Oh, we had so much fun in New York City. We didn't want to come back. We wanted to stay and do all the things we couldn't do. But, alas, life was calling. Husbands and children were waiting for us and home and none of us could neglect our Motherly/Spousal duties anymore. That or else we didn't want to pay exorbitant prices for a last minute hotel room and to change our plane tickets. You pick.
We were trying to do some things on the cheap side since there's really no such thing in NYC. So we decided to rent an apartment instead of a hotel room. We lucked out and got a one bedroom for four nights for a steal! I was pretty excited at the deal we got. And then I realized it didn't necessarily mention a kitchen. That's ok, I didn't want to cook. And then I noticed in the pictures the "Cooking Appliance" was a coffee maker. For almost anyone else that would be great. Then I got worried. I hadn't asked about cockroaches! What if the cockroaches came out at night and wriggled all over! What if we had to sleep in shifts with the lights on in order to scare the monsters away! And then, the city is known for its kitten-sized rats. What if we had rats in the apartment? But then, I decided to not think about it until we got there. I'm sure we could find another hotel room, albeit for probably $1000 a night, but if the apartment was that bad we wouldn't care. That or else we could find some missions for the homeless and set up shop with them. We wouldn't be long-termers and they could count us among those that were helped permanently and never needed their help again.
So we got into NYC. I guess the Elevator is really mishap #2. The first one happened before we even got through security at the airport. Mother-in-Law's (MiL) bag broke the conveyor belt going through security. You know how they back that conveyor belt up and run things through two or three times when they have nothing better to do? Well, they tried to back it up with her carry-on and it wouldn't budge. It sat there for probably five minutes. Finally, they got the conveyor belt moving again and pulled it off. They took the bag to a section and called over the Bomb Appraisal Officer. His shirt actually said that. He swabbed it down and put the swabs through some machine. It came through with a clean bill but we had a good time laughing. If you know my MiL, she is a cute little petite blond, not some terrorist.
We had an uneventful flight into NYC and had no problem getting our luggage and finding a ride into the city despite all the horror stories I've heard of JFK. As we came out of the tunnel and into Manhattan proper I noticed garbage bags lining the sidewalks. "Is it garbage day?" I naively asked. Our driver laughed and said "Every day is garbage day! They just run at night here." I so felt like a tourist, but that's ok cuz I'm sure I looked like one.
We made it through the rush hour traffic with lots of honking but no road rage and finally got to our apartment. A girl met us at the front door to give us the keys. Since our apartment was on the second floor she told us to take the elevator while she ran up the stairs and got it opened. She hit the Up button and took off. After an eternally long time the elevator finally opened. It was little. It looked like Black Moving Blankets were hanging on the walls. I'm sure they can replace and wash those easily. MiL and I and most of our bags barely fit into the elevator. Sister in Law Nurse (SiL) took the stairs with her last bag. We squeezed in and hit the 2 button and waited and waited for the doors to close. Finally they closed and we headed for our apartment.
And the doors opened. I started to take a step into the hallway and looked up. In Horror. The walls were a dirty gray with dirt splashes here and there. There were garbage cans throughout the hallway. There was dirt and dust bunnies everywhere. I must admit I panicked. "This can't be our floor!" I looked around and didn't see SiL or the girl. Where would they be? MiL must have been worried too because she said something, but I don't remember what. Then she regained enough of her senses and looked at the elevator display panel and told me "It says floor 1." That really confused me. Is there a floor between one and two? How could that happen? And why would it be so scary? Then the door started to close and I got back in. After another long while the doors opened again. We were right back where we started! And then the doors closed and we waited for what lay ahead. Then the display panel finally said "2" and opened up. Thank Goodness! The hallway looked almost the same as the one downstairs! Not too clean, but not dirty enough to scare me. We were safe, relatively, as safe as newcomers to NYC can feel in an apartment they aren't sure about. Apparently the elevator is so old it had to go all the way downstairs before it could go up. Whatever you do, don't visit the basement in any building in NYC. I wanted to go back and take a picture but couldn't bring myself to relive the horror.
Our apartment turned out decent. It was cheap. But it was clean. No cockroaches. No mice. Not even any rats! And it had a kitchen, a NYC sized kitchen, about as small as a small bathroom. And we had two, 2, cooking appliances! A microwave! Yeah! It was centrally heated so we had no control over the heat so we ran the window air conditioner at the lowest possible setting all the time in order to cool the front room enough to sleep. And there were so many beds we could have squeezed three or four more people in there. And we were only a block from the subway. We loved the subway. So cheap. So warm. So convenient. Well, when you know where you're going. Unless it's night time and they don't run the line that drops you off at your stop. And if it's not rush hour, which is half the day there, you can even sit in a chair. Otherwise you better grab a pole and hang on for dear life.
Here are the pictures of our apartment. Remember we didn't stay at the Hilton or Hyatt or even Holiday Inn Express.