NYC to Chicago move

During a rough week of farewell parties, it was time to pack up and prepare for the move back to Chicago.

Here are the significant moments:

  • Farewell gathering at George Keeley’s: I think this is the best bar in NYC. Perhaps I’m biased by the easy location (2 blocks away). Perhaps I like that they have a great selection of Belgium beers. Perhaps I like that they have DirecTV and provided a mechanism to watch the Bears play when they weren’t broadcast nationally. Perhaps I like the free popcorn. Perhaps I like the hot and tasty home fries. Perhaps I like the tasty bacon cheddar burgers and chicken sandwiches. Perhaps I like the great bar staff who always remembered my name and gave the occasional free round. Perhaps I like the spicy bloody mary’s (which weren’t Uncle Bill’s recipe, but a solid second place). Perhaps I always had a good time when going there. Anyway, it was a good time had by many(all?) with Yat, mr. and mrs. schwardo, the Potts’, the Petko’s, Erika, and Su and I.
  • Packing up my full-scale library of books: Not much for me to say about this as the main (full) effort of packing was done by Su. I’ve got a lot of them and now (thanks to Su) there is even some kind of inventory list.
  • Packing up the stereo: This is now the 3rd time my entertainment system (receiver + speakers) has been moved. Some would say that Dolby Digital 5.1 is outdated technology, but if one must live off of OTA(over the air) broadcast, then that is the best one can get anyway. Suffice it to say that the cardboard has held up and probably no surprise that the styrofoam hasn’t degraded in the least.
  • Farewell party #2: One party is never enough and it was necessary 🙂 because not everyone could make it on Sunday. What could only be construed as a grammar error (OR vs AND) made this effort a bar/pub crawl. We began the event at Bra Bar. Mike is the great bartender there who has never left us dry or poor. This event was attended by kucerado, Peri, Adam, Su and I. After several rounds, we made our way to bar #2: St. James Gate. Though this bar is relatively new, it is destined to become a local favorite due to its location and friendly authentically Irish staff. The food isn’t bad either (but it’s no Keeley’s). Several more rounds of drinks and the addition of Adam’s girlfriend’s new roomie and we got the signal from kucerado that it was time to go. (As a side note, for any future bar crawl, kucerado is the guy you want in charge. His unique combination of time management and drinking prowess keeps the crawl on schedule.) We tried to go to Keeley’s next, but for some reason they were crazy busy. This wasn’t the end-of-the-world because we had a back up bar of Prohibition. They make a lovely (yet expensive) mohito and their ‘works’ burgers are pretty damn tasty. Since this was the ‘last’ bar, several rounds became many, and there was much drinking to be had. The live music was great. In true kucerado fashion, he went out and bought food so that he could make dinner at home. I’m way too lazy (and drunk) to do that kind of thing on a drinking night, but he’s got game. Adam’s gf showed up and our group size was maxed out. It was snug in the booth, but it’s amazing how that didn’t matter at the time. Mission accomplished.
  • Getting rid of the furniture: Friends of Kevin came by on Thursday night to take all the furniture that we no longer needed. I’ve been through a lot with the black couch. I would say that falling asleep on it with the TV running will never be the same again, but I’m fully optimistic that another couch will rise up to take its place. The desk, the chair, the table and chairs (for poker), the couch, and the futon(that should have been a Lazyboy) now begin their new life with new owners in new locations.
  • Packing up the wine: Though not as ritualistic as the stereo, packing up the wine was itself a sacred and important task. Because I don’t know when I will have the ‘new’ place in Chicago, all of the stuff going with the movers may sit in a truck/storage for 1-2 months. Any wine drinker worth anything knows that you can’t mess around with temperature. Sitting in a truck for the hottest summer months seems like it would destroy the collection (and basically mean writing off major $$$). To avoid all this loss of wealth, we purchased a 10 boxes (each holds 12 bottles) to keep the wine safe for the road trip.
  • Last NYC Domino’s delivery: Now I’m sure that most of the NYC faithful will roll their eyes that we (Su and I) order from Domino’s. But really, it’s the best delivery pizza one can get in the city (at least in the Upper West Side). I won’t go so far as to say it’s the best pizza in NYC (I think that Patsy’s and Grimaldi’s do a good job), but it’s definitely up there. Say what you want about chains, but Domino’s (at least this location) really had their game on. When you add in the cheesy garlic bread and the chicken kickers, it was really hard to find a more satisfying quick and easy delivery meal.
  • Real movers show up: The arrived Friday morning to do the rest of the packing (which wasn’t much, but they sure did make it last). I left Su to go to work, but Su said they did a ‘good job’.
  • Street meat lunch: Pretty sure this is the best street meat in NYC. You get a monster platter with meat salad, rice, pita, white sauce and hot sauce. If you don’t want the rice, they just give you more meat. The best part? Only $5. As with most street meat, it is a proper drinking base.
  • Farewell party #3: This was a work gathering, so a bit more toned down than the previous ones. Nonetheless, it provided a good opportunity to say goodbye to a lot of my co-workers.
  • Moving day: Without going into a lot of detail, it’s safe to say that I wasn’t 100%. We got up (too) early to rent the truck and load it up with the wine, relevant electronics and clothing. This was a tiring and sweaty experience. In case you didn’t do the math, it was 120 bottles of wine and 2+ levels of stairs to units that have 14′ ceilings (what does this mean? lots of stairs). We started driving at 9am, but not before I snapped off a bunch of pictures of my now empty apartment. I drove for 2.5 hours until we were safely on I80. After that, it was pretty much Su driving the rest of the way. As kucerado is to the crawl, Su is to the move. She gets the MVP for her skill in packing and driving. We made it to Chicago by about 9pm local time. With the assistance of Chris we were able to wrap up the move.

What a week!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *