Moving to the Upper West Side

It felt very much like moving to a familiar place when I was heading towards my final neighborhood, the Upper West Side, today. I knew how to find my new place, I knew where to go for shopping groceries. There was nothing that felt strange. The only new thing was my new place to stay. It turned out to be a very pleasant one again.

It was past noon when I left Soh Ang’s house in Jamaica after finishing packing and having a nice breakfast. When I walked through the neighborhood towards the subway I had a feeling to be so far away from New York. This is another world. I was grateful I could stay here for a couple of days to cover my gap and Soh Ang and Thusita did a lot to welcome me and to make everything easier for me. But it is not a neighborhood where I would like to stay for longer. Everything is far away and needs a long transport and I could not feel that creative energy out there. So moving didn’t make me sad today.

I am her now:

Going to the Upper West Side from Jamaica by subway is not that easy. I took the F train from 179th Street – because there is an elevator – to Rockefeller Center. There I changed to a B that runs up Central Park West. While I was waiting for the B and looked at the subway map I saw that I could change to the 1 at Columbus Circle. The 1 train runs below Broadway and would bring me closer to West End Avenue. I had to change platform at Columbus Circle but there as well is an elevator. The problem was that there was a problem and the train was delayed and therefore more than packed when it finally arrived after almost 15 minutes. I let it go and waited 7 more minutes for the next one. That was packed as well. The third one then was almost empty. While I stood on the platform waiting for the train I realized how close to street level the subway runs there. I could see the street through a ventilation grid in the ceiling that is not thicker than maybe one meter. In the Transit Museum in Brooklyn this fact had been mentioned, but I had never perceived it that way.
I got off at 103rd Street and arrived at my new place after a short walk. I entered the building, told the friendly doorman whom I was going to see, signed the book and took the elevator to the 8th floor. The building has 15 floors. It consists of two adjoining towers that share a common entry hall. Every floor seems to have six apartments, three on either side. Shoshannah was at home and welcomed me. I felt immediately comfortable at her place. My room is huge, has a queen size bed, a large desk, a TV, two closets and two big windows. One towards the street and one towards the other tower. The kitchen is totally cute. Stove and sink are original from the time the building opened up. Shoshannah’s family moved in there in 1945. Wow! She is a theater artist and told me she has been working in Berlin at the Schaubühne for one year in the sixties. She hopes to practice German with me. Her German is still pretty good, just a bit buried, like my Spanish.

After having settled I took a train to Times Square to buy a ticket for The Lion King at Minskoff Theatre for tomorrow night. That done I felt like a maple bacon cookie and went to Schmackary’s again. Their cookies are simply awesome.
On my way home I stopped at Verdi Square for shopping groceries in well-known sources. I got some basics like Pumpkin Flax Granola at Trader Joe’s and a bottle of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc at Beacon’s Wines. From there I took the express train to 96th street and walked home to get acquainted with my surroundings. At a convenience store I invested two dollars in a Mega Million coupon as Mega Million is at 165 Million dollars now. Another chance to buy an apartment…

I didn’t go out for dinner but had just some butternut squash ravioli from Trader Joe’s because I had a lot of work to be done like finishing yesterday’s blog, writing today’s and doing some communication.

What I learned today:
It feels good to move to the Upper West Side

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