Ladies First

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I keep saying how hard this place is to adjust to. But I haven’t mentioned two really cool behaviors that I have noticed since I have been here.  Manners and chivalry are alive in New York!

  1. There is a coat closet at every office.  Not only is there a coat closet…they USE it! They always ask to take and hang up coats! (every time I have visited an office for any reason this has happened) Now that I have been working reception, it is my job to take coats and hang them. I LOVE this! It is so impressive to me, and feels old-fashioned and sweet. 
  2. Secondly, the elevator etiquette is so surprising. Men let women on the elevator first, and wait until all of the women are off before they exit.  Can you believe this? I have noticed it every single place that had an elevator.  All over the city.  It is so charming to me!

I think these behaviors still exist because this city is so old and these classic manners are rooted as a cultural norm.  These behaviors feel old-fashioned…because they are.  I feel taken care of when someone takes my coat, and I feel respected when I get off of the elevator first.  New York is making me smile today.

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Something has to happen…right?

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The bad news is, I have applied to 41 jobs and have only had three interviews.  The good news is, there were 41 writing jobs to apply to.  And, I was a bit picky.  So I could have applied to hundreds.

I have been temping at a really great company on a 2-3 week assignment.  It has been my favorite temping experience yet, and the longest assignment which is great! I appreciate the consistency of it.  I am getting a routine down again and it feels really good. The irony of the situation is that they are hiring someone for the permanent receptionist position, and they can’t hire me because I work with a staffing agency and they can’t afford the finder’s fee.  So, because I’m with a staffing agency, I can’t get hired. Hmmm.  At least I can work consistently for the next couple of weeks! I will take it.

I came back to New York fully charged and full of promise with a great job interview to look forward to… I still haven’t heard back from the interview after four weeks and three follow-up emails.  The interview went well, and it seemed like an amazing place to work and an incredible learning experience with a major magazine to shine up the resume.    There was a few weeks that I had zero temping jobs, and I was having a hard time emotionally.  It was bitter cold, and hard to want to go outside, so I was sort of stuck inside of the apartment.  I had a hard time in those weeks, but finally I’m in a better place.

I also had an awful interview last week for a receptionist position.  The girl was rude and essentially tried to dissuade me from wanting to work there the whole time. It was a very disappointing experience and a waste of a $40 cab ride. (I was on my lunch break at my current job and had to take a cab to meet the time frame!)  If I got hired there (which I sort of hope that I don’t) it would be so ironic-horrible interview, I get the job.  Two great interviews and I don’t?  I would probably take the job, but honestly, it seems like sort of a horrible place to work.  Moving here has made me question everything.  Do I interview well? Do I make a good first impression? Why aren’t people wanting to hire me?

I had a visitor from 303 Magazine come to Denver this weekend to cover the pre-game Super Bowl parties and I had so much fun showing him around. (He had never been to NYC before!) I just talked the poor guy’s ear off on the train, telling him the ins and outs of living here.  It was really a fun to be on the other end of visitor/local spectrumIt made me so excited for my friends and family to make the trek out here.  This city still excites me and I had a lot of New York moments this weekend that will give me nutrients to persevere through this slow discouraging time.

I guess I am feeling a bit somber today.  But I am still happy to be here.  And am thankful for so many things that are right in New York.  I hope some exciting things are just on the horizon! (Photos to come!)

New York Moments

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View of the Brooklyn Bridge and Downtown Manhattan.

When the train zips over the Manhattan bridge and you can see the skyline of Downtown and a glint of the green from the Statue of Liberty, that is when I remember that I’m here.  I’m here!  It is easy to forget the simple fact that I live here now.  I need to focus more upon living in the moment, and letting these flashes of New York sear into me. 

I have been temping again this week, but it is an entirely different experience than my first assignment. I was able to come in for an hour last Friday for training (which was a very welcome task for me) and I did not expect the delightful experience that I had. A smiling face greeted me and offered me coffee, and one of the first thing she said was,

  “Now where are you from? I know you aren’t from here, you don’t look jaded.”

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The ceiling at Grand Central Station.

I told here where I was from, and she asked questions, and I felt like she actually cared.  It felt so good to talk to someone with such a cheerful personality.  I felt like she actually saw me.  She gave me shampoo samples (it is a high-end shampoo company) and sent me on my way feeling refreshed and nourished.

The company is in the meatpacking district, my favorite part of the city so far.  As I walked away and had a silly grin on my face because I was so happy to have a job that was actually going to be pleasant.  I looked up and noticed that a huge crew of people were setting up to shoot a movie right outside of the building!  Tents were being set up, and the street was lined with trailers where I’m assuming an A-lister was sitting right inside.  I didn’t stick around to see who was being filmed, but in that moment I was so deliriously happy to be in this city of opportunity.  It was the perfect timing for me to receive the spark of a “New York moment.”

I saw my first musical improv show at The Pit, and it was amazing.  There are so many amazing people here that are following their dreams! I was also able to see Beauty and the Beast on Broadway this weekend, and it was incredible.  I sat in my chair in wonder at the talent of the actors, and the beauty of the theater.  Yesterday I ate lunch at Chelsea Market, and it reminded me a lot of Pikes Place Market in Seattle.

I am going to focus more upon looking around and really seeing New York…because, I’m here!

The Only Difference

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2013-11-08 12.16.55How is it that in New York restaurants don’t serve ice in your water and a lot of places don’t take credit cards? Come on.

I have had people ask my, “What makes New York so hard to adjust to?”  Everything is different.  It feel like I am in a different country.

The main difference is space. You are in such close proximity to people in this city. You are forced to interact with people in a whole different way than in most other places.  I am from the suburbs of Denver-not even the city.  If I sat on a table for four at Starbucks in Colorado-I could be assured that no one would sit at my table with me, no matter how busy the lobby was.  Here in New York, they don’t have the spacial luxuries to have a personal bubble.  Every table, every chair, every bench bar stool, and sidewalk are full of people.  New Yorkers seem to be void of spacial anxieties that most suburbanites have.  This is both a beautiful thing and undeniably uncomfortable for me to get used to.  I keep wondering how much my life would be different if I grew up here.  You are exposed to people in a way that most of the rest of the country is.  You are exposed to the arts, culture, the richest people, and the poorest people.  What an amazing place to grow up.

The Violinist and the Temp

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2013-10-21 18.33.29I was able to work a few days this week through my temp agency.   I filed papers, in a storage closet for 17 hours.  I spoke to two people in three days, and they were just giving me instructions.  My hands were busy, but not as busy as my mind.  I was stuck in the closet-thinking and getting choked up at the thought…

“Is this going to be my life in New York?”

I was the invisible worker.  Replaceable.  As a temp you are quickly forgotten, so why would the employees invest any of their time into you? I get it.  But walking in on my second day I felt an unbearable sadness.  Another day in the closet. My feet hurt standing up all day in dress shoes, and my wrist hurt (the constant reminder of my former career.) I cried the whole way home on my second day feeling completely defeated.

On my third day temping for the same company, I was a little more hopeful knowing that it would be my last day filing endless stacks of papers, but I was still so sad walking to the train station.  While I walked down the stairs, I heard the most beautiful sound.  A woman played the violin in the middle of the platform with her eyes closed. I stood close to her in the sea of people and I wept, not for sadness, but for the beauty of the music that she was giving to all of us.  She gave me hope to finish my day strong.  She made me realize why I’m here.  This is the city of dreams.
The violin has always sounded a little sad to me- and it was like the exact sound that my heart was making. I was so moved by the sound of her music. It gave me strength for the day… for the week. With each person I meet, who is chasing their dream, it gives me nourishment- and it fills my soul a little.
That, and having a roommate who brings me home a root beer float when the city takes too much from me.

This city is hard. But it’s going to be worth it. The violinist taught me that this week.

Jay Z Meant What He Said

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2013-10-28 12.45.09I learn something new everyday.  Little things, like that New Yorkers love to honk, and that models are really pretty. How do I know models are pretty? I was able to assist an old acquaintance from my days in Idaho on his photography shoot. There were two European models at the shoot, and it was fascinating to see them at work!  It was such an amazing day to see how it all works behind the beautiful pictures.  There was a whole team of people to make it happen, and it was such a learning experience for me to see it happen.  I love to learn and New York is the place full of opportunities to do so.

I feel more comfortable picking up food at my favorite Thai place across the street.  I’m learning how this place works.  I had to venture into the city alone this week for an interview.  My interview was at the Trump Building, but I didn’t see Donald.

The smallest tasks feel like a victory in this place.  Finding the right train (and station) and actually making it to your destination-and making it on time.  It gives me a thrill and an unexplained joy to complete these little tasks.

After my interview I walked around lower Manhattan and saw landmarks that I’ve only seen in the movies.  I saw the New York Stock Exchange, Wall Street, and Battery Park. I saw where the World Trade Centers stood and went to the museum that welled me up with emotion.  I haven’t gone to the memorial yet, but that is something I may save to do when my folks visit.

I still don’t have a job, but I feel like I’m finding a bit of my place here.  Everyday that passes feels a little bit more like I can do this.  I feel a job coming, almost like I can taste it.  I don’t know what it will be, but as of today, I have applied for 17 of them.  I am excited to be here in New York.  Jay Z meant what he said, “If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.”  I can make it here. It’s just going to take some time. And it’s going to take a job.  So, I’m ready to start on Monday. Whatever you may be.  But in the mean time…I’m going to keep learning and walking around the beautiful Prospect Park by my house and enjoying the crisp autumn days.2013-10-25 11.40.23