I need to catch up on my blog-writing! I guess I've been too exhausted the past few days to write, and I probably just want to block it all out of my mind. But actually, the move went smoother than I thought it would, thanks to some very good people.
I hope everyone at work isn't really mad at me, because on Thursday I had to leave an hour early to go pick up the U-haul truck before they closed. My manager knew I was leaving, but I didn't tell anyone else and right at the moment I had to leave, there were suddenly a dozen things that people needed me to help them with, so I just sort of snuck out and ran away from work. I couldn't help it--if I didn't get my truck, the whole move couldn't have happened.
At the U-haul place, the two guys who worked there were doing push-ups and lifting weights in the parking lot, and when I told them my story and that I was waiting for my friend to come drive the truck for me, they continued with their workout. It was hilarious. Soon my hero, Marcus, showed up on his bike and he took the wheel of the 17-foot truck for me. Even though our total moving trip was going to be about 2 miles total, I did not want to try driving that thing myself. I'll never be able to thank Marcus enough for helping me out!
At the old house, I discovered my other hero, my new roommate's brother (who had ridden from Utah to New York on his motorcycle to surprise her last week, and who had decided to stay and help us move) had given us a head start by moving a lot of our big things down the stairs to the front foyer. Soon some more guys from my ward showed up, plus E's b.f., and we worked pretty quickly.
Despite the broken down house, I am sad to have left that lovely neighborhood of Hamilton Heights. Also known as Sugar Hill, the area is the prettiest part of Harlem, with beautiful churches and stately old brownstones on quiet tree-lined streets, like ours. Our new neighborhood isn't so pretty, being in Harlem-proper, where nobody cares about using trash cans much, and the architecture is more generic. I'm going to miss our private rooftop, our sunny skylights, and living in an actual house. But the house needs taking care of. A man from the block association stopped to talk to us while we were moving out and he wasn't surprised that we were fed up with the place, because the owner, our landlady, is famous for not maintaining her properties. She owns four townhouses in the neighborhood, and ours was the only one fit for habitation. They've been trying for years to get her to either sell or renovate.
Our new apartment is just around the corner, really, from our old place, but on the other side of St. Nicholas Park. Hidden between a corner store and another apartment building, it has an iron gate on the outside, with a courtyard and then a set of double locked doors, so I feel good about the security. Plus our super and his friends sit on folding chairs outside the place and grill everyone that tries to come in.
We live on the 6th floor, but luckily for the movers, we have an elevator. More of a fun-ride, it gives quite a bounce when it arrives on the desired floor! E was shocked by the small size of our new place because she's been so accustomed to our big old townhouse, but it's really not that bad. It's a regular sized New York apartment, with three bedrooms, a living room, a bathroom and a kitchen. The kitchen is a nice size, with all new appliances! Even a dishwasher! The last people lived there for 20 years and when they moved out, the whole place was gutted and renovated, so everything is nice and clean and new. No ceilings are going to fall down! (Ugh, I'm traumatized... I was even dreaming about ceilings caving in last night!)
Our superintendent lives in the building and is probably sick of us already, but he's very nice. Trini is his nickname, embroidered on his shirts, short for Trinidad, I suppose. Long black-gray dredlocks, an odd hunchback, and a prominent gold tooth make his seem like some sort of pirate, but he's a dear. His henchman, Nelson, is also a sweet guy, with a little white dog named China that he babies.
Our new place is right on the subway line, so it's even closer to work. I'm really excited about it, despite the grit of Harlem. I'm not afraid of the neighborhood--everyone I've met has been incredibly nice so far. All the people I met in our elevator seemed very nice, and one girl said she's lived there for 8 years, so it must be a nice building. I think it will be fun to have a new sort of New York experience, to see another side of the city. In a way, it might be a blessing that our ceiling caved in and forced us to move.