Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Things I have learned....

I have learned a lot of things while living in the city. 1) This is a fast paced city where if you have to keep up or get out of the way. We have gotten better with being able to keep up a fairly good pace, however we live in a tourist filled area where most people aren't used to walking fast and enjoy stopping every so often to look around. Needless to say there have been instances of running into people and more close calls. I like to think that by the time we leave here I will be an expert in dodging people.
2) Dodging cars isn't a game here. Just because you are a ped and have the signal to walk across the street, it doesn't mean the car is going to slow down and stop for you. If they don't try to hurry and turn without hitting you they will get close to make sure you are aware they are waiting for you and in dire need of getting to their destination fast. One day I was walking home from the post office and as I walked across the street I had 2 cars that turned and narrowly missed me. This leads me to 3.
3) You have to be brave here. I was a law abiding citizen who got so mad with those who crossed the street when it wasn't their turn and so on. It's a norm here to walk across the street when you don't have the right away. You have to be prepared to face cars turning onto your street and coming close to you. I have gotten used to this quite quickly and don't seem to notice them as much anymore.
4) Despite where you go, food is expensive. Fred and I have tried to be good when we go grocery shopping and getting as much of the generic stuff as we can since it does help to save money. A gallon of milk here cost us $3.99 if I remember our last trip correctly. It's a price to pay to live in the city.
5) Coming across areas that have been used in movies or t.v. shows is one thing I don't think will ever get old for me. I hope to run across a filming of Law and Order: SVU. I have become so addicted to that show it is ridiculous. I seen the house from "I Am Legend" which was cool. There are others, but they have fled my memory.
6) Subways are still fun to ride.
7) I will never look or act like a New Yorker. I met some of Fred's co-workers this week and the consistent reaction I heard from them was "Oh how cute!". I don't think I have been called cute so many times in such a short amount of time. When I tried explaining I could be tough they said the smile on my face pretty much was my downfall. You can't be nice here. I told them that sometimes when tourists walk in front of me and are slow or stop without warning I want to push them. They laughed at said it was cute that I thought about that. Apparently here, they don't think about it. If someone is in their way they really don't make an effort to dodge.
And that is just part of what I have learned while living in NYC.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Time flies by so quickly

As this week approaches there are a few things that have been on my mind. First is that Monday marks 1 month of being married. Readers beware, this is going to get sappy. As I think about the short amount of time that we have been married I look at how much my love for Fred has grown and how much better and happier my life is because he is in it. Every weekend we try to do a date of some sort whether it's going to the movies or going out and exploring the city. Last night we went and saw "Love Happens". Amazing movie! I think that is definitely in my top 5 favorite movies of all time! Anyways back to my point. After we got done with the movie we walked back home and stopped for ice cream along the way. When we got home we sat down and watched the Office season premiere together and laughed/felt awkward together throughout the entire thing. It was one of the best times I have ever had. There are times when I am traveling on the subway or when we are together that I think to myself "How did I get so lucky??" Being with him I can't ask for anything better in life. He encourages me to do better and when I get discouraged or down, he is there to understand and help. He is my better half and I love him more and more everyday.
Okay on to the second thing! NYC is really starting to feel like home which is so nice! We have been here for almost a month and I have loved this city the more I am here! When we first moved here I felt like we had this huge label on our foreheads that read, "Hey we're new! Come take advantage of us!" or something resembling that. Now I stick my earphones in and walk to my destination and feel like I blend in with the rest of the city. I am starting to become familiar with various routes between the subway,buses, and just walking. It feels good to start knowing where I am going exactly. One of the best things that I have started getting the hang of is shopping here. It's tough to find a place that is somewhat inexpensive and not having to take a 15 minute bus ride to get there. We have found a market that is about 20 blocks or so away from our apartment which is so nice! Here the big thing is to have a cart that can pretty much carry what you want, but is mainly used for groceries. Last weekend we finally found one and bought it. I was so excited to finally have one that I felt like it was a new member of our family. It's so exciting to be able to fit all your groceries in something that doesn't require you to carry it on your arms or your back. Yesterday I found a place that sells produce and spent $7 for 2 lbs of grapes, 4 kiwis, 4 peaches, and a head of lettuce. Needless to say I was beyond excited for this new discovery!! Finding the little places that can save you any sort of money is exciting to me at this point.
The job search is going better. I had 2 interviews this last week which was a huge boost and motivation for me. The first interview I had was with a in-home nurse/CNA staffing agency. The people were so nice and it seemed like such a great place to work! They have people who speak Spanish, Chinese, Russian, and a few other languages that work there because there are so many people who are from other countries. I knew I lived in a diverse place, but there are times when I realize how little I know about how diverse it really is. The second interview I had was with a huge law firm. It seemed to go fairly well, but I was so nervous and intimidated before I went in. Thankfully the agency that set me up with this interview had me come in beforehand and had me go through a few examples with them. I figure since I didn't pass out or start sweating uncontrollably I did fairly well! I have to say it's quite the change for me to be going to interviews in a business suit. I am sticking with the skirts since I feel less awkward in them, but it's still something that is going to take some time for adjustment. It seems like such official and big city dress!
Fred starts his internship this week. I am so excited for him and I am pretty sure he is excited as well! He'll start getting into working with kids at a local high school that have slipping grades or change in behavior that isn't so good. It seems like such a great opportunity and we feel like this is the better choice than with the previous internship. Though he won't get paid, he will have normal hours during the day and be able to get his required hours. I feel it's worth it especially to be able to have him home in the evenings and on the weekends.
One of the cool things we have been able to do was being able to spend 9/11 here in the city. Fred and I went down to the area where they were having the ceremony for those who perished. It seemed a fitting day since it was raining and cold with a strong enough wind. We never were able to get too close, but the feeling there was so solemn and respectful it amazed me. It caused me to reflect on what I had been blessed with and my heart went out to those who had lost a loved one. It was quite a sobering moment to realize the tragedy that took place here and all those who were affected and still are. It made me wonder where all the unity went that was so prevalent after the attacks. What a tragic historic moment it was and how too quickly it was all forgotten. People remember the event, but don't seem to remember the unity and the compassion that was felt everywhere after the event took place. It made me sad to think that we forget things like that all too quickly because we allow ourselves to get absorbed back into ourselves and what we are doing. One day I hope to see that sort of attitude and behavior everywhere with everyone. Not simply because something tragic took place to evoke those emotions, but because people honestly care more about the people around them and realize the blessings this country provides for us and others.
Well I think that is about it from our end. Hopefully I won't take as long to post again, but can't make any promises. Sometimes things are hectic and, let's be honest, I just get too lazy. I hope to post a tour of our apartment soon with some pictures!

Monday, September 7, 2009

First official week in NYC

Today marks the first full week in New York City. We have enjoyed ourselves so much in this city! Last week Fred had orientation for school that starts tomorrow. He is excited to get back to work and, I think, he is excited to be that much closer to being done. We found out last week that the LDS Family Services could take him on as an intern which was really exciting! However as things progressed, we found that they may not be able to give him his required hours and he would have to go to conferences on the weekends. As things have unraveled we aren't sure this internship was what we thought it was. It's not a bad thing since Fred wanted to come here to gain that different cultural experience. We aren't entirely sure what is going to happen now, but we trust the Lord does and we know that whatever will work out will be what is supposed to happen.
Our first Sunday in the ward went quite well. We were greeted by the members of the ward warmly and we even made a few friends! Last night we had the opportunity to go over to another couple's apartment where we sat and chatted with them for a bit. It was really nice to find another couple that we can have fun with and be ourselves. I have to say though Spencer, the husband, looks just like George Michael off of Arrested Development. When we were sitting in Sacrament meeting before it started, I looked over and noticed him. I was instantly nudging Fred and excitedly whispering "Fred look!! That guy looks just like the kid off of Arrested Development!!" We were really fascinated by this and apparently he gets that comment a lot. Spencer said that people will come up to him and tell him he looks really familiar, but they can't figure out from where. It's really funny! It's interesting too because I saw this woman at church that looked so familiar, but I couldn't figure out from where. We got to talking and come to find out she was my TA that taught one of the sections in American Heritage! It was a huge relief to feel like I knew someone in the ward, even though I don't really know her.
My job search is going. I am just applying to as many places as I can in hopes of something being available and right for me. Erica, the wife of the previous mentioned couple, said she has been looking for about a month now, but has an interview with a possible job. It helps me to know that getting a job here is possible, but it just may take some time. Who knows with Fred going back to school, I just may find one sooner with all the sudden motivation I will have with all my free time!
Well that's about it from the east coast end. All is going well and so many new things are waiting for us in this week!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Getting used to things here.....

Moving to a big city, especially New York City, is so exciting and thrilling!! Things are always so busy here and even in the early hours of the morning there is still so much going on. It has definitely been quite a change from Provo, but we are taking it into stride quite well I think.
On Monday we just returned from our honeymoon in DC where we spent most of the time walking from place to place, but loved every minute of it! It was especially nice for us since we have been running around like mad since we have gotten married. It gave us the time to sit down and really enjoy each other before coming back to the city and trying to get ready for things, such as shopping for groceries, looking for a job, and of course school for Fred. While we were in DC we went to the Spy Museum, Ford Theater, Washington Monument, and the Lincoln Memorial. I know it doesn't sound like a lot, but only having 2 full days there I think we did quite well!
When we got back from DC we tried our hand at grocery shopping. It wasn't bad until you realize how expensive things are here! I always hoped people were exaggerating a bit when they talked about the price of food, but as we soon found out no exaggeration happened. Once we finished we had to carry all of our groceries about 5 city blocks back to our place. Not too far which is so nice!
Today we tackled Target to get some needed essentials and I have found that as much as I love shopping there it is quite the journey to get there! It's about a 30 minute ride on the subway and then another 5-10 minute walk before you are in the store. We brought a huge suitcase with us since there was no way we could carry all the stuff we needed back with us. It was actually really nice and convenient to have it there! We packed almost everything away and then just rolled everything back with us.
We are loving everything about the city, but I think, at least for me, it is going to still take time to get adjusted too. Being so far from home and in a giant city is still something so new and unfamiliar to me. I am dealing with things well so far, but that is definitely due large in part to having Fred around all the time. I think once he starts school I will be pretty diligent in finding a job so I can have something to keep me busy as well.
Well that is about it from our end! We are both loving the married life more than anything and enjoying our new life together!