It's always interesting moving into new places and spaces. Its like discovering yourself by displacing your surroundings - if that makes much sense. I moved into Palladium Hall on Sunday after a lovely brunch at Petit Abeille. It was surprisingly a pleasant and sunny day in New York. People were walking their dogs, tiny tiny dogs - I call them cocktail dogs to amuse myself. They are so tiny you could assume they were walking a cat! Which by the way I learnt is a normal thing to do for outdoor cats? Fun fact! En.V and I walked around her neighborhood, seeing the little boutique shops, cafes and pretty old buildings. I love Manhattan for that. Such a cute (huge) community with gorgeous brick buildings! We went to Petit Abeille, which is a french cafe between N Stuyvesant Loop and 1st Ave. We each ordered a coffee, a massive omelette with a dozen fillings which I'm not ashamed to say I finished. The waiter was french, speaking english with his french accent and that made me smile every time he came to our table.
On our way back, we went to the Farmer's market in Stuyvesant town. They sell the most amazingly fresh veggies, breads and ice creams among other things. We walked into this one particular tent to buy kale cause we wanted to make kale chips! These four guys were selling different types of spinach leaves, dhaniya/coriander, curry leaves etc. I picked up a bunch and asked my cousin if these were Dhaniya and one of the sellers said "Nahi, YEH Dhaniya hai" pointing to the bunch next to it! I was shocked, I looked up and death-stare-smiled at him. I was already stereotyping him in my head - tiny eyes, long beard, bandana. I quickly steered away from my thoughts to give him a chance. He said they were from Mizoram but lived in New York for a long time now. We said we were from Bangalore and were just passing through the city. Turns out one of the youngest guys there lived in Mysore all his life until he moved to New York to help the family business. We then exchanged a few words in Kannada, bought some Kale and said goodbye.
Moving into Palladium was interesting. The room/apartment was big, fancy refrigerator. I had no roommate initially. It was just me and two others in the room opposite me. They were from Jersey, studying at NYU for the summer! It took me a while to get oriented to the power outlets, using a converter and all that. My Iphone charger sort of just fit in the converter. It became an ongoing battle between me and the two when it came down to taking it out. Palladium Hall is on 14th and 3rd Ave between Trader Joes and Trader Joes' wine store (giggle giggle).
I loved where I lived for those 6 weeks. It was central with a lot of cafes nearby and union square park & station just two avenues away. Union square had a handful of homeless people with the funniest handboards asking for money, or just anything that allowed them to stand out of the crowd. One of my favorites was this creepy guy who had a board saying "It's legal to walk around naked in New York. It's also the summer. Take a hint!" I looked and laughed - which resulted in him following me till I crossed the road!
New York for me was filled with pleasant memories, a lot of first times and first sightings. It does get overwhelming at times but the key is to take it as it comes - one day at a time.