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Saturday, September 5, 2015

Still Holding a Torch for You (New York - Field Trip)

Remember folks, The Bronx is Up and the Battery's Down
I've been on a prolonged visit to New York City, helping my beloved daughter, Rosalinda, move into her new apartment on the East Side of Manhattan.  Rosie's come to take a bite out of the big apple and pursue a graduate degree. I've come along for the ride. As much as I'm looking forward to returning to my California home, I've been savoring this ultimate big city experience.

One of my favorite discoveries was learning that we got an excellent view of  that celebrated Old Lady - a.k.a. The Statue of Liberty - from the cafeteria window at Ikea! Hey, don't you think the Old Gal must be getting tired of holding that torch up for everybody by now?
 ~ ~ ~ How to Acquire Apartment Furniture in NYC ~ ~ ~
Many of us are familiar with that new-apartment dwellers-shopping utopia, Ikea. Back home in California, we use our own car to load up our purchases. Over here in the land of 8.8 million people, it works a little differently for those without a car - which seems to be the majority.

Here's how my daughter acquired an assembled bed, compact eating table with two chairs, and a desk.

-  We called ahead to get advice on ordering on-web versus going to store. Nice man told us that if we ordered on-line, it would take two or three weeks, but that by visiting the store we could get a delivery date of our choice. Not wanting to sleep on the floor in Rosie's new apartment, we went to the store. - Give yourself a solid day. We went late morning Tuesday and it took us about four hours - though we did eat lunch first in the cafeteria. Yes, my daughter had already identified the names and product numbers for the furniture she wanted. Thank goodness.
-  Locate the various free Ikea shuttle stops in (our case) lower Manhattan. You can take a bus or subway to those. The MTA website might help you find them. There is also a water taxi which, I believe, leaves from Wall Street. Sounds fun but we were too exhausted to locate it after we heard this fun fact in the Home Delivery line.
- You might want to pay to have your items pulled from the shelves in the self serve warehouse area. We did not. The mattresses were really shoved in tight and I was glad I'd had a nourishing lunch, as I slammed my body repeatedly against one to make way for another to come out. Other bed pieces were pretty durn heavy. Between the two of us we just managed it - oh and my daughter had a stress fracture on her foot. Normally here, I work on being her feet, but there we were - us and those big heavy cartons that had to get into the carts. I do not recommend moving in this temporarily disabled condition. Given that fracture, we should have paid the forty bucks to have somebody else pick the furniture.
- Once Rose paid for the furniture boxes we'd struggled to load into and onto two carts, we thought we were all set. 
Har de har har.
It took an hour and a half to get through the Home Delivery line. Funny, it didn't look that long. But we moved at a snail's pace. It was like a Disneyland queue were they forgot to keep folks going.
- Rosalinda got the date and delivery window of her choice. The two men that came, schlepped the stuff up her five flights of stairs, assembled the furniture, and carted the boxes back down to her recycling area, were really nice. I practiced my Spanish with one of them. The other, who spoke English as his first language, communicated effortlessly with his non-English speaking helper. He looked to be of Italian ancestry. I've noticed many, many non-Latino folks in the area speak excellent Spanish. No, I didn't know before that 25% of people in the area are of Hispanic ancestry.
- Flat delivery fee at this time was $99. What a deal! Rosie also paid for the assembly - I think it's calculated based on weight. I've seen my husband assemble Ikea beds before and knew it was a big job, so I was really glad we didn't have to deal with it on our first day in.