<p> It's with a decided sense of irony that I'm finally writing the complementary post to <a href="/blog/life/sabbatical/depart.html">the last one</a> from a flight from JFK (New York) to SFO (San Francisco). But it's true &mdash; this morning I got a kitchen table, four chairs, a rocking chair, and a beanbag chair to supplement the boxes of stuff my dad brought down with him from Ontario (thanks dad!). It turned my kitchen from a depressing one-fork town to a proper-looking place of cullinary enjoyment, and gave me more than the suitcase-load of clothes to rotate through &mdash; hurray! Now I just need some food in the cupboards! Moving is "the one thing" I really really can't do independently 'cause I don't drive, and my moving karma is at an all-time low, so if I'm ever in the area when you need help with a move, please let me know.</p> <p>It's good to be back at work, and I'm slowly settling into my new project and new location; it's pretty weird joining a team when you're the "most senior" employee (by start date) but are rusty and uncertain in your own knowledge from a long respite, and certainly in new turf with its own local culture. I'm not sure I navigated it superbly, but nor did I make an utter ass of myself. I hope. There are several former-Dubliners here too, which has been really nice for having a hook into the goings on of various teams and instant pints-after-work.</p> <p><a href=""><img class="left" src=""></a>I've started learning about New York a bit &mdash; <a href="">Hallowe'en</a> night was fun and involved lots of ambling around lower Manhattan &mdasah; but between work, settling in, hanging out with my sister and her fam, I haven't explore much still. There's no rush though, and it turns out it's a pretty big place so it may take a while.</p> <p><a href=""><img class="right" src=""></a>My apartment is good &mdash; I always expect one unanticipated (or, when you're lucky, anticipated!) quirk in any place I rent, and in this case the "Frankie" subway shuttle is louder than I expected: no big deal during waking hours, and it's totally tolerable for sleeping with the windows closed...hopefully by the time it's the season to have windows open I'm used to it. The neighbourhood is hard to gauge. I've met a few of my neighbours, but haven't had much reason to strike out in the immediate vicinity of my building.</p> <p>I am delightedly shocked with the cycling in Manhattan. It's got a wonderful flow to it, and feels much safer than Dublin (with less attentive drivers making more sudden moves) and even Toronto (cursed streetcar tracks!). Most of my commute is on dedicated bike path on the Brooklyn Bridge (where tourists occasionally start walking across the bridge right in front of you and get a good fright) or the west side bike trail, which is basically uninterrupted cycling. It's really invigorating to have a long cycling commute again, and I'm already starting to be back in decent shape after the no-time-for-exercise election madness in September and October.</p> <p>So yeah, I arrived, just before I departed again. </p>
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