One More Airport

I haven’t been in New York City long, but I will admit the Big Apple has become quite satisfying. Sure, I’m still the person who takes candy from strangers on the subway and then spins like a ballerina to orient herself once on the surface. At the same time, there is a coffee shop I can call mine and I have successfully completed multiple loads of laundry at my local laundromat in my six weeks here.

 

 

In the middle of all this comfort, though… there’s another airport waiting to greet me.

Hint: It is one of the two that feels like home to me. Who remembers? Prizes if you know! And by prizes, I mean a shout-out and an enthusiastic high-five if you’re anywhere near San Francisco or NYC.

 

Oops, there it is.

 

It’s an unconventional decision, but I am going to take my next very large step over to the other side of the country as an intern with the non-profit Kiva.org. If you don’t know what they do, well, that’s why there’s a hyperlink for you to learn! So click and get to it!

 

All kidding aside, I have been intrigued and inspired by what this organization and what many other microfinance groups are doing to encourage entrepreneurism, and more importantly, empowerment. My interest in small business development grew throughout my reporting career as I witnessed and contributed to the growth of the downtown areas of Salisbury, Md. and Troy, N.Y.

We dressed like this every Friday night.

We dressed like this every Friday night. [Main St, Salisbury]

I am pretty sure all – and yes, all - my hard-earned dollars went to wine and cheese at the Confectionery.

I am pretty sure all – and yes, all – my hard-earned dollars went to wine and cheese at the Confectionery. [Troy]

 

 

As someone who often lacks courage, I admire the bold spirit of these visionaries and I only hope that I can help foster that among men and women in countries where aid can’t be found in the form of loans.

That’s where you and I come in.*

 

 

I am leaving for California in January for five months. That’s the charted territory for now. You’ll be learning more of the life that’s unmapped alongside me as we go. Well wishes are welcome. So are food, hugs and prayer.

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*Check Kiva.org again, please, if you don’t understand.

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#whatinnaeworld?! New York Edition

I’d like to think after six weeks, I’m a bona fide New Yorker.

This weekend, however, I realized I am far from it.

 

It’s not just because I ended up in a different part of Queens because I forgot the hyphen in the street address (yes, 40-17 Broadway is quite different from 4017. Is that not obvious to you?). It’s not because I still manage to come out of the wrong exit at the 34th Street stop which is always, always, always closed on weekends.

 

Well, maybe it is. However, the realization came when a man offered me candy on the L train.

 

It was a wrapped Starburst. Red. Still in the original row, though the outer packaging was torn open.

... And possibly laced with coke?

so inviting

 

My companion stared at me once he realized it was already in my mouth. “Did you really eat that?” he asked.

“Yup,” I mustered with teeth half-clamped together.

“I would’ve never eaten that.”

 

Still a newb, my friends. Still green. And apparently still in need of reviewing my stranger danger kindergarten education. Oops.

 

P.S. It wasn’t laced with coke.

How I Know I’m Still A New York City Newbie

It’s been awhile since I’ve packed a lunch. The last time was when I went on a road trip with my friend Molly to the mountains and rivers of Colorado this summer.

 

It was glorious. So were the turkey and veggie wraps we made.

 

This weekend, however, I scrambled to grab whatever I could from my fridge (think yogurt, fruit and the oh-so-basic peanut butter sandwich) so that I could eat a cheap meal and avoid purchasing something on the way to Philadelphia. As you know – or should have heard – New York City meals are not so friendly on the wallet.

 

In my haste to be frugal, I let some precious minutes slip away. Having then missed the express 2 train by seconds, I found myself at Penn Station with 4+ avenues to walk and only fifteen minutes (for the record, avenues are very, very long). I walk at a fairly fast clip normally, but armed with two heavy bags, I doubted my feet. Begrudgingly I raised my arm…

 

 

And hailed a cab.

 

So much for saving money. New York, I know you’re chuckling.

Never Say Never

You know when you say you’re never going to eat monkey brains? Or you would never jump out of a plane for “pure pleasure”? Or that you would never live in New York City?

 

So that one might just be me.

 

The thrilling skyline of vibrant skyscrapers. The epicenter of tourism. The hub of finance, media, fashion and food. Home to 2 to 8 million rats (Actually, I need no further reminder as to why I did not want to live here).

 

Yet here I am, a now two-week resident of NYC.

 

Granted, it was more than a decade ago when I first said I had no interest in living in the Big Apple. Since then, I’ve visited countless times, navigated the metro system with ease and recognized most neighborhoods by name (I don’t think I’ll ever understand TriBeCa). Even so, there was a reluctance to fully embrace the highly revered metropolis. I loved the grittiness of Philadelphia, the natural open arms of San Francisco, and the hard earned knocks of Boston. New York? Too glamorous for me.

 

When I realized I needed a place to lay my head at night for more than just a week’s stretch, I had a couple of hospitable options. In the end, I was given the opportunity to live in an amazing apartment with a reduced rent, and friends who would continue to look out for the rest of my belongings upstate.

 

God works in beautiful, but humbling ways. Unsettling, too. I’m still adjusting to being a quasi-Manhattanite, no matter how short or long my time here may be. I guess it’s time to put on my high heels and get to work.

 

(Who am I kidding. I’m still wearing flat shoes).