Last night was my first Thanksgiving in Brooklyn. My family called and texted throughout the day to tell me how much they missed me and I got to tell them how much I missed them. I also had a weird exchange with my mom where she wanted to know where Jon was for the holiday. When I asked her why she needed to know, her response was "Because I need to know!" That was pretty cute.
I got to spend the evening with my friends. It was a really great night - lots of food, drinks, and music as well as a general feeling of gratitude to be in one another's company.
These perfectly worn and distressed black boots were worn throughout this past fall, winter, and early spring. I put them away when once, walking in the rain with Lisa to check out the shops in our neighborhood, I had to stop and stuff a plastic bag in the bottom of my shoe in order to protect my foot from the water that was seeping through the sole of my left boot. These boots were sitting in my closet for a number of months until I finally decided to do some research to find a reasonably priced shoe repair shop in the neighborhood.
I went on Yelp (of course) and searched for information about the shoe repair shop that I often pass on my way to the gym, right on Meserole. I found out that the couple who run the shop are Korean and that they are also reasonably priced. I went in last week and spoke to the ajumma in Korean. I found it surprising how easily we were able to converse and felt that weird familiarity I get whenever I interact with older Korean people. This past Monday I stopped by to pick up my boots. I also got a chance to ask them where to find hodduk, per Jon's request. The ajumma found it hilarious that my Caucasian boyfriend loved hodduk so much. She said that had she known how much he loved it and had more time she would have made for us because she makes an excellent hodduk. She also said that the more Korean food my boyfriend eats the more attractive he gets, right? I laughed and agreed but didn't bother to tell her that Jon is the one in this relationship who knows how to make dukbokki and dakgalbi whereas I only know how to order Korean food.
I know. It's shameful.
So why am I bringing this up? Well in the last month I feel as though I've had more interactions with Korean people than I have the entire year that I've lived here. And it's happened out of nowhere. For example, there is a fruit and vegetable store in my neighborhood with a really cute orange cat. Sometimes if I'm passing by I'll stop in just to pet the cat (I know, ridiculous). The last time I was in there I was looking at their selection of squash (while petting the cat) when I heard the women behind the counter speaking in Korean to each other. I grabbed a squash and went up to make my purchase. I asked them in Korean, "Are you Korean?" They both smiled widely and said "Yes, we're Korean!" and we got to talking, mostly about how there are so few Korean people who live in the neighborhood. Then last week I got a call in my office from one of the clinics asking me to come down and help a Korean woman fill out her paperwork. I told them "Uh, I'm far from fluent. You know that, right?" Their response was to say that a little bit of Korean was better than no Korean. I couldn't really argue with that.
I really miss being around Korean people. I miss speaking Korean on a consistent basis and am wondering how I can involve myself with the Korean-American community here without joining a church. I'm looking around for volunteer opportunities. I've also promised myself to stop into the shoe repair shop and the fruit and vegetable shop at least once a week to say hello. In Korean, of course.
This weekend was great! So great that I slept an ungodly amount of hours on Sunday. Jon told me it was because my body needed the rest. I told myself it was because I was reliving my old college days. No no, I kid - none of that happened this weekend. I think it was a case of me needing to have some deeply restorative sleep. I felt like a slug for the rest of the day but it definitely did me some good to rest up.
Also, I think I may have lost my camera this weekend. I'm kind of bummed because there were some sweet pictures from the weekend (including pictures of The Smiths cover band that we stumbled upon at Brooklyn Bowl on Saturday - so weird!) but I'm secretly glad because now I can justify getting the upgraded version of that camera. I'm going to search the apartment but I have a feeling it is gone.
And finally, I've started writing for the brand new Girlish Zine. I'm primarily responsible for posting to our tumblr. I'll be posting three times a week including an advice column on Fridays. If you have any questions (anything at all) you can send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or directly to me. Seriously, ask me about anything.
I'm starting to get into the bad habit of drinking a second cup of coffee, except this one is normally consumed around 3 in the afternoon and not immediately after my normal morning coffee. I know I should stop this habit while I can but dang it, I need the caffeine! Especially tonight.
It's another very busy weekend. I intend on getting out and having a run or bike ride (or maybe both) sometime this weekend. I'm determined to get as much outdoor time as possible before the winter comes.
One year ago I was preparing to move east. Tomorrow will be my first anniversary of living in New York. I distinctly remember the conflicting feelings I had over moving. Jon and I had recently met and fallen for each other, all the while knowing that the day I would be leaving Ohio was looming ahead of us. We didn't know how we were going to make this long distance relationship work, only that it would because there was no other choice. I remember wondering how I would adjust to a new city and how much I was going to miss my family and friends. I also wondered about how my relationships would change with me being so far away.
I'm glad to say that this last year has been relatively easy. Living in New York is in itself very hard. Well, at least compared to life in the Midwest. Living here is of course completely different from visiting but really, I love it. Yes, I miss my friends and family and boyfriend but these relationships and emotional connections have managed to be maintained and to grow, even while factoring in the large distance between me and Ohio. I've also made some friends here who are very important to me while also getting reacquainted with old friends who had moved to Brooklyn years before me. And of course, having my best friend less than 5 minutes walking distance away from me has been a luxury that I have quickly become accustomed to.
This year went by so quickly. I feel like I only just got here but at the same time I feel like I've lived in Brooklyn for years and years. Time has a weight about it here. I think it's because you try and cram so many things into a day. The end result is a week feeling like a month.
People tell me the first year in a new city is the hardest and that it gets better from there. My first year was pretty amazing and easy. There were a few moments of home sickness and general depression but in all honesty it was one of the easiest transitions I've ever experienced. I count myself very lucky and am very thankful for that.
I'm so excited to see what this next year will bring.
I'm so excited! Tonight The Bell House is hosting another sing-along. This time it's for The Sound of Music! (My 9 year old self just started squealing and jumping up and down. My 32 year old self just rolled my eyes at my 9 year old self.)
"The hills are alive with the Sound of Music Sing-Along! In celebration of the 52nd anniversary of the opening of the Rodgers and Hammerstein Broadway musical, it's a Sound of Music theme party where we'll be watching and singing-along with the Julie Andrews classic that reminds us all that we were once 16 going on 17. Now, how can we possibly know all the words, you ask? Easy! All the words to the songs will be up on the big screen, subtitled for your reading and singing pleasure. So, you can sing-along until it's time to say so long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, good night.
Join us for a night of fun, singing and fleeing from the Nazis! We'll be celebrating with a few of our favorite things including:
-Dress up as a nun, put on your best lederhosen or just whip something up from your leftover curtains for the Costume Contest!
-Test out your lungs during the Yodel Off!
-Themed drinks including The Lonely Goatherd, the Von Trapp, Edelweiss and more!
-Tea with Jam and Bread!
-Sound of Music Trivia Competition!
-Pin the Tail on the Goat Contest!
-Interactive games and props to use during the movie Rocky Horror Picture Show style!
-Brown paper packages wrapped up in string!
It's cold out so don't forget your warm, woolen mittens!
** Please note this event will be mixed seated and standing, arrive early for best seat selection."
It's $8 to get in. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8.
This movie was a big part of my childhood and you better believe I'll be singing along to every single song. There were a couple parts that always really bugged me.
Leisl's "WHEEEEEEEEE!!!!" after Rolf kisses her and then runs away. Ugh. Hated it.
And then the dance in the gazebo between Maria and Captain Von Trapp. I thought that was weird. Not romantic and sweet but weird.
I wonder what the movie's going to be like after a drink or two... Could it possibly make it even more awesome? I'll let you know.
Today I read this article about what it means to be "skinny fat". Basically, it means that your weight may be in the "normal" range but your body fat percentage is very high, thus having no muscle and lots of squishiness all over.
"City Reliquary Craftser in Residence, Anna Grant, leads a bow tie and fascinator-making workshop to keep you in line. Corduroy for crafting will be provided, as will the finest in Corduroy embellishments and Corduroy-inspired refreshments.
Suggested donation: $5. Or you could make it $11, if you are feeling wealthy and generous and have 11 singles or a $10 bill and a single."
Also tonight, the Secret Science Club has another FREE meeting at The Bell House. They will present a live screening of NOVA's "The Fabric of the Cosmos" with special guest astrophysicist Summer Ash. You can find all of the details for tonight's event here. I suggest getting there early in order to grab a seat as these events are packed. Doors open at 7:30pm and the event starts around 8:00pm. Last month there was a line already formed before the doors open. Once they let us into the space there was a mad dash to claim seats and space. Within twenty minutes the entire venue was packed. Consider yourself forewarned.
Tomorrow evening, another friend of mine will be reading some of his work at LaunchPad in Prospect Heights as part of their monthly (and FREE) Renegade Reading Series. Twelve authors read their work every second Thursday of every month.
"Friends! I invite you all to the Renegade Reading at LaunchPad! The event will take place from 8 to 11pm. Readings start promptly at 9:00pm. The first - and hopefully last - hour will consist of wine drinking, cupcake eating, chatting, flirting, and general shenanigans."
I defnitely enjoy shenanigans, especially if cupcakes and wine are involved. :)
The night before the marathon I stayed up a little later and made a sign. Inspired by my friend Pete and his recent and very impressive High Five Running stint during the Columbus Half Marathon, I wrote in large letters "HIGH FIVES to Help You Stay Alive!"
I woke up early the next morning and walked down to Manhattan Avenue. Greenpoint was right at the halfway point of the marathon. As I grabbed a cup of coffee I saw the elite women zoom down the street. I knew this meant that the elite men's group wouldn't be too far behind. I got a spot almost at Greenpoint and Manhattan Avenue and kept my sign folded up as I figured the elite runners wouldn't want to pause for a high five. The men's leaders ran by soon after I found my spot. After about twenty minutes the throngs of runners from the first wave started coming through. I unfolded my sign and immediately started high fiving people and stayed there for the next four hours.
Being a spectator for this event is an awesome experience. I knew people would be tired and starting to hit a wall so I wanted to make sure to be there to help them rally. I yelled encouraging things almost the entire time. "You look awesome!" and "You're halfway there! You can do it!" I could see people reading my sign and then saw them smile. Some people ran over to me from across the street for a high five. Several people grabbed and squeezed my hand *hard* as they ran by. Many people smiled and said thank you. Two people who were walking by grabbed a high five and then immediately started running. Speaking from my own experience, getting high fived while running makes me really happy. I don't know how else to describe it. To be able to make that connection with someone else gives me a boost of energy. I hope I was able to do the same for the runners who ran through the neighborhood.
A few things I noticed.
The French people who were running the race were SO HAPPY! Every single one of them looked so thrilled to be running and passed by with huge smiles on their faces.
I saw about eight Koreans running the race and so of course I yelled at them in Korean. Apparently my Korean has not deteriorated too much as they all enthusiastically waved and/or fist pumped in response to what I said.
I need to work on my high five aim. Thankfully, at one point an older Polish man stood behind me and started handing out high fives as well, thus catching those missed high fives.
I had my scarf looped around my neck a little tighter this morning on my way to the train. It was a little overcast and more than a little windy. That coupled with the crunchy dead leaves underfoot made it a decidedly fall morning. I love it!
"This is a community dance, modeled after NYC's Barefoot Boogie and Boston's Dance Freedom. Come freestyle dance in Shambhala's beautiful studio."
Admission is a sliding scale fee, $5 - $10.
Saturday my friends and I will be heading back down to Prospect Heights for an evening at the Brooklyn Museum for another installment of their Target First Saturdays. I'm hoping that we get to check out any one of the new eateries that have recently opened in that neighborhood before getting lost in the museum.
Sunday I'm planning on getting up early to cheer on the participants of the New York City Marathon. Brokelyn has a great list of the best marathon watching spots in Brooklyn. My lovely little neighborhood, Greenpoint, is on the list. My plan is to post up right at Greenpoint and Manhattan Avenue, get highly caffeinated, and yell encouraging things to everyone who runs by. I'm hoping to be able to see a couple of my friends who are running the marathon so that I can give them a high five as they run by.
Me and Jon at his brother's wedding this past weekend.
This past weekend was spent in downtown Detroit with Jon and his family for his brother's wedding. I was able to meet his entire extended family for the first time. Did I mention that his mother is one of ten children? Yes, one of ten - five girls and five boys. Needless to say there were lots of introductions and a few times where I whispered to Jon that I would never remember everyone's names. (Apparently he had a hard time remembering everyone's names as well when he was younger so he told me I shouldn't worry about it.)
Nearly everyone lives close to where they grew up in Southern Ohio, right outside of Cincinnati. Jon's grandmother, along with several of his aunts and cousins, told me how important family is to them. This family is one that not only loves each other but genuinely likes one another. That was pretty awesome to witness.
So, what does this have to do with me missing people? Well, over the weekend I started thinking about my own little (by comparison) family. My brother and I are very close and my relationship with my parents is the best it's been thus far in my adult life. Sadly I won't be seeing them until the holidays in December. Being with Jon and finding time for just the two of us amidst the insanity of the wedding weekend was amazing as usual but we won't be seeing each other for over a month as we are both trying to save money by lengthening the time between visits. Knowing this of course made me sad. Seeing photos from Halloween of my friends and their children made me miss those chilly fall nights we would sit and pass out candy, carve pumpkins, and share a whiskey or two by a backyard bonfire. I think the fall weather is making me nostalgic.
The question of whether I would ever move back to Ohio came up a few times this past weekend. The answer is yes, of course I would move back. The question is not if but when - when would that happen? I'm certainly not ready to leave New York. I've only just gotten here and want to stay here for a long while.
But being happy in New York doesn't change the fact that I really miss those that I left in Ohio.
It does make me appreciate the time we have together that much more.
Just in time for the cooler weather, MUJI offers knit gloves that have a conductive material woven into the thumb and forefinger. That means you can keep your fingers warm and still use your touchscreen devices. Genius!