Chapter 3 – A New Lifestyle
The sights, smells, energy and movement are not something we were accustomed to in Tampa. You can choose who you want to providing your energy from five different companies. There are less options if you need internet, phone and cable. There are 86 stairs before you make it to the street that is on a 12 degree slope so you think everything through before you stroll out the door. Laziness is nor tiredness is no longer acceptable to take Ellie and Rhino outside at least twice a day, it must be done. There are neighbors and lots of them. All four of us are getting the hang of that too.
There are free events going on daily, all throughout the day so something could always be attended without ripping open the wallet. The scenery is endless and breathtaking. The locals are not as difficult to talk to as they are made up to be. Our daily routing is being established but still presenting to be difficult to change.
The first night in New York, we take Ellie and Rhino out. There are so many things to see and smell that their noses and ears are on overload. We walk down the hill to the corner of Broadway where there is train that goes underground one block away. The ground begins to tremble underneath the pups paws. Ears are raise up high and the confused dogs retain stance not knowing what to do next! “It’s the subway Ellie and Rhino.” Yea right. You’re telling me the ground is supposed to shake like this? What in the world is going on?? I have no answers for the pups except hold on for a world of change.
The fridge is bare and the cabinets need filling. The Fairway Market isn’t that far away but it is down by the water. Meaning five blocks downhill at a constant 10-12 degree slope. This makes getting there easy but once I have a book bag or cart full of groceries, this ends up being my biggest workout for the day! The architecture all around this stroll is magnificent.
When we crossed the Georgia border, my smartphone became dumb and the screen stopped responding to any touch. All of my “pre-operating system” phones were already in New York so I couldn’t even change to an old one. Now after being in New York for a week, I see how connected I was to my phone but also could definitely use some of my apps to find out where I am, where I am going and what there is to do. I’ve been carrying a paper map and also starring at the maps when we get off the subway. I have only gotten turned around a couple of times. Usually it is when I need to know which street to look for.
“Great. A parking ticket.” Something I anticipated a few of while trying to grasp the new lifestyle of not parking however I want in my yard. So, what do I do? I start researching all of the parking codes on each street and typed out the times NOT to park on each side of the street. This way I can keep a map in the glove box and on my wall so I know when to move it. Parallel parking to the extreme has been an experience. Today, I saw what looked like around 9 feet to fit the Element in. With about a 15-point turn, I got the car in with about 7 inches at the front and the back bumper to spare. I finally got a month long public transportation card so I’m not paying $2.25 each way. I don’t have to worry about filling my card with $20 every 4 days.
Marlyse and I are meeting new people at the New York Dream Center. People that want to see change in the city by passing out food and clothing, doing Adopt-a-Block and having a lot of events to connect with people. It’s definitely sparking things back up from when we were in the Tampa Bay Dream Center. We are seeing more and more people with a heart to make a difference. A difficult thing we face together daily is the fact that we miss our friends and family back in Tampa. This is something we think about all the time. Just to stay in the loop, we check Facebook for updates from friends while trying to connect with more friends here in New York.
Missing everyone made me think of City and Colour – Hello, I’m in Delaware. Go listen.
All this to say, we’re getting use to the new lifestyle. It’s not an easy road but someone has to pave it! We wanted to try living outside of Tampa so here we are. It’s not for everybody and we’re trying to figure it out one step at a time!