New York, NY
|Baby, it's cold outside!!|
Yesterday, we got the call from our Nestle relocation-hired moving truck driver, crazy-Gabe-from-Hungary, saying that he was in Cincinnati and expected to be in Manhattan on Saturday. That's tomorrow! His most recent ETA was for this coming Monday so he is ahead of schedule - this was very good news, indeed!
Our stay at the Springhill Suites in Midtown has been reasonably comfortable and pleasant, after the initial challenge of squeezing the contents of four suitcases and a giant duffle bag into a Manhattan hotel room. It required a little shifting of furniture and relocation of contents ("ok, so where can we possibly stick the ice bucket???"), but we managed and have been living in peace and harmony since our arrival last week. That said, I am very excited to be moving into our new apartment tomorrow!
It has been a strange ten days, to say the least. Not tourists, but not true residents, living without all of our belongings and without a kitchen to stock, we filled our initial days with a combination of practical and necessary activities and fun, touristy, new-resident diversions. Doing much of anything proved challenging, as the entire east coast has been experiencing near-record cold temperatures since our arrival on February 11th. It's been bitter cold, to put it mildly.
|In our room, preparing to leave the hotel|
|Enjoying a lunch of hot soup from Hale & Hearty in the Grand Central Station Dining Concourse.|
After an uneventful flight on Virgin America, we started off life in our new hometown on a great foot (despite the cold), stumbling across a wonderful little Italian place, thanks to Scott and Yelp, for our very first meal as NYC residents. Upon checking into the hotel and getting organized, we strolled over to the charming Hell's Kitchen restaurant Tavola. The place was bustling at about 8pm but we were seated quickly towards one end of the long communal table that runs almost the length of the cozy dining room. We shared a few small plates - a roasted beet salad, wild boar and veal meatballs (amazing!!) and a black seafood risotto - and a main of a chicken piccata-like dish with artichokes, all washed down with a very drinkable Montepulciano. All the food was very good, the service attentive and unpretentious and the atmosphere warm (both literally and figuratively!). We vowed to return and already I can't wait!
|Still salivating over the memory of the boar and veal meatballs from this Hell's Kitchen eatery!|
That afternoon, after picking up the keys and doing a walk through at our new apartment, we wandered over to the new World Trade Center building and the now-completed 9/11 Memorial fountain.
|Trying to stay warm at the World Trade Center 9/11 Memorial|
|I had wanted to go ice skating in Bryant Park, near Macy's, but it was just too darn cooooold!!!|
|At Sel et Poivre|
|The jagerschnitzel, sauerkraut, potato salad and picked beets were all positively superb at Reichenbach Hall!|
|At Grand Central Station, taking our first subway ride as residents|
On Scott's final day of 'vacation' we decided to take advantage of the President's Day sales and headed over to Sleepy's on Fifth. It was one of the colder days we'd experienced thus far but luckily this popular mattress chain has a showroom just a block from our hotel and so off we went! We spent an unsatisfying hour-plus lying on three mattresses over and over again, in an attempt to make a decision. We couldn't agree. Scott let me 'win' since I am the one whose back hurts on our current mattress. It was an hour (and $1,300) I'll never get back. Oh, and did I mention that it was freezing in the showroom? Delivery is on Wednesday.
After the mattress ordeal, we decided to do something fun. We headed down to Chelsea to check out the Rubin Museum. We weren't quite ready to tackle the Met or other large museum and it sounded small and manageable. Other than that, I didn't really know anything about it. As it turns out, it is full of Asian art, largely small, intricate paintings, arranged in series, of ancient yoga positions. It was one of the least interesting museums I have ever seen. I guess I am just not an Asian art lover. Or a fan of tantric yoga. So sue me. However, as luck would have it, we happened to be there during the Marc Riboud photography exhibit. The photographs, taken by this French photographer while on a three-year jaunt to Asia in the mid- to late-1950s, were absolutely wonderful! This exhibit and the fact that the building was the warmest public place we'd been in days were the saving graces of this visit. I highly recommend seeing this exhibit if it happens to be in a city near you.
Our first five days passed quickly in a blur of cold and overwhelmed confusion (at least for me!) and before we knew it, Scott was ironing his shirts, suits and ties that he had packed along, in preparation to head off to his new job at Nespresso. With Scott at work, my days began to revolve around a daily walk to the apartment, dropping a few things off in order to lighten the load, picking up mail, doing a load of laundry (which involved discovering a broken washing machine and "supervising" subsequent repairs) and scouting out the local grocery options, most of which induced a severe case of sticker shock and moderate depression. I also returned to the giant Macy's near Times Square and the nearby DSW to search in vain for warm winter boots. I don't think I will ever ever be a fan of shopping at that crazy monstrosity of a department store. And apparently all the winter boots have been bought up, now that it is almost March. Oh well. Money saved!!
During Scott's working hours, my time in the hotel has been spent fighting the crowds in the barely-heated breakfast room off the lobby for my daily tea and frosted flakes, whining about the cold on Facebook, posting photos of said cold, engaging in Facebook threads about where to buy things here in NYC that might be vaguely affordable, catching up on Season 5 of Parenthood on Netflix (so sad it is over!; now I have to wait for Season 6 to come out on Netflix, but at least the new season of House of Cards is coming soon!) and ordering online lots of stock-up items that we could not move. Prior to our departure, due to moving company regulations and the fact that we were arriving in New York via air, we had to throw out hundreds of dollars worth of cleaning supplies, refrigerated food, pantry staples and alcohol. Now I am engaging in the fun task of spending hundred more dollars to re-purchase many of these items for our new home. Thank goodness for that Nestle relocation package lump-sum is all I can say about that!!
Moving day is tomorrow and I anticipate it with equal parts excitement (to have a permanent home) and nervousness (about being able to fit all of our belongings into said home). Wish us luck and stay tuned for more tales of Scott and Caroline in NYC!
|Bye bye San Francisco! We'll miss you!|
|Getting excited to land in our new hometown (well, actually Newark)!|
|New York fashion: men in flamboyant faux fur coats|
|The communal table at Tavola|
|The new World Trade Center|
|Scott show his Oaklandish pride at Bryant Park (but is mostly just happy to have a warm hat to wear!)|
|The view from our hotel room. It was 6 degrees out when I took this photo and these guys were out there working!|