Our move from New York City was less than smooth – thinking we didn’t have that much to move because we lived in a 450 square foot apartment, we decided to do it all ourselves. We soon realized that the few boxes we had were filling up quickly and that we needed extra space aside from our truck and the e28 so we rented a uHaul to tow behind the truck. It took us the entire day on Sunday to finish packing – it was 8:30 pm by the time everything was strapped in and on the cars. We arrived in Providence sometime between 1 and 2 am, delirious from the long day behind us. With only the necessities in hand, we went upstairs to our 3rd floor 2-bedroom apartment we sublet from a Brown PhD student and fell asleep right away.

The next day was a workday for both of us but we had to somehow juggle emptying and returning the uHaul before our deadline around midday. There was no way we would carry all of our boxes up to the 3rd floor walkup apartment (it took us 10 hours to pack it up with the help of a dolly and an elevator in NYC after all) so we had to change plans and rent a storage unit for the sake of time and our sanity.

To motivate ourselves for another long box-filled day ahead, Willem looked up nearby coffee shops in the morning which led us to grabbing coffee and breakfast at The Shop, a sweet little coffee shop only a 5-minute walk away from our new temporary home. We noticed they used beans from Parlor Coffee as soon as we walked in – I almost shed a tear from happiness seeing that they had a piece of home right there for us. Parlor Coffee is roasted in Brooklyn and is one of our favorite source of coffee beans. We would go to their tasting room every now and then on a Sunday morning, the only time they are open to the public, with friends for delicious coffee and great conversations. Sure enough the hot coffee at The Shop (my measure of a coffee shop – the simplest thing to make has to be tasty) was delicious, and the space was perfect to get the work day started sitting outside on a sunny but cool Monday morning.

When we finally unpacked at our storage unit later that day we realized once again how much stuff we have that we never needed. The frustration of the entire moving experience got us even more excited about downsizing to the point where we can move onto our boat. We agreed that we wouldn’t keep our storage unit for longer than a month and to achieve emptying it by then, we would come by to grab a car-full of boxes every week to sort through: things to keep, things to take to our winter storage also known as Willem’s dad’s house, and things to sell.

The excitement of exploring a new placedims the feeling of missingthe one you just left

The rest of the week we walked somewhere new every day. The excitement of exploring a new place dims the feeling of missing the one you just left and the method worked well for us. As New Yorkers, we were spoiled by countless delicious food options around us at all times, so our first mission in Providence became eating at every place in a walkable distance from our apartment. Some were perfect for a morning work session, others served good but forgettable food, and some became our new favorite places. Tallulah’s Taqueria was one of them – we ate there 3 times that week if I remember correctly and have been going back often ever since. Aleppo Sweets had just opened and we found the most amazing baklavas there. PV Donuts convinced us that the dessert can be worth waiting in line for, they make them so fluffy and beautiful here. The Shop remained a staple – we got lucky by living so close to what we think is Providence’s best coffee shop.

I’m glad we took the time to explore the neighborhood that week. The rest of June became an intense month filled with work on the boat while it was still out of the water, where most days we got home late and exhausted. Overall, our decision to move to Providence already payed off – living so close to the boat (and paying less rent) allows us to focus on boat work in the evenings after we are done with our work days.