April 1st, 2015: Harlem, NYC
If you’d like the short version, the first day in the city looked like this: Slept in. Coffee+worked. Cooked dinner for/with the math teachers.
(I could write this twice in a tweet and still have 8 characters left. So, for that one friend who keeps ribbing me about how I always take a really long time to get to the point when I tell him stories – and you know who you are – I hope you appreciate this.)
But so I remember this in 10 years when I want to reminisce – the extra little details of the day:
1. BED: I might not have stated that the guest bed in Aaron and Caty’s place is INCREDIBLY comfortable. For most of the trip, it would take every ounce of willpower each morning to actually get up. So after the faux-red eye flight the day before, I decided to sleep as long as I wanted, which happened to be about 1:30ish in the afternoon. The best part, though, was hearing Aaron’s thoughts on it (times below are shown in PDT, but the conversation happened between 2:19-2:41 pm EDT):
Fortunately, hearing your younger sibling tell you to get your sh*t together is both hilarious AND motivating to get on with your day. So, next –
2. COFFEE: I needed to do some contract work for Russ Reid and I generally don’t like doing work at home, so I headed out to the closest coffee shop, Double Dutch Espresso.
I’d gotten acquainted with Double Dutch last November at Thanksgiving, and if there’s one thing I’m excited about regarding the Harlem apartment, it’s Double Dutch. I hope I can adequately convey its wonderfulness. It’s nearly all you could ever hope or dream of in a coffee shop – a tastefully stylish, reasonably-priced, friendly-barista’d caffeinated heaven on Earth. The Ryan Gosling of coffee shops in a way. There’s even a back patio where you can sip your coffee in the NYC air nestled in between brick apartment buildings…while sitting in a rocking chair. I should have just handed over my MasterCard and asked to open a 37-day tab. I was intrigued when we met back in November, but now that I’m living just .1 miles away, I have a full-on, smitten, infatuation.
Once seated with a Cafe Au Lait, surveying the scene, I make two promises: one, if I barely do more in NYC than turn this coffee shop into a home away from home for reading/writing/thinking, the trip will still be a wild success. Two, I WILL fill up this Frequent Buyer Punch Card and earn a free coffee while I’m here, so help me God.
Just looking at these pictures again makes me swoon. I happily work the afternoon away until the Cafe Au Lait’s just a few drops in a mug and it’s time to gather groceries for dinner. Tonight, it’s Penne with Sausage and Greens from the fantastic Budget Bytes website.
Today’s the first I’ve made food with a recipe in at least 12 months, since I don’t usually cook, per se, but rather assemble some combination of foods until I’ve hit most of the food groups and it’s roughly the volume/mass of a meal. But I follow the simple recipe and the teachers return home and help me finish making dinner and we have another relaxed meal on the couch.
Caty asks about my first day in New York and Aaron reminds me, in slightly softer terms, to get on his time zone. We’ll see about that.
Soon the teachers go to sleep and I turn on the twinkle lights in the kitchen/family room and prepare lunches for Aaron and Caty to take to school -turkey and provolone and mayonnaise on wheat, pretzels, carrots, grapes, all tidily tucked into plastic bags. Alone in the now quiet apartment, I realize this first day has been completely uneventful, but entirely wonderful nonetheless.
And we’ll just see how things progress with me and Double Dutch.