^ My new home for the next few years I hope.
I am so excited. I have been in apartment-mode since I got the call that I got it. I have been thinking about paint colors and new furniture and updates and dining room tables and *trails off*
Last night after work, I went to the new place to walk around and thoroughly check the place out and I came to some conclusions:
My apartment sits a block and a half from Broadway, which is the borderline of Bed-Stuy and Bushwick. Last night I walked around the Bed Stuy side, it was pretty dead. I stopped and got some chinese takeout and ate it in the empty apartment. This weekend Ill walk over to the Bushwick side and see if theres a little more over there.
After eating, I decided to go check out the roof. The super told me there was an alarm after I did the walkthrough, but I wanted to see if maybe it was off. Or maybe the door was just swinging open like at my old place.
NOPE. NOPE. NOPE. NOPE.
They have a motion sensor alarm at the top of the flight of stairs that leads to the roof, and when it goes off, Im pretty sure the whole street can hear it. Of course I set it off. I went hurtling down the stairs and slammed the door back into my apartment a few seconds after the alarm stopped blaring.
Ill never go up there again. So there you have it, one of the few things Ill miss about my current apartment: rooftop access.
Onto the pictures! Some of them are from a weird angle, some are blurry. Im sorry :/
I feel like I haven’t yet mentioned how big this apartment is. Im not even sure these pictures do it justice. The living room is twice the size of the one at my current place. I have some ideas what I want to do with the space. Im thinking half living room, 1/4th office space, 1/4th dining space.
Duck Sauce is going to LOVE running up and down these hallways swatting her little ball around. I plan on possibly putting a runner down this hallway once you get a little closer to the bedroom, maybe (way way down the road) switching out those light fixtures
The bedroom is HUGE just like the rest of the apartment. Theres that awkward, cool little space in the front where the wall angles away. No idea what Im going to do with that, maybe thats where the office will go? Maybe a couch? Idk.
And finally this HUGE walk-in. I know what this is mostly going to be used for. 1/2 Storage. and 1/2 just a closet for guests or whatever.
Can you tell the language is getting lazy in this post? Thats because its 5:42 on a Friday and Im the only one still at the office because Im trying to finish blogging. haha! I gotta go home and get packing!
Move in day is tomorrow!
I have some great GREAT news.
I got a new apartment. Not ONLY did I get a new apartment, I got an AMAZING new apartment.
Idk if I ever expanded on this, but my current/previous apartment kinda sucked. It was a gut renovated unit off Utica Avenue in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn. The unit was really cute. An open brick wall, hardwood floods, and a super modern bathroom and “kitchenette”. But the building was a far cry from my unit.
It still holds the title of the dirtiest, nastiest building Ive ever lived in. There were these men that just stayed in the hallways at all hours of the night, creating trash that would stay on the steps for days. (sometimes the steps were sticky?). It was loud. it was filthy. I had a bottle thrown at my door. Not to mention when I first moved in, I didn’t have working heat, a working stove, or a door between my bedroom and the living room. It also took a long time to get anything fixed, not to mention all of the strange, truly strange happenings in that building.
Thats the CliffsNotes version of why I wanted to move so bad.
Lets talk about the new place.
The application process was more than Ive ever did for any apartment Ive ever rented in NYC or Atlanta. But I must say, I think its worth it.
After completing my application and mailing everything to the management office upstate, I had to do an in-home interview with the management office guy, his name is Joe. Joe is great.
I vigorously cleaned my apartment for 2 days straight to prepare for the interview, and it was worth it, because it was super clean when my landlord came through to do his walkthrough. I got my deposit back almost immediately, which is rare.
Of course I had to deal with my landlord baiting me into another apartment, a gorgeous studio in Bed Stuy, but this place is a HUGE blank canvas, much more so than the studio. Though I will admit the crown molding on the ceiling and walls of the studio was breath taking.
But this place…this place just FEELS right. Its HUGE, it stretches the whole length of the building. Its rent-stabilized, meaning my rent cannot go up more than 5% every 2 years, and its cheaper. CHEAPER. Cheaper.
I found a larger, cleaner, rent controlled apartment in a better area of Brooklyn for $67 cheaper than Im paying now. That is incredible. I feel so lucky. I feel so happy and so excited.
This is my new home. I feel like its my first one since I moved to NYC. A place where i feel 100% comfortable.
Ill follow up soon with pictures ^_^
I know, I know, this blog post should be about my awesome Chicago/Flint/Detroit trip and the awesome people that made it so awesome. But those things take time to put together, and Im lazy, so in the mean time, id like to talk about all the new ventures Im trying to go down. Not all at once, and not so fast, but Im just in this crazy mode of new beginnings, and creation, and excitement. Lots of new things I want happening around me.
This weekend I went to a MF Doom-themed art show in Long Island City, Queens with my friend Zaria, a writer/photographer whose also interning for an art collective in the LES. Once there (and filled with free vodka) I met one of members of the collective, Shaina who sold me on joining the collective. Membership fees are $50/year. Theyre fairly new and the gallery is currently under renovation, but I’ll be visiting tonight to get a feel and meet everyone. This could be just the outlet I need to keep me from losing that “edge” im always talking about losing. Haha.
The NYC apartment search game is ridiculous and very stressful. There are a number of things you have to deal with including, but not limited to:
My first 3 months in NYC, I lived with a couple girls in a 3 br one bathroom apartment in Harlem. It was cool for that short period of time, and paying for a room is obviously muchcheaper than paying rent for an apartment, but those were pretty much the only pros.
Not that I didnt get along with the girls, but Im not a roommate type of person. I knew I wanted to live on my own, in Brooklyn. I also knew my budget, so I aimed for studios in Bed Stuy & Crown Heights.
Strict criteria sort of pushed me into this apartment. I literally said yes to it within a week of my moving date.
My apartment is a newly renovated unit in a building thats slowly being renovated. And I mean very….very slowly. Frankly, the building looks like a trap house. I could get into all of the back and forth with my landlord my first month of living here about the conditions of the building, but that will require another post, that I actually might do.
Anyway, I dont like the building, but I have to admit that my apartment is pretty cute.
I lucked up. Its not a studio, its actually more like a studio/1br. My bedroom is seperate, but you can only get to the bathroom by going through the bedroom, so guests will have to see my bedroom. I also dont have a seperate kitchen, I have this shit Ive only seen in NY called a kitchenette. But I digress.
This post will be about my living room!
In all of my other apartments, living so close to my family meant that I really ever had to buy things like couches or even beds, it was all given to me, pieces of furniture that my family didnt need anymore. And of course I took it, I was (and still am) poor. Why pay hundreds of dollars for a couch when I can just use the old one thats been sitting in my moms basement?
Since everything here has been bought with my hard earned money, my apartment is coming together very sloooowly. Since Im not depending on family hand-me-downs anymore, I decided to do this the right way, and only buy pieces of furniture that I want and love (and can afford), which means Im still missing some things. But instead of buying them to just have them, Im waiting for the right things to present themselves to me.
Sleeping kitteh is a new addition. Ill do a post on her soon. Shes a weirdo.
Im still on the search for the perfect carpet. I may hit up a couple flea markets, Ive also been looking at Urban Outfitters.
I also need curtains. I had some, they were the $5 sheer kind from IKEA, but they were just a hassle and shit kept getting in them. Plus, they werent actually made to be used as actual curtains, just …under-curtains or whatever the hell.
Ive got a long way to go. New carpet, new curtains, lights along the ceiling, and more posters. And maybe a coffee table. Im actually not painting this room (possibly the bedroom). You cant tell from the pictures, but the ceilings in this place are about a foot and a half taller than any of my other apartments, so painting would be a nightmare, especially with all of the odd corners and bends near the refrigerator. And besides, I like the white.
In other news, I went to Coney Island late last night. We only went to the beach, but we walked through the park and Justin got extra excited about the roller coasters (hes so cute), so we’ll probably try to go back before they close and Ill snap some pics then.
Also, here is my new favorite song:
Everyone says it takes a least a year to get settled in this city. Friday was my official one year mark. I want to use this time as a jumping off point.
I want to blog more. I cant believe I let 2 months slip by without blogging. Thats about 8 weekends.
So many goals. So many things Im saving up for and working towards:
+ Im saving up for some random trip outside of the country. Justin and I have semi-settled on a trip to London and Leeds.
+ Im saving up for a really nice bike. The weather is about to start cooling off, but I’ll have some gorgeous, custom bike by spring.
+ Im saving up for an iMac (for obvi reasons)
And so many things are different:
Im finding my style more, I cant really define it yet, but I know what I like, and every time a check comes, I try to buy at least one piece of clothing.
Im eating better overall. I still have my moments (like tonight) where I choose to just sit in front of the TV and eat chips and cereal, but I mostly shop at Trader Joe’s and I have a new love and appreciation for salads.
I have a cat. Her name is Duck. She is….*whispers* insane.
Im traveling more, mostly because NYC is so close to everything, and they make it so easy to get to other cities and states. So far Ive been to Jersey, Philly, and even Greenwich Connecticut. I know those arent huge amazing things or places, but I did all of this in under a year, I could never do that in Atlanta.
Justin and I are closer. We had what i feel like is our 2-3 year mega fight, but we’re fine now, and its pretty natural that being together in this new place will bring us closer to one another.
Ive worked with some pretty amazing brands at my new job. American Express, Lipton, USAA, L’Oreal, and Disney. Im looking forward to whatever this next year brings. Whatever it is.
I cant even tell you all of the things I’ve done. Ive experienced so much living here. It really is a great place to be, despite everything. This is the cliff-notes version of everything I have to say about this first year. Rather than bore everyone with a novel, id rather let the little detailed things slip out in later blog posts.
Im looking forward to my trip to Chicago and Michigan (less than a month now!) and whatever comes after. Trying to get out more, and just keep improving.
Blogging and cleaning right now. After years of living in apartments, Ive realized that I live in cycles: First my apartment is super clean, Im really good about upkeep and being all Martha Stewart. Then I have a couple late nights and I forget to put some things back, then I let shit get worse and worse, and then I go through a couple days of serious cleaning, and then the cycle starts all over again. Pretty sure these dirty dishes have been on the kitchen counter for a week now :-/.
So I realized, while thinking about how Im going to blog about the Roots Picnic, that I didnt talk about the week I went to the Danny Brown and James Blake concert and its been a month at this point.
Most of my pictures are from the James Blake concert. I wasnt front row for Danny. In fact, I was up in the balcony, in the “VIP” section. I paid a little extra for the ticket because I wanted a concert poster, so I got to stand in a roped off section, away from his crazy fans who started a mosh pit and yelled obsceneties at Kitty Pryde.
I had originally bought tickets for Danny Brown and James Blake for the same day. It was an accident. I bought the tickets seperately and didnt check the dates. But thanks to Craigslist, a really friendly dude who lived in Fort Greene, and the fact that James Blake was doing two shows, I switched tickets and worked it out just a day before the concert.
** pausing because i see that water is spilling out over my sink onto the floor**
Yea so, I went to the Danny Brown concert after work. Doors were at 8, I believe. I got there at 7 and stood behind a long line of nerdy white kids and cool black guys and read my Kindle until the line started to move. All the while, people lined up behind me until it was wrapped around the block. Did not expect that kind of turnout for him, but NY always surprises me.
Doors opened and I immediately separated myself and headed in the direction of the balcony. There are certain artists whose fans are just crazy enough for me to sacrifice getting some great pictures and stay the fuck away. Danny is one of them. I was given a special VIP wristband and I stood behind the sound guy and watched the crowd grow. In the meantime, I downloaded the book I was reading onto my phone and read. (Look, Im REALLY into Game of Thrones right now. Shutup.) After a while, Kitty Pryde came out. I hadnt heard of her, and honestly, her name alone discouraged me from doing any research. She’s basically a little white girl rapper. She raps about cats and…other nothingness. Her set wasnt going too well. No one knew her music save for a few (literally maybe 3 or 4) people in the front, and her stage presence was severely lacking. There was a set group of guys toward the back of the crowd, who had sort of been being assholes all night, even before Kitty got on. They would randomly scream and clap, making everyone think the show was about to start. And they would occasionally boo Kitty while she was rapping.
During Kitty’s whole performance, I could tell that the crowd’s lack of enthusiasm was really getting to her. She would stop and say things like “I forgot NYC is a tough crowd. You guys just stare at people” and she would especially keep asking the crowd “You ready for Danny Brown?”. About halfway through her show, she was talking about Danny Brown again, and the crowd started chanting “suck his dick! suck his dick! suck his dick!”. I was in shock. I stood in the balcony with my hand over my mouth, while onstage kitty played it cool, she paused for a second, mid-sentence, and then kept talking, and continued the show. But she had a rough time, and at the end of her set, she literally stomped off stage.
Danny soon came out and did his thing, and he had the whole crowd rapping along to his every word. White people LOVE him lol.
I watched the same asshole guys that talked shit to Kitty start a mosh pit, which you can sort of see forming in this picture. Peep the hole in the crowd.
I left before his set was up.
A couple days later, I went to the James Blake show. I got there so early, I was front row.
There was an annoying concert staff, some fat dude with braids who kept talking about how terrible Jame’s music is to his other concert staff friends. I was unfortunate enough to be close enough to him to hear his whole conversation with his friends, and it drove me up a wall how simple his thoughts and ideas were.
But enough about him, more pictures!
James came out and everybody SCREEEAMED!!
James puts on an incredible show. Aside from his beautiful voice, the lighting effects were really really good. He did dubstep remixes of some of his songs. At times, it felt like i was in a rave.
And of course I did a Vine of when he started singing everyone’s favorite song:
I will totally see him again. Im probably going again when he comes back in November.
Welp. I hope to have a whole post on Roots Picnic, the good, the bad, and the ugly up tomorrow.
Also, happy birthday to my little sister. She turns 21 today. The Caston kids are really getting up there.
Memorial Day. I haven’t gone outside. I haven’t even put on any outside clothes. Feels heavenly.
Justin’s show was fun. I had a good time. It was at a venue Goodbye Blue Monday in Bushwick. Its probably one of the most awesomely decorated venues I’ve been to. Odds and ends were stacked and tacked everywhere. It looked like a thrift store on the walls. I showed up at around 11:30 and he introduced me to a couple other people who was there to see him, including a singer he met at the studio named Kia Sleet whose whole sound I just love. I sat in the back talking to Kia and another guy (name slips me) while Justin walked around getting ready. Drinking beer to loosen up, talking to a videographer guy who agreed to video tape the performance for free, and fretting over some issues with his music.
At one point, my habit of checking into everywhere i go on Foursquare reared its ugly head, and when I got to check into the venue, Justin’s name was listed as an event. I checked in and shared it everywhere else I could. Regardless of how he thinks the show went. He has to admit, that seeing his name as an event must feel good.
When he came time for him to perform, we all moved to the front. It was near mid-night on a Monday so there was no one to fight for over seats.
Those that were there, got, what I think, was one of his most honest performances. It was his very first show in NYC, and, like he announced to the audience before be started, everything that could go wrong, did.
He played each track from his laptop, pausing between each song to load the next one while talking, telling the audience who he was and where to find this music.
But alas, this was not his favorite show. And so, its on to the next one in a month or so.
On Wednesday, Freeman came up, and we immediately went to a party thrown by AT&T for work. We had a GREAT time. Open bar, and a candy bar! There was a blue and white theme, for some new product they were launching, and it was in a really fancy club (as usual. Last time it was Top of the Standard). I let myself get really drunk and loaded up on blue and white candy at the candy bar. There were blue M&M’s, white M&M’s, chocolate, blue sharks, and blue and white rock candy in tall, beautiful vases. Blue rock candy was used as a decoration, spread out along the bar with little blue lights under it to make it glow. In my drunkenness, I grabbed a piece of decoration candy and ate that too. I also danced! Something I only do if Im drunk. I got to introduce Freeman to show of my coworkers, which I knew would only make them gossip about whether or not hes my boyfriend. I was proven right that next day.
Afterwards, Freeman and I went to a sushi restaurant, then I had to walk back to the club because I left my wallet. What a mess.
Friday night, Justin, Me, Freeman, and Zaria chilled, smoke, drank, and laughed all night.
Saturday was shopping with Freeman at the Giant Macys on 34th St. I wasnt shopping though. I bought my Roots Picnic ticket and that pretty much put me in the broke range for the next few days (totally worth it). My feet were bleeding by the time we were done. We went to get some (GREAT) sushi (again) at a place called Umi Sushi. Zaria, Justin, and I chilled till late again that Saturday night.
Sunday, I went to the Do Over. I had been wanting to go for a minute. This was the second one that came to NY since I had been here, and I RSVPd for the first one then never went. Because of a last minute venue change, the Do Over was held at Pier 17 so the view was beautiful.
But that was it!
Man, if Zaria hadna been there, I would have turned around when I saw how long the line was. Im not one for crowded places unless its a concert. The line was about 6 people deep. FULL of loud New Yorkers and maintained by a rude, gross, bouncer. After waiting for about an hour and a half (I did it for Zaria), we got let in. The venue was packed. Even water was $5. And all I pretty much did was stand in different locations.
*worm through the crowd*
*stands in this corner*
*worms through the crowd*
*stands near this bench*
Some scenes just aint my scene.
We left before Onra DJ’d. I really like his beats and possibly would have stayed had I known he was the special guest, but alas, by the time he got on, I was in Williamsburg, drunk off Green Label, and high, talking to a young jazz musician. Zaria’s friend and weed dealer, Jullian.
He broke down the history of jazz to me (“Louis Armstrong was the fucking man. He taught everyone how to do play like him”) and played some of his earlier stuff. And then he broke out his soprano sax and played two songs for us, it was great.
That was last night. I was gonna go to Dance Africa today. I kept pushing the time I was going to get dressed later and later until I realized I just didnt feel like going, especially if I couldnt buy what i wanted.
Im getting nervous because my Roots Picnic ticket hasnt arrived and its in 6 days, but Im sure it’ll be here soon. Im counting down the daaays. Phillyyyy!!
Ending this with a picture of Justin I took on the train.
Summer is coming, and its time I start taking advantage of being in such close proximity to cities like DC, Baltimore, Boston, and….
^^ Im going to this! I just got my tickets this week. I am SO FUCKING EXCITED. Beyond seeing all of the artists, Ive never been to Philly. This is going to be a damn good time. Like I cannot even. The Roots for the firs time, Solange again, Joey Bada$$, Sonnymoon, Robert Glasper, DJ Premier, and Im hearing whispers of Frank Ocean? WHAT.
My birthday was great. I spent my first hour of being 25 on a mostly empty 4 train, headed back to Brooklyn after a dope Quadron concert. The next morning I got woken up with a phone call from my family. They asked me what I was doing for the day, I told them I didnt know, and they said “how about you have dinner with us!” They were in NYC. Totally surprised me. It was so good seeing them, I was sure I wouldnt see them again until Christmas.
I got to play with Mookie on a playground in Brooklyn Heights by the water. I took some great pictures, and we walked down the sidewalk while he taught me to whistle. My mom and grandma got to see my apartment, which was great because it was sunny out, music was playing on the streets, the fruit vendors were out, people were selling socks and incense, shea butter, books, whatever. They could not have come at a more perfect time.
We later went to Canal Street where they got a real NYC welcome when we witnessed a shop owner attack a thief with a purse, WHACK WHACK WHACK, only to have him crank his arm back and punch her in the face. She took it all in stride, and the thief was caught. I spent the walk back to the train station telling Mookie to never steal and to never hit a girl.
I spent the rest of the weekend with a couple friends and had one awkward encounter lol. Lets just say I tried to end the weekend with a bang and it just….didnt work out. Haha. One day I’ll combine all of my awkward stories about guys into a small book.
A few days later, something came over me. I was at work, listening in on a call. It was a long demonstration about a new type of software that builds flash and web banners for you. I wasnt paying too much attention, I was tweeting, looking at instragram and tumblr, when I just….smiled. I think I was missing something on my birthday. I texted Justin for the first time in 4 months.
I said “dude..what are we doing?”
He said (paraphrasing here) “Idk man…just being stubborn, wanna come to my house and smoke about it?”
And thus, our friendship was reborn. And in good time, because Im gearing up to have a good summer.
Theres a ton of free concerts coming up, Mos Def, Lianne La Havas, and Quadron among others. And Justin and I have tickets to go see John Stewart at the end of June. Theres also my trip to Chicago that Im planning for the end of sumer, and then theres….the collective.
Ok so basically, I had this idea a long time ago, before i moved to NYC, that I wanted to throw shows in my apartment. And after moving here, the idea fought its way to the top of my head again, but I expanded on it. I just want a group of friends, who really love or really do music, and I want this to be a place they can come, hang out, and do music. Small intimate shows, only my friends, or close friends of friends. And theres a few other pieces of it as well that Im trying to piece together.
The key word here though is friends. people I really trust and connect with, so I cant say how soon this will happen, but Ive been thinking about it more and more after going to a small show in Justin’s friends apartment in Soho.
It got me thinking. I took in everything as I walked around her apartment. The lighting, and the fact that they were actually selling their CD in her apartment. So thats something Im really looking forward to building organically, no matter how long it takes. I know that if I take my time, and naturally make my friends rather than being a “socialite”, it’ll turn into exactly what I want it to.
Theres no name or anything for it yet. And theres a lot of little details that I have swirling in my head. The subtle branding, the social aspect. idk, I think itll be really subtle, underground, and hip hop. Im excited. I hope it happens.
I have to get dressed now. Yes, its 10:45, but Justin actually has his first NYC show in an hour in Bushwick and I told him I’d come support. :)
I had a doctor’s appointment scheduled for Wednesday morning. Just my annual check-up. But I just pushed it back two weeks because Im tired of doctors appointments. Blah. I have a cloud over my head today. But my birthday was pretty nice. Id like to have a nicely written post up about it by the end of the day.
I have not been well for 2 weeks. Can you believe it? 2 weeks man. With something or other.
The day after my last post, my voice got the worst its ever been in my entire life. I woke up and tested my voice and it was so bad that i got scared. I went and looked in the mirror. I took my cellphone and turned on the flashlight app and opened my mouth. There were white spots on my tonsils and they were swollen and a deep dark red. It was 7am and I didnt have to be up for another 30 minutes, but I got dressed and went to the doctor.
I was told I had some sort of virus or infection in my throat and that the white stuff was pus on my tonsils. I didnt even know you could get pus on your tonsils.
The doctor said I had tonsillitis. And also Laryngitis and that there was nothing I could do but take the antibiotics prescribed to me and “ride it out”. So thats what Ive been doing.
I was so hoarse that people at work cringed and looked at me with pity whenever I spoke lol. But today, my voice is significantly stronger. Theres only the slightest hint of hoarseness whenever I try to speak in a high pitched voice and Im sure even that will be gone by maybe Wednesday. I still hurts to swallow, especially in the mornings. Hopefully that’ll be gone soon too.
What I have been doing the most of, is coughing. I assume its my body just trying to expel some of the infection. It started this weekend, perfectly on Saturday morning being shaken violently awake by a cough. The first of many. If someone had been counting and said I’d coughed over a 100 times this weekend, I wouldnt be surprised. So I mostly stayed in except a small trip to Chinatown/Soho and today when I hung out in Williamsburg for awhile, just walking around. You know…as much as people love to hate that place, its a cool place to be. Probably in my top 3 favorite neighborhoods in NYC. Chinatown/Soho is #1.
I was out in Soho shopping at Muji for a small notebook and pen. Hemz has me reading his script and writing notes on it and I didnt like any of the pens I had at home nor how they reacted to the paper, so I decided to buy new ones. Any excuse to buy new pens and notebooks is fine with me.
Going out really hurt me though. I would be fine walking around, maybe a couple of coughs, but being on the trains..idk…something about the air. I would cough uncontrollably. It was torture. I tried to hold it in so I wouldnt seem gross, but I couldnt help it. I shouldnt have been out at all, really.
Work is the same. Ive been working on my first big report. Its called a wrap-up, and it basically breaks down everything that happened within and around the campaign. We report on how well it did, where and why it didnt do so well, and what next steps were gonna take. It scares me a little just because my campaign had so much drama associated with it, and I don’t want to fuck this up. We present the report to the client on my birthday, which at first annoyed me, but then it was pointed out to me that as soon as its over, Im done with them and I can breathe easy. And maybe my throat will be clear too, and maybe I wont be sick anymore. That would be so poetic, right? To turn 25 and leave so many things behind, literally and figuratively. To be able to breathe easy.