New York City was hit with its first real snow of this season, causing general panic and, happily, a day off from work! Monday had started off particularly brutal. It marked the start of a full five-day week (last week we had Monday off for MLK day) as well as the first day of the Spring semester. The copy machine decided to throw tantrums all morning, clearly upset over the sudden increase in demand from faculty and students. I felt similarly, but did not have the liberty of refusing service and instead spent much of my day elbow-deep in the copy machine, prying bits of paper from its clutches while also juggling the onslaught of questions, demands, and general confusion that arise on the first day of school.
After a very thankful Friendsgiving in Brooklyn, I woke up early on Friday morning, but not for the usual reason. In past years I would get to the mall, outlet, or stores sometime around 4 am (or earlier!) to partake in the annual shopping mania we call Black Friday. Even the name is foreboding, but I do love me a good sale. This year, however, with the national discussion centering around police brutality, labor, and the systems that create inequality, I finally put my money where my mouth is and abstained from Black Friday shopping.
I took the energy I would have spent battling crowds, making snap decisions on whether to buy that cheap, functional sweater, or maintaining my calm in the midst of insanity and channeled it into The Smudgery. I taught myself how to pull a beautiful ombré print and finally added a new item to the shop. Check out the colorful process after the jump.
If apartment hunting in New York is a marathon, moving is more of a triathlon. You spend endless amounts of time preparing: mapping the course, putting all of your ducks in a row, contacting the right people for support and training. In my case, I made 6 different possible schedules for the day-of, tweaking moving days, times, and modes of transportation. I also made the same amount of floor plans to make sure all of my belongings would fit into the apartment. If anyone deserved the label of obsessive compulsive, it was me. I am surprised my mom didn’t start ignoring my emails because of the sheer volume of inane questions I sent her way (should my night stand go on the left or right side of my bed?).
The polar vortex continues to wreak havoc on our patience and energy here in New York. I can’t speak for anywhere else, though I know we don’t have it nearly as bad as the midwest… or the northeast. In any case, work has not been as generous in giving out snow days and I have had to make the blizzardy commute on more than a few occasions. Sometimes it is beautiful but most of the time the snow is slushy, the curbside puddles unexpectedly deep, and the general mood: sour. But I can’t complain too much. I do love watching snow fall (from the warm side of the window), and sometimes winter does some beautiful things to the environment, much of which I never experienced growing up in California.
Here’s some of the highlights, as documented on my instagram (follow me! like my stuff!).
On January 21, 2014 we closed early due to the snow. I frolicked in Washington Square Park until my hands froze (about 10 minutes) and my touchscreen stopped registering my fingertips.
On February 5, 2014, after a night of freezing rain, the trees were covered in a beautiful layer of ice.
On Thursday, February 13, 2014, I had hoped we’d close for a snow day. It was beautiful out in Queens, but I couldn’t linger to enjoy it. In the city it was mostly dirty slush and high winds. It turned to freezing rain later in the day. We were allowed to leave at 3pm.
As I write now, snow is gently floating past my window. J is getting lunch with his family and I am just happy to stay safe and warm in my apartment with my milk tea and soft, upbeat music.
One thing about the extended winter is that stores are already preparing for Spring, resulting in both a woeful lack of good winter boots and the happy chance of getting this delicious pumpkin spice tea on clearance! Luckily, I think my fuzzy winter boots will make it through this season.
Last week was a struggle.
It was the first week back from work after a long winter break. Although controversial, Monday, January 6, 2014 was dubbed “The Most Depressing Day of the Year.” Off to a good start. Tuesday was the height of the polar vortex. While we were nowhere close to Minnesota’s lows, my poor California body was physically unprepared for the high of 7 degrees. I did suit up appropriately, but that didn’t change the fact that it was still bitterly cold out.
With a week to go before I started working, I decided to make the most of my final free weekdays. AX agreed to accompany me on any adventures since he is also trying to live up his days as a freelancing photographer. Since he has a car, this of course meant that we would be getting out of the city. We finally settled on Jones Beach, a place we had both heard good things about but had never been to.
One of my biggest struggles and subject of constant obsession is to think of new ways to convince my Manhattan-dwelling friends to visit me in Queens. Sure, it’s no 15-minute ride to my apartment but it’s not like I live in another state. But I do get it. Manhattan offers so many diversions. When I was in college I’m pretty sure I only made it off of the island a handful of times in four years. When you live in Manhattan you just don’t get why anyone would want to be anywhere else. You’re wearing “city blinders.”