Saturday, August 31, 2013

New Yoirk baby

Zoe sleeping on the floor in the Guggenheim Museum
Sometimes, things just turn out beautifully. This week has been one of those weeks where, through luck, through hard work on my part, and through a lot of nice people, Zoe and I have had a brilliant time. We came to New York (or New Yoirk, as Zoe pronounces it, as the novel part in "coin") a little over a week ago and I had no idea how I was going to manage to work (I am doing data collection here), and also have a bit of fun with Zoe. Luckily, a new acquaintance from upstate New York had put me in contact with a potential babysitter. I texted her and on Monday morning I ventured out to Brooklyn, a 45 min commute, to see her. She was really nice and I left Zoe in her capable hands to see if they would get along. I came back after doing a bit of work in a cafe (I'm frantically writing articles and funding proposals, all due mid September) and found them dancing to old jazz cassette tapes. I decided they were a good match and hired her for the week. It turned out that not only was she a great creative babysitter, she also happened to be working on and off at all the art museums in town, so, oh by the way, was it okay if she took Zoe to the museums during the day? So the past week, Zoe has been going to a new art museum each day, playing, drawing, watching art, while I am writing and collecting data. Today she apparently took a nap on the floor of the Guggenheim before they went to the library and checked out giant colorful animal books. I'm starting to get slightly jealous that Zoe gets all the fun, and I get to write and do funding proposal budgets.

Other things that have resulted in an amazing week:

  • The availability of almond milk for my latte in virtually every cafe
  • The availability of giant pretzels on every street corner in case Zoe gets hungry
  • The standard of friendliness on the subway when coming through with a stroller and ending up with a sleeping baby in front of a staircase. Particularly black guys in Brooklyn.
  • The fact that I can eat for $10 french macaroons from Dean & Deluca in one day
  • The availability of affordable service wash & fold around the corner from me (oh, why does this not exist in Sweden?) All of Zoe's clothes, and I mean all of them, $8!
  • A local sushi restaurant where they quickly realized that Zoe eats salmon nigiri and edamame beans as long as they keep them coming

This weekend I'm taking off work and taking Zoe to the High Line Park, Central Park and probably also a toy store of some sort. Tuesday we are off to Stockholm on a direct flight from Newark.

Prologue: immediately after writing this Friday night, before publishing, the power went out in my apartment (and hence also the internet). Obviously being so happy about things backfired. I had been warned that this could happen and I knew I had to call the restaurant downstairs and ask them to flick the main switch. Problem was that my phone was just out of battery and it was very late. After checking that Zoe was indeed fast asleep I ran downstairs, only to find the restaurant closed for the night. I have been in a similar situation before and realizing there would be no power before the morning I opened the window and got ready for bed to the light of my (fully charged) iPad. The most tricky thing was to get Zoe's pajamas off her, because sleeping without AC and only a window open in this heat would be way too hot for her. Next morning I went down to the restaurant and got them to switch on the power again before going out for the day. I charged my phone in the coffee shop where we had almond lattes and a giant pretzel. New York power infrastructure sucks but not enough to not love the city anyway.

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