I remember the day almost vividly. July 4th was spent with Jordan and friends at the Kenwood pillow fights then back to my brother's house to finish packing up the last of my stuff. Jordan offered to drive me down to Oakland where my Mom had reserved a hotel room for me by the airport. Jordan being the good friend that she is, spent the night with me so I didn't have to take the airport shuttle at 5am. On the drive to Oakland she gave me a black fabric box with pictures on each side of all my best friends and a few other mementos. I still have the black box, I put my spare change in it and go digging for quarters every other Sunday when I do my laundry. Jordan dropped me off at the airport, a tear or two was shed as we said our goodbyes. Thank God for curb side because I had 4 large suitcases, this was before airlines charged you for every little thing, and a carry-on for my journey. Non-stop to Philly. My Uncle Dave's girlfriend Jen (but they've been together for so long, she's really like an Aunt) picked me up and I was a sight to be seen, me trying to maneuver 4 large bags without any help, because I didn't want to tip the skycaps or get a cart (sometimes I'm so cheap).
Once in Jersey at my Uncle Mark and Aunt Dawn's, I was informed by my Uncle Mark I was going to work tomorrow, that was unexpected. I thought I would have a few days to get settled and acclimated, guess not. The next morning I took one of my large suitcases with me so I could drop it off at my new NYC apartment (oohhh!!), Shelly was kind enough to wait for me to arrive before going to work so I could at least unload some of my belongings.
The next few nights after work were spent getting all the necessities to move. Bedding, towels, lots of containers (we all know I'm an organized freak), it felt like I was going to college again the way my Aunt Dawn and I went though BBB and used those coupons like mad women. One night my Uncle Mark and I went into the Barn (it's a literal red barn next to their house full of my family's stuff - old furniture, my PopPop's old law books & case files, type writers, church benches, all kinds of random stuff). In the barn I picked out my bedroom furniture - a chest of drawers (once belonged to one of my Uncle's), a side table to be used for my computer (once my Mother's) and a night stand (once my grandparent's).
So really Saturday, July 8th is my "official" anniversary because that was the day I moved into my first NYC apartment with Becky & Shelly.
That morning we (my Uncle Mark, Uncle Dave and my cousin Jonathan) packed up my uncle's truck with all my stuff and we drove to NYC on the way picking up my Uncle Matt and other cousin Max. The drive itself was an adventure; 3 LARGE males, 2 scrawny 11-year old boys and me in a extended cab F-150 with a full bed of my stuff driving through the City.
We get to my apartment and I think we slightly scared Becky and Shelly who I hadn't met in person yet (besides my quick intro to Shelly on Thursday) as my Uncles take over the move-in process. It probably didn't help that at the time I was still rocking my multi-colored hair, I was not very preppy at the time. They were carrying up the furniture and suitcases up 5 floors (that's right - walk up! Railroad to-boot), rearranging the apartment and taking over any conversation with their loud boisterous voices and personalities.
My Uncle Matt rewired all the cable, Uncle Dave took over painting from Shelly, as she was doing it all wrong and Uncle Mark took me and Becky to Home Depot so we could buy cheap AC units for our windows all awhile Max & Jonathan were running around on the roof of the building. By the end of the day the apartment was pretty much "all done" besides decorating and my Uncle Mark went to Dinosaur BBQ to bring back dinner for everyone. My Uncles all left with crushes on Becky & Shelly and I made friends for life.
I've now lived in NYC for 6 years (effective Sunday, 7/8) and I can't say that I've never looked back. This was supposed to be a 1.5-2 year experiment and there were some rough times that made me re-think moving back to Cali or going somewhere else, but I've toughed it out and now I know NYC is home. I guess my last official move to making myself a "true" New Yorker is giving up my Ca drivers license, and yes I've kept it all these years.