Friday, August 15, 2008

The First Week

A very blurry Times Square--I didn't notice it until this posting, but on the right side of the picture is a sign that says "Baruch Habah" (Welcome) in Hebrew. No idea what the sign is for but I'm hoping it's a good omen.

I've been in New York since Sunday, and what a week it's been! We've been constantly busy cleaning, shopping, putting together, arranging, rearranging, breaking apart boxes, and more. The apartment is starting to look like a home, a cute perfect-for-one-person kind of home. I think I am going to like it here.

Things didn't start off quite so nicely. On Sunday, there was bad weather just outside the NY area that delayed flights into NYC for a long time. So, instead of arriving at LaGuardia at noon as scheduled, we sat in the airport in Baltimore for a few hours until the weather cleared up. Aunt Diane and I literally sat on a plane for 3 hours, and finally went inside just minutes before they announced the flight would be leaving. I guess getting our butts off the plane was exactly what Mother Nature wanted us to do to get the flight going again.

Anyways, when we finally got here, Adam was already inside (he took a different airline since he had a free flight) putting together some of my electronics. Thank goodness he was there to put in my AC's before we got there! At first glance, I had a horrible "What the hell was I thinking when I first saw and LIKED this place?" kind of moment. The apartment was dirty and smelly and not at all like I remembered. I spent the rest of the night moping around and trying to get excited about living here. It didn't really work until...

The next morning we left the hotel to rent a car (including our GPS system, so we'd know where we were going) and hit up the Brooklyn IKEA. IKEA is the greatest place in the world to buy new, inexpensive furniture if you don't mind putting it all together yourself. We spent at least 6 hours perusing the showroom, writing down what we wanted, and finally making our way to the warehouse to pick up the boxes. It was a LONG day, and the car was VERY full, but somehow we made it home. We then had to carry the heavy boxes up the stairs (did I mention my building has no elevator? Yep, I have a free stair-stepper!) Adam was ready to kill me by the time everything was up, but we made it. He began putting together my bedroom furniture while Aunt Di and I went to buy a bed and get some dinner for all of us.

Our GPS system, who we lovingly referred to as "Judy" because she spoke to us in an English accent like my voice teacher in Israel. By the end of the week, we wanted to chuck her out the window because she kept giving us this "Lost satellite reception" screen and then gave us completely wrong or out of the way directions

Aunt Diane and I covered in IKEA boxes

Tuesday, we went to Bed Bath and Beyond to pick up all the stuff we'd ordered, and then to Ashley Home Store in New Jersey so I could buy a couch. I got a pretty brown one that is very soft and comfy! We then came back here to wait for my bed to arrive and put more stuff together/away. Then, it was time for a Target run, where we bought things like Ziplock Bags and batteries. It was an incredibly exciting day, let me tell you. But! We put everything on my bed, which is the greatest bed I've ever seen or had. I love everything about it, especially the fact that it's high off the ground. I kept mentioning to everyone that I would be closer to God whenever I'm asleep...I love that :)

My beautiful bed

Wednesday, things finally started to come together. We took another trip to BB&B to return some stuff and buy some more, and then went to lunch on 31st street, near my home subway stop. We also found a grocery store and stocked up on staples and fresh fruits and veggies (I can not wait to cook for myself!) We came home and continued to put stuff together, which we did throughout the rest of the day. Thursday was finally a day to relax a bit. By this point, mostly everything was put together and all we had left to do were the little things. We also had to bid farewell to Aunt Diane, which was bittersweet for all of us. She's been a huge help throughout this entire process, and my apartment would not look nearly as cute (and I would never know how to make a hospital corner on my bed) if not for her. After Aunt Di left, Adam and I putzed around the apartment for a bit, doing all the little things that needed doing and chilling out some. Around 4pm we got restless, and decided to see if we could find a half-price Broadway show for the night. We took our first subway ride into the city and got in line at the TKTS booth at the Marriot Marquis. We were in luck and landed half-price seats to Avenue Q--I'd never seen the show, but know and love all the music, so I was very excited. Literally as soon as we got our tickets, the rain started pouring down, so we hung out in a fancy office building on 7th Ave until it slowed down a bit. As soon as it did, we ventured 10 blocks to the famous Carnegie Deli, so Adam could get the corned beef sandwich he so desperately wanted (and deserved.) We shared the biggest sandwich I've ever seen and stumbled out of there like 2 stuffed pigeons. It was quite the sight. Then, we hung out around the touristy Broadway section of NYC, playing around at the stores and waiting for the show to begin. Finally, we made it to Avenue Q, which was fun and adorable and wonderful after a week's worth of hard work.
Adam displaying HALF of the ginormus sandwich we shared at Carnegie Deli. We both left feeling like Weebles.

Being silly with a huge bottle of Hershey's Syrup in the huge Hershey's store in Times Square

Avenue Q! Go see it!

And today we've been putzing around some more, doing our first load of laundry and picking up some groceries for Shabbat dinner. I'm so excited that Julia is coming all the way from Brooklyn to eat with us; I'd wanted to have a big gathering for dinner, but since I don't yet have my couch and the apartment is still a bit of a mess, I decided to keep it small. Adam, Julia and myself will be the perfect first Shabbat dinner in my apartment.

Tomorrow, Adam leaves and I will be faced with my new reality of living alone. I was so excited to live alone, and now that it's so close I can taste it, it's a little bit scary. I'm still excited, but it's going to take a lot of getting used to, like everything else in this crazy part of the world. I have to admit that I miss Steph and having HUC'ers all around me, even though last year I complained non-stop about being too close to everyone. I guess I will feel better in time.

Anyways, that's been my first week! Orientation for school begins on Tuesday, so I have 3 more days of freedom before the madness of HUC begins once again. I hope everyone is well--I miss you all and send lots of love from the N-Y-C!

Shabbat shalom!

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