There is a kind of magic that accompanies New York City summers that even the humidity, and crowded, sweaty subway platforms can’t outweigh. (And this being said by someone who loves fall so much that her entire closet is just sweaters.)
Lately, it’s been a challenge to stay focused while working indoors. I start to get restless at even the thought of missing a minute of sunshine, and find myself even more appreciative after enduring a winter that turned the streets of NYC into the Hunger Games of survival. While Maria keeps reminding me that winter will be back in a matter of months, my brain — due to what I’m calling post traumatic blizzard syndrome — is in full denial. And when you get to spend your days reading in Prospect Park or enjoying every meal on a restaurant’s outdoor patio, it seems impossible that puffy snow jackets and frostbite exist!
A few weeks ago, I decided to venture into the city to finish walking the Highline, (I can FINALLY cross that off my bucket list) and after enjoying the sites of the West Coast Highway and Midtown, found myself in the midst of a rain storm and for the first time, able to walk through Time Square without being driven mad by overwhelming crowds. It was so momentous that it deserved a posted photo over the incredible red velvet cookie I was consuming at the same time.
Right before traveling home to LA, I received my first visitors and enjoyed a little YouTube Nation reunion. Lucky for me, that red bearded beauty is actually moving here at the end of the month! Earnest was in town for work giving me the perfect chance to bombard him with my friendship for four straight days. It was glorious. Seeing him in person reminded me of how lucky I am to not only work with such an intelligent, caring mentor but also have him as a friend who will spend twenty minutes cracking the nerdiest YouTube jokes with me. Since starting at YouTube, I’ve begun keeping a log of my favorite Earnest Pettie quotes that will be available come Christmas should you be in need of a gift for your loved ones.
New York is a hard city that at times, despite my deep love for the palpable energy, makes me feel microscope, lost, and a million miles from home. But what New York has treated me to is building a wonderful relationship with these ladies above. I feel lucky to play a part in their New York story and after years of hanging around groups of guys, find myself giggling at all the girl talk, nail painting, and sangria I’m frequently surrounded by. Sangria I’m finding is the nectar of summer and lucky enough for me, my roommate makes some bomb ass white wine sangria. Couple it with my new air conditioning and whew! I am living THE. DREAM.
Due to the demands of a project I’m working on at Google, I work Saturdays instead of Thursdays leaving me with an entire weekday to enjoy the attractions of NYC without the fear of weekend crowds. This Thursday, with time to kill before a work volunteer event, I visited the Whitney Museum to see contemporary art from 1910 to the present (Yeah, I read the program and retained something!). The museum set up has you start from the top in 1910 and gradually work your way forward in time by descending from patio to patio, enjoying a bird’s eye view of the city in between exhibits. While “art history novice” seems even too generous a title for my knowledge level, I did really enjoy learning about the social, political, and culture movements that influenced each of the art installations, particularly the “America is Hard to See” which examined the changing image of Black America in the 1920s.
One of Maria and my greatest talents is eating. It’s truly an art we’ve perfected over time because eating in New York City is absolutely no joke. With unlimited choices, trying to decide between fusion or traditional, Chinese noodles or a meat and cheese plate, a favorite restaurant or that new place that just opened down the street, each decision is shadowed by the doubt of FOMO (fear of missing out) that you’ve overlooked the best food item from around the corner.
In the largest food quest of our New York lives, M and I took to Smorgasbord — the Brooklyn food fair with over 50 vendors — like red pandas take to snow. This fair has everything — chicken parm, deep friend donuts, freeze squeezed lemonade — and an hour later, the two of us had successfully eaten our way through pork buns (I still dream of those guys), watermelon juice, ice tea, Filipino rolls, noodles, whoopie pies, and a spicy mango. We quickly spread out on the neighboring soccer field and looking upon the New York skyline, both couldn’t believe we actually get to live in New York City. When and how did that happen?!
Things not pictured that are kind of a big deal: Found three pairs of shorts that actually fit, now own an air conditioning unit, lots of new yoga pants, daily walks through the West Village, lessons in coding, reunions with college friends, Father’s Day celebrated over Facetime, finding a new favorite bar on Dean Street, dinner parties,”Luther” binge watching sessions with the cats, Fitz taking it upon himself to be my personal 5am alarm clock, book devouring, and new heart patterned tennis shoes.