Tuesday, August 1, 2006


I've been bad about really letting you know what's going on in New York, so let me actually tell you. Let's start fresh, shall we?

I'm in New York! I've never been here before, and based on first impressions, don't know if I'll ever come back. But I'll give this city some time. I have yet to do so many things, I have no right to judge yet...

...and here we are in August. I'm still in New York. The furthest away from the city I've gotten was 44th St. and 4th Ave. in Brooklyn. I'm being patient with New York, but I'm not impressed yet. Granted, I'm a self-confessed cynic and Chicago-snob, so New York is playing to the tough crowd in me.

To catch y'all up on what these first six weeks have been like for me, I'll ramble a bit and then copy-and-paste the short updates I've been keeping--those are a little more concrete.

I work Monday through Thursday. T and everybody else thinks I'm babysitting on Fridays, but I'm not. Generally, I'm sleeping late and eating lunch and watching the Tony Danza Show. Not really, I hate the Tony Danza Show.

On the days when I work, I get up around 8:30 and shower, primp and shove some Cheerios in my mouth before I dash down the one flight of stairs of my Harlem apartment. On Monday and Tuesday J doesn't work and it gives me something sweet to kiss back in bed before I leave.

As I walk to the subway, I focus my energy on that particular New York attitude of mild non-chalance, or more likely, aggressive indifference. I often get comments from the Harlem Old Timers who sit on their stoops or their lawn chairs that they drag onto the sidewalk--"That's my babygirl!" or, "You lookin' fine today, Mizz!" or, "That's FBI right there!" and sometimes just a "good morning." I've gotten really good at missing the subway in the morning. I have lived my life in New York by the unused white Coffeemate on our kitchen counter. 9:37 used to mean "on time" for the B-Train, but not anymore. These days, 9:37 on the Coffeemate seems to mean "oh, you just barely missed the train again!" In the last ten days, I've caught the B-Train only once or twice. No matter--nobody arrives at work til 10:10 anyway.

The morning commute is tame. I'm usually half-asleep with either a magazine, book or my iPod keeping me conscious. However absorbed I appear in said object, I am spending half my time watching my reflection in the darkened windows of the subway car. Am I, sometimes I wonder, the only person who does this? I like to watch my crossed leg bob up and down with the sway of the subway--that's something you never get to see, just like you never get to watch yourself eat.

My building is connected to the Rockefeller Center stop. I scale the stairs and escalator and prepare myself for an awkward encounter in the elevator. The Brazilian consolate is on the 21st floor of the Bank of America Building. (TOH is on the 27th.) I usually get to hear lots of Portugese which I don't understand or watch some confused traveler try to jump onto the elevator to go down when it's still going up. By the end of the ride, I'm usually with one or two other T employees who I don't know that well and we joke about the Brazilian consolate to pass the last fifteen seconds of the ride.

After a full day at work, which I usually spend in true intern fashion half-checking my mail and half-writing/researching/fact-checking, I jump back onto the B-Train and head to Harlem. J and I have been known to hit the same train while he travels back from downtown, so that's always a treat.

Living with your boyfriend when you're only 21 is interesting. I can't imagine all those kids back home in "Ah'hia" who have gotten married already. I'm still trying to keep J from joking about penises and encouraging him to clean up his video games when he's done with them, so I can't imagine trying to work out taxes and diapers with him. I suppose I feel like I'm young, but it's really fun living with John and I'm enoying it.

When we both get home, we make dinner together. J prides himself on cooking meat, so I don't usually mess with that. We have a few traditional dinners--lemon chicken, "meat mulch" (a family favorite, apparently), pasta with porkchops, pasta with butter, hamburgers, and cheese and crackers with fruit (that's my influence). We sometimes drink wine (Pinot Noir), sometimes drink beer (Sam Adams), but we both like milk (non-fat) the best. We settle in with our dinners to watch some Wheel of Fortune or throw on a Seinfeld or Arrested Development episode. Then, we exploit the rest of our Netflix subscription by watching a movie almost every night.

On the weekends when J doesn't work, we lounge in bed til 11, eat and then lounge some more. Afterward, we'll go to the park. That's a nice lifestyle. On the weekends when he does work, he gets up so early that I sleep in and then I'm sad that we're not eating lunch and lounging.

In conclusion for catching up, here is my Facebook profile's "Week-by-Week Play-by-Play of NYC" as of now:

Week 1: Welcome to New York, or alternatively, Get Shivved in the Subway If You are White and 21 Week!
Week 2: Adjustment, or alternatively, Work Gets Boring.
Week 3: Adjustment, or alternatively, Harlem Gives CC a Lesson in Tattoo Art.
Week 4: Hot-Shot in NYC, or alternatively, Get Shot in NYC
Week 5: It's a Small World Afterall, or alternatively, J's Ex Lives Across the Street From Us.
Week 6: Meeting the Neighbors, or alternatively, Your Boyfriend Leaves the Door Open and the Neighbors Walk In and You're Naked.

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