5 Signs of Spring in NYC…

You know the feeling.  It’s the first spring-like day after a long winter (if you can call it that this past year) and your mind immediately fast-forwards to summer.  You’re in a great mood, you’ve broken out your sunnies and you’re feelin’ good.  Besides the actual weather, my favorite thing about that first hint o’ spring day is the predictable and often comical actions of the great people of this city.  Here are a few of the classics!

1) Sundresses, flip-flops and other assorted resort wear make their ridiculously early appearance.  Yes it was warm out today but let’s get real, it was NOT sundress weather.  Plus, no one from NYC looks good in a sundress in March.  You’re pasty and out of shape from a winter of eating, drinking and laying on the couch for hours at a time watching House-Hunter marathons.  You owe to yourself and the rest of the city to AT LEAST wait until mid-April before baring shoulders and thighs.  Agreed?

2) The line at Starbucks is extra long because everyone needs an iced coffee or frappucino to celebrate the sunny weather and also, you’ll take any excuse to go outside mid-afternoon and bask in the pre-spring sun.  (editors note, I was indeed one of the “I need a frozen beverage” people today.  See?  Us NYC’ers are sooo predictable!)

3) Sun-worshippers take to social media to express their excitement about the weather.  Facebook statuses about summer and tweets about rooftop bars ensue.  And don’t forget to instagram a picture of yourself outside “enjoying the fab weather!”

4) Every women in the city needs a pedicure immediately.  Nail salons become THE after-work destination for every respectable NYC lady (unless of course you’ve found one of the coveted early-opening outdoor cafes which brings me to number 5…)

5) Random folding chairs and laughably small tables suddenly appear on the sidewalk outside of every establishment that can clear a few feet of “outdoor space.” Even the local deli or coffee shop joins in on the action throwing a few haphazard chairs on the sidewalk. Some places even go so far as to advertise, “yes our outdoor terrace is open! Umm newsflash NYC, 7 chairs on the sidewalk amidst a sea of afternoon foot traffic is NOT an outdoor terrace.  Visit any New England beach town for more insight into the term “outdoor terrace” and then come talk to me! 🙂

Spring is in the air folks and that means the days of tanning at Central Park can’t be too far away.  And we all know how I feel about that….  Happy Spring friends!

Back from Vacay…

I’m back! Back from a week of relaxation in the mountains of Arizona, where my biggest concern was how I wanted my eggs prepared each morning and whether I would prefer to ride bikes, go sightseeing, do something “sporty” or just lounge on the patio reading my new Kindle all day. It was a lot a different from life in the big city so for that reason, it was truly a vacation.

That being said, I realized the beauty of vacations – they are an escape from your normal everyday life and are meant to be temporary. When I lived in Newport, RI people used to tell me my life was like a permanent vacation (which was kinda true) but that got me thinking…what’s so wrong with that??

I think you can determine where your truly meant to live by where you’d vacation if money were no object. My vacation destination preference always, always, always would be a beach. It could be argued that if I lived by a beach I might choose to explore big metropolis’ or jungles or deserts on my vacations – not true. When I lived ON a beach, I still vacationed to other beaches. To me, beaches are like snowflakes in that no two are exactly alike. I dream about experiencing new beaches and beach towns and comparing them all one-day in some giant interactive info-graphic… (the nerd in me speaks)

Sure I want to see other cities (London, Paris, Sydney and Rio De Janiero top my international list), sure I love escaping to some fresh country or mountain air and there are definitely a few non-beach places on my list of must-go’s (Alaska and Central America’s rain forest region to name a few) but my ultimate win vacation destination is beach.

I understand why living at the beach may not be the most practical. I get why people flock to big cities. I obviously appreciate how “lucky” I am to live and work here. I just think that people who do live here aren’t always outwardly honest about how it really is (unless their rich, then yeah, their life probably rocks). If you’re like me and don’t have a trust fund, a rent-controlled apartment or a driver, then you probably do that thing NY’ers do where you convince yourself that your life is really awesome and it’s totally normal to spend $2000 plus a month to live in a glorified closet because yeah, you can tell all your friends that you live in “the city” (because to NY’ers there is only one!). <– *Editor’s note – I sometimes do this too…

I know how after a glorious NYC filled weekend of brunching and central parking and frolicking or even an excitement-filled weeknight adventure (complete with bar-hopping and bomb scares on a Tuesday night) you start to feel that “I love it here and could never live anywhere else” feeling. Despite all my whining on this blog, I’ve felt it often – I promise! My one difference is when I leave the city I am not filled with that “omg I miss it and need to go back” feeling that I hear others are (or claim to be). I am more often than not thinking how I could be happy in X-place and how if I lived in X-place I’d probably be able to have all the things I dream about but can’t afford in NY (little things like…say…a closet, or outdoor space, or somewhere to store my beach chair…)

So what do you think folks, is life meant to be a beach or should I stick it out in NYC just a little bit longer? Comments please!


Does anyone really like January and February??

Post holiday blues. Seasonal Depression. Dark by 5pm. COLD! Welcome to January folks! Happy 2010 🙂

This January finds me searching for an apartment (again). What’s that Sex and The City quote, “Every woman in NYC is always searching for a job, an aparment or a boyfriend–you never have all three.” Yeah, that’s my life.
I’m feeling some good vibes for 2010 so I’m going to try and remain positive. On that note, I wanted to TRY and list some GOOD things about January and February. I am sure I’m not alone in my general hatred for these months. Add your “happy thoughts” about Jan/Feb in the comments!
1) MLK Day–oh wait–do I still get this day off? If not, then scratch that…
2) American Idol starts
3) Superbowl! (Only for the food and commercials though…)
4) Groundhog’s Day–this is uhhh…a fun holiday? Ohh and it’s my mom’s bday too!
5) I won’t say Valentine’s Day because I have really never been a fan–even with a boyfriend–but SOME might enjoy this hallmark holiday…
6) Pretty snow/skiing/snowboarding
7) NYC Winter Restaurant Week (I will be taking advantage this year!)
Ok really can’t think of any other good things about January and February, at least not here in the frigid Northeast…help me beat the blues people! 🙂

My first Manhattan Address

Well it’s official–I have finally have my NYC mailing address! Email me if you want to send housewarming gifts 🙂 I’m writing this post from my new bedroom with the NYC white noise buzzing in the background. What has this experience taught me so far?

1)NYC is the most expensive place to live in the world
2) NYC has the most expensive grocery stores in the world
3) NYC is where anything is possible and no dream is too big
4) If I’m going to achieve my dreams, I need to start putting myself outside my comfort zone, taking chances and making moves
5) I need to do something everyday that I never did before
Things I will be doing in the near future that are outside my comfort zone:
1) Joining a gym (and actually going)
2) Volunteering because it will make me feel good, and hopefully others too
3) Making new friends
4) Making my own way
5) Submitting my work for more freelance writing opportunities

Live from the Bolt Bus…

it’s the quintessential grey day in New England day as I ride the Bolt Bus up to Boston for a weekend with old friends. I, of course, am pensive as a listen to my ipod and think about my future, my career, my life choices, etc. (you know, the usual).

In a few weeks I will have my first official Manhattan address (after 6 months or so with an “unofficial” one…) in a great little starter apartment. I’m calling it a starter apartment because it is exactly how I imagined my first NYC apartment. Nothing fancy, but charming in it’s own way and right in the center of all the beautiful chaos the NYC (in particular the east village) has to offer. I went the widely accepted “Craig’s List” route and I’m looking forward to this new chapter for me.
Apartment hunting in NYC is quite a comical if not a harrowing experience, especially if you don’t have $4,000 a month for a luxury studio (which in all reality is probably still the size of a non city dweller’s bathroom or kitchen). Things that are acceptable in NYC as living conditions would NEVER fly in the suburbs. I was appalled to find out that the rumored “bitchen” (combo kitchen/bath) actually did exist…AND it still costed an absurd amount! Other frightening conditions include the “loft” style living which more times than not means that you sleep in an attic-like alcove the only fits your bed and that would induce a head injury if you actually stood up when getting out of bed. No thanks!
When I told my mother that I had finally found a place, she innocently asked, “does it have a doorman?” Haha, I just laughed. She had remembered that when I first ambitiously started looking for apartments in NYC, I listed doorman, roof deck, and pass-through kitchen as some of my must-haves. My new apartment has none of these. These can only be attained by wealth, living in an un-cool, inconvenient neighborhood (hello FiDi) or extreme luck. These things are still on my list of eventual necessities for my future digs, but for now, I’m happy with a place that isn’t a 5th floor walkup, has windows in the bedroom, and has a separate space for showering and cooking. Hey, it’s the little things…