31 August 2014

NYC Day 2 - A Sunny Rainy Day

This morning was cloudy and hot, and we woke up early to search Craigslist for any new apartments listed since last night.  I sent a few emails to the promising-looking ones, but didn't hear back.  I suppose I didn't expect to, it being the holiday weekend, but I was a little disappointed nonetheless.

Later in the morning, after breakfast, we found a place online and gave the contact person a call.  He said that he could meet us today, so we got ready to head out.  The two bigger girls went with our friends J & A, and their new friend, P, to Washington Square Park. 

Nathan and baby Eleanor and I continued on to see the apartment.  The apartment itself was in Morningside, near Harlem, and so we took the L train into Manhattan, and then caught the 1 train north to 157th street.

photo courtesy of subwayrut.com
It was a two-bedroom listed for $1650, at the top of our price range.  We walked south on Broadway, past stern-looking ushers standing outside of the big churches, and churchgoers returning home from service.

As we turned onto 152nd street, I felt a little "off" - but I wasn't sure if it was my own pickiness or something else.  We walked down toward the river, and entered the building.  Nathan called the contact person, and he told us to go in.  Fortunately, someone let us in, and we went up to the 6th floor (thank goodness for elevator buildings!).  We found the apartment and Nathan called again.  The guy said to go on in.  We tried the door, but it was locked.  Nathan called back, and said as much, and the guy said he didn't have the key, and that he wasn't even in the building.  He apologized, and said he had to call someone and would call us back.  Nathan said we were leaving.

Which we did.

I felt relieved, simply because I didn't really want to live there in the first place.

We decided to go check out Greenpoint, in Brooklyn, which had been recommended by friends, so we took the 1 train back downtown.  The 1 train is mostly subway, but it dies go aboveground for a bit at 125th.

We transferred at Times Square for the 7 train out to Queens.  All of the food vendors must have been out for Labor Day, because delicious smells were traveling down the stairs from above ground.  The savory aroma of kabob, the sharp smell of salty soft pretzels, and sweet scents of all sorts met us as we disembarked the 1 train.  Nathan and I hadn't been hungry before, but as we walked to the 7 train, he remarked how he suddenly felt rather peckish.

The 7 train took us over to Queens, and we transferred there to the G line.  Which wasn't running, so we took a bus shuttle over to Brooklyn, and "toured" the neighborhood that way.

We got off and ate lunch in a little natural grocery at the Lorimer stop, where Eleanor commandeered my bottle of Chia Mamma (a juice with little chia seeds - which remind me a bit of frog eggs, but super good for you).  We caught the L train there and came back to Bushwick, our home base for the present.

The girls had had a fun day, but Elsie was really feeling the stress of not having a place to live.  Nathan and I both took turns telling her stories about "Elsie the brave" and "Elsie bat" (impromptu characters in stories to help navigate the tricky week), but what she really needed was a nap.

Later in the evening, Nathan and I walked over to a supposed open house (with no address) near our friends' place.  It was good see the neighborhood and to get a feel for the people.

Here is a New York carwash.  Someone has opened the fire plug.

There are many people here living in beautiful old rowhouses.  Here is a cool sunrise door (not so old, but I liked it nonetheless):

 And there are many more row houses being "gut renoed" - that is, completely stripped of all their innards and rebuilt to modern tastes.  And then rented out for inordinate amounts.  We stumbled upon an open house which was almost finished - the woman told us it was all brand new - for $2500.  We didn't go in.

But we gave her our card, just in case.

The rain that had been threatening on and off all day finally came then, a heavy, brief downpour, followed by a light drizzle.  It lasted maybe 30 minutes, and then the heat and humidity set in again.

We had dinner and wrestled the girls to bed.  Nathan was able to stay up and have good conversation with our friends, which was nice.  This search is exhausting for him as well.

Tomorrow is another day!

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