But this time, I made a big move, by myself. With little assistance and hand holding, but a lot of advice from friends and family who have lived here.
And so begins the next chapter of my life. Some details:
I’m working for BARK – the creators of BarkBox. I’m interning to create and coordinate social impact programs and projects with their employees. It’s a cool group of people, a fun product/mission, and I get to pet dogs every day. What more can a puppy-obsessed girl ask for?
I’m living in the wonderful borough of Brooklyn. Where I get all the hipster things I’ve always dreamed of (incredible pizza and organic everything and weird ice cream flavors) along with the diversity that drew me here. A couple weeks ago, I walked through a Puerto Rican neighborhood getting ready to celebrate at the Puerto Rican Day Parade. Then I rode a bus along a street with authentic Mexican restaurants and shops targeting the Jews in the area. I eventually arrived at a brand new shopping center with construction still growing. I’m loving it.
Unlike with Remote Year, where I tackled each new city with 50 friends, I’m essentially tackling this one alone. I have a few friends nearby for meals here and there, but I’m doing a lot of sightseeing and eating a lot of meals alone. Now, being alone doesn’t always equal lonely. But sometimes it does, and I’ll accept that. Today is a particularly lonely day for me; my sister is visiting family in MN, so they’re all together while I sit alone in my apartment. But I’m keeping myself busy and doing what I can to make friends – I’m saying yes to invitations from co-workers and I’m going to try a spin class tomorrow! Basically, just because I know people near the city doesn’t mean I have a social life here yet, so I have to take active steps to create one.
Ugh. The food game in New York is strong. I’ve taken pictures of some of it. But sometimes I just get so excited that I eat it all really fast. I’ve eaten a lot of Chipotle bowls and Sweetgreen salads, pad thai, lobster rolls, soup dumplings, authentic Italian pizza, more appetizers than I can name, unique combinations of meatballs and sauces, and – of course – Chick Fil A. I’m going to start bringing in lunch next week because my budget has definitely started to notice all these meals out. But, actually, doesn’t that just mean my leftover lunch money goes toward cooler dinner food? ;)
I have literally no idea where I’ll be in September. Or what I’ll be doing. My work contract is up then, and – as of right now – I’d love to stay at BARK and stay in NYC. But my lease is also up at the end of August. So things could change drastically. Or they could change subtly. It’ll be fun to see what happens.
I am so so so so so lucky to have friends in the area. Some of my favorite moments so far here have been with them. Obviously, I wish we still lived in the same building, or at least within a half hour walk of each other. But that’s not possible, so I just enjoy them when I can. And, believe it or not, one of the people from Remote Year that lives closest to me is actually the guy I dated throughout the year. We haven’t hung out much recently because he extended his travel for a bit and has been reconnecting with family and friends, but living near him adds a new level of interesting to the summer – and to the city. In a way, we both know each other on an abnormally-deep level from traveling together – like I do with most of my closest friends from the trip – but now we have to start dating like normal people and see if we like our non-travel selves. We had our “first (American) date” on Sunday and it felt completely normal – besides the amount of pink he wore and the lack of Spanish spoken by our waiter ;)
Wow. So many updates. As I said, I’m here at least until the end of August, so if you’re nearby, come visit me! I’ll try to make time to see anyone who reaches out. And wish me luck. This city has surprises around every corner!
..but actually.. I walked past the set of Mr. Robot the other day.. and I’ve seen more pop-up street fairs than I can count.. even my friends who lived here before Remote Year say that some of their favorite places have shut down in the last 12 months.. gotta move fast here!