Monday, June 9, 2014

Hammertime Work Weekend

Humans need to unplug and get their hands dirty every now and then. It was such a relief to break away from job hunting on my laptop and spend the weekend in Syracuse, where my dear friends Kate and Mike just bought a house and organized a work party. Kate and I have been close since freshmen year, meeting on the cross-country team (and subsequently deserting haha). Mike graduated in 2012 but introduced me to the St. Lawrence theme house community when I moved into the Habitat for Humanity house and joined the Habi family.

They landed a great deal on this house in the Tipperary Hill Irish neighborhood. After a revelatory house inspection, they bargained the price down even further because of all the repairs and remodeling necessary. In the week since Kate and Mike have moved in, they've stripped all the carpets to uncover old hardwood flooring, repainted the kitchen, tore apart rounded door archways--and there's a lot to go to make the quaint house into their home! We joked that we were slave labor for the weekend, but they really put us to work. With the help of family members, we scrubbed, primed, and repainted the entire house all on Saturday, then moved a U-Haul truck load of furniture.

Before (they test-painted the front of the house before we arrived)


The best part was reuiniting with other Habi house mates that I haven't seen in two years, and feeling like hardly anything's changed. School semesters split those four months of the year up and make it fly by, they said. So the guys feel a bit older, but we still "raised the rod" together and partied our way through the neighborhood. We ventured to the city for the Taste of Syracuse festival, watched an Allman Brothers cover band and Blues Traveler for a bit, then went on a bar crawl.

Enjoying craft beer and local restaurant offerings at Taste of Syracuse.
The lead musician of Blues Traveler killing it on the harmonica! You definitely know their '94 single "Run Around."
We didn't make it to all the bars in the neighborhood--four of which are in immediate walking distance--but it was still hilarious. A random man who works for Wells Fargo came over to us and wanted to learn how to play quarters, and subsequently crushed Luke in a boat race (what?).
Bar selfies with the team!
The kitchen was a heinous shade of yellow (and yellow is my favorite color) that they've since toned down with white. The sink is an old-school metal unit they're keeping and updating with new faucets.
Contemplating furniture arrangements. We slept on an area rug and sleeping bag for the prior two nights.
In spite of sore shoulders and dehydration, it was a thrill to be part of this new chapter in their lives. Plus, I'll always have a place to stay in 'Cuse! Now it's back to my career-launching mission (more like stumbling into), though at least tonight I'm starting an ultimate frisbee summer league. More updates, reviews, and summer food cooking to come.

Listening: "Run Around" by Blues Traveler

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