Tag Archives: New York

When it’s over…

I got dumped last night.

We’d only been together for a few short months, but he was amazing. We were amazing. Sure, we had some troubles – nothing is perfect. But he made me happy… happier than I have been in a long time.

I’m not going to get into the details… the whys, the hows. I’ll just say that it was pretty amicable. It was less a break up and more a parting of ways. And only when I hugged him as we said goodbye did I realize it was over. That was when the tears came.

I have to tell you, walking 4 blocks down 14th Street in New York while crying is a pretty surreal feeling. Or maybe just the fact that this relationship that made me so happy was over was the surreal part. But as I walked, and cried, I had about a million thoughts go through my head.

I wasn’t angry – how could I be? He didn’t do anything bad. I was filled with regret. What could I have said? What could I have done? And then I started to think about all the things we never did together… we didn’t watch Star Wars, we didn’t play softball, we didn’t take a trip, we didn’t go dancing, we didn’t spend the whole weekend just lost in bed and each other.

Right now I’m missing this incredible person that I got to know and adore the last few months. It hasn’t been 24 hours but I miss him. I miss seeing him. I miss having drinks with him. I miss riding the subway with him and playing 2048 on my phone to make the ride go faster. I miss talking to him about baseball and New York and surfers vs. snowboarders and Taco Bell and basketball standings and Star Wars theories and female street harassment and Batman/Superman theories and music and California and writing and sex and people and dogs and whatever the fuck else we want to talk about. He’s been my favorite person to be around these past few months. And he’s the only one I want to talk to about this.

I’ve had this incredible urge to fight for him. I want to demand that he give us another chance. Neither of us did anything wrong. Our relationship wasn’t broken. He just had doubts and I have to respect that.  I’m reminded of that old “if you love someone, set them free” saying. Now I never threw the L word out there with him, but I think the concept applies here. As much as it hurts, I have to let him go.

 

 

Blog song title: That stupid Sugar Ray song… and I don’t feel like looking it up… forgive me.


36 Before 36

A week ago, I turned 35. I didn’t accomplish much on my list and I’m not sure how I feel about it. I also don’t quite know how I feel about 35.

My 30s have definitely been quite amazing… what “they” say is turning out to be true. But now that I’m officially in my mid-30s, I’m trying not to let it bother me. Am I where I thought I would be? Absolutely not. However, in the last couple of years, I have learned that comparing myself to others (or even my own standards) is useless and unnecessary. Still… it feels strange.

I’m not entirely sure why I didn’t put more of a focus on this list this year. For part of the year, I was looking for a partner in crime of sorts; hoping that I’d have a gentleman to accompany me on some of these adventures. But then I had a revelation this spring and decided that there’s nothing wrong with doing these things alone.

Part of why I started doing this list is to encourage me to do things I wouldn’t normally do. This is something I think I have lost sight of. And I have to say, though I didn’t accomplish all the tasks, I certainly feel that I am enjoying my life the way I want to.

So, for my list this year, I removed some items that I have lost interest in. Also, I’m not going to be discouraged by the items I imagined being done in the company of others. If I want to do it, I’m going to just do it. The first 23 are leftover from the previous lists… the remaining items are the new ones. Here’s to 36!

1) Travel abroad
2) Go to drag bingo
3) Take a class
4) Go to the famous sites in Central Park
5) Take a boat ride in Central Park
6) Go to Atlantic City
7) Go to a Giants game
8) Learn how to knit
9) Take an unusual fitness class
10) Go to a live taping
11) Go skiing
12) Try Ethiopian food
13) Take an improv class
14) Go to the ballet
15) Go to the symphony in Central Park
16) Take a cooking class
17) Volunteer
18) Take a dance class
19) Go ice skating in Central Park
20) Go to a midnight showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show
21) Go camping
22) Take an art class
23) Go on a day trip outside of the city

24) Run a half marathon
Yes, this is a cheater item. I have already signed up for one in January. Though I haven’t been running as much as I was a few months ago, I am running a 10-mile next weekend… and I’d like to get back into the process.

25) Go apple picking
I have done this in upstate New York, but I would love to do it a bit closer to the city and perhaps with some friends who have never been.

26) Go wine tasting on Long Island
I do love wine tasting and I have heard there are some great places within a couple of hours of here.

27) Go to the Cloisters
This is way too close to where I live to not go.

28) See a movie at Film Forum, the Angelika, or Paris (or all three)
I don’t often go to the movies, but these are some pretty cool places (or so I’ve heard) to see some more obscure films. Seems like fun.

29) Go on a literary pub crawl
I did one in Scotland and it was a blast. I know of a couple here in the city and that’s pretty much right up my alley.

30) Go on a tour bus in NYC
I know this seems silly and super touristy, but the idea is to be able to see the city from a different perspective. It’s one thing to walk around and see the sites… but I think it would be fun to sit back and take the time to see everything.

31) Join a social sports team as a free agent
I have been playing with the same softball team for the last couple of years, and I’m about to play soccer with some friends… but I think it would be fun to join a random team to meet new people. Bowling or kickball or whatever. Especially during the cold months!

32) Go to the Bronx and Central Park Zoos
I don’t LOVE zoos, but I hear these are pretty awesome – and easy to get to.

33) Go site seeing in Philadelphia
I took a spontaneous trip to Philly with my friend Chrissy to see a Mariners/Phillies game. And while we did walk around a bit, we were pretty much there just for the game. It was a great city and I’d love to spend some quality time there.

34) Attend Drunk Shakespeare
This is more than completely up my alley. Drunk actors performing Shakespeare. YES.

35) Go to a baseball game outside of New York
I have been fortunate to have been to a lot of ballparks in the US, but I’d like to keep that challenge going. Maybe Baltimore? DC? Boston?

36) Perform at an open mic
This has been on my silent to-do list for most of my life. Maybe by putting it in this list, I will actually be held accountable. Wish me luck.

 

Here’s what I was able to do before 35… not a grand list, but I had a blast with all of them… and I even did a few things I didn’t plan for… a movie in Bryant Park, a visit to Philadelphia, a visit to Charlottesville, VA, a couple of shows (solo), a 10K, a women’s baseball clinic at Citi Field, and MANY new friends were made. A good year, I must say.

Run a 5K*
Go to roller derby*
Participate in a Hash*
Go see a cabaret show*
Go to Coney Island
Get a new tattoo
Visit a new city in the US
Go on a spontaneous outing


34 before 34… in summation…

Yesterday, I celebrated my 34th year of life… in Paris, France. Thinking about this list I made last year (34 before 34), I never would have guessed that I would be in Europe at this time. I also feel that this trip has been a major accomplishment and it kind of overpowers most of the 34 before 34 list. However, I did cross a few items off before I left so here are my thoughts on those. I didn’t get to everything… but if we want to get all technical, I did start my list a while after my 33rd birthday. SO YEAH. And you know… Europe.

24) Go to 10 different museums
OK… I didn’t get to 10. But I did quite a few: Guggenheim, MoMA, American Museum of Natural History, the Met, New York Historical Society, Ellis Island, and the New York Public Library (yes, this counts because I visited a curated exhibition). 7 out of 10 isn’t so bad. I had wanted to go to the Transit Museum and the Museum of Sex, but never got around to it. And yes, I can still go and I plan on doing so in the near future. I’m not much of a museum person, but when I made the list, I worked for the Guggenheim and had free admission to every museum… so that made it somewhat easy to do. And I’m an idiot for not going to EVERY SINGLE ONE while I could. But that’s a lesson I’ve learned… take advantage when you can.

2) Go on a sailboat
OK… again, I’m checking this one off on a technicality. It wasn’t a SAILboat, but it was a boat that cruised the Hudson River. So I’ll take it. The Pac-12 Alumni group does an annual boat cruise around the start of summer. Free booze, gorgeous weather, great friends, and ridiculous views of Manhattan… yes, please.

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Part of doing this list is to do things somewhat out of the ordinary. I didn’t know this cruise existed when I made the list… but just the nature of being open to new things has encouraged me to do things that just come up.

17) Go speed dating
Somehow this came up with a friend of mine and I was more than happy to oblige her and go along. Though I didn’t care so much about actually meeting someone, I was excited to cross something off my list and have a unique experience in the process. It was pretty funny… a true practice in small talk and quick conversation. Most of the guys start with the same types of questions: “What do you do?” “Where are you from?” “Have you done this before?” But occasionally a guy would just totally be himself and we’d just have a bit of banter. Nobody really struck me as dateable and perhaps my approach to the whole thing was a bit too casual. It was a fun time though.

A few weeks back, comedian Tig Notaro was on the Nerdist podcast. She has a saying that she’s used for a long time, but after all she’s been through (look her up if you don’t know) it means a lot more… and it totally resonated with me: “How about now; how about right now?” Part of creating this list is about forcing myself to do things I normally wouldn’t do. But I as I said before, the creation of the list has pushed me to do other things as well.

It has been a hell of a year… a lot of ups and downs, but I feel accomplished in so many ways. Obviously it’s my intention to continue these adventures. I want to do things now; do them right now.

Stay tuned for 35 before 35!


Take me out to the ballgame…

I love me some baseball. And since I’ve been playing softball, I enjoy watching games even more. However, I don’t really have a team allegiance. Being from Southern California, I used to go to Angels games frequently but I enjoyed the experience more than the actual team. I’m one who tends to root, root, root for the home team – and being in New York with two home teams, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get to some games. In the process I’ve accomplished something from my 34 before 34 list: 26) Go to a Yankees game

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Hi, I’m in the Bronx.

Many of my family members and friends back in California are fierce Angels fans and have sworn to disown me if I became a Yankees fan. But the fact of the matter is that I’m a baseball fan… I never claimed to be some die hard Angels fan. Plus, my dad grew up a Yankees fan… so I didn’t feel too bad rocking a hat from the Evil Empire. And when he won the game with a walk-off homer, I gladly joined the crowd in the “I-CHI-RO” chants.

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Come on, I look great in hats…

It was pretty awesome… and my favorite part was after the victory, they play Sinatra’s “New York, New York.” It doesn’t get more Big Apple than that. Yankee Stadium. Frank. Victory. I could have cried. Another one of those moments that made me relish in the fact that I live in the greatest city in the world… and I’m freakishly grateful.

BUT because many of my friends here say that Citi Field is far superior to Yankee Stadium, I had to give the Amazin’ Mets a go.

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Hi, I’m in Queens.

The major downside of Citi Field is that it is in Queens… and it took me about an hour to get there from where I live. (Yankee Stadium is 5 stops away from me on the B train). It definitely felt more like a theme park with the chain eateries and sponsorships everywhere (um, is that a Verizon store in there?)… but they did have a ridiculously good beer selection and the place was fairly immaculate. Yankee Stadium didn’t have all the bells and whistles… but because it’s new Yankee Stadium, it didn’t really have the charm of an old-school ballpark either. So really, it’s a wash.

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See? Good in hats.

I enjoyed both of my experiences immensely and I can’t wait to get back to more games. My allegiances are with both teams… can’t say I like one more than the other (though with Matt Harvey pitching for the Mets, I can be persuaded… meeeeowww). You can call me a bandwagon fan all you want… but I enjoy walking around this city wearing a Yankees or Mets cap. While I may never be considered a real New Yorker (whatever that means), I sure do feel like one rocking these logos on my head… and meaning it.


Can it be that it was all so simple then?

I’ve been obsessed with history recently. I take the Metro North train from Connecticut to NYC as often as I can and along the tracks there a ton of little towns with abandoned train stations and other factories and buildings. I find myself thinking about what they used to be like when they were new. What kinds of people lived in these areas? Who worked at the factories? Who frequented the stations? Commuters to the city? When did these structures fall out of repair? And why?

And then there’s this website. It’s one thing to look at random old photos or see old buildings, but there’s a personal element involved here. It’s easy to forget that your parents had lives before they had you. It makes me think of this picture I once saw of my maternal grandparents (I wish I had it so I could include it here… but I don’t). They look like they are in their 20s, maybe 30s (and it was probably sometime in the 1930s). They are dressed to the nines, linked arm in arm, and walking down the street with big open grins on their faces. They look awesome and I feel pretty awesome knowing I’m related to them. Looking at that picture makes me wish I had known them better… or at least knew where they were headed looking so fancy.

This personal history fascination reached a peak last weekend when I attended my grandmother’s funeral in Auburn, NY – my father’s hometown. I don’t know much about my dad’s childhood but here I was… in the place where it all went down. These were the streets my dad walked as a kid. This was the restaurant he worked at. This is the high school he went to. This is his history.

After the funeral, we went to the family restaurant and this is when we heard some great stories about the “old days”… the phone pole built behind the restaurant to get reception for Yankees games… the nuns who looked the other way when kids would sneak into the back lot to get fed by the ladies at the restaurant… my uncle getting caught hiding beer in his gym bag… my dad getting scolded for leaving change on top of the cash register when the restaurant was busy (“I didn’t hear the cha-ching”). I could have listened to these stories all night.

My curiosity was, indeed, piqued… but I was a bit sad. Obviously I can’t go back in time and see these things. I just wish I didn’t start hearing these stories now… I guess sometimes you need to be in the place of nostalgia in order for the nostalgic stories to flow.

The buildings, the photos, the stories… it all makes me feel so small in this world… in a good way. It’s a solid reminder that this world is a massive place.  Every corner has a story. Every person has a past. So… I want to seek out these stories… I want to go to amazing places and find the amazing in ordinary places. I want to walk down the street with a big open grin on my face. I want to make my own fascinating history.

 

Photo credits: me… all me… with my iPhone… I think I used the Hipstamatic app
Blog title song: “The Way We Were” by Barbra Streisand


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