February 1, 2010

7 Years Ago Today.

I remember that day 7 years ago today like it was, well, today! There I was, in the car with my Mom while my Dad trailed behind in the rented van full of almost all of my belongings (the remainder was in my Mom's car with us) driving south to New Jersey from Massachusetts. I bet when I was first born that my parents had never had moments where they looked at their baby daughter and thought "One day, we'll move her into her first apartment in New Jersey.". Well, whether they thought about it or not, that's what they were doing that first day in February in 2003 with me. Moving me into my 4th floor walk-up apartment with bright blue-painted stairs that were "steeper than you told us!" as my Mom first exclaimed when we walked into the small building on the main street in the one-square mile town.

The apartment my friend Jim (a good friend from school who shared the same Communication Design major and same love for college basketball) and I had found was surprisingly bright, surprisingly large, and a close walk to the PATH train that would take us into NYC (a short 10 minute ride under the Hudson River). Since it was our first apartment post-college, we didn't have much in the way of furniture or in the way of a budget, and so our first furnishings has to be modest. We first painted the place and then decided it was time to buy some seating for the living room (we had been eating dinner seated on milk crates). Scouring Craigslist we found a steal located just a block away from a guy who was moving out and looking to GIVE his couch to whomever would take it out of the place. Free? Yes, free. So ,Jim and I decided to check it out and after about a 5 minute discussion while looking at it in all it's emerald green velour gloriousness, (a slipcover was the way we would go) we decided we would take it off the guy's hands (literally) and carry it across the street. Well, it wasn't as easy as we thought and I ended up directing traffic as they barely made it out the door and down the stairs. The couch was a beast and the guy was so happy to have it out of his apartment that he even helped Jim bring it up our steeper than steep and windy stairs to the top and fourth floor that we lived on. It barely made it past the second floor landing and with some coaxing they got it up to four. But that, my friends, is where the couch stopped because it is there that we realized that the size of our door frame was too narrow to accommodate such a beast of an emerald green velour couch. And so there that couch story ends for a few weeks. Until my parents came back to visit and brought with them my Dad's saw so we could cut the legs off the couch and a few more tools so we could remove the door frame and get the couch inside and then replace the wood of the frame. I moved out a year later, and Jim a year after that. We always joked that no matter who moved in and out of that apartment, that that couch would always remain.

Moving to the city area was a bit risky at the time because I had no job. Yes, that's right. No employment. It wasn't as hard to find a job as it is for this past year's recent grads but considering it was just a year after 9/11, it definitely wasn't a time of "jobs for everyone!" being chanted on the streets of Manhattan. While shuttling my design portfolio to any and all companies that would look at it was my choice of work during the day, that didn't pay the bills so the day after I moved, I went to a neighborhood restaurant to get a job as a waitress. I figured I could pass the time waiting tables and making some good money before being hired as low woman on the totem pole and being paid peanuts. The restaurant was a favorite in the tiny 1-square mile town. The food was good, the service was great (I'm not just saying that since I worked there) and the atmosphere inside was just a place that you wanted to be at. The colors that went around in the decor were mostly golds and yellows with deep, rich browns. I must say that of the three places I have spent time delivering food and drink for tips, this one was by far my favorite.

It's hard to believe that just 7 years ago I came to this fair city without a job, any furniture, and knowing only my close friends from college. I can't believe that this is the city I officially call "home" when I go away on vacation and someone asks me where I'm from. "New York City" is always my answer, unlike years ago when it was "well, I come by way of NYC but I'm really from Boston". I like to think in life we are in control of our actions and decisions, and I must say, that my move here 7 years ago was one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. Whereas that emerald green couch might be at the bottom of the list.

all photographs are
beautiful wares from Anthropologie

1 comment:

Susana said...

Hey! Nice story to be proud of!

Hugs from Madrid!