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Start Date 2008-06-04 11:41:45 |Comments 1,367 |Entries 818 |Images 2,353 |Videos 58 |Mobl 341 |

Category: moving

08/20/08 03:24 - 53ºF - ID#45374

A's adventures in Allentown

I moved up here last Friday and my friend A came with me and enabled me in my stuff addictions... four crates of books (yes, my complete Marion Zimmer Bradley and Ursula K. LeGuin collections, grad-school-related stuff, plus a bunch of books that I haven't read yet.), puppy, kitty, kitchen table, cookie cutters, and too many lamps...

But while we've been unpacking, we've also been experiencing Allen Street and the Buffalo metro area.

Friday night, with dirt rings around my neck that I washed off in the restroom, we went to the Towne for dinner. A says, "It was okay; it was just diner food." While on one level I agree, it is diner food, in comparison with the diner we went to in Tioga County, Pa., on Thursday, it was expensive and had better food selection. Thursday I spent $39 for lunch for six people and left a $10 tip for my superduper neighbor and waitress Jenn in at the Brick Tavern in Blossburg, Pa. I think I spent about the same total for the two of us at the Towne - I need to get used to "normal" prices again.

Saturday we kept unpacking, ordered a white pizza with spinach and broccoli from New York Style Pizza here on Allen. A says, "There wasn't any ricotta cheese on it, and the garlic was powder not real. The crust was very good and the service was great. It wasn't a bad pizza, just not quite what I thought it would be, I guess."

Did I mention that I have the cutest little claw food tub in my apartment? It's adorable... to look at. The shower wasn't ready when I arrived on Friday. Over the weekend, A and I tried multiple ways of bathing. We pretended to be coal miners in the 1890s, when showers (well, any indoor plumbing) were not a part of most houses in Tioga County. We poured pitchers of water over each others heads to shampoo and rinse. Once we were relatively clean, we went to Allen Street Hardware Cafe... Wow!!! great beer selection. Dinner was good too. A got the scallop special with deep fried plantains and rice, I got the eggplant & pesto panini. Yummy yummy. A says, "The food was good. The portions were a little small. The beer was good. It was a little dark in the restaurant."

Sunday, we went to Amy's Place up near UB South. I had the lentil soup - bland - but the sunny side up eggs were very nice. A had some kind of lamb wrap which he liked a lot. On our way back to the car, we met a very nice lady with a front yard garden. She has an alpine section - so neat. The flowers were gorgeous and very unusual.

I have an apartment less than 1/4 the size of the house I sold; it's hard to cram what I consider "necessities" into it. And that's after a 10x10 storage unit and several give-aways.


Missing Image ;(



We went to Home Depot, Target, back to the apartment, back to Home Depot, back to Target, and on our way home down Elmwood, we stopped at Saigon Cafe. A got scallops again, "They were very polite. Speedy service. Great portions for the buck. Excellent food." I got the eggplant in green curry which I didn't like because it's a coconut milk curry. But A loved his and the nibble of mushroom I had from his... yum yum. The hoisin sauce with my veggie spring roll was amazing. I got the caramel cream dessert. I didn't like it, but A loved it. I'd definitely go back but order different things.

Monday, more unpacking. *sigh* the apartment was dirty so we had to clean everything - kitchen cabinets, floors, windows, shelves - and unpacking took many hours more than I expected. However, we still made time for play and went to the Buffalo Zoo! I have a small but rather insistent animals rights streak and so I resist visiting zoos, but A hadn't been to one since he was a kid visiting his grandmother in South Carolina. Since A took time off to come here and help me move, he gets to pick the daily entertainment.

Go see pix:
[I tried to embed a slideshow and failed, and I don't have the patience to resize and upload the 22 pix.]

Here's one picture from the set to encourage you to go see the rest:

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"The zoo's worth going to. There are nice exhibits with a really nice selection of animals. It's very kid-friendly," A said, "Someone shoulda been deep-frying those cockroaches."

I had lots of fun taking pictures. The Lorakeet Landing was especially fun - one bird let me get very close for quite a while. Such vibrant colors!

I've been living in a very rural area and have needed suits... twice? in the past five years. The program I started on Thursday requires more professional dress than I've needed in about 10 years, so going to the mall became a high priority. (I certainly welcome suggestions on where to get women's suits - plus size! 18/20. Lord & Taylor at the Walden Galleria had the best selection at that mall.) We had a little snack at Johnny Rockets, then after I bought a pretty nice suit at L&T, we drove back into the city and decided to cruise Elmwood to see what was still open. A decided to try Jim's Steak Out. He says, "It needs more exploration." I think that means he liked it and wants to go back. I tried a bean burrito supreme with a side of guac at Elmwood Taco & Sub (ETS) and really liked it.

On Tuesday, the management company finally installed my shower in the adorable clawfoot tub and I felt much cleaner. After I worked on a client's website for a couple hours, and checked in with my friend & colleague Kelly in Tioga County, we managed to get almost everything in the apartment cleaned and unpacked. I have a desk-ish thing and bookshelves. That's all that's really important, right?

As "payment" for helping me, I treated A to one of his favorite things - Korean barbecue at Woo Chon Korea House in Williamsville. A has had Korean barbecue one other time - when we moved my friend Lisa out of her house and into a storage unit in Maryland. (Her stuff moved into the storage unit; she moved to NYC.) Her parents were so kind and treated us to dinner at Woomi Korean barbecue in Wheaton, Md. That was freakin' awesome. Tonight at Woo Chon, the food was equally yummy, the service was outstanding, and the soju was biting! Since there were only two of us and I didn't eat barbecue, he didn't get the treat of the at-the-table barbecue, but he loved the kitchen-prepped beef barbecue. So many yummy sides! bean sprouts, tofu, kimchee and kimchee... I had the tempura, and a couple of those little pizza juns.

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Then we went to several bars on Allen Street: Gabriel's Gate, Staple, the little no-name bar in the yellow vinyl-sided building, Nietzche's, Frizzy's, and another stop at NY Pizza. We had walked walked by Gabriel's Gate several times - it looked kinda tough and maybe like hardcore metalheads (no offense, (e:metalpeter) and (e:tinypliny) !) hung out there, but we went in anyway. It's gorgous inside!!! Totally worth going in just to see the woodwork. Staple was probably the most comfortable for me, A loved Nietzsche's - he's a bass player currently seeking a band and is now jealous of where I'm living. He liked this sign:
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Frizzy's (I might have the name wrong) was boring in comparison to the other places and didn't have as good a beer selection. The no-name bar wasn't our style either. I'm looking forward to exploring more of the bars.

Wednesday while I was working, A visited THREE sausage markets. Spar's European Sausage Market, 405 Amherst, was his favorite - he bought a LOT of sausage there, plus a really nice cheese with peppercorns in it. He wanted to go to Canada, but he didn't remember to bring his birth certificate. Maybe next time. We did more shopping (poor guy had to sit in all these boring stores and wait for me to try stuff on) then got take out at India Gate. Good food once again.

A left Thursday and took my puppy home with him. :-( I didn't take any pix of her while she was here because I knew it would be painful to see them. China Cat Sunflower is settling in nicely.

I also miss my elderly cat, Kitten, who stayed with the house I recently sold. She would beg me to turn on the bathroom sink faucet:
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Permalink: A_s_adventures_in_Allentown.html
Words: 1487
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: moving

08/16/08 03:54 - 75ºF - ID#45342

I'm here!!!

Woooohoooo!!! I made it! I'm in my *ahem* cozy apartment on Allen Street. Thanks to (e:chico) , my friend A, and Jeff & Devon (a moving crew that my buddy Lisa in NYC found for me on CraigsList as I stood outside the building and panicked because I didn't plan the move-in part very well...), we got everything from downstairs to upstairs in about an hour. Amazing!




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Permalink: I_m_here_.html
Words: 67
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: moving

08/14/08 12:23 - 65ºF - ID#45325

Moving Friday! Garden pictures

Oh my.... It's now Thursday and I've got about 36 hrs to get everything packed and either moved to storage or in the U-Haul trailer. It'll be done, but I'll be exhausted. I expect to start moving stuff into my new apartment in Buffalo around 1pm on Friday...

My previously referenced (e:heidi,45183) nonprofit organization created a community garden this year on an empty lot on the edge of the business district. The lot used to have houses on it but they were eventually condemned as being too risky in a flood zone. Here are some pix I took last week to illustrate the story I wrote for the local paper.

The lot in late April. (credit Tonya McNamara)
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The lot Aug. 4.
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We're having a little pumpkin growing contest for the fall festival.
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One of the gardeners picked kale and zucchini for me out of her plot.
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So, (e:TinyPliny), I keep thinking about your tree-planting team. I love the idea, but I didn't have a plot in my community garden, in part because I don't like to do manual labor and I don't particularly like to get diirty... how can I justify digging holes for trees in Buffalo? <grin> I supported the community garden by writing some creative grants...
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Permalink: Moving_Friday_Garden_pictures.html
Words: 219
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: moving

08/06/08 04:08 - 77ºF - ID#45253

Internet connection?

So, starting next Friday, I'll be living on Allen Street in Buffalo... What do you do for internet connectivity at home? I have no need for cable TV or telephone, but I guess I'll end up with one or the other?

Is it incredibly rude of me to ask for help moving in? I'm bringing as little as possible, but it's still stuff - bed, mattress, dressers, recliner, table & chairs, bookshelves... My friend A is coming up with me, but gosh it would be nice to have another person, even just for an hour...


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Permalink: Internet_connection_.html
Words: 95
Location: Buffalo, NY


07/29/08 01:42 - 73ºF - ID#45183

Paint &amp; plastic

In response to this post (e:tinypliny,45179) about plastic bags, I worte about my community organization's efforts to reduce plastic bag usage.

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We were able to give them away for free thanks to a grant from our regional solid waste authority. People are still asking me for them but they've all been distributed. We're thinking about using some other grant funding to buy more.

(e:drew,44403) prompted me to look at and photograph the paint on my old house. When we bought it five years ago, the paint was all peeling - here's a picture of the side of the house that hasn't been touched yet. (I've got pictures somewhere of when we bought it, but not accessible at the moment.)


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West side ainted five years ago:
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West side detail of window next to porch
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South side painted five years ago:
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South side detail lower right corner, spigot:
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Paint scraped on east side:
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East side currently in progress:

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Kitten, my 17+ year old cat:

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Permalink: Paint_amp_plastic.html
Words: 181
Location: Buffalo, NY


07/26/08 07:44 - 76ºF - ID#45152

Epic/heroic stories

tagging off (e:lauren) 's post about heroic/epic movies ... here's a telling of the Obama story as an epic...


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Permalink: Epic_heroic_stories.html
Words: 38
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: rural

07/15/08 01:14 - 67ºF - ID#45022

Hummingbird in office

I feel like I'm cheating by not reading everyone's posts before posting something... this whole moving thing is difficult and time-consuming, but on the bright side, I just acquired a camera after being without for way too long. I'm out of practice in both composition and technical but sometimes documenting life and communicating outweighs the artistic. My goal is to become competent, if not fluent, in my camera's functionality in the next month. Hopefully I'll have some decent shots occasionally.

We had a hummingbird fly into the office today - we often leave doors and windows open, depending on the weather and my dog's willingness to stay inside:

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How cool - my camera captured a hummingbird's wings at the moment of full forward motion!

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This cropped version makes it look like the hummingbird is dead and laying on a tile floor, but no, it's just a cropped, flat version of a not very good shot of something kinda interesting.

I haven't figured out how to best manage photos on my laptop - suggestions, anyone? I've got Picasa, Photoshop CS and the software that came with the camera but I'm willing to try other things. I like the Picasa upload to the picasaweb - very easy instead of having to go thru a FTP-type interface (or the additional step to keep it on my own server). But I'm not quite catching on to how to save my edited or resized stuff to be able to send it up to estrip . I think the first hummingbird photo i uploaded here is 2MB which makes me look like a stoopid noobie... I guess I am at the moment... patience, grasshopper.


I enjoyed some time at one of my favorite spots today - long enough for the sun to go down and the moon become visible.

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And two cuteoverload-style photos of Nisha:

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This one seems like it needs a LOLcat-type phrase on it:

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Permalink: Hummingbird_in_office.html
Words: 333
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: belief

07/06/08 11:30 - 75ºF - ID#44884

Belief-o-matic!

Since (e:drew), (e:jim) & (e:janelle) are pondering such things as the particulars of Christian belief, I thought I'd throw out the Belief-o-matic!

(me: secular humanist)
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Permalink: Belief_o_matic_.html
Words: 35
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: community

07/03/08 10:11 - 63ºF - ID#44850

Transportation/housing affordability

I like to geek about walkability, communities, poverty, transportation and such... Andrew Leonard's column/blog on Salon.com is a very good read. He passed along a site that allows you to check out the impact of gasoline prices on household budgets, with 2000 & 2008 color GIS maps, transportation and housing costs as percentage of household income...take some time & play with it. Use the advanced option, and the gas cost impacts link.



I'm familiar with the DC-Balto metro area, and lightly familiar with Buffalo, so I compared those - Buffalo is a -lot- smaller... My current location: Data not available.

You can zoom in to street/neighborhood level. You'll see that cost of transportation is much lower within the city, and very low in certain areas - ones that are highly walkable (Elmwood) and/or highly convenient to public transportation.


Walkability by neighborhood in Seattle


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Permalink: Transportation_housing_affordability.html
Words: 162
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: moving

06/27/08 12:32 - 73ºF - ID#44797

apartment!

I found an apartment today! I totally didn't expect to find one so easily, but all the research I was able to do with the kind, gracious and thoughtful assistance of (e:peeps) really paid off. 8/15 I'll take possession of a very sunny third-floor one-bedroom apartment on Allen Street! I think it's the kind of apartment I can live (perch?) in for three years.

I also got to meet (e:drew)! *waves* Thanks so much for the warm welcome!

Now that I know where I"m moving, I feel like I can finally start packing and processing all my STUFF. I have a lot of stuff and most of it will be living in storage.



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Permalink: apartment_.html
Words: 115
Location: Buffalo, NY


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mike said to grandma
I'm so glad you made it safely!...

mike said to grandma
I'm so glad you made it safely!...

joe said to grandma
OMG welcome!...

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New years resolution to top (e:strip)?...