5/23/23: Last day in D.C. Walked to Virginia to eat @ Pho 75, fitting, as the days before moving into this house on Swann St we stayed at a cheap hotel in Rosslyn + ate @ this pho place almost daily. That was April 2019, so 4 years on Swann St... longest we've ever lived in 1 place.
5/29: NYC, 455 CPW! Too busy to write this past week. Last Wednesday the movers came. Our bedder-½ left in the a.m. b/c they had to sign the lease + pick up keys to our new place on Central Park West. Movers (Oz) showed up around 9:30, already felt like we were in NYC b/c they called us boss + had the place cleared out in no time.
There's a hustle to aNYCity unmatched anywhere else. Of course they (Junior) told us no need to lift a finger but then quickly accepted us into the assembly line, like army ants stripping a house of anything edible, leaving the shell out of a house. By noon or 1 they were done, then we swept + cleaned. Gathered this computer + a change of clothes we had stashed in a closet, left keys on the mantle + walked out! Last walk thru DC, thru Logan Circle + down Mass Ave, our bedder-½ called us b/c @ the exact time we were leaving the house they were entering our new digs + facetimed so we could see it. Then our agent called to let us know the buyers were doing the walk-thru + signing even earlier, on Friday + we told them they could eat the tamale we accidentally left in freezer. Got to Union station + saw there was a train boarding so ran to ticket counter + changed our ticket + got on it, tho some 1 else was sitting in our seat, insisting it was theirs. So we sat elsewhere until the conductor came along + asked why we weren't sitting in our seat + when we told them they kicked the person out b/c ends up they were in the wrong seat. Was cool to be going 1-way as we like this northerly direction best, arriving in NYC, after passing through Baltimore, Wilmington + Philly + then pulling out of Newark U can see NYC skyline + then under the Hudson + then into the station which we'll never remember the new name of so will keep calling it Penn, joining the masses rushing every which way, to the blue/A/C/E, the C pulling up right as we got there so jumped on. Noticed some people wearing masks + realized we had 1 in our back pocket so put it on, why not? 42nd st, 50th, Columbus Circle. The in-your-face efficiency like night + day compared to DC. 8 years (minus 1½ yrs in Italy)
in DC + never felt we belonged, finally back home where we were meant to be. Like Odysseus returning to Ithaca after 10 years. 72nd... 96... got off @ 103, walked north a block to 455 Central Park West, the entrance on 105. Bedder-½ met us in lobby, introduced us to doorman who showed us around, including the gym + even a lap pool! Saw the empty apartment for the 1st time IRL, massive by NYC standards, almost as big as house in DC (~1500 sq ft) but not spread across 3 floors, but 3 rooms.
The kitchen is tiny, which will take some getting used to since our last kitchen was massive. But we're gonna use the coat closet next to the kitchen as a pantry. And there's 2½ bathrooms (1 of which is bigger then the kitchen), which is ridiculous, so the "powder" room will likely be used for storage or a studio (toilet would make perfect drum stool!). We oscillated between using master bedroom as office for both of us, but in end gonna use it as bedroom with desk for bedder-½ + we'll have bedroom #2 as our office/studio/Calamari HQ.
Went to eat at local Mexican place, surrounding neighborhood is 1 of few places left in NYC that still feels like old NYC,
"Manhattan Valley " as they call it (not to be confused w/ Manhattanville, further north where 125th meets the river, where we lived before, 2013—2015). Spent night @ Hotel Belleclaire down on Bdwy + 77th b/c we had no bed (+ it'll be expensed). Woke up early next morning + came back up. Oz showed up @ 8 but they weren't allowed to move in til 9, all sorts of weird rules in our bldgs, have to show certificate of insurance, etc. Then the K-OS of them asking what goes where (all in Spanish) + finally just saying, no importa, metelo donde sea. Apartment became so stuffed we didn't know where to begin. Started by piling all the books in powder room to get them out of the way. We also have dozens of boxes labeled "trinkets," w/ no place to put them + lots of "art" we don't know where to hang yet. Trying to get all that out of the way to get furniture where it's sposed to go, where feng shui feels right. Put bed together so we'd have a place to sleep. Movers were technically supposed to do it, but they couldn't figure it out... like Odysseus, only we know the construction of our bed. That was Wednesday, kitchen still in no condition to cook so went to nearby Italian.
Friday more unpacking + setting lots of kitchen stuff aside to get rid of or put in storage. Breaking down boxes to try to get them out of the way. Tried to plug our modem in but nowhere to plug it into so called Verizon to schedule a technician, on 2nd day w/ no Internet. Moving furniture around in circles trying to figure out what works. Kitchen more or less ready to cook so went to Whole Foods, which is not too far. Had to enter through the exit since there was all sorts of chaos blocking the entrance as they tried to catch a rat that had gotten loose in the store. Made our 1st meal, spaghetti vongole of course. Oh, and the closing was earlier in the day + by that afternoon the money hit our account! So it's definitely official now, the home-owning phase of our life a done deal. Essentially we broke even, but we got to live there free for 4 years, where we spent the pandemic.
Saturday more of the same, unburying ourselves from boxes + moving furniture around. Verizon tech came + dug the fiber optic cable out of the wall + hooked us up. Walked through Central park, through midtown all the way downtown to check out furniture stores only to realize it's EZier to buy stuff online these days. Met M + L @ Hasaki, then some bar after in east village, great to be back.
Cab back flying up 1st ave hitting every green light, in stark contrast to DC, so much more efficient + flowing.
Not as much unpacking Sunday, but more hunting around online for missing pieces of furniture to complete the puzzle.
Used the gym, 1st time after a few months of only walking + running. We weigh 5 lbs more than when we packed the scale... now that we're situated got to get into new routine + less drinking... lots of stress + celebratory imbibing these past few months. Roast chicken for dinner b/c felt our immune system needs it. Watched final episode of Marvelous Ms. Maisel + then final episode of Succession, both a bit predictable + disappointing... has a show ever ended well? Maybe Sopranos.
And now it's Monday morning, Memorial day, which we always thought made more sense in September + Labor day should be in May. Still surrounded by boxes + K-OS. Started to clear out our inbox which has been stuffed this past month or 2, but now it's full of purchases w/ delivery tracking + stuff in aftermath of move. Oh, and while this was all going on wrapping up Red Earth, thankfully Salu is doing all the work, so not much for us to do, but did a final read-through @ some point, the morning when we were waiting for movers to show up + then on the train.