One of my favorite humans on this planet decided to pick up and move to San Francisco. Needless to say, anytime she makes it back to the East Coast, I do my best to get to where ever she is, if only for a brief time. Since moving to New York, all real conversations with friends have been subject to forgetfulness. So it’s no wonder that Friday, June 29th, Lindsey calls me in the morning to say hey! Just letting you know I get in tomorrow! Me, all baffled (see forgetful comment above) is like: Oh! shit! I forgot! Since I’m single and have a cat, my schedule is pretty flexible. I reach out to Linds’ brother and his girlfriend who are also going up for the weekend (and live in New York), call their sweet mother and basically invite myself up that night, with 2 1/2 weeks worth of laundry. (It was bad. I was on the reserve underwear. I hope you all know that i would not have lugged nearly 60lbs worth of laundry to another state had it not been that dire of a situation).
As I’m wrapping my Friday up, exiting a great meeting with a client, I check my phone and there are 9 texts from Jesse, Lindsey’s older brother. One says: You’ll earn immunity from my teasing for a month and the last one says: Answer me. At this point, it’s 5:15, my train is at 7:45 in Manhattan and I still need to pack my shit at my apartment in Brooklyn then get back in to the city, as I didn’t realize I would be away for the weekend. Call Jesse (who’s all: Hey! How are you? How are things?! So…I need a favor…I forgot my backpack at the office…if I messenger it over to your apartment in Brooklyn, could you bring it with you tonight??) I of course say yes. Jesse: really? I mean, you’ll take my backpack?? Me: sure! it’s just a backpack, dude. Don’t worry about it.
Turns out Jesse the wonder-kid didn’t messenger it over to Brooklyn, he had a loyal co-worker hop in a cab and deliver it to me. On a Friday night. During rush hour. In New York fucking City. The time is getting closer to 7 than I’d like I’m still waiting and I get anxious so I call his friend who STILL hadn’t made it over the bridge yet. Panic beginning to set in, I said: I’ll hop on the subway and meet you at Atlantic Avenue. I myself have: my work messenger bag, my bag full of weekend stuff, and let’s not forget my 890 lb bag full of dirty clothes. (And I’m in a dress. In literally 99 degree heat.) I get out of the subway stop, see the cab, and what happens next in my mind is a montage of torture rooms, psychological warfare and a very dark vivid red color, because Jesse’s backpack? The one he so innocently asked me to carry? It’s not a backpack like I was envisioning. This wasn’t a Jansport that you carry around campus with, oh no. This was a: I’m going off to discover who I am for 7 months as I trek across the outer mountain chains of Northern Mongolia backpack. Laura, Jesse’s co-worker, handed it off to me like a kid she was glad she was done babysitting, and I pointed my finger in her face and said: I am going to fucking murder Jesse MacDougall. Laura (the chick) giggled nervously then hopped back in the cab. So I strapped the fucking beast of a backpack to my back, slinging my other bags around me and went back into the subway. It’s 7:25, and I’m still in Brooklyn. I have to be at Penn Station in the next 15 minutes, other wise my 7:45 train is a joke. As I get on to the subway, I sit down, taking up approximately 4.6 seats and realize that when I put Jesse’s backpack on, the hem of my dress went with it, and I’d been walking through the subway station with my ass exposed.
This is my first full week in New York–and so far I can say the feeling I have is that of a foreign exchange student.
I arrived around 9pm last Saturday night with a dear friend who helped cart my shit into my apartment, woke up the next morning at 645 am due to my new upstairs neighbor b-l-a-s-t-i-n-g Otis Redding. Don’t get me wrong, I love Otis Redding just as much as the next girl, but when you’re camping out on the living room floor with a pillow and nearly dead from stress cat and a house guest you cant give clean towels just yet, you’re gonna want to sleep for as long as you can. I promptly went up stairs to the offending neighbor who opened his door in boxers holding a blue solo cup wearing a grin bigger than the cheshire cat. I politely said to him: dude, you gotta turn that shit down, people are trying to sleep. That was my first morning in new york.
The next day, the movers (Rudy and Dmitri, god bless them both) delivered my furniture and it was time for me to set my life up. What is the biggest difference right away between Boston and New York? Your main transportation becomes your legs versus a car. That first Sunday, I got to work organizing and reassembling my life; I quickly realized that the 12 or 13 foot ceilings plus my 5 foot frame and a 2 foot stool wasn’t really a super equation to hang curtains. I recalled passing a Home Depot on the first trip down to Brooklyn…it couldn’t be that far away….right? 40 minutes later I was there–bought a huge ladder, screws and a tension rod. I looked awesome carting all that shit back home, and thankfully a cab pulled over and i happily threw my shit in the back and rode shot gun.
Being an outsider has afforded me the ability to be a keen observer, a wall flower. Each day after work last week I walked through different neighborhoods, seeing the men sitting in their folding chairs outside bodegas listening to salsa music, monks commuting next to Wall Street execs with their earbuds in, mothers teaching their toddlers manners while protecting them from the other humans on the subway.
Upon my way home last Wednesday, I stopped into a local pub to grab a drink and food (I forgot to call National Grid before I got to New York to have my gas stove turned on, so it just got turned on this weekend…yikes) and ate at the bar. I happened to be sitting next to a dude that ordered three ‘neat’ whiskeys and a rolling rock, and was reading a book titled Existence. What!! I looked around, looking to see if anyone else thought that this was hysterical. No one batted a mascaraed covered eyelash! The thing is, these fucking hipsters nestle in to New York because no one stands out–everyone’s a weirdo. So they can be heard, understood even. I texted a friend of mine that I knew would understand the humor right away and her response? Tell him you train iguanas. Hipsters love that shit. Well that made me howl enough to cause a scene and have people stare over at me…but oh no, no one gives a shit about the Existence guy.
On Saturday I was wondering around aimlessly in nolita when I was passing a man wearing a python (a live one) wrapped around his arm and neck. I didn’t even register that the thing was real until I saw the glimmer of sun reflecting off part of its swamp colored scales. I’m pretty sure my reaction was exactly what this snake wearing asshole wanted (I jumped about 4 feet in the air and quickly made a left in a 45 degree angle into the street, not caring about traffic) and he smiled and chuckled. I relayed this experience to a friend in Boston, and his response: The same thing happened to me in Boston, except it was a kitten. Again, I cackled so loud I am fairly certain a mother shielded her child from the crazy woman (me) on the street cracking herself up.
New Yorkers carry snakes, Bostonians: kittens. Little different.
Like all new endeavors, it takes time to feel steady and confident in your role….it’s thrilling to know that I will soon be fluid enough to speak New York without pause in the (hopefully) near future; and that is fuel enough for me to strive to be better and to appreciate all the daily stories that play out in front of me.
I like to think of my self as reasonably organized. You, know average. What? You don’t organize your purse with pouches for things? No pen case? No lipstick case? No little first aid kit with bandaids and cure-all ointments? What’s that? Don’t you have all matching closed lid bins in your pantry so you don’t display clutter? Oh. Well I do.
About a month ago I was down in New York for some meetings and also met up with Darcy and Bonnie; two of my best friends. (To be fair, I was staying with Bonnie. She’s been a saint to me.) Darcy had just finished an amazing play and we went out to celebrate her success and also catch up. We laughed, we reminisced, we got to spend time together. I should let you know: when it comes to who Darcy and I are as humans, on paper it looks like we shouldn’t be close. In fact, opposite ends of a magnet. She exists in a world with no pouches, no storage bins. Her career is one that forces her to live a nomadic existence, so constantly being in 5 places at once is not only accepted, but the norm.
The time had come to head home, Bonnie and I to Jackson Heights and Darcy and her lovely boyfriend to Brooklyn. The bill came, we argued about who would be treating who(m) and reached a conclusion. We laughed some more, the bar became more vacant and the lights were beginning to be turned off. Then it happened: Darcy came out with the worst sentence anyone could hear at 2:30am: Wait, guys. Guys, wait. I can’t find my credit card. Cue me: steam emitting from not only my ears, but eyeballs, nostrils and mouth. (Apparently, I am not someone to mask emotions.)
She was pretty calm about it, saying: Oh whatever, it’s fine. I’ll find it eventually. No, Darse, let’s do this now, so you know you have it. We scoured the floors. She went back to the bathroom. We looked. In. Her. Purse. Her purse is the equivalent to Mary Poppins’ bag on acid. She emptied out on the bar two plastic wine goblets (props from her play, obvi) a wallet that didn’t really contain money or her credit card (shocker) some socks, and a plethora of other things like floating receipts, gum wrappers, half empty bottles of healthy organic bullshit to keep her hydrated all day–you name it. I did, it was called: My Hell.
Finally, she asked the bartender if he had her credit card. He was this very thin man (boy? he looked all of 20) wearing a bowler hat and had a lovely spanish accent. His outfit reminded me of Clockwork Orange with flair. He went through all the forgotten credit cards, and said: no, I’m sorry. Darse was kind and said, well thank you anyways. As a last resort, bartender extrodinaire suggested: did you check your underwear? Darcy’s eyes widened like those cartoons who finally fall in love with the birds and hearts circling their heads, as she took her hand, reached into the sweetheart neckline of her dress, and pulled out her credit card. It was in her boob this whole time. I turned to the wall and hid my face. Bonnie flung her self over a barstool, Lucas impaled himself on the bar. We were all so fucking shocked. Darcy? Nope, just a normal day.
As we were laughing and leaving, Darcy asked the bartender: How did you know? His response: My father was a magician.
These next two weeks will be the last time I call Boston home…at least, for a while.
This is my last week at a job with a company that has been my second home for most of my 20’s. It has seen me triumph, falter, laugh and love.
Sometimes it’s necessary to shake things up, get out of a comfort zone and try something new; so that’s exactly what I’m doing. (Don’t get me wrong, I’m scared shitless.)
In late March I was visiting friends in New York and on the last full day I was there it struck me: I need to give New York another go. I have been in Boston for the majority of my 20’s, and as of late, I’ve felt this longing for something else, something more. As many of you know, I fell in love with a city at 15 years old, and it never has left me. I left my sweet and safe home of Marblehead to explore New York as a college student, and now almost 30, feel like it’s my time to be there as an adult.
I made a large goal to find a job; I did. Next on the list was find a place to live that hopefully didn’t consist of me in a cardboard box under a bridge using Elvis as a guard dog. That in and of itself was completely a stress beyond no other. I went down to New York a few weekends ago and stayed with one of my best friends (Bonnie), and she graciously went along with me to scout out my future apartment.
We saw a grand total of 3 apartments, and the last one I visited made me believe in the old beautiful New York apartments no one sees anymore. As Bonnie and I were looking around the space, all I needed was Bonnie’s affirming and curt little nod; she was saying: yup. This is a keeper. This is good. This is where we can have dinner parties every Sunday night.
So. The neighborhood in Brooklyn I will be calling home is Crown Heights–(I always knew in someway I was destined for royalty, now it’s part of my residence.) I have met my landlord, he seems lovely and kind, and when I extended my hand for him to shake, he politely refused explaining that out of respect for his wife, he is forbidden to touch another woman. I smiled and thought to myself: he should have taught my ex-boyfriends a thing or two.
The moving situation? I mean, sure. It’s going to happen. Just not sure exactly…how…ugh.
While this transition is bittersweet, I know Boston will always be here, with open arms and its wonderful accents to embrace me when I return; it holds my heart. I have bonds here that will last my lifetime. New York now holds my future, and as my story unfolds, I hope I am able to share it with you. xo.
I’ve been doing a lot of self reflection as of late; (not to worry: i’m sure it’s a passing fad, much like the short lived phase of my life when I wore turbans), but to become introspective once in a while I think is healthy for everyone. Why am I here? Will I be successful? Is my family proud of me? Am I being kind, honest and respectful to myself and those around me? I hope to always give myself those checks and balances, and that when I do answer that question, it will always be a resounding yes.
This blog has been a space for me to write about moments of my life (good and shitty). Since most of what I share has a light hearted nature, i have pressured myself to continue on that trajectory, yet there has been brewing within me a passion to share a little deeper, a little below the mascara, into what awakens me, striving me to be the best version of myself.
I woke up this morning dreading going to work for various reasons, called my poor father at 715 in the morning to bitch, and scooted my butt to work. (For the record, I do not make a habit of calling my parents at such early hours, but knowing that my dad wakes up at the ass crack of dawn, I figured it’d be a safe bet he’d answer without the slightest bit of sleep in his voice.) I have spent most of my day in Debbie Downer mode, mentally pouting and lamenting my life while others are out pursuing their true goals and dreams. Sniff Sniff, boo fucking hoo. I got home, opened up my absolute favorite blog and immediately got the kick in the ass I needed after he suggested to view this. Everything I wince about can be summed up in three snotty words: first world pains. Watch it: be moved. It certainly stirred something enough in me to compose a new thought here.
So. I will strive to be braver; when I do mental checks and balances moving forward, I will make sure to be kind, respectful and honest. To others, and myself.