Lame Adventure 467: Goodbye Manhattan

I have not been around much lately because I have been insanely busy working long hours at The Grind. One night I worked so late when I entered the subway, the car was completely empty.

Lights on, nobody home.

Lights on, nobody home.

Another night, the trains I normally take to head uptown stopped running altogether due to track work. That was supremely irritating.

My company’s 20-year lease in Tribeca is officially up tomorrow. When I was hired eleven years ago, I asked a manager how long the company’s lease was for. He laughed heartily and indicated that it was infinitely long. That guy’s long gone. I’m still there and infinity has reached its end point. Go figure.

For the past month, we have been packing up a business that’s been housed in a six story building in a picturesque, trendy neighborhood in lower Manhattan for two decades. We have tons of stuff. I think we may have miscalculated a tad the enormity of the task.

My almost packed office with Godsend's tissues atop a file box.

My almost packed office with Godsend’s tissues atop a file box.

When we’re not packing, we’re ditching. I have personally thrown out thousands of dollars worth of tile samples. I feel melancholy about that. Stu, our founder and owner, caught me looking quizzically at a piece of tile. He ordered:

Stu: Throw it out!

I have thrown out dumpster loads of tile, so much so that I ache in parts of my body that I never knew I could feel any pain. My inner Thor is not quite the brute she used to be. Physically, this is hard and I know that psychologically it’s not easy on Stu or my boss, his wife, Elspeth. Luckily, no one is too morose. The hardest moment in this ordeal was at the beginning when The Boss was bereft over losing her cat. Fortunately, the cat was never lost. She was hiding. Animals are smart. That cat knew some heavy shit was going on and she wanted nothing to do with it, but she likes to eat and sleep, so she surfaced quickly. The collective sigh of relief over that cat showing up was so loud in my department it could have registered on the Richter scale.

Sleep is so good!

Sleep is so good!

As soon as tomorrow, Tuesday, I will probably find myself working in Long Island City. That’s in Queens. The first order of business in the new location will be mega hours of unpacking. The commute will be different, the location will be different, but the people will be the same. My long-time colleague, Godsend, will continue to sit next to me. Our new building is in a desolate architecturally lacking area. There are no cool places nearby to grab a sandwich or a cupcake. No trendy bar for Godsend and I to quaff a pint at the end of the day. All I will likely want to do is head back to mainland Manhattan at warp speed. The view outside the window will be gone and so will all my pigeon pals, unless they decide to follow. I am not counting on that happening. They might be bird-brained, but they’re not idiots. They’ll take Manhattan.

"See ya! Don't wanna be ya!"

“See ya! Don’t wanna be ya!”

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93 responses to “Lame Adventure 467: Goodbye Manhattan

  1. Wow … that opening pic is something, especially in the city that never sleeps! I know you will miss the pigeons and the places that trendy neighborhoods offer. Hopefully you commute can be done easily with mass transit. Meanwhile, be strong.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh V,

    I worked in Queens for a year on Sundays. Fortunately the promoter supplied the soup and the scotch. I always regretted racing over Manhattan at the end of a day to enter and exit the Holland Tunnel without so much as a cupcake, sandwich or pint.

    Best wishes for your new commute. I look forward to hearing about it, with hopes it will be fodder for more Lame Adventures!

    Cheers,

    Robert

    Liked by 1 person

    • R,

      Good to hear from you, buddy!

      My life will soon be soup, scotch, cupcake, sandwich and pint-free unless I bring my own SSCSP. A Starbuck’s is even a subway stop away. I am heading to a no man’s land where bodies are dumped and discovered a year later. But, maybe I’ll trip over a corpse and will speed up that process. That has LA written all over it.

      Cheers back,
      V

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Oh my. Moving is so disruptive on many levels. No envy from me.

    I don’t know where most things are around the NYC area. So, I google mapped it. Then, I used Streetview to get down closer and look around. I chose a street called Pidgeon Meadow Road. http://bit.ly/1JrHEfn
    There was a cemetery on one side and residences on the other. I saw no pigeons.

    I hope all goes better than expected.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jim, I don’t think that I’m anywhere near Pidgeon Meadow Road, but I sure like that name! I’m in an industrial part of town near railroad tracks and maybe some severed body parts. The Boss found what looks like a very cool watering hole 7/10ths of a mile away. But I don’t think that I’ll be very inclined to linger in the area much after quitting time. And I think I’d have an easier time moving Mount Rushmore to Queens than ever getting Milton to head out there. So, I’d sooner take the first train heading back into Manhattan to quaff on my home borough’s turf. I hope all goes better than expected, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I hope the unpacking goes well, V. So sorry the new location lacks the accustomed amenities. And I hope the commute works out okay too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • As long as the trains are running close to on time, Cathy, the commute should be okay bordering on easy peasy. But the lack of “accustomed amenities” is something that I will probably never get used to. At least I live in a neighborhood that is Accustomed Amenities Central.

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  5. “But you see that line there moving through the station?
    I told you, I told you, told you, I was one of those” (LC)

    A new line isn’t always what we imagine. From out here, my imagination isn’t quite the focus I’d like. I’m having to squint and hope for the best. Maybe, just maybe…

    Hoping for the best. Sorry about the trauma, Virginia.

    Liked by 1 person

    • When I was younger, Bruce, change didn’t phase me much. I kinda/sorta embraced it and found the new exciting. Now I find the new annoying, right down there with the mosquito that took a massive chomp out of my left shin as I was guzzling wine with my neighbors and looking out at the Hudson last night.

      Good to hear from you (and Mr. Cohen)!

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  6. I guessed Queens. You may not find the same level of culture, but the accent might make up for that in the amusement category.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We were determined to stay in NYC, Susie, but it’s not the friendliest place in the world for a quirky one-of-a-kind small business that does manufacturing. In fact, I see this city as hostile toward a company like mine. They want to play up the made in New York angle, but Manhattan is the land of the sultan. In a year or two, I am sure my Tribeca workplace will be some swell’s luxury loft that will be worth mega-millions. [insert loud, long sigh sound effect here here]

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      • That happened to Danny’s warehouse in Denver. Its four floors and basement was a total of 29,000 square feet. We rented it. Now it’s offices and lofts worth mega millions! When he bought his business in Denver back in 1985, he could have bought the building for under two million. It might as well have been a billion back then.Two million is still a lot.

        Liked by 1 person

        • That’s so true. What looks so affordable now was completely out of reach back then. And that cycle continues today. A few years from now, being able to lease where we’re going today will likely be out of reach.

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  7. I thought you were leaving Manhattan! Like…leaving leaving. Way to put a scare into me. LIC is not so bad. PS1 is nearby. And there are no cool places to grab a bite…YET. You know how this all unfolds, right? In another 10-15 years you’ll be chased out of that naib.

    Usually, if a subway care is that empty, it’s because a derelict is sitting in a corner and chased everyone away with a fragrance that’s hard to describe.

    Last week we saw the new A.R. Gurney at the Signature, Love and Money. It was unspeakably bad. Poorly written, acted, directed…a total train wreck. All involved were capable hands but even the most seasoned cast can’t rise above such terrible material.

    Did you know the new Thor is a girl? Were you tipping your hat to that?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sorry Lame. I’m glad you will still have your people. That’s sort of a crazy long commute isn’t it? That’s tough but better than I thought, I thought you personally were leaving Manhattan!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s not that long a commute, but I anticipate that it’s longer than my current commute, Mag. Plus I don’t know the area, but I’ve seen enough to know that there’s not much out there around where I’ll be. Joy.

      I’d have to be dragged by the ankles out of Manhattan with my fingers digging deep into the ground to the bone in a desperate attempt to remain put!

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  9. This is rough, Lame. I know you’ll pull through with flying colors. You will adapt when everything is settled. At least you still have Godsend by your side. You’ll make it through together. I’d take a familiar face over a familiar sandwich shop. Besides, you still live in Manhattan, right? Is that where you live? Anyway, you have access to that. Maybe you’ll meet some new pigeon friends.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The birds at The Grind were very special to me, Amy. I could recognize different ones on our window still. But, you are right, having Godsend, The Boss and my other colleague, Athena, around is very important. Elspeth pointed out that we could bring in good eats from our neighborhoods. She still lives in Tribeca and I have fantastic marketing up by me, and yes, I do live in Manhattan, on the Upper West Side. Between she and I, we will figure something out.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. They say a change is as good as a rest, LA. You may have left your pigeon friends behind, but something else will be along in due course to fill in the gaps. And how exciting to be going beyond the end of infinity!
    I like the photo of the empty car.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a very philosophical way of looking at this, Tom! Much better than grumbling and grousing. And yes, I have gone beyond the edge of infinity working there and the edge of sanity. That was a great photo op! I’m glad that you appreciated it!

      Like

  11. Sorry to hear about all your troubles – but you sure do tell them in an entertaining way! Maybe the pigeons will follow you, if you’re bonded to them…aren’t homing pigeons known to travel great distances? And look on the bright side, you will have incredible stories to share about all your new experiences!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awww, thanks Kelly! As fond as I am of my feathered friends, I am quite sure that I will miss them far more than they miss me. No way are they going to give up their never ending banquet of free gourmet eats In Manhattan to fly out to a desolate area in Queens for a three quarters eating Dunkin’ Donuts doughnut hole.

      Ain’t gonna happen’!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. This post made me a tad sad for you all. At least you’ll still have your peeps and I’m guessing, a few feathered ones as well. Bars on windows? I think you better buy a big lunch box to fill it with your daily treats. Sounds like a ghost town move?

    The subway shot was a cool one…although I can see yours boss’ point. Eerie and unsettling.

    Be well…be safe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Audra. The bars on the windows are at the old Grind. The new Grind has a wall of frosted windows, but no view and I doubt that any feathered friends will want to perch there. It was just a fluke that I was riding the subway at that hour. It’s not a regular thing. I even got off at 6 today. I feel like I worked a half day!

      Like

  13. V, I sincerely hope you and your comrades adjust to (and come to love) your new digs. Did you ride those rails all alone, late at night? I imagine you to be quite scrappy, but still. And, the part about your throwing away tiles, well, it physically hurt me. What I could’ve done with those tiles.

    If there are more to dispose of, let me know posthaste.

    Like

    • Brig, we’ve been ditching tile like crazy. It’s been in small batches like three square feet of one mosaic, four square feet of another, etc. We do have an incredible sale going on right now, but the shipping will kill you. Still, you could make a killing on some of our deals. I’ll email you privately.

      I really felt no fear when that car was empty. In just a few stops people got on and by the time I got off, it was crowded.

      Like

  14. Best of luck in Long Island City! I grew up there and feel so badly about Blight of Ugly High Rises that now litter the landscape. If you’re down by St. Mary’s [Vernon & Jackson] there are (or used to be) some good bakeries; the area was predominately Sicilian Italian. Over by Queens Plaza it was [and probably still is] a culinary desert. If you’re desperate, hop on the Q or N, go to Ditmars Avenue (last stop) and stuff your face with good to great Greek pastry 🙂 For really, really great Venezuelan arepas, go to the Arepas Cafe 33-07 36th Avenue: Q or N to 36th Avenue. My dentist is two blocks away, if you need a molar intervention 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, thanks for the tips! I’m going to print this comment and tape it to the wall in my office. Maybe frame it. Our move’s been delayed by a few days, but I should be there within a week. I ate an arepa (actually two) for the first time last week. They were delicious, much better than my usual industrial size bowl of steamed kale lunch.

      Like

  15. V! You’re back, but sad about your whole packing and unpacking situation. Sorry about the move and no muffin places around the corner, but on the positive tip, your people are still with you and that’s usually a good thing. Good to hear from you. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is very true, Guat, that everyone I know here is part of this epic adventure and I do like almost everyone that works here, and, everyone in my department. I’m very close to The Boss. She told me that she’ saw a bird fly outside my window over there (the move’s been delayed a few days) so she’s going to hang a bird feeder outside of it. We have So Much Stuff. I think I’ll still be unpacking in spring. That’s what you get when you’re a company of hoarders.

      Like

  16. What an ordeal. So glad this is almost over for you.
    When I first stared working where I do, there was really nothing around except a greasy spoon diner and the OTB (seriously). Now look at it. Lady Gaga was in the nabe a few months ago.
    I think your new area will be the same in a year or two. I hear LIC is the new Tribeca. Or something like that. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • No complaints from me if that were to happen and our desolate no man’s land turns hip and trendy before I hit my next milestone birthday. My colleagues would be elated if a Starbucks would open. I’d welcome that, too, I suppose. I am a fan of the Oprah Chai Latte (made with soy milk). Godsend turned me onto that. Meanwhile, I will be very happy when we’re settled and I can resume my normal work routine without lifting anything heavier than a pen.

      Like

  17. I have no concept of how New York is laid out, but am trying to envision this piece in terms I can relate to. In my mind, your company is moving from Tomorrowland to the food court in New Orleans Square. Now I get it. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I thought I had been away too long. You? leaving Manhattan? I don’t know how long the commute is but whatever it is, it’s worth it. All the best with the change. I’m not great at that either, I like the same desk in the same place with the same view and the same stuff on it.
    The pigeon will find other offices to haunt. Or perhaps he will be inconsiderate to the swell with the luxury loft. I wish you new and varied pigeons at the Queens place.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I still reside in Manhattan and hope to remain there for the long haul, Kate, but working outside my favorite borough will take some getting used to. After doing some final packing at the Tribeca location Thursday morning, Godsend and I will head out to LIC. Last night, we quaffed a few farewell pints at one of our favorite lower Manhattan haunts. The Boss said that we’ll hang a bird feeder outside my window so I can still have a pigeon fix.

      Like

  19. Oh, so sorry to hear this! I figured something was up when you hadn’t posted for over a month, but this takes the cake–or cupcake in your case. I hate change too. I’m kind of like that book “Who Moved My Cheese?” I would be the mouse who starved to death. Glad you’re back, though. I missed your posts. (See? I really don’t like change!) 🙂

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    • It takes the cupcake indeed, Melissa! We’ve been packing our brains out, but starting tomorrow, the epic unpacking begins. This transition could take several more weeks before we’re settled at The New Grind. As for my posting, it’s probably going to be erratic for a while longer. Between getting settled, at month’s end, the New York Film Festival gets underway. It looks to me like Milton and I might attend every day for the duration. I’m not quite sure how this will work with my new and longer commute. Time will tell. I might also be dead of a heart attack by November due to all this upheaval.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Maybe the move will be a boon for your blog. Either really lame or some kind of adventure.

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  21. Moving places and spaces is never fun. Maybe though, you never know, you might find something redeeming in your move. I will cross my fingers and my legs for this for you.

    Like

    • Thanks Val. I appreciate the good wishes. This transition is going to take a while to complete and some getting used to. Construction is continuing at the new place, our stuff is still arriving and as of this afternoon, we’ve begun the massive unpacking phase.

      Like

  22. Whoa. That’s a lot of change. Good luck to you. Maybe, you could find a carrier pigeon to message the old office pigeons??

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  23. Ah, the joys of moving. We moved the print shop once. It was primarily a weekend project to minimize disruption of business. I hope to never experience that again.

    Those bird-brain friends of yours must not be carrier pigeons, or else Stu would have recruited them to help with the move. Glad you’ve got this behind you.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Glad you’re back, I missed you. Two things about the subway car pic. You are one very, very brave woman and look how clean that train car is. I hate moving and you are doing it twice. Do you have to work the whole holiday Labor Day weekend?

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    • Looks are deceiving about how clean that car is, Tom. I sure wouldn’t want to eat off that floor. I had the entire holiday weekend off. I slept through most of it … when I wasn’t watching US Open Tennis.

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  25. I’ve never been in one place that long, really, but I can imagine it’s disconcerting to undo physical/metaphysical routine, however grind-y it can get. But, onward to new adventures!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. catching up on reading and writing! you’ve really been busy, sugar! i hope you’re sleeping in today!! xoxox

    Liked by 1 person

  27. I must say I was close to tears reading about all the tile that was thrown out… Hope the move is going well and that you are settling into your new digs. Glad you got some rest over the long weekend – well deserved I’m sure!

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    • Good to hear from you, Terri! The move is epic. I’m now working in the new location, but we still have quite a way to go before we’re settled and fully operational. Knowing how much I’ve been lifting and hauling, Milton gave me an earful about women and hernias. Ugh.

      Liked by 1 person

  28. Sounds like you are still pretty busy. I hope at least some new bird friends found your feeder so you have something to liven up your days.

    Like

    • This has been one of the busiest times of my life. A lot of things are happening simultaneously both at and away from The Grind. I am living my biggest Lame Adventure right now. Eventually, when things calm down, I’ll have a tale or two to tell.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. WOW! It’s the end of an era! What a wonderful tribute. Thanks for sharing…
    here’s a thought– move to Chicago!

    Cannot wait to hear about your latest lame adventure..ahem..

    xoxoxox

    Like

    • Hey Jules! Every morning, when I’m in Queens and the 7 train goes above ground allowing me to glimpse Manhattan in the distance, I wonder, “How did this happen?” Then, I remember that New York’s crown jewel is the most unfriendly place to a small business like my company. Companies that also do manufacturing just cannot afford to do so on that island with some of the highest real estate prices in the country. It’s amazing that we got to stay as long as we did. As for me moving to Chicago, The Grind closed their Windy City location last month. So, I’m going to stay put over here, even if it’s in a neighboring borough instead of the crown jewel.

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  30. I love your little short stories. The brighten up my day. And if you are interested in sports I love to blog about basketball. Come check me out!

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    • That’s very sweet of you. The only sport that I’m really into is tennis. I was not happy with how the US Open ended. I was very unhappy with both the mens’ and womens’ finals. Big Boss Man at The Grind is a huge Knicks and Mets fan. He’s done a lot of suffering, but the Mets are having a very good season this year. They might be able to find a way to screw that up in the post.

      Like

  31. this is a magnificent blog post. it’s the first one of yours I’ve read… I will read another… I’m just mentioning that it’s the first one I’ve read so you don’t pay any attention to me. I might have walked in by mistake…

    Like

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