August 24, 2010

New York Stories - When Change Matters

We've made a number of corporate moves, although we've never lived East of Texas. A few years back, New York City became a possibility that we flirted with. For over half a year, Hubby commuted from Phoenix to New York every week. Every week! If we were lucky, we saw him two full days a week. And sometimes when he had weekend events, he didn't make it home for weeks at a time. His company was suggesting that we relocate to Manhattan so I flew in for 10 days to look at places. This was while I was running my own business so the whole thing was kind of crazy.

We looked at apartments to buy all over the city. Compared to how we live with our own house and yard, this was so bizarre. Plus, let me tell you, money goes a lot further in Phoenix. We looked at one that was 1,200 square feet, less than half the size of our house. It had just one bedroom, the kitchen was a skinny galley style that didn't even have a dishwasher, the washer and dryer was in the basement of the building shared with other tenants, and there was no place to park a car. You had to rent a space somewhere nearby if you even had a car. And it was on sale -- a smokin' deal -- for just $600,000. We laughed all the way down the street.

Another memorable apartment was two stories. They had purchased apartments directly above/below each other and connected them with a spiral metal staircase. That's it -- that was how you went from floor to floor, unless you went out into the hallway and rode the elevator with everyone else. It was a strange layout and the big selling feature was that if you stood on the staircase and leaned way over the side, out a window you could kind of see a little bit of the Empire State Building. And this one was a steal for just over a million dollars!

We continued to look at places throughout this visit and actually found a couple that could have worked, although I don't know what we would have done with all of our belongings and the dogs would have gone into shock having to be walked on leashes every time they needed to go out. We are all pretty spoiled with the doggie door.

While I've always thought it would be great to live in New York for one full year, throughout all the seasons, the idea fizzled in this instance and we stayed put in Arizona. But we've had some fun visits to NYC through Hubby's work.

During this particular stint, we flew our Oldest Daughter and the Granddaughter, who was about 8 at the time, in for their first visit to New York. Hubby was working, so the three of us girls spent quite a bit of time exploring on our own. I had already been to the Statue of Liberty on a previous visit, but it is a must see attraction so off we went. We rode the subway to the proper stop and made our way to Battery Park where you catch the ferry to Liberty Island and Ellis Island.

And here is where the fun began, a.k.a. Our Daughter the Terrorist. Battery Park security is serious business before you ever get on the ferry. There are walk-through metal detectors and they inspect your belongings with x-ray machines just like at the airport. Our purses were riding the conveyor belt through the x-ray machines when there was a bit of commotion and all of a sudden we're being escorted away from the crowds. We watched in confusion as they took OD's purse apart.

They finally told us that excessive metal triggers all the alarms and the bottom of her purse was like a solid sheet of metal. Apparently, she throws loose change into her purse where it just keeps piling up. That thing weighed a ton and I honestly don't know how she made it through all the airport security flying to NY in the first place. The next day, we went to a bank on 5th Avenue and got coin paper rolls. We sat there for the longest time, sorted and rolled nearly $23.00 in change. That bought a few more souvenirs!

Not too long after this happened, the Granddaughter and I flew together to Colorado for a family celebration. Going through airport security, they pulled us aside and started taking my purse apart. I had no idea what they thought they were looking for and the guard wouldn't tell me! He kept saying something like, "Why don't you just tell me where it is and you can catch your flight." I honest-to-God was clueless. The Granddaughter is starting to look a little scared now, hanging on my arm.

Now he has my wallet in a thousand pieces, credit cards laid out on the table, business cards, sticky notes, paper clips, safe deposit box key, paper money and coins. That old wallet was about 3" thick and loaded with stuff. And I'm starting to worry that we're going to miss our flight. I'm begging the guy, "Please just tell me what you're looking for so I can help you." Help me help you, right???

He says, "Where is the razor blade?"

Razor blade!?!?

I'm relieved. I laugh. I don't have a razor blade. I tell him, "I don't have a razor blade. That's ridiculous!"

Just about this time, he pulls a razor blade out of the deepest part of the coin pocket of my wallet.



We owned a retail store at the time and several months before I had taken a straight edge blade, wrapped in cardboard, to the store to scrape some glue off the windows. I'd stuck it deep in my wallet to take it back home again and forgotten all about it.

The funniest thing was, when the security guard whipped that razor blade out of my wallet and held it up with an Ah Ha! flourish in front of my face, the Granddaughter looked up at me in horror and in this absolutely disgusted voice says, "Oh, Nana!" That's right, baby girl, your Nana is a terrorist.

No harm done, they kept the razor blade and we made our flight. It's weird being looked at like you're a criminal, though. So my travel tips for the day are 1) Keep your change in a coin purse and 2) Don't carry razor blades!


Dazee Dreamer said...

omg, that is too funny.

Baby Sister said...

Lol. I'm sorry you had to go through all of that, but it's hilarious to read!!

Anonymous said...

funny! thanks for the tip tho.

when i FINALLY make it to moscow next month?

i'll be sure and leave the razor blades at home....

Angie said...

Oh my goodness - how funny! At least they are throughou!!

WhisperingWriter said...

Haha, oops!

Joann Mannix said...

I love New York. It is one my favorite places in the world. Having said that, I like it better as a visitor.

I am a target at airports. I get pulled out of line constantly. I've been scanned, puffed, searched,(thankfully not strip-searched), been interrogated. It's such a routine for me, it's a joke. I'm not sure why. I am 5'3". I don't think I could overtake a 12 year old much less a plane and I certainly don't fit any terrorism profiles. Unless terrorists have taken to wearing their hair in short pixie cuts and coloring their hair platinum blonde.

Once, they stopped me and informed me I had a lighter in my purse. I was all indignant, informing them I most certainly didn't have a lighter in my purse, that I didn't even smoke. I was insisting this as they pulled the giant lighter with the flashing Vegas sign on it out of my purse.I'd forgotten that my husband had bought the lighter for one of his cigar smoking buddies. Oh, well.

lisaschaos said...

What funny experiences! lol I'm sure you enjoy your life in AZ much more than you would in NY, I think NY is fun to visit though. :)

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

YOu totally strike me as a terrorist that secretly carries an "old" wallet to throw us off!

Cheeseboy said...

I think I might have been a little frightened to be behind you in line.

I too would love to live in NYC someday. But I think I might need to make a few more bucks.

Tiffanee said...

Wow!! That is too funny! Your grandaughter will remember that one forever!! Good memories. I was shocked at the cost of housing in NY!!

Loren said...

OMG! THAT.IS.CRAZY!! You terrorist You ;)

I never realized living in NY cost THAT much! WOW! I was able to go for a week with a group of girls from my Salon. We attended the Redken School in Manhattan and OMG, it was sooo awesome! We were there in the Fall and I just fell in love!

Thanks for the traveling tips !!
Have a blessed day

Kathleen said...

What an incredible story!

Fifty States Travel said...

that was quite a day. from now on, i probably should empty my purse and re-arrange it before i go on a flight again. one time security had problem with my belt having all those metallic embelishments on it.

Debby said...

A move from Arizona to New York would be very hard on the budget.
It's so expensive! I haven't been there but would love to go. Those are funny stories. Can't believe they found that razor blade!!