Ch 1: Living in NYC

I’m going to write thoughts and add photos as if this were an ongoing book. I think it would be a good start to making me write more and sharing with family and friends what’s going on in the life of the Rush family in NYC.

Chapter 1 :: Moving

The smell of brown boxes and glue from packing tape aerate the house. Items are posted on Craigslist, eBay, Bonanza, Etsy and Facebook Marketplace while I schedule meet ups with strangers to buy my cherished belongings in exchange for a price we negotiate while my heart breaks to see it go. Both of us are getting in every lunch, dinner and hangout with as many friends and family that we can because we won’t see our loved ones for a while. We are moving and it finally sinks in.

The Budget truck, backed up to the front door, is packed as neatly and as tightly as possible for two days. After playing a grueling game of Tetris that could withstand potholes and quick breaking moments, the rickety truck is ready for its 1,127 mile journey. Duct tape adorns the driver mirror while the music device supplied is an AM/FM without even a cassette deck. We assessed whether or not Ellie, our boxer mastiff mix, could sit in the center section in between our seats for the next 24 hours but we came to our senses and realized that was going to be uncomfortable for all 3 of us.

Friday, July 15th is the day to pound the pavement. We wake up 2 hours later than we expected to but still make it on the road around 8am. Starting our journey out right, we stop by Chick-fil-a. As soon as I park the truck, smoke begins to barrel out of the engine. This is not a good sign seeing how I’m on Fowler and 56th in Tampa. Still another 1,122 miles to go. I call up the Budget truck rental company and after 10 minutes of discussing the issue, they claim I ran through a puddle that created a smoke of evaporation. Since I didn’t find that a very valid answer, I prayed over the truck and we didn’t have any other issues through the rest of the trip.

Savannah got a visit from us. We wanted to try Paula Dean’s restaurant and eat something light and healthy. (please tell me you caught that joke) Unfortunately, the wait on a Friday at 2pm was an hour and a half. Scratch that idea, we found an awesome Barbeque restaurant around the corner called Angels BBQ where their food is so good that we were the last couple to get food before they hung a sign stating “out of food”. Driving non-stop through the night when finally in Virginia we came to the conclusion that neither of us were fit to drive a massive truck safely on the road. We pulled over in a rest stop and took our pillows, put them against the windows and we slept for the next 2 hours until around 4am where we got back on the road again. Just a little nap to get us through the driving but yet we had to stay on time due to meeting our movers at our apartment at 11am.

Philadelphia got the next visit from us around 7am. We needed breakfast and we were on a trail to find something good in Philly. An old diner stands out to us as we pass nothing else but Monday through Friday businesses that don’t serve food. We ate the food but it was nothing to brag about. The tricky part was getting back on track. Not only did we end up following incorrect directions, we got stuck in stopped traffic. After an hour detour, we had to call the movers and let them know we would be an hour late. Not something we wanted to do since we found them on Craigslist. The possibility of these guys taking on another job and leaving me to lift the couch myself scared me.

Marlyse had seen the apartment before but this would be my first time, with all of our belongings right behind the seats of the truck. 11:30am we show up with the movers sitting on the door step waiting. Whew! They’re here. I double park the Budget truck in the road with the flashers on and we begin to unload. Instantly I get to work and start handing items to the Russian movers when about 5 minutes goes by and Marlyse says, “Have you still not seen our apartment yet?” I replied, “Well no. I’ve been so concerned getting stuff up to the apartment!” Wasting no time, I grab some boxes and scale the 6 stories of stairs. 81 of them actually. Out of shape and carrying boxes put me into a deep breathing pattern while trying to appreciate the surroundings and view of our new home. I still loved the sight of it even though I was on the verge of passing out!

Marlyse flips on the central air to Cool and turns the temperature down to about 74 and the super (guy that’s over all of the apartments) makes a statement, “Um, do you expect that to work? This apartment has central heat but no A/C.” Her reply, “Well, I kind of thought it was going to work but I guess we have to go get some window units!”

A parking spot opens up directly in front of the apartment door. Wow. Time to learn how to parallel park New York style. But not with a car! No no, that wouldn’t present a challenge. With an 11’ tall and 20’ long truck that doesn’t have adequate mirrors to prevent damage to the surrounding vehicles. After a 7 (or 15) point turn, I got the truck nestled in between the cars with about 2’ to spare and be able to get furniture out of the back.

After 2-1/2 hours of long and intense muscle straining labor, all of our life is in our new apartment with no room to move anything around. “How are we going to fit everything in here?” We’re still asking that question as we have boxes around us a month later.

We began to assemble the bed, situate the living room and put away pots and pans. Around 3pm, Marlyse and I simply fall asleep on the bed while we were admiring the view of the city from our bedroom. Energy stripped out of our bodies and lacking nutrient, we walk down the street to grab some Chinese food. I’m trying to do as much as possible before I catch my flight back to Tampa on Sunday.

Sunday, we unpack more boxes and then we jump in the truck to return it. Time to drive through NYC for the first time with a big vehicle. The street I took had no lines on it and it seemed like it should’ve been 2 lanes each direction. This road turned into a 6 lane road where people would randomly park to run into businesses and leave their cars in the way. You didn’t know when your lane would be stopped by either a parked car or a car trying to turn left. We safely got the truck back and then I had to catch the bus to the airport. It wasn’t easy leaving my entire life’s worth of belongings in New York to go back home to an empty house.

I got on a plane to go back to an empty Tampa house for the next three weeks. After pulling couch cushions off the couch we’re leaving for the next couple moving in, I stretched our queen sized sheets nearly three times the size of my new sleeping arrangements. This is not going to be an easy three weeks.