Number 14: Find the Friends Apartment

Friends is one of my all time favorite shows, so naturally I felt like I had to locate the apartment building that was used as show’s facade. You can find the apartment here. This little expedition was really fun because Greenwich Village is adorable! Walking the tiny streets, lined with some of the oldest houses in the city, led to finding some hidden gems. Anyways back to Friends’ apartment, this building was shot as the exterior for Monica, Rachel, Joey, and Chandler’s building. It’s a really quiet street, when I visited the biggest group of people were on a Greenwich village tour. There is a cafe on the street level of the apartment, but I didn’t go in because it was fairly busy. All in all I would suggest this side adventure to anyone who is a Friends fan, or wants to explore an area not overly flooded with tourists.
Until Next Time…

Number 35: Get a New York City Library Card

This task was done fairly early on in the relocation to the city because my need for books is strong. The library system here is extensive, with 87 branches and 53 million books across the five boroughs. Having a library card makes me feel connected to the city, like an official resident. I think that getting the card helped me settle into the new place, putting me in a normal routine and making it feel like home.
Until next time…

Perks of an ID

Budget friendly exploring tip alert! I was told about this hidden gem called the New York City ID during my training and think it’s a great resource for people in the city.

Okay, so what is it? A New York City ID is a form of identification that can be used through out the city. There are serious uses for it like getting into government buildings and gaining city services. With the card comes some serious perks, which were the main push for me to get one, including a free one-year membership at many museums, zoos, concert halls, and botanical gardens. Since I will be in the city for about a year this seemed like an amazing opportunity to experience the culture of New York in a very cost effective way.

What is the process of getting an ID? First step would be to visit the website because it has all the information you will need to move forward. The first step is scheduling an appointment. This is right on the website, very easy to set up because there are many locations to go for an interview. I use the word interview lightly because it is just a short appointment to show documentation for proof of residency and a picture for the card. The website has a list of documents that can be used in the application process. Personally, I went to the Mid-Manhattan Library for my application appointment. I brought a copy of my lease and my driver’s license. The whole process took 15 minutes. About a week later I received my ID in the mail.
Cool bean, now tell me about these perks? The website has a very thorough break down of all the benefits that come with the ID. Along with the museums and other cultural attractions, the ID can be used as a library card, gain discounts are fitness centers, buy discounted tickets for a variety of entertainment, receive a discount at Food Bazaar supermarket, and when adopting a pet from an animal care center you get $25 off the adoption fee. I will be using the ID to get memberships at several museums like American
Museum of Natural History, Museum of Modern Art, Museum of the City of New York, The Public Theater, and El Museo del Barrio. That’s just to name a few that I am interested in during my time here.

 

I encourage everyone to take advantage of this opportunity. With my ID in tow I can start to do some cultural exploring!

Until Next Time…

New York City Bucket List

Since I will be spending 11 months in NYC I’ve decided to make myself a little bucket list. These are some of my goals during my time in the city. Here is what I have so far and I’m sure I’ll be adding to the list. So, here is my official New York to-do list:

  1. Go to a show once a month. This can include, but not limited to Broadway, off-Broadway, art show, or concert.
  2. Walk through the entire Museum of Natural History.
  3. Walk through the entire Met.
  4. Be a part of the SNL audience.
  5. Be a part of Jimmy Fallon’s audience.
  6. Go to Shakespeare in the Park.
  7. See a celebrity in the wild.
  8. Go to a red carpet premier.
  9. Be a part of Macy’s Thanksgiving parade.
  10. Hail a cab.
  11. Become fluent in riding the subway.
  12. Get lottery or stand by tickets.
  13. Go on a walking tour (historic and tv/film)
  14. Find the Friends apartment.
  15. Find Banksy.
  16. Tour NBC.
  17. See how the other half lives.
  18. Go to the 9/11 museum.
  19. Travel the world in a day.
  20. Visit every free museum.
  21. Join a club or group.
  22. Make a friend with a stranger.
  23. Be a part of a march or protest.
  24. Walk the highline.
  25. Take a train from Grand Central or Penn (if needed).
  26. Take a class.
  27. Speak French.
  28. Go to the farmer’s market.
  29. Find the Alice in Wonderland statue.
  30. Become a better cook.
  31. Go to a party.
  32. Visit all 5 boroughs.
  33. See the Rockettes.
  34. See the Christmas tree lighting or at least see all the decorations.
  35. Get a New York City Library card.
  36. Buy something on 5th 
  37. See the Wall Street bull.
  38. Tour Columbia.
  39. Discover a hidden gem.
  40. Ride the subway to anywhere all day.
  41. Go to an art gallery opening.
  42. Be an extra.
  43. Find something from home in the city.
  44. Walk through the entire MOMA.
  45. Attend a sports event.
  46. Find a place.
  47. Walk the whole island.
  48. Walk the Brooklyn Bridge.
  49. See something being filmed.
  50. Give a tour like a pro.
  51. Find a great deal at a thrift store
  52. Help a lost tourist.
  53. Host a dinner.
  54. Practice yoga.
  55. Make a difference.

 

Until Next Time…

Stage One of Public Transportation Acceptance

I will come out right away and say that I am a snob when it comes to public transportation. My life has been very easy up to this point in not needing to rely on a system outside my control to take me from place to place. Not having the ability to decided when and how to get to my desired destination is going to be a learning experience for me over these next few months.0904161413

My goal is to become fluent in at least the subway system. I would aim for the buses too, but there are just too many to keep track of. This is a challenge I am ready to take on. Over the past three weeks I have grown accustom to certain features of the subway system.

  1. It is always blistering hot in the subway, which makes waiting on the platform less than enjoyable.
  2. Man spreading is a very real and serious issue plaguing the New York subway. This is when a man takes up multiple seats because he cannot seem to keep his knees together like the rest of us.
  3. There is no need to panic when the lights in the car shut off. Apparently this is perfectly fine and normal.
  4. Be prepared to get cozy during peek travel times. Nothing like being pressed up against random strangers early in the morning!
  5. Stairs, stairs and more stairs. My legs are going to be toned.
  6. Express trains are beautiful creatures that make moving around the city much easier.
  7. Always plan ahead. Be early. Be very early because you never know when your train will be stuck underground for 30 minutes.
  8. There is a chance of musical numbers. I’ve experienced break dancing in the car, which involved some creative pole swinging, and a father/ daughter accordion dance number.
  9. Begging is sadly also a common.
  10. Rides can be unpredictable, so hold on to that pole or you’re going to go flying!

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In my mind I thought that the subway would be my main form of transportation, but I’ve discovered that I really like the bus. First off, you are above ground. Secondly, there is normally seating. With that said there is one major shadow hanging of the perfection of bus rides. That would be the fact that the bus drivers typically don’t tell you where you are when you stop or what’s coming next. This can be a real struggle at night when you cannot see street signs and only have your keen gut feeling for when you need to get off. Hey, I’m still learning. Maybe there is a better way to go about this bus riding system, but I’m into the adventure.

Until next time…

The Hunt

At this moment I am sitting in the living room of my New York City apartment, excitedly maneuvering decorations and outfitting the place with all it needs to be a functional living space. I had originally planned to write about my experience apartment hunting, while providing useful advice about navigating the rental ecosystem of New York. The thing about plans is they often change, which is exactly what happened in my situation. So the story of how I managed to land my place begins on Facebook.

One of the greatest resources that my Americorp program provided us with is a Facebook group where all the Corp members can connect. It was here, after an average day at work, that I saw a post about needing a roommate. I immediately jumped on this opportunity because I had been having no luck on my own. Miriam, this roommate searching Corp member, and I chatted and realized we would make a great match. Her boyfriend, Jake, was already living in the city at the time and another friend would be joining in on the apartment fun. It is here that my journey finding a place really shifted because I did not have to do any serious searching. Since Jake was there he took on the brunt of searching, touring, and eventually securing the apartment I am an typing in. We had multiple conversations through email and text about the places and applications. It was a bit nerve wracking to be putting my trust in someone else and on top of that it was somebody I had never even met before. My main job in the hunt was to provide my information to be apart of the lease and then go into the office to actually sign the lease when the time came, which was the first time I even met my roommates in person. Easy peasy right? I highly suggest doing it this way because my stress level was at a moderate rate during the process.

With that said I can provide some insight on finding housing in the New York market:

  1. Look into housing groups on Facebook. Here people post listings for roommates and subleasing options.
  2. Websites such as easystreet and zumper provide lots of rentals. This is where we found our apartment listing.
  3. Other websites can be used to locate others looking for roommates like roomzoom or easyroommate.
  4. Look out for broker frees. Just go through a realtor.
  5. Tour the place before you rent! There are lots of scams out there so be careful.
  6. Do research about the neighborhoods you’re interested in, but be open to places that may not be 100% what you desire.
  7. Google map your commute from the potential properties. It’s great to see what the transportation access in like because you’ll want to be getting out there and exploring the city.

 

This was obviously a major portion of planning for my move to New York and I am very happy with the place we found. I’m excited to start exploring the city more as I learn my way around!

Until next time…

And So It Begins

No, I have not disappeared again. I have just been working my butt off to try to make as much money as possible before I ship off to New York City, where I can only assume all that money will magically evaporate.

For the past few months I haven’t had much progress on my move to NYC. This is for several reasons. First and foremost, the program I will be working with had not told us where we would be placed. Thus this limited the housing search because I didn’t know where I’d be working. No sense looking in one borough and then being placed in another. I want to find a place located in the same borough or in an area close by to limit the length of my commute, keeping a realistic mindset on average commuter travel time. A major positive from this time in limbo is through this research and exploration, I have narrowed down where I am aiming to find a place to Harlem/ Upper Manhattan (I assume that’s not the official title). Just exploring the neighborhood, the look and the feel and the accessibility to the heart of the city is very appealing to me. The second issue that I have found is that most of the places that are being offered have a super quick turn around. For example it is June 21 now and many apartments are renting for the beginning of July, so there is not a large selection for renting in August at the moment. On top of that, I have unfortunately not been blessed by the money fairy. Small budget limits the search as well. New York is very very expensive…duh you silly naive girl! I understand that I will not be living in Monica’s apartment in Greenwich Village, but more like a closet size room with many roommates. I just look at this aspect as another part of the adventure.

Happy news is that I have found out the area I’ll be working! This will really get things moving in the apartment search department. Drum roll please…I will be serving in South Bronx! When I first found out that this was my placement, I wasn’t sure how I felt because I hadn’t really thought about being placed there. My excitement for this location has grown over the past few days since I first found out. The schools in South Bronx that the program partners with are all at the elementary level, which makes me very happy because I hope to have my year of serve count for my professional teaching certification. I was concerned that I would be placed in a high school where I have no prior knowledge, besides my own high school experience. This placement also fits into my preferred area of living, making for a reasonable commute to school. It is also cool to be placed in the Bronx for one other reason. One of my professors, who I talked to about this program in the beginning stages of me figuring out what I wanted to do and sought out her advice, is actually from the Bronx and still has family in the area! It is kind of a small connection to her as I start on this new adventure away from college. I am hopeful for her knowledgeable insight on the area and any wisdom she wishes to lay upon my naive country girl state of mind.

With the knowledge of my placement, I can now start moving forward with my plans to move down to the city. With all that said I am feeling a mix of paralyzing fear and unyielding excitement for this new adventure!

Until Next Time…

 

On to the next adventure

Testing 1, 2, 3. Hello. Hello. Anybody out there?

Yes I know that it has been quite some time since I last posted on this blog. My only attend at an excuse is that my life is incredibly boring. Like snooze worthy boring. I lacked any sort of motivation to write about my job at a document center looking at loans – ahh the excitement- or my semester student teaching/being overwhelmed with school work. I mean I have some fantastic stories from my time in the classroom, but I’m not sure if I’m legally aloud to broadcast them to the public. Anywho, I’ve just been horrible about writing because I lack inspiration from my incredibly mediocre life.

I’m presently in my final semester of undergrad, woot woot! I will be graduating in May and moving on the bigger and better things. What bigger and better things you may ask? Or since I’m writing this primarily for myself and nobody is reading this…you already know. But for the general public I will be, drum roll please (play drum roll in head here), moving to New York City! What?! Why? How?! I’ve been accepted to an Americorp position at City Year. I’ll be moving down to the city in August and will be serving for 11 months. I am extremely excited for this opportunity and the adventures that lie ahead of me. Fingers crossed for regular postings on this blog. Since my life will have a bit more excitement in it, I think I will have some more writing material at my disposal. So, here’s to the next chapter in my life!

Until Next Time…

Binge Watching in Real Life

The result of my obsessive binge watching habits and a project for my communications class. This fun and fabulous video is the product. Hurray for the thrill, chills and tears of binge watching. Happy binge watching. Keep on running those media marathons!

Until Next time…

When a Binge Watch Ends

It is a feeling like none other: the feeling of a finale.

In my experience of binge watching there have been many highs and lows in a binge. A time when your feelings are most vulnerable is the finale, but alas there are two types of finales. The season finale and the series finale.

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A season finale is when the show you are watching ends their episode run, whether it be 24, 13 or 10 episodes. A season finale is a very exciting time in your binge because it is the conclusion to what you have been watching over the past few days or hours. Normally there is some sort of closure for the events of the season, but you may be watching a show were the shifty writer will leave you with a cliff hanger.

In this case you will be experiencing an array of emotions from panic, dizziness or blatant anger. If you are watching a show that has other seasons out you can continue your binge as soon as possible in order to get the answers that you so desperately crave. Unfortunately, you may find yourself watching a show were the next season is not out yet. This is a hard place to find yourself because you now have to begin the waiting game. This waiting game is tough because depending on when you binged you may find several months will pass before the new season is set to air. When this is the case, take several deep breathes (in and out, in and out) and seek comfort on Tumblr. Seek your shows tag to remind yourself of all the memories of the show to tie you over until the new season begins. Watch a few fan videos or, if you are feeling exceptionally brave, read a fan fiction to keep the fictional world alive.

Then there is the pain inducing series finale where the world you have grown to love comes to an ends. A series finale also comes with several strong emotions, such as immense sadness, the calming peace that it is all over or frustration with an unsatisfying conclusion. A series finale is tough because no matter how hard it is to except, your show is over. Those characters, relationships and world do not live beyond your computer or television screen. When a show ends it may feel like those characters have died, even if they didn’t physically die in the show. During your binge you grew to know characters and most likely created bonds with them through emotionally investing yourself into the characters. This is why a series finale can be so hard on a binger. The first step in getting through a binge ending is excepting that it is over. Reflect on all the good times you had while watching. Another thing you could do to find solace in your grieving is to get a friend to watch the show. This way you can live vicariously through them as they watch the show. You can rewatch it with your friend and watch them experience all the highs and lows. This copping technique will also create a buddy to discuss the show with. Then when the show inevitably comes to a close you can mourn the loss together. A final piece of advice, just start a new show to mask your pain and take your mind off of the fact your show is over.

May the circle of binge watching continue. Enjoy your next binge!

Until next time…