Door always open.
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2007-12-13 11:51 AM
Or maybe Upper Upper Upper Upper Upper
Remember that funny episode (oh, we laaaughed) when I rode my bicycle the wrong way on the Cross-Bronx Expressway?
Well, that's where we moved this weekend.
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The move went wrong, went long, went forever, went pricey, went until 11PM...
...and we had people over the next night for Chanukah dinner. Always invite Larry to things. He knows what to do when you forget to cover the brisket.
That was the view from the kitchen when I started the brisket. We're living in exactly the same kind of cramped, frustrating space we just left--only this time it's because everything's still in boxes, not just because the space is way too small.
We're now Manhattanites, in Washington Heights, which I'm going to refer to as the Upper Upper Upper Upper West Side. Ten years ago it was the center of the crack wars in the Eastern US. Now it's a neighborhood in transition, which means there's a beautiful little gourmet store on the corner, religious bumper stickers on my neighbors' apartment doors, and a lot of grafitti in our hallways and at the playground. There's also a little park next door.
Our building, our bridge, our bike path:
And at night:
Rent is twice as much as we've been paying, and the boys start preschool next month, which costs as much again as the rent. We've begun some some serious cutting back--but 760 square feet for two adults and two toddlers was making everybody mad (everybody means me), and I couldn't take the boys anywhere in the bike trailer because there's no safe way to do it there. The main artery, Queens Boulevard, is known to locals as "The Boulevard of Death," even now that they've installed low railings down the median to intercept jaywalking babushkas and channel them over to a crosswalk.
Now we've got 1300 square feet (the ad said 1600--New York real estate laws allow square footage estimates to include portions of any structure, man-made or otherwise, in this or any other solar system) and we're right on the major Manhattan bike path. The move was, in fact, precipitated by a conversation that started with "Wouldn't it be great if we could live, work, and have preschool all along a bike path?" And that conversation came on the heels of one that went "Let's not buy a house this year. We'll end up with a house and no marriage."
I rode to work for the first time this morning.
With the exception of some sketchy sidewalk in the 130s, it's going to be a protected (i.e., behind concrete berms and not on streets) ride all the way down the West Side from 181st to 14th, where I'll have to turn off to get the boys to preschool. Not sure what I'm going to do at that point, since there's no crosstown bike path, but I have until January to figure it out.
In addition to La Rosa (the little gourmet store) and Gristedes (which I was instructed, in no uncertain terms, to pronounce GrisTEEdees by someone who also says "Howston", and which has doors and aisles big enough for a double stroller), there's a bike shop, a Radio Shack, and a Papaya Dog. Last night I tricked Mac into trying some papaya drink and was rewarded with a huge-eyed astounded shiver of delight and demands of more, and Butch ate his first hot dog with a bun, all by himself.
And it's snowing.
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