We survived our first week at the new house. Thanks to Greta’s help with everything and my parents lugging stuff over, we’ve survived.
There’s been a lot of living with cardboard, a lot of rootin’ around through random piles in the garage for something to wear, a lot of eating whatever’s leftover on the stove in the time it takes to heat Hazie’s bottle up, and a lot of exasperation that our chihuahua won’t act her size and just use the cat door when she has to doo doo.
The only room that’s anywhere near being finished is the girls’ room, as I had it painted and set up before we moved in. I don’t have the artwork up, so I won’t publish an “after” photo yet, but I just looked at my sparse mood board and am really pleased with how things turned out. I’ll post the mood board here and then the “after” photo hopefully in the next week or so when it’s done.
We’ve only moved about a mile and a half from the old house, and I know that’s a long way in City distance, but it seems like a universe away and it’s taking some adjusting to.
Take our corner store at the old house; it was great. My cousin who grew up in Manhattan actually said when we took him there,
“Oh my god, this is waaay more New York than New York is New York.”
(Which is to say that Manhattan is kind of a mall now), but what he was talking about were the layered-on-yellow-taped-up photos all over the wall, and the framed autographs from Kevin Costner and Joe Montana, and the grime, and the suspicious candy from Latin America next to the tittie mags, and the dudes in wife beaters yelling “Ayyyyyyyyyyy-OOOOOOHhhhhhhhhh!” as they lobbed giant meatball subs over your head to the guy at the register.
The new corner store is great too. But there are no subs. There is no grime or soda with corn syrup. It’s fantastic to be able to walk around the corner and get all organic produce and Biobags and a nice bottle of wine and 8 kinds of gluten-free bread mix. It just takes getting used to.
Also, I’m used to listening to ghetto boom from low-riders, and police sirens and the sound of our neighbor screaming at his kids in Spanish and his kid WHO IS VERY, VERY BAD actually playing “La Bamba” (no joke) on the electric guitar.
New house? Birds chirping. Children laughing. Oh yeah, and get this…our neighbor practicing as he is AN OPERA SINGER.
And the local park…
One of the reasons we picked the new house was because of the epic park 1/2 a block from it. It’s got a free playgroup drop in center that’s open 6 days a week in a HUGE clean auditorium with TONS of very nice, clean, brand new toys, a gigantic gymnasium, clean bathrooms, a staff that runs year-round children’s classes, an extensive fenced in playground with new squishy-foam-bottom stuff so no mud will bespoil your kid’s designer clothes, basketball courts, tennis courts,a manicured baseball field, a local group of garden enthusiasts who keep all areas blooming with seasonal flowers and oh my, it’s pretty idyllic.
But instead of my kids being one of maybe 5% of white kids at the local park, they’re suddenly with the vast majority…as long as you don’t count all the Mexican nannies huddled together in the corner dishing together. The ones who look like they might be moms? Au pairs mostly…because most of the moms who have had these children are around 45…and now that you look around there’s an eerie prevalence of multiples. Late mom In vitro births in twos and threes. And that’s fine too.
It’s just that some of these brats have ATTITUDES. Because they can. Because their nannies could give a crap if their charges start beating on another kid with a maraca.
The neighbors here are wonderful. Our back yard is fabulous. Our view is to die for. It’s convenient as all get out. We’re protected from the fog…but I kid you not, I actually listened in on a group of girls today at the park…they looked to be around seven, and one girl, (really, I kid you not) says, (and I repeat),
“Coco, Astrid! Let’s play a game. Okay, pretend this is a college,” (refers to the playground area), “…and I got in, but both of you didn’t.”
And poor Coco, (or perhaps Astrid) was so queen-bee’d she actually responded with a meek “Ok.”
Please oh please oh please oh please let my girls never be a Coco or an Astrid, and please oh please oh please let them not play “getting into the right school” by age seven.
- Allison Muir is a San Franciscan writer, artist, and interior designer. During her varied career she has designed D.I.Y. projects for ReadyMade Magazine, coordinated postproduction for clients such as Industrial Light and Magic, Dreamworks and Pixar, and produced and written for Al Gore’s Current TV. She likes restaurants with themes and gimmicks.