When bicyclists attack

One afternoon in Richmond I was stuck in stoplight traffic at the intersection of Harrison and Franklin Street in Richmond, minding my own business, when I was hit by a bicycle. I repeat: sitting in a stationary vehicle, I was struck by a bicycle. It was my Civic who suffered the physical blow, though the whole ordeal left me traumatized for at least an hour. Most people are dubious when I tell them I was hit by a bicycle, especially when they see the cluster of dents left, not on the side or rear, but somehow on the top of my trunk. What kind of bicycling she was doing I’ll never know because I still don’t even understand how she hit me.

I’m sitting still, waiting for the light to change when out of nowhere I feel, and hear, the THUMP. Simultaneously I witness the thump’s cause in slow-mo through the lens of my rearview mirror. A mangled mess of hair and handlebars flies up, then down. THUMP.

Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 9.30.14 PM

Thank you, Google Maps, for providing this quality screenshot of the Motherland

My chest tightens and in a lifetime of a second I experience the five stages of grief for what will surely be the loss of my freedom because somehow I’ve managed to kill someone while sitting still at a stoplight. Just my luck. Thanks, Universe. Mostly I’m shocked, even mystified at how this has happened. I can’t understand how I’ve just hit a person without ever moving.

I can’t tell you how much time passed before shock gives way to terror, then confusion and then, a rush of relief when the lady in question pops into my left side mirror, running toward my front window with bulging frantic eyes calling out, “Ohmygod! I’m so sorry!” Ohthankgod. It was her fault. I’m so relieved I could peed my pants (maybe I did?). I’m too stunned to say much save for a dumb inquiry as to the state of her wellbeing. Then the light changed and off I go, still in disbelief.

Later I notice the dent marks on the top of my trunk, presumably from her handlebars. To this day I have no idea how she managed to hit me the way she did. There’s no evidence of her hitting the car from the side or the rear; somehow she just wound up on my trunk, hair, handlebars and all.
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Mondays and Bouviers

“Kyuh-mun!” A childish shriek from a grownass woman sporting a mullet and mom jeans encouraging her dog to move along. She’s got a bouvier and it’s her pride and joy. She refers to the poor beast, which looks like a small shaggy bear hunched into domestic subservience, not by its name or species, but by it’s breed. “My bouvier.” All other bouviers of her past and present encounters are also mentioned at the puppy kindergarten class of Upper Suncoast Dog Club. We decided to take Nola (sorry – “our shorkie”) here because their puppy kindergarten class is the cheapest in the area and the place got reasonable, albeit few, reviews. Unbeknownst to us, the Upper Suncoast Dog Club is the hogwan of dog schools. It’s the kind of place with mullets, purebreeds and the same t-shirts that hipsters wear “ironically” only here it’s in sincerity. And that’s Monday.

B and Nola at Puppy Kindergarten

“Puppy Kindergarten” at the dogwan. Here Nola and  Brenden face off over a bag of freeze dried chicken.

 

Happy NY Primary! (This entry has nothing to do about elections.)

Not much new to report on the Cuba front. The news is repetitive: the U.S. embargo/blockade (depending on the source) poses problems, as do Obama, the Castros, and American tourists. Learning Spanish is slow and somewhat steady. I can blame some of my lapse in my writing on time spent studying.
Presently I’m working on a blog about two of my Safety Harbor neighbors who will soon open a coffee shop on Main Street. I found them on a hunt for coffee with Brenden at our first Third Friday celebration, less than a week after we moved here.
Less than a week after we moved here we were in search of a cafe to sit and use the internet we lacked at our temporary place and indulge in our preferred addictive substance. Less than a week after we moved here we ruminated about how on earth it could be that in this picturesque downhome American’s American town constituting just a handful of blocks transected by central Main Street, home to a majestic willow tree so old, wide and grand that it must now be held in place by wires and protected by a black wrought iron fence (and which has become the face of many Safety Harbor postcards and t-shirts), a library, a fire department, a marina, a chamber of commerce with maybe two employees, and a gamut of almost 100% locally owned businesses, restaurants, and bars, the only coffee shop is a Starbucks. It couldn’t be. I’d accepted that life would have to go on without New York pizza, but life without a mom-and-pop coffeeshop? Fugghedaboudit.
Kent and Logan Runnells are not mom and pop, but father and daughter, and they will soon become my coffee patrons so I am forever in their debt. Meeting them less than a week after our devastating realization, and a little over a week after I decided to start blogging again, was as as energizing as coffee.
As a writer, the only vice that plagues me more than too much coffee is overbearing product anxiety. It took a couple of months for the Runnells and I to orchestrate and interview, which we had almost three weeks ago. In between work, Spanish, other necessary studies, and baby Nola, I’ve been pecking at this thing since the day after posting my last blog. So there you have it: my most recent excuse for a delayed publication.
April 2016.jpg

And that’s Sunday

On Community

January 17, 2016
Sunday
Life in a waterfront community is something special. Today we experienced a sunset at Howard Beach Park.
Howard Sunset

Around 5:40pm

Birdy Sunset

5:50pm-ish

Yesterday we watched the sunrise, sittin’ on the dock of the Bay.

Marina Sunrise

Safety Harbor Marina, sun breaks at 7:23am

We sunned ourselves on the white sand of Clearwater Beach in the afternoon. It was sunny and in the 70s. I got a tan. It’s January. The locals are urging one another to “stay warm” during tomorrow’s 50 degree cold front. It’s snowing in Virginia and rigid in New York. *cue Handel’s Messiah*
Last Sunday I had a most epic thrift store adventure. Gone are the days of $30 thrift shop tees. Hello, $5 Banana Republic! Living room set for $75? Yes please.
On Tuesday I enjoyed clam chowder for under $3. Two lovely men in tropical shirts gave Brenden and me all kinds of information on the area. (See my review of Mid Peninsula Seafood here.)
We’ve taken an apartment in Safety Harbor, an intimate water town atop the St. Pete peninsula. Every Friday they have an ordeal called Third Friday, wherein all 200 people who live here gather on Main Street. The street is blocked off so vendors can peddle their wares. I’ve been to many a generic street fair where fried corn, street meat, cell phones, karate lessons, knicknacks, handmade jewelry and just plain junk are peddled. This is not that.
Third Friday Sign

Welcome!

Every vendor is local and unique. Two guys behind a hot fryer deliver Disco Donuts topped with cinnamon, powdered or rainbow sugar. A lady who hates the heat and goes north every summer sells jewelry made from spoons. Two young people give information to prospective Big Brothers Big Sisters volunteers.
As you’ve noticed, the tone and purpose of this blog has taken a different direction. Dear nieces and nephews, you are the primary reason I write this blog. I want it to be interesting to you. Listening to me list off stuff I’ve done probably gets old, which is part of the reason I stopped writing. The other reason was of course Cody’s death. It is time to move forward.
I’m making some changes. Instead of just telling you what I’ve done and where I’ve been, I want to show you by sharing stories of the communities I explore. Soon I will be adding profiles of people who, in my opinion, make their community special. Make what you will of that word, community. Whether I’m writing you from VA or NY or FL or ZZ, I am always in a community.
What a packed word, community…
Everyone has a different definition of community. I’ve enjoyed living in a community, but to be a part of community is to belong. To me community means interconnectivity. Cohabitation. Contribution. To belong to a community is to add to its richness. To support it’s success. Here on a Friday night, between the coffee makers and dog treat bakers on a ten-block Main Street that terminates at a Marina on a Third Friday evening, I feel confident that I am closer to the dream of belonging to a community than ever before.
But don’t you even think my adventures are over. Honey, I’ve only just begun…
Noosa

Making friends with the Noosa lady. Noosa is the best yogurt, by the way.

Thanksgiving: Just in time for New Year’s!

Dear kids and rest of family,
Since we could not be with you this holiday season, I am bringing part of our holidays to you. This year we were blessed enough to see The Macy’s Day Parade live AND from above! We also had not one but two amazing dinners AND a bagels and lox breakfast. (For more info on the glory that is bagels and lox, click this sentence.) I won’t bore you with a bunch of words and sentencey things, so without further ado I present, pictures:
The starting lineup

The starting lineup

Snooooooopy, Snooooooopy, Snoooooooopy come home

Snooooooopy, Snooooooopy, Snoooooooopy come home

I just love that kid

I just love that kid

THIS guy

THIS guy

Helloooooo!

Helloooooo!

his big blue butt was even more conspicuous

his big blue butt was even more conspicuous

reminiscent of Ghostbusters? Why, yes it was. #terrifying

reminiscent of Ghostbusters? Why, yes it was. #terrifying

because you can't have Snoopy without pumpkins?

because you can’t have Snoopy without pumpkins?

much like Spiderman, the Red Power Ranger wants you to get out the way and has no qualms expressing this

much like Spiderman, the Red Power Ranger wants you to get out the way and has no qualms expressing this

my favorite (aside from Snoopy)

my favorite (aside from Snoopy)

my two favs :-)

my two favs 🙂

ta ta, Papa Smurf!

ta ta, Papa Smurf!

can you imagine a Spongebob voice as big as this Spongebob? A thought perhaps more terrifying than the giant Pillsbury Doughboy.

can you imagine a Spongebob voice as big as this Spongebob? A thought perhaps more terrifying than the giant Pillsbury Doughboy.

weird white character

weird white character

Pikachu!

Cheeeeezzzze!

front of fireman

For Uncle Joey!

Adventure Time(??)

Adventure Time(??)

Elf on a Shelf

Elf on a Shelf

Santa doesn't roll without the elves

Santa doesn’t roll without the elves

The big man

The big man

Of course you are probably more interested in the parade pictures than dinner pictures, but no family Thanksgiving is complete without dinner. Now I will share our meals with you. On Thursday night we enjoyed the cuisine of one of NYC’s hottest chefs (*that last part said in the voice of SNL’s Stefon*), Marcus Samuelsson, at one of his two restaurants, Ginny’s Supper Club. Ginny’s is the jazzy nightclub located in the downstairs of his other restaurant, Red Rooster Harlem. Here we partook in a phenomenal Thanksgiving buffet. To start we had cornbread with tomato jam (which is quite delicious and not as weird as it sounds) and a butternut squash soup. Neither of us had consumed butternut squash soup prior to this and we were a little skeptical, but it was really good! Following we enjoyed unlimited turkey, ribs, potatoes (with the best gravy I’ve ever had), brussel sprouts, and other stuff. Marcus and the folks at Ginny’s are genius and they realized that people would still want dessert even after stuffing themselves into a sweat. So, for dessert there were mini tarts and cakes (also unlimited) and coffee. I didn’t get pics of this, but believe me they rocked my socks. I’ve never liked pumpkin pie, but the pumpkin tarts were so bangin’ that I still haven’t kicked the cravings.

otw to dinner (and super stoked about it)

otw to dinner (and super stoked about it)

FOOD! (we were so hungry it's amazing that I even got this picture)

FOOD! (we were so hungry it’s amazing that I even got this picture)

The day after Thanksgiving we somehow found a way to rise from our buffet food comas and get our tree. It was glorious and done via Subway, as are all of our endeavors.
Christmas tree creeper

Christmas tree creeper

On Saturday we made dinner together and it was the BEST. We had cornish hens (with bacon, of course), scratch rolls (Brenden’s first baking endeavor and they were DELICIOUS), roasted brussel sprouts (with more bacon), rosemary beets, dressing, and mashed potatoes (duh). Oh, and I made pecan pie tarts for the first time. It was so fun and novel going out to dinner on Thanksgiving night, but our team-cooked at-home Thanksgiving dinner was, in my eyes, perfect. We had a blast cooking and decorating together throughout the day, and this translated into a divine! dinner.
rockin the Arab-style seating

rockin the Arab-style seating – note the tree in the background!

cornish hens

cornish hens

potatoes

getting closer to mom’s potatoes…

pecan pie tarts

pecan pie tarts

 

FEAST!

FEAST!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM BRENDEN, CODY & ME!!!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM BRENDEN, CODY & ME!

As usual this blog is over a month late now, haha, but as we approach a new year know that you are in our hearts and thoughts and we love you very much. Very, very much.
Always,
(Aunt) Cat[ie]

Summer Digest

Dear kids,

We had a lot of funtivities this summer! We went to a Yankees game and Coney Island. I dashed off to San Antonio and saw mom/ladybug and (uncle/) Dave/dad in July. There’s a bunch; do check out the pics below. For this entry I’m leaving out four key adventures that took place this summer because there are so many pictures from each. These events will eventually come to life in an entry of their own. They are: our visit to the world famous Apollo Theater in Harlem, my visit to San Antonio, a Yankees game at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, and a day trip to Coney Island.

I’ll be honest with you guys. This summer was also too short and kind of rough.But this summer was a time of reflection, remembrance, realization, and apparently alliteration also.

Part of this was loneliness – it’s surprisingly difficult to make friends in this big city – and that led to nostalgia. Wishing for the Motherland and so on. Nostalgia plays dirty tricks on your mind. You remember things at their best instead of as they really were in the end. Fortunately I got a dose of reality when Katrina visited in August I realized how much of that homesickness was actually nostalgia. Katrina is staying on at VCU to get her master’s in occupational therapy (like a boss) and so she reminded us of how, although there was a hey-day in RVA that we all shared and reveled in, we’d all kind of outgrown it. This was a good reminder because it led me to another conclusion: I wasn’t taking enough advantage of all there was to learn here in THE City and that was part of the reason my brain was playing nostalgic tricks on me.

After Katrina left I decided it was time to pull myself up by my bootstraps and reenergize my mind. For months I’d been here in this new place exploring and discovering new “spots,” but I’d not really done much to learn about new ideas, trades, and concepts as I had when I was a student and then teacher at VCU. This needed to change at once. If you’re not learnin’, you’re not doin’ nothin’. And so I realized that although I was running about doing all this stuff, I wasn’t taking the time to learn more about all the life around me. I’d stopped reading and asking questions regularly and that’s never good.

When I decide to do something I do it. I knew my brain needed a boost so I made plans and goals for boosting it. The first one was a reading list. Since college I’ve had a growing reading list of books I wanted to read when I wasn’t buried under a mountain of textbooks. When I first graduated I started on it, but my efforts tapered off into just reading a book here and there. Enough! I decided to set myself a goal to finish a chunk of that list before Jan 1, 2015. The list itself is over 100 books long, which I’m ashamed to say is too much for me to be able to read in four months, so I picked 20 and I’m sticking to it. I just finished Auntie Mame, a hilarious book about a nephew who goes to live with his zany aunt in NYC. I highly recommend it.

The next plan and goal was to develop skills. I have a degree and sure, that’s great, but I found myself wanting to know how to DO more! For my job I do have to use graphic design software from time to time, so I decided that I want to become a master of this software. I enjoy working with it, and the more I know about it the more cool and fun things I can do with it. I bought myself a couple of textbooks and have been reading the theory and practicing the concepts regularly. Here I am in The City of Opportunity. It would be foolish to not take advantage of all it has to offer to develop and hone new skills.

Finally I begrudgingly decided I needed to be more physically active. I have exercises that I do regularly for my back because of some trouble I’ve had in the past, but I needed to do more. I started going to a free Pilates class at one of the rec centers near work. Keeping up with the regular exercise has been the hardest part for me. I always look at it as a bit of a chore so this makes it difficult. But I never give up because giving up is never an option.

The last thing that I’ve set my mind to doing is to step outside of my comfort zone more because when you step outside of what you already know, you experience something new, and when you experience something new you learn new things. You may not realize you’re learning new things, but you are. I think the biggest reason we had for leaving RVA was that the whole place had become our comfort zone and, with the exception of the occasional new restaurant or bar, there was no new. We could’ve stayed and still learned plenty, but not as much as we’ve learned by up and moving somewhere totally unfamiliar and packed with new things to do, see, experience.

We’re not always going to move around whenever we feel we need to learn, but I also don’t think NYC is the last stop on our residential train. We’re so young! We have all the energy and time to soak up as much about life as we can now so there’s no excuse for us not to be moving and doing. Same goes for you kids.

Just remember to always keep trying to learn. School may not be your thing, but life is nothing but a learning process. I say, if you’re not learning, you’re not living! Try new things, read as much as you can, and ALWAYS ask questions!

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading, and check out the good stuff below.

All my love,
Auntie Cat

 

  • Brenden turned 24 on June 1st. We went to Toast Chicken restaurant for brunch (and maybe a few mimosas).

 

Sporting “the Kramer”

  • Uncle Logan graduated so we went to Fredericksburg, VA to see him. I actually chronicled the beginnings of the voyage there:
    • (About 3pm) I’m on the South Ferry bound 1 [train] and this car has no AC. “As I write this a drop of sweat is rolling down my forehead,” [said Aunt Katrina to me once in a note she wrote while in the Philippines]. Cody is with me, bless her heart, and fortunately the car isn’t crowded. This is the first day of summer in NYC. And I love it. 
    • Jk – now the train’s crowded. The sweltering train is crowded. Now THIS is summer in New York.
    • I’m in a rush to catch a bus to Chinatown so I can get to Fredericksburg for Logan’s graduation. There’s a creeper across from me with a handkerchief and a bandito mustache. He looks just like Brenden’s friend, Justin.
    • I’m stopped at the 42nd St. station on the Brooklyn bound B. Brenden’s train broke down [we are not together yet at this point in the voyage]. We’ve sat for 4 minutes and the doors close and we’re moving. Trains stop for 30 seconds at most stations. Sometimes 40 at a major hub. 4 minutes is a long time. 34th, but stalled again……..
    • [Alas] on the bus. Packed. Crying baby in seat directly in front.
    • It’s 6:09pm. We left Chinatown at 5:02 or so. We’re currently still in Manhattan. And we still have to tackle a bridge… 
    • It’s 3:15am. Arrived in Fredericksburg around 12:30am.

And that, my friends, is why Brenden and I hate travelling back to VA.

On a ferris wheel we found by the mall

On a ferris wheel we found by the mall

 

  • We went to the 50th anniversary celebration of the 1964 World’s Fair, which was hosted at Flushing Meadows in Corona Park, which is in Queens. Most of you probably don’t know that my namesake, Grandma Katy aka Grandma Wood aka Mary Cathleen went to the 1964 World’s Fair. You may recognize the alien spaceshuttlesqe tower thing in the picture below. It’s in one of the first scenes of Men in Black.

    The Pavilion that turns into a spaceship in Men in Black

    The Pavilion that turns into a spaceship in Men in Black

 

The Unisphere at Sunset

The Unisphere at Sunset

 

  • We saw a movie in Washington Square Park, which is near NYU. It was a French film. Cody dug it.
Cody enjoying the French film, Buffet Froid, in Washington Square Park. Cody is still unsure of what that movie was actually about.

Cody enjoying the French film, Buffet Froid, in Washington Square Park. Cody is still unsure of what that movie was actually about.

 

 

  • We spend a lot of time on our roof. That’s an almost daily thing.
Thanks to Instagram you can make NY look all artsy-dreary like it supposedly did long before Instagram existed.

Thanks to Instagram you can make NY look all artsy-dreary like it supposedly did long before Instagram existed.

And this is what happens when you're a Photoshop newb.

And this is what happens when you’re a Photoshop newb.

 

  • I did yoga in Times Square on the Summer Solstice (June 20). It was the strangest thing trying to find peace among all that loud bustling chaos. Unnatural even. It’d be like finding a traffic jam in the soothing waves of the ocean. I wouldn’t say it was unsettling. I never reached peace, though I came to some kind of a dark solace.
Weird, right?

Weird, right?

 

  • One Friday night we saw a midnight movie at Landmark’s Sunshine Theater. It was National Lampoon’s Vacation, the original one. Funny thing is that even though he and I were both raised on old movies neither of us had seen this one. It was a great flick. There we also saw this gem:
R. Kelly's brilliant work of art may be unfamiliar and before your time, but your parents will of course appreciate the masterpiece that reflects what good taste my generation has in music videos. Truly.

R. Kelly’s brilliant work of art may be unfamiliar and before your time, but your parents will of course appreciate the masterpiece that reflects what good taste my generation has in music videos. Truly.

The fanciest candy counter I've ever seen.

The fanciest candy counter I’ve ever seen.

and a fancy marquee

and a fancy marquee

  • We went to a rooftop party at a place right next to the Empire State Building. There we learned that it is, in fact, impossible to meet people at parties unless you come with a friend who knows everyone.
It never loses its luster. Anytime I ever see it, especially up close, I feel tingles of excitement. And I see it almost daily!

It never loses its luster. Anytime I ever see it, especially up close, I feel tingles of excitement. And I see it almost daily!

  • Katrina came to visit. I took a couple of days off and we explored. It was fantastic!
    Pre-Central Park Bloody Marys on a Friday afternoon. #winning

    Pre-Central Park Bloody Marys on a Friday afternoon. #winning

    The lovely Katrina in Central Park

    The lovely Katrina in Central Park

    Lots of love at the world-famous Bohemian Beer Garden in Astoria, Queens.

    Lots of love at the world-famous Bohemian Beer Garden in Astoria, Queens.

    More beer love :-)

    More beer love 🙂

    Our final stop was for a Halal Guys gyro platter, aka The Best Food Known To Man. At 53rd & Ave of the Americas.

    Our final stop was for a Halal Guys gyro platter, aka The Best Food Known To Man. At 53rd & Ave of the Americas.

  • We checked out Roosevelt Island, a teeeeeny tiny little island randomly plopped between Manhattan and Queens. It has a fairly uninteresting history (see here) but what’s cool about it is that you take an aerial tram to get to it! You run over the Queensboro Bridge. I didn’t get a great shot of the view from above, but it’s something. We stopped at a cupcake ATM (yep, you read that right) on the way there. Click the link for a video demo courtesy of Youtube.
    View of the Queensboro Bridge from the Roosevelt Island Tram

    View of the Queensboro Bridge from the Roosevelt Island Tram

    The East River (just think of all the great bodies floating around in there!)

    The East River (just think of all the great bodies floating around in there!)

    Yes. That is indeed a cupcake ATM.

    Yes. That is indeed a cupcake ATM.

     

  • One random Friday, Brenden won free tickets to a Mets game (in Queens)! Yes, the Mets suck, but hey – it was free and we really enjoyed it. Plus the seats were pretty good.
    "I'm not calling it after some stupid bank. It's called Shea Stadium."

    “I’m not calling it after some stupid bank. It’s called Shea Stadium.”

    View from our seats

    View from our seats

  • We took Cody to a dog party in Brooklyn! Yes, that’s right folks. There’s something for everyone here.

    CODY DOG!!!

    CODY DOG!!!

  • As the summer wound down there was a really great block party on my street, W 136th. There was a DJ, live music, dancing, bake stands, and grills galore. It was one of the hottest days of the summer so the atmosphere was perfect. Especially when they cracked the hydrant. Kids running around in hydrant has always been an image I’ve associated with New York. Actually seeing it reminded me this is real. We’re actually doing it. It was beautiful. 🙂

    hot fun in the summertime - my block: W 136th & Broadway

    hot fun in the summertime – my block: W 136th & Broadway

  • At the end of the summer, right before my birthday, Brenden’s uncle John took me to see Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Broadway. It was my first time seeing a Broadway show, and it was better than I’d ever imagined it would be. The music was bitchin — it “beat the shit out of Phantom,” the lighting was CRAAAZY cool, the makeup and costumes were overwhelmingly impressive, the theatre itself was cool. It was one for the bucket list, and it is an experience I will always cherish.

    Hedwig at the Belasco Theatre on Broadway! Not the best picture, but by far the best Broadway experience!

    Hedwig at the Belasco Theatre on Broadway! Not the best picture, but by far the best Broadway experience!

  • Summer concluded on September, 22, the birthday of yours truly. We went to a restaurant in Little Italy and had the best Italian dinner and the best wine I’ve ever had. Maybe I’ll add a review of it on here sometime… I also walked past the pop-up (New York lingo for temporary) cafe, Central Perk, which came to be as a tribute to the 20th anniversary of the show, which also fell on my birthday. At dinner Brenden gave me tickets to the opera, La Boheme at the Metropolitan Opera in the Lincoln Center. This probably sounds stuffy to you, but since I was a little kid watching Moonstruck with Auntnet and Becca, I’ve dreamt of seeing it at the Met. Spoiler alert: it was incredible. I will post about that later.
    If only it were real...

    If only it were real…

    BIRTHDAY CANNOLI!!!

    BIRTHDAY CANNOLI!!!

    preparing wish...

    preparing wish…

    making wish...

    making wish…

    annnd giggling at hubz's comments

    annnd giggling at hubz’s comments

    Still trying to figure out how I managed to hook this man...

    Still trying to figure out how I managed to hook this man…

 

Well, that was a lot. And like I said, there’s more. I hope you kids don’t hate on me for taking so long to post. As you can see I’m a busy bee! But I’m never too busy to miss you.

All my love,

Aunt Cat(ie)

 

The Subway Surfboard Spectacle: A move in numbers

this happened

this happened

Dear kids,

For the past three months I have observed interesting and unusual activity as a passive subway-rider anthropologist. I’ve encountered some weird phenomena, including a vampire, complete with fangs, on the L-train. Two weekends ago, I took a few steps closer toward being a real New Yorker when I went from seeing a subway spectacle to being a subway spectacle.

Before moving here, Brenden and I purged about 75% of our crap. We kept only our clothes, a not-quite-full-length mirror, books, kitchen stuff, and a sweet board game collection (but a lot of that got the kibosh, too). The books, kitchen stuff, and most of the board games are in storage. The clothes, mirror, and some of the board games stayed with us. The latter are the “only” items we had to move from our initial three-month sublet to our new, somewhat more permanent apartment.

“Only.”

If we had a car or a van this would’ve taken one trip and we still would’ve had room in the car for groceries–but we didn’t. Instead we moved all of our crap via public transportation. One trip = as much as 2 arms can carry.  There was “only” a little bit, but there were indeed many trips.

george

2 arms of carrying = something like: at most 2-3 boxes -or- 1 backpack1 large duffel bag1 large box (carried on top of my head). So, “only” clothes and some board games actually turned out to be a lot of crap because as it turns out, winter clothes for two people take up a lot of space. Oh yeah, in addition to “only” that I have with me my most prized possession, ONE 9′ SURFBOARD. Which, along with everything else, I carried:

3 flights of stairs (down)

+

8 blocks over

+

1 careful hike underground into the subway station

+

3 subway stops

+

1 cautious crawl out of the underground

+

1.5 blocks up

+

4 flights of stairs (up)

pivot (<– joke for my Friends lovers, namely Aunt Jalisa)

1 trip = 1,000,000 calories burnt = 1 guilt-free beer drinking and pizza eating session that followed the fun of moving.

endless beer

Good times.

All’s well that ends well, and our new apartment is EVERYTHINGANAPARTMENTSHOULDEVERBE! but more importantly…

I HAVE MY DOG BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

the reunion :-)

the reunion 🙂

Love always,

Aunt Catie

Brenden with the not-quite-full-length mirror

Brenden with the not-quite-full-length mirror

one of many trips

one of many trips