Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Monthly Update

I can't believe it's been a month since I last posted. I've been lulled into the "metro, boulot, dodo" pattern as the French say (subway, job, beddy-by). Work is fine, though at times unneccesarily stressful due to certain strong personalities, and by strong I mean maniac-maniacal slap-dash napoleonic. It hurts my feelings when work steals all of my energy to do, y'know, whatever people do in New York. Yesterday I was almost moved to tears when looking at the theatre listings I realized all the good movies that I've missed! On the other hand I have been trying to enjoy the comedy/improv scene, and have enrolled in "Improv 101" at the Upright Citizen's Brigade Theatre. That'll begin in the beginning of January.

Actually a lot has happened since my digital countenance has last graced your presence. We had a nice Thanksgiving with Uncle David, Audrey attended Supreme Court sessions, I ate the spiciest Thai ever, we swam through 5th Avenue crowds like salmon going upstream to spawn, a rat died in our wall, we saw a Fred Tomaselli exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum, and we furnished our appartment almost entirely with dumpster finds.

Unfortunately, the Tomaselli peices really need to be seen in person. The details are lost in this picture. Many of the works were made of thousands of pharmaceuticals, or seeds, leaves and flowers. Equally unfortunate: we never did find the rat, and had to wait out the natural decomposition process for the stench to abate.

This is the view looking towards our apartment from the museum. You can imagine that the red brick building in the mid-ground is our place (not the tall one up front), even if it's actually farther to the right.

Love to you all!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I live in New York

Everybody, marvel at the fact that I am indeed surviving in New York. Let me tell you about my life:

First, I live on the first floor of a sort of crappy building. The first time I was shown the place a rat scurried across my foot as I walked towards the front stoop, and dashed into the basement. We have two rooms that are about 12'x12' each, plus a tiny kitchen and a bathroom. The shower is crazy: if you turn down the hot water it might actually get hotter and vice-versa. We have a crazy, loud-laughing, hyper-religious Jamaican woman to our right, and weight-lifting, macho firemen to our left. The firemen are by far the most annoying, with their bells and sirens and Brooklyn accented banter. A very loud bell goes off every time they open their doors, to make sure everyone knows that they're opening their doors, I guess. I thought the sirens would be enough to make sure everyone knows that a firetruck is about to leave the station, but I suppose the bell is a good back-up, just in case. Better safe than sorry!

On the bright side we have roof-top access, and the view is pretty good. Our location is actually great. We're in an up-and-coming neighborhood, which isn't so gentrified that it's obnoxious, but has enough bourgie comforts (coffee-shops, bars and bookstores) within walking distance. There are many people from "da Islands" who live here - a lot of "ya mon," reggae, and cricket going on. We just discovered the greatest jerk chicken shop in the world this afternoon. It's called "The Islands" and I highly recommend it!

Prospect Park, which was designed by the same team that created Central Park, is a 5 min walk away. It is massive, and quite pleasant. You can actually get lost in the woods here, and forget you're surrounded by 8 million people. The Brooklyn Museum and Library are equally close to us, and make life nicer. Even if we haven't taken advantage of them as much as we should, it's nice to know they're there.

I still work for Harlem Spirituals Inc. in Times Square. Depending on train traffic, it takes 30-45 minutes to get to work. I still like taking the metro, and take advantage of the time to read the New Yorker or something (I get the New Yorker free at work). Of course, there's often an interesting character on the train if you ever get bored.

I started off taking tours and critiquing them, and I impressed the owner with my writing and "analytical skills" (her words). Now I'm helping them redesign their website, and send out marketing material. It was more fun taking the tours, and I actually learned a little as a result.

People often ask me what I'm doing here. It's understood that everyone is here for a reason. I usually tell them I'm working for a tourism company, and they'll say, "No, what are you trying to do?" Unfortunately, I'm not trying to be an actor, or a writer, or a painter, or a comic, or even a stock-trader. This doens't make sense to anybody, so I guess it shouldn't make sense to me either.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

New York? More like Hasidic York!

Me and Audrey are in Brooklyn. After being here nearly a month, I have a job (I start tomorrow) and we should be in our new tiny apartment sometime this week. Things are working out as close to perfectly as I dared imagine.

I'm going to work as some sort of office worker/administrative assistant/manager for a tourism agency in Times Square. I have no idea what my responsibilities will be quite honestly. The entire staff is francophone and the majority of their customers are French. Their specialty is the Harlem tour (soul food and baptist churches) but they hook people up with basically every other touristy thing you can imagine to do in New York. Though I applied for a simple customer service job, the president decided to try me out for what appears to be the #3 position in the company. That means I'll have authority over all the customer service losers. I already feel drunk with power.

I'm staying in Nate's room at the moment. He and his roommate, Dan, have been ever so kind during our transitional period. Dan is a professional photographer (the last image of this post was created by him).

For my birthday we went to Nate's book signing at the coolest comic book shop in the world in Williamsburg, and then had pizza and beer!