At Night the Bag Ladies Take the Bottles

We’ve passed the one-week mark and, honestly, I’m almost ready to post pictures of the inside of our apartment. Almost.

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On Sunday afternoon and evening, John and his girlfriend, Sarah, were our tour guides. We took the subway—an entirely new experience for Ivan and me, who’ve only travelled in the London and Brussels subways. Contrary to the relatively orderly and tidy underground in England, the New York subway was slightly dingier and way more confusing. For you folks who have been living in New York long enough to shake your head, rest assured that I anticipate changing that statement once I’ve fully grasped the bewildering nexus that is the NY mass transit system.

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We visited the Brooklyn Promenade—a boardwalk that offered an outstanding view of Manhattan’s skyline, including the Freedom Tower, Brooklyn Bridge and Statue of Liberty. Afterward, we went to Casablanca, a Moroccan restaurant near our apartment. I don’t know if I’ve ever had Genuine Moroccan cuisine before, but I’m starting to get the feeling that genuine ethnic foods are available all over New York.

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The restaurant was small, but the food was out of this world. I had a honey and fig lamb tagine and we all shared different appetizers (beets, eggplant salad, olives). The chef brought us a complimentary potato salad to try and, after we’d eaten, the hostess/waitress (who was downright fabulous) brought us complimentary orange blossom mint Moroccan tea.

I’ll add that to my list of New York Awesomes.

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Yesterday, Ivan and I took the bus to Coney Island Hospital. It was sort of a dry run for Ivan to gauge how long the trip takes and where/when to catch the bus.

Taking the bus was another brand new experience that we’d only ever tried in other countries (England and Grenada). I figured we’d ask the driver for tips on where and when we should get off. Before I had the chance, though, the driver changed my mind by yelling at another passenger who was having a conversation on her phone.

His one-sided argument went something like: Yeah, hey! Why don’ yuh talk a little louder in yuh phone?! ‘Cause obviously we all are on th’ bus to have th’ experience of sittin’ in yuh livin’ room!! Yeah! I’m talkin’ t’you!

And I thought, He’s pretty busy. I think I’ll figure out where to get off on my own.

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Lo and behold, it wasn’t all that hard. The stop is right at the corner of a big intersection next to the hospital. It’s pretty hard to miss. And if you do, there’s another stop like 50 yards away.

We spent the next couple hours walking along the beach, people watching (seriously just the best in NY), taking pictures of the park, and having lunch. We stopped at Nathan’s and had hot dogs (because, Coney Island, right??). I’m not really a big hot dog fan, but they weren’t half bad. A little spendy, though.

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We’re getting used to the garbage, recycling and compost pickup schedule still. Earlier this week, we put out our garbage and recycling. In the morning, everything was gone. Later that day, the recycling bag was back in front of our apartment. I was confused at first until I realized that all the bottles were missing from the bag. The bag ladies (there are a few I’ve seen around) apparently scooped up our bag, sorted it elsewhere, removed the bottles, repackaged and retied the rest, and returned it to the curb.

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Tammy and Richard (downstairs awesomes) were cool enough to introduce us to lox. Don’t give me a hard time; our landlord already did that. I know; I’m thirty and I’ve never had lox. Well that’s been remedied. We had breakfast together across the street at Bagel Schmagel and Ivan and I each had lox on some fresh bagels smothered in cream cheese. If they weren’t so expensive, I’d eat them every day for the rest of my life.

We also let Ajax hang out downstairs with their dog, Rosco. Ajax made a new friend! The feeling wasn’t mutual, since Rosco didn’t want anything to do with him, but don’t tell Ajax—he’s not the brightest crayon in the box.

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