Smoked Salmon Everything Bagel with Scallion Cream Cheese from Best Bagel & Coffee,
225 W. 35th St.
I'm actually surprised that it took me 39 years to get to the Big Apple. So when my mom wanted to do a girls' trip to NYC, I was ecstatic. I am so lucky to have experienced it all with my mom, sister and niece. And I must say, it was built up in my mind to be this big, beautiful, fast moving, multi-cultured, unforgiving, chew you up, spit you out, hard core city. And half of that is true. It is big. We only touched on two boroughs... Manhattan, and a smidgeon of Brooklyn. It is beautiful. The people, the parks, the architecture, the smells, the tastes... all beautiful (well ok, there were a couple of smells I could have done without). It is fast moving. There are people (a lot of them, around 9 million of them), cars, buses, trains and boats constantly working on getting to their destinations. It is multi-cultured. You will find people from all walks of life in NYC. Every nationality, language, religion and color. They all live here. And they've all brought their culture with them to share!
But what shocked me most about New York, was how friendly, helpful and accommodating people were. You think big city and you think head down, ear plugs in, don't talk to me stature. And that is true of a lot of people, but most of them are quick to take out their headphones and press pause to give you directions or shoot you a smile on the subway.
Pastrami Sandwich from the Carnegie Deli - Best Pastrami Sandwich I've ever eaten
854 7th Ave.
My dream when I graduated from college was to work as a writer at Rolling Stone magazine. I was going to move to New York (on the zero dollars I had saved), get me a job writing about music (cause no one else wants that to be their job, so there wouldn't be any competition), live in a nice little apartment (preferably one with a washer/dryer and no roommate of course), and walk around like Mary Tyler Moore every day. Yeah. That was the dream.
The reality was that I would have to have 2 other jobs to even afford an apartment that would most likely not be in a good area. And with 3 jobs, how was I ever going to find time to see the music I was going to write about? So at least I was able to finally play out my dream. I went where the Rolling Stone offices are. Pretended that this was where I would commute to every day. Walked around talking to myself as though I was a very important NYC music writer. I even told some kid to go fetch me a cup of coffee (I kid).
But my life today isn't so far from my dream. I get paid to see live music. I have the luxury to take off work whenever I want to travel for more music. I have a nice townhouse in the birthplace of Rock n' Roll where I don't have to share laundry with others and I chose my roommate and he's pretty awesome. He even takes out the trash. I wouldn't change my life in a New York minute!