Friday was move in day for the semester for Oldest Son. The loft was vetoed by my wife and I in the end. The thinking is that he has a lifetime of commuting ahead of him, why get a jump on it.
He moved into the largest apartment complex in New Jersey. It too has a Newark address but across the street is South Orange and around the corner is Maplewood. It's a socioeconomic crossroads.
It's also multicultural. It's like being in JFK airport for a day and English is the minority language in place. Throw in customs and overhead paging and you'd swear you were at JFK. The super market around the corner reflects the United Nations flavor. It has a whole aisle dedicated to Russian imported foods.
It's certainly not going to win any architectural awards either. It's five 14 story buildings that can be seen for miles. There is some ivy covering some of the buildings but for the most part it is stark looking, like something from a sci-fi movie.
The population is low-mid income working people. If Ralph Kramden were alive today, this is were he and Alice would live.
The move itself was a little bumpy but successful. Here is what we learned:
1. With U-haul it doesn't matter how far in advance you reserve a truck, they don't secure your truck until 48 hours before. My constant harping on Oldest Son was useless.
2. You can negotiate extra miles. U-Haul was only going to give me 86 miles to get up there even though the dealer was 15 miles from my house. The gave me an extra 20 and I used about 101.
3. Always have some football player friends to help you move. Oldest Son's helpers were diplomacy majors. Nice guys - not football players.
4. Take away the ez-pass. Having one ez-pass is the worst possible scenario. I should have just wrapped it in foil and made him pay tolls. He had our van and I had the u-haul. We got separated.
5. Furniture that fit in a suburban split level home may not necessarily fit in a 1960's apartment complex elevator and apartment door.
We got it in, but it ain't leaving. Not in one piece anyway.
Best scene of the day: The two of us, soaking wet, sitting in the stark office of the superintendent of the "complex" signing a lease.