People have given me some feedback suggesting that while learning about what I am doing is fun to read, they are also interested in seeing some different postings that get deeper into details of the project. With that in mind I’ve decided to write about what has become my transition day - Sunday.
Sundays are a tough day in this project for lots of reasons. It seems that everyone is winding down or winding up and I am no different. By Sunday I’ve generally become comfortable with my new neighborhood and connected with my new host(s) on some level. Like any new place, the shine is still there. I recognize the the best things about the neighborhood — whether it be the walk through Columbia’s campus on my commute, the proximity to different subway lines, the easy walk to work, or the plethora of incredible restaurants as is the case with my most recent week in the East Village. By Sunday, I am usually able to envision myself living in that particular neighborhood and in some cases that is a real possibility. I’ve stayed in two apartments where there was enough room had I wanted to settle down for at least a couple months this summer.
Of course, that is not the idea of this couch (floor) surfing ethnographic study (doesn’t that sound fancy) and I’m certainly not looking for any sympathy while pursuing an idea that allows me to spend money on food and experiences rather than rent while meeting some of the fascinating people this city has to offer. It’s an idea that feels more right to me than anything I’ve done in quite some time and I am energized and excited for each new place. I really feel like I’m travelling and exploring and doing something that would have been impossible ten or even five years ago. Despite all this, it is certainly not easy and there are times when I get the feeling of “what the hell am I doing.” These types of moments often happen on Sundays. I remember in particular one of my initial moves when I took the subway into Brooklyn for an hour with my four bags (photo coming soon). The feeling of imposing was strong as I walked up to the house of some of my best friend’s in the city.
There is no question I am imposing on some level, but that feeling has diminished as the weeks have passed. I like to arrive in the evening, find some space for my things, and grab dinner in the new neighborhood with my new host(s). I feel like I have found a rhythm. I move on Sundays and I’m slowly promoting the idea and talking about it with people I know. I have business cards, a decent website, and lots of ideas. I believe I am booked through the second week in August (Columbus circle, Williamsburg, Queens, a vacation week in Cape Cod, Lower East Side, Long Beach, and perhaps Crown Heights). I have some other possibilities for August. I am still actively looking for hosts and there is always a chance something will fall through. My original goal was to do this until the end of the summer, but if I have momentum I will consider doing it for a year. If you are interested, check out a small sample of things we could do on the "fun things to do with the nomad" link on the right rail which I recently added.
Suggestions/ideas are very helpful. This project is all about sharing ideas and I’d love to hear yours.