Monday, July 21, 2008

THE PROJECTS

My direct flight to NYC, JFK is on time, without incident. I easily reclaim my luggage, walk just a few feet out the door and get into a waiting cab. I give the cab driver the address, and he asks, "What's the cross street?"

"What's the cross street?" I think to myself, "holy ______, how would I know?" But as we start driving into Manhattan, I call the friend that arranged for me to stay at this apartment, and ask her. She gives me two streets that seem to satisfy the nice cab driver.

We drive along in companionable silence, him doing his thing in the front, me looking at all the sights from the back.

"I'm here," I think, "I'm really here."

He pulls up to the approximate address I gave him, but we can't be sure, there aren't any numbers on the buildings. Signs everywhere say, "NEW YORK CITY HOUSING AUTHORITY."

"Hmmmm..." I think, "this doesn't look or feel right."

"I'd really like to see a number before you let me off," I say, proud of my assertiveness.

"This is it!" he insists.

As he puts the car in park and starts getting my bags from the trunk, a car pulls up with a family in it, "Excuse me," I say, "I'm looking for 755, do you know where that is?"

"Well," says the lady of the threesome, "I know that one's 795, so 755 must be right nearby."

"That's it!" the cab driver insists, again.

But I know, that is NOT it.

Still, I get out, load up all my luggage, and start walking to "it."

Dread fills me, "This is not it!" I keep thinking. I look around me, nobody else is white. Nobody else is dragging blue matching luggage around (with a darling red, leather "tote"), nobody else is dripping with pearls, this is not where I want to be.

Inspiration hits, after the wave of, "WTF?" passes, and I pull out the keys to the apartment that have been FedExed to me, prior.

"455" it says on the keys.

Ahhhhh... sweet relief, I AM in the wrong place. But now how do I get to the right one??

Clearly lost and confused, three people go out of their way to give me directions.

"Whatcha looking for?" one asks.

"That wasn't the building?" the lady that first gave me directions asks.

Then, as I am moving in the right general direction, I see my sidewalk ends, and there is nothing but a crazily busy street between me and my goal of 455.

I see a huge man with a huge dog. I walk right up to him, "Excuse me, I need 455, if I cross that street, will I be able to pick back up on this path?"

"455? Yea, that's just in the next project over," he says.

I'm in the f'ing projects.

With resolute determination I march, 90+ degrees, 90+ % humidity, so clearly a fish out of water, but also, so clearly someone that is going to be just fine, because I've got all the help in the world.

Well, 455 was not in "the projects" it was several blocks away, and truly beautiful, safe, and well within my comfort zone.

I get to 455, sweaty, relieved, thirsty, hungry, in need of a bathroom, but first, I call my friend, the one with a worse sense of direction (or at least ability to give directions) than me.

"I'm here!" I say, soon as she picks up the phone!

"You are! Great! Did you have any trouble finding it?" she asks. And I tell her the whole story.

"That's not it! It's 755," she insists, "You're in the wrong apartment!"

"That's impossible," I say, "How would I have the right keys, to the wrong apartment? It says right on the keys, 455."

"Look around, tell me what you see," she insists.

"A Viking stove, a green house, artifacts from all over the world..."

She has me go on and on, still believing I'm in the wrong apartment.

After finally convincing her that I am in the right apartment, and all right, we hang up. I take care of business, unpacking, freshening up, taking a long drink from my water bottle, and the phone rings,

"How funny am I thinking you were in the wrong apartment?" my friend asks.

"FUNNY!" I agree.

And it is. It is a funny story, not a scary story, not an OMG story, just a funny one.

I like funny.

Funny is good.

16 comments:

Kathryn said...

I read your other post, too, and the whole trip is boding well. You have done great so far! I'm excited for you. Have a great time. You are obviously surrounded by all of the help you need.

Suzy said...

Your poor friend must have felt awful....

Make sure you google everywhere you go.

Love,

Suzy

courtneywrites said...

a bit pathetic (on my end) that you're on west coast time and managed to update your blog before I even woke up!

La La said...

Your "poor friend" is FUNNY! Hee Hee.

It is a funny and an OMG story!

Have fun!

Eileen said...

It is a funny story, but I would have been totally freaked out. Good for you for staying calm and listening to your instincts.

Now have fun with it all.

XOXOX

Amanda said...

have fun! don't be nervous! you'll be fine. welcome to NY!

Go Mama said...

Sending you good vibes for a great day. And then, no matter what happens, treat yourself to a fantastic dinner tonight. You deserve it for your courage alone!

Deb said...

It's a damn good thing you got there before your "poor friend" who would be waiting for you in the projects, wondering why the furniture looked wrong.

I love that you get this story in the face of your fear about being direction challenged. Do you hear the universe laughing?

As I write this I know that your meetings are over. Can hardly wait to hear those stories next.

Sending love, light and happiness to you. So proud of you!

Jerri said...

Funny story.

Be careful, of course. But do not be afraid. Safety surrounds you, friend.

Jess said...

Great story!

But I'm confused. Whose apartment was it, if not your friend that you were calling? Hmm.

How was today???

Deb said...

Your friend has a problem with numbers. Glad you made it though and you kept your sense of humor. I don't think I would have been able to do that.

marge said...

Welcome to your adventure. What a start too.

What are you doin up so early?

Love

Go Mama said...

I hope you are having great cocktails right about now!!

Velvet Kitty said...

Good Luck Carrie! Enjoy the Big Apple -
You've got some good luck going/coming your way -

Anonymous said...

Should we give Noah of IN Touch fame a call to show you around. He'd love your story! Are you going to Dean and Deluca on Broadway? If so bankcard your apple...........remember you get miles!..................No bottled water in NYC it has some of the best water in the country..................transfer this to your blog.............
love.

Amber said...

I was gigglin'.

:)