Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Dear Readers

Well, here we are again- not quite six months since my last post, and I've been negligent again. So here we go...

I moved to New York in mid-July to start work with G2 Systems, a software consulting firm, and my new employer. I landed at noon without a place to live, but by 5 PM I had a set of keys to my very own tiny little room in an apartment with 3 other guys aged 25-35. My subletter was flying to Paris that night at midnight, and I needed a bed that night, so things worked out pretty well. Introducing my (then) new home:

10th Ave and W 57th St. While my room was small (take a queen size mattress, add 3 inches on either side and then add 3 feet to the door), the air conditioner was quite effective and trust me, I needed my little window-unit AC. New York amazes me as one of those few cities that experiences both nauseating heat (104 on July 30th!) and bone-aching cold (I see you Boston). My weeks were spent learning the ropes at G2 and my weekends were spent running around the city, including a trip to the New York Botanical Gardens, Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, Governors' Island, the Met, the MOMA, and the Pierpont-Morgan. A couple thoughts:

I was excited to see they had a Sequoia at the Botanical Gardens:

False alarm. Not quite a California Sequoia it turns out...

The wildlife refuge was nice, though it strikes me as ironic that a refuge for birds lies about a half mile from one of the world's busiest airports (JFK). Governor's Island has some nice views- I've even included a photo because it's one of the few I actually have from New York...

I did get a few visitors- Jenny in early August and Lauren the next week. A few recommendations if you find yourself in New York.

Azuri Cafe - awesome falafel, served by a crotchety old Israeli man (perfect right?); W 51st and 10 Ave
Kashkaval - a Mediterranean/Eastern European tapas place- cheap too; W 56th and 9th Ave
Supper - a cute little Italian place in the Lower East Side; E 2nd St and Avenue A

The Strand - the world's most awesome used book store. Enough said; E 12th and Broadway

Museums (other than the obvious ones, i.e. the MOMA and the Met):
The Pierpont Morgan Library - Morgan's (as of Morgan Stanley) private collection with lots of random gems: one of the two originals of the Emancipation Proclamation, letters from JD Salinger's travels in the Netherlands in 1990's; E 36th and Madison

Around Labor Day I took a trip to Seattle to see Jenny (more on that later), and alas, my sublet in Hell's Kitchen ended. Unfortunately, my sublet ended the weekend Hurricane Irene loomed over the city, so I decided to count my losses and took the first place I was offered: a bedroom in a two bedroom apartment on the Upper East Side with a 40-year old French landlord/real-estate agent- did I mention my room was a walkthrough?

In her defense, she only woke me up once walking through my room to get to hers in the middle of the night (creepy right?). Fortunately, after a mere two weeks there, one weekend of which I spent in Maine (more on that later too), I was offered a move to San Francisco. I didn't turn that down and before I knew it-

I was home.

A few reflections on New York:

1. I was always intimated by New York before I lived there, but after my eight weeks there, the city really grew on me, and I'm glad I got to experience it.

2. No other city bustles quite like New York- every other city I've been to since is so quiet without all those taxis honking.

3. If only New York had backpacking or hiking...

And even if it's small (the place in my heart, not the city), New York will always have a place in my heart.

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