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Settling In and Settling

New York: settling in.

Food prices: The prices for many of the things I consider to be splurge-y are about the same here as in PHL or PGH. It's mainly the lower-end items that suffer; the cheap brands are still available here, but they seem to be marked up to almost the same prices as the expensive things. There are many possible reasons things work out that way; the narrow price spread means I might as well always just buy the nice stuff, at least the stuff I considered nice before moving here; the upper-level products that I used to occasionally go to specialty stores to buy are in supermarkets here.

Friendliness: I am not seeing less friendliness here than in PHL or PGH; they're still Yanks, but don't seem to be less friendly than other Yanks. Maybe that's because I'm mostly in Brooklyn though.

My neighbourhood: This is the most convenient place I've lived for easy access to stores; perhaps if I had lived on Murray above the stores in SqHill, and SqHill had been much bigger, I might've had mostly the same effect. The surrounding neighbourhoods are much more interesting than mine though; I'm not getting all I moved to NYC for, but my finances will improve, I trust. I will have a rough decision of whether to mvoe to Manhattan or a more interesting part of Brooklyn.

Moving: I'm missing my kitchen supplies, particularly my ricemaker (which I use for pasta and a lot of other cooking too). Will have to make that last moving-trip back soon. Maybe next weekend?

My housemate seems pretty decent. I'm not used to living with other people, but he seems to have a better sense than most as to when I'm keen or not keen for company, he doesn't mind if I let the cats into the main space every so often, and we don't bump into each other that often and have okay conversations when we do. He tends bar sometime in Manhattan, I think.

There are so many teahouses that are transit-near. I'm a bit weirded out/bothered by some of the train stations being so close to each other; I live on a block that's right between two stations (Cortelyou and Beverly), and it's not a very long block. Surely they could make the transit system faster by eliminating stops that are too close to each other? They're about a quarter mile apart! On that topic, I got a monthly pass last night, and see it as a kind of Citizenship-of-NYC. I'm amused that in both PHL, the cost of a monthly pass relative to the cost of tickets is roughly "2 trips a day is equivalence". I'm guessing that's near the point where people (like me) will go with the monthly pass even if it's a wash on costs, because the convenience is worth it.

Last night I was in a panic and skipped out on one social gathering I meant to go to because my laptop seemed to have died; later tracked it down to some stupid typos I had made while working on tweaking a GRUB config on a USB stick at work; had made my system simply hang immediately when it should've been hitting GRUB. Fixed with a USB stick, and then got an invite from a new local friend, SaraV, to hang out in Williamsburgh (By the way, I found the secret stash of confiscated 'h's frm American place-names and am reattaching them; I hope nobody minds). She studies sociology at a local university, and we walked around a bit through the parks and shop areas, including seeing a bar-that-is-also-an-arcade, where we played Gauntlet for a bit. On the way back, I took the G, which is a good line to know about as it travels between Williamsburgh and the West/Central areas of Brooklyn. The train station on Atlantic Avenue is pretty epic; it feels like some of the larger stations in PHL rather than the smaller, functional stations that seem to be the norm in NYC.

I had high hopes for adventures today, but I was struck with a terrible migraine not long after I woke up, one of those 8-hour can't-see-a-thing fist-clenching ones. A few hours ago I started to be able to open my eyes, and it's cleared enough that recently I could go get some groceries and check out the nearest Cafe to where I live, Cafe Madeline. It's less than 5 minutes from my place, has a reasonable selection of coffees, pastries, soups and things, and is fairly slow-paced. People are friendly, there are enough plugs, and whoever picked the music tonight has a kick for Celtic-Punk songs.

Decided to use Meetup (sigh) to dip my toes into the intellectual waters of NYC; I don't like their platform and wish there were widespread alternatives, but it's at least a decent way to hopefully meet people. I skipped that Left Forum thing; probably should've gone to at least a day of it, but it was set up to encourage the full 3-day commitment from everyone and right now I'm not quite ready for that. I need to keep a reasonable amount of slack in my life as I get used to these changes, particularly if I'm going to be fighting my nature and trying to be outgoing for long enough to build a local circle of friends.

I also recently looked in on the most recent incarnation of a game I used to be a co-developer on. It looks surprisingly different. I haven't played or developed roguelikes for awhile now; maybe I should get back involved. I never was into Nethack; it was always "that other" roguelike for me. It's probably accurate to say that Nethack is to Roguelikes like Linux is to UNIX; Nethack is a clone that doesn't share the code lineage but does have a lot of the traditions, while my involvement with *band is kind of equivalent to being involved with the BSDs today (which have the continuity of code with UNIX).