Tag Archives: New York City

(ON TOPIC) Goodbye America, Hello…Somewhere Else

Part 2: My Cousin Who Travels the World (And Why She’s a Voice of a Generation)

When the subway rumbled from a world below, my knees buckled and I clutched my red-cushioned seat, the kind you’d expect to find in a movie theater. Behind me, two classmates discussed their favorite cafés in Paris. It was my first film class at NYU.

“That’s where Amelie lives!” I thought, keeping my mouth shut out of fear of revealing what I considered at the time to be an extreme naïveté.

You see, I used to think it was luck that allowed people to travel abroad; by those confines, then, I wasn’t very lucky. Now four years later, I believe it’s more a combination of choices and money.

This is Allyn. She's my cousin. Allyn likes to travel. A lot.

Meet Allyn. She’s my cousin! Allyn was born a gifted mathematician and is able to work short-term jobs that fund her travels all around the world. (“Swimming and math. Two things people pay crazy amounts to learn,” she says.)

Allyn got the travel bug after participating in Semester at Sea during college. She recently graduated and has been wandering the world ever since. Allyn has administered the treatment for schistosomiasis to 54 patients while volunteering at a free medical clinic in the Philippines, and she’s also been flown to a vacation island and put up in a five-star hotel by prominent Chinese businessmen.

In other words, Allyn’s life isn’t normal. She’s using her acknowledged advantages as a middle-class American to tackle the disadvantages of those in other countries. It’s ballsy. As someone who’s been eternally tied to the social clock and therefore crippled by the idea of leaving America with no plan, I respect her happy-go-lucky frame of mind. She left the country this year with a one-way ticket, while I hopped on a plane to California with a printed Google map of restaurants and bars in the neighborhood to which I was relocating from New York City. This makes sense given our respective life mottos:

Allyn

1. Don’t make plans.
2. Expectations reduce joy.
3. Travel is the only thing that makes you richer, so waste all your money on it.

Jonathan

1. Always make plans.
2. Always set expectations so you can work to exceed them.
3. Happiness is the only thing that makes you richer, so waste all your money on Beyoncé concert tickets.

It used to be hard for me to talk to my cousin while she was living abroad. I think it was my early NYU-self acting up. I didn’t like that I was jealous, but I couldn’t help it. I was in the middle of my ninth internship while she was frolicking on exotic islands with Chinese businessmen. But now I’m working at Pixar, and that’s pretty cool, too. My path makes sense for me, and her path makes sense for her.

But I digress.

To return to the original questions: Is our culture worse off than it was decades ago? And is travel the only way to fix it? I hope not. People are always going to long for a previous era. (Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” offers a telling example of our eternal fickleness. As Gil yearns for the 1920s, Adriana says, “I’m from the ’20s, and I’m telling you the golden age is la Belle Epoque.”) And how can you say we’re culturally worse off when, in reality, we’re only able to experience a sliver of culture throughout the entirety of our short lives? My friends at NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour discussed this topic recently. “You’re going to miss almost everything,” says Linda Holmes. Sure, traveling may open your world, but your acquired culture doesn’t necessarily make you better. And it shouldn’t induce a feeling of superiority over those who haven’t had the opportunity to travel. Allyn, for one, has been to dozens of countries but always comes back, evermore humbled and appreciative of what her home has given her.

It’d be remiss to ignore the obvious caveat to this conversation as I sit on my couch, MacBook Pro on lap while perusing Comcast OnDemand and NPR podcasts (#thingswhitepeopledo). I’m lucky to be able to ask these questions. We’re lucky. In addition to the inevitable limit on our cultural intake, there’s yet another fundamental human limitation that prevents us from maintaining a global perspective in every given moment. We can’t always think beyond our screens to notice how lucky we are. Sometimes I feel guilty and selfish when blogging about things like this. It’s so about…me. Blech. Every time I say “we” or “us,” I have no idea if this is actually the case for a whole generation of people. Of individuals, you know?

It’s comforting in moments like to these to think of people like my cousin helping patients abroad, or the people in a small town in Connecticut coming together amidst a disgusting tragedy that hit a little closer to home. Our culture hasn’t gone wrong, you see. There’s good stuff and there’s bad stuff both here and abroad, just as there used to be, and just like there always will be.

Before Allyn and I ended our most recent conversation online, she wrote, “Ugh I’m bored, idk what to do with myself.”

No she’s not. She just has a flurry of choices before her and has yet to make a decision. She’ll make a choice though, and then many, many more after that. And you will, too.

Carry on.

To infinity and beyond,

Jonathan

(ON TOPIC) My (Respectfully Rejected) NYU Graduation Speech

There are some things you only learn with age, like that Santa Clause isn’t real. Or that just because a male model at Abercrombie & Fitch offers to take a picture with you doesn’t mean they want to be your friend. Or that graduation speeches are often filled with lofty quotations and overwrought references to “The Times That Be” and Bookface.

So how to resist possibly stereotypical yet comical references to, say, the different types of students that populate Tisch? How to overcome expectations in a society supersaturated with things and stuff? I’m going to get personal. And if I’ve done it right, you’ll feel like you’re a part of this story by the time I close with the line “To infinity and beyond.”

I’m an unlikely candidate to speak at graduation for two reasons: 1) I didn’t choose to go to NYU after graduating from high school. And 2) I spent the majority of my pre-NYU life as an observer, someone who sat on the metaphorical sideline of things, afraid to speak up and partake and do.

Elementary school. I never laid in the grass as a kid because it made me nervous, but I did play sports because boys played sports in elementary school and I wanted to be a boy. I wanted to fit in because fitting in felt good. I knew I was gay ten years before I told people I’m gay.

Middle school. Holding hands, kissing, S-E-X. I wasn’t doing it, but I was sneaking into the magazine aisle at the grocery store to check out Justin Timberlake’s new outfit in the latest issue of “Tiger Beat,” and I was quitting gymnastics because I was afraid that my classmates would make fun of me for doing “a girl thing.” I quickly zipped myself further into the sleeping bag of myself.

High school. The teachers and other voices in my life made me feel like AP courses and a 4.0 GPA took precedence over cultivating personal interests, but I took AP Language & Composition and learned how to write from one of the best teachers I’ve ever had, asked a girl to prom, and then graduated and spent the summer before college watching Pixar movies and inevitably letting them inform my view of the world because when you’re raised in a small town, books and movies are your world.

Then “College.” I started as a freshman at the University of Michigan. In other words, I started off at “college” before transferring to NYU, which offers…something else. Something more like real life, but not really. I took Sociology 101 and learned that psychologist G. Stanley Hall described adolescence “as a time when boys engage in masculinizing activities that set them apart from girls,” and I agreed with this and started to understand the feelings I’d had when I was younger. I also learned that frats and football can be deemed a lifestyle, and it was one that I quickly grew tired of. I left the closest friends I’d ever had to get closer to my dream of working at Pixar, quickly learning what it felt like to experience profound sadness in conjunction with deep-seated excitement.

In January of 2009, I transferred to Tisch as a Film & TV Production major. In other words, in January of 2009, my Life began here. New York City, abuzz. The greatest city in the world. Truly a fiction of a rare kind, owned by anyone who stomps on its grounds. A surreal place where I can watch my creative idol Woody Allen playing clarinet at The Carlyle Hotel, and then—and often without warning—end up on Ludlow and Delancey amid the smell of pee and cigarettes. The outdoors. Or, as author Fran Lebowitz says, that thing you must past through in order to get from your apartment into a taxicab. Or maybe you prefer Woody Allen’s New York, which he says has been plagued since the 1920s by welfare payments and narcotics and crime. But my Life began here. And Fran devoted her life to writing about it. And Woody says it’s the most romantic place in the world and still lives here to this day.

I went to Brooklyn and saw where “Do The Right Thing” was filmed, and then I hopped on the A train and walked into Tisch where I stood in the elevator with Spike Lee and he said “Thank you” when I told him I liked his hat and shoes. I learned that calling things “Felliniesque” was accepted and appreciated by some, and dismissed as pretentious by others. I hustled to get over eight internships on feature films and TV shows because I saw classmates with glittery resumes and industry connections that intimidated me and that made me anxious, and then I learned that Woody from “Toy Story” was right—jealousy is one of our ugliest colors. I returned Katie Holmes’s bra to Victoria’s Secret while interning on my first feature film, I saw my name in the credits on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” and then I went to London to train at the BBC. In the end, I learned that getting these internships to impress others wasn’t really what it was all about.

I watched people get addicted to technology, favoring virtual relationships over human ones in which listening became a thing of the past. I grew tired of talking at parties to people who seemed to have stock answers to everything. Yeah. Yeah. I guess so. Yeah. Then I became fascinated by how the need to travel runs deep in the psyche of some people but not in others, so I took time off, visited my brother in China, and told all my friends and family that I’m gay.

I learned that I care very deeply about things, so I started writing and learning how to share it with others. I’d show friends and classmates my scripts and short films with caveats like, Oh but it’s not that good, and then I’d watch them at home by myself and smile because of what it meant that I’d created something, that I’d started to unzipper myself from that aforementioned sleeping bag to breathe and live and share. I learned from MIT researcher Deb Roy that “I” is one of the most used words in the English language, which is ironic considering how connected our world is. I spent the last five weeks of college working on a science TV show and it taught me that the elements of the universe mix and mash in incredibly precise patterns that allow us to exist as we do. I learned that human existence, when it really comes down to the atoms of things, is unlikely. I learned that college taught me what I don’t know, and I was humbled by this.

We. Us. Human existence. What had I learned? Had I learned anything? How do you know what you know?

While thinking about time and space can make you feel insignificant, store it as ammo to be used every morning when you wake up. The thought of being able to do things should make you wake up every morning and, at various speeds and intensities, work toward your dreams in the short life you’ve been given. As Billy Wilder once said, “You have a dream so you can get up in the morning.” Forgive me. That was so Tisch of me. To quote a movie director, you know. And also very hypocritical as I began this speech by poking fun at graduation speeches that call upon stereotypical yet comical references. But this is okay because of another thing college taught me. The frequency with which you may find your beliefs shaken and challenged can be unsettling. Just know that everyone is entitled to his or her own opinions, unless his or her opinions are wrong. For example, the statement “Toy Story is a bad movie” is factually incorrect and the person who utters it deserves to be corrected. At the risk of continually verbalizing my resume, I should mention here that I’ve spent the last three months interning at Pixar, my dream company, and I can tell you that “Toy Story” cannot be a bad movie because it was produced by magicians.

I’m hopeful for the future. I am. We should be. Adolescent males and females are less imprisoned by gender stereotypes, and interventions are happening; the Trevor Project and It Gets Better campaigns are saving young gay lives every day. Organizations like TED are spreading important and progressive knowledge, and actions are being taken to get us to communicate on more meaningful levels. If you feel that politics are failing you, then I encourage you to look somewhere else like independent cinema or pop culture for inspiration. We’re thriving. We’re saturated. We’re busy. Be a part of it. While we’re all the center of our own universes, we’re really interdependent creatures functioning through the relationships we have with others. I challenge you to unplug yourself from technology, look up every now and again, and connect. Know your history, like yourself, and then figure out what you want out of the world. Go do something, but whatever it is you do, do it with confidence and passion and heart. Go forth in the world with the peacefulness of a snow day. Or don’t. You don’t need me to tell you what to do. Be selfish, but stay considerate and kind.

I like the moment just before I walk out my door in the morning, when I turn the lights off and everything goes black, and in that moment, if only for a second or three, I’m invisible and can do whatever I want without anybody watching. I usually stand still and take a deep breath, probably the last calm one I’ll have before the lights of the day hit me and things start happening. I say to myself, “Yo world. Yeah you. Here I come, you beautiful, beautiful, unlikely thing.” I hope we can all find peace in our lives.

I sincerely thank you all for listening, and I look forward to talking to some of you today and tomorrow and into the future, either virtually or in this beautifully absurd little thing called the Real World. K. I gotta go. I haven’t checked my phone once in the last five minutes and I’m getting antsy.

To infinity and beyond.

(ON TOPIC) Dear Carrie Bradshaw…

February Whatever, 2012

Dear Carrie,

Hey girl! I need your help.

After leaving your beloved New York for California (Please find a place in your Tiffany-studded heart to forgive me.), I learned that the stress of living in a city can make your mental health turn screwy. It’s scientifically proven! German researchers found that volunteers living in urban areas had more active amygdalas—the region that processes anxiety—when receiving negative comments while solving math problems.

Still with me?

Sparkles! Rainbows! Manolo Blahnik pink suede strappy sandals! Yay. Glad to have you back, sister.

But, like, I’m unconvinced that the stress of living in a city is really all that bad. This was my Bookface status after returning from California last summer: “10 days in cheery California has taught me that New Yorkers sorta function under this weird self-inflicted misery. LA, I like you.” And taking all the “Likes” and comments in consideration, many of my friends—New Yorkers included—agreed that happiness is a myth in the Big Apple. But how can this be when the city is filled with labels and love, the only label that never goes out of style? Right, Carrie, right?!

Sigh.

I remember you dealt with this whole bicoastal thang in Season 3’s episode “Sex and Another City,” the other city being…

[Brief intermission to allow you to locate the nearest trash receptacle]

LA.

[Another brief intermission to allow you to use said receptacle.]

Anywho, you met a publicity agent who exposed you to the perks of the rich and famous, while Miranda met an old friend from New York who lost his East-Coast edge. And how can we forget about Samantha? Laugh out loud! She met her idol, Hugh Hefner, right before you all rushed back to the safety of Manhattan—rejected and dejected. Great episode.

So basically, since your show is so so true to real life, I’ve turned to primetime HBO fictional programming—a.k.a your life—for a verdict on this city life debate: I have to move back to New York.

But here’s the thing, Carrie—and this is why I’m actually writing to you, I think—I don’t know if I want to!!! Ugh. Northern California is really, really cool. It’s February and you don’t have to wear a coat. And you can get in your car and see things like this:

"This looks like a dream." - Caroline Rafferty

I just don’t think I care anymore that, year after year, twenty-somethings flock to the Big Apple seeking love because it’s the best city in the world, or that Manhattan men are like “The New York Times Sunday” crossword puzzle because they’re tricky and complicated until you figure them out. Because…because Carrie…well because you’re like Santa Clause or a good episode of “Glee.” You…you don’t exist.

I’m sorry.

This was the main purpose for my letter. To tell you that I’m staying in California because I’ve officially loosened myself from your invisible albeit powerful, diamond-studded grip.

I can feel myself losing my edge already. K. Gotta go change into my bathing suit and lay out by the pool. <–Something I’ve never ever said before.

Eff you Carrie Bradshaw. I’m sorry, but I’m sincerely over you.

No longer yours,

Jonathan

P.S. I sent you some sand in a bottle a couple of days before I wrote this letter. Clearly my feelings toward you have changed since gifting you my favorite piece of West Coast beach, so just throw it away or whatever when you get it. I don’t care. 🙂

 

(LISTS) 20 Things That London Taught Me

1. Discussions about the differences between British and American English never get old. Fries are “chips” and chips are “crisps,” whaaaaat?!

2. Cabs are much cooler when they look like they’re from the 1960s.

3. We (Americans) talk too much. Especially about our feelings.

4. Catherine Tate is a comedic goddess. Case Study #34:

5. The statement “Americans don’t get irony” isn’t true. We do get irony. But, as Simon Pegg always says, Americans just feel the need to call it out every time we use it as to avoid damage (“…oh but I’m just kidding!), whereas the Brits just go for it. Enter amazing British cringe humor.

6. No matter where I am in the world, my hair will routinely evolve into a Jew fro after three months.

7. David Attenborough is a TV commentary G-d. (Don’t know who he is? He’s like the UK Morgan Freeman except smarter and better.)

8. Europe is neat because its proximity to so many neat cities makes traveling incredibly easy. By comparison, America is kinda sorta stuck in its own little world.

9. “Loo” is “restroom,” which makes more sense because the restroom isn’t really the premiere place for relaxation.

10. Gay clubs, no matter where you are in the world, are the scariest places in the world when the lights go up at 5 AM.

11. Bieber Fever is ubiquitous.

12. In a similar vein, the Boy Band is very much alive and far-reaching. Case Study #1,234,567:

13. “Sorority Girls” is the worst TV show I’ve ever seen. (Or is it the best?)

14. New York City is Heaven.

15. Heaven, London’s most popular gay club, is Heaven on Monday and Saturday nights.

16. The ideal seat on a double-decker bus is the front right seat on the top deck.

17. Queens are dope.

18. Everything sounds better in a British accent.

19. Nobody does grab-and-go sandwiches like Pret a Manger.

20. Dinosaurs are real:

(ON TOPIC) Speaking Up: “Yo Miss Prada. Get yo stinkin’ purse off my seat.”

So I have this document on my desktop where I write ideas for future blog posts. I found one today that was already written. Apparently I was really angry after riding the bus to New York one day…

Let me set a scene for you: I’m on the bus back from New York City and the women next to me feels the need to claim not only her seat, but also a generous part of my seat for her precious Prada. Add to this her incessant phone conversation and her plump right arm, which rested undesirably on my left arm while she spread out for a royal slumber.

My question for you, dear reader(s) is the following: In situations such as these, do you speak up for yourself?

In talking to friends and family, the most common answer was, “I’d think about it but ultimately wouldn’t say anything.” And this makes sense because speaking up is totally easier said than done. Why? Because we care about what other people think about us. We just do. Do you really want to be perceived as—for lack of a better word—a bitch to those around you? I’ve always been envious of people who, without hesitation, would tell this woman to get off her phone. But are those people inconsiderate, or just highly confident? In other words, I think worthiness is also at the root here. Do you feel worthy of respect from those around?

Case Study #1: Shushing at the movies. Shushing is passive-aggressive and inefficient. We’ve all seen shushing lead to even louder shushing and then to whispering and then to actual screaming. Instead of diffusing the situation, you’ve actually turned into a massive prick and made the problem a lot worse. So what’s the solution? I say skip the shushing and whisper politely in the person’s ear to be quiet. And if they don’t respond favorably (in this case, by being quiet), slap them. At least you’ve made an effort to remedy the problem! Reward yourself with two Sourpatch Kids.

Case Study #2: An experience I had in my brother’s class in China tackles this issue from a different/more serious angle. Adam set the kids up in a mock debate situation, turned the clock on, and said, “Debate.” But here’s the thing: They didn’t know how to do it! As he explained to me after, their cultural tendency toward in-group harmony may have been at the root of the struggle. They needed reassurance that it was okay to argue with one another in the comfort of this classroom setting. It seems like they didn’t view themselves as entirely worthy of both holding and then expressing their own beliefs.

The message here is simple: Speak up. Everyone deserves to be heard and treated fairly. There was a man who sat next to me on the plane to China who constantly fell asleep on my shoulder, but I was different back then and regrettably kept my mouth shut. Now I can’t help but wish I could go back in time to tell him what I was really thinking up in my brain place:

“Excuse me. Sir? Yes you. Could you please get your PUNGENT HEAD OFF MY SHOULDER! Also, I see you’re reading Harry Potter? He dies in the end. Enjoy!”

(ON TOPIC) Me, Beyoncé, and a Man Called Jeff

I love Beyoncé more than you do.

My eternal admiration can’t be reduced into words, so just trust me when I say that her concert last week was one of the finest spectacles I’ve ever seen, second only to the sight of the people of China crowding Tiananmen Square on China’s National Day. (I’m following an impulse right now as I type this and am thinking I’ll refer to Beyoncé as God from now on, k? Kewl.)

That said, what I can do is describe the series of unfortunate events preceding the magic that happened at Roseland Ballroom in New York City last Friday evening.

This is the story of how a man called Jeff saved my life.

——————————————————————————————

Cheese or chocolate.

Chocolate and cheese.

Cheese but no chocolate.

Just chocolate.

Two days before my trip to New York, these were the thoughts filling my head while my neighbors and I readied ourselves for a lip-smacking fondue meal at The Melting Pot. As I browsed the Internet, I inevitably ended up on God’s website (“God” seems disrespectful, yes? Let’s go with “G-d.”) and clicked on the Events tab. The following popped up: “Beyoncé will take to the stage at New York’s famed Roseland Ballroom for 4 Intimate Nights with Beyoncé, where she will perform her new album 4 in its entirety to a standing room only audience.” As I journeyed to the Ticketmaster site, my heart started racing like hearts do while in the face of greatness or love or both. Without looking at the price, I clicked “Find Tickets” and waited for the computer to confirm what I already knew in my brain place: All four nights were sold out. Sold out. Sold out. Sold out. The words started ringing in my head like I imagine that “I’m breaking up with you” movie line would sound if actually delivered in real life.

My heart sank.

Now, dear reader(s), you should be asking your smart selves, “If you’re the world’s biggest fan of G-d, how did you not know this?” And to that inquiry I must say: I really have no excuse. But please. Let’s move on.

My next move was instinctual: Browse Craigslist. I immediately sorted the sketchy dealers from the relatively sane people (Standards must be readjusted when dealing with Clist, penis references—images often included—characterizing the former and somewhat more vague penis references defining the latter.) and called someone who was willing to have a friend meet me with the tickets when my bus arrived two days later. Too convenient that I’d found a $116 ticket for $50? Yes. But when you love someone as much as I love G-d, emotions soar and potentially hazardous situations become just a little less so.

After programming Craigslist Man as “Beyoncé Guy” in my phone, he communicated details to me via text and two days later I got off a bus at Penn Station and began looking for a man in green. Life Lesson #1: If a man is simultaneously wearing a green hat, a green shirt, and green shorts, promptly walk away. Green Man grew antsy as we closely observed the tickets, so after failing to verify their authenticity with Ticketmaster and the venue box office, we decided to play it safe and walk away.

My heart sank even deeper than Rose’s necklace did after creepy Granny Rose secretly dropped it into the ocean at the end of The Titanic.

Later that night, I met my comrade Tyler to see the Broadway adaptation of “Catch Me If You Can.” After being slightly shaken by Eerie Green Man, my world was turned upside down and I found myself questioning everything I encountered that night. What was real?! What wasn’t?! Could “CMIYC” be adapted for Broadway when it’s such a brilliant movie?! In any case, I was thinking about G-d throughout the duration of the show. I knew her album well enough to know which song she was performing while I sat across the street at the Neil Simon Theater as Aaron Tveit rolled around in boxers. (This would be the only circumstance under which I’d neglect a near-nude Aaron Tveit.) Then I went home and angrily fell asleep.

It was now Friday, the last day of G-d’s exclusive engagement. “There’s no f-ing way I can happen to be in New York during an exclusive G-d engagement and not be a part of it,” I said to myself as I trudged around Manhattan, head down. I immediately hopped on my cell phone and decided to browse Clist one last time. The first ad read: “1 ticket for tonights show! Hard ticket in hand. First come first serve. Asking $140 or best offer.”

I sent a response immediately and got a call soon after saying from a man who told me his name was Jeff and that he was in line with an extra ticket. I told Jeff (“Zeus” sounds better, eh? Sorry to attribute erotic escapades to you, Jeff.)  to stay put and that I’d be there before he could say, “G-d rules all.” As I walked briskly toward the Roseland Ballroom, my uncertainty as to why a straight man would be seeing G-d was quashed by my overwhelming fear that I was somehow going to be scammed. This ticket search had transformed me into a walking ball of anxiety. Was Zeus really Green Man in disguise? Was he going to laugh at me when I ran up to him in excitement to see G-d during her live exclusive engagement? Was he going to be a plump girl wearing wide-rimmed glasses and sweatpants?!

When I got to the venue, I just knew it was going to go to be a good night when everyone stared at me as I searched the line for Zeus. I was one of the only white boys on the block, rendering me Waldo in a real-life game of Where’s Waldo?  But then a smiley man waved at me and I just knew everything was going to be all right because sometimes you just get gut feelings about things. I met him in line, gave him all the cash in my wallet (Stop guessing how much I paid for the ticket. You can’t put a price on G-d.), and finally secured my place in line to see the goddess herself, thunder thighs and all.

"You weren't the only white person, Jonathan! There are white people in the distance!" you may remark. No worries. They were headed to Trader Joe's.

As the concert began four and a half hours later, I could’ve easily let the night’s negative elements ruin my experience: The rain. My wet feet. My aching back. The girls taking Paul McCartney’s picture. The dolt next to me who shrieked every single song at the top of her little desperate lungs. The other annoying dolts who recorded the entire concert on their iPhones, therefore watching the entire show through the screens of their smart phones instead of watching G-d in all her live beauty like they paid $116 to $800 to do. But I tried to be understanding. Everyone was just trying to connect to the music in his or her own way. And I wasn’t going to let anybody—not even Mrs. Dolt—prevent me from doing so on my own. Sometimes, when a man called Jeff presents you with an opportunity to reunite with G-d, you just gotta jew what ya gotta jew.

This is the only picture I got before my phone died. In spite of the blurriness, I think you can still delineate G-d's beauty.

As I said at the top, I really can’t reduce the concert experience into words. The show was transcendent, and I left with the knowledge that 1) G-d is one of today’s best performers; 2) I can achieve my dreams if I want to; and 3) People with smart phones really, really suck.

If you’re interested in the concert itself, look out for the concert DVD in a couple months. Look for me. I’ll be the one in the front suffering from uncontrollable spouts of cries and shouts and then more cries.

And that, dear reader(s), is how a man called Zeus posted an ad on Craigslist and saved my life.

(SHORT NOTES) New York, I Love You?

On June 3 I wrote a post professing my love for New York City. Then, on August 12, I wrote a post breaking up with New York City. And today I’m writing a post to officially declare that the aforementioned New York City is mindf-ing the living kittens outta me. (Sorry for the strong language, Grandma.)

En route to the city last week I tweeted the following: NYC bound. Expecting to flip-flop once again while writing a blog post about how I’ve re-fallen in love with the city. I did so because I know myself well enough to know that the adage The grass is always greener plays on a continuous loop in my brain place. When I’m in Manhattan, I crave space and quiet. When I’m in a place like, say, Chicago, I crave New York City’s hustle and bustle. That said, this tweet makes sense within the mental frame I’ve built for myself over the last couple years.

But walking around felt different this time around. I think it’s because I was released from Manhattan’s self-inflicted misery when I learned to enjoy Chicago and California this summer. It’s also because I went to a Beyoncé concert (Beyoncé post coming soon.) and Molly’s Cupcakes (Cupcake post coming soon.).

And so, as I sadly leave the city once again, my last week here has got me thinking about the bigger picture: Happiness isn’t a place. Happiness is something from within that you have to carry with you wherever you go. So as I struggle to decide whether I’d like to live in New York City or Chicago or Los Angeles upon graduation this year, my fears are somewhat assuaged by this realization. I’ll be just fine (almost) wherever I go because I can always pick my shit up and move once again.

But for now, London here I come. Prepare yourselves, dear Brits, for my offensively obnoxious British accent.

Until next time…Cheerio!

(Homework: Type the word “cheerio” into the Google search bar and click the little speaker to hear Google Man recite it aloud. Why does he sound so utterly surprised? LOL.)