This is the only photo I could find from early September 2004. A group of us had decided to take a girls trip to Vegas for Labor Day as sort of a last summer hurrah. I still had one quarter left to graduate and needed an internship to finish my degree. I had decided that I wanted to complete it in New York and had to actually schedule the phone interview with Lifetime Television while I was in Vegas. I ended up taking the call in the hallway of the hotel and a few hours later found out that I had gotten the job. The back of this photo says 9/6/04, which means this was taken just days before I flew from Seattle on a one-day ticket to New York with my parents, two suitcases and my determination…the rest is history.
We arrived at JFK around dusk, found our hotel, which was a Holiday Inn down on the cusp of Soho and Chinatown, and ventured out for dinner. Not knowing where to go, we ended up getting a recommendation to eat at a place in Little Italy called Positano. Afterward, we made our way down to the Ground Zero to pay our respects to those who suffered because of this tragedy. At that point, it had only been three years since it had happened and the site was still very raw. It was my first time being down there since 1994 and it was incredibly emotional. Missing persons fliers were posted on the fences, candles were lit, people were crying. I cried. I will never forget that day and try and make my way down there every year, to reflect and remember.
The next four days were a blur as we raced around the city looking at apartments, not knowing what neighborhoods were ideal to live in or what rent was reasonable to pay to sublet a room in a stranger’s apartment. I ended up spending my first month on the Upper West Side on 82nd between Columbus and Central Park West with four other random tenants.
Over the next few days my parents got me all set up with a blow up mattress, bedding, and a laptop, and before I knew it, it was Monday. I made my way to Midtown and began my first day on the job as an intern first at Lifetime Television. My first night alone in the city, I stopped into a bodega after work and bought myself a turkey sandwich, chips and a diet coke before settling into my new room. I remember sitting on my air mattress, watching “You’ve Got Mail” on my laptop, eating my sandwich and slowly realizing the move I had just made and the reality of my situation. But I didn’t panic, instead I felt happy, excited and content that I was finally in New York City. I felt I belonged and was on my way.
I had no idea what would come next, what the next week would bring, let alone the next year, or ten years, but from that point on, the ride has been unforgettable. I have made incredible friends and had many hilarious and memorable nights running around the city. I finally found a great apartment, had a slew of very interesting internships and jobs, survived the recession, started my own business, and have worked with and continue to work with amazing brands and people. I feel so incredibly blessed to have experienced such an amazing first ten years in New York (am I finally considered a New Yorker?!?!) and look forward to the next ten being even bigger and better.
I want to thank my Mom and Dad for their continuous love, support and belief in me, I couldn’t have done it without you guys. And thank you to all of you out there (you know who you are) for shaping and continuing to shape my time in this glorious city. I am one lucky, lucky, lucky girl. xo
*Today is a very bittersweet day. It has been thirteen years since the 9/11 attacks. It’s also my friend Rachel’s Birthday and my ten-year and Casey’s two-year anniversary of living in New York. September 11th is a day, that although it may represent something different to each of us, it will be remembered by all of us. xo