Archives for posts with tag: New York City

When I’m running ten minutes late for work I save time by leaving the house without a shirt. Not really. The train that pulls into my subway station at 8:37 delivers a white male in his twenties who does not wear shirts. He is pale, plump, hairy, and alternates between a black leather vest and a light wash denim vest. It doesn’t bother me. The first few times that the train pulled into the station the doors opened and he walked off the car he was wearing the unbuttoned black leather vest. The best conclusion (or the most entertaining) I could make was that this man was on his way home from working at a kinky bar/sex dungeon.

Then he started wearing the denim vest. People can surprise you. I had a label, a reason, an understanding. Then he wore a denim vest. I’m having trouble imagining the denim vest at his previous place of employment. It’s harder to wipe down.

What if he chooses to live shirtless? When we pass during our morning commute he is  on his way to a regular 9-5 job. Once he is one block from the office he puts on a shirt. He is being honest with himself: he hates wearing shirts so he doesn’t wear them.

Do you honor your truth regardless of social norms? Eff the labels in your head. No one pays attention to shirtless man because it’s New York and they’re used to seeing him every morning. They recognize that his lack of shirt does not impact their lives.

Listen to your truth and honor it.

“And I can’t change-even if I tried. Even if I wanted to…”

MIlton Glaser's classic logo

Milton Glaser’s classic logo

My commute to and from work is seventy-five minutes of swimming upstream. I’ve been doing the opposite commute for a little over three years. Most days I don’t pay attention to the small annoyances as I power walk through the NYC crowds (initially, it was sensory overload and I couldn’t handle the aggression). Other days, I’m exhausted before I reach my desk. My best commuting days are when I’m in cruise-control. My eyes are glazed over, stride powerful, ipod loud, and I’m watching the body language of the next five people headed my way in anticipation of pedestrians stopping short, swerving into my path, or my favorite, the person who gets so nervous that they half-stop to let you pass, but they don’t surrender the space to do so (mostly tourists).

I’m proud of my ability to swerve through a crowd of commuters/locusts swarming in opposite directions. It’s a small win for the day if I can maintain my speed without bumping into anyone: I’m invincible. The days when I’m tired/hungry/both, miss my connecting train by one minute, wish I could get back into the city in time for yoga/happy hour, have trouble navigating pedestrians, wear shoes that slow me down, and sweat through my clothes en route to work in 90 degree heat-those are rough days. Commuting is an effing sport.

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My friend Tai is kind and warm-hearted, but she also embodies the qualities of the archetypal, gritty New Yorker who powers-through anything. Very eff the funk. Originally from Colorado, where she received her degree in photography, she claims that she liked shooting urban, gritty scenes before moving to NYC. For Tai, the work and satisfaction is in the nitty-gritty details. The day I followed her around Soho and Greenwich Village while she shot on her Canon she was using expired film so that the colors in the picture would be over-saturated.

We live in the age of Instagram (don’t hate the player, hate the app: Text-Only Instagram), but as Tai points out, “Having an Instagram account doesn’t make you an artist.” What does make you an “artist?” Putting in the time and effort. Do you focus your energy and invest time in your passion(s)? One of the reasons I started this blog is that I enjoy writing. It had been over two years since I wrote anything and I needed an outlet. I try to work on drafts for upcoming posts at least a few hours a week but the ebb and flow of everyday life can be so diverting. Sometimes I write in twenty-minute spurts while riding the subway. Without the time commitment, my blog would cease to exist and the quality of my writing would surely revert to sloppy, short-hand slang. Eff the funk and give your passion(s) the attention they deserve!

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One of my close friends recently purchased an apartment in the West Village. I won’t give you her address, but let’s just say it’s likely she’ll run into SJP and kids-in-tow on her way out the door. After seeing her block the first thing I said was, “You’re really in the sweet spot.” If you like downtown Manhattan, it’s hard to find a better area. She worked hard and waited a long time to find and secure the right place. This is one situation where she was not willing to make many concessions. It makes sense, right? If you’re going to make a large purchase then it should be exactly what you want.

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