steps from clearing the front of his hood when I realized he had no intention of stopping and was in fact speeding up to turn.

I’d love to tell you that in that moment, time slowed down. Or that everything crystallized and became very clear for me.

In reality, it all happened super fast. But in a fit of The Next Karate Kid-edness, I slammed my left hand down onto the hood of his car and vaulted the rest of my body clear of the car.

The moment my feet hit the ground (and the driver apparently registered that the loud thunk he had heard was his car making contact with a human being), he and eye made equally wide-eyed eye contact. Both our mouths hung open for a second in total shock. (Well, his mouth was suspicious shaped into words something like “oh ship”, but I’ll leave the speculation to you.)

It was at that moment that I had no idea what to do next. Technically, nothing had happened. He had done something stupid (not watching where he was turning…I have no idea what he was looking at) and kind of illegal (turning into a crosswalk where pedestrians were walking), but technically nothing bad had come of it. I was so shocked and flustered, I honestly just kept walking while making furtive glances over my shoulder to see if anyone had noticed. (I honestly think no one did. Or they just didn’t say anything.)

To the driver’s credit, though he had started to just drive away, I watched him pause for a few seconds, obviously wondering if he should get out and do something. I guess he took the fact that I was not hanging around as his cue to vacate the scene. I don’t know what else I would expect him to do. (“Hey! Hey, you! Buy me a coffee for almost crippling me!”)

The point is, I’m totally fine, if not slightly rattled. But honestly, I have to chuckle at the fact that I’m pretty sure if any of us are going to walk away with a phobia about this, it’s the driver. He’ll become one of those guys who always thinks he’s hit someone because he almost did!

The kind of ironic thing is that just this morning, I was having trouble coming up with a blog topic and was thinking, “Man, it has been a really long time since I had a classic New York moment!” I should have just given it 45 minutes.

So anyway. That’s the story of how I almost-and-sort-of-did get hit by a car.