Let there be stuff

ikeaThe downside of sleeping well is sleeping in. So it took a while to have breakfast (the waffle iron was having an identity crisis) and to get everything ready to leave. I think I wound up with a large percentage of grandma’s refrigerator, but hopefully it’ll be to a good cause (starving students and all that).

The plan was for grandma and I to make a quick stop at Ikea on the way down (or rather, make a detour, so it would be on the way down), pick up a lamp base, office chair and desk, and then get dropped off at my place. Of course, it turned out that the only Ikea that claimed to have the lamp base was in Elizabeth, NJ, a good bit farther than the other Ikea we’d been to, in Paramus.

On the way down, we stopped at the little mall between Hartsdale and Ardsley, wherein I received a haircut from the barber who according to one person was ‘dying’ for me to come by. A little literary license I think, as he seemed to be doing just fine. A nice clear Saturday morning, with sun and blue sky, does that.

Getting to Ikea would have been easy, save for a mistake we made leaving the parkway. This was compounded by the fact that New Jersey specializes in making each exit unique, so it took a fair amount of creative route-finding to wend our way around part of the Newark airport and back onto the correct route. Ikea itself was packed, as expected. The chair and lamp base were easy enough to find, but the table (noteworthy because it has adjustable height legs) proved difficult. Even once I found it, I had to get it in a smaller size because they were out of the larger sized tops. It took a bit of ingenuity to fit everything in the car too.

From Elizabeth to Manhattan was no great distance, but the traffic at the Holland tunnel was most unpleasant. And when we finally did come up in downtown Manhattan, we were both somewhat disoriented. Even once we were correctly oriented it took over an hour to go the 3 miles to my apartment. This is why I don’t like to drive in the city. Impracticality.

It took a bit of doing, but we managed to haul everything up to the apartment in 2 trips, thanks to a hand from the roommate. Then it was out to a late lunch in a funky bar/restaurant which had fine food, but miserable lighting.

My roommate had discovered that a favorite band of his was having a concert, so, feeling spontaneous, I tagged along. It was a venue called “The Knitting Company” down in the former garment district, and it had something of a gritty feel. When we left, we were asked to please not talk much in the streets because the neighbors didn’t like that sort of thing. Odd.

Anyhow, once I proved I was over 21 (first time I’ve had to do that) and paid my $14, we went in, and the concert began. There were three groups, and the first was easily the most experimental. Like all live rock, it was too loud for my taste, and it was tough actually catching the lyrics, even though the band, which combined a string bass, two electric guitars, and a drum seemed to have a rather thoughtful lead. They called themselves Shearwater.

The second band was a lot louder, and a lot less interesting. They lacked variety.

The last group was the once my roommate was hoping to hear, Magnolia Electric Co. Theirs was a somewhat more country feel, and, when I could catch them, occasionally good lyrics. They had a good rapport with the audience which also made it more interesting.

An interesting experience all-in-all, but next time I’ll take musician’s earplugs. Have a hard enough time hearing some things as it is… Next up: finish assembling the new furniture.

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