Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Three Year Anniversary

While we have lived in New York City for three and a half years, we have only been in our condo for three years, as of July 26. I went back and looked at the photos from the very beginning of our journey to settle into the condo. When we first found this place, it was filled with all of the construction materials for the apartments below us, but that didn't deter us. We fell in love with the views and decided that this was the place for us. Buying a condo in New York is interesting, especially in a new building. You can set a closing date, but whether or not the building management company actually meets that deadline is pretty random. We had four closing dates and it would get to the day before we were supposed to close and they would cancel. Then I would have to re-schedule the movers, arrange to stay in our temporary housing for a little longer, and cancel all other appointments I had set up with utility companies etc. It was frustrating. Finally we get to July 26 and our attorney calls and says that he thinks it will really happen, but to sit by the phone. I wait and wait and then he calls and says, "be downtown with your certified check in 30 minutes." I scramble, run to the bank where they have the check waiting, grab a cab and turn the corner and the traffic is totally stopped. The cab driver turns around and says trust me? I nod and he turns around and goes in the exact opposite direction we needed to go. I kind of scream out, "I have to be at 100 Broadway by 1:00!" He turns around and smiles and says, "trust me." After going 15 blocks in the wrong direction, we hit the FDR and there is no traffic. He zips along, exits, winds through some tiny streets, and before I know it he turns around and says, "good luck." I jumped out and ran into the lawyer's office just as the clock struck one.
After the closing, I jumped on the subway and met Paul at our new home. The next day we moved in and the rest is history.
We never get tired of the views and find ourselves staring out the windows rather than doing our chores. While smaller than our other homes, we have managed to host many parties and family dinners and accommodate our children and grand children when they have come to visit.
It wouldn't be hard to fill up the guest room every night and for the first year, we were very willing hosts. With so many requests to stay at our place, we finally had to adopt a guest room policy which consists of three rules. 1. Family first. 2. We have to have met you before you can stay with us. 3. We have to be here. (Sorry, but if you aren't coming to see us you can't stay)
It's been a wonderful three years and I'll never forget my taxi driver who helped make this all possible.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

River to River Festival

Each summer the city hosts a festival celebrating venues between the East River and the Hudson River. Saturday Paul and I ventured down to the World Financial Center to see a performance by two groups. One was Australia's Strange Fruit and the Three Belles. These women came out and climbed up these long poles mounted on a base that allowed them to sway back and forth to music. Talk about needing rock solid abs! The performance was so much fun and made all the better by the nonchalant attitude of the women.
The second performance was by STREB and extreme action company. "Inspired by the Bellagio Fountains in Las Vegas, Human Fountain involves performers leaping from as high as 30 feet from a three-story, open, honeycomb structure in order to create cascades of airborne liquid muscle. The outcome is a mixture of slam dancing, exquisite and amazing human flight, and wild action sport, which captures kids, adults and the general public's hearts, minds, and bodies." Wasn't it worth reading just to get to the part about "liquid muscle?"
We managed to fit in all this fun and even did some shopping and put in some miles on the bikes. A great Saturday.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

And the rockets red glare.....

Paul and I celebrated the 4th of July by riding our bikes down to Battery Park to salute the Statue of Liberty. It was a foggy morning so look carefully and you will see the lovely lady standing in the harbor. I remember my mother getting choked up every time a flag was raised or each time the flag was carried at the front of a parade. She cried whenever we saw something patriotic----memorials for soldiers, etc. I didn't understand when she tried to explain that she was crying because she was grateful for what the flag represented. And I assumed she was crying because my dad had served in two wars and she was grateful that he had returned home safely. As I teared up looking at Lady Liberty, I thought of my mom, and I now I understand.

After a day of reading and hanging out, we decided to stay home and watch the fireworks from our apartment. Six barges were in the Hudson River and perfectly timed fireworks were sent skyward from each barge. We not only had a great view, but it was air conditioned! We could see fireworks from several small towns in New Jersey, the Bronx, Harlem and somewhere on the east side. It was a delightful day.