July 24, 2010
Dear Family and Friends,
We write you all from the laundromat around the corner from our apartment. The people who run it are extremely nice; we come here about every week and a half to wash all of our dirty clothes. We haul it all in our awesome Costco bags that Philip and Elizabeth gave me for my birthday a few years ago. We use them to do carry our laundry and groceries, so they have definitely come in handy! This morning, Austin got up early to play Basketball with the Elder’s quorum at 8, in a park close to Battery Park City, in the financial district. I got up with him and ran down to meet him at the courts, and we walked most of the way back home. Right along the Hudson River on the west side of Manhattan, the city has obviously put a ton of money into making the Hudson River Park. They have made a path for pedestrians, with bathrooms and water fountains, playgrounds for kids, dog play areas, grass and trees for lounging, tennis and basketball courts and so on. There are a few bums that take advantage of the shade, but overall the park is clean and well kept and definitely well used by every sort of person. It’s fun to take advantage of those sorts of things. On our walk back, we talked about how we have been wanting for a long time to send an update on our lives to all of our loved-ones. We are lucky to be close to and surrounded by so many people while we are at school in Utah. It’s weird to feel so far away. We appreciate everyone’s efforts to stay connected with us, and so we want to send a little update of our lives up to this point in the city.
It is hard to know where to start, so I think I will work backwards! Yesterday was Austin and my three-month anniversary. A month ago, he came home with a bunch of gorgeous flowers and two tickets to Toy Story 3. The movie was the best ever! But even better is how thoughtful he was. After we saw the new Robin Hood with Russell Crowe in San Jose, Austin had been talking about the original with Kevin Costner. I had never seen it, so I bought him the DVD from Best Buy and shipped it to his office. We made dinner together and watched the movie. At chapter 17, the screen went blank! We couldn’t figure out what was wrong with the DVD, and there was no second disk. We were disappointed and figure it was something wrong with the DVD. After our run and a nice nap, we walked to Best Buy and exchanged the faulty disk, then tested the new one on one of their DVD problems. Same problem. We had the manager wondering if it was a problem with the factory, until a grunt worker popped the DVD in and the movie started playing where it had left off. We didn’t even think that the rest of the movie would be on the other side of the disk, and didn’t even both to read the small writing on the center of the disk that told us what we needed to know. How many Hydes does it take to work a DVD?? How embarrassing. After over an hour of our time, we came back and finally finished the movie.
Rick Harper texted Austin again this week to tell us he had another layover scheduled in New York on Thursday. He is a pilot for Delta whose trips frequently bring him out to the city. A month ago he treated us to lunch at Bravo Pizza with his daughter Bonnie. He is an intense guy; there is never a dull moment! We decided to catch a Yankees vs. Kansas City Royals game with him and his pilot buddy at the Yankee stadium. A few weeks ago we were treated to a Mets game by Austin’s work. They paid for everything, even the infamous Shake Shack burgers and shakes. In comparing the two, Austin says, “We are definitely more Mets’ fans”. We had a good time at both games.
Our weekday lives are pretty predictable. Austin works from about 9-5:30. I meet him every day for lunch in Bryant Park. It is a beautiful park just a block from his work at a ten minute walk from our apartment. We’ll eat leftovers or sandwiches or grab something local. Some of our favorites have been Bravo pizza, a pizza place my family and I ate at 3 times in one weekend last summer! Their margarita pizza and Riccotta pizzas are our favorites. We’ve also discovered a garlic mixture you sprinkle on top that makes it good. They sell buttery, garlic knots, which are our favorites! We have gone to a place called Main Noodle House several times. Probably the best Chinese food I have ever eaten! I am staying busy with my three classes. I usually go to the library after lunch and stay until Austin is done. I am enjoying the classes but even more I like staying busy.
Our apartment is quirky and comfortable. It is a lot bigger than a couple others in our ward. It has brick and yellow and green and orange walls. There are Buddha heads and statues and porelain jars and crazy masks on the walls. There is a lot of personality for sure. We are on the fourth floor. The owner of the building also owns the Italian restaurant called Carbone on the first floor. Alessandro is in his late-fifties. He’s been here for three years and speaks with a really thick accent. If we come home around 7 he will be talking to a little bird he claims comes to see him everyday.
It seems like we have done a lot sine we have been here. We went to the New York Aquarium and Coney island, where we witnessed the Mermaid Day Parade. We watched We watched Goldfinger at Bryant park as part of their summer movie nights. We went to Rockaway beach. They actually have beaches here! We went to the Met and Central Park, the UN, two baseball games. We walked the Highline, which is an old railroad track that winds its way through the buildings on 10th street. They raised a lot of money to tear it down, but then decided to use the money to make it usable. It’s lined with greenery and art and offers a cool view of the buildings.
We have had a great time and are sad that we only have a few weeks left in New York. However, we are excited to see you all and finish up our last year of school. Love you guys lots!