Sunday, February 6, 2011

Fitting In

Moving has been a learning experience. I have learned that even though you feel like you have everything you needed, eventually when you start to unpack and get settled in, you learn that everything you REALLY needed is packed away in a box somewhere 1,084 miles away. I have learned that moving to a city where English is a mix mash of different languages you REALLY need to learn how to read lips. I've learned that just because the Midwest is used to have loads of snow and ice every winter, it doesn't mean the rest of the U.S. is and there are times where a little snow means three days of a whole lot of nothing. I have learned that you really need to dig around for good prices on things. I've learned that slabs of dried fish approximately three feet in length is a totally natural thing to have lying on a grocery store shelf. I have learned how good we have it in the Midwest because our meat there is undeniably the best and the cheapest ($14+ for a tiny pot roast?) I have learned that you can bump into someone and genuinely say you are sorry but that doesn't mean you'll get it back. I have learned that Manhattan is not as scary or as hard to get around as I thought it would be. I have learned that under the brusque exterior, New Yorkers are kind hearted, you just have to get used to their volume. AND I have learned that just because the recipe says to put the chicken breast in the crockpot for 4 hours on high does not necessarily mean it needs to cook that long. Who knew it would shrink down to half its original size?

I have loved living in New York so far. After the most recent "weather emergency" passed our packages finally got here. They had been held up for two weeks a mere 13 minutes away and, true to New York form, the snow prevented our new microwave, crockpot, and kitchen necessities from getting here. So what did I do with those almost two weeks of free time? I'll tell you...I couldn't leave the apartment for fear of having them magically delivered and missing them and then having to figure out how to get to Maspeth, NY and hauling massive boxes back all by myself SO I went through Hero's: Season One in its entirety. I scrubbed our 550 sq foot apartment three times a day (because twice is just not enough when we are clean freaks in the first place and have no animals to leave hair everywhere). I re-arranged furniture and then put it back in its original spot. I watched the gray squirrels play in our tree. I would do mindless reading for my classes and then I would THINK about starting my workout routine again, decide against it, and walk to the kitchen for yet another diet soda and something terribly unhealthy to snack on. At 4 o'clock I would come up with a plan for dinner and have it on the table by the time Beau got home at 5. BUT...its all here now and I am loving my new little kitchen where everything seems to be scaled down in size to fit me just right. I am feeling like this little place of ours in Queens, NY is starting to become home.

Friday was a huge day for me. I mean MONUMENTAL. Since all our stuff made it here Thursday night I was finally free to join the living again on Friday. I got up and wandered outside with my new bag lady cart (that Beau so masterfully fixed the bent back tires of) down the block, over a block, down a block, and over one more block to the local "supermarket." I initially felt like a complete and total tool pushing this cart through the people and the slush but as I looked around me I realized I was not alone. Everyone had a cart. "Well." I though to myself "time to stock up..." so I pulled my mile long grocery list out:

1) groceries are so expensive here. Much more so than I remember them being back at home.
2) the wiring in my bag lady cart is spread far apart and so the little things slip right out.
3) so THAT'S why everyone puts a box or fabric bag inside their cart.
4) some things, you just can't get here.
5) if my manager at Fareway saw people sacking the way the manager does at Key Foods, he'd get a royal a$$ chewing right then and there.

Ok so I didn't get to stock up but focused on the essentials and then I made my way (with very heavy cart) to the post office to mail some bills and buy stamps. Errands were done and I was ready to go home. So I hauled the super heavy cart as best I could through the slush and then hauled it up three flights of stairs without any help. I was pretty proud of myself. And so I rewarded myself with a box of Twizzlers and another episode of Hero's. Im jonesing for Gilmore Girls though.

I made a huge dinner for Beau to celebrate his first week down in rotations. He gets up so early every morning and is beat by the time he gets home at night. So, I decided to try a new recipe in our new crockpot. Lemon chicken. Note to everyone: chicken shrinks so make lots of side dishes.

We had an awesome meal and snuggled in to watch TV together. I had missed him.

Saturday we woke up late and decided to head into Manhattan despite the looming threat of rain and snow in the city. Our first experience on the subway was a positive one and turns out the subway is at the end of the street we live off of. 45 minutes and we're in "The Big Apple."

We got off at Rockefeller Center and as soon as we stepped into the "sunlight" we looked straight up. The buildings were so high the tops of them were foggy. We stopped in to this little pizza joint right off the subway and then headed to Rockefeller Plaza.

It was cold and snowy but the experience itself warms you from the inside. We've lived in Ames, IA then it was to Dominica in the Caribbean, then to Miami FL, back to Toledo but there is just something about the hustle and bustle of New York City. We walked all over the city. We saw Time Square, Radio City Music Hall, and Rockefeller Center. We walked by where they film "Good Morning America" (or whatever its called with Matt Lauer and Meridith whats her face). So many people, so many good smells. I LOVE IT!

But it was so nice to get on the subway and come home to OUR apartment in the city away from the big city, make some hot chocolate, and curl up together with a good movie.

Another thing I learned: Uggs and slush don't go hand in hand. Looks like I may be expecting another package from home. RUBBER BOOTS!


  1. Great post, Kenz! I know how you feel about things being 1,084 miles away (or 974 miles away in my case). It's been 2 years and I still go looking for things that I realize remained behind in Iowa, lol.


  2. Today Show is with Matt and Meredith, I cracked up when I read this.

    Good for you and your three flights of stairs! You're managing quite well, I'm proud of you!