Buffalo vs. NYC in New York Magazine

Here. This article made me teary.

Meanwhile I’ve moved into my own Buffalo apartment. It’s medium-sized for a Buffalo apartment… the LR is about 11×12′, the bathroom and kitchen are both good sizes but not “large” by any means, and the bedroom is maybe 10×11′. For $550 (which does not include utilities) it’s pricey for a Buffalo apartment, like the apartment in the article is, but in the last weeks of August when students are moving back, it’s relatively difficult to find an apartment. Anyway, the apartment is beautiful, there’s storage and laundry in the basement, there are beautiful built-in pantries in the kitchen and big windows looking out on the backyard.

It’s slightly more expensive– excluding utilities– than the 8×10′ room I occupied in Brooklyn, and almost 4x as expensive as the room I’ve been living in over the summer. It’s cheaper than either of the 1BR apartments I had in Charlottesville ($695 and $800). Sharing an apartment in Buffalo makes costs ridiculously cheap, especially since you can get a 3BR for around $600.

Anyway, the last week has been super hectic. Last weekend while working 8 hours both days at the table the BPO set up at the Elmwood Arts Festival, I took an hour lunch break to look at this apartment. After two weeks of searching and having many things go wrong– landlords promising me an apartment and then bailing, landlords never calling me back to view an apartment, or making an appointment to view an apartment and then the landlord never showing up– I was frantic to get something so that I could move by the 28th, which was when I assured the new roommate at 457 Richmond that I would be out of the house. The landlord showed up, the apartment was lovely, and the landlord allowed me to make two payments for security + first month’s rent instead of paying all $1100 up front (which I was of course incapable of doing since that’s about what I made monthly over the summer… once I begin receiving my teaching salary in mid-September things will be much easier). And the landlord, Jesse, was nice. So that was that– a huge relief.

That was Saturday. Sunday I worked at the BPO table again, and Monday was the first day of school. I arose early to print out my syllabus at school, then taught my two classes, and then went to work at the BPO. Tuesday I slept all day, then went to the BPO. Wednesday I taught again, then moved some stuff, then went to the BPO. After work I signed my lease and handed over a bunch of money. Thursday I moved some stuff, then BPO’d (a longer shift than usual), then left the BPO a bit early to finish cleaning out my room. I was moving till about 1 a.m., though I took a break to watch Obama’s speech. (Thanks to Andrea for helping me move my mattress that night between speeches!) Friday I taught, then uploaded their reading assignment, then applied for a PT seasonal job at Barnes and Noble, then went to the BPO for another elongated shift. Yesterday I finished unloading my car, went to Wegman’s, The Dollar Store and Target for necessary household items (hooks, cleaning supplies, food, beer), and today I am working to complete my syllabus and grade student papers. Oh, and this week I also broke up with my boyfriend.

I have not had time for: boys, cats, poets, poetry… I did not help my friends move (I had hoped to turn it into a “moving weekend,” since lots of people are moving, but ended up being selfish), I did not attend the first night of the Poetics Program’s poetry season, I did not go to Jaye Bartell’s chapbook release. I kinda sucked this week, but it was necessary. It’s hard to work 40 hours and move at the same time. There’s still more moving to do, too– I got all the stuff out of the room I’ve subleased over the summer, but most of my stuff is still in storage. That part of the move will probably have to wait till next weekend.

Last night as I lay in bed, I noticed that the color scheme of my apartment almost matches my blog.


About Jessica Smith

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2 Responses to Buffalo vs. NYC in New York Magazine

  1. kristine says:

    brava, jessica! believe me, i know how tough doing all that on your own can be. and i don’t have half the gumption you do.

    teaching starts for me tomorrow and i *still* haven’t written my syllabus. ha!

    plus i’m supposed to be reading for my oral exam–sept. 25–and i am not even half-way through my list. and *i* don’t have a 40 hr work week as an excuse. been there, tho, and know how much energy it takes to do anything else. the good thing in all of it, to my mind, is the empathy i have come to feel for other women–looking back–my widowed mom; other single women; or those with kids/job, etc. The Poor!

  2. Jessica says:

    Thanks Kristine. To me, this sounds like a lot, but I know– for instance, my parents are working 40+ hrs and refinishing their and my grandmother’s new condos (rewiring, repainting, reflooring, etc.), and my friend Kristin works 40+ hrs/wk and this Spring was also moving and finishing her first diss. chapter… In short, other people put me to shame pretty fast. But in grad-student-time this week was hectic. And somehow, although teaching+PT is fewer hours in an office than 1 FT job, it *seems* like more work.

    Good luck w/orals! I’m sure you’ll do well. How long are they? At UVA they were an hour for each list. You can probably talk about anything for an hour, right?

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