Old Bay

This past weekend I took a bus down to D.C. to visit my friend Ashley. It was her birthday on Monday, providing the perfect excuse to finally get my butt down there and catch up. She’s one of those people who is super smart and incredibly welcoming and I had a wonderful time with her. If anything the time went too quickly. I only managed to get a few pictures from her bbq on Saturday, but wanted to share them. Her family ordered a TON of steamed crabs covered in Old Bay and we all got to work cracking them open! It was a blast. The night ended with ice cream cupcakes and rolling down the grass-covered hill like 5 year olds. In other words, perfection.  034031

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Run this city

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Central Park from the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir (from my instagram)

I’ve alluded to the fact that Boston and I had an interesting relationship. I didn’t really start liking the city until I began running through it. I was able to see the neighborhoods from a new perspective, as well as how closely they all link together. 

I’ve decided to skip the awkward phase with New York and just start running so we can start off being friends right away. 

Oh, and I signed up to run 13 miles in a row while someone times me. My goal is not speed (at all), but I would love to finish. So, practice runs it is!

Here are a few shots I’ve taken with my iphone while running (maybe I enjoyed a little break to breath). Some are from Central Park which is stunning and huge, and the others are from this morning’s run along the Brooklyn Bridge.

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Central Park is so huge and green. I never realized just how large it really is.

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Brooklyn Bridge, from Instagram (laurenasfaw)

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On the Way to the Eye Doctor

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Selemon is gainfully employed which means…our little family has insurance!

So Monday afternoon I had an appointment with an eye doctor. They took our insurance and had great Yelp reviews. 

I didn’t realize the eye doctor was located right in the heart of Chinatown.

Their awning was in Chinese. 

I’m not going to lie, I considered turning around. But I thought “what the hell?” and pushed that door open. 

Out of 3 employees I could really only understand 1. Thankfully that one person was the Optometrist so I updated my prescription and picked up some glasses. Success: Lauren!

Walking home, I took some pictures of all the dried seafood being sold on the street. These pictures capture vision but they don’t capture the most important component of this experience: the odor. Let’s just say I was purposely walking behind someone smoking a cigarette. It’s a very hot August. Oh lord. 

Another city experience for the books.

 

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New York Favorites: Laundry Day

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Today is laundry day. Which means today I put our dirty laundry in a bag and carried it down the street. After 4 PM today the dirty laundry will be transformed into clean, perfectly folded versions of our previously disheveled clothing. 

In Minnesota we always had laundry either in our very own basement or shared for a small apartment building. In Boston I had to rely on a Laundromat for the first time which meant I would haul giant bags of laundry down the street (about 3 blocks…filled with tourists) to spend $4.50 for a wash and $1.00 per 8 minutes of drying. It was expensive and a giant pain in the ass. I would usually do laundry every 3 or 4 weeks because it was such a process. 

But New York.

In New York you pay people to do your laundry which seemed excessively luxurious. I was telling Ashley, my friend who lived in NY before grad school, that Selemon had been sending out his laundry last summer, as if it was an embarrassing luxury and she replied that she had done the same. Now that I’m here I see that everyone drops off their laundry for wash and fold. You’d be crazy not to, but each time it gives me the biggest thrill. 

Basically each street has their own cleaner, and I have yet to see an actual self-serve laundormat so I’m assuming everyone does it this way too (it goes without saying that basically nobody has their own washer/dryer in unit). You just bring your laundry, they place it on a scale and charge $1 per pound. (Some charge more, but this place seems great so far and they only charge $1) We usually have about 19 pounds, meaning $19 for totally clean, folded laundry. 

You guys, its the best thing ever. 

I feel like a queen. It’s probably cheaper than doing it ourselves. They perfectly fold the fitted bottom sheet. These people are laundry geniuses. 

And its definitely one of my favorite parts of city life. This is absolutely not an exaggeration. 087

*There are caveats to this process.We had a previous cleaner who lost two of Selemon’s socks, so we switched. So far I feel good about our cleaner, but I’m also knocking on wood. 

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Routine Makes the World Go Round

I have only been in New York for a week and a half. I have only been unemployed for a week and a half. So why does it feel like it has been forever?

I love routine. I realize that sounds incredibly boring and not at all sexy. “I love routine” said no exciting person ever. I didn’t even know this about myself until a few years ago, and in my old age of 27 years I will stop denying who I am and simply embrace it. It’s become clear that my love of routine is one of the main reasons I love church. I walk into any Episcopal Church in any city (around the world even!) and I pretty much know exactly what I’m getting and in what order. Those weird services where we use a different Rite? (or whatever its called, I’m too lazy right now to look it up) I hate them. I want the same prayer every week so I can truly zone out, feel comfortable, and recharge.

That’s what church is for, right?  Oh, its not? It’s okay, I’m quite convinced pretty much every single person on Earth is doing church wrong, so I’m just gonna go with it.

Which brings me back to the fact that I have had 1.5 weeks without a routine. Hardly a huge number, and yet I am barely holding onto my sanity. Baaaarely. I have been feeling widely unproductive and my self esteem is taking a dive so I will loosely recap what I’ve been up to so that I can feel validate my existence.

1. I got a library card! And I sat there and read a book while a man with obvious disabilities would stand over me and breath loudly. That happened twice without me even flinching. He eventually walked away both times but that was enough to wrap up that particular library session. New York, amiright?

2. I walk around A LOT. I’m averaging 23,000 steps a day just in case anyone cares. I’ll pat myself on the back for that one.

3. I scored some “awesome” clearance wines! After tasting these awesome deals Selemon politely suggested that I don’t dip below $10 for wine unless its Trader Joe’s moving forward. I guess he wasn’t as impressed with my $3 bargain bin wines.

4. Speaking of wine, I only had a glass before 3 PM one time this week. If that doesn’t look like success I don’t know what does.

5. The wine at 3 PM day was a rough one but I salvaged by being super brave and joining a group run at a local running store. I had no idea how long it would be and it was hot. And I wore my shorts but worried about my jiggly bits being judged by everyone else on the run. But I did it anyway and it was lovely and we had a great run and afterwards I got dumplings with 2 new friends.

6. I haven’t stepped in dog poop all day.

7. I took all the loose change I’ve lugged from Boston to New York to a Coinstar and it was $42. That was a really exciting day. No lie there.

7. I’ve been doing yoga! I alternate between a studio where I got a great deal ($20 for 20 classes!) and free yoga in the park. One day at the park I bravely attempted crow, which is balancing your whole body on your forearms and I did it! Which means my head did not bash into the thin layer of yoga mat between me and the concrete. Another huge success.

8. I haven’t stepped in vomit all day, but I did smell it being hosed off the sidewalk this morning.

9. I’ve seen two celebrities! And I only took a picture of one but totally lost my shit with the other. I saw Alec Baldwin with his family in the park. He looked very scruffy and a bit…homeless. Which I suppose the rich are allowed to do. And really anyone in New York is allowed to do that. No rules here. Then I saw Garance Dore who is a French illustrator and blogger and way less famous than Alec Baldwin, but a personal hero of mine and she was even prettier in person. I stood like 15 feet away and just stared at her while on the phone with Lindsey which I’m sure made me look casual and cool, not like a crazy stalker at all.

10. Tomorrow I have an interview! So maybe (hopefully) in another 1.5 weeks I’ll be missing these leisurely days and my 4 PM dates with Ellen.

Okay, that was a list with 10 things on it so I’m calling today a success too!

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“We are young/heartache to heartache/We stand”

One week ago I packed up Boston in a ridiculous frenzy and drove down here, to New York City.  I feel like that milestone is worth a blog post :) 

This week a few gorgeous photos popped up on my instagram. They show the gorgeous side of New York, which surely, heart-stoppingly exists. Two days this week ended at Washington Square Park, a magical place where couples sit along the low steps of the fountain, kids play in the water (it seemed ill advised at first, but apparently its what is done here), there is always lovely music and, to remind you that nature exists- fireflies. So that gorgeous picture went on instagram so people could swoon, and hopefully you all did. 
From there it was all downhill. 
Just kidding. Sort of. 
Over margaritas with a friend last night I attempted to re-hash my week at New York. Because, you guys, it was pretty tricky. There was a lot of frustration, waiting, leaving stores empty handed, annoyance over people.everywhere.always. At one point I actually typed into google “how to grocery shop in New York City” because I was surely missing something, and of course, a million articles popped up allowing me to feel, momentarily, a little more justified in this whole mess. And here’s what I came up with. When I would tell New Yorkers about these awful, annoying things that happen (the DMV, awful grocery stores, public restrooms) they would all say, well, yes, that’s why you should just do this “______”. 

In New York, simple things become complicated. The game is just totally different. And I’ve been trying to do everything. New York is a series of battles, with glorious pay-outs, but battles none-the-less. And I have been waking up attempting to fight all the battles. I haven’t learned which ones are worth it and which you just walk away from. So there has been a lot of frustration as I spin my wheels, exert tons of energy, and get no where. 

I think that’s what these first few months will be like. A sometimes painful learning process as I figure out for myself what battles are worth fighting and when you should just order the damn take-out. 

I hear it gets better, and I have no doubt that it will. In the meantime, I’ll be here in the big city, spinning my wheels and hopefully every once in a while, enjoying one of those glorious pay-outs. Don’t worry, I’ll be sure to instagram it. 

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