Monday, August 8, 2011

does New York make my butt look big?

It’s day 4 of house hunting in NY and I'm already walking up to complete strangers to ask if they know anyone moving or renting out. Sounds desperate and it is.
I managed to get to here while still in absolute denial of the whole thing. Picked up a map (well, it took a few shops to find a map, everyone just looked at me and said

“use your phone!”
Except, I don’t have a phone because I’m apparently the first person ever to move from outside the US to NY, and since I don’t have a credit rating or a home address they wont give me one.)
I was saying
I set out to the (dirty and cemented) streets to find us a place we could call home. I felt like I was in an episode of Friends or something, and too old for the damn part.
I kept looking around and wondering “so what’s in it for them?”
them being the monkeys.
Got the wrong end of the stick for one viewing and ended up in completely the wrong part of town. I felt like I was in a movie again, but not one where you could find Jenifer Aniston, Spike Lee maybe. Passed the church with gospel singing, the gardens with plastic grass and American flags, and walked all the way back to where I had started, confirming yet again that in the US 2 blocks up or down can make all the difference.

I’ve discovered that those things that look green on the map are actually made of rubber with maybe one or two trees. They call them parks, I call them piss takes. Wonder what the monkeys will make of them. What I do love is that most of them have sprinklers going on in the summer heat. Probably the closest thing we’ll get to a pool this year.

Stuck in an empty and dirty metro stop that smelled of piss I realized at some point that it was just me and a man that was half a sleep standing up, possibly drunk.

(different man but you get the idea)

I remember being taught as a kid the rule to blending in was to look bored, so I made my best to look local and bored, dragging my feet like I’m late to something and tired of hanging out there, only to remember I’m holding this big map on my hand.
I couldn’t help wondering what it will feel like to find myself in these situations with the monkeys, and how to turn it into a positive worldly experience (remember, that is what they are supposed to be getting out of NY)
Trouble- “momma it smells like pee pee here”
Me- “yes darling, some people pee in the subway. We mustn’t pee on the subway now must we”
Princess- “is that guy dead?!"
Me- “no sweetie he’s homeless”
Princess- “Can we take him home?”
But it’s not all bad. You know how some colors really bring out people’s eyes. Or like when you find a dress or a pair of pants that really hugs you all the right places and everyone thinks you just lost some weight?
Well, apparently NY does that for me. I’m getting a lot more compliments than I've had in years, probably has something to do with the fact that I am no longer surrounded by tall Dutch blondes anymore.
Another thing I have learned this week is that new Yorkers like dogs, like really like dogs, and shops cater to them. This shop sold ice cream but had free dog cookies ... three types.

This other shop advertised that they are a dog friendly shop

And many shops put water out so that the thirsty dogs can drink, which I thought was sweet, but then a lady near me was outraged

Lady- “wahhh da hell is puppy water? Doesn’t even have puppies in it”
In case you didn’t get it either, puppy water is water for thirsty puppies, not water made from puppies.

Then there are the nice things: the man playing guitar on prospect park, the siolouette of the statue of liberty as you take the subway that passes by Trouble’s school (nearly through it as a matter of fact), skimmed milk (which in Holland is unheard of and almost unconstitutional), the woman singing jazz on a Sunday morning, brunch…


Alaine said...

I hope you find a new home soon!

New York has a beauty to it that is about the people, the craziness of it all is entertaining.
I've been here for 6 years and its where I call home these days. Ask me again in about 4 years and I may say something different. :-)

Anonymous said...

you should have never left The Hague. Good luck to you all.

Fran said...

For one thing... this move got you writing again... not that I don't like the pictures, but I miseed it... Maybe you can do a column for mommies in NY... "Toys and the City" ;-)

angelica said...

"toys and the city" sounds like it might be a porn blog ;-)

Anonymous said...

Everybody thinks its cool to say NY is fantastic, so I really like the idea of a fresh and critical point of view. ç
I love to visit NY, I have lived there, but Im not so sure I would like to live there with young children.
Looking forward to reading your next post.

BuenoBaby said...

Love that first photo.

Also, regarding the phone...when you're ready to fully acclimate, go get yourself a prepaid phone. That's all we used when we lived in Mexico and they have them here too! Best Buy and Radio Shack sell them. You can get data phones too. And you don't need a contract i.e. credit.

Welcome back!