Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Riches to Rags

Read this quick article:

NYC so costly you need to earn six figures to make middle class

You just have to read to the first bullet and you'll get the idea...

I thought I was just bad a managing money.  Now at least now I know I'm not crazy!

Who wants to come rent my upper bunk bed?!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Thanks for Giving

November was definitely the hardest month since I've been here.  I hit (what I hope) was rock bottom, and slipped in and out of (what I think was) clinical depression.  I've been overly emotional, which as most of you know is terrifying because I'm already ridiculously emotional.  I would say that I cry or have tears well up in my eyes 2-3 times a week, and anything can set if off-- good or bad:  I got yelled at by the NYC bus driver for not pushing the button to try to get of the bus- got off the bus and started to cry; my boss scolded me about not plating the spinach dip chips properly- walked out of the kitchen and started to cry; watched an AWESOME episode of Glee- was so inspired I started to cry.  You get the idea.  I think I'm just "alone" a lot, so my emotions are always bottled up rather than being released healthily and regularly through daily conversations and interactions.

November was particularly hard because I made the decision to take one month off of my dance program.  I was having friends come to visit me for a week, and I was going to home to Texas for a week, and before that I  would have to pick up a lot of extra work shifts in exchange for those days I was going to be off, so I knew that dancing was simply not going to be a priority during that month.  So basically most of November became about working, eating, not exercising, questioning why I'm even in this city, and counting down the days until I get to see my friends and family-- hence the rock bottom slash clinical depression. :)

However, as Debbie Downer as this entry sounds, the actual purpose is to give thanks to all of you who helped to keep my spirits lifted during the month of November!  I just wanted to set the scene so you could understand just how much I needed and appreciated your kind gestures.

So here are my Thanksgiving Thank You's in no particular order:
*Sending Fall Flowers- Just Because (Pears)

*Reading/Commenting on my blog and encouraging me (Katie, Jess)

*Going to the gym with me and working at a coffee shop, just like old times! (Edith)

*The Thanksgivingapalooza visit to NYC-- I loved hanging out with each one of you!!!
  --Flying to NYC, leading an Aggie yell practice, and taking a hip hop class with me! Blackout Bullet. (Groover)

  --Flying to NYC, performing in a legit NYC bar, and taking a voice class with me! Start a Bluegrass band! (Tyler)

--Flying to NYC and bringing your Stankface (Pears)
  --Flying to NYC and being our high fashion homeless model. -- Sorry I don't have any pictures of you! :-(  Post your Fall Foliage! (Lora)

  --Flying to NYC and making me laugh non-stop! WHAT'S UP CAPITALISM?! (Marco)

 --Flying to NYC and riding bikes in Central Park! (Blair)

  --Taking a train to NYC and being our photographer! (Haley)

  --Taking a TRAIN to NYC and sharing a bed bug bed with me.  ;-) (Kate)

*Getting me dance recital flowers even though I wouldn't let you all come to the recital. ;) Thanks for still showing your support! (Tyler)

*Sending the most amazing care package I've ever received in my life- with sweet notes from students and teachers, super useful winter items, and other adorable things that she knew I'd personally like (Jess)

*Being the most consistent person I've ever dated... phone dated.  Tuesdays are pretty much the highlight of my week, every week, without fail... even when I was phone-less. [Stage Right- Enter Skype] (Pears)

So thank you all for everything!! From flights and packages across the U.S. to random texts and Facebook posts throughout the day-- whether you know it or not, you guys are keeping me going.  Trust me, I know how many things you have going on, so it's nice to know that you all haven't forgotten about me and that when we see each other we're able to pick off exactly where we left off.  I'm definitely thinking about each of you constantly.  I feel like I'm in a chapter in my life where I don't have much emotional energy to give, and I feel really selfish and weak all the time, but I know it's just an ebb and flow, and at various points in the future the tables will turn-- I just hope that in those times I will be able to give back to you and support you in the way you have been doing for me while I've been here. So thank you again for all the notes, and gifts, and visits, but those are just a manifestation of what really matters most to me, which is your friendship.  Thank you! Love you guys!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Prayer of Desperation

This move to NYC has been extremely hard on me-- I have no real friends like the strong group I had in Houston; I don't have Christian fellowship and accountability; I'm not plugged in to a home church; I feel defeated in my dancing; I'm not happy with my job; I'm always thinking about money; and to top it off, in this last week alone, I lost my camera and my iPhone, and I came down with a terrible cold/flu.  Oh yea, and it's dark, cold, and windy every day.  I'm usually one who tries to look at the bright side, but lately I'm struggling... 

I feel like I used to sing all of those songs back in Houston about "prais[ing] you in the storm" and "Jesus bring the rain" and "On Christ the solid rock I stand", but now I just feel like a hypocrite.  Now the storms are pummeling down, and instead of staying anchored in your truth, I jumped ship.  And as I let the rough waves toss me about, I feel battered and beat down-- hopeless and ashame.  Why would I ever try to brave this world on my own? How foolish was I to turn away from you during the time I should have been gripping on to you the tightest-- the time when everything that seemed certain and stable in my life was uprooted like large oaks in the wake of hurricane.  There were obvious things that I knew would be shaken-- not having my friends nearby, not having the same financial stability that I was used to-- but there were new, unexpected things that became unhinged along the way-- like not believing in myself, no longer feeling valued in my workplaces- both new and old, and most importantly, no longer having a deep passion for serving you and serving others.  I felt numb, and I didn't care.  The world was slipping out from beneath me, but I had nothing to hold onto. 

Repeatedly, this phrase would float through my head: "Nothing is permanent."  Which at one point, that very idea would have brought me great hope and joy, as I remembered that 'this life is only temporary' and that 'our citizenship is heaven'!  But in this situation, that phrase was not bringing me hope, but instead the dismal realization that everything that I thought was a solid cornerstone of my life was nothing more than 'sinking sand.'  And deep in my soul, I knew you were just waiting for me to cry out to you, but I was being stubborn.  I wanted to wallow in my self-pity, thinking 'what else could possibly go wrong?' or 'how much more would he possibly make me endure?'  And probably even more than wanting to wallow, I knew I didn't want your solution.  I wanted people to appear in my life who would fill me with joy and turn this experience around; or I wanted a new job to fall into my lap that would make my new life in New York seem effortless and fun.  But what I refused to accept was your seemingly mild and passive solution-- peace.  At the time it didn't seem like enough.  But I'm slowly remembering that sometimes your greatest gift to us is not when you've delivered us to the top of the mountain and all is right with the world, but instead when we're sobbing in the depths of the valley, and you simply put your arms around us and hold us-- just as a father would do when his daugther falls off her bike and scrapes her knee.  She doesn't need you to put her back on the bike and push her around the neighborhood to make sure she doesn't fall again, she just needs you to hold her and let her cry until she's ready to get back up again.  There is comfort in knowing that even in the darkest, most miserable places of my life, the creator of the universe has time to just sit and be with me.  There's not a guarantee that the circumstances will change, but even better, there is deep communion and fellowship with God-- which brings peace-- 'a peace that transcends all understanding.' 

Thank you Lord for allowing me to take the long, winding route home-- only to discover that you were what I wanted and what I needed all along.  Help this clarity to rest in me and transition me into a Part 2 of this journey.  Help me to accept this new reality that I'm living and learn to thrive in it just as I have thrived in other chapters of my life.  Help me to soak up this amazing dance opportunity that I have before me-- no longer comparing myself to everyone else around me, just appreciating the art and developing the craft.  Help me to find a balance with work-- that I can work enough hours to feel financially stable in this city, but that it is no longer taking away from the energy and passion I want to devote to dancing.  Help me to recognize the beauty of friendships that I left behind, and continue to stay connected to them, but help me to build a rich community here in NYC where I can start to impact and feel impacted.  Most importantly, help me to fall in love with you all over again.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Oh September- Part 1

Ok, I'm going to try to get this thing going again.  Sorry for the hiatus, and thanks for still taking an interest in my life!

Anyone who knows me knows that it takes me 2 hours to write a very basic email, so the idea of trying to write a post that captures everything that has happened in the past month is a little overwhelming to me.  So in lieu of a novel, I've decided to break these up into the main aspects of my life right now: work, dance, and NYC exploration. 

So the reason why I haven't updated in almost a month is because a got a job!  I am officially a waitress at Hillstone Restaurant-- if you've ever gone to Houston's Restaurant on Kirby just south of 59, it's the exact same restaurant, just a different name.  The process has been bittersweet though-- I went through 2 weeks of intense training.  I had to memorize a dense BINDER of information-- the ingredients of every single item on the menu- down to the salad dressings, the names and prices of our extensive wine and alcohol list, which way the lemon faces on a drink, phrases you can and cannot say to a guest, the history and origin of every hot tea we serve, the title and artist of every painting in the restaurant... just to name a few things.  I was given a test every day at the beginning of my shift, so any time that I wasn't dancing or training, I was studying my binder and making flashcards.  When I was actually at the restaurant, I spent 6 hours a day being told everything I was doing wrong by every server and manager working that shift.  Throughout the entire two weeks, all I wanted to do was quit.  I had to fight back tears at least once a night, but one night I lost it.  My boss sat me down to tell me that I needed to smile more: "Every guest interaction should begin and end with a smile."  He asked me if I was enjoying the restaurant and if I still wanted to be there.  Tears started rolling down my face, and I explained to him that this job made me feel like I was incompetent. 
Anyways, long story short, he was really nice and told me a story about how he struggled when he first got into the restaurant business.  In the end, I stuck it out, and finally got my official certification by waiting on one of the managers.  He drilled me with a ton of specifics about the menu and the restaurant that I didn't really remember all the answers to, but I smiled like it was my job... ;) and everything worked out.  So far, I've had 2 days on the floor as a server-- the money is good, and now that people aren't watching my every move, I'm enjoying the place a lot more.  This whole situation has been really tough, but I learned a lot about myself and I know I'm becoming a better person.

So thank you so much for your prayers during my unemployment period!  Despite the challenges, I'm excited to finally have a job, and like I was hoping for, it's one with flexible hours- so I can still enjoy exploring this new city, spend time with visiting friends, and when necessary pick up more shifts at times when I need a little extra cash.  Now I just ask for prayers that I can balance all of these work hours without it taking away from the quality of my dance education.  It's been really hard to leave a lunch shift where I'm going non-stop for 6 straight hours, and then still having the motivation to walk into a dance class right after and give it my all for 3 more hours. But I have to remember that I moved to New York to dance, not to wait tables, so I have to find a way to make sure that is a priority every day.  I'm also asking for prayers that this NY experience will teach me the art of financial self-control and discipline-- a huge weakness of mine. 

So as I am sure you are gathering, this whole job/money situation is basically my beautiful rose with its painful thorns.  It's easy to pick out things to complain about, but I know that this is all part of my journey.  Throughout this month I've been holding on to this passage for encouragement:

Romans 5:2b-4 "And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.  Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope."

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Letter to Self

In January, Bryan had us write letters to ourselves and seal them in an envelope. We were all on a high from Christmas and New Years’ break, and everyone was happy to see each other. We missed the students, and missed working, so it was a perfect time to write an upbeat letter to remind us why we were doing what we were doing (in case we forgot later in the year). We were supposed to save the sealed letter for a “rainy” day when we needed encouragement. I kept mine on my desk so I saw it every single day. Fortunately I never needed it last semester. I would sometimes have a discouraging day, and think, “Oh yea, I should open the letter…” but then I would think through the events of the day and say, “Naaaah, it wasn’t that bad. I’m going to save it for when I’m devastated.” So I’ve just been holding onto the envelope, assuming that it would be useful in the future. I ended up opening it Thursday.

I’ll write a part two later on why I needed to open it, but I felt really comforted after reading it, and I thought I’d share the letter with all my teacher friends out there! You guys are probably still in your honeymoon phase with the kids since the school year just started, but if my memory is correct, that phase will be wearing off preeetty soon. :) And I’m sure you guys are already running on fumes-- it’s so easy to get caught up in the to-do lists and action plans, and get stressed out because the kids aren’t where we want them to be-- both in their academics and their character-- but force yourself to take time to breathe, step back and see the bigger picture, and most importantly enjoy life!

Anyways, although this letter was geared towards me as a teacher, it was still really helpful when I was feeling down the other day, so maybe it can be encouraging to someone else…

“You are loved. No matter what circumstances may be going on around you, never doubt that you are loved by the creator of the universe. He is awesome in his grandeur and ability, yet he knows you intimately. And when you think everything around you is falling apart or that you are just not good enough, remember that you are loved by the very being that is love.

Try to remember that you are not expected to go out and save the entire world—it’s not possible. Rather you are called to serve and love. Take moments to enjoy the immaturity of the teenagers that you teach—treat each one as an individual soul that you get to touch for just these few moments. Enjoy the company of your friends. Show gratitude for them; relish in their quirkiness and compassion—again remembering that your interactions can be imprints on the soul. May every encounter reveal the love of Jesus…”

Good luck! Miss you NC crew!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Turning 27

Ever since I was little, my mom always made my birthdays a big deal.  Even when we didn't have a ton of money to waste, and my mom was working hard to provide for my brother and me, birthdays were our days, and my mom did whatever she could to make it an extra special day.  No matter what, she always made sure that I was surrounded by friends and that we were all entertained and having a great time.  Some highlights that I can still picture vividly... (5 yrs old) crying hysterically when a Strawberry Shortcake clown came walking up the driveway as birthday party surprise. I loved Strawberry Shortcake, but the clown freaked me out... (8 yrs old) Fame City/Funplex party- think roller skating, ski ball, putt putt, and go carts... (13 yrs old) bowling alley party- complete with teenybopper music and disco lighting... (18 yrs old) Magic Island Dinner party- fancy dresses and heels and a vegas-style magic show.  I think it was the first time I valeted my car, and I felt like a movie star...  Anyways, you get the idea, I love birthdays, and I love the birthday build-up.  In my house, my birthday usually started in July when I would say phrases like... "It's allllllmost my birthday month... are you so excited?!"  Which would lead to... "But I think I should be able to ride in the front seat because it's my birthday week."  At which point I would become practically invincible for the entire month of August because... "Hey! I just turned (fill in the blank)!"

Even years after I've left my mom's house, it's still ingrained in me to see my birthday as a vivacious celebration of friendship and life! So needless to say, I was feeling pretty down about being in this new city and not really having any friends here to ring in the new year with me.

All that being said, I was forced to realize that proximity does not have to dictate the degree of celebration...  Obviously there was a long list of people who I desperately wanted to see last Tuesday-- people I wanted to hug, people I wanted laugh with, people I wanted to sit around with and talk about how much we love Teresa from NJ Housewives, people I wanted to pray with and hear about what God is teaching them right now, people I wanted to go to Walmart with in the middle of the night, people I wanted to sit around and do nothing with, the list goes on and on...  I didn't get those wishes for my birthday, but what I did get was time to reflect, and time to appreciate how truly rich my friendships are.  Although we weren't all together partyting in the same room... or the same state for that matter, I still felt "surrounded" by amazing friends and amazing friendships.  And the fact that I am missing so many people is not reason to be disheartened, but rather it is the very thing that I celebrated this year! It's sad to be so far away from people that you care about, but it is a blessing to know that over the years I have crossed paths with so many wonderful people who have enriched my life tremendously.

So although I could fill an encyclopedia with the names of people that I love, I'm going to try to quickly give thanks to some friends who have specifically helped me a great deal these past few weeks as I've transitioned into this new phase of my life, and who serve as a constant reminder that distance is irrelevant in the arena of friendship.  (In alphabetical order):

Cimbak- For asking me out on a phone date!  ;)
Craig- For leaving messages asking for tickets to my show.  Thanks for believing in me and thanks for getting me here!  
Edith- For giving me something to look forward to in October!!
Groover- For keeping me in the loop about Colt Camp and the evolution of NC spirit by copying me on the all-staff emails!
Kat- For giving me something to look forward to in September!!
Kate- For tornadoing through NYC for just 24 hours but still creating the best weekend I've had here to date!
Katie- For being here to welcome me to the city on my first day.  And for commenting on my blogs!
Michelle- For your impending visit!  And for speaking words of encouragement and peace to me when I needed it. 
Pears- For initiating a standing weekly phone appointment.  And orchestrating a Labor Day reunionapalooza!
Tyler- For being there for me when I was down, and being so positive and supportive about everything(.) And for the random texts!

And just a huge thank you for ALL of my friends, for being in my life and making me a better person.  So wherever you are, find the closest thing to drink and raise it for a toast.  I'm serious.  Do this now.  And here's to 27 SPECTACULAR years! Celebrating life and love and everything else in between! Prost!

P.S. In case you were wondering, or in case I made it sound as such, I did not spend my entire birthday just sitting in my room reflecting.  :) About 20 dancers from my program came out to help me celebrate, and we had a "smashing" time.  One of the native New Yorkers recommended a spot called 123 Burgers Shots Beers-- creatively named after their $1 burgers, $2 shots, and $3 beers.  We didn't get too crazy, as we all had dance the next day, and some of them still had more classes that same night, but we all had a really great time and it was a fantastic birthday!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

I'm Legit!

It didn't take long, but I think it is safe to say I am officially an uppity New Yorker.  Here are my top 10 reasons why I think I'm legit:

1. Someone on the subway asked me which stop to get off.

2. Someone on the street asked me which direction was 42nd Street.  (Now granted, we were both on 45th Street... and I had just come from 42nd Street... but it still counts!)

3. I used the intercom to answer the door and 'buzz' someone into my apartment building.   

4. I bought my fruits on the side of the road.

5. I got my herr done at a Dominican shop where no one spoke English.  And it was only 20 bucks!

6. I ate 1/2 a pizza in Brooklyn, then walked across the Brooklyn bridge.

7. I accidentally fell asleep on the subway, but miraculously woke up just as the train pulled into my stop!

8. I went grocery shopping in Harlem... by myself.

9. I got annoyed when 2 people were walking too slowly in front of me. 

10. I giggle a little inside everytime I see people with fold out maps, brochures, and fanny packs.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

And 5-6-7-8...

I took my first dance class on Friday.  Our orientation doesn't officially start until Monday, but I was getting nervous since I didn't dance all summer.  I took a ballet class, and it was incredible.  In Houston, when you take "Adult Classes", they basically assume that you are just there because you used to love dancing and you just want to stay in shape.  There's not really a lot of emphasis on you actually growing as an individual.  I guess they just assume that you aren't there to get a ton of corrections, you just want to sweat for an hour and a half, then be on your way.

This class that I took on Friday reminded me of what it was like when I used to dance as a teenager.  At first I was terrified because my teacher's mind tended to wander a lot, so she was a bit hard to follow.  For the first few exercsises, she would quickly rattle off the steps to a combination (without showing it to us): "Tendu 1, close 2, tendue 3, close 4, degage 5, and-a-6, posse 7, close 8. Same thing, en croix, front, side, back, side... then cambre forward, cambre backward... releve balance, and hold..."  And then mid-sentence she'd get distracted and give an elaborate analogy about some part of the body.  But then instead of returning to her instructions for the exercise, she'd just say, "Ok, and here we go, 5-6-7-8."  And all of a sudden we were supposed to recall the rapid instructions she had given 5 minutes ago!  Nevertheless, I eventually caught on to her style, and I began to thoroughly appreciate her side conversations, as they gave my muscles a chance to recover and my brain a chance to process.  

Anyways, what I most loved about her, was her commitment to correcting us and actually helping us to grow as dancers.  During each exercise, she'd walk around giving each student individual feedback: pushing down on our shoulders, rotating our hips, pulling at our legs, etc.  By the end of class she was addressing me by name, or sometimes affectionately calling me "The Southerner."  At one point, I apparently was trying to force my rotation from my knees rather than my hip socket, so she had the whole class lie on the floor, touching our hip bones, and identifying our "true rotations."  :) She was a wonderful teacher, and I'll hopefully be taking her class regularly.

As far as the actual program goes, we start orientation week on Monday which will include a self-defense class to help us feel more comfortable in the city, an alignment class to teach us proper technique to avoid injuries, and a placement test to see what level classes we should be taking.  In addition to those mandatory classes for week one, we're also expected to take dance classes of various genres so we can start to decide on a concentration.  For all the remaining weeks of the program we'll be required to take 12 dance classes a week: 2 ballet, 5 in our concentration, 3 diversity, and 2 electives.  My concentration will most likely be jazz/contemporary, so my diversity and electives classes will probably include a mix of hip hop, theatre jazz, vocal, and yoga.  There are 5 other American students in the Training Program with me (four seen in the picture) and on Monday we'll be introduced to about 40 international students doing a similar program with us. 

I'm super excited to start training!  I keep trying to figure out what my end goal for all of this is, but I really don't have any idea.  Honestly, I just love dancing and I want to get better at it.  That doesn't have to mean dancing on Broadway or So You Think You Can Dance; I'm just excited to develop my craft.  Besides, I think my true calling might be simpler than I think: it involves body paint and a milk crate... 

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Unemployment Line

Everytime I told people that I was moving to New York, the response was usually the same: "Woah! How cool!  That's awesome!!" (long pause) "So... how are you going to... do you... have... money?"  In my head, it seemed simple.  I would just move up there and get a service industry job like everyone else.  I waited tables in high school, and I remember bringing home a ton of money.  It didn't occur to me that I was IN high school... still living with my mom, eating her homecooked meals, and not a single bill in my name. Well on Tuesday, reality finally set in.  I did the whole rent (plus) iPhone (plus) metro card (plus) laundromat (plus) groceries (minus) anything remotely fun, and realized I am now officially a starving artist... well technically just starving; I don't know if I get the title 'artist' yet. 

Anyways, Barbic is going to be cutting me off in about 15 days, so the job search is on.  I spent all day Wednesday stopping in restaurants and asking for applications.  My strategy is to stay in the Time Sqaure district because those restaurants are most likely going to be crowded all day long, any day of the week.  Full tables =  full pockets.  I was pretty caught off guard when some of the managers told me that they don't have applications, but I could drop my resume off with them.  What?!?! Since when do you need a resume to carry plates?  Nevertheless, I whipped up a restaurant-friendly resume and printed it at Kinko's the next day.  So far the list includes: Planet Hollywood, Olive Garden, Tony's, The Brooklyn Diner, Dallas BBQ, Dave n Busters, Bond 45, World Terrace Club, La Bonne Bouffe, a catering company, a volunteer coordinator at church, a marketing firm position, a SAT tutor, a cupcake 'rockstar' (direct quote), a designer sunglass model, a bike messenger... do I really need to continue?

I know it will all work out!  I'm excited to see what I end up with!

Prayer Request: That I find a job that's flexible and lucrative enough to allow me to: 1) prioritize my dance classes, 2) keep me off the subways late at night, 3) hang out with friends that visit on weekends, and 4) cover my basic expenses with a little extra to actually explore and enjoy this new city. 

I'm Alive!

Sorry for the delay, but I am alive and well in New York City!  After an all-night packing marathon on Sunday night, a missed flight on Monday morning, and a 9-hour standby in Hobby Airport, I finally arrived to La Guardia Airport at 11:30pm.  My brother met me at the airport and we took a taxi to my new apartment.  Grace, one of my new roommates was still up, so she showed me to my room.  We talked for a little bit before we went to bed, so she was able to give the quick breakdown on the subways, grocery stores, and neighborhoods.  She seems really nice and laid-back.  From our quick chat I was able to gather that she's a musical theater dancer, but right now the industry is kinda slow, so on the side she teaches some kind of pilates or yoga class.  She had to wake up extra early the morning before because Kelly Ripa wanted to be in the studio to take her class at 6am...  Crazy!

Anyways, my other roommate, Katie, is out of the state right now visiting her family.  Her friend (can't remember his name) is staying in her room.  He's straight from Germany, and he's about to go to school at UNC, but he decided to stop in NY for two weeks on the way.  He's really nice, and since neither of us have jobs or responsibilities yet, we usually sit in the living room together each morning and talk about what we explored in the city the day before.  Apparently there are a lot of free concerts and shows all over New York.  He swears that the Black Eyed Peas are giving a free show in Central Park on Friday night, so I guess we'll see. 

I've attached the obligatory Times Square pictures so you know that I'm really in NYC and not just sitting on my mom's couch in Missouri City. I also attached pictures of my apartment.  It's actually really wonderful, and I'm surprised at how inexpensive it is for its size.  Every wall is painted a different color, which I love!! I tried that with my room in college, but these girls nailed it.  The apartment is just south of Washington Heights which is known primarily for its Dominican population.  I'm actually just a few blocks from "Boricua College"... true story! Ironically enough, my building in on Broadway.  It takes me 3 minutes to walk to the subway station, and it's about a 25 minute, straight-shot ride into Time Square- not bad at all.  


Nevertheless, I miss you guys, and each of you pop into my head at different times throughout the day.  I'm usually TERRIBLE at keeping up long-distance friendships, but I am committed to fixing that this year.  I'll try to keep these posts super short so you can quickly see what I'm up to and not forget about me. :)  And I'll continue to stalk all of you via Facebook status updates, so keep them fresh!  I can't wait for you all to visit; there are so many things to explore!