#NYC Week 1: Arrival and Assimilation – So far so good!

The view from my new apartment… I wish!

Caution: this is a longer post than usual…

Let me start off this post by saying I’ve temporarily moved to the Big Apple, AKA New York City! While my living arrangements may not be as glamorous as those found in Manhattan (damn those people who can afford it! jk), I’m loving every second so far spent in Brooklyn Heights. I love that it is not in the hustle and bustle of Manhattan; I feel as if I could in fact take a break from all of the chaos that is #NYC if I really needed to do so. The best part is that the Clark Street Subway Station is literally 30 feet away from my doorstep, so I can hop on the Metro and get anywhere I need to be!

Here are my highlights so far:

My mother and I flew into #NYC last Friday… It was pretty magical. Met my roommate, Enrique Questell, from Puerto Rico. So far, we’ve gotten along very well and I’m hoping that we continue to do so… I’ll be living with him for two more months lol. This was also that day I started going crazy with my Instagram feed (sorry to all my followers out there!). Side note: I just created a Flickr account so that I could display my Instagram photos on here. Check them out on the right sidebar! Besides that, I just walked around a lot, shopped a little bit, the usual.

It’s so easy to explore the city when the Metro is so close! Whether it is trying new foods (Shake Shack), rediscovering the epicness of some chain restaurants (Chipotle and Five Guys), or even reconnecting with long-lost friends (Michelle Landry, I’m looking at you 😉 ), New York is full of adventure.

Monday marked my first night out in the Big Apple, where I met Ms. Landry for a night of music at the Mercury Lounge, located near Williamsburg. Of course, stuff went down on the way there… So I’m on the Subway and my iPhone decides to shut off indefinitely as I approach the correct stop. And this is where things got sketchy. I asked a lady for help trying to locate the venue, but she shrugged and walked away — typical New Yorker response, I guess… But she did wish me good luck so I couldn’t be too sad that she didn’t want to help.

And then this Russian guy on a bike comes out of nowhere to save the day… except that he gave me the wrong directions! So I walk down Houston St. the wrong way for 40 minutes, walk into a Subway Sandwiches Restaurant (a place I thought where the people were always nice…) to ask for help and get immediately thrown out of the store because I wasn’t ordering food. Extremely discouraged, I was about to throw the towel in and jump back on the Metro to go back home — after all, it was almost 9 p.m. and I was walking aimlessly by myself in #NYC.

Then, lo and behold, as I was walking back to the Subway station, I ran into the Russian guy on his bike again! He ends up telling me the way to get to Williamsburg (instead of going right from the Metro station, I should’ve taken a left), so I have a little more incentive to look. I thank this gentleman for his help and think to myself, “let me just give it five more minutes. If I can’t find it by then, I’m going home.” So I start walking down this new path for about two minutes and then look up: I’m literally standing underneath the sign for the venue! Thank god I looked up at that moment, or else I probably would’ve been cut up into pieces and spread around Williamsburg ← according to some of my friends (but I don’t think New Yorkers are that mean…).

After finally getting to the venue, I got to see New Orleans’ own MyNameIsJohnMichael and Michelle’s friend’s band from Nashville, Kopecky Family Band. The former was pretty legit, but not really the type of music I would put on my iPod. Kopecky actually rocked the house for me though. They really just blew me away with their energy and musical talents. The show itself was so intimate and the crowd interaction really got me.

Here is one of their songs, “Howlin’ At The Moon.” It’s pretty awesome:

After that, Michelle decided that the night couldn’t end just yet. So, she led me to this hole in the wall-looking pawn shop and whispered something to the gargantuan man standing outside the place. He motioned for Michelle and me to follow him inside. Now I started to get pretty nervous (especially after my accidental adventures earlier that evening). Gargantuan Guy took us through the pawn shop to this small closet-looking door in the back. There was another huge guy guarding this door, too. I turned to Michelle and whisper, “screw this, Michelle, let’s get out of here.” But she tells me to be patient and not to worry.

The new guy opened the closet door to reveal a swanky bar, grand spiral staircase and tables set up everywhere. Patrons were dressed to the tee; in other words, I felt as if I had died and gone to bar heaven. It blew The Office in Baton Rouge out of the water — none of the places in Tigerland even stood a chance.

Needless to say, that night ended up being amazing. Michelle and I caught up a lot — we hadn’t seen each other since Freshman year of college.

Other highlights from this past week include walking around the NYU area with old friends (Marina Cutaia and Stephanie Morales) and late night shenanigans with Michelle and her friend Rachel Martino. Of course there’s always room for lunch with my brother’s friends from NOLA (Gina Jagtiani).

From left to right: Me, Rachel and Michelle. As you can see, it was a pretty fun night!

And for an educational update, I finished my Research Design, including my Survey for my thesis! Also, I’ve started on my correspondence course (finally :/). I know that is going to suck, but it’ll be worth it in the end.

Lastly, I don’t start my internship until next week (counting down the days until Monday already!), but stay tuned for more updates regarding all of that next week!