Challenging myself

Thursday, April 16, 2015

I will admit it. My life in Minneapolis is great. But I think it’s important to test your spirit, go outside that comfort zone, and, through resistance, strengthen muscles you didn’t know you had. For example, just once, everyone should live in a place with cockroaches. I don’t have cockroaches in Minneapolis. I don’t know anyone who has them. When I first got to Brooklyn, I saw what I now know was one on the sidewalk. “Wow!” I said, in a sing-song voice to a little boy and his mom nearby, “look at this cool cricket!” Both raised their eyebrows with a pitying look in their eyes. Pity from a 5-year old who has undoubtedly seen many cockroaches.

I have not painted yet. My paints arrived in the mail and I had to schlep over to the post office and pick up the box. That was a challenge, too. I wasn’t sure if there was an actual line, nobody looked particularly queued up. So I picked a good spot to stand. It was a good spot because it was the front of the line. “Oh, hahahaha, is this the beginning of the line?” I said, backing away and bumping into a baby stroller. Many looks of pity.

I will learn. I will accept the looks of pity. I will accept the challenge that is New York.

Welcome to New York

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

I’ve been in my new apartment for a week now. I wanted to write about all the surprises, expectations and experiences of my first week. Rather, I’ve spent it painting walls and gathering essentials (plates, knives, matches) and trying to remember why I left a beautiful, sunny loft in Minneapolis for a nice but decidedly darker and dirtier New York apartment. I wanted to write interesting posts and do lots of paintings of my beautiful neighborhood that (in my mind) I would be busily be cranking out.  But I had to hold off. Because the only thing I had to post was: Waited all day for the gas man to hook up my stove…

I’m learning a lot about customer service and the acceptable level of it here. The bar is sometimes low. I could have written about the noise or the dirt but that’s old news when you’re talking about New York. I wanted to wait – to be positive and upbeat about my new city. This is, after all, something I’ve wanted to do for years – move to New York. I’ve been here a week. The writing had to be put off – I had to wait until I didn’t feel like slitting my wrists (tho in fact, I forgot to pack a knife). I waited for the dust – wow, there is a lot of it – to settle. Getting my stove hooked up and making coffee and toasting a bagel this morning feels like I’m actually in my apartment, instead of a hostel. It’s getting better. Going out to buy a knife now, not to end it all, but for the cream cheese schmear on my bagel.