Other NYCs: The Recovering Suburbanite

Of my college friends, there is one that my mother remembers better than all the others. When she visited me freshman year one young man jovially greeted her, “Hello, Mrs. Cliché!” That was my friend Dan. The most polite, considerate person you are likely to ever meet. He fell in love with NYC long before me, but he shared his love of the city with me on several visits. He was my classmate Junior year in the phenomenal class “Urban Art in Jazz Age New York” where we learned academically about his favorite time period in the history of the city. He’s the guy everyone knew in college, he’s the perfect date for a play or afternoon museum trip, and his smile lights up a room. He’s my Other New York clichés feature!

Name/prefered pseudonym:
Dan aka Mr. D. to his students

Borough and neighborhood:
Jersey City, NJ / Harlem

How are you a New York cliché?
I could say that my cliché is being a teacher but my boyfriend says that I am a cliché because I glorify this city. Like I should wear the “I Heart NY” t-shirt all the time type of person. I’d say he’s right. I’m the Ex-Suburbanite, who, for as long I can remember, wanted to know what it truly feels like to be a part of this crazy, dynamic, and enchanting place by living inside it’s walls. Growing up outside of NYC made me idolize it. Nowhere I’ve ever traveled compared to what I’ve been able to experience growing up along side the “city that never sleeps.”

I have friends in Jersey who refuse to cross the river to even visit the city, yet alone have the desire to live here. But for me, and many of my friends who I grew up with, NYC is a place to shed our suburban skin and find our roots. Most of our parents and families are from the Bronx, Queens, or Manhattan and escaped to the burbs to raise their kids. It’s our turn to return to urbanity and make it in our concrete jungle. So for myself, all my friends, and all the other suburban city dwellers, I’m deeming our cliché as the Ex-Suburbanite.

They say no one who lives in New York is actually from New York. Where are you from?
I may not have grown up on the island, but I’m pretty close to being a native New Yorker. I grew up right outside of the city in the forgotten suburban county of Rockland, NY. No, it’s not Westchester. It’s not Long Island. And it’s definitely not Jersey. It’s the smallest county on New York State that sits just north of Jersey and right across the Hudson River from Westchester – 30 minute drive to the GW Bridge and about a 45 minute bus commute. So although I’m not from the city, I grew up right next to it and practically in it for most of my adolescence. Close enough to see the Christmas Tree every winter, take advantage of the TKTS in Times Square before their prices skyrocketed, and know the Met like the back of my hand at age 17.

Bloomberg is banishing you from NYC. You have 24 hours before you have to pack up and leave for ever. How do you spend them?
This is a frightening scenario but if I must: My day would start walking over the Brooklyn Bridge toward Manhattan and watch the sunrise over the city. I’d take a stroll around City Hall and the Financial District (love it down there) Then I’d shoot up to Alice’s Teacup on the Upper West Side for breakfast, eat me some scones and tea. I’d walk through all my favorite places in Central Park specifically Cherry Hill and the Pool and probably do some sketching since I’ll never see these places again. I’ll make my way to the Met and say goodbye to my favorite works of art. While on the UES, I’ll get my last haircut in the city by David at Paul Mole on Lex and proceed to Grand Central to whisper in the Whispering Gallery in front of the Oyster Bar one last time.

I’ll be good and tired by then so I’ll cab it over to the top of the Highline, walk the entirety until I get to Gansevoort St. to meet all my friends for dinner at one of the pricey Meatpacking District restaurants like Spice Market or Pastis to gorge ourselves on awesome food and drink. After dinner I’ll stroll through the Village, grab a drink at Stonewall. If there’s time I’ll go see one more Broadway show and then spend the rest of the night partying it up in Hell’s Kitchen with drinks at Vnyl, Therapy, and all my favorite restaurants on 9th Ave. As the morning approaches, I’ll take the A train up to Harlem, visit my old neighborhood and continue up to the GW Bridge, walk across, & say goodbye.

One of Dan’s sketches- he does a lot, I love them.

What restaurant/bar you keep going back to, even though you’ve been meaning to try a dozen others?
If you know me then the answer is obvious. I will forever be getting Eggs Benedict for brunch at Alice’s Teacup on the UWS. I can’t get enough of that place. It may just be the combination of my love for Alice in Wonderland and for great desserts that keeps bringing me back. Their scones, crepes, cakes, and everything in between are amazing!!! Forget all those trendy cupcake shops – Alice’s is the place to be.

Hot dogs or pizza?
I tried to buy a hotdog from a street cart down by the World Trade Center and he was charging $9 a dog. That’s clearly a price only the Wall Street 1% can afford. I think those guys in Zuccotti Park should start boycotting this vendor for a change. Clearly he’s not supporting the cause. Needless to say, forget the hotdogs, I’m all about a good slice of NYC pizza.

So you live in NYC, but what’s one super-touristy thing you secretly love?
It’s not Christmas in New York City if I don’t browse the shops in Bryant Park, walk up 5th Avenue and stand in line to see the windows at Saks. I love it, love it, love it! Even though the entire world seems to be pushing their way to Rockefeller Center the minute the tree lights up, I need to get there and join in.  

Ever had a run-in with a celebrity (A-D List)?
Let’s see. I ate Chinese next to Cynthia Nixon once on the UWS. I’ve seen Michael Urie and Jesse Tyler Fergusson at Blockheads in Hell’s Kitchen. I saw Hillary Swank while eating lunch outside the Museum of Natural History. I’ve seen John Lithgow around Times Square, recently coming out of the stage door for his new show on Broadway. And my favorite was when I was in the audience for Promises Promises with James Marsden. My friend June actually chased him down for a picture. Oh, and for all you Gilmore Girls fans out there, I rode the subway once with Mr. Medina, Rory’s principal/Lorelei’s boyfriend.  [New York Cliché says: I was on that subway ride with him!]

Dan and his lovely friend Kimmy in the Meatpacking District

You totally saw something weird on the subway or street today (you may not have registered it was weird because you are jaded), what did you see?  
I was walking to the D train on Lafayette and Houston the other day when I passed a Hippie looking guy that had a full grown cat balancing on his head as he walked down the street. The cat was just sitting up there, chilling out, as his owner paraded down the sidewalk. Ridiculous. Sadly, I avoided looking like all the tourists and missed my photo-op.

What is your favorite fictionalized New York? How does it compare with reality?
I am enamored with Old New York from post-Civil War up until the 1930’s. My two favorite depictions are Fitzgerald’s depiction of New York City’s Jazz Age in The Great Gatsby and Scorsese’s depiction of Five Points in Gangs of New York. There’s something about the dark side of old New York City with it’s violence, seediness, and secrets that draw me in. I would give anything to go back in time and watch vaudeville or drink at a speak-easy. New York clearly was and still is a dramatic place. Unfortunately my current involvement is rather tame compared to the days of old.

Plug something! Be it something you are involved in, your significant other/roommate/cat is involved in, or just something you think is extra-special going on in NYC.
I’m an art lover and art teacher so I’m plugging an entire museum that people should go check out. I recently went to a professional development at the New York Historical Society on 77th St. and Central Park West. They have recently underwent huge renovations and redid and large part of their galleries. Most people wouldn’t think about the NYHS as a museum but they have a beautiful collection and fantastic artifacts from the city. I’ve been there three times now, and can honestly say it’s a great place to visit if you want to try something beside the Met or MOMA.

Thanks, Dan, for being part of my Other New York cliché feature! Can’t wait for another picnic in Central Park with you!

What do you think of this series? Love it so much you want featured? Fabulous! Email NewYorkCliche@yahoo.com.

A NYC Summer Favorite: Shakespeare in the Park

I have seen five staged productions of Romeo and Juliet. Two were atrocious, one paralleled a real life love story (its lead actors where married 18 months later), one was passable, and the fifth was the best play I have ever seen. It is one of the few plays where I have immediately leaped out of my seat at the finale in an unquestioned standing ovation. Romeo and Juliet, summer 2007 at The Public’s Shakespeare in the Park starring Lauren Ambrose and Oscar Isaac. I will never forget that production, how I laughed, cried, and fell in love with Shakespeare in the Park.

An image from “A Winter’s Tale” from The Public Theater’s website- click for link!

I fell so hard I vowed to work there, and next summer, I did just that. It was my very first job in New York City. Not in the capacity a new reader might expect, but those of you who have been with me since the beginning, remember my stories of working as an usher: of being mistaken for Lauren Ambrose, for working security and leading James Franco to his seat, for the night when Bill and Hillary Clinton sat in my section and shook my hand and thanked me at the performances end. Shakespeare in the Park holds hundreds of memories and claims a special place in my heart.

Working there was an incredible experience and so is attending a single performance. It is now something I look forward to every summer. You can bring food into the theater, something which drove me crazy as a worker with tempting gourmet picnics surrounding me. Now I generally bring a thermos of white wine, maybe a pizza or sandwich, and a carton of strawberries. It’s fabulous.

Before 2007, I had been to Shakespeare in the Park productions in San Francisco and in Boston. Always enjoyable, but the audience was a first-come-first-serve, stake-your-picnic-blanket-on-the-grass sort of affair. The Public has a full on outdoor theater, assigned seating, and requires tickets. Tickets are free, distributed from the box office at 1PM. Click for my tips on getting tickets!

The Delacorte Theater, where Shakespeare in the Park is performed, as seen from Belvadere Castle

This years production of As You Like It opened last Thursday to rave reviews. I saw it on its second preview, on a Wednesday evening. Arriving at 6PM, my friend Jake got tickets just by walking up to the box office. Rain was forecasted for the day, but had failed to fall by 7PM. After getting tickets, we wandered to a bodega and got a 40 of Coors Light. Not as classy as my usually wine, but the as show turned out to be set in an early 1900’s in the South, beer was apropos. The house opened at 7:30PM and we found our seats far stage left in the second to last row. Still, no seat in that theater is a terrible view- especially for the price of FREE.

After moments in our seats, rain began to fall. We huddled under the picnic blanket, hoping the fabric that shielded against wet grass would be durable enough for rain. Sun teased out from distant clouds, teasing us. Then, a rainbow appeared, crossing the sky across the stage- breath-taking. Jake snagged a picture while I suppressed the usher in me- photography is strictly forbidden anywhere in the theater.

It’s hard to capture the magic of a rainbow on film, but I’m glad Jake tried!

Shortly after 8PM the rain stopped and we were treated to an enjoyable performance (of one of Shakespeare’s more flawed plays). Music played a considerable role, as it often does in director Daniel Sullivan’s productions. Blue grassy tunes, plenty of fiddle, composed by Steve Martin (yes, that Steve Martin- he’s a fucking awesome renaissance man!). At intermission, we ran down to two empty seats that I had spotted in the front row. A completely different, and welcome perspective from our former high perch.

At the play’s end, I did not jump to my feet as I had 5 years before. I did smile and clap, it had been a fantastic evening. Check out the New York Times if you want a review! The show closes on June 30th- so soon! See it this week! The second show of the season begins previews July 23rd. It is Into the Woods (a musical!) starring Amy Adams and Donna Murphy and already touted as a must-see show of the summer. I can’t wait! It won’t be easy to get tickets for that one, but remember my tips, aim for early in previews! Maybe I’ll see you there!

Other NYCs: The Miranda to My Carrie

I had an odd realization recently. A realization that is not exactly applicable to modern times. Although, when living in New York City, one never really knows. I’m not positive of the exact moment I realized it. It wasn’t at gun point, it wasn’t on the subway tracks with a train swiftly approaching. It may have simply been a quiet Saturday night when both my roommate Miranda and I happened to be home with no plans: a rare occurrence. We spent the night talking, drinking wine, and baking cookies- first reconstituting cookie dough that had dried out in the fridge (don’t ask). It was a great night, and somewhere between the first batch and the last batch of mint chocolate cookies, I realized “I would die for this girl.” I really would- I’d risk my life for Miranda, I love her that much.

We met at the age eleven and have been fast friends ever since. In high school we used to dream about being grow-ups and living together in an apartment in NYC. A decade later, we did just that. We’ve lived together for three years with nary a fight or even a passive-aggressive moment. Anyone who has ever had roommates knows that is nothing short of extraordinary. Beautiful (and she doesn’t realize it), the perfect paradox of energetic but totally chill, and amazing friend- you can’t help but love her. She gets me, perhaps even more than I get myself. She’s the closest to a sister or soul mate I’ve ever had. Not only that, she’s this week’s featured Other New York cliché!

Name/prefered pseudonym: New York Cliché has already referred to me as Miranda. I’ve recently come to terms with it, despite the fact that she is often the one portrayed as pathetic, cold, and lacking fashion sense. She’s an amazing friend and maybe I relate to her more than I admit…so, fine. Miranda it is.

Yes, I call her “Miranda” here because she is an amazing friend, none of those other reasons! I’m the “Carrie” of this blog, and she’s my bff- thus “Miranda”. All the “Sex and the City” ladies are massively flawed but I’m still sticking to my nicknames! This picture is of me and Miranda, by the way, at age 19.

Borough and neighborhood: UWS Manhattan – smack dab in between subsidized housing and Trump Towers

How are you a New York cliché? I moved here from California after college with no job, no money, no plan…but with two best friends and a yearning for adventure! I think that’s pretty standard around here. Also, since living in NYC, I’ve walked the fine line of both “selling out” and “pursuing my dream” – two total New York clichés, am I right? Of course I no longer believe in the reality of either concept…

They say no one who lives in New York is actually from New York. Where are you from? I’m a California girl.

A tree hugging, native Californian: total cliché (picture taken at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, click it for full details of our adventure there)

Bloomberg is banishing you from NYC. You have 24 hours before you have to pack up and leave for ever. How do you spend them? I’d wake up to blue skies, sunshine, and 80 degree weather. I’d put on a kick-ass outfit with good walking shoes and traverse the city on foot, wandering from neighborhood to neighborhood, making sure to hit all of my favorites as well as some neighborhoods in which I’d never before been. I’d go to my favorite outdoor eateries and drinkeries, and also be sure to indulge at some joints I’d never tried. Central Park would get a lot of my time. I’d talk to everyone around me, and anyone new I felt a connection with would be invited to join me on the rest of my adventure. I’d take a ride on the Staten Island ferry to admire the beauty of New York Harbor and the city skyline. And once the sun went down, I’d see a broadway show – maybe I’d even treat myself to Book of Mormon! Then I’d go dancing. All night long – at tons of different venues with tons of different kinds of music and tons of different kinds of people, stopping only to refuel with delicious food and drinks all along the way. Finally, I’d end up on the High Line at dawn, watching the sun rise and eating fresh fruit and freshly-baked scones…to bring my last hurrah in NYC to a glorious close.

What restaurant/bar you keep going back to, even though you’ve been meaning to try a dozen others? My favorite meal to eat out in NYC is definitely brunch. I’m a sucker for the (in)famous Bottomless Boozy Brunch, extremely popular in NYC. It’s not because I particularly love kicking off the day with alcohol, but more because I’m still in awe of the cost-effectiveness of brunch time drinking. Drinks are expensive in this city, and  boy am I a sucker for a deal. Also, mimosas are delicious. So of course I decided I wanted to try all of these…and I still do!:

Wined and Dined’s Ultimate Up-to-Date Guide to NYC All-You-Can-Drink Unlimited Boozy Endless Brunches

But instead I just keep going back to the following trusty UWS (i.e. convenience is a factor) brunch spots: Calle Ocho (bottomless sangria and a Latin twist on traditional brunch – but watch out! reservations are hard to get!), Regional (casual and friendly, quick on the mimosa refills), and The Sunburnt Calf (most extensive bottomless drink list: screwdrivers, greyhounds, beer, mimosas, bloody marys…and you can switch between them all as you wish!)

Miranda and I in Central Park, post Sunday Calle Ocho brunch. Proof of the brilliance of unlimited sangria!

Hot dogs or pizza? Umm gross. But hot dogs, because they are a good vehicle for mustard and relish and ketchup.

So you live in NYC, but what’s one super-touristy thing you secretly love? The planetarium show at the Museum of Natural History. Maybe it’s because there aren’t many visible stars in the sky here at night, but there is something I find truly magical about sinking back into that chair, hearing Whoopie Goldberg’s calming voice narrate the show, and watching the ceiling zoom out from Central Park into the deepest pockets of the known Universe. It’s both incredibly spectacular and incredibly humbling.

Ever had a run-in with a celebrity (A-D List)? I had a conversation with Zach Braff once! We were the only two people on the entire block, and we talked about being Jewish for about 1 minute. And boy did we have a connection…I’m still kicking myself for not giving him my number. Because he TOTALLY would have called. Also I saw Neil Patrick Harris on the High Line the day after he hosted the TONY Awards. And Maggie Gyllenhaal at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. And Marisa Tomei at the Standard Biergarten. And then of course there were the frequent elevator rides that I shared with Martha Stewart when I used to work in the same building as her…

You totally saw something weird on the subway or street today (you may not have registered it was weird because you are jaded), what did you see? The token ‘crazy’ yelling/singing/profanity-shouting man on my subway train today had an incredibly swollen mouth, puffy cheeks, and seemed to lack control over his lower facial muscles. Perhaps the behavior was simply the result of a little too much laughing gas at the dentist’s office? Maybe he just had oral surgery but was too self-righteous to follow the instructions and have a friend pick him up afterwards? Maybe it wasn’t about being self-righteous, but he just has no friends? I gave him the benefit of the doubt, while slowly moving to the other side of the train car… Who am I to judge??!

Cupcakes in New York City: another cliché (but they were not from Magnolia, so not a total cliché!)

What is your favorite fictionalized New York? How does it compare with reality? Sex and the City, obviously. They definitely nailed the dating world here in a lot of ways, and did a good job of exposing the complexities of both relationships and friendships…as well as the internal struggles we all face as individuals, particularly here in NYC. But getting four friends together as frequently as they do is completely impossible! And someone who writes a single weekly newspaper column could never afford Carrie’s lifestyle….abso-fuckin’-lutely not.

Plug something! Be it something you are involved in, your significant other/roommate/cat is involved in, or just something you think is extra-special going on in NYC. Get involved with the NYC Audubon Society! We all tend to think of this place as a Concrete Jungle, but there is actually tons of interesting nature all around us. Over 350 species of wild birds either live in or migrate through NYC every year, and The Audubon Society works for the healthy coexistence of humans and birds here through a ton of diverse measures. Did you know that over 100 million birds are killed annually in the US from flying into glass windows? Educate yourself or get outside and volunteer…check ’em out: http://www.nycaudubon.org/

Thanks, Miranda, for being part of my Other New York cliché feature! You’re the best and you know I love you.

What do you think of this series? Love it so much you want featured? Fabulous! Email NewYorkCliche@yahoo.com.

NYC Brides: Public Figures

New Yorkers have a different view on privacy than the rest of the country. We may never say hello to our neighbors, but we’re heard them intimately through the thin wall that separates our apartments. When my neighbor gets a phone call, I feel it vibrations. We generally just accept (and try not to think about) the fact that those across the air shaft have seen us naked in a state of undress. On a crowded 8AM subway, we are closer to strangers than chaperones allow at a Catholic school dance.  There’s not enough space in the city for privacy.

It’s wedding season. How many weddings do you have on your calendar? In NYC, it is exceedingly difficult to have a private, intimate ceremony. To brides tying the knot in Central Park, be prepared for about 6 million uninvited guests. The city, along with its inhabitants are your real wedding party- eclipsing your maid of honor, best man, even the bride herself.

I enjoy spotting brides and wedding parties around the city. They make a wedding seem more like part of life than the picture-perfect official wedding photos ever do.

Notice the juxtaposition between the hotdog stand, the bride and groom, and the shirt-less dude.

I love the classic Central Park scene set here, with the portraitist, and the dedication of the maid of honor- attempting to save the brides dress. All New York City brides should know- the city street will leave the bottom of your dress dirty and gray.

The front view of the previous couple, also a great Central Park scene.

An engagement photo-shoot. On that photographer’s film, this moment will look intimate. Here it looks extremely public.

A perfect Central Park scene, wedding photo pose, and all the city dwellers surrounding it.

There’s just something about brides. The glowing energy, the radiant happiness on (hopefully) the most photogenic day of their lives just draws your eyes to them. That and the background of Central Park and I can’t help but snap a picture. Creepy? Maybe, but way less so than seeing your neighbor clipping his toe nails.

City Girls Leave the City

It’s easy to get trapped in New York City. Everything you need is here, that is part of the Big Apple allure. One day you wake up and realize you haven’t been outside the five mile radius in six months. NYC and you, you’ve become that couple, the one who spends every moment together. You need time apart, you know it’ll be good for you. But it’s not easy to pry yourself away from a love like New York, you need to be up for the challenge.

When Sheep Meadow starts looking like this, it usually means it’s time for a change of scenery.

One sunny Sunday morning, three city girls woke up and decided they were up for the challenge. They put on sunscreen (no other make-up),  threw on t-shirts and sneakers (outfits usually confined to the gym), packed their backpacks (a bag so functional it’s not even considered an accessory) with bottled water and snacks, and raced to Grand Central Station. After sprinting through the terminal with barely enough time to buy train tickets and coffee (both given the same priority), they boarded the 10:07 AM train with not a minute to spare. They settled into the cushioned seats of Metro North and spent the next hour watching the scenery change. The apartment towers of East Harlem fading into the manicured lawns of Westchester followed by the Hudson River landscapes of Putnam County.

A pleasant seventy minute train ride and the conductor is announcing their destination station. The town of Cold Springs: a small riverside town surrounded by considerable hills with a copious number of hiking trails all accessible from public transportation. They exit the train and survey the unfamiliar surroundings. Standing on the town’s main street, they can see a smattering of antique shops and cafes. No taxis, not a Starbucks or bodega in sight.

The three ladies on this adventure are myself and my two best friends: Charlotte and Miranda.

They decide to buy sandwiches and fruit, a picnic for the hike. An ancient deli presented itself, its painted sign woefully faded, the Hostess products on the counter giving the distinct impression they’d sat there unsold for months. The homely woman behind the counter is confused by their requests for whole wheat toast and no mayonnaise. She only has white or multi-grain bread. “Multi-grain is fine,” they say, rolling their eyes. They leave the shop, sandwiches in hand, disappointed the price was no cheaper than that of sandwiches in the city. “And they didn’t even have avocado!”

It is a land of large houses, yards, elaborate gardens, and supermarkets with parking lots. All-American fixtures, but strange to eyes accustomed to skyscrapers and shoebox apartments.

Next time an awful smell envelops a New York City street, I will think of these roses.

They turned around a corner, started down a path, and the next moment they are surrounded by thick woods. No other people in sight, no signs of civilization, apart from the occasional yellow trail marker. They sally forth, dappled by sunlight shining through the trees.

We would have been utterly dependent on the map had we not had Miranda’s phone. “Navigating the wilderness on an iPhone,” was her ironic proclamation.
Our toady friend. We also made friends with a lizard who’d lost most of his tail.

As they hike, they remember stories from summer camp, share plans for the summer, and check GPS from an iPhone that still has service. They befriend a toad, pose for pictures, and dish about the various men in their lives. The exclamations of “this was such a good idea”, “we should get out of the city more often”, and “it’s such a perfect day” are numerous.

They hike for several hours, stopping to eat their sandwiches (“not bad”), to admire views, and bemoan the blueberry bushes that are not yet baring fruit. They all agree this is the best exercise they could hope for and a fantastic way to spend a Sunday. “Let’s promise we will do this more often,” they vow.

Me, admiring the view.

They stand at a vista point. “This is higher than the Empire State Build. Breathtaking.”

The hike ends with a long stint down hill and some unsure footing. The woods ends abruptly, cut off by the highway that leads back to the town. For ten minutes they walk on the shoulder of the road, no sidewalks in these parts, passed only by the occasional car.

That hike would earn anyone an ice cream, but as city girls they opt for frozen yogurt covered in blackberries and chopped mango. The next train departs in 30 minutes: the perfect amount of time to stroll down to the river and to finish their frosty treats.

Small town waterfront. Couldn’t have asked for a better day.

They sit by the water in the early evening and wonder if they’ll ever move to the suburbs. The thought isn’t exactly appealing, but in a future with a family- who knows? What they do know, right in that moment, is that as much as they love New York City, they love leaving New York City too.

Other NYCs: The Bonafide Brooklynite

It seems like a lifetime ago. A horrendously awkward lifetime ago. The first day of freshman year. The day I met Joel. We both wore plastic-framed glasses and were approximately the same weight. Perhaps because of these similarities, we became friends. And have been ever since. My first trip to NYC as a independent adult was with Joel. My maiden voyage to Central Park, we made together.  I remember exactly the section of grass where we sat, admiring the fantastic May weather and the boats on the pond in our periphery.

I thought of those memories while formulating this post, going so far as to dig up some old pictures of the trip. I found a gem of a picture, a “doozy” if you will, taken on a rock formation in Central Park. A simultaneous embarrassment and relief: thank GOD we don’t look like that any more.  My hair is pulled back into a frizzy pony tail, unflattering plastic spectacle frames create rectangles across my eyes. I am outfitted in a Planned Parenthood t-shirt, at least a size too small, highlighting the Freshman 15 located at my belly. Joel is on my left, looking about five years younger than I, a believable fourteen. A “Jew-fro” with no hereditary basis crowns his head, a goofy smile across his face. We are eighteen/nineteen at it’s worst, “the prime of life” eluding our uncomfortable appearance.

I was tempted to post the picture. There is no way you would ever look at that photo and recognize me as I am today. But,

The Financial Goals of a Starving Artist

Starving artist. Broke. Living more or less paycheck to paycheck. These all describe my current way of life. Extremely budgeted, I’m very conscious about everything I spend money one. Currently, I’m not worrying about someday having kids or saving to buy buying a house. Right now, I’d just like to be a little more comfortable.

I believe these are all very much attainable in the near future.

  1. Buy fresh flowers once a week. They make me happy and instantly transform a space.
  2. Order orange juice and coffee with brunch instead of “I’m good with water, thanks.”
  3. Embrace my love of macarons, not think about how one can buy a whole box of cookies for the cost of one of these sweet little morsels.
  4. See plays that aren’t just on http://studentrush.org
  5. Have the ability to say “Next rounds on me”.
  6. Have all my underwear be cute, not too embarrassing if caught with my pants down, underwear.
  7. To just take a cab after 3AM, not deal with waiting 20 minutes for the subway or worry about getting mugged.
  8. Shop according to what I want, not what’s on sale. Buy a pair of red polka-dotted sandals because they will make me smile all day, even if I just wear them three times a year.
  9. Spa day. I’ve never had one.
  10. Annnd one big one: Go backpacking around Europe. It is such a cliché, I have to do it. And I have to do it in my 20’s- only 4 years and one month left (my birthday’s in July)!

    Thanks for reading! Until we meet next post. Or check me out on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat @newyorkcliche. Leave a comment with your financial goals, whether you’re “starving” or not!