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APR
07

The Birthday List

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I made a list this year. Not of what I wanted, but what I wanted to do on my birthday. It's the first time I've lived in such a big city for my birthday, and also the first time I've been unemployed, so it was really the first birthday I've had where I felt not only like the whole day was really mine, but also like the sky was indeed the limit. Want to go get a cronut? Do it. Finally ride the carousel at Central Park that you always seem to get lost before finding? (It's a big park, OK?) Go for it. Want to try on a 2-carat necklace at Tiffany's, visit the 91st Street Garden, spend some time among the vendors at Chelsea Market, and peruse the cases at Pippin Vintage Jewelry? Knock yourself out. Want to walk the High Line, spend some time at the big 5th Avenue library, and then meet the girls for dessert at Serendipity? Go right ahead. And on top of all this, would you also like to spend some portion of the day reading and still another portion writing? Then by all means, do. And so I did. Indeed I've been getting comments all day from friends and family encouraging me to "live it up" and "take time for me," which is exactly what I did today.

Today's birthday comes on the heels of an outing I took yesterday to the Green-Wood Cemetery, which, naturally, has me thinking about life and death. About the fact that we only have a finite number of days. I realize we have to provide for ourselves, we have to have responsibility, we have to do stuff we don't want to do. But how worth celebrating then are the days where we can truly do whatever we want. Exactly what we want. And only what we want. When you find yourself experiencing such a day (or such a season in my case), treasure it, document it, and maybe make yourself a list so you don't leave anything out. Preferably typed on a vintage typewriter.

OCT
15

How to do Laundry in New York City

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Step 1: Locate closest laundromat.

Step 2: Schlep clothes (and detergent) down all flights of stairs in your elevatorless building, down the block, and across the street to said laundromat.

Step 3: Once your heart has stopped palpitating from such exertion (true story), locate the Access Card machine and get out your credit card.

Step 4: When you realize the machine is cash only, leave your clothes where they are (them things be *heavy*) and return to your apartment, go up all flights of stairs in your elevatorless building, retrieve cash from your wallet (or the ziploc baggie in your purse), go down the stairs again, and head back to the laundromat.

Step 5: Insert the first of two $5 bills into the machine.

Step 5: When you realize that the $10 required to get an Access Card must, in fact, be a $10 bill itself, leave your clothes behind and repeat step 4, only move on to step 6 after leaving your apartment building.

Step 6: Go to the small market around the corner from the laundromat and buy a pack of gum to break the $20 you just took from your wallet/baggie.

Step 7: Go back to the laundromat and get an Access Card with your newly-in-hand $10 bill.

Step 8: Determine which machines are the washers. This will take approximately 30 minutes.

Step 9: Put clothes in washer, detergent in compartments on top, start the cycle, and get the stop watch going on your phone so you know when to come back.

Step 10: Return to your elevatorless apartment building and go up all those stairs.

Step 11: Go down the stairs, leave the building, and go back to the laundromat.

Step 12: Put your wet clothes into one of those metal cart things sitting in one corner of the room and wheel them over to what you think is probably a dryer only because it isn't a washer and your deduction skills are usually pretty on point.

Step 13: Put clothes in dryer, insert Access Card, select cycle, and hit start.

Step 14: Study the numbers flashing at you in order to figure out how long the drying will take so you can once again start the stopwatch on your phone.

Step 15: Conclude that H1:06 must mean an hour and six minutes, and set the stopwatch accordingly.

Step 16: Repeat steps 10 and 11.

Step 17: Open the dryer to fetch your clothes, but close it again when it registers that your clothes are still soaking wet.

Step 18: Insert Access Card and push buttons until H1:06 is once again on the screen.

Step 19: Realize that H1:06 only dries your clothes for 6 minutes, and continue entering Access Card until the 6 has increased to something more thermically realistic.

Step 20: Knowing you will now only make your evening reservation if you leave your clothes drying and then unattended for a couple of hours, leave your clothes drying and unattended for a couple of hours.

Step 21: Tell your friend over dessert at Serendipity about Step 20, and when she says things like, "You can't do that," and "Your clothes won't be there when you get back," begin to internally panic.

Step 22: Make bets with yourself on the walk back to the laundromat about whether your clothes will be there. Scold yourself repeatedly for being so naive, I suggest something like, "Stupid, stupid, stupid!!", and begin to think about where you can go that night to buy new sheets, towels, and underwear.

Step 23: Arrive at laundromat and see your clothes sitting in the dryer.

Step 24: Load them back into the hamper you hid behind the leftmost row of washers.

Step 25: Repeat Step 10, this time with all the clothes.

 

So, really, pretty easy then.

 

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