Day 11: Maiden Lane
When: Tuesday, Aug. 23
Where: Elyria, Ohio to New York, N.Y.
Miles Traveled: 593
Best Thing We Ate: Lamb at The Irish American on John St.
Song of the Day: Welcome to New York - Taylor Swift
Mornings have always been my favorite.
For as long as I can remember I have woken up before the sun. There’s something so magical about the stillness of morning. I love the shapes that steam makes as it rises from my tea. I love the smell of the fragile, yellow pages of the bible my grandmother gave me from when she was young. I love watching the sun stretch his arms over the horizon, tucking each lazy star to bed.
This morning I woke up on the 11th floor of a 450 square-foot apartment in New York City. I made breakfast in the kitchen that is also the living room, the dining room, the office, and the library.
It smells of vintage paper.
Stacks of books share the limited space with 1940’s illustrations and sheet music.
There is one queen bed, with a red and white striped cloud-like duvet, and there are two modern grey couches that make into a sizable bed beside it. The dark hardwood floor gives way to two full-length windows on the west wall, with gauzy linen curtains and shiny red tassels.
Tiny figurines and happy stuffed elephants peek out from piles of books with tiles such as Theories of Political Systems, Art & Ideas, and several compilations of Sherlock Holmes.
A dancing glass frog sits on the mounted soap plate above the bathroom sink, and a feathery dream catcher is hung above the tall windows.
We are renting the apartment through Sabbatical homes.com, which is a whole fun story of itself for another day. The short of it is, the owner of our apartment is a social sciences professor, Everita Silina, who is off on sabbatical in Turkey for the next eight months. No big deal.
I’ve hung my collection of vintage dresses, packed together on the same hangers, in a closet that is also home to Ms. Silina’s rollerblades.
Doesn’t this woman sound like someone I need to meet?
The cuppard is stocked with tea leaves from around the world, and the refrigerator shelves are stocked with tiny glass bottles with french labels and pastel-colored contents.
Did I mention that I am sitting in an apartment in New York City? An apartment that I have the keys to? Like, is this real life?
But wait, it gets even more insane.
What’s even crazier than the fact that I woke up in my own apartment in one of the largest cities in the world? Mom DROVE us here.
We got into the city around 5:00. We thought that would be perfect because everyone would be leaving about then, right? Yeah, not so much.
“You girls have got this!” Aunt Becca texted. “Its ONLY Manhattan. At rush hour…..”
Very reassuring. Thanks Auntie.
Mom and I have been in some pretty sticky situations, but I think it’s fair to say I have never seen her more terrified in my life. We wove the car in and out of no-nonsense taxi cabs, stubborn pedestrians, and mindless bicyclists, with horns honking, sirens screaming, and people waving their arms in disgust.
By the time we made it to the narrow street outside our apartment, it was too late to park the car on the street, so we ended up putting it in a parking garage where you practically have to promise them your first born in order to park, but we were desperate.
After our feet were on solid ground and mom did some deep belly breathing, we navigated back to our apartment to meet Ms. Silina’s sweet friend, Léonore, to pick up the key.
From there, we pretty much dropped our bags and went to sleep.
In the morning we woke up before many cars were stirring outside, parked the Jeep outside the apartment, unloaded our luggage, and headed upstate New York to leave our car at a friend’s place.
We rode the train back into the city, found the subway, and made it back to Maiden Lane in time to buy groceries, make supper, and finish unpacking our bags.
So, we made it. We made it to New York City, to our apartment, and to the first chapter of our new adventure as two Oregon farm girls making a life in the Big Apple.
I want to continue to write. In the past 11 days I have really fallen in love with this whole blogging thing. I think it will be fun to look back on these memories someday, and I think it is a great way to keep the small details, the little things that I may ordinarily forget, alive. I won’t post every day, like I have been, but I hope you’ll continue to find light in the adventure that God has led me on, thousands of miles and a whole lot of life lessons away from the farm.
I’m beyond excited to be where I’m at, but it’s never easy leaving your family behind. As I sit here, in my new home, delighting in morning and the newness it brings, I just want to say thank you to everyone who has sent encouragement, prayers, and endless support my way over the past weeks. Thank you for believing in me.