Thursday, May 28, 2009

Rolling, Rolling, Rolling

StrongOpinions and I left Your Nation's Capitol at 6 this morning, headed up to the Big Apple to get her stuff out of her apartment for the summer. She has found someone to sublet and finish out her lease, since the neighborhood is way too sketchy and the roommates are unsuitable. We are still negotiating what will happen in terms of housing for September. I left her up there staying with her friends - she is going on up to her father's in New England tomorrow, and will wend her way back down in time for my ordination next weekend.

It was a marvelously easy drive up - only a couple little spots of traffic. The only challenge was making it from the Lincoln Tunnel to the West Side Hwy - the surface traffic was bearish. We got up to her place, climbed the four flights to her apartment, packed her stuff, carted it all downstairs, and loaded it into the car. One giant LLBean rolling duffel with clothes, one large clothes hamper full of shoes, several boxes of books, one tote full of kitchen stuff - she is her mother's daughter. Then we drove down from Spanish Harlem to Columbia, wandered around the campus a bit, and had some lunch at a French bistro. Quite lovely. Then I got back into the car and headed south. I managed to avoid traffic jams almost all the way home (the usual snafu on the Beltway because of a couple of rain-induced accidents) and I made it back through the door by 8 pm. Listened to Peter Gomes' "The Scandalous Gospel of Jesus" on the iPod for most of the ride...might be an accessible book for the right church small group to go through, chapter by chapter.

Things I noted on this trip:
  • the girl is not a housekeeper. Her room in the apartment was pretty chaotic, consistent with her room at home when she is in residence. So why did it surprise me?
  • the city, even when overcast, still enchants. I wish I could find a job there, but even if I did, I couldn't afford to live there, so it will remain a lovely fantasy.
  • Columbia is the kind of university I should have gone to as an undergraduate, but my working class parents couldn't even conceive of me going somewhere like that (even though I probably would have been admitted to Barnard, then the women's college there, given my grades and SATs and such). The girl is fortunate to have been aware of the possibilities and to have been encouraged to explore them.
  • even though I grew up in the NYC metro area and have been driving in and out of the city since I was 18, StrongOpinions felt it necessary to check if I knew the way to find my way back out of the city and over the river. I'd be ticked off if I wasn't so charmed by our mutual love for the city.
  • I am no longer the chic New Yorker that I was when I worked in the city as an international software consultant (another life ago) in the early '80's. I felt quite lumpen in my jeans, twin set and sneakers, except when we were in Spanish Harlem, where the women are more "traditionally built." Had I worn a sequined, low-cut tank top, I would have fit in even more perfectly. Ah, well, another "fashion don't" moment for Rev-to-be-Mibi.
  • people watching is still my favorite city activity, and the most affordable one.
Just count me grateful to be home with car and nerves intact. I'm lumpen here, too, but somehow I can't seem to get very worked up about it.


Rev Dr Mom said...

I too wish I could find a job in the city! The deployment officer wouldn't even talk to any of us when my class graduated, and I don't think it's gotten any better. Sigh. I do love that place.

However--I would NOT drive there. You are fearless!

NYC Momma said...

Although Strong Opinions may already have a leaning towards certain neighborhoods, she might try Inwood at the north tip of Manhattan come the fall semester -- lovely neighborhood, lower prices, and an easy shot on the 1 train to Columbia. It's a lot like the west side used to be in the 70's and early 80's before all the musicians, actors and academics got priced out.

Anonymous said...