Summer Weekend in New York

This weekend. Ohmygoodness, this weekend.

I kept getting the “I can’t believe we live here” moments. Clearly I’m still not 100% adapted to NYC life, but this city is just so amazing, so big, so beautiful. I have such a love for it and I’m so excited that we live here now.

Friday night we went to a friend’s birthday party. It was on the roof of a building in Hell’s Kitchen, and the view was out of this world! We were looking toward midtown from the north, so there were skyscrapers galore. And you could see light just radiating from Times Square. I’m still blown away. We had lots of fun celebrating our friend’s birthday and we met a lot of other cool people – it was a really good time!

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We laid low during the day on Saturday. I slept a lot because I’m recovering from another cold. I feel like my body’s trying to build up immunity to this city, because I’ve already been sick twice since moving here… meh. But I still love New York! Anyway, I spent more than a fair bit of time sleeping until it was evening, when we ventured north near Riverbank State Park for a get-together at Davis’ coworker’s apartments. I had a lovely time getting to know the cool people he works with and eating delicious Greek food. There was this one dessert – I think it was called “galaktoboureko” – that was so incredible, it was like I was eating sweet air. (I just remembered that they sent us home with some – I may indulge after I finish this post.) And one of the women there had the most interesting stories! She lived in Italy for two years, so we spent some time talking about everything Italian. She even spoke Italian to me and I could understand what she was saying! I think once we’re more settled here I want to find a language partner or group or class so I can keep learning.

This morning we woke up and got ready to get our 1920s on! We had gotten tickets to the Jazz Age Lawn Party (http://www.jazzagelawnparty.com/), which is a huge celebration of everything 1920s-related. They had gramophone exhibitions, they had hats and suspenders for sale, they had two jazz dance floors and a place to take a picture with a paper moon. I outfitted myself in a purple flapper dress, sparkly headband, and pearls. Davis had gotten suspenders and a pipe just for the occasion. The party took place on Governor’s Island, so we rode the subway and took a ferry in our cool ensemble. We made friends on our journey and ran into an old classmate of mine, then met up with my friend Lauren and her roommate Meghan to spend the day with. I had packed a picnic, so we ate cheese and sandwiches and grapes and prosciutto and felt very classy. We danced and oogled at the fantastic costumes of others. There was this one woman who looked almost like Jane from Tarzan, it was so cool! And lots of people had very detailed flapper outfits. Then, out of nowhere, it started to pour! Before then it had been rather hot and humid, so the coolness of the rain was welcome, but the wetness was not! It was actually rather hilarious to watch everyone run for cover. We cowered under the parasols that Meghan and Lauren brought. Once the rain was gone, the fun began again. Davis bought a pair of 1920s-themed sunglasses that look pretty cool on him.

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The man in the pink in the top picture is Michael Arenella, the man who thought up the party and conducts a lot of the music for it. This was its 10th anniversary, and tickets were almost sold out!

I was so grateful for the shower I had when we got home and the (obscenely long) nap I took earlier this evening. We’ve had a very relaxed night, but after such a busy weekend, it’s really nice just to chill! Hope everyone else had a great weekend too – still can’t believe we’re lucky enough to call this city home.

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First Week in NYC

This past week has gone by incredibly slowly, but I don’t mean that in a bad way. I feel like time has been very deliberate, and I’m okay with that. It feels like we’ve been here much longer than a week, but maybe that has to do with the fact that we’re still sleeping on the floor because alas, our furniture won’t be here for another 7-10 days.

I’ve taken to exploring the city and scouting out coffee shops during the day. I successfully went running outside twice already. I feel like my feet have taken me all over the city, but I know I’ve only scratched the surface of everything there is to explore. I still haven’t been up to the Upper East or Upper West Sides yet, or over to Brooklyn, or north of Central Park, or even much more downtown than I am right now! The city is positively endless, and I’m really excited about that.

What’s still a struggle for me though is waking up in the morning. Since my work is 1) remote, and 2) three hours behind me, I have no real motivation at the moment to get up before nine, and that really isn’t helping me adapt to the time change. It’s also throwing my entire day off. I’m going to work on creating a schedule for myself (and actually sticking to it). But I want make sure I’m patient with myself – we did just get here, after all.

Another thing that I need to be patient with myself is (and this is kind of embarrassing) my shock at the bugs here. And by “bugs”, I mean roaches. I never thought bugs really bothered me before, but goodness, they freak me out here. They’re HUGE! And they look scary, and they creep… everything about them gives me the heebie-jeebies. Thankfully I haven’t seen that many of them, but there was this massive one yesterday that made it kind of hard to sleep last night. I do find myself peering into rooms and around doors before I enter, and jumping at any little noise. Davis is incredibly wonderful about my reaction to them, never getting frustrated with my cowering and doing the dirty work. But I need to get better about them. I think I will in time.

Right now our experience still feels so temporary. Sometimes I find myself thinking, “Oh, I need to talk to so-and-so about that when I get back…” and then I catch myself, realizing I’m not going back anytime soon, at least not in the permanent sense of the word. I think it’s going to be so much better when our furniture does get here – it will feel more like home and finally seem real.

I’m excited to make friends too. I have to say, the people here have been really nice for the most part. I’ve been “welcome to New York”-ed at least four or five times, and that’s kind of a cool experience (like, “whoa, people actually say that!”). But both Davis and I are still strangers to almost everyone except each other here, and we’re ready to meet more people. We each have acquaintances or old friends in the city, and our social calendar this weekend has gotten rather busy with plans to reconnect. Good things lie ahead, I can feel it.

Oh! One more thing. I’ve joined two establishments already, both of which I’m excited about. The first is the New York Public Library! And I did it at the huge branch too, which was really cool. The second is a gym. So now I have no excuse: I can work out day or night, rain or shine. Time to get back into shape for the half marathon I’m doing in September! So that’s where I’m off to now – yay for new places and fun adventures!

People

I know some pretty awesome people.

And the thing is, I want to hang out with them all. I want to really get to know them outside of class and work and just become friends. But I feel so constrained by things we constantly have to do, and by the time I actually cross off the last item on my To Do list, I’m wiped and just want to sleep or space out and not do anything anymore. And on top of that, I feel awkward trying to be friends with someone if I don’t have a “reason” to go see them. It’s tough for me to be like, “Hey, I like you. We should just hang out and have awesome conversations together.” Why can’t I be like a preschooler who has no problem playing with any- and everyone?

So, to Ariana and Emily and Megan and Connor and Jasper, to all of you and to everyone else, if you’re reading this: let’s freaking do something together. Let’s sit around and talk about our feelings and how freaking amazing life is. Let’s make the most of the next four weeks, because it’ll just get harder once they’re gone. I like you all, but I’m shy sometimes. I’m going to make a conscious effort to spend time with you in the near future. Let’s do it.

In other random news, I just bought a “I Will Fight” bracelet (like the one Andrew McMahon from Jack’s Mannequin and Something Corporate wears!). I don’t know if I can properly express my excitement about this. Let me explain just a little bit: a long time ago, back in 2005 I believe,  when the rubber bracelet was the coolest thing ever, before I even *gasp* knew who Jack’s Mannequin was, Andrew McMahon and AbsolutePunk.net sold these bracelets to raise money for leukemia and lymphoma research. The quote is from the song “Watch the Sky” and refers to McMahon’s personal struggle with leukemia. I most certainly missed this boat and thus didn’t get a bracelet and after the fact I wanted one really really badly. Well, I just found out that they started making them again to sell them for the same organization, so I immediately and without any hesitation signed up for eBay and ordered one! Yes! It should be here in a few days. I don’t know if I’ve ever been so excited about a piece of rubber before.

Ah, life. You are so good. There is so much here that I have yet to explore. Thanks for being so freaking awesome. I can’t wait to learn more about you and to just live.

NEW INFORMATION: NEW JACK’S MANNEQUIN CD COMING OUT THIS SUMMER. WORLD, YOU ARE AMAZING!