pros and cons

I’ve been in my new apartment about a week now. It’s nice and spacious, though without a roommate, it’s been quite lonely. Now that I’m not spending four hours a day commuting to and from Long Island, I’ve begun to realize how little I actually have to do in this big city. Aside from work, my days are spent cleaning the apartment, unpacking as slowly as I can so I have something to do the following day, roaming around the Upper West Side to familiarize myself with the neighborhood near my school, trying my best to stay occupied by stealing wireless Internet until I have the money to pay for it myself. I just found out Central Park is wired for access, so I’ll have to try that sometime soon. Nikki and Bosco are moving in next weekend, so soon enough, it’ll be threes company.

Here are some pictures of the progress of my room:

Bed, before

Bed, after

Room, before

Room, after

"A Tree Grows in Harlem" - Knit tree from the Brooklyn Flea Market

Harlem Meer at Central Park North, located right behind my apartment

The other night, I had my first battle with New York’s most enduring resident – the cockroach. I found a few in my kitchen and bathroom, and to be completely honest, they simultaneously scared and grossed the crap out of me. They’re disgusting. After freaking out for about half an hour, I calmed myself down by telling myself that I am not the only one who deals with cockroaches in this city, and thank God they’re not rodents. I wasn’t prepared and hadn’t bought any bug spray, so I terminated the first couple ones with bathroom cleaner. The following day I bought some roach trap/repellent thingies, and I’m happy to report that I have been cockroach free for about a day now. I don’t suspect that they have completely gone away, but as long as I don’t see them roaming around my apartment, I’m happy. I guess you could say that was my initiation into living in a New York apartment.

Other things that have transpired in the last week: I bought faulty furniture from Ikea and am now having to pay the consequences. First, I was a complete dumbass and bought the wrong sized sideboards for my bed frame. I correctly purchased a full sized headboard and footboard, but I neglected to check the sideboards, which ended up being for a queen/king sized bed. I didn’t realize this until my bed was completely constructed and my mattress seemed to be floating in between the headboard and footboard. Yeah, good one, Gina. I was going to just suck it up and have a misshapen bed so I wouldn’t have to make the trip out to Ikea to fix it. Then I opened up the box for my dresser and found that it was missing several key pieces. What the hell? One of the sides of the dresser was no where to be found, and it is short one drawer. So now I definitely have to make the trip back to Ikea. Unfortunately, because I am by myself and because these furniture pieces are too large to take to New Jersey by bus or train, I have to rent a car to exchange my purchases. Laaame. I should probably be more upset about it, but at this point, all I can do is laugh. Anyway, something had to go wrong with my move sometime or another, and if this is the bad stuff, I’ll grin and bear it. It’ll be my first time driving in the tri-state area; hopefully I don’t get too lost and end up in Maryland or D.C. or something. The cost is going to take a sizable chunk out of my already depleted bank account, but because I would have had to pay for delivery from Ikea to Manhattan if I didn’t have a car, this actually ends up costing about the same. And I’ll get that feeling of freedom that comes with driving a car, something I’ve been missing for the last three weeks.

Speaking of cash, I am quickly becoming strapped for it. My job is not what I expected, for reasons that probably should not be divulged in a place accessible for public viewing. But at the very least, I can say that with the salary I’m earning and the hours I’m getting, I’m not making enough to comfortably survive here on my own. I’m on the job hunt again, though if nothing comes up in the near future, I’ll probably apply for one of many jobs on campus once school starts. The nice thing about that is the school will work around my class and exam schedules. I might not be making as much money as I could be elsewhere, but like I have been saying about this whole experience, I’m trying to keep my options open.

This past weekend, I had my first visitors from home. Tristan, former ETP co-worker, was visiting New York with a friend, and he took some time out to have lunch with me at Peanut Butter & Co. in Greenwich Village, which specializes in gourmet peanut butter sandwiches. Yum! Tristan had the Elvis Special – peanut butter, bananas, and honey on toasted bread – and I had the Cookie Dough Surprise – peanut butter, vanilla cream cheese, and chocolate chips. All sandwiches are served with carrot sticks and potato chips because the owner states that that is how his mother would serve peanut butter sandwiches to him as a kid. Clever concept. I will most definitely be back, especially since I got a frequent visitor card and can earn a free jar of peanut butter after 10 visits.

Me and Tristan at Peanut Butter & Co.

Stephan Diaz, fellow Deer Valley High School alumni and close family friend, surprised me by calling two days before his trip to New York. He had auditioned for the Broadway revival of West Side Story, and he was called back for the auditions in New York. He booked the trip at the last minute and needed a place to stay because all the hotels he was finding were completely booked. As luck would have it, he was arriving the day I moved into my apartment, so he spent his evenings with me, lounging in my empty living room. His audition went well, and he should be hearing back within the next month or so. It was really nice to have someone to break in my apartment with, even if he was only staying for a few days. Hopefully he gets into the show, so I can see him more often.

Gina: "Aww, what a cute pict... Hey, you can't see my eyes!"

Stephen: "Try raising your eyebrows."

Stephen: "Oh God. Okay, don't raise your eyebrows."

I finally saw my first Broadway musical since moving here. This past Wednesday, Miguel and I watched Spring Awakening, which was fantastic. I can see why it won the 2007 Tony Award for Best Musical; it’s expertly crafted, and a lot of it was very innovative in regards to design (lighting, staging, sound). The soundtrack is fresh and exciting, and strangely appropriate for a book that’s over 100 years old. It was a good time, and our seats were great. Thanks TKTS!

Aside from Miguel and my two visitors from this past weekend, I haven’t been hanging out with many other people here in New York. Schedules with my friends from California are difficult to coordinate, and other than them, my list of new friends from New York remains quite short. I’m considering joining the Cal Alumni Club sometime soon just to broaden my horizons. They’re hosting a happy hour event later this week, and next month, they’re teaming up with the alumni clubs of other Pac-10 schools to host a nighttime cruise around Manhattan. It would be nice to meet more people, in general. The stress of moving and settling in has left me short of energy, and I find it taxing to try and extend myself even more by attending these huge social events. I’ll just have to psych myself up for it, I guess.

This coming week will be filled with completing the furnishing of my bedroom and possibly painting the apartment, if I can find the time and the money to do so. I’m hoping to catch another Broadway show soon. I’ve got Saved!, Cry-Baby, and In the Heights on my list of shows to see ASAP. Sex and the City premieres next week, which I’m planning on seeing with Nikki and some of her friends. And the week after that, I have three of my very good friends from home coming to visit. Exciting things await!


The Gigglepuss said...

I'm still so excited for you and I'm sure with your fun personality, you will have so many more friends before you know! Your bed looks awesome by the way, i wish i were in bed right now...

Brian said...

I've walked by that PB store a bunch of times when I was there. Looked interesting but I'm glad someone actually went. Next go visit the cereal store and a bunch of other places that make things a normal human being should be able to create on their own. I'm buying you some peanut butter! :P