Friday, April 28, 2017

Dear Readers

Whew.

Some STUFF has happened.

Well, it didn't happen - I did it. I did some stuff and also things.

Let's call it 'Escape to the Sun April edition' (since there's always a chance there will be others).

It begins, I suppose, with a relocation. I moved from Crown Heights Brooklyn to the 140s and Broadway in Manhattan.  That is to say, ten blocks south of my old apartment. 
I moved because a roommate moved in with his girlfriend which was wonderful news but unfortunately caused the remaining roommates to relinquish the apartment because neither of us qualified to take over the lease. So we collectively said farewell to that happy apartment and two fantastic years of roommate familyship.
A friend offered me the room that she was moving out of, in upper Manhattan. It's cheaper than my Brooklyn place so, despite no particular desire to live in Manhattan again, I took it - she also left me the furniture (a bed, shelves and a chest of drawers) and made the whole moving process incredibly easy on me which I'm extremely grateful for.  I got rid of about 70% of my possessions. Jacob drove the moving van for me on a Match 31st that poured with rain.

So now I live with three girls (all charming and lovely, though have barely
seen them) and no natural light, close to some useful trains not to mention back in the vincinity of several friends with some great savings on rent.

It's a perfectly good situation. Unfortunately, I had to leave a pretty near perfect situation, and it's going to take me a while to make that adjustment - you don't go easy from dream apartment and neighbourhood with two of the best friends you've gained in your adult life.
As I mentioned in a previous blog post there has been a fair amount of upheaval already this year so a couple of days before moving day, I booked myself on a flight to California and that, dear Readers, is how I find myself now on the BART train (that's Bay Area Rapid Transit) to San Francisco Airport at 8.30 in the morning on Friday April 28th.
Of course this isn't how my journey began. That was eight days ago at 5am - a train to a bus, a bus to an airport, a plane to Dallas Texas and a second plane to Los Angeles, California. City of Angels.
I was fortunate to be invited to stay as long as I wanted with a friend who knew I was headed that way. Had that not been the case I would have happily couchsurfed, but it was a convenient offer and turned out to also be a nice place, in a nice neighbourhood with easy access to public transport and good food nearby.
I arrived in LA with no agenda beyond 'relax, read, write, retain vitamin D' and I certainly achieved those goals as well as enjoying some standard LA experiences. Oh and I also wanted to let my poor hands, which have been red raw, cracked, blistered and painful since November, have a chance to heal and be soothed by warm air, sun, salt water and stress free living.
Overall, it is a weird weird city. Not a city as any I've seen before - as my gracious host put it, it's a city made up entirely of suburbs. As the aeroplane descended, everywhere you look is surrounded by sprawling neighbourhoods, stretching flat as far as they can before being interrupted by the hills that both intersperse throughout and border Los Angeles. I saw the Hollywood sign in the distance as we touched down and it gave me the same kind of thrill as the sight of the Statue of Liberty - that something so iconic and mythological can be as real and solid as the ground under our feet is always exciting.
I made my way from the airport to my lodgings, enjoyed a catch up with my friend and was pointed in the direction of food and other useful things. After a long days' journeying I was quite happy to stroll in the sun, eat and generally make little effort towards anything - plenty of time for that in the days ahead details of which I will relay in further posts with photographic accompaniment.

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