I’ve been in the Slope for a week, and it has been a full one. Monday night we were ‘activated’ for storms that didn’t really materialize. Tuesday I met up with a coworker who lives in the neighborhood, and a couple of her friends, for some great Mexican food just down the street. JB helped me move my old AC (and some pie plates I’d left behind – thanks Michelle) from my UES place to my new digs, as the AC that I inherited in the new place just wasn’t cutting it. It didn’t quite fit, so we went to Loews and bought some wood to get it to sit in there properly. I also got a toaster – yay, cheap breakfast at home.
Anyway, while I like to think I am quite capable of doing many household things on my own (hanging pictures as long as I don’t have to find a ‘stud’ in the wall, painting my apartment), some things I just don’t get. I’ve installed an AC before, but this seemed a bit complicated. Regardless, it’s in, and in just in time, as it is in the mid-80s today. Justin is now helping me to complete the stereotypically male tasks I need done, a duty that Michelle fulfilled herself quite nobly these past couple years.
That’s not really that adventurous, however. But the past 24 hours have been better, in terms of exploring. Last night I went to Prospect Park and caught the first half of the Met Opera in the park. It was a perfect evening – coolish, clear, no bugs – and the set-up was great. I just plopped down and enjoyed the singing and the music. And afterwards – just a five minute walk to get home! I was pretty exhausted from a long week of work, getting settled, ‘leadership’ training (I liked it, whatever) and learning my new way around.
This morning I was up very early – 7:30! – and so cleaned the apartment, then went up to the Grand Army Plaza farmers market. They had some great strawberries that remind me of the tiny ones that grow in the backyard of the home where I grew up, so I bought a quart and have just been enjoying them all afternoon. I finally picked up some of those things one needs but doesn’t realize (for example, salt), and even exchanged an extension cord.
Side note – I only have functioning three-pronged outlets on the far side of my apartment, away from the kitchen, so I had to buy an extension cord so that I could use the microwave or toaster. It looks pretty funny when in use, but who cares.
I also did my own laundry for the first time in maybe three years. When I left the UES the first time I moved into two successive buildings with no laundry facilities. I loathe laundromats, so I got in the habit of taking it to the cleaner to be laundered. It’s expensive, but was worth it. Well, now, sweet lord, there are washers and dryers a mere 20 second elevator ride away. It’s so convenient. And a good way to meet the people in the building.
Today I found an independent guitar store – owned by women to boot – about a 20 minute walk from my place. Allegra gave me her old guitar two years ago. I keep ‘meaning’ to learn (I know the very basics thanks to about six months of lessons in high school), and this week I finally sat down with it . . . and promptly broke a string. So I found a little music store and bought new strings, then promptly realized I had not a clue how to re-string the guitar. And then I broke the nut. So yeah, it had to be fixed. The place I found – Mazzotti Music on 3rd at Carroll – was great. Low-key, and cheaper than the other places. So now I have my guitar and have been fiddling around with it all afternoon.
On the way back from the guitar store, I stopped for lunch on 5th and was reading this book “Equator” about a man’s travels around the north pole. Kidding, it’s about traveling the equator. I am on a section about Africa, and the busser – Frank – asked if I was reading about Africa. I told him about the book, and it turns out he is from Gabon, one of the countries I had *just* read about. He’s been here a year and is getting used to how quickly things move. Such a nice guy. I asked him if the President (Bongo – he’s hilarious) is still in power, and he is indeed. We had a nice little unexpected chat.
And, as I made my way up I made a purchase from a bake sale supporting Barack Obama. I guess this weekend is the nationwide bake sale, so if you like Obama, I’m sure you can find a way in your neighborhood to support him while getting a sweet treat.
Tonight more exploring with Herman, so hopefully I’ll have some more to share.
ENJOY THE FIRST FULL DAY OF SUMMER!