I've been in New York for just about a week now, and it's crazy to think how much has been accomplished. My first full day here, I ventured into Manhattan to meet my roommate, Nikki, for the first time in person, get a work schedule for my new job, catch up with Miguel, and ultimately, start acquainting myself with the city. From that point on, it's been a whirlwind. I'm starting to fully understand the pace of this place, and from what I can tell, I think I'm gonna like it here.

I began training at my new job on Thursday, May 1. I'm currently working as a hostess in a restaurant called Riingo, located in midtown Manhattan.

Riingo by Marcus Samuelsson, in association with The Alex Hotel

Restaurant interior

I've never worked in a restaurant before, but I chose to do so when I got here because (a) I needed to find a job that would be flexible and sustainable while going to school, (b) I wanted a complete change of pace from everything I was doing previously in California, and (c) I can get free food when I'm strapped for cash. The job has been pretty easy to learn; it's the adjusting that will definitely be the hardest for me, going from a job with a lot of responsibility and autonomy to one without much of that at all. But I'm sure that I will get used to it all in due time. I must say, though, getting one day off every two work days is pretty nice.

I got the chance to do some initial apartment hunting with Nikki my first few days in New York. After seeing the size and price of some of these places, my living standards were shot. Maybe I was spoiled by living in the cozy duplex on Echo Avenue in Oakland, I don't really know. But I had to erase and alter all my ideas about New York living almost immediately. I realize now that living in New York is not about being comfortable. It's about convenience, social life, and location, location, location. That's what I'm paying for. And that's what I came out here for.

I spent the weekend at Nikki's place is midtown because I had planned to meet and go out with her friends. Meeting people is important, especially because I came out here all by myself. I went to this 80's themed party Friday night, and though I'm not particularly enthusiastic about clubs, I had a pretty good time. It was a little difficult to try and get to know people over the sound of music blaring from the speakers over our head, but I got a general sense of the crowd I'd be hanging out with on a regular basis, thanks to my roommate. The highlight for the night was a rapper who came to the club and performed a 20-minute set for the party goers. I think he was supposed to be some kind of underground rap artist, but with my Bay Area standards, I must say, I thought he was kind of tame. Definitely good, but not what I would have expected. Saturday evening, Nikki hosted a girls night in, with food, drinks, and Cranium. I had a great time and got to know her friends a lot better. As expected, each one of them is a transplant, having been drawn to New York for a variety of reasons from their homes all over the country. They referred to my home as "San Fran" and "Cali," which, though touristy and a little detached, was certainly endearing. I came to find we had a lot in common, from our liberal views on politics to our taste in television (every one of them loves How I Met Your Mother, which is absolutely thrilling). By the end of the night, I felt relieved in knowing I had found a group of people I could so easily relate to and identify with. It's going to make my adjustment so much easier.

Aside from meeting Nikki's friends, I also got to meet her dog, and our third roommate, Bosco.

Bosco, the bulldog

He's an adorable combination of rough and tumble with a playful temperament. I can't wait to be living with them both, officially.

This week has been spent working and continually adjusting to New York City life. I had the day off work, so Miguel and I visited the NY Transit Museum in Brooklyn, which is a subway station converted into a hall preserving the history of the subway lines, bus routes, and bridge construction. It is fascinating, particularly because I am so in love with public transportation. The best part was having the chance to walk in and out of 14 old subway trains and getting to see how design and function have changed over the years.

Miguel on a bus

Miguel on a train

Miguel and I are thinking it would be amazing to get a group of people together to visit the museum and do a lip-dub of some crazy fun song, while running in and out of the cars. Any takers?

The best news of the week, by far, was finding out that I got an apartment - got the official approval today! I will be living on W 111th Street, between 5th and Lenox (6th) Avenues. For those who are Manhattan savvy, you will notice that this apartment, a newly-renovated 2BR/1BA with brand new appliances (for $1500/mo - unheard of in Manhattan), is located right at Central Park North. That's right friends, Central Park is literally in my backyard. Incredible! Especially for Bosco. Furthermore, both west and east side subway lines are accessible from the apartment: 2 and 3 are one block west; B and C are just a bit further; and the 6 is three blocks east. The laundromat is one block away and the nearest grocery store is about a 5-minute walk for the apartment. Seriously, I couldn't have asked for more. I'm already putting together a list of things to buy to furnish the apartment, and I'm considering painting my room purple. I can't wait to finally have a place to call home here in this gigantic city.

Bedroom 1

Bedroom 2

Kitchen, with brand new appliances and fire escape access through the window

So things are starting to fall into place. I'm adjusting at a nice pace. It's funny, all the people I have met and encountered this last week remind me so much of all the people I love back home. Maybe it's because I'm missing everyone so much. Or maybe it's because I never left anyone behind, I just took them all with me. That's what I like to think anyway. As the days pass, it becomes easier and easier to feel like this is my new home and this is where the next chapter of my life begins. And that's such an exciting feeling. Some point soon, I know, I'll begin to feel settled.


Kris said...

Is that a stripper pole in the corner of bedroom 1? LOL!

Anyway, sounds like you got a great place! I'm so happy for you and I hope that everything continues to go well for you in New York!

Shannon said...

Awww! Gigi! I am so excited for you! It sounds like all of the pieces of the puzzle are falling into place! I can't wait to hear more about it all! I miss you!

The Gigglepuss said...

I'm so proud of you!