current song: rewind x the undercover dream lovers
candle scent: vanilla
drink of choice: hot chocolate
welcome back beauties!!!
i have so much to share! first and foremost… can we all just take a second to marvel at how gorgeous the timing of the universe is? i mean, when you simply let go and fall into the flow of it… it’s pretty crazy to see what events unfold. i bring this up because i’ve been on the job hunt for well, the past month or so since i’ve been in new york. for the last year, i have been determined to get my foot in the door with bartending. considering my years of serving experience, i figured it doable, especially since my last two jobs were planning to train me in the bar until i spouted the news of my impending out-of-state move… story of my life. there was one Indeed ad in particular that jumped out at me: a quaint little inn located downtown, searching for an experienced server who was keen on the idea of being trained as a bartender… h-e-l-l-o, sign me up. what a god-sent. did they write this specifically for me or what?
i immediately submitted my resume. waited a few days… then a few more. no call back. i decided to go in and try to dazzle the hiring manager face-to-face — she wasn’t in. at this point, i had to look at other options. i’d been taking my sweet time trying to land the perfect job but it was clear the odds for bartending weren’t in my favor, so i moved on. i landed two interviews that same day, one for a pretty sweet italian restaurant and the other for a super popular local brewery. i had the job for the brewery if i wanted it, but i was going to wait and see what the italian place was all about. my interview was scheduled for the following wednesday, which happened to land on july 4th. not even thinking about how many places were closed for the holiday, i showed up only to discover locked doors and assumed that there had been some type of miscommunication — i would call and reschedule.
but the following day i was traveling a short three hours (finally!!!) to NYC. in the midst of all the ooh’s and aah’s, calling slipped my mind. as i stood in the middle of Times Square, my phone started to buzz. it was an unknown number with a NY area code. i quickly prepared my oh shit i was totally going to call speech, but it got cut short when i realized that instead of it being Bellini’s, it was the quaint little inn! completely surprised, i listened to the lady go on and on about how sorry she was for taking so long to get back to me, how she was very impressed with my experience and resume and hoped, hoped, hoped that i was still interested in working there. she went into the job description, explaining that i would not only be trained as a bartender, but that with horse racing season upon us, i would also be the head cocktail waitress and get first pick of the best shifts… i mean, what sweet, sweet timing baby. had the italian restaurant been open on the 4th, i probably would have walked out of there accepting a job offer and been totally bummed the next day receiving that phone call. granted, i could have told them i changed my mind, but i probably wouldn’t have, because ya know, manners.
anyway, i meet with the lady tomorrow and i’m just so stoked. i get to start training as a bartender right away instead of having to serve first and work my way up like i was anticipating having to do, and i also get all of these perks along with it. and it’s perfect, perfect timing, because race season begins next week and downtown Saratoga Springs gets slammed with business once all the jockeys and fans roll in – it’s a huuuuge deal here. maybe it’s coincidental…or maybe it’s proof of just how well the universe provides if you focus on what you really want and put it out there.
that being said… NEW YORK CITY!!! anyone who has never actually been has this picture painted in their head of what they imagine it to be, ideas stitched together from the help of movies and shows like Sex and the City, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Friends, Gossip Girl, and the likes. it’s this magical world that you’re not really convinced exists until you physically get to experience it firsthand. but as soon as the train delivers you into Penn Station and you climb those stairs up to the street, your body gets enveloped in the energy of the city and you suddenly feel as if you’re instantly apart of it and can be anybody and do anything. sounds real cheesy, right? just wait till you get there.
the way to spot a New Yorker? earbuds in, head down, beelining around all the taxi’s and tourists. they’re immune to the hustle and bustle of the city, easily distinguished from the wide eyes and tightly clenched hands around maps. i read something, somewhere that the entire city is built on an enormous hunk of quartz, and that’s why the energy of it is so unparalleled to anything you might be familiar with. not sure if it’s true, but it would certainly be a rad explanation for the behavior of the locals (besides caffeine and cocaine).
unabashed, i accepted my very evident tourist vibe and tackled all the top attractions: Madison Square Garden, Empire State Building, Times Square, Central Park.
i mean… you know that New York City is huge. but seeing it from the 82nd floor of the Empire State Building is a triiiiiip. it’s 360 views of nothing but sky scrapers. you can spot all the monumental landmarks and it’s pretty exceptional, you don’t think it’s ever going to end, just buildings on buildings on buildings. and when you get down on the ground and start trekking around… oh lawd, prepare your feet for a hurt you never thought was possible (i wore sandals, what i was thinking, i couldn’t tell you). my roommate’s fit bit said we walked a little over 25,000 steps in the 9 hours we were there. the only place i can even remotely compare it to is Tokyo and that’s one of the largest cities in the entire world (i’ll save my Japan adventures for another post).
and Times Square is well… probably just what you picture it to be. tons of ads, stores, people, sculptures, hot dog and pizza stands on the corner, pissed off cab drivers, animated street performers, overly confident showgirls walking around in nothing but their panties and heels with their bodies painted red, white, and blue (if that isn’t patriotic, i’m not sure what is), you name it, and i guarantee you’ll find it.
but oh…. Central Park. what a dream. hands down my favorite part of the day (what a shocker, me finding the most beauty of the Big Apple in its urban oasis). we walked maybe a third of it and in it i saw the vibrancy and diversity of the people who make the city what it is. don’t get me wrong, the park itself is without a doubt b-r-e-a-t-h-taking: spidering tree branches, lakes, ponds, statues, gardens, wildlife, open fields, venues — it’s like walking through a piece of art. but the people you see. there’s a section in the middle of the park literally deemed the Central Park Mall; it’s this beautiful walkway where on either side of you there are rollerbladers, bikers, and vendors of all ethnicities scattered about the perpetual row of benches, artists jamming out and freely painting, models partaking in photoshoots, street performers playing instruments, singing, dancing, doing tricks with their pet snakes wrapped around their bodies, and gathering crowds for a bubble show. what i adored most was that they all seemed so light and free and happy, like they woke up that morning and thought eh, what the hell it’s a beautiful day, let’s go do a gig in the park. simply doing what they loved to do, for whomever happened to be there at the moment, just content to be expressing themselves in the Land of Liberty. at the end of the path, you run into the Bethesda Terrace, which is this stunning piece of architecture filled with gold etched murals, grand staircases, and perfect archways that lead to the infamous Bethesda Fountain and a lake where turtles and canoes share the ripples. the simple fact that a gem like this exists smack-dab in the middle of hundreds of skyscrapers is well, quite incredible.
even though i feel like i got to see so much while i was there, there are still countless things i want to experience: Broadway shows, Wall Street, the Upper East Side, the Statue of Liberty, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the 9/11 Memorial… there’s no possible way you could do everything you wanted in one day, one week, hell, probably not even one month.
after the evening nuts-to-butts stroll through Times Square all lit up, our feet were toast. we headed back to Penn Station, dodging crazies and diving through the chaotic subway crowds. and the night cap? sitting on the absolute last seat of the cart with Kat, hearing the train clank, squeak, and just about fall off the tracks while a very vocal man sang his poetry up and down the aisle, offering his hat as a tip jar in exchange for his heartfelt words. #NYC
if you take one thing from this post, let it be this: add New York City to your bucket list of places to see before you die, even if you think it’s overrated. yes, it’s crowded, and loud, and i won’t lie to you, pretty fucking smelly at times, but despite all that, it really is remarkable. if you’re not bummed about missing it, well… i’m bummed for you.
until next time, lots of love,