Guest Post: A review of the Nomad in Hell’s Kitchen
A great testimonial from a few weeks back about my week in Hell’s Kitchen at “Studio 57”
I had the pleasure of already knowing Ed from the year that we both attended college at Tufts in the suburbs of Boston. He was a freshman my senior year and we probably went over 5 years without seeing each other before reconnecting at a mutual friend’s wedding this past Summer. Midway through the obligatory wedding dance routine (it was either the Electric Slide or the Hustle), we engaged in the usual cliche “catching up” conversation (where do you live, what do you do, and how have you been).
The progression of our exchange careened into a mountain of a road block when Ed explained that he’s still in NYC but has been “couch surfing” for the past 5 months. Typically, I would have listened and waited for my turn to share my story before “hugging it out” and returning to the bar for a refill. However, the genesis and the evolution of the NYC Nomad was something so foreign and enticing to someone like myself who relies on the stability and formulaic structure of the typical Wall St. work week that I immediately wanted to get involved.
Six weeks later, Ed is scheduled for his week with me (which also happened to be the first week of my meager attempt at complete sobriety). Ed showed up at my apartment on a Sunday carrying less belongings than I used to pack for Winter Break from college. This was excellent as I live in a studio so it was a relief that he didn’t have suitcases opened in all four corners of the living room (which happens to also moonlight as the dining area and bedroom). That evening we caught up some more in between stealing glances at the NFL game du jour. I doubt that Ed was prepared for my “school night” routine but he adapted wonderfully. As I prepared for my 10pm self- imposed curfew, Ed managed to inflate an AeroBed and make himself comfortable. Two “goodnights” later I was well into my snoring symphony and Ed was a complete trooper and never once complained or expressed that the noises I made while asleep sounded like “a dying animal” as others had.
In the morning I turned off my 6am alarm ASAP to allow Ed to fall back asleep as I prepared to begin my work week. 12 hours passed before we would again meet at the apartment. Ed was beginning to feel a bit under the weather so we shared stories about our day and he bought dinner for Monday Night Football… awesome.
I had forewarned Ed that I spend several hours per week at the gym after work and by Tuesday Ed was feeling a bit better and joined me for a workout. I failed the provide too many details of my workout but Ed surprised me and kept up throughout the 2 hour bench, squat, dip, curl, and shrug-a-thon. With the endorphins flowing, Ed again treated me to dinner and we dined at yet another new burger place on 9th avenue.
As the week went on, Ed proved to the perfect house guest (something that I only heard of but never encountered due to my borderline OCD- tendencies). He treated me to dinner every night and not once pressured me to stumble off the wagon. Our nights on the couch during the week consisted primarily of us swapping stories (mostly about women and old college friends), watching my favorite TV shows (he didn’t even complain when I turned on America’s Next Top Model), and counting down until sleeping late on the weekend. We got along so well it was almost like he became my roommate.
When the weekend finally arrived we biked around town and I showed him a local’s view of Harlem (the area where I grew up and my parents still reside). After a serious day of biking around the city, we were itching for a night on the town and Ed joined me at an old friend’s birthday party on the LES. I managed to maintain my sobriety by sipping a few non- alcoholic beverages at the bar and Ed worked the room like he had known my high school friends as long as I had.
Sunday soon arrived and Ed was up and packing up what little stuff he had brought with him. Overall, he was a phenomenal house guest mainly because not once did my usual routine have to be amended to accommodate for his brief visit. Did I already mentioned that he also treated me to dinner every night in return? Bravo Mr. Casabian!