People always ask me what I like or dislike about living in New York City. I’ll tell you one thing I really dislike — moving furniture. More specifically, moving furniture from 32nd St. and 9th Ave. to 129th St. It’s not like I have a car and I can just load things up and go. No, I have my two hands and two feet….so yeah. Today, Heather-from-Alberta and I shared a magnificent NYC furniture moving adventure. If you ever wonder what it’s really like to live in NYC, then read on:
Heather and I were pleasantly strolling toward the A, C, E subway stop on 8th Ave. when we walked right past a pile of garbage that caught my eye. You see, I have been contemplating buying a black shelf for my living room but decided to hold off since the shelf I want costs upward of $250. But there in the pile of trash was my shelf! And in excellent condition too. So, the wheels began turning, and despite the tepid 24 degree temperature we decided it would be cost effective to hail a cab and take the shelf up town to my apartment.
Heather and I transported this shelf over 100 blocks.
We hailed a cab, told him our plan and pulled over by the pile of trash. He was a nice cab driver, and he played along with our brilliant plan. When the shelf was too big for the trunk, he even tried to jam it sideways along the backseat… but, to no avail, because it was too much shelf for his little cab. This little set back didn’t bother Heather and I though… we were on a mission and nothing was going to stop us. So, we lugged the shelf to the end of the block where the A,C, E Subway station is. We thought about hailing a van cab, but none were driving by, and our hands were freezing, so the decision was made (not so wisely) to take the subway.
Just as we were poised to carry the shelf down three flights of stairs, two kind-hearted and gray-bearded Jewish fellows insisted on aiding us. They carried the bulky shelf to the bottom of the stairs for us and helped us get it through the turn style. I felt relief, (what an answer to a small prayer) only until I looked up and saw a huge flight of stairs UP to the A train. Again, just as Heather and I picked up the shelf to carry it up, another kind-hearted stranger intervened. He donned an orange-ski coat, Carhart pants and a knit-cap, (or a tocque, as Heather would say).
So we waited for the A train, realized it’s running on the local track only, which is across the platform (two flights of stairs away from us) and we eventually hop on the E train and transfer at 42nd St. Lots of people were staring at us and laughing at us, and a sleek, dark-haired woman in a fur-coat commented as we huffed the shelf onto the train, “How did you get that down the stairs?!”
When the train stopped at 125th St., Heather and I realized our journey was just beginning. We toddled the length of the platform with the shelf in hand, took the elevator up a floor and then had just one more flight of stairs between us and the outside world.
As we attempted to ascend this final flight of stairs, we overheard a pair of snarky twenty-somethings making bets on if we could get up the stairs or not. After watching us struggle they finally offered to help us with the second half of the stairs. At the top they asked where we were taking the shelf, “129th and Amsterdam,” I replied. They replied with laughter.
Heather and I weighed our options and decided we would try to take a bus from 125th over two avenues and upto 129th St. The temperature had now dropped to 21 degrees Fahrenheit, and we foolishly decided to carry the shelf without gloves on our hands so we could better grip it, seeing as the shelf was rapidly gaining weight…or we were getting more tired, one of the two. We lugged the shelf one block to the bus stop, where the M100 proceeded to stop 20 feet in front of the actual bus stop….and then he drove right past us, never stopping to let us on. This was a bad moment in our adventure. But we had already come so far, so we waited ten minutes for the next bus to arrive. It arrived, but the driver said (I think, but he was hard to understand) that he couldn’t let us on the bus with that shelf, “Where you gonna put it?” he said.
Heather and I were all too happy to finally get the shelf through the door of my apartment.
Ugh. Two Avenues and four blocks from our final destination. We can’t give up now. All logic has gone by the wayside at this point. The fact that neither Heather nor I can feel our fingers is only an after thought. Our only option is to keep trekking. We set small goals. Walk one block, baby steps, through the snow, stop, wrest. Walk one more block. Finger check….well I see them there, even though I can’t feel them. We are getting closer. We can do this.
Then, three blocks from the final destination, we run into a complication. Heather really can’t feel her hands anymore. At all. I start to run through the options when all of a sudden we met The Three Amigos.
The three amigos came out of nowhere, well actually they came out of the bodega on the corner of Convent and 128th. They took the shelf from our hands, as they clamored rapidly in Spanish, and muttered in English…”strong girls! Muey strong!” Heather and I laughed, embarrassed, and gladly let them take the shelf for us. They carried the shelf the rest of the way, speaking in Spanish the whole way, and they carried it all the way up the three flights of stairs in my building. We handed them a $20 bill for their help, afterall, they didn’t even have gloves on. And we said thanks several times, in Spanish and English. Wow. We did it. Well, us and several strangers.