Sunday, January 30, 2005

The Great Apartment Hunt

Sometimes in life you realize that you can't count on anyone but yourself. No matter how much you listen to and help others - and how often you see your friends go out of their way for the people that are important to them - you find yourself abandoned when you are going through your toughest times. While that realization can be depressing, it can also serve to motivate you into taking action. Thus begins the saga of the Great Apartment Hunt of 2005.

Not knowing what to expect, I walked into the first apartment only to discover that it was approximately the size of my office. As the broker was telling me how nice the place was, I couldn't help but to feel a little disillusioned thinking that this was all I would be able to afford. I was also not all that comforted by the sign reminding residents that leaving garbage in the halls can lead to "unwanted animals." While I liked the clever euphemism for rats, I couldn't help thinking "Do we really need to be reminded not to leave garbage in the hall?" The second place we looked at was slightly better, but still nothing special, and so the day continued.

Just as I was about to give up hope, I was pleasantly surprised by a nice one bedroom on the Upper East Side, and so I quickly completed an application. I'm not terribly optimistic as another prospective tenant had already applied, but at least I'm next in line should that fall through. The best part is that the apartment is being renovated and will be available on Feb 15. I have to admit that it would be nice to live in a place that's only a 15 minute walk to work, and it might be fun to live in the city for a year or so before I settle down with a new house.

Meanwhile, the search continues. I've set a March 1 deadline in order to force myself into action. To that end, every day this week is booked with apartment visits around NYC. My friends and co-workers have been great in keeping their eyes open and giving me tips, and so I'm pretty confident that I'm going to meet my goal. Still, it would be nice to get a second opinion on some of these places. I just don't always trust my own judgment. Anyway, wish me luck!

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Nathan's

They just opened a Nathan's in the food concourse of my office building. I think everyone knows this, but Nathan's is a chain of fast food restuarants that began in 1916 with a hot-dog stand in Coney Island. Feel free to go to the Nathan's web site for more information. It's not like I'm writing a documentary here.

Anyway, seeing it reminded me of a trip that I took to the Coney Island Aquarium earlier this summer. We had a great time looking at all of the colorful fish and taking pictures. Afterwards, we strolled over to the original Nathan's for hot dogs and fries. The rest of the afternoon was spent doing fun things like playing minature golf, going to the batting cage (where I tried not to embarass myself too much), and eating funnel cakes as the wind whipped the sugar off of the plate and all over our clothes. We also strolled down the beach and took some more pictures before we headed back home.

As we drove home, we passed a dock. We were both struck by the beauty of the ships sailing along the water at sunset and so we quickly pulled off the road, found a parking spot, and walked back. The dying sunlight reflected across the water, and the ships seemed almost ghostly in the haze. As always, I was awestruck by the pictures that my friend took, but I should have been used to that by then for she is the most talented and creative person I've ever known.

What I remember most about that day was thinking that I couldn't decide which was more beautiful - the splendor that nature had laid before us, or the woman by my side. But in reality, it was no contest for there was nothing that ever compared to her.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Stranded on the Escalator

The escalator that takes us from the subway to the "concourse level" of my building got stuck this morning. We were stranded there for over 25 minutes as we waited for the stairs to begin moving again. I thought we'd never get out of there.

People began to get a little panicky after a little while, but everything turned out okay in the end. There was a palpable sense of relief as the escalator whirred back to life, and the stairs began to roll again. You could see the gratitude in everyone's eyes as they passed the repairman who rescued us. It must be those types of moments that make his job worthwhile.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Tsunami Aid: A Concert of Hope...until....

Now I recognize that this is a little late, as the concert took place over a week ago, but I just want to share.

Our building managment recently installed monitors in our elevators so that we can read the news as we ride. Just another great way to avoid talking to people, I guess. Anyway, I was I was on the elevator a few days before the show, when I read that Ben Affleck had signed on to make a special appearance.

My first thought was "Haven't those poor people already suffered enough?"