Saturday, February 28, 2009

But That Was Not The Same Day...

As the day we matched at work. It's like we aren't standing in the same 30 square feet as we clothe.
Oh my. How stereotypical can we be? In our pastel pink and blue v-neck sweaters...

It must be said so you don't feel guilty for thinking it. Not an ultra-flattering shot of either half of the Riley equation. Sometimes I catch my reflection on the downslope of the day and think, "that was really nice of Noah to marry me." :)

One of THOSE Days.

The other night, I was working late and standing in a colleague's office when we heard a rattle... rattle... crash...

A window FELL OUT of the 8th floor office straight below my colleague's office and plummeted to the sidewalk below*. WHAT?!

Ironically, this was one of those days where I kind of felt like a window fell on me from eight stories.

*Thank goodness nobody was hurt or near the window when it fell. It made me sick to my stomach even thinking about it the rest of the night. And now I've developed this insane fear of walking next to buildings, which is probably going to be tough in a city this size...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Our Humble Abode

I've had a few requests for some pictorial evidence of the roof over our heads. Thanks to Alisa's visit, I do have some fun exterior shots of our building and street. Or as I affectionately refer to it (to anyone except my Grandma) - the 'hood.

On an unrelated note, I'm married to a pretty handsome dude.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Saturday Is a Special Day...

It's the day of free things in the ci-ty.

Noah and I are anxious to soak up every little bit of this city - but turns out, we're not loaded. So we let big-name corporate sponsors chart our course each weekend.

Saturday afternoon, we met the Andersons in the 145th Street subway station (it was classic... we got to the platform and saw the train was already there - this is a miracle and you don't pass up miracles. you HOP on that train. but we could see Derek and Jamie on the opposite end of the platform and ideally wanted to be in the same car as them, so we did the fast walk and then the full on run toward each other - eyeing the train all the way to be sure we could dart into the nearest car if need be. we got to opposite ends of the same car and motioned to each other to hop into the nearest entrance before finally rendezvousing in the middle of the car. it was terribly romantic. and then we realized the train wasn't going anywhere for another 10 minutes or so. and then it was just anticlimactic.) and made our way to the East River Park for WinterJam NYC.

That's right. Four Utahns who grew up having snowball fights with The Greatest Snow on Earth just a stones' throw from Olympic training grounds spent our afternoon with hordes of city-dwellers on fake snow waiting for a glimpse or two of snowboarders hurling down the snow flume and ultimately catching their mad air on the opposite side of the slope from where we stood. Oh, the irony.
It was an absolutely gorgeous winter day, though, so I was happy for the excuse to get outside and explore. The type of day you would have wanted to walk around a vibrant city anyway - just with the added bonus of an Empire State Building snow sculpture in the mix.

After jamming - winterstyle - we grabbed an early dinner in Chinatown and wandered our way through lower Manhattan where Noah was delighted to find a good dentist:
I think he made a few people around us nervous when he stripped the coat, scarf and sweater before their eyes. But when you're sporting the tee, you best be prepared to represent.

Noah bundled back up and we strolled across the Brooklyn Bridge at sunset (Sigh.) and over to the Brooklyn Museum for Target First Saturdays Free. The museum is absolutely beautiful, the collections are fascinating - we especially loved the exhibit on African art - and Noah was irresistable in his knowledge of Khmer artifacts/history in the Asian art collection. Smart is sexy.

Plus, we saw two girls jump rope with their hair, which is usually my litmus test for whether or not an evening is a success.

By the time we got back on the uptown train, my dogs were barkin'. I was ready to get home and secretly dreaming of the sweets in the freezer, but I wasn't sure if my sweet tooth or my tired lids were going to prevail. So I asked Noah, "if we're still awake when we get home, want to watch a movie over a bowl of ice cream?" He looked a little confused but agreed. Later I realized it was only 8:30 p.m. when I asked the question. Party on, Wayne.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


We've lived here for almost two weeks.

There aren't enough groceries in the place to constitute an entire meal.

But we do have this:
We have our priorities.

And when the salmonella scare made me think twice about my peanut butter consumption, I thought - eh, I'll risk it.

Gather 'Round

I received a call on Friday afternoon that my dear friend, Alisa, and her family were in NYC from Beantown. They had planned on going back home that evening - but we conned them in to staying for the night.

And when I say "conned" - I mean conned. In the "they helped us move a dining table" sense.

I thought if we fed them dinner and made them German pancakes in the morning, then maybe we'd be even. But that Alisa had to go and outdo herself by taking, editing and sending photos of the lovely weekend. So none of the photo credit here it mine, folks.
It was fun how much centered around this table during their stay - the menfolk dragged it home (carried on Noah's back through a park at one point); we watched it take form as one piece at a time made its way into the apartment; we enjoyed great meals and even better conversation around it until we just couldn't keep our eyes open any longer.

It seemed only fitting to take a picture of the one place we planted ourselves for nearly their whole stay (although, great conversation got in the way of a photo op at night - so you get morning makeupless pajamas Allison instead).
Something about having a table - a place to gather - really jives with my nesting instinct, I guess. Because I think it makes our little Harlem pad feel like home.

We loved sharing the first meals around it with Corey, Alisa and their adorable little bean. And we can't wait to welcome more guests around its edges.

That means you. Come visit. I mean it. I should warn you though, our first overnight guests have set the bar pretty high. If you come, expect manual labor and prepare to document it in beautiful photographs :).

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Obama Would Be Proud of You.

What's worse than realizing the people you're subletting from will be home at 9:30 a.m. on the morning you're moving out? Their plane coming in early (when does that happen?) and having them show up at 6:50 instead.

We moved on Saturday and when we realized the tenants were coming home in the morning, we orchestrated an impressive exit strategy to be out by about 8:30-ish.

Noah and I stayed up late Friday night packing as neatly as possible and cleaning every inch of the apartment. But that still didn't distract from the fact our packed stuff took up half the apartment and there were two free couches standing upright in the living room. Not "we've destroyed your home in your absence" type of stuff, but also not what you want people to come home to after being away from their home for a month.

We woke up at 6:30 so Noah could be on the subway by 7:00 to pick up the rental truck in Long Island City the minute Ryder opened its doors. Noah left around 6:45 and a minute or two later, I dragged myself out of bed and descended the ladder from the loft just as my phone started to ring. I answered to hear Noah explain he'd just received a call from the tenants. As he left the apartment, he noticed a cab pull up and two guys begin to unload luggage. Employing the always-successful "if I ignore it it's not true" mentality, Noah kept his course and picked up the pace toward the subway. But he received a call a moment later explaining they were home, ("oh really? I never even noticed you as I ran past trying to ignore you... :)") and waiting in the deli next door. They know they're early, don't worry about rushing, but could they please drop their stuff off in the apartment?

As Noah is briefing me on the situation, it was literally like one of those scenes from a movie where the camera zooms in on the person's face to convey panic and makes it feel like the walls are closing in (I mean uber-cheesy 1980s cult classics, of course). In that moment, no task seemed surmountable... "I have to put in my contacts!" "Wash the two glasses in the sink! They can't come home to dishes in the sink!" "Where is my bra?!" (Okay, the last one was viable.)

After the initial shock wore off, I scurried next door to the deli, introduced myself, welcomed them home and ran off to the laundromat to throw in a load. And it really was uphill from there. Noah came back just as our amazing friends, the Andersons, showed up to help us haul things out. The tenants came back from breakfast and helped with the last few bags and we were out the door and moved in to our new place before 10:00 a.m.

Tabbi and Kami were in town from D.C. and were so sweet to offer to help us move in. Because we ended up way ahead of schedule, they got there after our stuff was all in, but just in time for us to throw them into the back of a Ryder truck as we drove downtown to pick up a mattress. Ah, always the classy hostess.
Our mattress ended up costing an additional $115 when we had to factor in the cost of a parking ticket on Wall Street. Highway robbery! So I was feeling a little blue about our expensive escapade and turned to my favorite source of comfort - free stuff on Craigslist.
I figured we had the truck for the entire day, we'd better make that baby work! I hopped on Craigslist, ready to sift through the typical stuff, when I found something beautiful. I am not ashamed to admit I squealed. I replied to the seller and my hands were shaking a little bit as I typed, "I can literally pick this up right now. I have a truck and can be there in 20 minutes." (For this is how you win the free stuff game. Possession is 10/10ths of the law.) He called back and we were officially the proud new owners of a sage green microfiber chaise lounge and an awesome black/distressed armoire. To make the drive to the Upper East Side really worth our while, we decided to splurge a whole $100 for a solid wood sleigh bed (hey, big spender...) that was also for sale in the same neighborhood.

We drove our loot back to our place and just as we parked, this gentleman on the street (who probably would have made me nervous in a dark alley...) came over and asked if we needed a hand moving the stuff. My fierce independence usually impedes this type of behavior, but I knew Noah would probably like me a little less after having to move heavy furniture with me as a partner. So I accepted the man's kind offer and he helped us haul everything out of the truck, into the building and right up to the apartment.

We were so touched by his kindness - in fact, we were blown away by the kindness of so many people that day. It seems New Yorkers get a bit of a bad rap for being inconsiderate or flat-out rude, but it has not been our experience for one minute.

While he was helping us haul furniture from the truck, his friend noticed and came over to lend a hand. When he continued to help haul the stuff into the building, his friend said, "Hey... hey, man. You are a good citizen, man. Obama would be proud of you." Yes, yes - I believe he would.