Fashion is the new F-Word

It has been SO long since my last blog and I am just now finding the time/energy to write my next post. Life in the city can really take it out of you on a daily basis, let me tell you. I've started a list on my iPhone of things to blog about (so I wouldn't forget) and have come up over the past week and a half with a list as random as could be. This post will have a different format than my previous ones and I will be posting main points of interesting things that have happened.
  • Since i've been in the city i've figured out New Yorkers really do get a bad wrap as being mean-spirited busy-bodies. I've witnessed many acts of kindness since i've been here. I've seen people give up their seat on the subway to a woman holding a lot of bags. I saw a man who's hat blew off and a little boy ran to catch it for him. These random acts of kindness always put a smile on my face.
  • I saw this bride on the subway. I think it would be kind of a downer if I had to take the subway on my wedding day. I would splurge and at least take a taxi, if not a town car...

  • A lot of the food here, while very delicious, is very different than what i'm used to. For example, I went to a pasta restaurant called "We Love Pasta" and ordered pasta con broccoli. It was delicious but nothing like what my step-dad makes back home. And today I was craving a chimichanga like what I would get at El Acapulco back home. I asked my supervisor where some good mexican places were near Times Square and she said "Chipotle is right around the corner. We've got Del Taco down the street..." I decided to google it in order to find some REAL mexican food. I found a place, ordered a chimichanga (which my supervisor had never heard of) and it had all kinds of peppers and onions and while it was delicious, it was nothing like El Torerro or El Acapulco. 
  • I was standing outside the Donna Karan building and saw a man walking. Randomly a piece of trash fell from the sky (I think it was the lid to a McDonald's cup) and hit him while he was walking. He stopped, looked at the ground, then looked right at me and said "Whatever" and kept walking. I could tell he was a New York native.
  • For any of those smokers out there reading this blog, you would die at the prices of a pack of cigarettes in the city. I remember complaining back home when having to pay almost $6 for a pack. Well now i'm really upset because cigarettes are anywhere from ELEVEN to FIFTEEN DOLLARS PER PACK! How crazy is that? I suppose that's why any time i'm smoking one it's a guarantee that someone is going to either ask me to just give them one (which I always refuse) or will pay you a dollar for a cigarette. I honestly feel like I could make a lot of money if I just stood on the corner for an afternoon smoking cigarettes and selling them for a dollar each. 
  • I saw this guy on the subway and it made my day:
  • I saw a sign in a subway station (don't remember which one) that said "A crowded subway car is no excuse for unwanted sexual harassment." When I read this I thought it was pretty sad that a sign had to be made stating this as if someone had used it as an "excuse" in the past. "I'm sorry officer but the subway was really crowded and I got a little randy! It's not my fault!" 
  • At Donna Karan I have had the opportunity in the last couple weeks to help not only my supervisor, but other employees as well. One day I got to assist the Assistant Buyer for Donna Karan Collection. We were putting together boards with looks and styles from the most recent Donna Karan New York fashion show during Fashion Week. That was so fun! I really like when I have the opportunity to work closer with the merchandise. 
  • One of the girls on our floor came back from lunch one day and was SO excited because she had spotted Beyonce walking from her car into a building while out in Times Square. That's the perks of having an office building on 40th!
  • Okay so with my previous statement about sexual harassment on the subway this is going to make me sound like a hypocrite. I was on my way to the Upper East Side during rush hour the other day and was on the most crowded subway ever. We were packed in tighter than Pringles in a can. Well somehow I ended up with a lovely older woman's backside right up against my crotch and was not able to move AT ALL. I know that a crowded subway is no excuse for sexual harassment but in this situation I couldn't tell who's fault it really was...
  • There are a lot of dogs in the city. Dogs do business on the sidewalk--as is normal. What's not normal is watching a dogs owner holding the bag below them waiting for it to fall directly into their bag-covered hand before it even hits the pavement. That's a little too far. While it was pouring down rain I also saw a dog straddle a puddle and do his business there... Oh the things you'll see here...
  • On the subway ride home one evening there were a couple of German girls carrying a giant bugs bunny. They were laughing hysterically and talking loudly with a thick German accent. It was entertaining unit they decided to start moving around the crowded subway car and managed to hit every single passenger in the face with his ears. "Why I oughta!"
  • With how many beggars and homeless people there are on the streets asking for money you'd think that surely some of them are doing pretty well for themselves. The thought didn't cross my mind until a homeless man on the subway made the generic plea announcing "Ladies and Gentleman" as if he were the ring leader at the circus. "I am currently homeless" (as if it wasn't obvious). The thing that I noticed, however, was that when he held out his hand I saw how perfectly manicured is hands were. Cuticles trimmed back, clean nails that had obviously been buffed, and I even detected a thing layer of clear coat. I was not about to give this man any money because if I don't have the money for a manicure why should he?
  • I happened across a random street fair when visiting my friend on the Upper East Side. Just stumbled across it on my way home. This guy was hysterical:

Oh and these people were pretty entertaining as well. Watch the older lady in the back. So funny! I could never bring myself to exercise in public...

These Mozzarepas were the best thing ever. Basically a grilled cheese sandwich with mozzarella and corn bread. Amazing!

I went to an Oh Land concert the other night at the Bowery Ballroom not knowing quite what to expect. Most people have never heard of them but they're an amazing group and I highly recommend you check them out. They were outstanding live--very high energy. It was a great show. 

Coming up this weekend:
  • It's Brooklyn Fashion weekend this weekend! I'll be helping out with the shows on Saturday and Sunday!
  • I have a job interview at PinkBerry on Friday at noon--Wish me luck!
  • Friday evening i'll be going to the DKNY store on Madison Ave. and helping them with their inventory. Will be a good opportunity to meet the employees in the store and get more hands-on with the merchandise. 
  • October 5th I will be going to see Deadmau5 live. Is going to be so great!

I will be doing my best this weekend to post as things happen so that my blog is not completely disorganized and random like this post happens to be. As always, subscribe if you like my blog. It's easy. Just click "Follow" on the right-hand side of your screen. Until next time...


Life in The City

It's been a little while since i've blogged so I definitely have a lot to talk about today. A lot has happened, both good and bad, in the last week. I've seen fashion heaven, had a near-death experience, and saw some amazing sights. First, however, i'd like to talk about my general observations on life in New York.

Let's talk about smells. I'm not sure how everyone else feels but anyone who knows me knows that i'm really into smells. No sense can be as offensive as the sense of smell. If you see something you don't want to see, close your eyes. If you hear something you don't want to hear, plug your ears. But the smells of the city are enough to put your nose on overdrive. It's not all bad though. For example, when I was walking down Fifth Avenue looking for the Abercrombie & Fitch flagship store I could smell the fierce cologne from down the block (literally) and it helped me find the store in a way Google Maps could only hope to. The food carts are another great smell. In the morning, while walking past a half-awake New Yorker ordering coffee from one of the modest food trucks on the sidewalk,  you can really get a good whiff of hazelnut or chai that is downright intoxicating. On the other hand, however, the bad smells are just as present. Take the steaming sewers for example. While the view of steam whipping around as a taxi speeds past can be fun to look at or photograph, it definitely doesn't smell inspiring. Trash days are another nasal hazard. When there are thirty dripping trash bags on the side of the road you certainly don't expect them to smell like fresh cut grass but you would never expect anything to smell that bad. And don't even get me started on the body odor of the guy standing with his hand above his head grasping the rail above you on the subway...

While the smells of the city can be less than satisfying, the coffee exceeds my expectations. There are Starbucks Coffee shops all over the city. Every corner, it seems, is adorned with the green and white emblem of the coffee loving mermaid. In my home town this would have excited me. I loved Starbucks. Now that i'm in NYC my coffee tastes have changed dramatically--and for the better, I think. I refuse to wait in a thirty minute line at Starbucks to wait for my $5 cup of over-brewed coffee. Instead I have discovered the joys of the $1 cup from the street carts and small cafés. My first cup of liquid energy was from a street cart. Back in Missouri i'm used to people bragging about how they like their coffee black. It's holds a bit of machismo, I suppose, to have your coffee black. I have never had a taste for it really. Add lots of cream and sugar and we can definitely have a party. When I ordered my small coffee I didn't specify that I wanted cream or sugar (I wasn't awake enough to really think about it at the time). But much to my surprise I watched as the man started shoveling spoonfuls of sugar into my small cup and threw in a splash of milk. It was the way coffee was made to be drank! I'm glad that New Yorkers are unashamed to have what some coffee snobs would call a tainted cup. It's just how I like it. If that makes me a wuss then oh well. If it makes me a New Yorker, even better. 

Okay now on to the specific events that have happened in the last week since I last posted. I had a run-in with fifty police officers, lost my phone, got to see Donna Karan heaven, almost died, and had a lot of fun.

I'll start with how I managed to end up in a room with fifty cops and how I lost my beloved iPhone 4. Last Saturday I went out to meet some people for drinks and conversation. I had a great time and met some really great people. On my way home I got really hungry so I decided to stop in the closest diner I could find. I walked up and looked inside and there appeared to be what resembled a police mosh pit. Not a single civilian stood in the diner, but about fifty or sixty police officers. There was an officer outside the restaurant so I asked "Can anyone eat here or is it only for police officers?" He just laughed and said I was more than welcome. I walked in, saw they had pizza, and got really excited that I was able to buy a slice at 4:30 in the morning. While I was waiting for my pizza, I turned to the female officer standing to my right and said "So what's going on here? Do a lot of criminals hang out here or something?" She smiled and then was nice enough to give me directions to the nearest subway entrance. 

Once on the train I started to devour my pepperoni and mushroom slice unashamed of the late-night calories I should not have been ingesting. Once at my stop I stood up, pizza in hand, and got off the train. I was exhausted at this point and went to check my phone to see exactly what time it was. That's when I realized that the delicious slice of heaven cost me not only $2.25 but it also cost me my iPhone 4. I left it on the train and that's the last I saw of it. My biggest worry was not how I would keep in contact with my people, but how in the world would I navigate the city without GPS?!

The next few days I didn't really do much. I was afraid to go anywhere without my Google Maps! Instead I stayed home most nights and tried to get rest--New York can be exhausting! I was lucky that my mom had her old iPhone 3GS that she was able to mail me. Now that i've got it back i'm hitting the town again, albeit without a 5-megapixel camera. Be prepared for lackluster blog photos from now on. My apologies. 

Later in the week I was given the opportunity to go to the other Donna Karan building to deliver a handbag. I walked into the building and the security guard immediately stopped me saying "is there something I can help you with sir?" I flashed my security badge from DKNY and he said "my apologies, right this way sir". It feels damn good to have even the slightest bit of power. I probably couldn't penetrate the pentagon but it's good to know I have access to fashion heaven at least until December. On the elevator I looked to see what each floor held. Badgley Mischka, Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan, etc. Each floor was one high-fashion haven after another. The feeling of being on top of the world is quite exhilarating even if you really are only 17 stories up...

Oh did I mention I almost died yesterday? It was pretty nuts. People screamed, there was blood, cars slammed on their brakes--it was quite the scene. Okay so it sounds more dramatic than it really was but I did get kind of freaked out. I was crossing the street in an effort to get on the C train (which I later found out wasn't even running). I saw a car was coming quick so I started to pick up the pace to a slight jog. Well it turns out big feet and potholes were never intended to meet and when they did I fell flat on the street right in front of the approaching car. The driver slammed on the brakes and some people on the corner screamed, expecting the worst. I was lucky. I stood up as fast as I could and kept walking past the people in an effort to catch the train that would never arrive. 

Once I got to the subway station I inspected my dress pants for holes and, thankfully, found none. I was going to be really upset if I had to buy new dress pants as I had just bought these a month before. The real issue wasn't until I lifted my pant legs to find the blood running down my legs from both my knees. An MTA employee was nice enough to grab me some paper towels both wet and dry in an effort to clean my wounds. Then a man with band aids stopped and donated two for the cause. Eventually the bleeding stopped but I still missed my meeting. It was my volunteer meeting for Brooklyn Fashion Weekend and I was mortified that my first impression for them was my absence at their first meeting. I e-mailed the director and explained the situation. Luckily I will still be able to help at the event. 

I'd like to end this post on a positive note so let me just talk for a bit about the great day I had sight-seeing on Friday. My new friend, John, and I went all over the city. I had a list of things I wanted to accomplish and somehow managed to achieve almost all of them.

First we went to High Line Park. High Line Park was an old train station years ago before the popularity of the subway system. It has since been turned into a long park with wonderful views of the city. It was really a cool place to see and was pretty busy.

The next stop was St. Patrick's Cathedral. While i'm not a very religious person its was still very inspiring to see such a massive and beautiful church. There was actually a service going on when we arrived so we were able to hear the organ playing, the preacher preaching, etc. It was awe-inspiring. 

After the cathedral it was off to the Museum of Modern Art. I was really looking forward to this museum and was shocked to see the massive size of it! Fridays are free at MoMA and it was busy as could be. I really want to go on some idle Tuesday morning when no one is there so I can really take my time and appreciate each piece one at a time. 

Once we finished our self-guided tour at the museum we went to Dylan's Candy Bar. For those that don't know, Dylan's Candy Bar is a mixture of fashion, celebrity, and CANDY! It's three stories of every kind of candy you can possibly imagine. They have a wall of celebrities' favorite candies that they chose and signed. Of course I snapped a picture of the Kardashian clan's favorite sweets. 

By the time we left the Candy Bar we were starving for some substantial food. We found an italian restaurant called Bar Vetro. It was a trendy little place that was moderately priced. After we finished our pasta it was time to go home. Lots of fun but a very long day all the same. 

For everyone back home, just know that while i've had a few fits of bad luck this week I still absolutely love it here and couldn't be happier. I miss all of my friends and family back home but know that it won't be long until I see them all again! 

The 10th Anniversary of September 11th was last Sunday. I didn't attend the memorial service because of the heightened terror threat level but my roommate was able to get this amazing shot of the twin towers memorial lights.

More Pics from MoMA:
This was a box of hand-written wishes.

Pieces of a Chandelier

More Pics from Dylan's Candy Bar:

Shoes made of CANDY!

Holy Delicious Cupcake


Fashion's Night Out

O     M     G
Thursday night, as you hopefully know, was the worldwide event known as Fashion's Night Out. For those of you that aren't aware, it's basically an evening when all the major fashion designers, stores, boutiques, etc. stay open until 11pm and have celebrity appearances, musical guests, free drinks, etc. There's more info on their website if you're interested. 

I was originally supposed to be working the event at DKNY--at least that's what I was told in an e-mail before arriving in NYC. A couple days before the actual event I was informed, however, that I would not be needed at the store and that they should have everything covered so I would be free to attend rather than staying just at the one store. I was not upset by this whatsoever because now I was free to do what I wanted. The only problem is that on such short notice I did not have time to go online and make a game plan for the event. 

I got off work at DKNY around 5:30 on Thursday and for some reason I went straight to Urban Zen. I'll explain what that is in a moment but for the time being just know that I had a gut feeling that Urban Zen was where I needed to be. I had never been before and didn't really know a lot about it but I Google Mapped it and next thing I knew I was there. 

Okay so here's the scoop on Urban Zen... Donna Karan has three main stores that she focuses on: Donna Karan Collection (with price points starting around $1000), DKNY (price point more similar to Michael Kors),  and Urban Zen. The company, LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennesy) owns both Donna Karan and DKNY as a parent company. Urban Zen, however, is on it's own and completely privately owned, operated, etc. It's a clothing store that also sells items from Haiti and the store focuses on three main philanthropic points.

The first is preserving cultures. Their vision, as said on their website, is "to help cultures maintain their natural essence and identify in the face of globalization." They're really big into helping people in Haiti, stuff like that. 

The second initiative for them is empowering children. "Our mission is to care for our children's well being and give them the tools to face obstacles and opportunities with love, compassion, and strength. We collaborate and support existing children's organizations and create programs to enhance their spiritual, physical, and emotional growth." 

The final focus for Urban Zen is well-being. They help people with diseases, specifically cancer, focus on not only their disease, but also healing themselves with holistic healing, reiki, meditation, etc. 

As you can see this is a very cool organization that is really doing a lot of good in the world. The items there are not cheap by any means though. For example, one jacket costs $1795.00! Obviously nothing I can afford but the people who can are helping Haiti in a big way. 

Okay so now that we have a background on what Urban Zen is we can continue with my SUPER EXCITING STORY!!! So I go straight from DKNY to Urban Zen, walk in, and see only employees in the store and they're all still getting things ready for the evening; putting final touches on merchandise and that sort of thing. I stood in the front of the store for about thirty seconds when I saw a woman that appeared to be directing the event. She was a short woman who was very unique. I learned later that her name was Shelly and she was coordinating the event. She had shoulder length, very red, hair and was wearing probably about one hundred thousand dollars worth (literally) of haiti necklaces. I walked straight up to her and said "Hi, I'm Jory Rapps. I'm an intern over at DKNY and I just thought i'd see if you would like any help for the evening?" She could have said "leave me alone you pesky intern" but instead she, and everyone there, was so amazingly nice and were so grateful that I was there to help. 

She put me on gallery duty. It was my job to stand in the corner between the front store and the back gallery and try to bring people back to see the wonderful items they had brought to New York on their many trips to Haiti. All night I would walk up to people looking at the very expensive store items and say "have you seen our beautiful Haiti gallery? It's right here in the back." It was a beautiful event. There was champagne, vegan sushi that was to die for, and there was a good turnout without it being overwhelmingly busy. It felt more like a dinner party than a major store event which was what I think they wanted. 

As I stood in the back I watched as people shopped for the most expensive of items. One couple was looking at a set of plates and bowls from Haiti that i'm sure were well over a couple thousand dollars per piece. The husband said "I need four of these bowls, four of the plates, and one of the large salad bowls." The store employee explained that they were only samples but that they would receive the items in November and they would be the first ones called. These were people with major money. It was somewhat intimidating being one of the only non-millionaires in the room but I wasn't complaining. 

As the night went on I was able to talk with everyone involved at Urban Zen including the  head honcho who gave me his business card and said he would love for me to help at any future events. I also met the communications director for the store who happens to be my age and he was so nice. He even suggested we hang out some time so he may be my first friend in the city! Amazing evening, amazing people, and amazing networking. 

As the night progressed I learned that we were expecting a very special guest. None other than Donna Karan herself would be arriving to the store around 9pm for a visit. After I learned this I had to choke back tears of joy multiple times. All I kept thinking was that a week ago I was in Missouri doing nothing. Now i'm toasting champagne with millionaires and Donna Karan is going to be here soon! How does that happen?!

Quick side story: About thirty minutes before Donna showed up the store started to wreak of burnt hair for some reason. No one could figure it out and we all were running around looking for something on fire. Everyone was freaking out because Donna is really big on her store smelling like sage and incense so the burnt hair thing simply would not do. Finally someone realized that a couple of the candle holders were the culprit. Turns out they were made out of horn which is basically the same as hair. They blew out the candles, lit more sage, and the crisis was averted.

Donna Karan (in black)
When she arrived and walked in the door I just kept thinking "this is it. She's here!" She was beautiful. She was wearing a gorgeous black draping outfit with tall black stiletto heels. She walked in and immediately started adjusting clothing on mannequins until each piece looked exactly right. I watched as she walked up to a mannequin next to me, pulled the necklace off it, and said how much she loved it. She was literally standing a foot away from me and I agreed with her that the necklace was quite stunning. 

I watched from a distance as she walked up to people, kissed them on the cheek, made small talk, and I realized then that these people were all her friends. They all knew her. One girl, Hannah, asked if i was excited. When I told her I was about to pass out from the excitement she said "Yeah it's exciting your first time but by the twelfth time it's not that big of a deal anymore." I suppose she's probably right. 

As Donna was about to leave the store I decided to do something risky. She was adjusting a garment on another mannequin and I walked right up to her, held out my hand, and said "Ms. Karan my name's Jory Rapps and i'm an intern at  DKNY. It's a pleasure to meet you." This was insane. I don't know how I got the courage to do such a thing. But it turned out okay. She shook my hand, looked at me, and said "Very nice to meet you." Then her Blackberry started to ring and she answered it and walked out to her Escalade. It wasn't much, but it put me over the moon. Someone later apologized and said they thought it was rude of her to answer her phone. Honestly, she could have spit in my face and I would have been honored! I met Donna Karan a week after being in NYC!!!

I didn't think there would be anything else exciting to talk about other than that night but yesterday I ended up doing something else that was very cool. I was doing data entry ALL DAY yesterday until one of the girls in the office asked my supervisor if she could steal me for a quick minute. She needed me to go get some shoe samples that she had pulled for her and they were waiting up on the top floor. Off I went, not really thinking anything of it.

To my surprise, when the elevator door to the top floor opened, there was a photo shoot going on! A group of seven foot tall models sat to my left. The white backdrop and photographer were in front of me---It was all so glamorous.

I went up the staircase to my left and found myself in the most amazing shoe room i've ever seen. Every kind of DKNY shoe you can imagine were in this room. (And the ones you can't imagine because they haven't been released yet!) From the top floor you could see a great view of the city. The ceilings were insanely high and the room was beautiful. Basically made my day, for the second day in a row.

As far as things coming up soon to look forward to me blogging about....

  • I've got Brooklyn Fashion Weekend that i'll be helping with later this month
  • On Urban Zen's website they have listed a private concert for Mary J. Blige coming up so i'm again going to be offering my services for that
  • Two of my favorite musicians are playing concerts in the city soon, Deadmau5 & Oh Land
  • This week is fashion week! While there's nothing planned for me as of yet, that doesn't mean anything. So far the amazing things happening to me have all been last minute and totally unexpected. I guess that's the world of fashion.
  • I'm being interviewed on Sunday for Southeast Missouri State University's student newspaper, The Arrow
Again, please follow the blog if you like it, share it with your friends, and leave comments either on here or on my Facebook wall! I wish all of my friends back home health and happiness. Until next time....a few more pics from Urban Zen


It's Raining in the City but Sunny in my Soul

Today was a good day. It rained all day and was generally uneventful but for some reason it just feels so damn good to be alive. 

I've spent the last few days wandering aimlessly through the city alone. I haven't really tried to make friends yet as I am loving the time to myself. Being out of my element and totally in my own head really agrees with me. It's a welcome change to being in a  small town where I know everyone and can't go to the gas station for a bag of Skittles without running into my entire high-school graduating class. The anonymity of New York is my favorite part of city life. Here, you can be whoever you want. I could make a fool of myself and it wouldn't matter in the slightest. I won't ever see the spectators again!

Today was my second day at DKNY. I got there early and was waiting by the elevator when my supervisor arrived. Partly because I wanted to show initiative but also because I had yet to receive the security pass that actually allowed me past the front door of my office. Security did issue me my ID today and gave me strict instructions not to lose it. The reason being that animal rights activists consistently try to invade the premises in the hopes of causing a ruckus and changing Donna Karan's use of fur, leather, feathers, etc. I couldn't help but imagine a morning when I walk through the front door to witness three security guards tackling a PETA member dripping in fake blood in the foyer. 
I did typical intern duties today--made copies, dropped off files to execs, did more data entry, managed the marketing calendar, etc. I was just so glad to be there. 

On my way home I was thankful I brought my rain boots. They may not be the most fashionable accessory I have, but in New York during the rain I'll take function over form.

Once I arrived at my subway stop I shuffled with the other New Yorkers to the elevator that would deliver us to street level. I noticed while thirty of us packed in to the oversized lift that everyone was completely silent. No one said a word. I wasn't the only one who noticed either because a man in the corner got a sheepish grin on his face as he looked around at the others who rode in silence. It took everything in me not to sarcastically shout "This is quite the talkative bunch!" The words were on the tip of my tongue when I bit it. I was unafraid of their reaction but knew with my luck that the elevator would stop and I'd be stuck with those people for another four hours and be labeled as the jerk who jinxed us all into forced conversation. 

Once I got home I finished my leftover penne alla vodka from lunch and watched some stand up comedy. I decided to go smoke a cigarette on the corner which sounded like a lovely idea until I got to the glass front door and saw three people with inside-out umbrellas walking past. The nicotine monkey on my back wasn't afraid of a little wind or rain so I braved the elements. While I stood on the corner smoking my Marlboro Menthol I looked ridiculous in my rain boots, basketball shorts, hoodie, and umbrella while shaking like a washing machine on the spin cycle. I didn't care. Apathy is my favorite new accessory! Then an Ingrid Michaelson song came on my iPhone and the words said 

"I woke up this morning, a funny taste in my head. Spackled some butter over my whole grain bread. Something tastes different. Maybe it's my tongue. Something tastes different. Suddenly i'm not so young."

Carrie Bradshaw's stoop from Sex & The City
And I think that's just it. Even though it's been less than a week I know that this whole experience is going to make me grow up. I'm an adult now. A kid couldn't move to the big city not knowing a single soul and be happy. I'm doing it. I started smiling at the thought and could tell I was confusing passers by. They were all walking against the wind like they were in the middle of a tornado. I looked up and noticed a guy my age was across the sidewalk with an umbrella that turned inside out just as we made eye contact. He didn't get upset, he laughed. He turned around and the umbrella flipped back the right way. A different man walked by mumbling something and we laughed at him together. I may not have made friends yet, but in that moment I knew I wasn't the only one that can laugh in the middle of a rainstorm. It's raining in the city, but my insides are getting sunburned.


My Empire State of Mind

Hello everyone! I made it to NYC!!! Since my last blog post SO much has happened. To start, I ended up being impatient and had my flight changed for a third time. I left Wednesday morning at 7:30am and got to New York around 11am (eastern). Here's what happened once I arrived...

I got off the plane, got my bags, got a taxi, and went straight to my building in Brooklyn. Once I was checked in I walked up to my room, opened the door, and saw a MESS. My jaw dropped. There was crap everywhere. Turns out my roommate has been living here since the beginning of summer and was not informed by my building that I would be arriving (most likely because of the hurricane). Now that the room is cleaned up it's not bad at all. My roommate seems pretty cool. He's a finance major and is working on Wall Street every day and is going to school here as well so he's not around much. I don't see us having any problems living together--he's pretty chill.

Lamb & Rice
Once I unpacked my bags I decided to go explore. I walked around outside my building for a while to see what is local. There was a street vendor on the sidewalk right outside my building so I got my first NYC meal---lamb over rice. It was delicious except for the fact that the hot sauce he put on it engulfed my mouth with flames! Once I ate I went to the subway station right next door to my apartment and tried to get a metro pass card. For some reason it would not read my debit card so I decided to keep exploring Brooklyn for a while and try again later. I found some restaurants, grocery stores, a few bodegas nearby, and even some clothing stores. When I went back and tried my card again I was able to successfully get a metro card. Off to Times Square I went.

Outside my building in Brooklyn
I don't completely understand the subway system but I think that's pretty normal for a newbie. I was able, however, to successfully make it to Times Square on my first try. Halfway there I wasn't sure I was on the right track so I asked the guy next to me and he was very nice and told me to get off at 42nd street. Surprisingly enough all of the New Yorkers i've talked to so far have been very friendly and helpful. Once I made it to Times Square I decided to find my office building so I knew exactly where to go for my internship. It was very easy to find and I have a simple commute despite the fact that i'm in Brooklyn and the office is on 40th.

$5 Sunglasses from a street vendor
After I found the office I decided to go look around! The place I spent the most time was H&M looking at the clothes. I LOVE that store. Such great style for AMAZING prices. Cape Girardeau definitely needs one. After finding a super great button-down shirt at H&M for $15 I found a really cool new pair of sunglasses at a street vendor for $5! Great deals so far. Those are the only two items i've purchased since i've been here other than food/things I need for my place.

DKNY Notebook

I headed back to my apartment, realized I didn't have any dress pants for some reason, (they're still MIA) so I headed BACK to Times Square to look for a pair. Well that's when I ended up getting lost, walked around for forever, ended up on the L to some shady part of Brooklyn, and didn't make it home until 11pm. I am still sore because I walked around for about 10 hours my first day. Oops...

My beautiful office building!
The next day (yesterday) I started my internship at DKNY. It wasn't the most exciting first day as I was doing data entry the whole time but I was so so so excited to be there. The office was very nice--minimalist design in all black and white. My supervisor was super nice and seems like she's going to be fun to work for. Her and everyone there were super cute, stylish, gorgeous. In fact, everyone in NYC is gorgeous. I feel like the poorest person here because i'm not wearing Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, or Armani. I have never seen so many people where designer clothing in my life and even though I feel inadequate I absolutely love it.

First Day Outfit
(H&M Dress Shirt, AE Jeans, Lounge by Mark Nason Shoes, Kenneth Cole Belt)
On my lunch break I went to a sandwich shop called Prêt a Manger and had a tuna salad sandwich, some organic popcorn flavored with sea salt, and iced green tea. (I'm trying to be healthy while i'm here) It was a really cool place because they're main thing is that everything they have is fresh, made that day, and whatever sandwiches they don't sell that day goes to a homeless shelter that night. Looking back I realize that by eating there I basically stole a sandwich from a homeless man so i'm still trying to deal with that...

Anyway... I didn't want to ask a thousand questions on my first day so I don't have a whole lot to say about it yet. Like I said, pretty uneventful first day. But i'm so excited for what is to come next. I don't work again until Tuesday because of the long holiday weekend so I'll hopefully get a chance to ask more questions and find out what else i'll be doing. I will make sure to blog again then to update you all.

After work I was so super exhausted I came home, unpacked the rest of my boxes that arrived, and chilled for the rest of the day. Last night I explored Brooklyn some more but didn't go too far because the blisters on my feet are not okay with that. I found a Häagen-Dazs store down the street which is going to be really hard to ignore during my diet...

Well this blog is getting a little long-winded so I apologize. I didn't get to post until now because somehow in the excitement of me leaving MO I managed to leave my MacBook charger at my mother's house and just now got it in the mail. I'm taking it easy today. Not going anywhere, just recovering. I've slept in, taken a bath, took a nap, went and bought a bottle of wine and some lunch and plan on drinking the bottle and getting ready for tomorrow!!! I'll keep you updated with anything else exciting I do and post some more pics below!

If you're reading this blog, please "follow" it! That way I know if someone is actually reading this thing....

Center of the Fashion District
Somehow stumbled upon St. Patrick's Cathedral
Oh, hello...
Radio City
Parsons The New School for Design (across the street from my office)
Empire State Building
I found love on my first day in NYC!