updates from the bradfields

30 Aug 06 Some new photos added

We arrived in New York on Monday evening and have been getting settled. The apartment is great.

Taking shape

Yesterday we got our Internet access hooked up so we’ve been able to upload a backlog of photos to our Flickr page. Enjoy!

I am back to work tomorow. Karyn will be busy with the girls. Quite busy. We should get our phone service up and running tomorrow and look forward to speaking with many of you.

Through Vonage we’ve managed to forward our Toronto number to Brooklyn and have unlimited minutes anywhere in North America to catch up.

More updates to follow…

27 Aug 06 A series of setbacks

What a long strange trip it’s been… and we’re not even halfway there. In fact, we’re writing from the Best Western in Batavia, New York (home to the Batavia Muckdogs, the farm team of the Philadelphia Phillies).

I think we must be losing it, because we seem to just laugh off a series of setbacks that leave us in disbelief. Some people might have been driven mad by the nature of our life the last week or so.

It all goes back about a month ago when a bunch of my (David’s) business travel got delayed or worse, cancelled when I was waiting to get home. Fortunately, despite those circumstances luck was on my side and I seemed to land the last seat on the plane or be booked on the only flight leaving. In one instance, I had to take the train home.

In the last month, we’ve experienced some of the following:

  • Our furniture arrived two days late in New York
  • We still have no Internet or phone service
  • We cannot get any credit cards or even a cell phone because we have no credit rating
  • Nicole visited emergency for a low-grade fever and ear infection (36 hours before leaving Toronto)
  • David’s step-grandmother died suddenly a week ago today
  • Marley woke up with a cold on the day we started our drive to New York
  • Our rooftop cargo box on the car popped open not once, but twice today resulting in the loss of some small items (the most spectacular of which was a box of Borax that exploded in a cloud of white powder as it hit the shoulder of the Queen Elizabeth Way just as we approached Oakville, Ontario)
  • Our car (which was just serviced three days ago) wouldn’t start after visiting U.S. immigration at our border crossing today, so we had to get a boost (sounds like our battery needs replacement)

Nothing is incredibly bad, but it all adds up and makes us feel a little bit like there’s a big black cloud following us around. It’s weird. Achieving normalcy is our primary source of excitement right now!

On a positive note, we crossed the border a-ok and the rest of the family now have the appropriate Visas to live in the U.S. Tomorrow we have about a six hour drive ahead of us, but hopefully the car starts and everyone is well.

This past weekend, we celebrated Marley’s second birthday and had a great farewell drop-in with a few friends. Thanks so much to those of you that made it. And thanks to those who couldn’t but sent well wishes. We have incredible friends and family. We’re going to miss you all but encourage you to make the trip to New York. You’ll love it!

When we get our Internet connection set up, we will upload some more photos to our Flickr page. There are quite a few to add from this period of transition. We also hope to be adding some great stories of our early adventures in New York to this site.

15 Aug 06 Getting set up… slowly but surely

Well, our furniture (and pretty much everything we own) arrived last Thursday a-ok. I (David) am in the process of unpacking. Suprisingly, our apartment seems to quite comfortably accomodate our stuff. We’ll post pictures in a bit.

We were hoping to get our Internet access installed today, but no such luck. The installer had our Toronto phone number which is currently out of service while we are arranging to have it forwarded to our Brooklyn line. This will allow everyone in Toronto to call us locally. But that didn’t really help out today.

It’s just as well since I’m getting ready to travel for business, slowly making my way back to Toronto to see the family at the end of the week. This is the longest we’ve all been apart, and it’s very difficult. I can’t wait to see Karyn, Marley and Nicole. They’re still staying with my parents, so it will be great to see them as well.

For those of you in Toronto, watch your email for a farewell drop-in we’re going to host on Saturday, August 26th. This will be our last day in town as we leave for Brooklyn on the 27th. I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am to have my family with me.

This past weekend, Angela (my sister) visited and was an incredible help with the unpacking. She also got a chance to explore our new neighbourhood and was very enthusiastic. We encourage everyone thinking of a visit to New York to contact us. We’d love to see you and may even have a place for you to stay. I was thinking it might make sense to publish a calendar so people can see which dates we’re already booked with visitors. It sounds like we’re in for a very busy and highly sociable fall in New York. Get your requests in now!

That’s all for now. We hope you’re doing well.

08 Aug 06 In transit

First of all, we want to thank everyone for the overwhelming response to our updates. Your emails and comments on this site are greatly appreciated. It means alot to know that people care. We love you all.

What a week it’s been! Last week, our house in Toronto was packed up. Today, our items are scheduled to arrive in Brooklyn. I (David) am writing this note at a local restaurant called Bar Minnow that offers free Internet access. The movers are late. Way late. They were scheduled to arrive at 9 a.m., which changed to 10 a.m. then 2 p.m. and now 4 p.m. Waiting…

The move has left me in limbo. I’m floating around Brooklyn without a cell phone or Internet access. We cannot get Internet service installed until next week and I’m unable to get a cell phone without a social security card or a U.S. credit card. I guess it all makes sense, but it’s a major inconvenience. Oh well, no one said it would be easy.

Hopefully I have a chance to get things somewhat set up before Angela (my sister) arrives in New York on Wednesday or Thursday. She is our first official visitor. She’s coming to see one of my favourite bands (The Church) who play here on Thursday night. Can’t wait! It will be nice to have company. Tables for one at restaurants can leave you feeling a little too voyeuristic.

Anyway, more to come as Internet access becomes more regular.

18 Jul 06 Learning the basics

We’re finding ourselves in a really weird position right now. I think we’ll call this cultural adjustment. As you can imagine, we’re needing to reinvent ourselves in the U.S. from the ground up. Everything from selecting a bank to finding an insurance company requires our attention. We’re in the process of slowly shutting down home life in Toronto with an eye to what we need to establish ourselves in New York. It’s pretty crazy. The small things aren’t as easy when you’re a foreigner. We aren’t exposed to the ads promoting different services so we’re making decisions based on word-of-mouth suggestions.

If anyone has recommendations on a good personal bank and a home insurance provider, we’re all ears. We have been told that Washington Mutual is pretty good. Any other suggestions? Please leave a comment if you have an opinion. We’ll let you know how we make out.