I told myself at the beginning of this summer that I had to start blogging more often so I wouldn’t forget my first 3 months living in NYC. Of course I have already been here a month and a half and this is my first post. As I have discovered all the different parts of the city I’m trying to enjoy the moments instead of always feeling the need to take pictures and remember details of stories. I think our generation spends so much time behind our phones and cameras that we forget to take in what is happening right in front of us. That being said I have taken some pictures and have some fun stories to share of what I have been doing here. I will try to start posting a bit more often but I can’t make any promises.
Everyday in this city is something exciting. On days that I don’t work I may get up and come to my favorite coffee shop but the 8 minute walk from our studio always brings something new to see and experience. It makes me realize that I may have things about my life that I like structured, but overall I like new experiences everyday. Even if it is as simple as taking 5th avenue down to 42nd street instead of 3rd.
New York has an energy that you don’t feel anywhere else. I think it’s a combination of ambition and compassion. Most people don’t usually pair the two together, but I think those are two qualities that every New Yorker has. To make it in this city you have to be the best of the best. The best lawyer, the best banker, the best waitress, the best singer on the subway. There are a million people who want to be right where you are, so it takes a certain amount of discipline and drive to be here. I think that’s why New Yorkers get pinned as being rude. They aren’t rude, they are forward and direct. The kind of people that live here are the ones that tell you how it is. If you are standing in their way, they will tell you to move. They don’t have time to ask you to move, and that’s just how everyone operates. On the flip side, when they need to step up, New Yorkers are there to help anyone that needs help. When I first arrived I would come off the subways and look at my phone to figure out what direction I should be walking, and immediately I would get a “What are you trying to find?”. I have seen endless amounts of random acts of kindness, probably more than any other place in the world. During a walk home one evening a lady was laying on the sidewalk sobbing and before I could even recognize what was going on there were 6 or 7 people around her patting her back telling her to calm down and trying to figure out how they could help. A coworker told me she had tripped on the way to the train the night before and a man caught her, hailed her a cab, and paid the cab driver to take her wherever she needed to go. That just doesn’t happen anywhere else. People here are incredibly independent, but also recognize that we are all part of a human race and all have our moments. It is honestly one of the coolest things I have ever seen.
The city has also changed who I am. I think it has given me more confidence and independence. It forces you to be tough, and not be freaked out when a homeless man on the corner starts screaming at you in Russian for no reason. I have noticed a huge change in my roommate as well. The first weekend we were here we went to lunch with some of my Dad’s friends from work. They are 2 of the most caring people in the world, but extremely tough and aren’t afraid to show you their New York side (Our first lesson from Charlie was to assume everyone in this city is a liar HA). Rachenda was quiet and polite at lunch and didn’t say much. We went to lunch with them again a month later and she was a completely different person. She held her own against their funny sarcastic banter and truly showed a great deal of confidence. I think this came from her having an entire month of “shock therapy”. You really learn to hold your own here, because you don’t have an option not to.
There are also some of the funniest moments to experience as well. I have never experienced such laugher as a few weeks ago on the subway. People here don’t react to ANYTHING. They have seen it all. Celebrities walk by, and they don’t even blink twice. A homeless man on a train eating a bucket of KFC and throwing the bones on the floor, and no one takes a second look. But when something really funny does happen, and you get a reaction out of New Yorkers, it is the best thing in the world. After work I get on the 1 train to go home and it is extremely crowded. The subway doors kept trying to close but something was blocking them so they kept re-opening. All of a sudden you hear the subway director scream over the mic “O my Lord people, pull your bags into the train.” The entire train erupted in laugher. Not just a few people laughing, every single person on the train, as well as the entire subway station was laughing. It was just one of those moments you were so glad you were there to experience, even if it was a small thing.
My roommate and one of my best friends from HS Rachenda and I are two of the cheapest people you will ever meet, which makes us both perfect roommates, but a dangerous combination. Normally my not so cheap friends convince me to spend money on certain things and somewhat balance me out, but Rachenda is just as cheap as I am. I was told before coming here that I would be in a panic at how expensive everything in the city is. Yes of course, everything here is much more expensive than at home (Oreos are $5.99 a pack at the grocery store!), but you can find things that are cheap as well, and that is what gets us by. $1 slices of cheese pizza is one of our favorites, and we are now known by the owner and greeted with a huge smile every time we go. We also know which grocery store to go to for the cheapest bread, ice cream, cookies, meats, crackers, everything. We just divide up what we need by grocery store and make a few trips a week. It works out well for us and we always feel accomplished when we save money by making our grocery store rounds.
As far as activities, I feel like I have done more in the past month and a half than I have in the past year. Even on days that we wake up and have no plans but to wander the city we find something. We have found street fairs, used book stores which encompass hours of our time, celebrity sightings, performers in central park, and the best people watching spots in the world. I got to go with a friend to the Belmont stakes, I have taken sky trams, ferries, trains, buses and taxis to all corners of this city and seen something new and amazing in every new neighborhood. It is sometimes so hard to grasp the idea that this tiny island contains all of these “bests” in the world (and that the population of my neighborhood, the Upper East Side alone is more than the entire city of Des Moines).
I have been told by New Yorkers that you can’t call yourself a New Yorker until you have lived here for at least 10 years. So until I can say that I have, I will continue to wake up everyday in my tiny studio that costs 4 times more than my huge apartment in Waco, and feel so blessed to be a visitor here. New York, I Love You!
^The Belmont Stakes
^My friend Alexis and I at our favorite Oyster Bar
^The Queensboro Bridge
"Be able to be alone. Lose not the advantage of solitude, and the society of thyself."
In a society that is pushing to constantly build relationships, it seems to be common to forget spending time with yourself. I never really understood the concept of really being by yourself until I got to college and wanted nothing more than a night when all my roommates were gone so I could be alone. Do what I love to do, wear what I want to wear, and act the way I want to act. After discovering just how much I love these nights I try to take full advantage of them when they do come along. When was the last time you did this?
I love making myself a huge dinner, sitting down to a perfectly set table, with no tv on, just me. You can really enjoy the food you just made for yourself with no distractions. It always makes me realize how fast my mind is usually going because I rarely hear silence in my life. My tv is always on when I get ready in the morning, I listen to music before I go to bed. But silence is beautiful and very underrated in our world today. Do something you haven’t been able to do for a while. Take a long shower or bath as opposed to the 8 minute showers you take in the mornings before rushing off to your day. Take out those candles you never seem to have time to enjoy and light them all. Listen to your favorite music (tonight I’m loving “I and Love and You" by the Avett Brothers), watch a movie you have been dying to see. Don’t look at your phone, don’t check your Facebook, just cut yourself off from the world for one night.
I will leave you with my current view. Also check out this video. It is so beautifully done.
Don’t ever forget about yourself, or other people will follow your example.
I live in a four bedroom, four bath apartment with 3 other girls. 2 of my roommates are gone for the rest of the summer so Carly and I decided to turn our living room into our master suite. We moved out all the furniture and moved in our beds. The simple way to do this would have been to just move our mattresses, but we wanted the full feel so we moved the bed frames in too. We are only in this apartment for 3 weeks more, so we will see how long we last until we want to move them back into our rooms. Who knows? Maybe we can last all three weeks :)
^Carly’s bed! How cute is her bedding? She got it from Anthropologie.
It is amazing how such a small change can be so exciting and new :) If you haven’t rearranged your room in a while, go for it! It’s a free way to feel like you are in a different and new space.
Just in case I didn’t have enough websites or blogs to follow, I have recently discovered SouthernLiving.com. If you have some free time head on over to the website. You will not be disappointed. Here are some cool pictures I came across!
^How beautiful is this dining area. Can you imagine how beautiful that would be at night with candles lit, sitting around with close friends and family and a delicious meal. Yes please! Click on the photo and click through some of the other pictures in the album. Gorgeous!
^This is a really fun article about flea market finds! Have you guys ever heard of Vaseline glass? I hadn’t so I read up on it. It is really cool stuff and has a cool history. I would love to add a piece to my collection :) Click here to read more about Vaseline glass.
^I can’t wait to be a “grown up” to have friends over for classy parties. All of the recipes in the article look delicious. Its just beautiful, classic simplicity. Love love love!
^How to dress for the Kentucky Derby? haha Why else would I ever want to go!?
Go peruse the website and I assure you you will not be disappointed!!!
President Obama obviously knows that the free market system works, so why all of the regulations? Easy answer, political agendas.