Ice Cream Trucks Mean It’s a Neighborhood

Over the past few days, I’ve been slowly moving into my new place, which is about 20-45 minutes (depending on traffic) from my old apartment. It was probably the smoothest move-out I’ve had yet. As I talked about last summer, I’m pretty awful at moving, so this time, I was really trying to be thorough. For the most part, I was good, though as today has been going on, I’ve been remembering the things I left in the fridge. Oops :/

My new place is actually IN Philadelphia; for the past five years, I’ve been living in the suburbs of the city. The area where I now live is still residential, but is in an area much, much busier than I’ve ever lived in before. Yesterday as my dad was helping me move and we drove down the street, I kept saying things like, “Look! A laundromat! A restaurant! A store! Sidewalks!” and my dad said, “This is a neighborhood.” As if to prove it, an ice cream truck drives by about four times a day. Ice cream trucks are the final word on whether a place is a neighborhood.

I’m living with two friends (a guy and a girl, who are a couple) from college and a guy I just met yesterday. It’s a small house as opposed to an apartment, with a garage and everything. My room is much smaller than my last room, but it’s nice and it’s ALL MINE. This is the first time in five years, save for the summer months, that I have not had a roommate. While I loved all of my roommates, I am so happy to finally have my own space, and for the lowest price I’ve paid yet.

Part of the reason for choosing this place out of the three I had on the table was that it is near to a subway station. At all my other places, I took at least two modes of transportation, usually with an added long walk, to work. Here, I can take one train to a stop very close to my jobs. Today was the first day I was trying out the new station. I left an hour, just in case, because the place is HUGE, with a multi-level parking garage. But it wasn’t hard to figure out, and the ride to work is only 25 minutes- hooray!

But my journey came to a screeching- or rather, a shattering- halt before I even pulled out of the driveway. Our garage/small driveway is behind the house, and there is a gate on each side that, if you wish, can join together and lock people away from your property. Just before I went to bed last night, I noted that someone had parked really stupidly right behind our driveway, and I made a note to myself to be careful when pulling out of the driveway. I remembered this as I was on my way to work today, but unfortunately, being super concentrated on not crashing into the stupid person’s car took my attention away from the Problem Child Gate, which, even after living here for less than 48 hours, I have figured out likes to swing around willy-nilly. So this morning, the PCG had decided to try to hug my car, and as I backed out, the edge of the gate came into contact with my left side-view mirror and smashed it to pieces.
This was bad. It was bad because my dad was going to be mad at me, but also because, if you remember, I’ve just moved to a busy area, where having all your mirrors in good working order is kind of required. I made it to the transportation center in one piece, but knew I’d have to do something about it after work.

Getting home after work was an episode, though. I take the subway a lot, but I only ever take it between 2nd and 34th Streets. The stop near my house is across the river from 2nd Street, all the way at the end of the line, but I’d always seen 2nd Street (and the river) as the final stop. So even though I got on the right train home, heading across the river, I panicked, second-guessed myself, and changed trains, riding for twelve incorrect subway stops (about twenty extra minutes) before realizing that I had been right the first time and taking another 50-minute ride back to my actual stop. *sigh*

When I got home, I had to add an auto shop stop to my already-planned grocery shopping, but as it turned out, I had to go to THREE auto shops… none of which had what I needed (a temporary mirror.) I went home, put away my groceries, and talked to my dad, who said that for my own safety, I HAD to get a replacement mirror of some kind before I drove around tomorrow. I knew he was right, so I tied back PCG and drove off again, to Target for tape and some sort of cheap mirror. Pathetic, yes, but all I can do at the moment.

Do you know how hard it is to find a mirror? I’ll tell you- REALLY HARD. I figured I’d just buy a cheap makeup case or locker mirror and fasten it to my car, but they apparently don’t sell those at the moment. The only mirrors I found were magnifying mirrors, which wouldn’t make my driving any safer, or super fancy (expensive) decorative mirrors. But FINALLY, after about forty-five minutes, I came across a large hand-held mirror. I thought it might be too big, but it’s actually the perfect size, and when I got home, I stepped on the handle and snapped it off, removed blue plastic from around the edges and back, and package-taped the mirror over the shattered remains of my side-view mirror… and it actually doesn’t look as stupid as I thought. It still kind of looks like someone who was really desperate fixed it up, but I don’t think it could have looked any better.

So now that THAT drama is over, I have to concentrate on memorizing this new script for work (a ghost tour, run by the same company I already work for.) I can’t wait until my first test is over- then I can return to normal life, which involves decorating my new room, reading, and not crashing into gates.

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