Being a writer and blogger has been my lifeline in this town of total strangers, moving to New York City a year ago as I did desperate to come alive after, to quote a friend, "falling asleep in my life." Doing so jobless, in mid-life and knowing all of 5 people, blogging has allowed me access to all persons creative and cool, those intimidating folk who I'd be too shy to approach otherwise. Despite being a vibrant redhead with a high 'EQ' and a dollop of sass, fear makes talking to strangers about as appealing as chewing dirt, and makes me just as nauseous.
To survive in New York City, you must walk through fear. So despite its panic attack fuel, this past year I've interviewed celebs; reviewed dozens of plays by invitation; chatted up diverse likes of writers, comics, historians and Nobel prize winners; snuck in at the last moment to popular TV tapings and swanky cultural events; auditioned for cool voice over work; returned to my acting roots as an extra in an MTV promo; approached lit agents; started two, three, a dozen business ventures; handed out Dove chocolate in Bryant Park to make a quick buck; organized the home office of an heiress; had the time of my life temping at a major tv network; obtained clients eager for my interior design eye and was inspired to enroll in Parsons; been approached by a rep for my jewelry creations; partook of a hearing at City Hall for my historic block; started collaborating on a play with an admired playwright; interviewed for jobs glamorous and bizarre; and basically done everything I can to stay out past my bedtime. I've also had the pleasure of being connected with other writers and blogging observers of life, in this town and beyond. Recently meeting talents (and occasional NewbieNYC readers) from the UK and Japan have made me feel culturally broadened and even worldly.
I've had my share of heartbreak too, as only being open to life on the edge can allow. Tried the 'Sex in the City' version of dating with a smooth entertainment dude, only to find out over brunch with friends that he was also seeing another redhead at the table (what are the odds?) I got oh-so-close to jobs that were the culmination of dreams but sadly weren't meant to be. And most devastatingly, lost a friend to the horrors and torments that are part of the tragic underbelly of New York City.
But then I moved here to be open to life as never before, good-bad-horrific. So if there is any advice from this newbie, it is that this town is what you make of it. Get out and live as only this island allows-full on, frightening, but oh-so deeply fulfilling and fabulous. Falling asleep in your life here is just not an option.
NYC Blogs to Live By: The city is filled with opinionated, whipsmart writers, all just ruffled enough under their feathers to post honest, full-on rants on the city. Let these be your guides to NYC survival of the fittest. Be it the gentrification of town down-and-outs as frequently bemoaned on Hoover Factory (also a hipass music commentary) or the whimsical camera lens look at cityscapes on New York City Daily Photo, you've got blogs that assess the city to match any mood, 'tude or curiosity. Some of my other faves include: Walking Off the Big Apple, a guide to footpower 'round about town; NYC Taxi Photo and its unique take from a yellowcab window perspective; Miss Adventurous and her fresh-as-a-daisy view on life in NYC; Lost City and Jeremiah's Vanishing New York for their cynical keeping tabs on the bulldozers; Becoming a New Yorker's coming of age tales; Overheard in New York and all its 'only in NYC' quotes; and the mother-of-all-city-blogs Gothamist.
Friday, March 7, 2008