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It's Been Waiting for You

One month in New York and I am so in love. I’m for sure in my “romanticizing the city” phase so I’ll give you the take through my oversized, rose-colored glasses today.

I live on the Upper East Side and it’s fascinating to me that I originally fell in love with New York staying majorly in Midtown all of these years. Compared to the hustle and bustle of Midtown, my neighborhood is, dare I say, calm and quiet. It’s filled with families hustling their children in suits and ties, and pleated skirts and knee high socks, to school in the mornings. In the evenings, people spill in and out of restaurants of every cuisine, quaint coffee shops and expensive bars.

My ten minute walk to Central Park takes me by luxury pre-war apartment buildings and brownstones, where I’m acutely aware of the financial differences separating me and my 4th floor walk up from my neighbors. No hate though because I’m obsessed with my apartment. It’s got just enough space and windows that look out into garden areas behind the building, providing quiet peace from the city blaring all around. Plus, I just view the flights as stairs as the solution to all the pizza I’ve been eating.

New traditions and habits are small, but starting. My morning walk to the beach has been replaced by a morning walk to Central Park (pinch me). My breakfast consists of fresh sourdough bread that my roommate and I buy and share from the bakery a few doors down. Wednesday nights we crowd into Ed’s Elbow Room Bar on our block for trivia, where the name denotes the space given. At least once a week, my roommate and I make our dinner and eat it sprawled out on a lawn in Central Park, sometimes with a bottle of wine. And let me tell you, sitting in Central Park, with a little wine buzz, watching the sky change colors over the high rises that gradually light up the sky, feels like a scene out of a movie.

Other first month memories include searching for the best bagel sandwich (still looking and open to recommendations), walks to Pier 17 to admire the Brooklyn Bridge during lunch at the office, devouring Joe's Pizza (my favorite so far) as couches are being assembled from scratch, walking almost the entire length of the city from my house to downtown in the name of exploration, visiting Trinity Church and Alexander Hamilton's grave (history is happenin in Manhattan and we just happen to be in the greatest city in the wwooorrlddd), getting on the wrong subway, carrying home a high top table and barstools left on the curb down the street for a cheap dining table alternative and trips to Chip City and Levain bakery for late night cookies.

It might be surprising to hear, but I have found people to be kind here. New Yorkers always have a purpose they’re hurtling towards and maybe that’s where they get their rap from, but for the most part, if you know what you’re doing, and not costing them too many extra minutes in their day, they’re happy to offer a greeting or a quick conversation about the fall weather arriving (everyone here is as obsessed with fall as I am, which makes it an absolute party).

In a more real, raw, moment I’ll also offer you some other stories of the past month. The first week moving in was a hellish level of hot and humid. The flights of stairs made carrying up luggage, boxes, a couch and multiple mattresses (thank you Walmart for sending me the wrong size) almost unbearable at times.

The experience of starting an hour-long commute after a full day at work with delayed trains, standing on a platform that’s been baking underground all day, along with all the smells that come with it - can almost put me over the edge. Especially when the subway finally arrives and I feel lucky enough to find a seat, only to sit down and realize it’s wet and I don’t even want to know from what, so as soon as I get home I strip down and step directly into the shower.

Or the fact that a rat sighting at night is a common occurrence- In fact, groups of them, rivaling Remi’s rat pack in Ratatouille, scamper back and forth in the shadows and sometimes right across your path - my rose-colored glasses have found them “cute” so far.

As for me right now though, it all seems a small price to pay. It is my belief New York City demands the respect that you put up with her flaws because of the pure ecstasy of getting to call a small part of her home. It’s not an easy life, but it is a life bursting at the seams with every emotion and experience, right at your fingertips. To me, it’s a decade long dream coming true everyday.

Most of my morning walks take me past Bethesda Fountain. I’ve done some googling on it and discovered it was constructed during the Civil War. The fountain, and the angel perched on top, depicts the story of the healing pool of Bethesda from the Book of John in the bible. It is written that people with infirmities and illnesses would wait by the pool and the angel would come down, stir the waters and the first person in would be healed instantly. The bigger picture in the story is that Jesus is the ultimate healer- and to me - watching the water pour out from the bronze casted angel in the early mornings of central park is, I believe, His way of healing my soul bit by bit everyday.

Today I know I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. In my little New York apartment, four stories up, overlooking trees and gardens below and the brick-built, fire escape lined buildings across the way, enjoying my nutella toast, rose-colored glasses and all.

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