#583 Trey

583

National Radio Personality, @ItsTreyMorgan of @Fresh1027NY (for celeb/music news, contests + up close artist experiences) – “There was this woman in her early thirties dressed as you would expect. Her outfit was smart, hair finely manicured and her shoes completed the look perfectly. As I walked down the sidewalk getting closer and closer, I noticed that something was wrong. I appeared to be the only one to notice. It was as if she wasn’t even there as busy New Yorkers swept by texting with one hand and a coffee in the other. I noticed though. I noticed a woman in pain, weeping with her iPhone pressed against her ear. I mean really fucking weeping. Something terrible had happened. I didn’t know then and I don’t know now. As she stood there broken, out in the open for the world to see, she was alone. Maybe I wasn’t jaded enough at that point to not notice. Don’t get me wrong; I didn’t stare or gawk, I just noticed. My heart broke for her as I wondered what tragedy just befell her. What could have happened? What monster could do this to her? As I walked past, I thought about the bigger picture. Anywhere else, she would have hurried to a “safe” place to hide her anguish or surely someone would stop to help in her time of need. Neither happened. She stood there, weeping into her phone.

That’s when I discovered that New York City is itself a dichotomy. It is as cold as it is warm, as cruel as it is kind and in this instance, it can be as desolate as it is populated. It’s the only place in the world where it’s possible to be right next to another person on a busy sidewalk but still standing there in complete solitude. Much like the dichotomy that New York City is, that feeling can be as lonely as it is inclusive. Once you learn that, New York City starts to become the city you decide to make it. You learn to mold this scary jungle of steel, glass and cement into a home because New York City is as much yours as it is everyone’s.”

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#581 Steve

581

@BredNewYork – “There comes a time in everyone’s life where something becomes clear and makes so much sense that you think to yourself “why did it take me this long to figure out?” It was December 28, 2014. I was going through a rough patch in my life after a break-up. Friends of mine had decided to get a crew together and go grab a bite. We went to The Happiest Hour on W 10th street in the West Village. Throughout dinner we were sort of reminiscing about the past, talking about how long it’s been since we’d known each other and all the things we’ve seen happen together. As the new year was approaching, I felt it was time for a change, like a real change and not just some bs resolution. What sort of change? I didn’t know, but I wanted to do something with meaning and something I could focus on and enjoy in terms of life fulfillment. As we decided to head out and head elsewhere, we asked for the bill. I happened to have cash on me that night, which was uncommon. Everyone else used a card. When the waitress brought me back change, there was a crisp $2 bill on top. In that moment, my thought process went into an almost algebraic equation that seemed to solve itself. Cash –> bread –> born and bred — BRED New York. I got to work on a logo that night.

I love New York City because its powers are infinite, surrounded by this aura and mystique that you can’t seem to find elsewhere. It’s a central hub to people around the world that appreciate everything there is to offer. Even if you travel, It’s like “oh, you’re from New York?!” No one ever says, “oh wow, Wisconsin”. Fact is, once you’ve made it here, you can make it anywhere — cliche? Yes. In essence, once you’ve made your mark here, you’ve been BRED New York.”

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#580 Katherine

580

@TheCakeDealer – “My favorite memory of NYC is not the school trip of the Empire State Building and seeing “Phantom” on Broadway or the day I spent with my aunt and uncle in Central Park right after a massive snowstorm and decided I wanted to live in NYC, it’s not when I moved into my NYU dorm and thought “I’m here!!!”, it’s not hugging complete strangers and giving out $10 worth of quarters I saved for laundry money so people could call their loved ones from payphones on 9-11 (definitely my saddest memory of NYC), nor is it the day I married the love of my life and had the wedding reception of all wedding receptions on a ship that went up and down the East River under the bridges and around the Statue of Liberty (though, it’s a close second!), it’s the day we (the previously mentioned “love of my life” and I) moved BACK to NYC.

We lived in Manhattan for years but took all she had to offer for granted. Plus, there weren’t apps or Groupon deals back then, we had a lot less money, we were planning our wedding, and I was busy getting my Master’s and we both had full time jobs. Before that, I had 2 jobs, an internship and was doing my undergrad at NYU and Vin was in law school and studying for the bar. Sure, we went out every so often and did some of the touristy things when people visited, but NYC became the background character, the “That guy” or understudy you seem to overlook. We didn’t really experience as much as we should have when we lived here. We only appreciated what we lost when we lived in Long Island and saw that we were just “stuck”: either stuck in the office or stuck on the LIRR or stuck on the sidewalk rushing to and from Penn Station or stuck with crazy drivers on the LIE or stuck lying awake in bed because it was too damn quiet at night. Even the 15 minute walk from Penn Station to my job was shitty because I just looked down and was in a rush. I passed the Empire State Building and went through Grand Central twice a day and it never occurred to me to ever pause, look up, and just breathe. Every so often Vin and I would plan an overnight date night to get dinner and see a show or see friends and book a reasonably priced hotel room and walk to work the next morning, as if we still lived in New York City. That “taste” of city living was joy and regret at the same time. I started to have a love-hate relationship with NYC. I was scared I didn’t belong in New York anymore.

We had our breaking point and decided to move back to Manhattan after five years. I found an INCREDIBLE deal for our beautiful apartment by THE Park (and by “THE” I mean “Central”), complete with jackhammers and construction coming from all sides. That noise was heavenly music to my ears. I couldn’t stop smiling the day we moved in. We had decided I’d take the train in to be at the apartment when the movers got here and I only carried 2 houseplants from our previous NYC apartment that had survived the suburban life, too. The sun was shining, I was even happy to be on the LIRR, I actually beamed at people on the subway who probably thought, “The F is wrong with this chick she must be a tourist,” I grinned like an idiot getting our apartment keys, screamed and jumped up and down all over the place when I opened the door to the empty apartment, and gave Vin the biggest, longest squeeze ever when he arrived to our new home. Pretty sure I cried that day I was so happy to be back.

Now, endless miles of concrete streets and the sirens and horns and skyscrapers are my security blanket, calming my anxieties. We make plans to hit up a different or new venue around the city on free weekends. We meet with friends to check out new restaurants and old favorites. We grumble about paying more taxes (damn you, NYC tax!) but spend our disposable income on amazing food. We scour flash deal sites and “best of” lists for interesting things to add to our “NYC To Dos”. One of my most prized possessions is my NYC ID card (after my giant KitchenAid mixer) because it shows I LIVE IN NYC. There are still areas of Central Park we haven’t discovered yet. I have perfected ultimate bitch face and acquired contortionist “Matrix”-like skills dodging oblivious people on the sidewalk and probably walk faster than most people jog. My blood pressure still rises if I HAVE to go through Times Square, but secretly I admit I love getting lost in crowds and being a nobody. But now, every once in a while, I take a breath, and I look up.”

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#578 Carmelo

578

@CarmeloGP – “The first time I visited New York was a few years ago in October with my soccer team for a tournament. We were staying in Staten Island, and we have scheduled to leave the hotel for 9:00am and head for the city. Unfortunately that’s not what ended up happening. 90% of my team slept in but I was so excited that I was one of the first ones up among one or two others. It was now 10:30am and still the guys were still sleeping. My buddy and I decided to leave everyone at the hotel & we fled for the the city on our own.

It was a rainy morning, and as we stepped off the Staten Island Ferry in the Financial District, it was as if I knew every street, every road block and every corner of the city, even though it was my first time in New York. I felt at home, I felt as if I was able to lead the way as though I was a tour guide or something. I remember I made an itinerary of all the stores I wanted to go to within a three hour time frame. A buddy of mine was with me at the time and we went from the Financial District, walked through TriBeCa, shopped in SoHo and had lunch at Casa Napoli in little Italy.

It was the greatest three ours I ever had in New York City, it was all so new yet so familiar.
We ended up meeting with the rest of our teammates, and as they headed back for the Ferry in order to make the 4:00pm soccer game, my buddy and I stayed shopping until the last minute. Our teammates were calling us non atop and warning us that we were going to miss the ferry, but we ignored them. Eventually, we ended up running back to the ferry in the rain with our shopping bags in hand flying everywhere and we got there just in time in order to make the next trip. It felt like it was something from a movie and people stared at us. We cut it really close, but it was all worth it.”

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#576 Dan & Jon

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@DanDumsha – “When we first arrived in New York, we flew with all these extra bags on the plane. A friendly guy approached us at LaGuardia when he saw all our bags and asked us where we needed to go. We had planned to take separate cabs to our hotel where we’d wait a few days for our apartment to be ready. He said “I got you” and had us follow him with our bags to the parking lot. Next thing we know, we were driving to Manhattan in the back of a white stretch limousine with TVs and refreshments…. And all our luggage. As we passed over the Williamsburg bridge, we looked at each other and couldn’t believe our luck. For less than the price of a single cab, we were starting our NYC chapter in style. That kind of magic seems to happen all the time in New York.

We just completed living in the East Village of New York City for one amazing and magical year. This picture was taken on our last day before we headed for Newark Airport to go back home to Vancouver. In NYC, Jon completed his fellowship in Neurology and i studied improv comedy and started my own improv show. It was an awesome year full of amazing experiences, fantastic food, and fabulous new friends.”

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