I’ve now officially been in New York for over a week, although it feels like I just got here this morning. I try to make an effort to see something cool every day, even though it would be so easy to lounge around inside in the air conditioning. But I didn’t come here because I thought it would be easy. On Thursday, I got a job interview in the morning and celebrated by spending the afternoon reading and wandering in Central Park.
I was surprised at how many people were at the park when it was so hot and a Thursday afternoon, but I guess I was there so I can’t judge too much. I picked a shady bench and finished my book while glancing up at expensive dogs on walks and tourists asking me for directions to the Met.
Later that day, I met up with Elizabeth for some delicious vegetarian food. There’s really no shortage of that here, which is a nice change from France and Oklahoma. I have yet to go anywhere here that doesn’t have a whole collection of vegetarian and vegan options. What a strange feeling to have so many choices.
Friday I had a job interview and I think it went well. I should find out today, actually, how well it went. That evening we went to two bars in my neighborhood. The first was the Brooklyn Brewery, where you buy tokens and select from about 8 beers, including two that were made in the brewery itself. It’s a pretty big place and it’s cool to be among the equipment that produced the drinks. They also played “She Don’t Use Jelly” by the Flaming Lips and I consider that a good omen. Afterward, we went to a small place called Rosemary’s, which was surprisingly unpretentious for being right on Bedford Avenue, center of apparent trendiness.
On Saturday, we went to the Lower East Side and I noticed this French-themed corner. Or rather, I didn’t notice it at first and walked by, only thinking a few steps later that I was in the wrong country for that. It made me very nostalgic, even more because the outdoor café area was full of people speaking French. The cafés may be what I miss most about day-to-day life in France. I miss meeting my friends for coffee and just talking for hours. Here in Brooklyn, every single person has their laptop out and it would be nearly impossible to get two chairs together. Not that I haven’t spent my share of time writing a novel or research paper in a coffee shop.
There was an event called “Wish You Were Here” going on, where designers from the Newburgh Quarter of Long have sent things to Lower East Side boutiques and those boutiques sent things back to London. I wasn’t overly impressed by the clothes, but they were giving away free scones which I happily ate. We also paid a visit to the Lomography store which was having a sale, and I am now the proud owner of a Diana camera. It’s a toy camera that leaks in light, creating really cool effects. I’m not sure I’m using it correctly yet, but I’m experimenting and will find out what works when I develop my film.
One thing I love about New York City is that you never know what you might stumble upon, like the above Hells Angels clubhouse. The trick is to always look at what people are photographing, otherwise I never would have seen this, too:
I guess District 9 really got into its marketing. I hear the movie is amazing, but I haven’t had a chance to check it out. I know I don’t have a full-time job yet, but I still feel very busy. Even today, I have all my freelance projects going and then the impulse to go on long walks to see the city.
On Sunday, we took the ferry from Manhattan to Red Hook, Brooklyn to pay a visit to IKEA. I purchased a few things that make me feel like I’m actually living in this apartment, like my own pillow, a octopus-shaped drying rack, a mirror, and some picture frames. I still feel like I’m having an extended vacation, but each day makes it feel more like a home. I’m not going to say it is home yet, because that requires a level of comfort and familiarity I haven’t reached. But I’m getting there.