We did it! We are now official residents of New York. This weekend has been full of love, laughter, space bags, and just a little bit of homelessness. Oh yeah... It's all there! Just so you are well aware this is KYLIE blogging right now, Steven said that he had to write about our first day here but I told him i got to write about BEFORE we got here.
And this is how it goes...
We decided that the only way to get the most out of our packing was to get these wonderful things called Space Bags. They are this genius idea that takes any large size of clothing/bedding and turns it into an inch thick brick.
What you do is vacuum out the air and you are left with this fantastic little bag that is easy to store! Let me demonstrate....
This is Sheets (a full set), Towels, and two pillows
Every piece of clothing I was packing...
All fit nicely in this bag thanks to Space bags!
Now comes the fun part. We had to pack as lightly as we could and only check three bags, (one will be sent home with my mom when she visits halfway through the trip) So this is what we ended up with!
Two entire wardrobes, six bags and a full 24 hours to go and we were finally ready for our trip! But the fun doesn't start quite yet...
My very best friend in the whole world was married to her cute man on Friday May 28th. We were able to squeeze it in before we left and it was wonderful! She was beautiful and so was her wedding! We were able to attend the Ceremony that morning, which was so great... They even were married in the same room Steven and I were married in! We attended everything else, of course because our flight didn't leave until 11:30 that night! But we love you Lauryn and hope you and Mike are doing great!
Attention please...this is Steve blogging now. Who said only my wife can blog? I have things to say too! In fact, I'll have you know we wanted to come up with some cute, catchy name for our blogging adventures this summer and my vote was to name our blog, "Sex and the City" but the wife wouldn't let me seeing as there would be Grandparents and such reading this thing. So I lost that battle. Let me take you through our first couple of days here in the City of Brotherly Love...errrr wait...I mean the Windy City....no, that's not right...The City of Lights? No that's Paris...oh yeah, I remember! The City that Never Sleeps!
We became "the couple from Utah that never sleeps" when we arrived in this town. We took a Jet Blue red eye flight leaving Salt Lake at 11:35pm the night of Lauryn's wedding. That plane ride was the most dreadful night's sleep I've ever had. Was it the adrenaline knowing we were just hours away from a new adventure? No...it was mainly the crappy leg room, the seat that reclines 1/2 inch, and the fact I had 36 channels of Direct TV in front of me distracting me from sleep.
Anyways...we arrived in New York at 6:00am and took a SuperShuttle bus to our hotel. (We had to spend our first night in the city in a hotel, not our apartment due to some scheduling conflicts...by "scheduling conflicts" I mean I got the dates wrong). We arrived at our hotel around 7am, the world famous St. Mark's Hotel!!!
This was the dumpiest hotel I've ever seen. The room itself was about 40 sq ft, barely enough for our bed. It was relatively clean from bugs and mice, but I'm fairly certain that's only because not even the rodents wanted to stay there. To be honest, we didn't even care what the room looked like, we were so tired! There was only one catch though...we couldn't check in until Noon! That meant we had to spend from 7am-12pm experiencing New York City the way it was meant to be experienced....HOMELESS! (And boy did we ever experience that...keep reading....)
Since our world class resort was willing to at least hold our bags for us while we aimlessly traversed the city, we didn't have to carry our luggage. We began our pilgrimage down Cooper St, which later intersected with Canal St in Chinatown. Now we've both heard that Chinatown was a cool place to visit...but I think that's only during realistic hours of the day. Walking down Canal St at 7am was a bit scary as we were the ONLY people out on the street and Canal St is filthy. Kylie looked over at me about halfway down and expressed her concern for our living in this scary city but I reassured her this was only one part of the city, and fortunately NOT the part we would be living in. Note to everyone reading...when visiting New York for the first time, please don't walk in Chinatown at 7am to get an accurate first impression of the city.
We quickly found Broadway and started walking...that's when the light in my sweet wife's eyes began to shine as she began to see designer stores and cleaner areas. We walked and walked trying to kill time. We finally found ourselves in the middle of Washington Square Park. You know the park you always see in TV and movies with the chess sets sitting in the middle of the parks with old men playing chess? Well, this is it. We snapped this picture of a young Asian boy beating the pants of this black man in chess....classic!
Here is us in the park as ZOMBIES!
Our intention on entering the park was to find a spot on the ground under a tree where we could fall asleep. As luck had it, the entire park was recently re-seeded with new grass so there were signs all over that told us we couldn't step foot on the grass. There was one small little section that had no such signs...however it was already taken by the other NYC bums. We were SO TIRED by that point that we found a comfy park bench, and Kylie laid on my lap while I laid on her back and we both fell asleep. Just like the homeless people do! There are so many tourists here and this city has so many tours, we're thinking about starting one of our own. We could call it, "The Homeless Experience" and charge people $40 to come walk around Chinatown at the crack of dawn, sleep in a park, then later we can go harass people on the subway for change!
There are definitely a lot of scary/shady looking people in this city but we've noticed one difference between crazy people in Utah vs crazies in New York. In Utah, if you see a crazy person walking down the street, brace yourself, because they are GOING to talk to you. In New York, we pass crazy guy after crazy guy and loads of shady looking people and every time we do, I grab Kylie's hand a little tighter expecting someone to beg or talk to us, but every time they just ignore us! I'm certainly not complaining! In our 4 days here, we literally have only been approached once, and it was by a man in the subway who matched a striking resemblance to Jim Henson...except without so many clothes on.
But alas...even though our first day in the city was a bit crazy, we have finally moved into our apartment on campus at NYU and we LOVE it. It's bigger than we thought it would be, and has an incredible view of Broadway right outside our window. We live in a very clean, very safe part of town.
We love our NYC Ward! On Sunday we walked 20 minutes to church and had the Empire State Building in our view almost the entire walk! There are many young couples who are in our ward who are in the exact same situation as we are, interns in the city for the summer. One little couple, the Garretts, invited us over for dinner last night. They're great.
Even though we've only been in NYC for 4 days, we've already taken a taxi, the subway, a bus, and even a boat. On Memorial Day we took a 3 hour cruise around the entire Manhattan Island. It was great to get off our feet and see how big this city really is! We took some pretty good pictures of the city. We're not in a lot of them because the lighting made us look like shadows, but the shots we got of the city are great!
Today was my first day of my new job working at the Times Square Alliance. I'm really going to enjoy this summer working for them. They are a great company who knows what they are doing and the people I work with are great. Right now we're planning for a huge event that happens this upcoming Monday, June 7th called "Tastes of Times Square." 54 Restaurants in and around Times Square will be setting up booths and showcasing between 1-3 signature dishes. People can buy Taste Tickets, which will allow you to go to each booth and exchange a ticket/tickets for a taste of their food. There's a lot still left to get ready for the event but I'm excited!
Well...if anyone actually made it this far and is still reading, I'm shocked. This was quite the blog session. Don't worry, most of the time my cute wife will be doing the blogging. I'll make brief cameos here and there. Day by day, we are falling more and more in love with this beautiful city and more and more in love with each other. Awwwwwwwwwwwww. Love ya babe!
Here are some random pictures of us eating our first slices of New York pizza, our boat cruise, and playing around the FAO Swartz toy store.
P.S. None of these pictures of the city are fakes. We got a sweet new camera for our trip and apparently it's paying off!