I crashed my car (a ’95 red Honda Civic hatchback) almost two weeks ago and the accident totaled the Red Sled. A couple of days later I bought a 1969 Austin-Healey Sprite Mark IV that needs work. I’m keeping track of the project on the fixer-upper over at My Sprite, a blog I set up just for that purpose. Big thanks to my big brother for making this possible; I don’t know anything about restoring cars, but he does. If you like that sort of thing, head over to the new blog; I post photo galleries whenever something happens.
This is the car I bought in NYC, a ’95 Honda Civic hatchback. Just enough of a beater that I won’t worry if someone hits me or keys my car, but nice enough to be a pleasure to drive. Title recovered, insurance purchased, DMV documents signed and delivered and sealed with money, a new axle and timing belt installed and it was finally okay for me to take it away. Drive it up to Rome yesterday in a massive storm and the car handled fine. The only problem is a busted stereo, which will need replacing. In its absence, I sang to myself or played music off my iPhone (not optimal, since not loud enough). Wait, the other problem: it’s an automatic, a 4-speed. After a lifetime of driving standard transmission 5-speeds, I am missing the control and the extra gear. Still, this will be the car that takes me across the country and back again.
Leaving New York proved to be more complicated than anticipated, largely because of misinformation from the California DMV. Before going to San Francisco for WordCamp, I arranged to buy a car from a woman who lived one neighborhood over in Brooklyn. She was in the process of getting a replacement title from the California DMV, and we agreed that I would take possession of the car after I got back, which would give me a week or so to run errands and donate the things I wanted to get rid of before it was time to actually leave town. However, when the title had not arrived as expected, the seller called the California DMV and was told the forms should have been sent to an address other than the one she had been given when last she called them. It would be another three weeks.
Have you ever had to move without a car? What a pain. Without being able to make regular trips to Goodwill, the used book store, etc., everything I wanted to donate piled up in the center of my room, leaving no space for actual packing (my roommate had filled the rest of the apartment with her boxes). She severed the internet connection 2 days before I moved out, which made putting things on craigslist problematic. Also? No google maps, no u-haul confirmation. Then, the morning of the actual move, I locked myself out of the apartment. I eventually was able to break in (to a previously considered not-break-in-able apartment, go me!), eventually got everything boxed up, eventually got the truck packed and furniture sold, and eventually drove off into the New Jersey sunset as I left New York City behind.
Things I will miss from NYC: raspberry blintzes from Veselka, balsamic strawberries from Bar Veloce, Penne Rosate from Piola, Park Slope Co-op and other mostly-food things.
Things I will not miss from NYC: trash day is every day, sad toxic brownfields, how long it takes to get anywhere.
I finally heard from the seller of my car; the title arrived at last. I’m heading back down to NYC tomorrow to deal with title transfer, registration, inspection, repairs, etc. This will mark the beginning of the Year on the Move, which will kick off with a couple of weeks in my hometown hanging out with my family. I haven’t lived here since I was nineteen (17 years ago), for which there are many reasons; I expect it to be a challenge.