Tuesday, June 3, 2014

DAY TWO HUNDRED FIFTEEN - We move into our new apartment on the NYU Abu Dhabi campus

Thursday was moving day. The movers arrived as scheduled at 9:00 a.m., and I had everything except the items in the fridge packed and ready to be loaded onto their truck. I could not get out of this place soon enough! Living in an apartment of boxes is not fun.

Our old apartment at Sama Tower - all is packed and ready to go!

Doug was frantic with meetings and getting all the IT "stuff" ready on campus, so the move was left to me. Once everything was out of the apartment, I got into our little rental Jetta and took off for the campus and what would be my first look at our apartment. You may recall that I'd seen the floor plans but not the actual furnished apartment.

It's kind of funny sometimes how you get an idea in your head and then things turn out completely different from what you expected. Case in point: I envisioned the movers carting over my boxes, dropping them off, and then I'd have all afternoon to myself to unpack in a focused but leisurely fashon. I saw it as a Zen kind of day, actually. But in fact when I walked into the apartment I found a small army of facilities guys making adjustments to the blinds in the windows. Moments later a maintenance worker came in with a step ladder and began patching a small area above the kitchen island. Apparently there had been a leak (repaired), but now the ceiling needed patching and painting. I barely noticed this chaos because to my chagrin I saw NO furniture - not a stick! After the workers left more people started stopping by - the guy in charge of the furniture (it was on its way), a cleaning crew who told me they would provide a complementary cleaning (I told them to wait till the next day when my boxes were unpacked), the guy in charge of the facilities team making sure all was well and who handed me an enormous 3-ring binder with emergency contact numbers, manuals for all the appliances from the fridge to the toaster, and even take-out menus. 

Yet another person dropped by with the Welcome Basket shown above which contained Tide, shampoo, toothbrushes and toothpaste, garbage bags, tissue, toilet paper and more. Nice touch. By the end of the day I estimate a good 50 people had breezed in and out of the place. My day was anything but Zen, but it turned out to be fun, exciting, and beyond anything I could have imagined. Everybody was incredibly friendly, welcoming, and they bent over backwards to welcome us and make us feel at home.

Doug and I were literally the first residents on the campus by several days. He wanted us to be his IT guinea pigs so he could be sure the WiFi, phones, and TV were working in the apartments before other people moved in and, well, freaked out.  We turned out to be guinea pigs for the Facilities people too and in a fun way. They wanted us to let them know if we found any issues so they could make corrections in the other units too if needed.

I worked like a crazy person and unpacked almost all my boxes before I hit the proverbial wall. The furniture was delivered and set up, and I made our bed so I could fall into it and sleep. The next day the unpacking was complete. Now I need to decorate - hang pictures, buy accessories like toss pillows, and I definitely need a tree of some sort in my sun room of a living room. 

More pictures will follow when the place is together, but this will give you a sense of our apartment...

In this shot the place is still a mess as I try and figure out where to put things. The new apartment has an open-concept layout as did the Sama apartment, but the cabinetry, the appliances, the finishes, well everything is so much nicer. The quality is excellent, and there is such attention to detail such as under-the-cabinet lighting, and the dishwasher that is faced with a cabinet door so it "disappears".

Doug didn't realize we had a dishwasher till I opened the door and showed him.

Now I've cleaned the place up, and I am standing in the living room with my back to the window. The door on the back wall is our front door, and the double doors to the left open to a small room with a stacking washer/dryer and enough extra space to store things like my vacuum, mops, and step ladder. The cabinetry in all the rooms goes to the ceiling, so I absolutely need that step stool! Out of frame to the left is the hallway which leads to two bedrooms and two full baths.

The view of the kitchen from the hallway. I like the little bookcase on the end of the island. See that thick, white notebook? That's the one with all the appliance manuals and information. And you thought I was exagerrating ;-)

I really need to figure out how to take a better picture of the living room/dining room. Even though the light-filtering shades are pulled down, the light is still strong enough that it back-lights my photo and makes things look dim. Trust me, with all those windows, I have plenty of light! As for this room, I have already purchased a replacement coffee table (yet to be assembled) as Doug hates this one, and I am in search of an area rug. One was provided but it was in shades of brown and black, and I really want something different. I have yet to hang pictures.

Looking down the hallway: the master bedroom with en suite is straight ahead, the guest room/office is on the left, and the second full bath is on the right.

Here's a corner of the master bedroom, and you can see the hand-tied rug I purchased in Istanbul. 

Each bedroom has this desk area, but there are no drawers. It's the one very puzzling omission to the apartments as far as I'm concerned. In any case, I decided to use the smaller desk area in the guest room for my home office space and am using the one in the master bedroom as a vanity. I repurposed the empty gift basket to hold my hair blower and curling iron.

The guest room is almost as large as the master bedroom, but the closet space and desk area are smaller. That is not a problem for me at all. As for the desk, I bought a 2-drawer unit from IKEA which will slip under the counter/writing surface (still needs to be assembled). I bought a small book case as well which I assembled all by myself, and you can see it to the right of the photo.

We have two full baths, each of which is larger than any bathroom we've had ever. The sink and toilet area look the same for both. This is mine (the en suite).

I claimed the en suite because of this. I dearly love to soak and relax at the end of the day. And boy this tub is deep!

Doug's bath (the one off the hallway) has a large shower stall plus a small linen closet. Opposite the linen closet is a very wide and very deep closet where I've stored a whole host of things including our suitcases.

And that's the tour! Like I said, now I need to accessorize and add some character to the place. But it has great bones, and we already feel very comfortable and at home. 

Next time, I'll walk you around the campus......


  1. Thank you so much for posting this! We're moving to the campus at the end of August, living in Abu Dhabi for for the first time. Ours will be a three bedroom, but I'm guessing it will be similar. I've been feeling pretty desperate wanting to know what our lives will be like, so I'm very much looking forward to photos of the campus next! (Please post those soon?!)
    Again, thanks so much!

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    1. Hi Jessica, Well oh my, I am so glad my post is helping you imagine your new place! I am positive you will like it here - it is pretty amazing. When you arrive please send me an email (kathi.carlson@nyu.edu) or find me at the Community Life Office (soon to be set up in B1 near the children's play room on level 2) - I would love to meet you in person and show you around if you'd like.
      Have a wonderful Summer, and I look forward to meeting you in a few short months,

  3. Thanks so much Kathi. I'll get in touch once we arrive. It's good to hear there's a children's play room. We're coming with our two boys, age six and one. My husband is faculty, and there are four of us, so I'm guessing there'll be some difference between the type of apartment. Even so, I think yours is very nice, and I'd be happy with it! Thanks for being guinea pigs for us!

    1. Sounds great! And the playroom is huge, btw, with lots of room to run around. There are also many, and I do mean MANY, families with young children here, so you will fit right in.

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    3. Hi Jessica,
      If you haven't left the States yet, I wish you a safe and uneventful trip over (especially with two small children!). When you arrive and catch your breath, please do stop by and introduce yourself - you've been on my mind as I know faculty is arriving this week. My office, Community Life, is in the Campus Center (C2), room W001-1 on the ground floor right next to the OCC (Operations Command Center). I live in the West Apartments (B1) in #305. BTW I've put some toys in the playrooms, but we'll be getting more.
      Looking forward to meeting you

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  5. Apartment are very beautiful and big , you share some inside images its helped
    to student because many student want accommodation now a days .thanks for sharing .

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