9.18.2011

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 caf├ęs. 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! 

PS.
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






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