Well, at long last, after a few false starts, some meddling from the NYC Department of Buildings, about four weeks of actual work, and slightly more money than was allocated, the kitchen is done. DONE. And all I could say... was nothing. Speechless. I was absolutely speechless (something quite rare, I assure you).
Let me share with you what I see now every morning, the culmination of a dream 14 years in the making:
Words can not do justice to how I feel when I see this sight every morning. To say it is firing up the cooking juices is an understatement. I just want to stand there and never leave, soaking in the sight of a real kitchen in a New York apartment. "Happiness" seems like a quaint way to describe it.
Every detail has been painstakingly paid attention to by my contractor, who ended up being a complete pleasure to work with. I never felt like he was up-selling me on anything, and I rarely had cause to question his pricing. And the quality of the work can be seen, he used some great guys who were really proud of their work.
As I said, this has been a long time in the making and planning, and now I can't wait to start cooking. I've had some test runs, soft openings if you will, especially Sunday French-style omelettes (runny, baby, runny!), and so far so good. The real test comes in a few days when I plan on making a full dinner for some friends over the Memorial Day weekend.
But every morning when I wake up I can't help just stopping and staring, this is absolutely unbelievable. There are a few little details left to finish up (the dry bar really) but for the most part everything's done. Unbelievable.