It’s been a while since my series, TheWorkingWardrobe Takes Manhattan. I apologize for not keeping you up to date on my settling into the Concrete Jungle, but I’m very excited to say that I am settled and my suitcases are unpacked! I officially moved into my sublet in Astoria on February 17th. I packed up from my friend’s apartment in the Upper West Side, and hailed a taxi with my suitcase, oversized satchel, and a few shopping bags (despite my mobile restrictions I apparently still found reasoning to shop), and hailed a taxi to take me to Astoria!
I was excited, I was ecstatic, and my taxi was lost! And when I say lost, I mean I was providing him turn-by-turn directions throughout Astoria and Long Island City after I realized he had no idea where he was going. One thing about Astoria for those of you who may visit and wish to take a taxi from Manhattan. Most cabs will take you to Astoria because it’s so close to the airport and the fare is actually quite reasonable, but if they don’t know where they’re going be prepared for an adventure or find another taxi. A big reason could be the numbers. Coming from Chicago with a very clear and understandable grid system, Astoria reminds me of Boston…confusing. Don’t try to reason it out, just accept that it doesn’t make sense that there is a 30th Ave, 30th Dr, and 30th Rd all parallel to one another. And don’t rationalize that the street numbers go from 21st to 14th St. It just “is”. I’m learning, and my iPhone map is helping me along the way!
I directed the lost taxi driver (the meter was turned off half-way through this expedition) to my sublet, and took my items downstairs to my new home through August. Dear readers, I’m so happy finally being settled! And what’s so funny, is this one-bedroom is actually bigger than my one-bedroom in Chicago! Check it out:
And yes, that last photo shows the overflowing suitcases, which I promptly unpacked after moving (and sharing pictures through Instagram and Twitter of course!). Also notice the garment rack behind the bed. The couple from whom I’m renting from kindly loaned me a garment rack as there was a bit concern that the closet space may not be sufficient for my clothes. They were wonderful and loaned me the garment rack, which is now full of clothes brought from Chicago and bought in New York. Multiple huggable hangers were purchased within the first week of my moving in.
After being settled for a few weeks, I almost have my routine established and figuring out what items I need to purchase. One thing, Trade Fair – the area market – is probably the most hilarious grocery store I’ve ever encountered. I believe that five different representatives from different cultures got together and decided to open a market, but then couldn’t agree upon where anything would be placed. I realized that there are four different dairy aisles, three different meat sections and at least two different coffee/tea sections. The list goes on, but you get the idea. The aisles are also incredibly narrow, so if someone is coming from the other way, one of you will have to shimmy or move aside to the edge of the aisle and wait for the other to pass. The market has a fantastic selection and great prices, but it takes a while to get used to and find what you’re looking for. I’ve gone several times now and am getting used to it and still find it quite comical.
Other places I have discovered are as follows:
- Vesta – This Italian restaurant is two blocks from my apartment and I have a feeling it will be my local stop. The decor is adorable, the staff couldn’t be friendlier, and the food is absolutely fantastic! Order the mussels and the potato pancetta pizza and you’ll thank me.
- Yoga Agora – I found a yoga spot!!! This yoga studio is pretty much just an open room on the second floor of a building in the neighborhood, but the instructors are really knowledgeable, fun and friendly, you can bring your own mat or rent one for $5, and you get a great yoga break during the day! The best part, the 2pm classes are donation-only. The regular classes cost $5. Seriously, you can’t go wrong with this one.
- The Dollar Store – This dollar store isn’t even on Google Maps, but if you walk East on Broadway, you’ll see a giant 99 cent poster on the right side of the street somewhere between Crescent and 31st St. It seems small when you enter, but it mazes throughout the building and can provide so many items you didn’t even know you needed! My Tupperware needs are now met, thank you dear Dollar Store.
- Grand Wine & Liquor - Conveniently right across the street from Trade Fair, this place has turned to my stop for wine and liquor pick-up as well. It has a great selection, a variety of tastings, and a convenient section of $3 wines (some of which aren’t too shabby I have to admit).
- Pita Hot – This randomly-named eatery on 30th Ave & 31st St has some of the best falafel I’ve ever had. Plus it’s conveniently right off the train making it very easy to pick up en route home!
- Astor Bake Shop – This adorable bake shop is also a cafe and restaurant. I had breakfast here and had the most amazing soft boiled egg and salmon sandwich. My friend and I did share a slice of chocolate cake afterwards…oh, and the coffee is stellar!
Oh and my favorite part, I found a walking path! My apartment is a block to the river. I created a walking path that I absolutely love! I walk along Vernon Blvd through Socrates Sculpture Park, and then over Roosevelt Island Bridge. Once on Roosevelt Island I walk toward Lighthouse Park and then around the island back to the bridge. It’s about a 60-minute walk and is a fantastic walk. When I don’t have that much time to spare, I walk through the sculpture park and to the bridge and back again, and it’s a solid 30 minutes.
As I said, I’m still getting settled in, but I’m unpacked, have food in the fridge, wine on the counter, and computer outlets at the ready near the TV (btw figuring out an X-box player for Netflix streaming for the first time is a bit of a challenge – I’m sticking to TiVo.)
We’ll see what I discover next week!