365 – 26 = :D

I’ve been in New York for nearly a year now, and God it feels like so much longer…I’ve been through quite a bit already, moving in with new roommates, starting and withdrawing from grad school at Pratt, weathering the storm of winter both outside my window and inside my head, and finding a man who is so awesome it’s sometimes hard to believe I snatched him up before someone else could. (:

Not gonna lie… it’s been pretty F@&%ing rough though. And I’m still learning. Navigating the subway is no big deal anymore, except for the stench and the sweat in the ugly summer heat. Biking around Manhattan doesn’t freak me out so much anymore either, though I’ve slowed down A LOT since I’ve taken a couple spills and I actually wear my helmet. I can pretty much out-walk anyone I know (except this new roommate. She has soles of steel) and my intolerance of newbie stupidity and crowds is practically non-existent. Ha!

But you know what? This is me, not getting stuck. Moving forward, pressing onward, looking backward and side-to-side. You’d think I’d be dizzy from all the emotional/reflective whip lash but I still keep coming back for more. And I love it.

The best part, for me at least, of living in this craziness is sharing it with others. And there is so much to share! Target sponsors a free Thursday event at the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center, every Thursday through April 2012! The opening act was a truly stunning performance of two recent Juliard graduates, a pianist and a violinist (both Asian btw) whose humble stage presence and world-class abilities left the crowd speechless in delight. I totally love classical music, having played the viola throughout high school, and it was a beautiful albeit melancholy reminder of the talents expressed by others, and those which lay dormant within. I definitely plan on going back, just not for Ponderosa Stomp: Girl Talk.

My neighborhood as REALLY taken off as of late, too. With (1,2,3,4) at least 5 new restaurants opening their doors within the last 4 months alone! Fork, SoCo, Wicked Good Franks, Pushkin, Luz… just to name those I can remember off the top of my head. But the good news is, they haven’t yet been over-taken by the fast growing herds of locavores and gastronauts that have been sighted swarming further North.

It’s legit too… very much still its own unique enclave of Hasidic Jews, a lively community of Latin and South American families, and of course Myrtle Avenue has been an historically African American neighborhood which lends its own sense of style and swagger. And soul food. :))))

The Brooklyn Flea is a short stroll away, bringing hordes of bargain hunter (wannabee)s and their crews, furniture warehouses beyond the BQE full to the brim with mid-century fabulousness, a public sculpture garden/art school campus just a short stroll away, and of course, the infamous Mr. Coco… even on a stingy Sallie Mae budget, life is good.

I was able to head upstate for the first time as well, over the 4th of July with my boyfriend. His parent’s families have a few lake cabins (they call them camps… whatever) that date back to the early part of the 20th Century. When people still actually did camp out. Nestled in the Adirondack State Park on a small private lake, we spent the weekend soaking up the sun, and getting soaked in the following day’s downpour, amidst family and friends. I’ve never really looked forward to the 4th of July before. Not because I don’t like to celebrate, and light things on fire, but because it was never really… i dunno… special? Once, when I was 14, and recently ‘out’, I spent a few months in DC with my aunt and uncle. That 4th was pretty cool, as we went to the National Mall (I actually thought it was the shopping kind) to see the display first-hand. I think I remember hearing there were more people on the Mall during that one night than there are in all of Spokane County in Washington State. Pretty wild.

At any rate, it was an amazing trip and it will always hold a place on the highlight reel as far as I’m concerned. Need proof? Check out the web album I published a while back. I meant to get it on here, but you know how those things go.

I dunno… just reflecting back a little, I’m very very lucky to still be here. Things did not look so good earlier this year. As in, I wasn’t so sure I would still be here past February. My sister came to visit over my birthday (earlier post) and I was quickly running out of options (read $). Literally at the last possible moment (read almost $0) I landed an incredible job (thanks to the amazing support of a colleague and friend) with an internationally published and reputable interior design firm that I could not have dreamed of on my own. I have been given great responsibility and incredible exposure to the things and people with which I truly enjoy interacting. Yes, the economic disparity between ‘me’ and ‘them’ is painfully large but I am still fortunate enough to be able to work with a cross-section of society and culture that I probably wouldn’t have access to otherwise.

I have learned immeasurably from the office and gallery owners. From restorers and decorative painters. From furniture makers, and fabric vendors and construction crews alike. It’s all about experience and I am again, so lucky to have found ‘the door’ and had the huevos to walk through.

I’m still finding my rhythm, nesting and growing. But honestly, I love it here and it feels for right now, just right.

Dorothy honey, you said it nearly 70 years ago. She clicked those glittery red pumps and put it to us straight: “There’s no place like home” And I couldn’t agree more.

Especially when “like home” is New York.




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