Moving Day Plus One…

“Jessamyn had to pay twenty-two dollars to park at Bed Bath and Beyond!?” Ariel was shocked, SHOCKED about the extremes her New York sister was dealing with.

“Yes,” I said, “If we’d been on a bicycle, parking would only have cost fifteen dollars.” But on a single bicycle it would have been very hard for us to manage the microwave, DVD player, bedding, bathroom cabinet, laundry detergent and other miscellany for the new apartment.

In Manhattan, the Bed Bath and Beyond would have delivered. Not so to Brooklyn. Jessamyn had already figured this one out, along with dozens of other tricky move details.

To manage it she rented a Zip Car that she could pick up near the apartment.

First up was Katie’s apartment, where we’d pick up an air conditioner. Katie, who went to college with Jessamyn, had moved to a nearby apartment a few days earlier. She’d actually looked at Jessamyn’s new apartment for herself, but decided she and her boyfriend needed something a tad larger, so passed along the lead.

This eliminated the worst part in a New York move: finding somewhere to move TO.

The air conditioner was just a bonus.

From the back seat Katie directed us to her old apartment. “Fortunately the creep won’t be there.”

Too early in the day for hyperventilating, but here I was, doing it anyway. Katie had a couple of times felt physically threatened by the landlord’s mentally ill adult son. Another friend of theirs who was going to take her old apartment subsequently decided not to. (The whole NY apartment deal seems like the old children’s game of Telephone, or maybe Hot Potato.) But really, we’d been promised the creep wasn’t going to be there.

I kept a lookout while the girls managed tools and the heavy lifting.

We dropped AC unit at the new apartment and it was back to Manhattan Bed Bath and Beyond.

Clutching the iPhone map to direct Jessamyn I kept being thankful that I wasn’t driving. And amazed at how capable Jessamyn is. Of course I’ve known she’s super capable, but rarely get to see it up close and personal.

I’d helped with the last move, two and a half years before, and even though that one went smoothly enough, this was better. Weather improved just in time. The lifters were great, cable guy early! Only thing unaccounted for at the new place was the step stool, so we added it to the BBB list.

I managed the list while Jessamyn tossed things into the cart. Plunger. Bathmat. Shower curtain liner. Dish drainer. Kitchen towels.

Two microwaves were on offer, one was Baby-bear small, one Papa-bear large. “We’ll save that for Target,” she said.

In addition to managing the cart, I provided coupons and gift certificates. The best use ever I’ve found for credit card points. Allowed me to “pay” without “paying”….And with coupon for 20% off everything, she got about $600 worth of supplies for $96. Plus of course the $22 for parking.

Back to Brooklyn for the Target. Again I clutched the iPhone map, reading off directions.

“Says to turn right on Broadway,” I pointed to the upcoming street.

“Do the directions say East Broadway? Or Broadway?” asked Jessamyn.


“Then this isn’t the turn.”

Sure enough, plain old Broadway appeared a couple streets later and we turned right there.

At Target Jessamyn decided on a Papa-bear microwave, which practically took up the cart. But we managed to squeeze in some other items as well. Pooped. It was already two o’clock, and there was so much to do yet with the car, like shop for groceries.

Parking seemed a bargain at three dollars, but nothing in New York is easy. While Jessamyn fetched the car I pushed the cart out to meet her. At the exit door the wheels completely locked up. “Security measure,” said the helpful Target employee. “Lift the cart partly up and shove it on two wheels.”Really?Terribly awkward, but it worked somehow. At the loading area a Target employee helped us load up. “Sorry,” he shook his head at my cash, “we’re not allowed to accept tips.” (Where’s the logic? Lock up wheels to the cart at door, but then station someone at street level to help you load up?)

Only place to park near the apartment was in front of a driveway. Unloaded as fast as we could to the sidewalk. I hustled up to the door with keys, fumbled for a few minutes at the outer door. Success. Then, rushing to hold inner door for loaded down Jessamyn, I realized what was there only as my hand hit the doorknob….


“Jessamyn, is there soap in the apartment? Please tell me you’ve got soap.”

“I’m sure it’s a Halloween prank.”

Maybe so, but I was truly relieved that not only did Jessamyn have soap but, with her apartment sitting directly over the basement boiler room, she has lots and lots of hot water.

Originally Posted: 11/2/2010

About Karen Ray

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