Thursday, December 15th, 2016 07:46 am
chanaleh: (move to nyc)
So, [ profile] jessruth and her lovely L are getting married, and the original plan was to have a big formal wedding in central PA (where L is from) in June of 2017. We were planning to roadtrip out there; all was in the works.

However, then the election happened, making things highly uncertain for same-sex couples. And also various medical issues in both their families that are going to make traveling difficult over the next several months. SO, they decided to have a City Hall wedding in NYC on Tuesday, Dec. 20, with assorted celebrations in NYC/PA to follow as planned next June.

So I got an idea, and I looked at tickets, and I emailed JessMom, and I talked to [ profile] etrace... and we determined that I could manage coming out by myself on a SAME-DAY flight out and back. 11 hours of travel for 11 hours in NYC, more or less. (This squeaks in under [ profile] ablock's rule of not visiting anywhere for less time than it takes to get there and back.)

It's on SpiritAir, which is nervous-making, but hey, I am basically their ideal passenger for this because it's the one day in my life I can get away with NO luggage. I would have taken the United shuttle, but their latest return flight was at 8pm and Spirit's is at 10pm. (If it doesn't get delayed or, chas v'shalom, cancelled. But we'll just have to see.)

The thing about the City Hall wedding is that you can't schedule an appointment, you just have to show up (with your festive wedding party in tow if that's your jam) and wait in line until they call you. They open at 8:30am. But the earliest flight lands at 9am (LGA) and it'll easily be 10am until I can make it all the way downtown. JessMom said, "Look, if we get up to the front, we'll let people ahead of us!" I was thinking at first of trying to make it a surprise for Jess, but decided it's easier on logistics if it's out in the open -- plus then she gets the fun of knowing for the last week and a half that I will be with them.

Once I booked the ticket, I noticed a surprising depth of feels around this... I think I'm perfectly calm but it's really more like paralyzing excitement. :-} I'm nervous about the travel logistics (and about being on the run for most of 22 hours), but not as much as I would be if, say, I were trying to bring the fam along. And, while I don't normally think that I miss being in NYC, the prospect of actually walking on its streets for a few hours is mindblowing. But then, it's not like I will be there to Do Things, or see any people other than the JessClan. (Though anyone who's down around City Hall midmorning on Tuesday, you can find me there. ;-)

Plus, I've never used a teleporter before!

Plus, [ profile] jessruth IS GETTING MARRIED OMG OMG!
chanaleh: (Default)
... I mean, a full-time housewife!
... I mean, a full-time freelancer! :-D

Because my last day at work was Friday. One more milestone down.

On Day 1 (Monday) I did what I thought was the majority of my taxes, only to find out that I was facing almost $2000 in taxes (federal + state) due to having earned almost $7500 in freelance income in 2013. So I spent the bulk of yesterday going back through my 2013 credit card statements to claim Every Single Possible Deductible Expense, with the help of a shiny new OpenOffice spreadsheet, and succeeded in getting that tax bill down to about $700. Go me!

Also, [ profile] taylweaver had us over for lunch this past Shabbat, and [ profile] jessruth came over on Sunday to help us start packing (and eat lentil stew and homemade cookies). And we packed another 5+ cartons of books last night, with more to come tonight.

Also, yesterday was Death of Windows XP Day. Sniff!

Maine vacation

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011 07:31 am
chanaleh: (eleanor)
Just to make sure it doesn't go unrecorded:

Sometime in April, the irrepressible [ profile] jessruth said "I'm going to plan a solo getaway vacation for this summer." Me: "Let me know if you decide you want company..." Her: "Really? I didn't think you'd have time with everything going on this summer!" So... within a week or so, she had picked out the Cliff House in Ogunquit as our girls' spa vacation destination! She found a cheaper package rate for the weekend of July 7-10, so we went ahead and booked it, even though it was likely to be prime apartment- and job-hunting season for me. :-}

So we went! )

On the whole, not QUITE as epic as our great 1999 Cruise to Bermuda... but a worthy successor!

I took pictures, I'll try (bli shevua, without vowing, as the yeshiva bochur says) to get them posted before departing on this weekend's second-round apartment-hunting trip to NYC.

NYC apartment update

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011 05:31 pm
chanaleh: (tom + erica)
We were down in NYC this weekend looking at apartments -- saw about 9 places in 2 days, ranging from a few nonstarters (tiny 1BRs) to a couple that we would definitely be happy with. However, at this point we're expecting to go back down in 2 weeks to view a second round, since we really would prefer an August 15 lease rather than August 1 anyway.

Theatrical highlights from the weekend, in the meantime, included Death Valley (a zombie Western! it got reviewed in the Times this weekend!) at the Bushwick Starr in Brooklyn, and Master Class (about Maria Callas, a revival starring Tyne Daly, hooray for student rush tickets) on Broadway. I am almost, but not really, sorry to say that I enjoyed the second much less than the first.

Many thanks to [ profile] jessruth for hosting us, even in partial absentia!
chanaleh: (leila)
Some weeks ago, my mom sent me a cover article from Parade magazine about the new Harry Potter theme park about to open in Orlando. I've stopped getting even the Sunday paper, so I hadn't seen it. In fact, this was the first I had heard AT ALL about the park, which opened on June 18.

I called her back that night, and not 20 minutes after we got off the phone, she emailed me excitedly: there was a news special on the building of it, airing RIGHT NOW and she was taping it to send to me!

I mentioned this to [ profile] jessruth the next day, and she said "I know, I watched that this morning! I wanna go!" And I said, "Well, why don't we?" )

Power outage in NYC!

Thursday, August 14th, 2003 05:01 pm
chanaleh: (south park)
And in parts of Boston, too? according to CNN.

Am on the phone with [ profile] jessruth. Yes, her power's out, but she's home and otherwise safe (albeit with no flashlight handy), and though all cell circuits are currently busy (duh), her land line's working fine.
chanaleh: (Default)
[ profile] jessruth makes her first actual post! :-)

Oh, and she's coming up to Boston this Saturday morning, to visit me (and certain others) through New Year's. So those who wanna see her... y'know, put in your bids now!
chanaleh: (move to nyc)
I'm on the bus out of Port Authority, back to Boston. I was visiting [ profile] jessruth this weekend, since the Hans Koning publication party was Thursday night (on E. 69th St.).

I got to be a tourist all day Friday -- I walked from her place on E. 81st all the way down to the Empire State Building at 34th and 5th. It was amazing just walking (50 blocks) down Central Park and the streets of New York on a gorgeous fall day. I started off shopping around upper Madison and Lexington, bought a street guide to Manhattan ($8.00!), and had coffee and a muffin at Starbucks while I pored over it. Then I gravitated over to 5th, walked along the park, and reached the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I had had some thought of going there (out of a sense of touristy duty), but since I didn't have that much time alone in the city, I decided that in all honesty I didn't feel like doing the museum. So I did the indulgent thing and toured the gift shop instead. Then I continued up [sic] 5th by way of FAO Schwarz -- which was surprisingly exciting -- they had a whole department of Star Wars, including a video display, life-size figures hanging from the ceiling, and a whole rack of pop-up scene birthday cards, which I almost bought one of for [ profile] etrace. Then I walked on down to the Empire State (past Time-Life and Simon & Schuster on 6th, since I had detoured past Radio City Music Hall) and went up to the top of the building -- not to the very highest floor, the 102nd, which is all enclosed, but to the 86th-floor observatory, where you can walk around the outside like in Sleepless in Seattle. And then it was time to come down, get slightly disoriented, and take the 3rd Avenue bus back uptown (finally) so we could go to the 7:30 service at [ profile] jessruth's temple of choice, Shaaray Tefila (Reform) at 77th (?) [79th] and 2nd. After which we went to her local Starbucks (a different one) and drank lattes in the upstairs loft on squishy couches while some guy on a guitar played cover tunes.

Saturday our mission was clothes shopping for [ profile] jessruth's new job at GCI. Largely at the biggest, coolest Old Navy I've ever been in. And Saturday night we went to Lucky Cheng's, "the original drag restaurant" at the bottom of First Avenue. And then we walked a little bit around the "Rent neighborhood" -- Alphabet City and St. Mark's Place* -- before catching a cab home. And today we did the puzzle over bagels at H&H, like last time, and then I came home.

*Editor's note: It was on this excursion that I bought the stainless steel ring with the stars of David on it, that I would wear on my ring finger for the next several tumultuous years and come to imbue with great emotional significance. Some readers will recall this ring well.

Next time I want to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. And to eat at Ratner's on the Lower East Side. I have to go on a fact-finding mission for [the characters in my proposed first novel, still barely past outline form some 17 years later -- Ed.]. I think they should live in NYC, really, not Brookline -- even though it's always cool for authors to write about the places they actually live.

Anyway -- Manhattan is a fascinating place to be. Because it really is so much like its TV and movie self (Seinfeld and Mad About You and Fame and Crossing Delancey. And Simon & Garfunkel, and Harriet the Spy, and the Judy Blume books and everything). At least, if you have the money to participate. I told [ profile] jessruth I don't see how anyone can live there and do anything but shop all the time. Though to me, the most defining element is the population of restaurants. There are so many -- the coffee-shop kind where some people really do seem to eat most of their meals, and the greasy sub shops, and then the actual nice places, each of which is so unique, yet almost interchangeable within the vastness of the mosaic. A lot like the people.

Something about the experience of being in Manhattan makes it qualitatively different from being any other place in the world. That quality permeates the experience; you can't just be your plain old self, you have to be yourself-in-Manhattan -- in some ways you have to be the city. Which is why it's no joke to call it the center of the world. There's something hugely unifying about it as an identity; it reminds me of a college campus in that way, with its own geography, systems, regulations, lingo, habits, and shape of existence. I actually think the geography influences that identity; the way all the avenues span the whole universe from north to south, and the clear-cut, orderly system of the numbered grid, make you feel that the entire space is yours to command. Boston, in its way, is much more a sprawl of loosely bound niches, little pockets of existence on a human scale. In NYC, you know you're a cell in a very large organ.

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