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Do I Look Like a New Yoowkeh?

USA | Friday, 10 July 2009 | Views [798]

At least once a day I am approached by tourists on the streets, in the parks and on the trains inquiring about directions. I'm still caught a bit off guard that they're asking me, a 5'1 girl fresh from the northwest region of the country, who is still using the GPS function on the iPhone to locate the nearest subway...but that's not for the tourists to know. Surprisingly, I've been able to dispense some good advice and send these strangers on their way. I'm really confused why New Yorkers are considered "unfriendly." I have yet to encounter such behavior.

Yeah, sure, people keep to themselves on the trains, but it's such an awkward place to make conversation. Why would you want the entire train to hear about what your boss wore to work or how often your dog humps other dogs at the dog park? The train is an excuse to catch up with the written word; novels, the times, podcasts, People Magazine, and in my case, the imperfections appearing in event brochures. I haven't had a chance to pick up a good book or a magazine (but I'm taking suggestions!), so I've been practicing my production skills: mispellings, lines that don't intersect but clearly should, kerning and poor image placement in advertisements. My sharpie is getting quite a workout!

Number of:

Days in New York: 9.5
Days I've felt like I've lived in New York: 32

Free concerts: Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band, Jenny Lewis, African Drums on the F train.
Upcoming free concerts: Matt and Kim, Flosstradamus, Mission of Burma, Dirty Projectors, Black Lips, Deer Hunter, Dan Deacon, Casino Kids, Wave Project, Slow Club, Kenny Chesney Kings of Leon, Jason Mraz, Simian Mobile Disco, Yeasayer and my fave, GIRL TALK! And this is only one day's worth of research!

Free pilates classes I've attended: 1
Free yoga, bootcamp and physique classes in the parks at are booked on my calendar: Everyday.
Oh yes...I forgot to mention there's free breakfast available for the morning classes...and it's delicious!

Friends from Portland I've reconnected with: in the high teens (crazy, I know!)
Friends I've "randomly" run into: 3 (including a friend I made in Thailand!!!)
Visitors from Portland: 3 (and the number keeps growing!)

Times I've explained to people that this is my first day or week in New York: 100+
Times people express their love for Portland: 1000+
Times Stumptown Coffee is slipped into a conversation: 22
Times "Oregon" is pronounced "Origan": 3

It's really hard for me to come to terms with the fact that I have only been in New York for not even a full 10 days. I feel like I'm traveling again...every day there's a new adventure, something unique to discover in my neighborhood and massive amounts of people to connect with. Don't get me wrong, this is a very tough city to be claiming unemployment, but it's comforting to know that I am taking full advantage of my free time. I've met with a number of staffing companies, recruiters, friends of friends...all of which are optimistic about me finding work in the city. All it takes is talking to the right person, and they do exist...somewhere! New York is a collection of stories. Stories of struggle, success, personal freedom and exploration. Yes, this is probably the worst possible time for me to venture out and move to the center of the universe where the cost of living is outrageous and jobs in advertising are sparse, but it's just one more challenge to conquer.

I do miss Portland. Family, friends, biking and the color green...but my life is now New York and it's a good one :-D So...who's coming to visit?

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