Tomorrow will mark two full weeks since I made the big Leap of Faith and moved from the Northern California Bay Area to the Big Apple. New York, the “concrete jungle where dreams are made of”, “if you can make it here you can make it anywhere” and all the other famous quotes about the most amazing city in the US. After 13 days I am still feeling things out, there’s plenty of spots I have yet to venture to and that’s why I haven’t blogged about this at all. Today, I’m feeling good and I have enough insights and pictures to share with you so let’s go!
First of all the city is just beautiful, the classic architecture and the Iconic sites. When I first got out here I loved seeing the apartment buildings with the fire escapes in front, which is something you see in movies and TV shows based in New York, it was a clear sign that yes “I’m in New York”. Of course, fire escapes aren’t the only things that have excited me. I have done a few tourist type things, like the Empire State Building which was amazing (from the 86th floor, I paid for the 102nd floor but I felt a little ripped off as you can see the same views from the 86th and save $17) and Central Park which I went to yesterday on the most beautiful day.
There are countless other amazing sites that I either haven’t been to yet, or just haven’t had the chance to truly experience. Constantly though I’ll be walking down the street and catch a glimpse of a beautiful building, or just catch a random view of something and I’ll get excited and have a surreal moment, like “I can’t believe I actually did this. Yay me!”
One of the main things I have noticed, about the city and the people, is that people who aren’t from New York have the most horrible expectations for the city. I haven’t experienced the cold yet, that’s coming soon, but that was the most popular response when I mentioned my move “It gets REALLY cold out there” (like that was going to detract me from coming, like I’m gonna die if the temperature goes below a certain degree). Other things, like how dirty the city is, how dangerous it is and how rude the people are, I’ve found that to either be false or just a gross exaggeration. In dealing with people, at stores restaurants and even on the Subway and streets, I’ve been surprised to find how nice people have been. One day I was confused as hell by the subway (and frankly I still am, I try to stay on the A,C and E trains as much as I can) and a guy came up to me and helped me out without me even asking. I had a really cool conversation with a Hipster chick on the subway one day, and just in general I like the vibe of the people. Some in the customer service role are very short and to the point, but I don’t mind that at all. They will look at you crazy if you ask what they deem an obvious question, but screw them, I’m not gonna be phased by someone throwing me crazy looks (I’m used to it lol). I actually feel like I fit in here, that maybe the “N.Y. State of Mind” is what I’ve always had, so the people really don’t bother me.
I actually went to a club this past Friday, two clubs, and I had a great time. I would venture to say that people in New York are a lot more friendly and fun in the club setting than in the Bay, where people tend to come with their friends and not talk to anybody else. Three or four guys came up to me to have a Kiki or to dance with me, which honestly is the most attention I’ve gotten at a club in years. I should also say that I’m in Hell’s Kitchen which is blocks away from Broadway so I feel like I’m encountering more tourists than anything, but one also has to remember that New York is the home to a lot of transplants, so I feel that this “Rude NYC People” myth is wack for two reasons. I don’t find them to be especially rude and a lot of the people probably aren’t even real New Yorkers.
I feel like I’m rambling now, but there’s still a few more things I want to cover before I go. Let’s get into the negative. For one, OMFG my FEET. There’s lots of walking to do here, and often I’ll be walking with my feet on fire, but I see so many great sites I don’t want to stop. Like yesterday when I was in Central Park I walked through several areas and I got really tired, but the Jacqueline Kennedy Onasis Reservoir was just 15 blocks away so I suffered through to get some amazing shots. I also walk around a lot trying to find good eats. One day I was going to go grab something at Chipotle but rejected that idea for the simple fact that Chipotle is nothing new to me, so I walked and walked to find an alternative that I had never tried before. All this to say that I had to get some good walking shoes and those ever handy supportive insoles a few days after I got here.
The other thing I don’t particularly care for, that I mentioned before, is the Subway. I may have had my expectations set too high, as I imagined there’d be Subway stops on damn near every block and that the trains would come like every minute or so. Not the case, and not only are the Subway stations terribly filthy they are also lacking in air ventilation. I break out in a sweat every time I go under. I am starting to figure it out slowly but surely, I just now figured out the whole Uptown/Downtown thing (funny story, I kept thinking about “Little Shop of Horrors” song “Downtown” to figure out my way, which was a mistake. On the song they say “Uptown you cater to a million jerks” and than you go “Downtown, where your life’s a mess” — figuring Uptown was the more ritzy part and downtown was the opposite. WRONG). Eventually I’ll be riding the Subway like a pro, but for now I actually avoid it if I can. Hell’s Kitchen is pretty centrally located so the need for a Subway ride hasn’t always been necessary.
So, yeah that’s it. I love it out here, I’m feeling like I fit in, and after going to a handful of Temp Agencies I have secured some work, a temporary assignment for the next two to four weeks. I’m happy though, I have my savings but I was getting worried and desperately needing some money coming in instead of constantly going out on food and just regular things. It’s expensive to live and eat and function out here, but it’s perfectly manageable. I’ve been going to lots of Diners and things like that, but I know that if I was on a real budget there are a great deal of cheap food options including all the food carts that can be found EVERYWHERE.
In the end, I am so proud of myself for coming here and sticking to my goals. I have a sort of Two Year Plan to establish a creative circle and settle into my new home and I have to say that I have actually been sticking to my goals pretty much. I missed a few social events, but there’s still plenty of time for all of that. I’m just soaking it all up and just enjoying myself.