Arizona, Conversations, Deep thoughts


Next week will mark 4 months since I moved across the country to Arizona.  I might as well say it – Every day I question WTF am I doing here??  Why do I do this stuff to myself?  I love to push myself out of my comfort zone and then when I do I wonder why I’m making life so difficult for myself?  Well, I’m here.  And I told myself I’d give it at least a year… I told my sister that too.  This was the conversation during one of my last days in NJ:

Sister: So we already want you to come home so how long do you think you’ll be staying out there?

Me:  ummmmm… I’m not really sure – I haven’t thought of it like that.  I feel like it’s like getting married – you don’t go into it thinking you’ll get a divorce.

Sister:  But what if you get out there and you hate it and want to come home… what will you do?

Me:  I’ll at least give it a year!  I want to know what it feels like to live in a warm climate through the winter!

So then I got here.  And I think I like it, but I’m not sure.  People are different.  They vote for Trump.  (I guess a lot of people do, secretly.)  Drivers are different.  Everything is different.  So what have I been doing to adapt?  I seek out every east coast, NJ/NY/PA person I can find and cling to them.  Well, not really – but kinda.

A friend of mine told me to join Tinder.  So I did.  And every guy that I talk to has lived at least part of his life on the east coast.  Talking to people who are from the east coast is so comforting.  Flipping through their pics and seeing familiar things fills my brain with oxytocin.  I’m not sure if that’s true, but I feel comforted by doing that.  I have a student who is from New York and I love talking to her.  I asked her where she went to get her hair done and the guy who did it is from NY – PERFECT.  So today, I went to get my hair done by a guy from NY recommended from a girl from NY.  I hope this is normal.  It’s my safety blanket.  If you’re from NY I won’t feel like an alien when I talk to you.  I’ll get you.  I miss familiarity and I think that is the biggest struggle.  NOTHING is familiar.

I look at pics from when I was living in the Bronx – I didn’t really love living in the Bronx, but when I look at the pics I think “oh the Bronx!  I wonder what I’d be doing if I lived in the Bronx right now.”  I’d be miserable!  I wanted a change.  I was tired of New York – the only reason why I look back with awe is because it’s familiar.

The house that I’m living in is in Phoenix and is kinda far from everything so I’ve been contemplating moving to a new place.  An opportunity to move to Scottsdale came up and I’m thinking of jumping on it.  And as I’m thinking about it, I realized I’m going to miss this house.  I’ve got a whole lot of room.  I became friends with the girls here.  The dogs one of my roommates dogsits are so cute and I love seeing them every so often.  But I have to remind myself – I hate the drive.  I hate being far from everything.  I’ve been wanting to live in Scottsdale since I interviewed here because that’s where I stayed during my interview – I have to try it out.  Who knows – maybe better things await? I’ll never know unless I try – if I made it out this far – I might as well keep trying.


Life in Riverdale – the nice part of the Bronx!

I’m finally somewhat settled into my Riverdale apartment.  I am LOVING Riverdale.  When I first moved into my apartment I was thinking, wow – if I had to put down everything I wanted in an apartment that would really matter to me I would’ve described this studio exactly.  It’s big enough for me to have a separate section for my queen-sized bed.  It’s got a really cute kitchen, not just an area for stove and sink – it’s sectioned off and has an bar-like area where I put stools – so that’s my eating area and I don’t need to waste room with a table.  I always dreaded buying couches – but my landlord left him – which was a bonus!  The only part of it I would change if I had to pick something would be the bathroom – it is very blue.  It most likely hasn’t been updated since the 70s.

When I saw the ad for this apartment, it was also for sale.  I’ve been seriously thinking about buying it when the lease is up.  Just this morning I was thinking about that – how cool is it that I got to test out the property I want to buy?  Not many people can do that.  I have a chance to test out the neighbors, the building, the parking situation, the neighborhood situation.  So far everything passes my test with flying colors.  When you come from a small town there is a certain respect that you expect from people and Riverdale lives up to that.  Additionally, I’m walking distance from Van Cortlandt Park.  That is awesome because I missed having my Nomahegan Park so close.  It’s almost like that was also on my list of requirements – must be walking distance to a good park.  I’ve actually said that in the past – so it really is a requirement.

Unlike most other places in New York – there is NO alternate side parking.  This is SO great!  And not only that, there’s actually spots!  There have been plenty of times when I quickly found a spot right in front of the building.  I’m so thankful to my parents for letting me borrow their car while they aren’t using it and I get settled.  There are plenty of places that are walking distance or accessible by bus or train – but having a car just helps make things quicker and easier – especially when I have to carry stuff.

So far I have a few favorites:

  • sushi spot – Aoyu Sushi (sushi melts in my mouth) – I actually have to tell a story about this place.  When I came to see the apartment with the realtor – I decided to make a pitstop to visit a “friend” who lives in the area.  This “friend” makes me completely lose my appetite but knows I love sushi so he ordered a ton from this place.  I could barely eat it and he was so confused because I said I was hungry – and it’s the best sushi ever so wtf?  Well, I finally got to try the other day and now I’m kinda mad at myself for wasting that sushi on that rainy evening.
  • bar to watch a game or grab a quick drink – Jake’s  Bianca and I have come here a few times and it’s a cute small spot.  We’ve gotten the Reuben a couple times which was delicious.  The last time we went we had the French Dip with mozzarella and it was amazing.
  • grocery store (when unable to get to Trader Joe’s) – Garden Gourmet (lots of delicious, unique, organic goodies)  The other day it was a freakish 60 degrees in the early morning – so I decided that I needed bread and would wake up early to get a workout in and walk to the grocery store.  I’ve been meaning to check this place out, but almost forgot about it.  Instead I originally planned on going to the Stop & Shop across the street.  Change of plans when I realized how close I was to Garden Gourmet.  They have a ton of great things, one unique item I bought was some sorta chia pudding cup.  I haven’t tried it yet, it better be good – it was $3.
  • church – St. Margaret’s – I love this little church mainly because it’s so much like the church I grew up going to – St. Theresa’s in Kenilworth.  They use the same books so I think that helps.  I actually used to travel all the way to the UES because a colleague told me about a church she went to up there and highly recommended it.  I liked it – but being that it was so far I didn’t make it there as often as I wanted to.

Still would like to find a really good nail salon.  The reason why I’ve slacked in that department is because I LOVE the nail salon I go to on West 72nd Street, Nail by Young.  (Yes, singular Nail – that’s how it’s spelled at the location.)  Young is one of the sweetest NYC people I’ve met – especially for a business owner.  She is so down to earth and you can tell she really cares about her staff and customers.  So many times you go to a nail salon and there are always new people working – not at this place.  There are some technicians that have been there for 10 years.  That says a lot!

This is the perfect little quaint neighborhood for me.  I wonder how long I’ll live here for…

Here’s a video of me sledding for the first time down a hill on 231st street