Thursday, May 27, 2010
It has been a few weeks since I got lost in Harlem. I'm happy to say that I have not gotten lost since then. Perhaps even more astonishing, I have not yet been mugged. As this is the case, I would like to formally retract my fear of New York City.
Now for two very different stories. The first is very placid, soothing and perhaps a bit mushy. The second is disturbing.
For those of you who don't know, I found a job showing apartments for a real estate company. As part of my job, I have ventured to Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx. (I actually haven't made any money yet because its 100% commission...). As I show the apartments I get to talk with all kinds of people; from university students to professors to doctors and construction workers. They all have different interests and priorities. I talked with one guy about the human condition and the fall of democracy, another about trauma patients, and still another about drug dealers.
I have learned a lot about these people specifically, and one thing about people in general; they all want their home to be a safe place. One where they aren't criticized or made fun of by roommates, one that is clean and free of bugs, one that offers protection from the heat and cold, and one where they can be loved. Some people don't find all of this, and it has made me very grateful that I have always had a home like that. So, thank you parents, siblings, former roommates, and especially Kim.
Now, lest you think New York has made me go soft, here is the second story. This is the point where you should stop reading out loud and proceed with caution. Human waste is involved.
I was riding on the "A" train when seven or eight teenage girls ran from their end of the train car to mine screaming "I'm going to puke!" and "That is so gross!" and "Get me out of here!" I was alarmed that I was going to be puked on so I maneuvered to avoid being hit by any vomit that might escape from the nice school girl. Only then did I realize the cause of the nausea. A very large, very stinky homeless man was peeing on the floor of the subway car as it was driving down the track. Gross. He then proceeded to pull down his pants, squat against the wall and relieve his bowels. Very gross.
The girls, myself, and the rest of the train riders conversed about our shared horrific experience and at the next stop, moved to the next train car. I went in to work and asked if it is normal for the 4th car on the northbound "A" train to be used as a homeless bathroom. The answer was no, but I no longer set my bag on the floor of any subway cars.
Thank you for reading,
Monday, May 24, 2010
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Thursday, May 6, 2010
We went grocery shopping again tonight- our third time since we got here Sunday. That’s mostly because the first two times we went everything was so expensive we didn’t want to buy anything and then realized when we got home that we still didn’t have any food (seriously though, 5$ for Raisin Bran? 2$ for a can of spaghetti sauce? Not the way I was raised!). There aren’t any grocery stores near us, just markets and little stands, from what I found the only grocery stores on the Island are Whole Foods and Trader Joes, which I was told was the cheapest… probably because they at least keep a similar price to their stuff in the rest of the country. Finally, I have food again!
Since I’ve been working every day, we’ve only been able to adventure after I get home around 5:45 (5+subway time) so we’ve only really wandered around our neighborhood and made one trip out to central park. Don’t worry, we’ve got some crazy stuff planned for this weekend that you’ll have to come back for! In the meantime, some pictures!
Monday's Adventure: A walk through Morningside park for FHE
Monday, May 3, 2010
I started out this morning by walking down broadway st. and asking every restaurant with waiters between 120th and 98th if they were hiring. I got 5 or 6 "come back tomorrow"s. So we will see what happens then. I also lined up two interviews for jobs posted on craigslist and started the application process with Columbia University. It was a good job hunting day.
Besides all that I:
- had lunch in my overheated 7th floor apartment
- took the subway all by myself
- accidentally ended up in the middle of Harlem (see #2)
- found out what "the projects" are (see #3)
- found a bus all by myself to get out of the middle of Harlem (see#4)
- got drenched in a freak thunderstorm
- applied to work at a hotel as I waited for the storm to pass
- bought groceries for 3 times what I would pay in Utah
- ate dinner with Kim in morningside park
Sunday, May 2, 2010
When we got to the airport though, we decided that rather than spend $30 on a cab, we would take the bus. Although I wouldn’t say I regret that decision, it was certainly more interesting… our three suitcases trying to fit on a crowded, hot, muggy bus.
My favorite part was at one point the bus was completely packed and we got to a stop and 5 or 6 people were trying to get on. The driver asked everyone to move back, and people yelled from the back that there wasn’t any room. The driver said we weren’t moving until we made room, and a guy trying to get on was yelling in a fantastic NY accent, “Where is the love?” and “I can’t wait for the next bus, I have to get home for the basketball game!” Somehow we all squeezed on.
We finally made it to the I-house and checked in to our room… rooms? We ended up getting a little more than we bargained for. Our room is fantastically large- but our apartment has two other bedrooms that belong to two girls, on from Turkey and the other that we haven’t met yet. From what we understand this room is a temporary one, and the people in the studio we are getting should be moving out this week. We’ll see. In the meantime- this is us: very hot and tired, but thrilled to be in NYC!