Monday, May 24, 2010

New Home, New Leaf

I like the sense of moving forward that comes with moving to a new place -- leaving a part of myself behind and inventing a new home out of thin air. I like to think that if I can make a home anywhere, I'll always be at home. A few of you (especially my parents, who think I'm really cool) have been nudging me to post pictures of my new apartment since I moved in mid-March, and I'm finally getting around to it now. At some point, I'll add some pictures of the outside/courtyard area, which is really pretty with lost of flowers. Also, fake chickens. I promise I will photograph the fake chickens. The first time I noticed them, it was late at night and one of them had been knocked on its side, and I thought it was a real live dead chicken. Real Live Dead Chicken would be a good name for an emo punk-rock band.

Living room:


The strawberry-print apron hanging up is one of my favorite things I've ever bought.

I've been really into chickpeas lately.

This is where I do my writing. I used to write in bed, which is a terrible habit for an insomniac (who am I kidding, I still do sometimes). But when my roommate Zac moved out, he left us his desk, which is now a communal work-space and eating-space. He also left us the fan, which I think I will appreciate more and more as the summer progresses.

My room! As you can see, I am awesome enough to have turquoise walls and purple curtains. The big green dresser was inherited from former roommate, and it's bubble-wrapped partially for style, partially so I'm less likely to hurt myself. Please notice the Mason jar filled with wooden clothespins -- it's one of my favorite things, aesthetically speaking. I mostly do laundry by hand with Dr. Bronner's all-purpose organic soap and hang it on the clothesline out my window. This saves the money, hassle, and time commitment of going to the laundromat (though there's one right outside my building). Also, I want to have at least one story-for-the-grandkids about how I saved money during the Great Recession, when I lived in Brooklyn on minimum wage.

In terms of feeling like a real grown-up, picking out my own bed and mattress was pretty exciting. I've basically never slept in anything bigger than a twin, except at hotels, so I love having a full-size bed. I can spread out like a starfish or, if you prefer, the kind of tiny puppy that takes up way more space than you'd think possible.

This is the bookshelf that I'm trying so, so hard not to fill with books that actually would belong to me and instead, get them from the library and return them. This takes a superhuman amount of self-control, considering I work in a bookstore.

I got all of the furniture in my room -- bed, mattress, bookshelf, bedside table (not shown), and dresser for under $500, including delivery. Everything is from IKEA. Here's the trick: hire a car service for delivery instead of IKEA's official service, which will charge you almost $100. A lot of car services have vans or minivans, and because IKEA's stuff is all flat-packed, it's pretty easy to fit into a regular van. I ordered a minivan from Pratt Car Service, and paid $20. Then I tipped the driver super, super well because he even helped me bring everything up the stairs. I did have a lot of trouble with the assembly initially (the instruction books have no words, just pictures, so they don't have to be translated into a million languages, so it's a bit confusing) but luckily I have great friends who are happy to help me out. Otherwise, IKEA will assemble it for you for a fee, and private businesses will probably assemble it for less.

In other news -- going back to see Marina on Wednesday. Stay tuned for further developments.

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