Sunday, September 9, 2012

Tomorrow : New York Academy Of Art Orientation and First Day Of Class

The arrival in NYC about a week ago was interesting to say the least...when I finally found the apartment I had rented and went to open the door with the keys I had been given, none of them worked...locked out with a full bladder, double parked with a full truck. Good start, but the positive news was that my truck made it in one piece.
About 2 hours later and 3 generations of family members coming to let the "new tenant" in, they finally got the key thing straightened out, and I entered. I unloaded (the truck and my bladder) and at 10pm got in the Q-train and headed for Manhattan.
I stayed with a good friend who has a gorgeous apartment just behind the World Trade Center with great private rooftop terrace overlooking the Hudson River and NJ. (See photos below):

Sunset Sails over the Hudson River from Battery Park Terrace

Sunset view over the Hudson River from Battery Park Terrace

For a few days while I searched for a bed and some basic furnishings my host of hosts allowed me to stay in his extra bedroom overlooking Battery Park City and the Promenade there. Here's a quick sketch from day one:

Quick sketch from Battery Park Promenade. Statue Of Liberty in Background

Here's a good, and disturbing story; On my LAST visit to the sleazy's (I mean sleepy's) while I was getting the heavy handed bait-and-switch, I literally saw a bedbug crawling over the top of one of the "New" mattresses! (FYI, this was at the Sleepy's in Sheapshead Brooklyn). I naturally and immediately pointed it out to the salesman and he quickly slapped the mattress next to the bug as it went flying into the air to land most likely on another unsuspecting sample bed. His slick and frighteningly nonchalant comment was, "It's not like it's the first time I've seen that..."The difficulty in finding a bed in the city, without getting ripped off or having to drive out to some suburb of New Jersey, was profound. I was still exhausted from packing up everything in Boston and moving here, and the fatigue continued while I drove around from one end of Brooklyn to the other and took the train in and out of Manhattan, dealing with the sleaziest of sleazy bed salesmen at more than one "Sleepy's" (Dont EVER shop there!!)
I left without saying a word. True story.
Onto IKEA, the weekend of Labor Day, probably the busiest bed and furniture shoping day of the year for students and proud (and exhausted) parents of new students heading off to school.
Chaos doesn't describe the scene at the Brooklyn Store, the lines at checkout reminding me of my first visit to Disney World as an 8 year old...minus the rides and Micky Mouse. IKEA Brooklyn, which is the main warehouse, the size of most large city's airports, is daunting and overwhelming, regardless of the packs of frantic shoppers. 
Needless to say, I could write a novel about the few days spent there. 
Instead, heres a sketch of a sleeping man on the Q-Train that sums up how the shopping left me feeling:

Man Sleeping on Q-Train - Brooklyn

Finally, as of two days ago I have a new bed. 

So today, Sunday I woke early, rode my bike down to Manhattan Beach, about a 7 minute ride from my apartment, just on the other side of Sheapshead Bay, and then rode over to Brighton Beach and down the length of the Coney Island Boardwalk, along the beach to the far end, actually the end closer to NYC. It was my first time there, Coney Island...
like another country. It was a beautiful, perfect sunny day with large gorgeous cumulus   and cumulonimbus clouds after yesterday's double tornado touching down in Brooklyn and Queens. The language I most commonly heard was Russian, with a smattering of Spanish and a few random English words thrown in. There's a huge Russian population here in this part of Brooklyn, a language I love to hear and not understand. Just the sound and intonation is intriguing. 
Here are a couple shots of the first riders of the day at Coney Island:

Coney Island - First Ride Of The Day

Coney Island - Wonder Wheel and The Strange Evil Cat Ride

And then on my way home I stopped here at Brighton Beach to take this one more shot:

Brighton Beach - Under The 'Stares'

Now sitting in Starbucks, for the free internet and not-so-free cup of tea, I enter this Blog...and watch the middle school kids violently threaten the other middle school kids. Maybe we should be giving them Vodka to drink at that age instead of Coffee drinks.

Orientation at the Academy is tomorrow, studio move in is 8:30am. 
Time for a good meal and a good night sleep. 

Much more soon...