Week 24: Halloween, Face Palms, & the Brooklyn Museum.

I missed another week (I believe that makes 2 since I started this blog) mainly because last week was uneventful. Anyway, this week I was sick some more… I think my body has initiated it’s revenge for transporting it to a bipolar climate.

Halloween has come and gone. 
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I was a Super Regina [yes, I dressed up as myself]. Or a burst of color… but mostly I just wore my normal attire with some face paint (lipstick which has yet to fully come off).

I found yet another foreign ritual here in NYC last night. Trick or treating. In Orlando (and most other cities where homes are houses or spread out apartment complexes) kids walk door to door contemplating their existence as they beg for candy. No? Maybe it was just me. Either way, the act of knocking on a front door isn’t logistically possible here. On my way home from work I saw masses of children with their candy bags in hand walking past businesses manned with candy hander-outers. I think thats weird. Some (very few) people sat on their stoops with buckets of candy, handing out the goods as kids walked up. I live in a very family friendly neighborhood and I still didn’t see too many people actually doing this. Kids don’t even say TRICK OR TREAT… they just walk up to the lady in front of the bakery with their candy bags wide open. Not cool.

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Today (11.1) I woke up feeling refreshed. Last night I went to a warehouse party with the roomies which turned out to be kind of a bust and an early trip home (I was in bed by 3am). An alcohol free evening turned into a morning of awesomeness. There were other nights this week that involved a bit more alcohol (it is Halloween after all).

Naturally, I discovered a new level of drunken remorse. But what’s a night of alcohol without a few morning face palms?

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We’ve also slowly been making updates to the home…

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11.2 : Lazy Sundays are the best. It took me several hours to finally get myself out of the house… the noticeably chillier weather felt uber refreshing against my face right up until I lost feeling in it. It’s not even that cold yet, but the wind can be brutal. I took a stroll down to the Brooklyn Museum and spent the better part of my day browsing Brooklyn’s finest. As per usual, my favorite attraction: the folks browsing alongside me. A little girl with the bounciest blonde pig tails that stuck straight up adding about 3 inches to her height, walked around the Brooklyn Artist exhibit with a tiny green notebook in one hand and an oversized blue pen in the other. Her stride seemed very meticulous, as though she had previously mapped out the floor plan and had planned out the precise number of steps she needed to take from one piece to the next. Her movements became repetitive, as she came up to each new piece she would bring her giant pen up to her face, shift her head to the side, take a deep sigh, and utter a semi-silent “interesting.” I tried not to stare, but I couldn’t help admiring the little lady. She made my day.

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A bowl of cookies and a glass of milk with a rerun marathon of Seinfeld = Sunday night.

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When I came to the states at age 7 without a lick of english and started my first day at an American school I was terrified. I felt alienated and helpless. I was only seven, but I can still remember the deep sinking feeling in my stomach with the only thing stopping me from hurling that morning’s breakfast was the fear of having to explain myself.

After hesitantly getting off the bus (which was a horror in itself), the huge [or so it seemed] outdoor hallway filled with banners and images of big red apples was lined with small posters covered in foreign symbols. I stood there frozen while small and big kids roared around me squirming this and that way. I didn’t move.

I’ve been that scared three times my whole life. The night before flying to live in NYC was one of the other times. I’m starting my 6 months now. Half a year. The initial destabalizing fear has been replaced with an unreal amount of gratitutude and hope. I’m not where I want to be, but I can taste the sweet sweet future.

Hope you have a great week!

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Week 22: Two Broads & a Renoir.

The only interesting thing that happened to me all week – besides the usual [ crammed subways, unpredictable weather, & beautiful fall foliage] – was a conversation that I happened to eaves drop on at the Met. I’m kind of broke (and by kind of I mean really)… brunch and fancy speakeasies are freaking expensive. Going out on the town (or brunching it) will run you more than a couple pretty pennies. With that said, I was a little frivolous with my budget in the first part of the month (something I’m usually really good with managing) and am now having to tone it down.

The most exciting thing that happened to me all week was when I sat on a bench in the middle of the Renoir room in the impressionist section of the Met for 20 minutes. When visiting the Met I like choosing one painting that tickles my fancy at that moment, finding a nearby seat, & soaking in the art while observing others [observing]. Normally, I experience a period of incredible fulfillment followed by a strange sense of hostility; watching others pass by some of my favorite  pieces without so much as a heartbeat. Once I’ve gotten over my dumb ego I experience a period of boredom… this is usually where my inner monologue really picks up. Anyway, it’s not normally a note worthy outing. This time, however, I got extremely lucky. I sat right next to a couple of elderly ladies who chose the same bench to perform their gossip hour… the conversation was obnoxiously entertaining. The lady closest to me (maybe a foot and a half) was as prim and proper as they come with a lovely lilac silk bow wraped about her gray-ish golden hair. At age 75 (?) her posture was better than mine. The other not-so-prim-or-proper lady was very clear about the fact that she had the only right opinion in the most brilliant Brooklyn accent I’ve heard yet. I don’t think she intended on being quite as loud as she was, but I could hear her in the room over. I’m guessing her hearing aid wasn’t working. The two broads paid no mind about the curly haired lady sitting next to them and carried on with their focus on Gilbert and Mary’s newest grandbaby and Sue’s poor decision making skills – all as if they were sitting alone on the stoop of their Brooklyn brownstone. I especially enjoyed their remarks on gay marraige – I was preparing myself for a series of outdated and ugly statements, but was rather surprised when Marge (I named the red head) said ‘What the hell are they waiting for? Marty and Ben have been lovers since the day they met, even Ma didn’t try to argue those two.’ Marty & Ben must have sparked Marge’s memory because that took her on a rant I’m not sure I was able to follow. I waivered in and out of their conversation as I followed (visually) folks walking past one of history’s greatest gifts as though it was the latest movie poster.

All in all those 20 minutes fed me more than the rest of the week’s lunches and dinners combined. I’ve slowly found myself slumping into a funk [and not the groovy kind] lately… my trip to the Met was exactly what the groove master order (by ‘groove master’ I mean me). I did some other fun things this weekend… pickle day (3 blocks of ALL things pickled… I ate my weight in salt and loved every single second), Central Park, & a Halloween inspired ladies evening (Hocus Pocus was just as perfect as I remember).

I’ll try to make my next post a little more interesting. Here are some pictures from this week… all taken with my iPhone… I’m too lazy to caption, just use your imagination.

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Happy Fall 🙂

Week 19: Intellectual Hiatus, Brooklyn Bridge, & a Suana.

It’s mid-late September. The summer has come and gone. I can’t believe I’ve lived in NYC for over 4 months. WHAT?! Every day (I really mean this) I find myself shocked with where my life has brought me. I cannot explain how happy I am that I made an impulse decision to move here. I’m not where I thought I would be by 24. I’m not working my dream job. What the hell is my dream job? I’m not making the big bucks. I don’t get to vacation every day and I’m fairly certain I’m going to have to stick to a diet of quinoa with beans for the next couple of weeks. I can say with absolute certainty that I would not be quite as happy if I had made any other decision. All of my impulses and rash decisions (these make up the majority of my decisions) were based on my gut. My gut knows whats up.

9.25: It’s getting cold outside. I don’t think it’s gotten below 55 F quite yet, but I’m already terrified. I’ve been prepping myself mentally and physically (do you think I’ve subconsciously been putting on weight to prepare for the winter?). I’m not feeling great and the nights of hot tea and 30 Rock re-runs have already begun. I haven’t gone out in over two weeks (whaaa??), but at least I’ve gone back to the gym. Today was dreary and wet outside. And chilly.

I’ve got to start taking better care of myself.

9.27: It’s Saturday. This week was as smooth as my right cheek (I’ve got very soft skin). The last few weeks have been a true test on my patience and I’ve made it out alive and sane. And not sick (mostly). I have recently abandoned my intellectual hiatus from real-world current events by starting to read the news a bit here and there on weekend mornings. Every now and again I’ll sneak in a soul-crushing article on a break, but c’mon… baby steps. I’m still not even close to caught up on most important issues. I’m also not, by any stretch of the imagination, implying that by reading the news I’m stopping capitalism from swallowing up our natural resources while finding the cure for a virus that turns people into viral human fluid fountains and simultaneously preventing grumpy old men from having authority over my body . I’m just saying, I’m excited to find out how much the human race has shit on the world since I stopped reading the news (about 8 months ago ).

On another note. I got a library card! FINALLY! I had [get library card] on my checklist of things to do for MY FIRST WEEK here. Almost 5 months later… I did it! I needed proof of residence — I ordered a fan, what more proof does one need, really? I discovered a market on my walk to the library – did I mention its like a 7 in walk?! – thats just outside the front steps.

 

My first two books: 1. The Bowery A History of Grit, Graft, and Grandeur 2.Pushkin

I’m already not a fan of The Bowery book… not very well written. I am enjoying the Pushkin biography quite a bit! For those of you not of Russian descent, Pushkin is a huge literary figure from the 1800’s. He was a poet. A darn good one. So I am told. That is all I know so far… also that he is a household name in Russia. Dare I say kind of like Shakespeare?

If you’re reading this and you didn’t know I was Russian, you don’t know me very well… and if you don’t know me, I’d like to know how you got to reading this? Leave a comment, won’t ya?

I also walked the Brooklyn Bridge today. The views were epic, but the crazy amount of people walking the bridge was a HUGE turn off. Here are some of the photos… I’m too lazy to edit any of them and the lighting was crazy inconvenient so deal with it.

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*That guy on the left had the most epic Brooklyn accent.*

 

9.28: I had joined a gym earlier this week. It has a sauna. 5 Month ago Regina would kill present Regina for the amount of money I’m spending to go… but its less than 1 minute walk away and did I mention they have a sauna? Today I cleaned up a bit, fixed my shoddy dresser (I used glue… lets see how long this lasts), finally picked up the lights from my floor and used a hammer and staples instead of duck tape to hang them… I also ran some errands which always take a million times longer on the weekends.

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I’m making plans to explore my hood a bit more next week and I think I’m getting a special visitor [WHO can it be?!]. I’m also making plans to go to the Met Opera (SO excited for this). Hope you have a wonderful next week!

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Week 18: Building a Home & the People’s Climate March.

My week in a nutshell: Ordering furniture never-ending-hell, IKEA still sucks and I hope it burns in a fiery hell that smells similar to freshly cleaned non-synthetic material, decorating makes my insides sing jolly songs, & the People’s Climate March was epic.  I also realized that most of my thinking is done on a train and I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ll mention it again. I LOVE riding the subway.

One evening on my way home from work the train was packed pretty tight… and as the train swayed the passengers [involuntarily] followed. I realized of all the places in this city that I feel like I belong the most to the [sometimes short-fused, mal-showered, and caffeine-addicted] amazing NYC family is on the train.

Ordering furniture sucks. Although the delivery went ok this time, I had loads of fun trying (unsuccessfully) to carry the 100 lb box up 3 flights of stairs. What the hell is an elevator?! I just ended up opening the box downstairs and carrying pieces up in chunks. That, too, was loads of fun (am I using too many commas?).

Putting together a poorly constructed piece of furniture is unbelievably entertaining. Better then playing with legos! With legos everything fits, it’s WAY more fun when the pieces don’t match. So. Much. Fun.

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I took these pictures while we were still fresh with optimism. Thankfully Megan was there to help. Otherwise I’d still be dresser-less. I ordered this dresser from Overstock.com after reading reviews that it was well-made. The reviewers must have supplemented their sanity with quite the concoction of alcohol and carelessness. Mimosas were had, but clearly not enough for me to forget the amount of fun this was.

I’d show you the finished product, but 2 screws were missing and now I’m 1 drawer down. I’ll be fixing this issue soon. We also put my wall decal up… with some hardship… it is now in 2 pieces. DSC_5418 DSC_5424

 

I hung my mirror. It’s pretty heavy. I hope it doesn’t fall. I’ve also covered the seating cushion in the living room with a cloth I purchased today… the home is coming together.

 

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Since September began I’ve had not much else on my mind except for moving. Making my new place a home has been overwhelming me and I’ve decided to take a breather. I’ve done little of anything else (except for the lovely evening I had this week at my friend’s new UWS apartment)… so next week I’m definitely going to do some exploring.

Then there was the whole gathering of some 310,000 people from around the world. It was inspiring to see so many people rallying to raise awareness to the importance of action against climate change. History was made. I was able to capture some of the experience in photos, but I also got some neat video which I’ll use in my soon-to-be-edited NYC clip.

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Week 16: 4 flights of stairs, Intoxicated Tacos, & A Tattoo.

I promise, I haven’t jumped ship. I have started and failed to write too-many-a-blogs. I’ve just been somewhat pre-occupied with NYC torturing me a little bit. Just a little.

9.4: I’m currently sitting in a coffee shop in Park Slope. Steps away from my soon-to-be-if-all-goes-as-planned home. Yes. HOME. As of today, I’m technically without a bed to call my own. An air mattress just doesn’t count. I found the perfect new place in the perfect neighborhood, but as I’ve mentioned the process of finalizing a place here is much like pulling teeth – it seems like it takes forever (I’ve been dancing this find-a-home dance for 2 months) and all the while theres this agonizing headache. At this point, I’ve placed in my application and just waiting to get approval so that I can put down a deposit. I CANNOT wait. I’m still in a slow boiling panic mode… what if I don’t get it?!? I’ve been graciously accepted as a new home guest by my friend Chelsea. She also just moved into a new place – a studio. I can’t believe how much of a pain this whole process is.

Moving in general tends to be a bitch. Moving in NYC is torture. After renting a Zipcar Chelsea and I packed up the car and took two trips from upper upper Manhattan (Wash Heights) to Brooklyn (Park Slope). I think we were in pretty good spirits until the second trip of 4 flights of stairs. Did I mention we’re on the 4th floor? No elevator. I got my workout and then some. Thankfully Chelsea’s boyfriend helped us, but don’t be fooled… I’ve never been so sore.

DSC_5110Then there’s the whole thing where the was no AC. You see how my shoulder has a lovely glisten to it? That’s sweat. Lots and LOTS of sweat.

Last night was the first night I’ve had AC since we moved Monday. The AC was brought over by the movers on Tuesday and had broken on the way over… after 2 hours at your friendly (not) Best Buy we were finally able to get a replacement. Contrary to the numerous videos on youtube providing How-To’s on installing a window unit – it is NOT that freaking easy. I still couldn’t install everything properly, but at least there was SOME air last night. Hallelujah.

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All in all this past week or so has been a lovely headache after another. It will ALL be worth it if my soon-to-be-home will actually be my home. If all goes well I move in a couple of weeks. Cross some fingers for me, please.

You know my favorite part of Park Slope?

I get to walk to the Subway in the midst of the cutest freaking place on Earth. It feels SO homey.

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On an unrelated note… As I’ve been going through this long and frustrating process I started to pay attention to things that NYC has that Orlando didn’t. Difficulty in finding a place being one of them. I’ve also noticed how terrible customer service can be here and nobody cares. I was expecting less smiling faces on the streets, but even the one mall (it was really weird to be in a mall) in BK had some seriously grumpy employees. I also wanted to share my Terrible-Taco experience I had a couple weeks ago that I didn’t get to blog about…

I don’t want to get anyone in trouble or put any ‘bad’ reviews out into the internet world (not that anyone reads this) so I won’t say the name of the establishment, but one Friday night a few weeks ago I was really hungry. As per usual. And I was out with some friends going towards the Lower East Side… we decided tacos were in order so we stopped at a favorite spot of their’s… A tiny closet-like space with a counter and space behind it for the dude to make the tacos. When we got there the place was bumping with bass (good sign?) and tunes I could definitely get down to. The dude behind the counter looked very friendly… a bit too friendly? He was unmistakably intoxicated. Not drunk, no. No… this must have been a creative combination of drugs.  He took something like 45 minutes to make tacos that should have taken a maximum of 10 minutes. He would grab a paper plate and likely forget what he was doing so he stood there for a minute or two and then continue making pit stops in-between the beans and the meat. With intermittent face contortion and slurring of words the dude finally made our tacos (with the exception of one which must have slipped his mind). The food was not bad… pretty tasty, until I found a pebble in my taco. Not a tiny little dust pebble. A pebble of about 1.5 cm in diameter. Thankfully I didn’t bite down hard… Honestly I just wanted to let it go. Speaking with someone THAT intoxicated is impossible… their comprehension skills (whatever is left of them) are non-existent. Anyway, my friend insisted I should at least get my money back… so we attempted to do just that. The dude was nice, but astonished… I can’t be sure what he really thought as I’m inclined to ignore a conversation with anyone incapable of producing full sentences. In the end of the back and forth I got $5 out of the $9 I paid. I’m fairly sure he thought he gave me everything.

The surprising thing to me… people were still coming to this taco spot. They clearly saw how f*cked up this guy was. A guy that would be making their taco. And they still flocked our way… they didn’t even care that I had a pebble in my food. If this happened in Orlando, the popos would be there in 5 minutes and the place would be shut down. As terrible of an experience this was, I kind of loved it.

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So as of today we still don’t have wifi at home and I forget when Chelsea said that will go in so I’m not sure when I’ll get the chance to write before the week is over. And since I have barely written anything in the past month I want to make sure to post this early.

 Here is a photo of Chelsea and me celebrating our arrival to the neighborhood.

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In case you were wondering wtf is that on my arm… I got a tattoo. And I love it. Mom, if you’re reading this stop reading now. I’ll give you some space. K Thanks. Have a great week everyone!

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