Saturday, April 28, 2018

Package Express

Ancestral end table
I'd come to California in June of 2015 with two pieces of soft luggage and a carry-on. I'd stayed in sublets initially, trying out different parts of town, eventually landing in a vintage 1920s Hollywood studio and then moving into a Burbank 1980s-"vintage" condo a year-and-a-half later.

I'd been living as minimally as humanly possible in Hollywood. Well, that might be an exaggeration. I had both an IKEA dining/project table AND a desk, so that's exorbitant, right?

I bought the condo a year ago, moved in my pine slat platform bed frame and IKEA memory foam, my table, my desk, and I'd bought the previous owners chest of drawers and media console/TV off her. I hadn't mastered the art of TV watching yet, but now that I had purchased a custom sofa, I decided to make an effort at living like a normal person.

I brought some Egyptian tentmakers bazaar pillow covers back from my storage unit in Jersey City, but how was I going to get my grandparents end table from Jersey City to Burbank?

Rented hand truck
I puzzled over this for a while until a friend mentioned shipping by Amtrak. I dug into that, went down various rabbit holes, and ended up at Greyhound Package Express.

Nex trip home, I had a rental car I'd picked up at Newark Airport, and I drove straight from my flight arrival to Home Depot to buy some boxes and packing materials. I stopped at my storage unit and got the table, but ran into a problem in my tiny apartment in my house.

Because the entrance to my apartment is under my house's stoop, I had limited space to get the box out the door. And the rental car was a sedan--the box wouldn't fit.

The partially assembled box, packing materials, and table went with me to Staples for some packaging peanuts, and then we all drove to Newark Penn Station for the Greyhound. Because only a complete fool would drive to Port Authority with this setup.

Even Newark isn't ideal. There's no parking lot, so you end up hoping for the best. Hoping didn't really work out for me, so I parked in a pay lot nearby, walked to the Greyhound counter in Penn Station, sussed out the specifics of how this worked, then walked back to the car. I used a packing knife and tape to assemble the box and pack the table, then used a hand truck I'd rented from the 440 Home Depot to pull my box to the counter.

This all happened so fast, I forgot to take a photo of my box before it was
behind the counter at Greyhound Penn Station.
The attendant processed me without even a sideways glance. This all made total sense to him.

"Which station do you want to send this to?"

"North Hollywood, please."

"It'll be there in 3-4 business days and cost you $67."


My rented hand truck and I walked back to my rental car in the pay lot, drove back to 440 to drop off the hand truck, and went home to Lafayette. It was that easy.

And a week later, on a Saturday morning in Burbank, I grabbed the Zipcar over behind the Von's and headed to Magnolia Ave. I parked the Honda Fit next to the North Hollywood Greyhound station, borrowed their hand truck, and pulled my box out to the car.

This was all shockingly simple.

So simple, I think I'll bring out my childhood coffee table next time.

Fit into the Fit.
Now I have this stuff to get rid of.

Did it survive the trip?

1 comment:

William Kendall said...

It survived, which is the important part.

A few days back, attending a comiccon here, I mused on how on earth I could ship a sword. I don't think you could take it on Greyhound, and I wonder if our passenger train service would allow it. I'm sure the thing would end up in a carrying chest.