Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Is NYC My Perfect Match?


Woah! It’s been an absolute whirlwind of a first week. Now that it’s Tuesday, a week and a day into my internship at Brides, I think I’m (maybe!) beginning to find my way in the grand, confusing and absolutely thrilling city of New York. Somehow, with the help of my iPhone, Google maps and the kindness of sidewalk strangers (a special thanks to the man who, on my first day and during the chaos of rush hour and a serious rainstorm, stopped moving lanes of traffic, hailed me a cab and waited with the taxi’s door held open until I was safely inside), I find the glittering lights of Times Square each morning.

I’ve made it to the 8th floor of the Condé Nast building for seven days straight, but I’d be lying to call myself a natural New Yorker just yet. This, unfortunately, is no secret. In fact, I’m certain the line of suited bankers at the salad shop on 42nd Street can tell the thought of eating a meal solo and in silence seems crazy to me. And, after lunch, when I return to the beautiful white spectacle known as the Brides office, I’m positive the handful of perfectly dressed New Yorkers inside the elevator—and even the tourists seeing Times Square for the first time—recognize that I’m not from around here. I sure can’t hail a cab in that flawless New York way, and, when I try to balance in the subway car while wearing wedges, my feet wobble and my heart races with every bump on the track. I wish such talents came naturally, and I’m sure to envy how effortless some make life in the city look all summer long, probably multiple times an hour. But, right now, for my own sanity, I’m deciding that it’s OK to not breeze through summer trying to fit an accepted stereotype or blend in with a sea of black. After all, that’s the wonderful thing about this moving mecca of go-getters: it’s OK to be different. In fact, it’s encouraged.

So, right now, after about a week in the business world, this place seems to be the most confusing city in the universe. But, at the same time, many say it’s the city of dreams, and I can’t help but agree. It’s every bit foreign, but that’s what makes it beautiful. I’ve had a few days to adjust and, now, more than ever, I think the network of trains moving uptown and downtown, the art of hailing a cab and the finances of Wall Street might forever be unfamiliar subjects. Just last week, I came to this city thinking it was my perfect match, certain I’d mesh flawlessly with the skyscrapers, yellow taxicabs and crowds of people. I was wrong. Our first week together has been far from perfect. It’s not fun feeling lost in a sea of windowed towers or running to the subway in the rain, but I’m not giving up just yet. Sure, my romantic view of life in the city might fade as the temperatures rise, but, for now, I’m OK with the obstacles, surprises and masses thrown my way.  After all, I’m here to work in magazines. And that’s a love I know this city can’t break. 

By Anna Price Olson, The University of Alabama, Brides

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