Saturday, June 27, 2009

Thunder, Chinatown, First Move In, Little Italy, Cookoff!

Sadly, no pictures will accompany any of the text below. So, if you're a visual person, I apologize. But at least be glad that I'm not subjecting you to my attempts at translating all that I write into mangled Chinese, Japanese, and Spanish. I've tried that before. It...doesn't work out so well. In any case, I'll try to subdivide this into sections so you can scroll past boring parts. I don't quite have the patience to relearn how to do html anchors, so I can't href you straight to a particular section.

Thursday, June 25 -- Move-In Day
I landed in JFK at 6:10 AM EST. Considering the amount of sleep I got at Stanford, this was fine. I had mentally prepared myself for the lack of sleep on the red-eye but certainly did not anticipate the poor crying/screaming baby whose mother was clearly somewhere else (mentally, that is) during the entire flight. For those of you who've seen me when I'm high on caffeine and low on sleep, don't worry. This time, I was only low on sleep.

The thing to keep in mind before I subject you to textual representation of my apartment is that I moved into an apartment already occupied by 4 other guys. I had previously emailed them to ask if they needed anything. Written at the very bottom of that list of needs (which included, by the way, "bomb" cooking spices, alcohol, game consoles, television, and others) was "kitchen cleaner." I took that to mean they needed a maid or some variation thereof but also tried to assure myself that they only needed some Clorox wipes and 405 Kitchen Counter Spray.

Nope. They definitely needed a maid. I walked into the apartment (which is a 6 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 1 kitchen, 1 common area apartment -- for only $590 a month in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, btw) and found a sink full of dirty dishes (with another stuck in the cabinet under the sink), a refrigerator that needed a great deal of Arm&Hammer Baking Soda and that also screamed "EMPTY ME! IT SMELLS!" to both myself and my suitemate Tim (Tim, by the way, is also an incoming MD-PhD who happens to like cooking. Needless to say, we became very fast friends and co-gamers).

The apartment was otherwise alright with the usual issues one finds when you have an old building and where some things are of the "if we can bear with it, we won't fix it" variety.

But that's enough about the apartment. It's basically something that can only be explained in pictures. And there will be pictures, as Tim and I will be spending a part of Sunday cleaning it up and I plan to have him take a set of "before" and "after" pictures.

The suitemates are really cool. There's a guy named Mert (who's leaving on Monday to start a second post-doc at UCSF) who is from Turkey; A PhD named Kevin (whom we virtually never see -- typical); An international medical student from Brazil named Tiago (I can't even pronounce it correctly, much less spell it here...) who's leaving on Sunday to go back to Brazil and start residency; Steven, a PhD who is from Stockton, CA and who is currently still in CA for a bachelor party if I heard him correctly; and Eric, who had sublet his apartment to Tiago so he could go somewhere else to study for Board Exams. That's basically all I know about them and considering that Tiago, Mert, and Steven are leaving before the end of July, I don't know too much else otherwise. Eric does arrive tomorrow though, about an hour before Tiago leaves, so I'll know a bit more about him then.

The rest of the day would be pretty uneventful. I got registered (have a Sinai badge now; it's official! I'm a med student!), filled out some more security forms, etc.

Friday, June 26 -- The Second Day
I got to hear thunder Friday night! Coming from CA, I've been told I don't know what real thunder sounds like, and I got to hear it! The lightning flashed, and then literally 1 second later the thunder came! It was incredible (minus the fact that Tim had gone out running 10 minutes before and came back looking about as wet as the time Testimony threw me in The Claw for my birthday...), and I definitely want to take some pictures with his SLR when the next thunderstorm hits. I saw lightning dancing between clouds before flying down at lightning speed (no less).

Okay, that was the night, but what about morning? Turns out Central Park is a really nice place to go for a morning job, especially if you like dogs. Dogs...everywhere (with owners who have leashes and poop bags, thankfully). All kinds, colors, shapes, and sizes.

So Friday also happened to be the day I met with the director of our program and next Tuesday, we're having a pre-orientation get together (program starts July 1 and orientation is July 1) and we're going to make dinner for ourselves and the director. More to come about that later.

Saturday, June 27 -- Chinatown & Little Italy
If I had pictures...

But I don't.

Chinatown and Little Italy happen to be right next to each other in downtown Manhattan and whereas Little Italy is characterized by the sheer number of restaurants, Chinatown is characterized by the number of "variety" gift shops that cell various asian items, from katanas, to fans, to buddhas, to "slimming teas", etc. This was the first day I had Chinese food while in NY, and it was pretty good, though I'm hoping for more/better later on. Got my hands on some Hello Pandas and Lychee Jelly's, and I managed to introduce Tim to Milk Tea (Boba is next), mochi, and 蛋塔.

We also found this nice little Cheesecake store called Eileen's "Special" Cheesecake. It's a great little store and the cakes there taste phenomenal. Definitely going back.

That pretty much took over the whole day -- I'll be posting some pictures when I can.


Friday, June 26, 2009

New address, new beginnings

In a few months, my address deactivates.

If you would like, feel free to email me at *drumroll...*

I know it's not terribly inventive, but that's how the boring computer over at Sinai works. I guess I can't complain, as they're giving me a pretty good education.

If you would like to send me snail mail, care packages, not-so-caring care packages, etc. the address is

50 East 98th St.
Apt 8J1
New York, NY 10029

You all know my name, of course -- that's not going to change anytime soon. Neither is my cell number. Oh, and big news: THE CELL PHONE HAS RECEPTION IN NEW YORK.

Okay, that's it for the first post. I just moved in yesterday (6/25), so I'll be posting some thoughts about that as well.

Keep grooving, dancing, singing, reading, writing, studying, MCATing, teaching, and keeping it real ya'll!