Monday, May 30, 2005

I survived

New York is hardly predictable.
The weathermen all swore that this three-day weekend would bring a gush of rain and chilly weather -- more than enough to dampen my plans to sun on the rocks of Central Park. Instead, we were blessed with abundant sunshine and blue skies.
The weekend turned out to be one of the best I've had up here. On Friday, I went salsa dancing and saw The Longest Yard, a surprisingly hilarious movie. (Who knew Nelly could act?!) Saturday, I went to a Czech/Slovak festival in the beer garden in Astoria, where I met a bunch of interesting new people and ate just enough dumplings and kielbasa to offset all the cheap beer I'd consumed. On Sunday, my two best NYC girlfriends and I went on a day trip in a zippy little car with our new Greek buddy (we met him at the beer garden the night before.) We drove up to the outlet malls upstate and spent 8 hours shopping for the perfect shoes. Then today I wandered the empty city and bought a TV, which my friend Keith so kindly set up for me.
In all, it was a fabulous way to celebrate my first anniversary in New York. I could get used to this.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Southern Living

I live in New York City because Southern Living -- the magazine that every dedicated Southern woman proudly features on her coffeetable -- turned me down for a job during my junior year in college. Admittedly, the magazine was right for booting me out of the interview, since I hadn't even read the sections for which they were hiring, but it still stung when they smiled sweetly and said, "Thanks for playing, honey."

So after they said no, I went into business journalism, which I thought would bore me to death (what's EBITDA?!) but ended up intriguing me all the way to New York. After a few years of talking earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, I pretty much started thanking God that I didn't get hired on at Southern Living. It's a beautiful magazine, but I think I would have gotten bored quick.

Still, if I'd landed that job, I could have been closer to my roots, some of which I went to visit this last week. A lot of the people I grew up with are still living in the deep South, and this trip allowed me to check in on their lives over frozen daiquiris at Applebees. We talked about minivans and SUVs, softball and dance recitals. Even though they had changed a lot over the years (what's Junior Civitan?!), they were still the same crowd I remember.

My accent slid right back into place after five minutes in the Little Rock airport, and I suddenly wasn't the only one calling people "dear" and "honey." It made me wonder what my life would have been like if I'd stayed closer to home after college.

Monday, May 09, 2005

homeward bound

i'm heading to arkansas at the end of this week, so i'll be out of touch with the Internet, seeing how my mom only goes to the library to check her "electronic mail" once a month. but don't worry, the twangy southern drawl that i'll have when i return to the city will be worth it!

we're kicking off the week with a family fish fry. from there, i fully intend to eat spaghetti and fried chicken in tontitown, spudnuts in el dorado, liz's tamales in little rock and cheese dip in every restaurant along the way!!

my ass will be wider, but so will my grin!

Currently listening:
The Perfect Country and Western Song
By David Allan Coe
Release date: By 01 January, 1996

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

mole people

My commute to work gives me about an hour of reading time on the train every day. I usually read one of the freebie newspapers and then zone out with my iPod.

But I just started a new book, The Mole People, and I'm only reading it while I ride the subway. It's about the homeless people who live underground in New York City and settle in abandoned tunnels and subway stations beneath Manhattan. The book tells the stories of the tunnel people who author Jennifer Toth got to know during her research.
It came out 12 years ago, but the book is still amazing.
I use the subway as a convenience to get from my big red couch to work and parties and dinners. These folks live in the dark that my trains zip through every day and make homes out of cracks in the walls.