The World According to Keitho

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Posts Tagged ‘moving’

After three months

Posted by keithosaunders on November 15, 2010

This year should have been known to me as the year I turned 50.  Instead I’ll always remember 2010 as the year I moved from New York City to San Francisco.  The first half of the year was filled with stress and tension.  In January we knew there was a good chance we were going to have to move and by the middle of March it was definite.  The remaining four months in New York were spent vainly attempting to rent and sell our apartment, packing up, and most gut-wrenchingly of all, saying goodbye to our friends.

Finally August 7th arrived and we were off on our cross-country trip.  That trip was one of my great experiences and it was well documented on this blog.  (all done on my iphone from different motels across the country)  For me it was like an enormous load off of my shoulders to have the buildup and the goodbyes over with and life on the road felt light and carefree. 

Now that I’ve been in the Bay Area for a quarter of a year and have my sea legs I have to admit that I’m enjoying life here.  It’s a beautiful part of the country — we’ve got hills all around us with plenty of places to hike, and San Francisco is a 20 minute drive or BART trip away.  I have begun to gig and am meeting more musicians each week.  I’m enjoying the newness of it.  Unlike the first half of the year when almost everything I did was for the last time, now I do things for the first time. 

Finally I have some use for all of the years of dues paying in New York City.  They seasoned me and toughened me and the result is that I am not intimidated easily.  I am still, by nature, shy and introverted, but never when I’m playing.  It’s a lot different than when I first moved to New York at which time I was unsure of myself and filled with anxiety.   

So far so good.

Posted in life, San Francisco | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

The eagle has landed

Posted by keithosaunders on August 19, 2010

After 3,653 miles, 10 states, 2 countries, and countless fillerups, we have at last alit on Key Route blvd in Albany, California. We are very happy to be reunited with our son Jake, who is sporting a new hair style and now has a pierced ear – a new look for a new town.

Our new house is charming and spacious, and unfortunately lacking any furniture at all, save for two queen-sized air mattresses which were purchased today at Target. The movers say that they will call us the day before they deliver our furniture. Using this formula I have deduced that the soonest they will arrive will be Friday. We are faced with the very real possibility of not having furniture until Monday. That’s a lot of meals out. Where’s an automat when you need one?

Posted in road trip, San Francisco | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Road trip!

Posted by keithosaunders on August 10, 2010

At last, after months of angst, sadness, and anticipation, our road trip has begun. Four humans and a dog traverse the nation with a mission: A mission to be the first family ever to play pinochle with Bigfoot.

For our opening act we have left the nation. We are staying overnight outside of Niagara Falls in St Catherines, Canada. Tomorrow, assuming we are denied political asylum, we will cross back into the U.S. near Detroit, making a beeline for that bastion of bastards, Grand Rapids, MI.

We got a late start today. After dropping our oldest son Jake at the Kingston bus depot (he and a friend will fly to San Fran and will arrive several days before us) we took off west on Rt 28 through the Catskills, eventually connecting with the NY State Throughway at Syracuse.

We now know the best way to end a drought: Put your luggage on the roof of your car in a canvas bag. I haven’t seen such rain since I attended an all day Irwin Allen festival. You remember that picture – “The Monsooning.”

Somehow I was duped into sharing a bed with my son Lee who sleeps in a state of perpetual motion. I’ll be lucky if I can requisition 1/5 of the covers. Across the way my daughter, Lucy and my wife, Debra sleep like babies, as is Layla the dog, whose day consisted of getting to know our car’s passenger side floor mat.

The photo was taken outside of a Mexican restaurant in Syracuse.

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April 10th, 1984-August 7th, 2010

Posted by keithosaunders on August 8, 2010

Keitho has left the building.  On Saturday, after a week of heartfelt goodbyes, going away parties, and more tears than a Terms of Endearment 30th year anniversary revival, we have left New York City.  I was glad that my last memory was of the Northern Blvd Best Buy — it will lessen the nostalgia.  Around 2:30 PM we crossed the George Washington Bridge into New Jersey thus concluding my life in New York City.

I remember my first night in New York some 26 years ago.  I stayed with my cousin who had an apartment at the Esplinade Hotel on West End Ave and 74th st.  It was a cold, rainy night, and I was holed up in his bedroom.  He was working late so I was by myself, or so I thought. 

 I had this clock radio that a neighbor had given me as a going away present.  It still works — we keep it in our upstate house.  I turned the radio on and tuned to a Rangers-Islanders playoff game.  Not that I gave a rats ass about hockey in those days, but I was so excited to be in New York that I would have listened to Ed Koch reciting the Gettysburg Address had it been on.  (I should note that these days I have a much greater appreciation of hockey and intend to root on my San Jose Sharks….doesn anyone even know the way to San Jose?)

So I’m listening to this game and it’s the second overtime.  All of a sudden the Islanders scored to win the game and  I heard this blood curdling scream emanating from the adjacent bedroom.  I can’t begin to describe the agony and utter despair that was contained in that five second outburst, but suffice it to say that I had never heard anything like it.  It was like a dying wildebeest going though heroin withdrawal while giving birth to twins.

I smiled and thought, “Now, I’m in New York!”

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Four more days

Posted by keithosaunders on August 3, 2010

There’s very little time left for me in New York City before moving to the Bay Area.  On the outside I am calm but inside is a different story.  Almost everywhere I go is for the last time — every friend and acquaintance that I see is someone I may never see again.  I have no words that are profound enough for goodbye so I just give them an extra hug.  Tears come at strange times — almost never around people.  I just hold it in.  Bottle it up.

This morning I decided at the spur of the moment to go to the Jewish cemetary in Ridgewood, Queens to visit my grandfather and grandmother, my father’s parents.  I never knew either of them — they both passed away early in life due to heart disease.  Before going I called my father asking him for some details on how to locate the graves.  He said “Don’t tell my Dad that I no longer root for the Dodgers.” 

 I took my two younger children, and thanks to a helpful cemetary worker we were able to locate the plots.  Somehow seeing these two graves made me feel connected to an earlier New York — the New York of my father’s childhood.  He grew up in Brooklyn and Queens, and in 1964 took his family west to California where there was more work and an easier lifestyle.  Standing in that cemetary with my son and daughter, thinking of my Dad and his parents, I realized that except for the 20 years between 1964 and 1984, my family has been represented here since the beginning of the 20th century. 

Somehow it felt right to be in a cemetary during my final week, thinking about the past, while nervously looking ahead to the future.  People of that generation, for the most part, lived their entire lives in their home town.  Starting with my Dad’s generation that began to change.  I should feel lucky that I’ve been able to live here as long as I did.  New York is not an easy place to move to, but it’s an even harder place to move away from.

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The state of the move

Posted by keithosaunders on July 18, 2010

We’re three weeks away from our departure to the Bay Area and we have settled on a route.  We’re going to leave from our Upstate house (Ulster county), drive to Niagara Falls, stay over on the Canada side, and continue west, re-entering the U.S. at the Motor City where I’ll be wanting to go to a Tigers game.  After the inevitable veto we’ll continue west into Chicago where we’ll spend a day or two with my brother, providing he agrees to allow the dog to enter his house.  We’ll pick up interstate 90, which will take us through Minnesota and South Dakota.  We plan on driving through the Badlands, but eschewing Mount Rushmore in favor of the Gand Tetons in Wyoming.

If all goes according to plan we should arrive in the Albany, California  sometime around the 19th of August, just in time to begin preparing for my 50th birthday bash.  I’ll have six days in which to meet west coast buddies to invite to the party.  I’ll have to get right to work and hit the bars immediately.  Isn’t there an iphone app? — Insta-friends?  

In the meantime we’re working on buying a larger vehicle for the trip west.  It looks like we’ll buy a minivan — a Mazda 5.  I have long resisted this final foray into middle-aged life but it is now impossible.  Even I have to admit that with three kids and a dog it is needed.   We’re leaving my beloved Honda wagon back east.  Not only does it have nearly 200,000 miles, but it would not pass Cali emissions tests.  Anyway, its radio has stopped working.  I think that one your car radio has given out, it is akin to the fat lady singing.  It’s over.

Our New York apartment is still not sublet, which is a source of stress we could do without.  So now I am calling on the blogosphere:  There is a great three bedroom with East River and Manhattan views available in Long Island City!  You will not be disappointed.  

There you have it.  The state of the move. T – 22 days.

What an apartment!

Posted in life, San Francisco | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Road trip!

Posted by keithosaunders on July 1, 2010

Next month my family and I will be driving cross-country to our new home in the Bay Area.  We’re going through the most stressful period now as we still do not have a tenant for our New York apartment.  Besides finding a tenant the most pressing issue is planning our road trip.  We’ve got to get across with two adults, two kids, and a Labrador. 

Today I walked into my local AAA with the hopes that an agent could plan a more interesting route than simply driving west on I 80.  Here’s how it went.

I asked if AAA would be able to come up with a trip-tik from New York to San Francisco.

 “Sure, you just take I 80 the entire trip.” 

I asked if there were any points of interest along the way and he said,

 “Well there’s the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, and an amusement park a little bit west of there –besides that, there’s nothing until Utah”  

I asked him what about Chicago and he replied, “Oh yeah.”  

An acquaintance mentioned to me that there is google software, possibly tied in with google maps,  that will chart a trip that is interesting and tailored to your wants and needs.  I understand that the software will also let you know where good restaurants are, as opposed to fast food joints and chain outlets.  Has anyone ever heard of this, and if so where can I find it?

Is it quixotic, at this stage, to opt for state roads over interstates?  We’re not going to be in a great hurry to get across and would prefer to see beauty over the corporate drudgery of the interstate system. 

How about driving with a U-Haul?  Have you had good or bad experiences with this?  Is it dangerous when it comes to crossing the Rockie Mountains while towing a U-Haul van?

All information will be greatly appreciated.

Posted in San Francisco | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »