Thursday, July 3, 2008

Officially Homeless* & Unemployed

It's true - I can be considered officially homeless* and unemployed now, seeing as I have moved out of my apartment and am now living out of a suitcase and sleeping on the futon on the lower bunk of my brother's bed. I no longer pay rent to someone. Ha ha! And, of course, I have no job. I don't have to go anywhere or do anything that I don't want to do. And the best part? I'm still getting paid till the end of August. Teaching rocks!

We moved on Monday, and it was very smooth. We've been packing up the apartment for months, it seems, little by little, and finally we loaded up the U-Haul and were on our way. We drove everything upstate and reorganized our storage unit in New Paltz and loaded everything in. It's a miracle! It all fit. Now we have two duffle bags and two big suitcases, and that's that till next March.

After we returned the truck, we got a beer to reward ourselves at the bar by the train station in Poughkeepsie. We then caught the metro north and came back to the city to live by our wits... on the upper west side, in my mom's apartment (scary, I know).

So here we are, UWS residents for the past several days. It's been an amazing feeling to wake up, not have to go to work, and just go walk down Broadway or Amsterdam and stop and get coffee or whatever, and just relax. We have been getting last minute things done before we go: returning our cable box, a doctor's appointment, obtaining the international driver's permit, etc.

We have also been taking advantage of a variety of eateries, and other shops and sites, that we either haven't ever been to, or have been away from for a while. We visited Barney Greengrass, "The Sturgeon King" for the first time. We had the sturgeon "appetizer" ($17!) with an extra plain bagel and ate like a king and queen. We've gone to Saigon Grill (my favorite, especially now that the delivery man strike is over) and to Pio Pio for luscious maduros and spicy green sauce, tangy ceviche and sweet, sweet sangria (truly the best in the world). We've gone to Dive Bar for drinks, to Jefferson Market Library for internet access, to Bigelow Pharmacy and Gracious Home, just to look around. We've sat watching kids play in Tompkins Square park. I was interviewed for some internet movie about work. We've been walking something like 20,000 steps a day (that's a lot! - thanks, pedometer!) all around NYC, from Chelsea to Chinatown and all around. We're enjoying NYC the way it should be enjoyed and it's great.

One last note for now - about two years ago I was reading Time Out NY and saw a little piece about some arepas place in the east village, and the description of this one arepa sounded so amazing - (simply put) shredded beef, black beans, white cheese and plantains - that I clipped that piece and put it next to my recipe box, vowing to get to this arepa place and eat that arepa one day. I would occasionally take the clipped piece of writing out and look at it, showing to a friend and saying, "We're totally gonna go get one of these!" and never actually doing it. One day I looked for the clipped magazine review, and it was gone. I SEARCHED for it, not remembering the name of the restaurant. No. It was gone. But, of course, in my recent packing, the clip resurfaced. Andy and I went on Tuesday. It was amazing. Go. Now. yummy yummy, go there. Caracas Arepa Bar and get the A-8 - De Pabellon. You won't regret it!!

Anyway, tomorrow's the fourth. We're going to New Paltz with the family, and will hopefully see our newlywed friends, Caitlin and Darren, who are up in the area with some friends. Happy 4th of July!!

*"Homeless" is a term I am using incredibly lightly here. As the daughter of a wonderful woman who has been working at and now running a shelter for homeless men for the last many years, I take the matter quite serious and am quite obviously not truly homeless since I have a wonderful family who will (probably) always support please, I mean no offense and use this term only in a lighthearted slightly humorous way that applies only to me, etc. etc. etc.

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