I boarded my plane in Austin and as luck would have it, I was seated next to “those people.” It’s 10:30 in the morning and they’re already lubricated pretty good. They were headed to New Orleans so I can understand why, but come on. However, they did buy me a drink.
I guess all’s fair in love and liquor.
I arrived at LaGuardia around 5:45 PM and received a text from my new roommate as soon as I powered up my phone. He had graciously left me a key under the doormat for my arrival. He also mentioned that my overnight boxes weren’t delivered because no one was at the apartment to sign for them. Dang, that meant no bedding, no Kuerig, and no bathroom essentials.
No big deal.
I’m a survivor.
One key to survival I’ve learned is blend in. Long story short, I don’t. I stick out like a sore thumb. And I know this because everyone I pass on the streets calls me “Cowboy.” They think they're clever. If they only knew the guy a half block up just said the same thing. It's ok though. I don't mind it. My grandfather told me when he did business in this city, he got called "Cowboy" too.
I'm residing in a 4 bedroom sub-let with three other people and two cats. One is black and the other is hairless and both are curious. They stuck around while I took in my new apartment and unpacked. My shoebox-sized room is roughly the size of a queen mattress with an additional three feet at the end of the bed. No air conditioning.
It’s a glamorous life in Crown Heights.
Adventure One was tracking down my overnighted boxes. Conveniently, the UPS store was across the street. After lugging two, cumbersome boxes back to the apartment, I found that the doorknob to my room was malfunctioning. In other words, I was locked out of my own personal shoebox.
But no worries. I’m in New York!
Adventure Two was a couple of miles away at a place called Havana Outpost. By the time I walked there, I quickly realized cowboy boots were not meant for concrete. That was just fine because my foot pain was quickly assuaged by the smell of some good ol' Mexican cuisine. Call me "homesick" or call me "hungry"... both would apply, as I ordered up from their Mexican-Cuban menu. It wasn't the familiar TexMex, but the atmosphere was great. I enjoyed a nice cold, craft brew and people watched as the young crowd guzzled down margarita after margarita.
Finally, I made my way back to the apartment and met my new vegan roommate. Anyone else see the irony? He explained while demonstrating that you have to "quickly jiggle the knob" to open the door.
Brooklyn man, Brooklyn.
At long last, after a really long day, I settled into my shoebox-sized bedroom. I didn’t sleep well that night, perhaps from the heat; however, it might have been my inner excitement of finally beginning my carnivorous journey.