Posts Tagged Astoria

Lodging

Can anyone suggest a hotel in Astoria? Preferably near the Broadway stop. My parents are coming to check out my new hood next weekend and they need a local place to stay. Comments would be greatly appreciated!

…oh, I know you’re all dying to see how the dresser came out. It looks amazing. Now I just need to sit down and debrief on the whole lifting/sanding/staining/painting experience. Hold tight.

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A Proper Introduction

As I said before, moving to New York has provided me the chance to reconnect with many old friends (I even get to meet up with a childhood friend from Israel this fall!). As I suspected, the move also provides me with the opportunity to make lots of new friends! My darling friend Abby, who I worked with for a year in Hartford and is now working an incredible job that has landed her in Spain on business, has taken it upon herself to make sure I meet lots of cool new friends when I move to Astoria (while she is not living in New York, many of her college friends are). Here’s how Abby introduced me to her friends:

Jared is the kind of guy who will call you on a Saturday morning and say “come join me and my ADORABLE dog Lucas on my blanket in the park while we listen to the free Jazz concert that only a few people know about.  Don’t worry… I brought wine.”  He is a wonderful, talented, caring, and giving soul who has an amazing tie collection, great taste in coffee, and listened to my bitching and soul-searching rants for an entire year.

Again, maybe it’s because of the crazy transitional period I’m going through but Abby’s words really touched me- there’s something very powerful about hearing a respected friend’s description of oneself. The description is succinct but accurately describes what I achieve to be.  Maybe I should change my about page? Needless to say, I’m excited to reconnect with old friends and make new friends…11 days to go!

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Grown Up Problems

Two weeks from today is my final day at the theatre where I began my career three years ago. Two weeks and one day from today I load up a truck and move to Astoria. The pressure is certainly on; I’m tying up loose ends at work, packing up my apartment, canceling my utilities in Hartford, and trying to make plans with all of my Hartford friends before I leave town. As much as my wonderful parents are willing to help me through this process, I find myself eager to make my own arrangements (emotional support is always welcome, though).

About a year ago, I read this article in the NY Times about adulthood; evidently, my generation holds on to childhood much longer than our parents and grandparents. It makes sense- in today’s economy and competitive workforce, it’s not as easy to land a job and set up financial independence, meaning there are more and more college grads living with their parents. We also hold onto our childhood by getting married and starting families much later in life (my parents were married, had purchased a home, and had their first child by the time they were my age!). While I’m definitely not ready for marriage or a baby (the pup fills that void), I love the idea of financial independence. It’s just so sexy, isn’t it?! Even though I haven’t really lived with my parents since high school and I’ve been in the professional work force for over a year, my parents still help me financially here and there. I have a savings account (what anal retentive gay Jewish boy doesn’t?) and this is what savings accounts are for, right? If I have to dip into it to cover some moving expenses, then I’ll know that it was my work brought me to New York. It’s funny when you catch yourself handling grown up problems without your parents by your side- yelling at the dentist for not explaining the charges, arguing with a boyfriend, filing taxes on your own, researching the safety of a neighborhood. Ah, I’ve just got to enjoy every moment of it!

Hey, I’m holding on to my childhood too: when over-stressed by all this transition, I’m still allowed to snap at my mom like a 13 year old and, thanks to Obama Care, I can go back on my parents health insurance while I wait for my new benefits to kick in. I’m also about to paint my dresser a vibrant lime green. And hey, if they want to rent the moving truck for me, who am I to refuse?

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Bloggers can you hear me?

Anyone know of any Astoria blogs I should follow? Gotta get familiar with the ‘hood.

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A Place to Call Home

I spent the first half of my Memorial Day weekend scoping out NYC neighborhoods. The second half was spent brooding over all the wonderful possibilities. After my Happy Hour Bus Ride on Thursday evening, I made my way into Astoria, Queens and met up with my dear friend and former roommate, Katie. Did I mention Katie has a room opening in her 4-bedroom Astoria apartment? After a quick tour of the apartment, an incredible meal at a Greek cafe in the hood, and some drunken debauchery at a local bar, we hit the hay to prepare for a day of hunting. This is what I woke up to:

Pretty serene for an NYC apartment right near the subway, right? After some hot, shweaty time walking around Astoria, Sunnyside (adequately named as there was no shade in sight), and Hamilton Heights, it was pretty clear that Astoria is the place for me. I’ve spent a year and a half living in downtown Hartford, having to drive to the suburbs to see much street life. Astoria has a noticeably young, artistic vibe, great ethnic offerings (note the Greek cafe I mentioned above), reasonable rents, and an easy commute to midtown…when we stumbled upon a synagogue, this Jewish boy felt right at home. It is most definitely a thriving community. Could I live in Sunnyside or Hamilton Heights for a bit cheaper? Possibly. But I have an incredible opportunity to live with some of my best friends in an apartment right near the subway with affordable rent and an 18 minute commute to my office…and there’s plenty of closet space for all my ties. So I did my due diligence by exploring a few neighborhoods but my answer is pretty clear, right? See the full photo tour of my trip here. And now we move into “negotiation” mode. I can’t wait until this is all signed, sealed, delivered. June is going to fly by.

My trip to the city also included catching my friend’s show, The Drunk, at Center Stage; it was so refreshing to see a talented, young group of artists putting on a show. I told you I’d get it all in.

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Hunting Trip #1

Living RoomLiving RoomLiving RoomKitchenBathroom
Delicious ViewBackyardBroadway Meat Market
Astoria Street ViewGuacamoleAstoria ParkAstoria ParkAstoria Center of IsraelSunnyside Arch

Hunting Trip #1, a set on Flickr.

Watch me move

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Bus Time Happy Hour

Does anyone else love that overwhelming feeling of anxiety that comes along with big life changes? I originally intended that as a sarcastic statement, but now that I think about it, that anxiety is actually a good thing. It of course means that I have a lot to deal with between now and the big move in July but it also signals that an epic life change is on the horizon- a change I’m more than excited for. Therefore, anxiety = excitement?…let’s go with that for now.

Some days are more exciting that others. Today was a particularly exciting day. I’ve been planning this Memorial Day weekend trip to NYC for a little while but, due to circumstances out of my control and my “it’ll all come together” attitude, I found today’s to-do list completely overwhelming. During today’s lunch break, I packed a weekend bag (no easy task for a gay man who likes his options), found a dog sitter, bought a bus ticket, and made a sandwich (man’s gotta eat). Needless to say, I tackled the list and even had time for an outfit change. I’m on the Megabus, en route to my new city, rocking out to Born This Way, and sipping on a water bottle cosmo, and the sun is finally shining. What could be better?

So I’m off to start my search by scoping out some neighborhoods…I also get to be with my best friend/former roommate, Katie. Katie lives in Astoria, Queens, and has a room opening in her place in September. We’ll spend Friday exploring Astoria, Sunnyside, and Woodside in Queens. On Saturday Katie is venturing out of the city for a Memorial Day party so I’ll do a solo trip into Manhattan to walk around Hamilton Heights, Washington Heights, and Inwood. I figure once I get a feel for some neighborhoods, I’ll feel much better about going through an apartment hunt. I’m also checking out a potential July/August sublet in Morningside Heights on Saturday. AND I’d love to catch a show…too much for one day? I’ll make it happen.

Oh- My sister’s been sending her followers my way and I just got a text from mom saying “Hope you have a great time in ny, this is the beginning of a new chapter for you! xoxo.” I have the best family.

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