One of the best parts about having a blog is being able to look back at my life. Sometimes I’ll browse through my archives and be reminded of some things I’ve forgotten or be inspired by how great a run was. Recently, I was thinking about what day I moved to NYC. I knew that my New York-iversary was somewhere around the end of August/beginning of September, but I wasn’t sure of the exact date.
Enter: Blog archives. And Facebook. Facebook never forgets.
Five years and one day ago, I ran my last long run in Collegeville, Pennsylvania and rented a U-Haul. My dad arrived, we packed it up, and the next day we drove the U-Haul and my car to NYC. We then unpacked the U-Haul (okay, I hired guys to carry all my stuff up five flights of stairs…), put my bed together, and then drove my car to Chicago the next day. I emailed my Dad to remind him of this momentous day, and here’s what he had to say:
“That is some memory – how lucky we were to get that parking spot in front of your apartment, driving across Manhattan, and you over in the Bronx, and how the movers made a huge clothes pile on the couch-it looked like a mini-explosion.
That’s what I remember. Then I think we drove to Illinois, but I do not remember if we stopped or not along the way.”
That’s mostly accurate! We were worried about finding parking near my apartment to unload all the stuff, but luckily a fire hydrant was right outside the door to my building, so we were able to park there as long as someone stayed in case we needed to move it. I didn’t quite make it into the Bronx, but I got sucked into the Midtown Tunnel and ended up in Queens – oops. And yes, as great as paying movers are, the kind I get literally just pile all your stuff wherever they can. (Which is fine, it’s all by the hour so it saves me money.) But yes, it was a clothes explosion.
This post highlights my first apartment – I actually had it really good! We had a two bedroom in a fifth floor walkup, located on 76th St between 1st Ave and York Ave. (To anyone who doesn’t live in NYC, this means that we were about 10-15 minutes to the closest subway, but it only took me about ten minutes to walk to work, so, tradeoffs.) We didn’t have laundry in the building and had to climb five flights of stairs, but our rent was only $2250 for the two bedroom! (That’s a steal! My room was bigger so I paid $1225.) I had found my roommate on Craigslist, so that worked out. Ah, that was so cheap…
My goodness, I was (extra) skinny back then. Must be all that delicious food this city has…
I can’t believe it’s been five years – time certainly has flown, and sometimes I feel like I haven’t even scratched the surface of this city. (It’s most likely because I haven’t.) I was so, so excited to move here, but also super nervous. I knew absolutely no one, and as anyone who has done it knows, it’s kind of hard to make friends as an adult! Running (and this blog/the internet) has been key to making friendships here – most of the people I know outside of work are through running who I met on the internet. (I’m so cool, I know.) But really – I tried so many ways to make friends (I should do a post on this…) including going to bars/game watches by myself, joining a flag football team, connecting with friends of friends or really old acquaintances. Some people say it takes three years to really make friends in a new city, and I think it’s true. I’ve been so lucky through the running to have a community to immediately join and to have an activity that is as easy as “meet you at 6 at Engineer’s Gate.”
I would also like to give a special shout out to Erica Sara for that time she invited me over to her apartment for Indian food and watching Glee. I was terrified her doorman was going to ask me for her last name or phone number – I didn’t know either. (I’m still terrified of doormen, by the way, even though I have one.) But it worked out and we have a great time! (I think she did too.) It was a huge risk to move to this city and making it here definitely involves stepping out of your comfort zone. I won’t say it’s been a perfect ride, but it’s definitely been fun.
To celebrate, I got my blood drawn (just annual physical stuff – health maintenance is important for longevity in this city!), and I ran with a coworker. She’s still fairly new to the area, and it’s always interesting to see the city through a new person’s eyes. (When I first moved here, I loved asking people to ask me to their favorite places…I also did online dating partially as a way to see various parts of the city. Yikes…ha.) I ran a mile to meet her then we did a loop of Central Park. A hot loop of Central Park! We mostly ran water fountain to water fountain and took a few walk breaks. Maybe we shouldn’t run at 11am, oooooops.
We finished at Columbus Circle and were hanging out by the water fountain, and she spotted money at her feet. Someone had lost $30, and despite our best efforts to see who may have dropped it…….well, it’s a huge crowded area, and no one seemed to return. We ended up going to the smoothie store nearby for some refreshment – a present from the city, let’s say.
When we were hanging out post-run, she asked me what are some things that are fun to check out in the city. It’s kind of fun to be full circle, being the one on the other side of the advice-giving. Next time, we’ll run, shower, and head out to check out something new in the city together – I know that’s all I really wanted when I moved here, and it’s great to pass that on to others.
Five years – I’m not sure I’ll be here for another five (or maybe I will be?), but I’ve enjoyed it. Here’s to what the future may bring! (Hopefully more closet space…..eventually.)
How long have you lived in your current city? (Especially you New Yorkers…)