I live in Brooklyn and I don't own a car. My girlfriend owns a car, but she keeps it in Connecticut so we don't use it often. When I do drive, it's always an unfamiliar car like a rental. I drive like a little old lady. I'm not sure how big the car is so I can't judge whether I'll fit through the narrow gap between other cars or into tight parking spaces. And while I've lived in New York for nearly 10 years, I travel above ground on foot or by cab. I don't know which lane to take or the best bridge to get to the FDR Drive from Brooklyn. So today's escapades, which required me to drive from Park Slope to the northern limits of Manhattan and back in a rented Dodge hatchback, taxed my limited driving skills. I had other drivers honking at me and presumably swearing at me as well. I learned that the reason you take the Brooklyn Bridge to get on the FDR Drive is that the Manhattan Bridge doesn't have an ramp onto the highway. I took the Manhattan Bridge and had to noodle around the streets of Chinatown for 10 minutes at the height of rush hour. Once I got onto the FDR Drive, I felt more comfortable behind the wheel. The rental car had Sirius satellite radio, so I enjoyed flawless classical music while muscling through lane changes and chastising other drivers from the safety of my private travel environment.
When I was done with the work portion of my day, I still had a few hours' left on my rental agreement, so I decided to take my day-off party to Ikea in Red Hook. Wednesday afternoon is a great time to go to Ikea. It was virtually empty. There were a few families and young couples, and one woman trying out different chair and desk combinations in the workplace showroom. I was there specifically for office furniture. I'd been using an old Ikea dining table as a desk in my bedroom, and I wanted a real desk with a monitor stand to replace it. And since you can't go to Ikea without buying something you hadn't thought of buying until you realized you needed it, I bought a new desk chair. My old chair is 12 years old and filthy and the fabric is stained and worn from constant cat scratchings. The new chair is smaller but more comfortable and it looks far better.
Things didn't go as well with the monitor stand. The base didn't have the holes drilled in it for the feet I picked up. Now I have to deal with Ikea's returns and exchanges department. For the time being I'm using the same stack of music books as a monitor stand as I used before. Until I get a proper desk sorted out, there will be no photos of the new furniture.