Dec
17
2008

  I Got a Stroller in Brooklyn

I've been checking the NYC craigslist since we got to NJ on Sunday night, but there was only one suitable bugaboo for sale. I emailed the woman but there was already going to be someone picking up the stroller last night. Luckily for me, they didn't show up so when she emailed me back that I could pick it up this morning Terry and I hurried over to Brooklyn.

It didn't take long to get there, we breezed through the Holland tunnel and we couldn't believe how little traffic was on Canal St so we had a straight shot over the Manhattan bridge to Brooklyn. It was more complicated from there, since the block where the stroller-people lived was closed to traffic by barricades and police cars, and Terry missed the first parking spot I saw, and instead of just driving around the block everywhere down there was in triangles where you couldn't make turns so it took an extra ten minutes (it only took us 15 minutes to get from NJ to Brooklyn, so the 10 minutes felt like forever especially since I had pointed out a perfectly good parking spot as soon as we arrived in the vicinity the first time).

There were no open parking spots, so I made Terry just wait in the truck in a "no standing" zone nearby while I went up to get the stroller. The building was very nice, and when I talked to the guy I asked him what was up with the barricade. He said the NY stock exchange had some offices on his block, so that's why there couldn't be any traffic. It's true, it looked like a mini-version of what they've got setup around the exchange behind Terry's old office.

The owner was very personable, and took the time to show me how to fold and unfold the stroller, attach and adjust the seat, and how to switch the handlebar positions. I asked if he's got another baby on the way (that's the main reason people are selling these particular strollers, because they need to get a double-stroller instead) and he said he's got two more, actually. So not only is the single stroller not particularly useful to him, it's also now going to be too big to store in their apartment once they have three kids.

The base color is the dark gray (it looks basically black) that I wanted, but the fleece lining is dark blue, which I'm not particularly keen on with the black base. But they were selling it for 50% off the cost of new, which is much less than most used Cameleons were listed at (33% off was more frequently cited), so it was a veritable bargain. And the linings are offered in different colors anyway, so I can buy that separately. Although Terry pointed out that someone could make a fortune as a cottage business sewing up custom linings. Duh.

I'll have to take a closer look at the lining part, but I think it just fastens to the main seat / bassinet with velcro. The only thing "special" about the linings are that they are made from water-resistant fabric. Which is a little tricky to find, but I think I can order stuff online that you use to treat regular fabric to make it water-resistant. I might be able to use Sunbrella fabric also, I'll have to look into that. If it all looks straightforward enough, I might try to sew my own tailored lining in a color I prefer (or maybe go wild and use a pattern!), but if it looks like I'm not going to get around to it before April than I'll just order up a new set and be done with it.

Of course, by the time I pushed the stroller down the street to the truck I had completely forgotten what buttons to press to make the stroller fold up correctly. Good thing we had the truck. We just put all the pieces in separately, and left the chassis only partly collapsed, but there was plenty of room in the back of the pickup. Terry and I were eager to watch the instructional video when we got back to the apartment, but were frustrated when the DVD drive on my laptop wouldn't recognize the disc. For whatever reason, I can only play some DVDs on my computer and not others. So we just watched some of the videos on the bugaboo website instead, although they weren't helpful in demonstrating just how to fold the thing up etc.

But I've got the instruction book, so I'll read that and figure it out. Terry already looked through it and noticed it had "practice" exercises at the end of the chapter. Good grief! But it makes sense that you don't want to be practicing stroller setup when you have a screaming child on hand. So I'll practice now so by April I'll be flipping that thing open one-handed in 10 seconds like the people starring in the videos.

I'm surprisingly happy about getting this stroller. I was smiling in the car the whole ride back from Brooklyn to NJ (still no traffic, it was great). I'm not sure why I'm so darn excited about it. It's our first major baby-related purchase, I guess. I haven't really been interested in buying anything yet, I think I've got a six-pack of newborn onesies and a little bib, but that's about it. I'm still not psyched up to get a lot of baby gear, so it's not like the stroller is start of an interest in baby-shopping.

It's especially odd to me, my reluctance to baby-shop that is, since I really enjoy shopping for baby shower gifts for others. I think it's because I don't want to have to live with all the stuff-- it's much more fun to buy the cute outfits and give them away without having to wash them, store them, dress up a baby, etc. It's almost as if I think that the less baby paraphernalia I have, the less work I'll have to do to take care of the baby. In a certain respect I think it's true, since if you think of cave-babies, they didn't have any onesies. No cave-mother had to wash loads of baby clothes in Dreft. She just kept the little thing naked in a sling she wore. That appeals to me. I told Terry we'll probably go to the shop in Cville that sells slings and get a few to test on Cindy's kids over the Christmas break, so we can determine which style we prefer. He also wants to bring the stroller so we can test it out on them also. We try to take our 3-mile walk even when we're away from home, so if it's not too cold we could take Addison out with us when we visit my parents.