I have a blog…oh right!

I would like to apologize to all of my loyal readers (Mom and…Bueller?…Bueller?…Anyone?) for being such a “slogger” (slacking blogger) these past few months. Between relearning five new versions of Facebook and tweeting my life away on other social networks, my phalanges have been too phatigued to bang out wonderfully witty wordpress wupdates(?).

And since we have now made cyber amends, I will do my best to compose a few brief catch up posts in the upcoming days.

Here’s November 2008 for you:

My roommate and I finally finished decorating the apartment. To celebrate, we threw a small, very successful housewarming shindig/soiree. Below are a few pictures from the first of many celebrations in 4W:

Though our anthropologie-esque apartment decor received the stamp of approval from our friends, even our elegant peacock curtains were upstaged by our “to die/ sell your firstborn child for cheesecake strawberries” and white sangria.

No visitors allowed

“One morning, as Gregor Samsa was waking up from anxious dreams, he discovered that in bed he had been changed into a monstrous verminous bug. He lay on his armour-hard back and saw, as he lifted his head up a little, his brown, arched abdomen divided up into rigid bow-like sections.” He lounged for a little while, and at 12:30 am on October 13, 2008, he decided to scurry into an Upper East apartment and scare the Kafka out of the tenant.

I have decided–not based on scientific data, but rather on what is best for my sanity, that Gregor is both sterile and has no interest in adopting other young roachlings.

If I see him again, I’ll have my apple ready.

The Gristedes’ customer bail out package??

Anyone who has recently turned on her television set, glanced over at someone else’s copy of The New York Times, Post, Daily News, People Magazine, Enquirer, etc. during an early morning commute, or too closely followed another vehicle in order to read the red, white, and blue bumper sticker adhered to its rubber rear, knows that we, Americans, will be faced with a critical, yet exciting decision in the upcoming weeks: Is it time for Cloris Leachman to hang up her dancing shoes or should we cut this 82-year-old woman some slack? Though ageism is a real and relevant form of inequity (and if my blog entry has triggered sudden pangs of guilt, remember that ATT users can make amends via text message every Monday evening after Dancing With the Stars), it is understandably not one of the dominant issues on either campaign’s ticket. Rather, the 2008 election buzz words include (drumroll) pork barrel spendingmiddle class, alternative energy, exit strategy, Wall Street/ Main Street, Iraq, maverick, and budget.

I am a proud registered voter. I did the research and, as a result, feel confident in my choice of candidate. However, as a politically inexperienced, nearsighted, dinosaur-fearing, brunette female, I know that I should simply focus on smaller things and leave the country to the experts or the elected (fingers crossed that the two coincide). Now that you know where I stand, please note that when I whip out political jargon such as “balancing the budget,” I am referring to my own challenges in figuring out how to eat, play, and pay in Manhattan.

I have been living off of my mother’s pantry and subsequently, my Hofstra meal plan, for the past 22 years of my life; therefore I have little concept of both price of food and of how much I should be spending per week at the store. I initially figured that if I indulged in grocery shopping/stove slaving instead of resorting to take-out and grab-n-go, I should be able to comfortably survive off of a five dollar-a-day budget. Good news–this can be done…if you embrace your old college buddy, Ramen. If you do not know me or are unfamiliar with my picky palette, let me fill you in: I would categorize myself under the health-conscious herbivore column, not the freezer pizza fanatic one.

Organic vegetables and vegetarian protein sources are a) expensive and b) have a shorter shelf life than most other foods. A jar of Almond Butter at Gristedes’ Supermarket costs $15.99! An organic tomato has an “enjoyment window”of roughly four days!  At this rate, a young renter’s salad would consist merely of lettuce (and maybe shredded carrots on the weekends). For the splurger, the whole ingredients for flavorful and colorful salads of substance would cost around $35.00 a week plus NY tax (for vegetables alone!).  Eggplant, fresh portabella mushrooms, red peppers, onion, and zucchini, though light in calories, all add up in cost. I will post my most recent receipt in an upcoming entry.

 In the end, I am not willing to compromise my diet . As a result, I must bite the vegetable bullion cube and accept the fact that eating green costs well, a lot of green.

Just pictures…no wit

bed

 

desk

 

fire escape, radiator, clutter

 

closet

 

I will post more pictures of the apartment shortly.

Celebrate diversity

If variety is the “spice of life”, then NYC is a ramican full of Sriracha.

It is truly amazing how so many different nationalities are represented in one overcrowded, underairconditioned subway car. While there are many countries out there still unable settle their differences with one another (even though they are separated by mountain ranges, bodies of water, hundreds of miles, herds of Bighorn Sheep, etc.), Manhattan, an island spanning only 22.96 square miles (according to the ever so reliable Wikipedia), is home to 1,620,867 people–many of who not only practice a tolerance of others, but also welcome and embrace cultural diversity. Just the other day, my “treadmill neighbor” at New York Sports Club was finding strength and inspiration by blasting Celine Dion (Canadian)’s power house ballad “Taking Chances” on her IPOD. I have also learned that one does not have to journey more than a few avenues to experience harmony and understanding.  I mean, why visit the UN Headquarters when you can stand on Fifth Avenue and see an Italian-born D&G handbag sported alongside the French threads of Chanel couture?  My recent discovery of the Jew-talian Bagel and Pizza Eatery twenty short blocks south of my apartment, however,  was the swift kick in my Hungarian-Russian-Polish-American tuchess I needed. At that moment, I knew that if I wanted to emerse myself in this melting pot mania, action needed to be taken. Consuming a California roll would not cut it.

 

After some internet research and a few phone calls, around 11 AM on Saturday, Sweden came knocking. Flat-packed diversity! Here are my newest additions from Ikea:

kitchen table- Ikea MUDDUS

kitchen table- Ikea MUDDUS (black)

 

dresser- MALM white

dresser- Ikea MALM (white)

comfy Ikea POANG

chair- Ikea POANG (black)

“Watch out, Renoir. You’re dripping on my loveseat.”

Article 11, Section 2, intentionally vague subparagraph #432, entitles the leasee (yours truly) to a “clean, freshly-painted apartment” upon move in.  Clearly my eyes must have given out halfway through seemingly pointless and safely skim-able subparagraph #433, because I somehow missed a vital part of the fine print.  I, the sheltered little girl from the suburbs, assumed that my walls (and perhaps my ceilings) would receive this promised fresh coat of paint.

Ahh loopholes.

Apparently, lightswitches, wood floors, doorknobs, bathtubs, electrical outlet openings, and furniture are also, by definition, part of the term “apartment,” and are therefore not exempt from a fresh splattering of Benjamin Moore. Needless to say, when my roommate and I first keyed into our Spin Art nightmare, we dialed the building Super faster than you can turn on a lightswitch that has been painted in the “off” position. 

In the end, after a few harsh words in 2-3 different languages, the apartment was cleaned up. Be weary New Yorkers. I caught some footage of these painters working on their next project across town.  It seems like they have still not learned to use newspaper and painter’s tape:

“It’s one block north to Macy’s and two to Brothers Brooks, Manhattan I’m prepared for you.”

In true wide-eyed, twenty-something girl meets big city fashion (a la musical theatre ingenue archetypes Millie Dillmount and Peggy Sawyer), I have arrived in my new neighborhood on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, armed with nothing but a Florida driver’s license, my 305 area code, far too many clothes, shoes, accessories, books, cosmetics, furniture, decorations (you get the picture) for my closet of a room’s closet, and big dreams for the future. The promise of adventure and the unparalleled energy that this “island of joy” exudes, makes my limited square footage with a Barney’s private collection price tag seem like a bargain on par with the Louisiana Purchase (plus utilities). I plan on chronicling my most notable and entertaining adventures, challenges, and neighborhood explorations/discoveries. So please duck the turnstile and join me on the 6 train toward Pelham Bay commute into my world. Stay tuned for more posts.

Allison