Tuesday, September 30, 2008

a hunt

I never intended for this blog to be solely about New York things but seeing as how I have no readers right now anyway, I doubt it matters.

Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City said something about how a woman in New York is always looking for one of three things: a job, an apartment, or a boyfriend. In my case, it is an apartment (though if anyone knows a great single guy, please pass him my way.)

I currently live with two roommates around my age. The lease is up at the end of the month. Both roommates have decided to move on (one to Queens and one to move in with her fiancee) so I have to move on as well. Of course, my first instinct was to keep the apartment, find two new eager beavers to move in and keep my furniture and my sanity in place. No such luck. The wonderful management company that owns our little building would charge me one month's rent to stay in an apartment in which I already reside. This is because a new lease would need to be signed and apparently the labor behind that is worth hundreds of dollars. There are also minimum income requirements to be met and since I don't work in finance or have a trust fund, my new roommates would have to make a minimum amount higher than my own salary in order for the three of us to qualify for said lease.

Now, I have never attempted to get an apartment in another state, but when I visited New York last September full of guts and gusto and determined to find my new apartment, I quickly learned about the fabulousness that is the housing market in Manhattan and all the headache inducing worrysome, I mean, warm fuzzy feelings that navigating said market produces. Rule #1, if you don't have a job you can't find a place to live unless you have a guarantor who lives in the Tri-State area. My folks on the Left Coast clearly don't make that cut. They also wanted six months rent up front but that is a horse of a different color.

Back to present day and keeping the tangents as short as possible, I can't afford to pay a fee for absolutely nothing so I am attempting to find a nice new little room in a nice little apartment where I can move myself and my nice little bedroom full o' stuff with as little hassle (read: money!) as possible. But, since this has been on my mind since July (read: I've been stressing about it for that long) I'm getting worn out. I saw a place on Sunday that I loved. Details excluded, this place has pretty much everything I want: nice roommates, close proximity to transporation and all things necessity related, a good price, etc. Now I'm waiting to see if they want me.

So I feel like I am pledging a sorority, keeping my fingers crossed, and really not wanting to do this again a year from now. Oh well, I guess that's the price I pay to be a little worker bee in this bee hive made of skyscrappers and lights. And a little bitter side note, if I hear one more time that a girl is moving out because she's moving in with her boyfriend, I might scream. Just a little.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

a mere moment becomes a musing...

I love the way this city charms me.

When I first moved here, I would constantly walk down the street and have sort-of epiphany like moments in which I would again realize where I am now and what I'm doing -- that all my work and determination have come to fruition. I've done it. Such moments would result in sense of disbelief usually triggered by the rush of the taxis, the skyscape, and other typically stereotypical things. Those moments have become fewer and farther between but it is the little things that happen now, the smallest of details that remind me why I am here. They are the best rewards for bad days, times when life is hard. It is during these times that the city itself reminds me that as often as it challenges me, as often as it is my source of loneliness, frustration, and sadness, it also strengthens me and is the product of my strength.

Today has been particularly difficult for no particular reason. I went out earlier to grab a sandwich and while I was walking down the street I saw a man praying. I assume he is of Islamic faith as he was positioned on a prayer mat and was bowing repeatedly, placing his head on the ground while others rushed along the sidewalk beside him. This man and others like him, of African nationality presumably, set up various stands in front of the drug store daily. During the winter they sell scarves and hats -- during the summer, sundresses and tank tops. As I walked by I smiled to myself, for the city who has shown me something I wouldn't otherwise see. On my way back from Subway, the man and another were unloading their van for the day. I couldn't help thinking that regardless of one's religious beliefs or lack thereof, there is something to be said when faith is not daunted by daily monotony, drudgery and difficulty.

This city is organic in the way it becomes an entity all its own -- coming to represent different things for different people. For me, as it changes shape in my eyes with each life experience I have beyond the passage of seasons, I am constantly reminded that it is so much more than the big buildings and the bustling hive of bees moving to and fro... It constantly renews. It endures, so I endure.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

a portrait

Ever since I got to NY I've fallen in love with taking random photographs. I always loved photography before but there are only so many beautiful beach shots one can take before they all start to look the same. Here are a few of my favorites to get this going:

A store front by my old apartment (West Village)
-taken May 2008-

The Mall at Central Park
-taken during my apartment hunting trip September 2007-

A conflicting message in the least likely of places:
the restroom at Grey Dog's Cafe in West Village.
-taken May 2008-