First Blogiversary

The older I get, the more I look for markers of the passage of time. When you’re in school, the rhythm of the academic calendar provides you with important dates and milestones, but when you’ve finished college and are working, you have to come up with those markers on your own. I think these are very personal for people – birthdays, wedding anniversaries, etc. For me, in July I often think of the summer program I did in high school where I met one of my best friends – we’ve now known each other for nine years. In late August and early September, I think about moving to New York and starting my job. And now, in early September, I think about when I started writing this blog, just about one year (and exactly one hundred posts) ago.


I’d thought about starting it for months. I had a few blog post ideas and sample posts written, but it wasn’t until I sat in Washington Square Park and wrote about the end of summer that I was ready to start sharing my writing with the internet. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I started the blog in September. After seventeen years of school, it doesn’t matter that I’ve been out of school for years now – September still feels very much like a fresh start. I’m already thinking of what new project I should begin, now that summer’s almost over.

A year is a long time. I’ve learned how to be more disciplined so that turning out two posts every week doesn’t sound daunting, but I’m still learning how to craft the posts to make them more interesting. I’m still trying to make taking photos a regular part of my life so that I’ll always have something to illustrate a post. I’ve shared a lot of stories and outings, but I want to write better, to really take you with me when I walk through a park in Brooklyn or sit in a café in Manhattan or take a train along the Hudson.


A New York blog I follow called Tracy’s New York Life recently did a post on one hundred and one things she’s done or that have happened to her since moving to New York. I’ve done a number of the things on her list, and many more, since I moved to this city four years ago. I’ve written blogs posts about a lot of them. I want to keep pushing myself to explore and to take every opportunity I’m offered, because here’s the thing: New York is special. At any given time, the number of things I could be doing here is infinite. I don’t want my life to be ruled by a fear of missing out, because as I’ve said, sometimes you just need a quiet night at home. But taking advantage of things you can do or see only in New York is just smart when you live here.


So. A hundred posts in a year. The word document where I write these posts is nearing 50,000 words – I’m sure no one is surprised to learn I’m verbose. Thank you to those of you who have been reading since the beginning, and thanks to everyone who has joined along the way. Thanks to all the people I know in real life, and thanks to those of you (still small in number, I believe) who have come across my blog on Tumblr or the Toast or elsewhere and started following it. It’s a lot easier to get myself in front of the keyboard each week knowing there are people out there reading this!

There’s a couple of polls below, to give me a better picture of who you are and how you’re reading this. But please, if you’ve been lurking, take this as an opportunity to come out of hiding! Post a comment and tell me what you’ve enjoyed reading, and what you’d like more of. If there’s a place in New York you especially love or you’ve always wanted to go, tell me about it! I’d love to check it out and write about it.



Lazy writing, or, forgetting the details

Sometimes I write these posts in a bit of a hurry. Life is busy, time gets away from me, and it’s the night I’m supposed to post and I have nothing written yet. When I first started the blog (almost a year ago!), I had a few entries in the bank, which was an excellent plan. I also had a list of topics I might someday write about. The bank is now empty, and while there are a few items still on the list, mostly I come up with new topics on the spot. Often, now, they’re timely: I write about something I just did or just heard about.

But when rushing to get something written, sometimes I summarize instead of really taking time to show what an experience was like. So, without further ado, five details that got left out of recent blog posts!
1.       The Empire State Building. On my recent trip up the Empire State Building, I found that while we didn’t stand around waiting in line for very long, it did take some time to get to the top. This was partly because, in order to accommodate the lines that are usually there, there are some hallways you have to walk through. Some of these hallways have rope barricades that zigzag back and forth. These are surely very practical when there are a bunch of people, but for us they were like low hurdles: after zigzagging a couple times, we just started hopping over them. On the way out, we had almost made it the elevators when someone told us we couldn’t go that way – and pointed us to the gift shop instead. Of course. They did have a pretty neat 4D puzzle of NYC there, though!
2.       Summer Streets. (Coming up this Saturday, 8/9, and next, 8/16) When I went to Summer Streets a couple years ago, my roommate ended up on rollerblades because the bike line was too long. What I didn’t mention was how we procured those rollerblades. Around Astor Place, she hopped on the subway to make her way up to 42nd where we thought there was a skate rental. I biked up to meet her there and along the way happened upon the skate rental, somewhere in the 30s. I guessed (wrongly) at her rollerblade size, checked out a pair, hung them over my handlebars, and met her up at 42nd. It’d been years since she rollerbladed, but she gamely put on the too-large blades and whizzed down the dark Park Ave tunnel ramp at Grand Central – and didn’t get hurt!
3.       Freestyle Love Supreme. Early on in the show, the beatboxer set up the beat in an unusual way. While beatboxing, he started miming out… something. What he was doing, we couldn’t quite tell. At one point he seemed to be pulling a heart out of a body (or maybe he was putting one in?), and then a helicopter came by, and then he seemed to have a soundboard that he was messing with. I honestly have no idea what was supposed to be happening, but the noises and gestures he was making were funny, so we all laughed, despite being confused.
4.       King Lear in Central Park. Lear’s fool was wonderful. He was so angry when Cordelia was sent away, and he chastises the king but also supports him. There was so much thought behind every line of his and every action, and my heart broke a little for him, watching him watch his king fall apart. The show runs till August 17, so if tragedy is up your alley, check it out!
5.       Getting lost in NYC. Easiest way to get lost: Let someone else navigate. If I’ve decided that I’m not making the directional decisions and I stop paying attention to where I am, it’s a lot easier for me to get turned around. I once walked around Prospect Park with a friend, before I’d spent much time there, and when we found ourselves back where we’d started I realized my sense of direction had utterly failed me – but I still had a lovely walk.

Going forward I hope to be a little less lazy and a little more detail-oriented with these posts, but I’m making no promises! Any posts or stories you’d like a few more details about?