Wherever He Will Go

In the bible, people moved. Perhaps my favorite story is that of Ruth and Naomi. Beginning the journey from Moab to Judah, Ruth swore to her mother-in-law, “Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.” They moved for different reasons and I think inside some was the desire to explore this earth, every part created by the maker of all things. It took guts for Naomi to return to a land she hardly knew anymore…she would have to begin all over and it took faith on her part to believe God would make a way, which He did. Therefore, if Rick still believes we should move at the end of this trip, I will trust God is leading us through him and I will go wherever he goes willingly.

I cannot help but look at the globe and see a whole world out there, waiting to be explored! Yes, many have seen it and can share their experiences on the Travel channel or in magazines but when it can be managed, I want to experience places for myself and fortunately, I’ve married someone who shares this desire. God made it and said it was good and I believe him!

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m seeking to not only offer some reason for our desire to move to New York but also feel the constant need to justify, justify, justify.

Enough justifying. There is so much to share about our day and more about our church experience yesterday! This morning, we woke up early and had breakfast with Toni and Ken. Ken works at a large advertising company, Time Inc., and has been open to talking with Rick about job possibilities, sharing Rick’s resume with members of his company and offering his expertise. Now Rick has a clearer idea of what computer programs he has listed on his resume will be more valued by prospective employers, etc. and which would perhaps be helpful to become familiar with. Incidentally, we would never move unless (a) Rick can find a job and (b) we can find an apartment in a safe, conveniently located area.

We had a slow start since we were both exhausted after breakfast and decided to nap for an hour but finally got out for our first apartment hunting experience early this afternoon! Here is what we found:

  • Apartment 1 – located in a very run down area which we knew with just one glance would NOT be a wise choice! When the agent did not show up within ten minutes of the scheduled appointment, we left, only to get an angry phone call about 15 minutes later from the realtor, annoyed we had not been there…he was the late one but apparently that fact alluded him. LATE…a thing which perhaps seems a normal state of affairs in this big, crowded, bustling city and a perfect way of being for me!:)
  • Apartment 2 – located in an up in coming neighborhood (one which was once run down and higher crime but is now becoming more middle class and safer). Our realtor was so friendly and helpful, a far cry from the annoying con men we’d been warned about! The apartment, which we’d found off of Craigslist, was immaculate and beautiful with the character and charm of the 100 year old brown stone in which it is located. Though we will not be in a place to know whether we can move here for a while yet, this apartment gave us hope!
  • Apartment 3 – located in a very sketchy neighborhood again. Determined we would start our search more carefully tomorrow!

Other tidbits of note:

  • My sister Maryanne would love this! stoop sales and “stoop discards” (things people have decided to throw away but leave right on the fringe of their stoop or small area in front of their brown stone, in the hopes that a passerby will take and make over for themselves) make walking along the side walk an exciting experience. We’ve seen a set of beautiful, wood dining room chairs, elegant bedside table, treadmill, books, infant bassinet in perfect condition, clothes…..New Yorkers know this is a way to furnish their apartments and Toni knows a couple who scored their dining room table this way, set out to go straight to the dump. Can you imagine?
  • Utilities are the same or cheaper (Toni estimates they spend about $50 in electric each month and heat is often included in rent costs).
  • Cost of groceries is roughly equal from what I have seen so far
  • Most local groceries do FREE delivery (ex. Freshdirect.com)
  • Any of the areas around Prospect Park are good to live in and are family friendly, especially Park Slope and Prospect Heights.
  • Throughout the city, every 5-6 blocks, you have have a grocery store, Laundromat, bakery, coffee shop, etc.
  • I see many moms, dads, families and/or nannies walking around. There may not be many couples with 2 or more children in the city but there are many with at least one.
  • In the Prospect Heights area, moms like to hang out at The Tea Lounge during the day which is fine by me! It is a funky cafe which is right up my alley!
  • Though Toni does not read my blog, she basically reiterated what I said already about New Yorkers…they are not unfriendly. They simply do not use the niceties which one would expect in other parts of the country because in a fast-pace city like theirs, it is all about getting down to business! I have gotten as many hellos and smiles on the street here, etc as I would anywhere else .

Extra tidbit from yesterday:

  • We decided at the last minute to go to a Sovereign Grace Ministries Church (affiliated with the large Covenant Life church pastored by C.J. Mahaney in Gaithersburg, Maryland). My brother Tim loves C.J. so Rick and I were over come with curiosity when we saw their was a church plant in New York. It meets in an elementary school and though only 40 people or so were in the service, we thought it was perfect in its smallness. The attendees were eager to welcome us and in no time we were invited to go out to lunch with the whole group of them and got a dinner invite from a cute, newly married couple. After lunch, a guy named Toby walked us around the nearby area and was
    very eager to get us acquainted with the New York scene
    . New Yorkers love to show off their city we’ve noticed. (And Tim, if you read this, the pastor and other members know your site well and read it regularly! How fun it is to mention Tim Challies and get an immediate response of familiarity)!

* * * *

Sign we saw today in “ghetto” area of Brooklyn:

“Divorce $399. No signature needed.”

Enough said!

*I would like to know…how many of you have moved away from your families and familiarity (for whatever reason) and how have you/did you learn to manage? Seriously, your thoughts and advice would be very appreciated so do not hesitate to share!

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5 Responses to Wherever He Will Go

  1. maryanne helms says:

    So interesting Susanna! I love reading all about your experiences so far. I can see and hear the city in your words. I think you have stumbled across your blog theme, don’t you? Life is really in your writing now.

  2. Shannon says:

    Sounds like quite the adventure so far! Have you guys figured out how much rent is going to be yet? That’s great that utlities are low…likely because the apartments are so small. If you can manage small spaces…especially when Micah starts walking…then you can save some money with rent and utilities. Keep us in the loop with what you find. It sounds like you can get everything you would need for that apartment on the streets! Kind of neat! Have another great day of adventure!

  3. Grace says:

    Sounds great…you are making me want to go and visit…see what it’s like. Hope you have better luck with finding an apartment today!

  4. bchallies says:

    As Maryanne said, lively and interesting. As for the question about moving, well, you really should be quite an expert yourself. You HAVE lived in three countries!

  5. Shannon says:

    The only time I moved away from my family was to attend University, a whole hour away! It was just enough distance though to learn how to stand on my own two feet, take on my own responsibilities and I learned A LOT about myself. I learned that I could overcome a heck of a lot just on my own. Friends and social outlets (a very big part of University life anyways) were the keys to settling into my surroundings fairly easily. In NYC you are certainly surrounded by enough people so there have got to be some future friends walking around there somewhere! There is a running group that runs through Central Park if you are interested in taking that up again and it’s a great way to meet new people. My friend Nicola is a part of that group.

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