Archive for September, 2010

  1. Of course New York is better if you’re a local because of all the secret (or non) communication that I mentioned yesterday. BUT if you’re not a local, all you have to do is ask. The vast majority of the time if you ask, you’ll be helped. With a smile – really!
  2. New Yorkers actually like to talk to you. If you are brave enough to ask a stranger a question, you often can’t shut them up.
  3. Don’t be scared, even in skeezy parts. If you’re scared, it’s hard to hide it. Look relaxed and confident and everyone will leave you alone. I saw some scared tourists on the subway and it’s just so obvious, I felt bad for them.
  4. New York has the very best shopping in the world – yes, better than London. No, I didn’t shop more today, although I wanted to. It was so awesome to see stores open – real, full fledged stores – at 7:30 this morning. And they stay open late too! (I really, really wanted to go to Tiffany’s. They just introduced a new handbag collection and you know those are my two of my biggest weaknesses: handbags and little blue boxes from Tiffany’s. But I didn’t let myself go. What does an unemployed girl living out of her car need with a Tiffany’s handbag???)
  5. Don’t be afraid to wear your non-New York team apparel. Just be ready for some friendly banter with the enemy!
  6. It may not be London, but you really shouldn’t leave home without an umbrella. I was practically soaked to the bone in a downpour trying to get to my meeting this morning!
  7. Every where I look, it’s a picture. New York is so incredibly photogenic – and of course, I left my camera at the hotel today!

It was actually ok that I left the camera because I was in an office the entire day. Today was the first day of my job search. I had an orientation session and meeting with my job coach, then used their research library. Waking up at 6 am, getting dressed in work attire, joining the rush hour bus and subway crowds, I simply wasn’t looking forward to it. But it was great. Once I was there and focused on it, I was excited by the prospect of throwing myself back in the working world – as long as it’s in a role that I’m truly passionate about.  I think my cousin is right: once a workaholic, always a workaholic. It really is in our blood!

So this is another thing to work into my daily road trip agenda: the job search, research, networking, professional development, interviews – luckily a lot of it can be done online and via phone, although I’ll have to do some face-to-face.  My dream would be to find the right job, in the right place, that I could start in January. Of course, I have to figure out what that right job is and where the right place is, but hopefully the research and the road trip will help me figure all that out…

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It was a very nice day in New York. I joined Jamie, her parents and friend and we spent the day in typical New York fashion: window shopping, eating, taking a walk in the park and visiting a museum. I, of course, couldn’t put my camera down and tried to catch a bit of New York life on film. I love playing tourist. It was a very nice distraction to keep me from thinking about how I wasn’t with my son on his 19th birthday. (At least we spoke, he seemed to be having a good birthday, wrote a sweet message on my facebook wall and I’ll see him very soon!)

There are unlimited neighborhoods to explore in this city, all with their own unique feel. But there’s also the distinct, charged ‘New York’ air that flows through and connects it all. You feel it everywhere you go, from the World Trade Center site, through Midtown to the Upper East side. We wandered a few neighborhoods, had a great lunch (there are unlimited little restaurants to sample), then made our way into Central Park. It reminded me so much of London and all of our fabulous green spaces there, especially Hyde Park. From the families picnicking on the lawn, the kids rolling down the hill and the couples strolling hand in hand to the teens dancing by the fountain where so many movies have been filmed. It’s a gathering place for everyone.

We made our way to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It’s a great place not only to look at art, but to people watch. We were lucky to discover the Big Bambu exhibit on the rooftop. It is an incredible structure that you can even walk on (if you take the guided tour, of course). And the view of the city is beautiful.

After some afternoon tea and cocktails, it was time to go – we all had planes to catch or hotels to switch. I was sad to part ways with everyone, but also looked forward to crashing into bed after the crazy, nonstop week. I think I need a weekend to recover! Only, with this road trip, I hardly know what a weekday or weekend is anymore. I’m lucky I know it’s Day 18!

So am I loving or hating New York? I’m in like right now, but we know that could change…

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I have a love/hate relationship with New York. It goes beyond the Red Sox/Yankees. I have been coming here off and on for years for work, so have had my chances to explore and get to know the city bit by bit, although I can’t yet play tour guide here like I can in other cities.

I never thought I could live in New York – too busy, too new and modern, too many skyscrapers, too many Yankees fans. Then when we were living in London and trying to figure out where to move next, Nick determined I am a New York person. I’m always busy and rushing, I have a new love for modern apartments, I’m always taking pictures of all different architecture and I can get really cheap Red S0x apparel in New York (last visit I got an Ortiz shirt for $4.99). He had other reasons too, but I wasn’t really convinced myself.

Then when I visited in March, I was smitten. So many stores that open early and stay open late unlike London, but also so many things in common with London like hearing all the different languages around you, fabulous restaurants and so many cultural things to see and do.  I don’t think you could ever get bored here, either.

Road trip day 17 , though, was a different story. While I was enthused to head out into the city yesterday morning (well, afternoon, once my head calmed down), it quickly wore off. People being rude and pushing. The complete lack of signage on the subway – not even telling you what lines are running or when they will be there. Or maybe they say that somewhere, but it must be a secret locals-only location or language. Needless to say, it made my entire day late. (Not that that’s completely unusual for me, but even more so.)

I was late to meet my old high school friend and family for lunch (so good to catch up – can’t wait for LA!), and then late leaving to get ready for the evening festivities, so went to Plan B. Forget the hotel, I went shopping. Bought a new Michael Kors black dress, new heels at Macy’s, new makeup at Benefit and finally, a new bra at Victoria’s Secret. I got ready in Victoria’s Secret’s bathroom, threw on some perfume and lotion on the way through the store and simply stuffed my other stuff in my back pack. Not exactly the purse of choice for an evening out, but I stopped myself from buying a giant new Coach bag, too. I have my limits.

The agenda for the evening was a combined guy/girl pub crawl, with a Southeast Asian theme, since Tamara and Kris are moving to Shanghai. We started at Bia Garden and made our way to a few other places – including two very non-Southeast Asian stops, one at Mikey’s for burgers and capping the evening off at 2 am with tacos.  We worked up the appetite dancing at the last official destination, Fat Baby.

It was there that the clock struck midnight and it was my son’s birthday. The first one I’ve ever not spent with him, and not made his cake (will be doing that next weekend when I’m home for his college weekend – can’t not do that!). I left him messages on his phone and facebook, and started to cry as Michael Jackson, one of his favorites, was blasted through the club. Luckily one of my old friends – he must have ESP – called at that precise moment and turned my mood around. (See other blog entry from earlier today for more on Nick and his birthday.)

So today I’m going to give New York another chance. Let’s see how it goes…

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