I've been in my new apartment for three days now, and the process of settling in is still ongoing (and probably will be for awhile). There are big things to organize (like getting a couch) and small things to organize (like finding a flatware organizer small enough for my 8 inch wide drawer), but the list really just seems never ending.
One thing that I've really enjoyed is trying to get to know the area around my building. I've been hunting around for the closest (and best) pharmacies, grocery stores, wine shops, restaurants, flower stores, etc. and it's been a lot of fun. There are some great finds - I live very close to the Vietnamese restaurant Bao Noodles, which has one of the best atmospheres I've seen in awhile - and the food stands up to it, too. There's also a great florist around the corner - Gramercy Park Flowers - that is beautiful and high-quality. I'm looking forward to going in there to find a planter for my herb garden this weekend!
There have also been some misses. I'd been peeking into an Italian shop on my street for the past few days, imagining a DiPalo's-like find, but was pretty disappointed in the cheese and meat selection once I finally went in. I bought some fresh pumpkin ravioli, though, so maybe that will improve my opinion on the shop! There's also a butcher shop which sells only organic, grass-fed meat. It closes at 7:00 pm so I haven't gotten in there yet, but it's on the agenda!
This is one of the things I love about New York. I've been staying literally 3 blocks and 2 avenues away from my new apartment - technically in the exact same neighborhood - and yet I've never been to (or noticed) any of the places I just mentioned! Every street, every block is a neighborhood in its own right and has new places to explore. It's exciting.