Because I'm such a type A personality, I tend to live my life through a planner, organized schedules and my weekly routines. So the best way to describe my favorite moments thus far in this beautifully inspiring city is through a top ten list.
1) Going to Coney Island/Brighton Beach: Although I am completely obsessed with the hustle of the city streets and the never-ending activities available at any time of the day, I am still, at heart, an ocean, sun and sand gal. Visiting Coney Island and witnessing the wonderfully corny hot dog eating contest -- plus seeing a extremely tiny woman throw down over forty dogs -- is a memory I definitely won't be forgetting in the future.
2) Hanging out at Governor's Island: When my parents came to New York, I wanted to show them around and prove that I had finally made myself at home here. I decided to take them to Governor's Island, and they absolutely adored it. From the giant, unique and whimsical sculptures to the punk rock festival, which my Mom jammed out to, it was a blast. Bonus: I got some really adorable pictures.
3) Exploring Central Park: Okay, okay, so I've been there before, but it's so different now that I actually live here. From having lovely picnic to watching the joggers in full force to seeing the sun set on top of a giant rock, there's never a shortage of things to do (for free) on any given day.
4) The whole being-21-in-the-best-city-ever thing: Back in Philly, I work at a club both Friday and Saturday nights, so I haven't fully enjoyed legally being able to drink yet. Luckily in New York there are bars every place you could imagine. I've been to dive bars, bars I can't afford and bars that are so packed I'm lucky if I don't come out drenched in someone's $3 margarita. It's kind of nice to see what I have (and haven't) been missing.
5) Simply walking - or running if I have the energy: I could get lost in a sea of beautiful stores, restaurants, parks and more just on my way to the gym. Every street corner I turn there's something new and exciting. I love just checking out the menus of tiny little places or peeking into a store I've never heard of before. When I get sent on errands for work, I would much rather walk than take public transportation just to get a new view of the city. Sure, Philly has its perks, but it's nothing compared to the beautiful maze that is New York.
6) Running errands for Lucy: This may sound crazy, but I get kind of a high from running little errands for SELF's one-of-a-kind Editor in Chief. When her assistant hands me her credit card and tells me to run off to pick up a few gifts Lucy wants to give her friend or head over to her lawyer's office to drop something off, I get excited. She may not know who is doing the little tasks she is too busy for, but I make sure I do them quickly and perfectly. And I finally know just the right amount of skim milk she likes in her Venti Red Eye from Starbucks.
7) Writing!: I was hoping, and by hoping I mean desperately wishing, for a chance to write anything for SELF. So when I got the opportunity to write three different blogs, I couldn't believe my own words would be on my favorite magazine's website. Plus, my supervisor had be rewrite an entire feature for the happiness section from another freelance writer. Being handed that kind of awesome responsibility put just the right amount of pressure on me to strive to become a better skilled writer, and I cherished every second of the process.
8) Seeing the Sex and the City stoop: Judge me all you want, I am a ridiculous fan of the show. I was thirteen when I realized that I needed Carrie Bradshaw's life -- living in New York, writing and buying fabulous clothes (okay, so that part isn't so realistic, but you get the point). Actually being outside of the apartment I constantly saw on T.V. was surreal. I kind of felt like I actually made it. I was right where the show that made me fall in love with this city was filmed, and it felt great.
9) My beautiful, smart, genuine roomies: I seriously could go on and on about these girls. I was terrified that I would not get along with my roommates, so I was quite surprised when we clicked immediately. Michelle is the most witty, intelligent, kind and adventurous girl I have ever met. Reading something she has written is so inspiring and just watching her bounce all around the city without any hesitation is amazing. And Becky, probably the first girl I've ever met from the South, is like our room's official organizer. She has her stuff together all of the time, but she still manages to be incredibly understanding and easy to talk to. You just know when you meet her that she has that really rare decent heart that is open to almost anybody. And then you have Taylor whose laugh really, truly is contagious. The fact that she's always laughing makes her so much fun to be around and to top it off, she is really compassionate and deep and someone who you can always learn something new from. So I'll stop being all mushy, but I really am going to miss these women terribly when I'm gone.
10) I think I'm going to leave this one open. Although the hard realization that this process is already half way over has hit me, I can't imagine that I won't have at least ten unforgettable experiences to come.
-- Cary Carr