Go Figure

When Dave and I showed up to his brothers house in Queens yesterday to gift him the lemon tree, we found him harvesting figs from his fig tree. When I said I’d never actually had one, he tossed one down from his perch on the 11-foot ladder. It was deliciously sweet; more so than I could have anticipated. He let us take some home, and I started running through flavor combinations in my mind. I quickly settled on fig, carmelized onion and goat cheese.

I love pizza. I order it a lot, and I make it myself even more. This ranks in my top 5 pies of all time. Even having been to Italy, even living in this pizza powerhouse city. I strongly, strongly suggest you Google a recipe, get the ingredients, and make it ASAP. I have enough left over to make another tomorrow night, and I guarantee I will.

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The Cloisters

Today Dave and I had a great adventure. We started by taking my lemon tree out to his brother’s house in Queens. The poor old tree wasn’t getting enough light in my new apartment and was dropping leaves like its 1999. Hopefully she’ll be happy there and I can have some lemonade in a few months.

Then we went on a trek up to the Cloisters, which I’ve wanted to visit for a long time. All the way up on 190th Street, the Cloisters are in Fort Tryon Park overlooking the Hudson. We strolled among fragrant flowers until we got to the museum. As you can imagine, it’s a big stone building built in the style of religious buildings.

The museum itself is relatively small, but my favorite part is the inner courtyard. It’s full of flowers, a fountain, and was quietly peaceful. It was a bit of a trek to get to, but I loved the views, architecture, peace and serenity. I can’t wait to take a small picnic there and spend a whole afternoon.

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730 Days

Today is my two-year anniversary with Dave. We had planned on going to dinner and a movie (going to Portland, ME in two weeks is our actual anniversary celebration), but when it started raining this afternoon I begged off of extracurriculars. Instead I hoped to use my new individual soup crocks for my favorite: french onion soup. I have yet to take a bite – I’m still fawning over how it looks. I’m glad that I’ve found someone who is ok with celebrating with soup and Restaurant: Impossible.

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DIY Fail

I’ve been trying to revamp my new apartment room by room instead of halfway doing every room. I started with the bathroom, since it was small and seemingly a one-evening project. First to go was the toilet seat – the existing seat was one of those gross padded ones from nursing homes. This one was particularly yellowed, and I didn’t like thinking of all the stuff that was most likely living in there.

After figuring out how toilet seats go on (plastic bolts and washers hidden under those latches? Never would have guessed), I get to work. Halfway through (read: unscrewed one screw) I was feeling great. Legitimately was thinking about how I could write a great blog post about how a few easy DIYs can improve any rental situation.

Then I got to the second bolt.

It must have been installed by the Hulk, because it wouldn’t budge. I was on the floor for 15 minutes with different combinations of pliers and wrenches to no avail. I called my dad for advice. He has done this a few times, and instructed me on how to drill through the bolt – its plastic – with a drill.

The drill bit snaps almost instantaneously.

Second bit starts to work, so I spend another 20 minutes cautiously drilling through plastic and then jabbing at it with a screwdriver to poke it out. Finally, success!

The seat I bought is about 3 inches too big.

My super old apartment has miniature everything, so the seat was way too big. Home Depot doesn’t carry the right size, nor does any other store, even online. I finally had to order an RV seat from online; I will be seat-less for 3-8 business days. If that doesn’t work, I may have to somehow DIY build a seat…

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Initial Thoughts

It’s been 24 hours in my new place. I’m obsessed with living alone.

– No need to wear pants. Ever.
– No need to shut doors. Ever.
– Leaving shoes in the living room is oddly satisfying.
– I can watch whatever I want, whenever I want.
– I can hog all the shower storage.
– No wondering if the beer in the fridge is mine. Or the avocados. Or the peanut butter cups. You get the picture.
– You can spend two hours scraping errant paint off the kitchen backsplash with a razor blade and no one will judge you.

More celebratory thoughts to come later.

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Moving, pt. 3

As I’m about to embark on apartment number three in Manhattan, I’m reflecting on my other two moves and how they contrast with this one.

First moving here from Delaware was a struggle in every sense of the word. Amanda and I were taking trains up on the weekend to look at places with various brokers, pounding the pavement all over town. I remember meeting a friend for coffee one Saturday afternoon and bawling in the middle of Dunkin Donuts. Ten minutes later she came with me to see the apartment I ended up moving into. Tears were a common theme, though, as I bawled once signing the lease for the apartment with no job. One week later I was working at Qdoba to pay bills, and a week after that I quit because I’d been offered the job I’m still at today.

Amanda moved to LA with three months left in our lease, so I found a random girl on Craigslist that I’ve lived with for the past two years.

When I called to renew that lease, I was told it wasn’t getting renewed. That day I spent 15 minutes crying at work. In three weeks I packed, found a place, and (easily) convinced Elise to move with me. The weekend I moved was my first kiss with Dave – we just planned a trip to Portland for our two year anniversary.

This move has been the smoothest to date, but that doesn’t mean it’s been without its own issues. I’ve had to find a subletter, pay my first brokers fee, sell the majority of my furniture on Craigalist, call Time Warner Cable 8 times with no success, and so on. With just five days to go (with a trip to Atlantic City jammed in there somehow), I feel ready to go. My boxes are packed, I’ve picked out paint samples, and I’ve read enough design blogs to have an honorary degree in interior design.

Looking back, each move has marked a significant change in my life. What will happen this time? I’m ecstatic to have an apartment to myself and see how my life will be shaped by this transition.

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View from the New Museum

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Dave has a friend who works as a curator at the New Museum down on Bowery. Occasionally we get invited to openings of art I don’t understand, but I enjoy going for three reasons: classy open bar, the people watching, and the view from the sky deck (see above). There was no tactful way to take pics of the characters there, but clearly the crowd had perfected the art of walking the line between hobo and chic. I felt like such a school marm. Maybe I should have not washed my hair, forgotten a bra, and worn boots regardless of the heat wave. Oh, and bright red lipstick. Can’t forget the bright red lipstick.

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The Perfect Sandwich

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Turkey, bacon, goat cheese, sun dried tomatoes on sourdough – toasted. Delightful.