Tag Archives: New York City

Stand in the mirror… you look the same…

Many people have been asking me about my travels… which now seem more distant than ever. I’ve been back for two months and haven’t quite gotten around to really discussing or writing about what I gained from my trip. But I’ve realized something recently.

I met some amazing people from all over the world… seriously… everywhere. Every continent except for Antarctica was represented. And I spent time in some amazing cities. But when my plane touched down in New York City, I was so happy to be home.

When I first came to New York, I was desperate for some new experiences. I needed them. I needed change… so much change. I needed things to be different from what they were before. And they were… almost instantly.

But then I seemed to fall into a rut. Same people, same places, same drama. I had always wanted to travel and for most of my young adult life, I put it off. The timing of my trip this year was perfect without me even realizing it. I needed to step away from my life here. And I did. And it was, as I mentioned earlier, amazing.

So now that I’m back and have had adequate time to think about what the trip meant to me, I just keep thinking how grateful I am to be here in New York. However, things are different. Some of my friendships have fallen to the wayside and some have become stronger. Some of the things I used to do are not as interesting to me anymore. And this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

OK… so this is my main takeaway: I need to stay dynamic. I used to find comfort (complacency?) in routine, but now it makes me anxious and frustrated. For example, lately I’ve been “cheating” on my alumni group with another school. Is it because my new (and very dearest) friend is involved? Sure. Is it because I have a little crush on a boy in the group? A bit. But mainly it’s because it’s different. New people, new environment. It’s refreshing.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love and appreciate all of the people and experiences I’ve had over the past 2 years here in New York. But my trip reminded me why I’m here. I need to continue to branch out… to meet new people and to seek out new experiences… to keep things shaken up.

Do I have more to say about my travels? Sure. But some of my stories/lessons are going to come out in other ways… stay tuned.

Blog title song: “Home” by Foo Fighters


35 before 35

OK… here it is… the 35 before 35 list. For those of you who don’t know… every year I will create a sort of a birthday bucket list. The idea is that these items are accomplishable. I typically aim for things that are a bit more NYC-centric so that I am sure to take advantage of living in the greatest city in the world. Anything that doesn’t get done will go onto next year’s list. The only rule is that there are no rules. Items with an asterisk are carried over from last year’s list.

1) Go to Australia
Starting big. And this one is kind of a cheater… I am still abroad, but already planning a trip to Sydney in September 2014. My favorite Aussies (and Berlin buddies) are getting married then and I’m more than honored to attend the festivities. So the savings start… NOW.

2) Get a new tattoo
This might get accomplished next week… while I’m in England. Yes.

3) Visit a new city in the US
Traveling to Europe isn’t so easy… but traveling within the US isn’t so bad… especially on the east coast. Philadelphia maybe?

4) Go to drag bingo
This has come up many times… but has never actually happened. If you know me, you know of my obsession with drag queens. This must happen.

5) Take a class
Could be anything from a literature class to a history class to science class. I just want to keep the noggin running.

6) Go to the famous sites in Central Park
I’ve spent plenty of time in Central Park… playing softball. But somehow I’ve never been to any of the iconic sites… the mall, the fountains, the boathouse… nothing.

7) Take a boat ride in Central Park
Touristy, yes… but I think it would still be fun.

8) Go to Atlantic City
I really have no motivation for this. Just seems like something I’m supposed to do while living in NYC.

9) Go to a Giants game
No, not much of an NFL fan, but I know many people who are so I’m sure I won’t have trouble getting to see a game… and tailgate

10) Learn how to knit
I’ve wanted to do this for some time. I think if I start towards the end of winter 2013, I’ll have a great scarf for winter 2014.

11) Take an unusual fitness class
Could be some weird yoga… or strip tease aerobics… but I want to do something different.

12) Go to a live taping
Ideally it would be the Daily Show or SNL… but anything will do (and yes, I’ve done this before in California… but time to give NYC a go).

13) Go to Coney Island
No idea how I haven’t done this yet…

14) Go on a spontaneous outing
Yes, this is vague. But my thought is to get one of my friends to play hooky and then go do something… go to the zoo, go bowling, get a train to Ossining, stay in the city and take a bus tour… just do something!

15) Go skiing*
16) Try Ethiopian food*
17) Go see a cabaret show*
18) Take an improv class*
19) Go to the ballet*
20) Go to the symphony in Central Park*
21) Get a bike*
22) Get paid to write something*
23) Take a cooking class*
24) Go to a magic show*
25) Participate in a Hash*
26) Volunteer*
27) Take a dance class*
28) Go ice skating in Central Park*
29) Go to a midnight showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show*
30) Go camping*
31) Take an art class*
32) Write every day for 7 days*
33) Go on a day trip outside of the city*
34) Run a 5K*
35) Go to roller derby*


Red letter weekend…

Spring has sprung in NYC and it is truly awesome. There was quite the buzz in the air all weekend as the lingering winter weather is finally gone and moods have lifted.

Every Saturday I play softball in Central Park with my alumni group. The weather this past Saturday was absolutely gorgeous… lots of familiar faces came to play and because it was so nice out we drew in some new ones. And post game beers led to my newest friendship (and greatest dart game ever played).

photo2

LOOK AT THAT SCORE (Q and J were victorious)

When my friend Lauren and I decided to get some afternoon drinks on Sunday, we reached out to our new softball buddy and he invited us to a picnic in Central Park with his friends. Of course, it wasn’t until we got to the park and started talking with these new people that I realized I was accomplishing something from my 34 before 34 list! Well, mostly:
27) Organize a picnic in Central Park

(Though I wasn’t the organizer, I feel that this can get crossed off… I attended a picnic in Central Park… close enough).

photo

Wine, snacks, blankets, catch, boom.

Sheep’s Meadow was packed with blankets and people and frisbees… the atmosphere was so cheerful. Our new little group of friends was getting along so well and wanted to keep the party going… so when the weather began to turn on us (also, we were out of wine) we retreated to a Midtown bar. We were halfway through our beverages there when we got the sudden inspiration to go sing karaoke. It was spontaneous and random and an absolute BLAST.

485602_10102046441855923_400066295_n

Dart Champions, Q and J… and Lauren (of the losing dart team)

I am hurting a bit today (wine+beer-dinner=OUCH), but it was totally worth it. As I have said so often, I love meeting new people and making new friends. And I love how frequently this happens here in NYC.

And though the weather isn’t as great today, I’m so energized by the spring and can’t wait to see what else is in store. If you can’t tell, I’m a happy lady these days. Smiley face.

 

(Remember my last post where I said I was changing the rules a bit? Yeah, blog titles are going to be originals from now on…)


Breaking the rules

I’ve broken a lot of rules lately.

The main one is with myself and this blog. I set out to keep a records of sorts of my new life in the big city. But somewhere I lost my way.

Yes, I am enjoying myself and I have enjoyed writing about these new experiences… and really, I originally set out to write just for me… to have a record of this amazing transition. Then I decided to put it out there for people to see – and I got some great feedback which pushed me to keep writing and keep sharing. But, as I observed in my last blog, I seem to have let the heart and soul fall out of this whole thing.

I hate making excuses… especially in writing. What’s the point? I can’t say exactly what happened to cause this change because I don’t really know. I have definitely become more self-centered and have gotten too in my head about things. And that’s going to change.

I’m still planning to write as often as I can… I’m still planning to travel and write about that (though I’m not crowdfunding anymore and I’m pushing my trip to August/September so I can save more money and get cheaper flights)… But I’m going to work to put the heart and soul back in.

I’m a pretty self-aware person… but somehow I let this run away from me and it’s time I wrangled it back in.

So I apologize to you, dear Reader, for misleading you in any way and for not really being myself. I’m ready to break some of these habits and rules… and keep reinventing.

 

Blog song title: None… that’s another rule I’m breaking.


Could you take my picture… ’cause I won’t remember…

Ah, the selfie. The photo taken at arms length of yourself. The apex of narcissim and self-promotion. And the thing I need to start practicing.

Since I’ll be traveling alone when I go to Europe this summer, I’ll need to get in selfie mode if I want to record any evidence that I am, in fact, abroad. Also, I’ve made it a recent goal to include more pictures in these posts. I know how much you all have been dying to see my adorable face more often. However, I really struggle with the selfie.

photo

Yikes. I’m scrrrrrd.

I see people all the time around the city taking shots of themselves. Some people are shameless about it… mugging it up for their own iPhone as if they are smiling for a dear friend. And I love when they do this on the subway. I’ve even see people kissy/duck facing in selfies on the subway… absolutely amazing. Some people are a little more guarded and snap a quick pic without taking much care for posing. I definitely fall into that second category. I prefer the “look like I’m checking my phone while walking” method.

metshat

Not smiling for fear of bringing attention to the fact that I’m taking a picture of myself.

I really don’t care what other people think of me. Especially strangers… so why is it so difficult for me to blantantly practice the art of the selfie in public? I mean, I’ve been in some pretty cool scenes where a picture would have been awesome to have. And I know I’m going to see some fantastic things on my travels… and I want to be in the picture!

I guess the hope is that I’m going to meet some cool people along the way who will be willing to take my picture when the opportunities present themselves. Until then, if you see me smiling for my own camera… don’t laugh.

Blog song title: “Take a Picture” by Filter
Photo credits: Me, of course… with my iPhone.

Please visit my crowdfunding site and help me travel and write my book… every tiny little bit helps! Seriously!


Nobody walks in LA…

I mentioned last time that Spring is in the air here in NYC… of course, there has still been a bit of a chill but the sun has been shining. Today, however… I left for work this morning in short sleeves and no jacket… and I practically skipped to the subway.

We’ve had a long winter… and while I don’t really mind cold weather, I’m SO ready for the warmth. This is something I really have come to appreciate about living on the east coast – the change of seasons. In California, I didn’t really care much about when Spring or Summer rolled around… because “Winter” doesn’t last very long there. And it never really gets too cold… for too long at least. Seasons just kind of blend together there…

Not too long ago I was having a conversation with a wise bartender (aren’t they all?) who said how important it is to transition between seasons. He said how the change that comes each time gives us a chance to adjust and renew. This is very true. Clearly I’m all about reinvention (it’s kind of the point of my life these days)… but I’m really seeing how important it is to reinvent often. It’s always good to shake things up… it keeps life interesting.

Anyway, I’m excited that the mercury is rising… people are out and about… parks are full of activity… everyone is in a great mood… and all I want to do is walk… everywhere.

Blog song title: “Walking in LA” by Missing Persons


Hey, don’t let it go to waste…

What a weekend…

Spring is in the air -and I’m telling you, there really is nothing quite like Springtime in NYC… especially after a long and lingering Winter. The city is buzzing… itching to get out and DO. And you know, that’s my favorite.

I had a fantastic weekend that started off with crossing something off my 34 before 34 list:  6) Go to an improv show

On Friday, I went with a couple of friends to the Upright Citizens Brigade theater. Having long ago studied the rules of improv, I have to say that I was unimpressed. There were 5 performers and many of them were quite selfish- trying to make the bits work for them rather than “yes and”ing. However, it was a fun time with friends and that was the key. Also, I love the sense of accomplishment I get from crossing things off my list.

The highlight of Friday, however, was thanks to a bit of social media. As we were walking to the UCB show, I checked Facebook and saw that a dear old friend of mine had posted a picture of the Empire State Building. He was here in NYC! So I messaged him and we were able to meet up.

235_520322602657_2338_n

In 2002… after some adult beverages

Though we hadn’t seen each other in a while, it was wonderful to see a friendly and familiar face in my new setting… and getting to catch up after many years. It’s nice to be reminded of the importance of the people in our lives… I know… that’s a very general statement. But I really believe that we are here (on this earth) to make relationships… to connect to people… and though we may not always be in touch with each other… the connections always remain. And that’s kind of the essence of existence… no?

40853_10151336221206400_2134885912_n

In 2013… after some adult beverages

The rest of the weekend was spent out and about… playing softball (a lot of it), watching the Final Four, drinking, dancing, just having a general great time with great people… and even meeting a few new ones.

And not to bring it down, but my mom starts chemo today. I can’t do much for her being thousands of miles away… but I can stay positive. I can remember that life is short and that I need to take advantage of absolutely everything. I’m making an effort to make the most of my life. I’m seeking things to do, and opportunities to get out and meet people and make connections. And this is how I can support my mom… by LIVING. I took a big bite out of life this weekend… just like my mom is going to take a big bite out of cancer. (Good gravy, I know that sounds corny, but please know this is just about the most sincere thing I can say about it right now…)

Blog song title: “All My Life” by Foo Fighters
Photo credit: my trusty iPhone (though the first picture is from a very old digital camera)


%d bloggers like this: