on the grid

20 08 2008

Our Kitchen has a floor in it!

we had no idea, we thought the card board and silt was there was to it but after two days of clear out boxes and previous tenant leavings, and some serious, SCRUBBING the floor, cabinents and stove top have all been restored to their original glory.

Did I mention there was a freezerbunt chicken in the freezer? Thanks Shirley, we weren’t sure what we were gonna eat.

So yes, the renovations have finally been completed(not including the ones we just discovered today) so the crew is out of the house and we can finally get to unpacking and cleaning and settling in.

I can’t wait for this feeling of displacement to die off. I know it will as soon as I’m able to get some shelves and a desk and I can set up my room and work area.

what also helped is getting out of the house and travelling around town. Yesterday, I went out with Brad early on to drop off the truck down in mid-town. While walking to our subway wecompiled a nice list of what we’re going to need to bring the place together and decided on where to find him a mattress. When we got back to the house, I stayed on top of things and paid my bills online and cancelled old Michigan accounts, changed addresses on official documents and stuff like that. It’s kind of exciting to give an address that ends with ” New York, New York.”

Later on I went out with Brad our housemate Paul Wagner and his girl Katie to Brooklyn to see Brad’s favorite musician play at Union Hall. This place was like a gentle mashup of a bar and an 1800s library. It was amber-lit and filled with old-timey furniture and fixtures. There were floor to ceiling bookshelves full of near-antiquated books. In the rear were two  chalk covered Boccie lanes and a stairway to the lower level where the music acts were. It had a real intimate vibe down there, they kept the old timey theme going with sepia portraits of somebody’s Aunt Gertude and Maj. Hartigan. There were also these weird stuffed or dried specimens in what looked like an old anthopology exhibit. A two-headed baby chick, a hand-sized spider, a reptile that was either some kind of lizard or a turtle with it’s shell off. we still don’t know.

It was an interesting show and at the end when the set was over the musician,  Matt Duke, was socializing with the audience. Brad was trying to shy away and his friend Allison and I practically dragged Brad up to meet him. We stayed there for a little longer and I started to notice that even though this place is cool, this isn’t “my thing” moreso not my particular element. I like going places where if I break away from the group I can find at least 2 other people I can relate to in conversation and lifestyle I guess. So since Paul and Katie were up in each other’s butt and Brad was catching up with his old friend Allison I broke off and did my own thing. It was after 9 so I started calling people back in Michigan to see what was what.

Not too much longer we all struck out of there and headed back to Manhattan. Brad and I went to he and his crew’s favorite watering hole, “Patty O’Briens.” Again, a great place for those guys and fun every now and then but not really my element. I started thinking about once I got settled in walking around Harlem and seeing what places there were to hang out there. From what I’ve seen when coming back from downtown has mostly been restaurants and retail shops. It’d be nice to know what clubs or low-key bars there were to meet some people. Perhaps something off amsterdam ave, down by the college (Columbia  U is over here).

I had a good time though, free beer and a couple rounds of Buck Hunter is a fun way to end a Monday.

Today was especially good. I offiicially got back on the the grind. I had a meeting with the principal at the school I’ll be working at in the fall. It was REALLY nice to have something work-related to do. I felt like I had a purpose again. It was also good to figure out what to expect in the next couple of months. I learned my bus and subway routes to the school got to see how long the trip would take so I could plan my morning out.

Putting on dress clothes made me feel back in the swing of things as well. With the house being all dirty and disorganized, I guess I’ve been feeling the same way and since my clothes are still pretty much packed up and I don’t have an iron I’ve basically just been throwing things on and running around town.  The meeting went well. We talked over my schedule and the logistics of the program and what her key objectives were. What I like about her mode of doing this is that she wants to introduce and utilize this website called RenzulliLearning.com, this site cuts my work literally in half. It has all sorts of web and computer based activities and programs for students that is individual interest based. It compiles thousands of teaching resources into this one portal. Lesson plans and instructions are included.

This is perfect for me because I create best when I have a template or reference point.

Before my teaching adventure can begin I have to get a substitute teaching license and be finger printed This calls for another trip to Brooklyn, which in many ways is like it’s own city. This is good, I like travelling on my own. I’m learning how everything connects and each day I see a part of the city I’d never seen before. What I’m loving about this place is that every block and neighborhood has a completely different feel to it. So much variety of people and aesthetics. Even though the subway is quicker in most cases, I love riding the bus and just looking around at all the different areas and people.

quick notes:

city birds will not fly away for any reason whatsoever. you can run up on them, throw stuff, ride up in your car. They don’t fly. They walk. Sometimes they try to powerwalk away, but thats about it. seriously birds are just walking down the street. Bobbin among the feet of pedestrians like “excuse me, excuse me” I’m like ‘Bird, where are you going? Fly somewhere!”

Everything is the city revolves around the transit system. Everything. Where you work, where you order food, whether or not you go somewhere, the rent amount you pay will increase or decrease depending on how close you are to a certain subway stop. People live and die by “The Grid.” Streets run east to west, Avenues go North and South major streets are 14th, 34th 59th,86th 96th, 110th,125th. The higher the number the farther to north you are.

There is a street on the Southern part of the island, it’s named Houston.

Do NOT pronounce it the way 98% of the population pronounce it. Here it’s called HOUSE-ton street. if you don’t say that you will be treated like an idiot or a tourist.

Discover my new nightmare: Look up “Rat King” on wikipedia.

Could you imagine that thing running up on you in the subway one night??

There’s a guy on 125th who sells crayons.Not crayola or RoseArt, just simple blue box with 5 crayons in it. Like the ones you get with a kids menu at Fridays. Where did he get this absurd amount of knock-off crayons and why would he think someone is going to buy them?

The mosquitoes in my backyard have had ninja training. They can get in and bite me 4 to 7 times without being seen. I only hear them after I noticed a small itch  and reach for it and they fly away.I’ve swatted at a few of them and they somehow never end up smushed between my palms. they just fly off laughing and then they disappear.

That’s it for now, tomorow I’m off to BK and hopefully on Friday I’ll have everything in my room set up and ready to roll and the rest of the house will finally be completely clean and I can have Kaden and Holly over and not feel like I’m inviting guests to a cardboard box jamboree.

Smith Out




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