|Illustration by Carolyn Gavin|
I explained to my roommate once that I was a bit depressed that I never got to see or do the things I thought I'd certainly have crossed off my to-do list in the first year. Things like walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, or eating a Nathan's Famous Hotdog at Coney Island, or freezing my butt off watching the Macy*s Thanksgiving Day Parade live and in-person. But then, he said something that really got me thinking...Jenna, you LIVE here. And you've LIVED here for a year. And that doesn't mean going to tourist attractions or vacation spots everyday. It means going to work, sitting on the couch, watching TV and eating takeout. It means paying way too much for a cab home because there is now nothing at all whimsical about riding the subway after a long, hard day. It's not about going to the hottest gallery openings, or taking vacations aboard Ramona Singer's yacht. Because life in New York is not a TV show. It's just life.
And for those of you who are curious about what I HAVE done in my time here, below is a list of things I am incredibly proud to have done/seen/accomplished:
- I took a surfing lesson on Long Beach
- I drove an actual racecar (!!!) in New Jersey
- I got to sit in a floor-level box to see Madonna perform at Madison Square Garden (where Psy also made a surprise experience)
- I added Hellmann's Mayonnaise, American Express, Klondike, and Dove Style+Care to the list of clients I've worked with
- I drank a Black & Tan in the same bar that Abraham Lincoln used to hang out in
- I saw Bon Iver perform at Radio City Music Hall
- I saw about a bazillion shows on Broadway. Some favorites include: Newsies, Anything Goes, Porgy & Bess, Bring It On! The Musical, Peter and the Starcatcher, The Heiress (Starring the dreamy Dan Stevens from Downton Abbey...sigh), A Christmas Story, How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and maaaaany more.
- I had visitors in the form of friends from high school, friends from college, friends of friends, my aunt, my parents, and friends of my parents...
- I rode the Long Island Railroad and then took a train to Connecticut all in the same weekend
- I got sunburnt to a crisp on the 4th of July on the beach at Fort Tilden Park
- I danced the night away in a basement bar on Bowery street (a few times...)
- I took the Chinatown bus back to Columbus for an incredible weekend
- I made it through a major natural disaster relatively unscathed and sent many prayers to those who felt it's effects more closely
- I have made incredible memories with incredible friends that I didn't even know existed only a year ago
- and I have made an incredible, lasting bond with friends I did know existed but now I know them a whole lot better
It's been an incredible journey. One that I haven't been too communicative about...apologies about that. But while my plans of documenting my first year didn't go so well, I like to say that it's because I was too busy experiencing everything. And next year comes the writing!