By Brooklyn Bill
This is my entry in a planned series describing QNY bloggers' arrivals in the city. It was inspired by the Waking Up to New York essays in New York magazine's My First New York cover package from last spring that also inspired a new book of essays about New Yorkers' early days in their new city.
I knew I was moving to New York about a year and a half before I actually did. Four months after I bought a house in the little town of Stockton, New Jersey, my co-workers and I got word that our jobs were eventually moving from central Jersey to Manhattan. The timing depended on the completion of a building in midtown that was going to serve as my company's headquarters. In the interim, my house in Jersey would get flooded* by the Delaware River. And on the day my friend Pat drove me to Brooklyn, with the moving van on its way ahead of us, a family of shysters took up residence in my restored home. They would end up costing me a good deal in bounced rent checks and emotional distress.
Pat and I arrived in Park Slope to find that my movers couldn't get into my apartment because no one on the building's board had made copies of all of the keys I would need to actually move in. The movers cooled their heels for an hour until the super could replace the door lock.
Almost immediately, I started dating a guy I met online. We'd gotten together a couple of times downtown, and for the third date, he invited me to dinner at his apartment in Washington Heights. To get to his neighborhood, all I had to do was take a 2 or 3 train up the west side, change over to the 1, and ride that for several stops. I'm not sure how I managed to do it, but I fucked up the switch to the 1, ended up on another train, and got completely lost. After racing aboveground, I called the guy to let him know I was running terribly late. Luckily, he hadn't started on the key, time-sensitive steps in the risotto he was preparing. I eventually arrived at his place, with a container of mostly melted homemade chocolate chip mint ice cream. By the time we'd enjoyed his delicious risotto, some wine, and each other's bodies, the ice cream had resolidified and we ate our dessert. Heading back home a little later, I asked a couple of guys standing near the stairway leading to the uptown 1 platform where the entrance for the downtown 1 was. They mocked me.
*My home isn't quite visible in that photo. It was to the left of the leftmost house.