10 Things I’ve Learned About Living In NYC

I have been living in NYC for almost two months now and in my time here I have learned a thing or two about the city life. If you are ever planning on being in the city, here are a few things you should keep in mind before you come. Maybe it’ll better prepare you!

1. Don’t walk too close to the buildings on the sidewalk unless you want a small shower every few steps from the AC vents above your head. The buildings of New York are lined with old AC vents that drip on a non-stop basis. So, if you’re not looking for a shower while walking down the sidewalk stay away from the buildings. The lack of shade is worth it. giphy

 

2. If you go to dinner and your friend decides to buy the lobster entree and four drinks to wash it down you too will be paying for it. In New York they don’t do separate checks, they only split it. If you’re looking to buy an inexpensive meal you better make sure your friends are on the same page.

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3. Don’t be tricked into pressing the automatic 20% tip button in the cabs. Half the time, cab drivers are crazy, rude, and inpatient so why give them a whopping 20% for being an ass? Just type in the amount you want to tip, I’m sure that’ll be plenty.

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4. It’s okay to take home the four veggies still sitting on your plate. Meals are so expensive here so you should get every pennies worth out of your food. Don’t feel bad about asking to take home what looks like scrap foods. It’ll get thrown in the garbage anyways so why not store it in your fridge for when you’re in need of a little snack?!

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5. If you look even somewhat presentable you will get comments and hard core stares by every construction worker and truck driver. And yes, it will appear as if they are unclothing you as you walk by and yes it is as uncomfortable as it sounds, but you just have to pretend they don’t exist. Girls, whatever you do do not make eye contact!

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6. Uptown is great for meeting old people who have a ton of money, so not my thing being that I’m in my 20s. Midtown is great for meeting business men who work too many hours a day and hit on any woman they see because they’ve been in business meetings all day with tons of other sweaty guys in suites. Downtown is great for meeting extremely stylish hipster guys who could possibly be gay, so you probably won’t marry him but you can become best friends.

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7. If you go shopping and you’re spending over $110 make two transactions. Under $110 there is no sales tax! Save some money for a martini afterwards to celebrate your great purchases.

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8. Rooftop bars are the coolest and best things that ever existed. Not only do you escape the heat and humidity, but you get an awesome view of the city. Get there early to watch the sunset and enjoy happy hour prices.

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9. There is a big difference between local subway trains and express subway trains. On a local train it may take you 30 minutes to get from point A to point B but on an express train you may end up in Harlem in 20 seconds. Be careful about which one you get on, there is a HUGE difference.

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10. There are so many places to get great free entertainment, especially in the subway stations where there are homeless people galore singing songs. I’ve found that “Lean On Me” is a favorite. Watch out that you don’t get on the same train car as them because it doesn’t matter if they are the best singer or the worst singer, in the entire world, they will continue to sing for the entire ride with no shame.

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I’m sure that if I had more time here I would learn plenty more, but so far these are my big tips that I have for anyone traveling to the big apple. It is the most exciting, interesting, and money draining city I’ve ever lived in but I can’t get enough of it.

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On The Run Tour: Queen B & Jay Z

A few days ago I made an impulse decision to see Jay Z and Beyonce in concert. I had been wanting to go since I found out they were touring together but I wasn’t sure how I would get to New Jersey and if I would be allowed to spend a lot of money on a ticket.

When my roommate Callie said she got a ticket and I conveniently found a seat directly in front of her I felt like it was fate. I bought my ticket online and didn’t look back (or at my bank account).

The ‘On The Run Tour’ concert was last Friday in East Rutherford, New Jersey in the MetLife Stadium. It was a bit of a trek to get there but I would travel great lengths to see Jay Z and Beyoncé in concert. We were running late and grabbed a smoothie and salad on our way down to the subway. We had to go from the subway, to the train station, then to a tram just to get out to the stadium.

We ended up missing the first train so we flew through Penn Station to catch the next one. A little nervous that we didn’t buy tickets, we hopped on the train and found some seats. I began to eat my gourmet meal on my lap but only got five bites into it before I had had enough. It was one of the strangest salads I had ever had and it’s probably because it was from a juice place that specializes in smoothies, only. It was some sort of kelp salad with carrots and other weird stringy ingredients. I was too excited to eat anyways, I was about to see Beyonce, the queen herself, in concert!

photo 5Callie nor I realized that the concert was being held in a football stadium. She thought it was at an area in NY and I just didn’t put two and two together when I read MetLife Stadium because I wasn’t familiar with it. Turns out, its the stadium that the Giants and Jets play in, which is pretty freaking cool.

Our seats were in the upper level but weren’t bad for last minute purchases under $200. It felt like it took a year for them to come out on stage but when they finally did it was amazing. They entered together in killer outfits and just stood in the middle of the stage with the fiercest looks on their face. The first song they sang was “Bonnie & Clyde” which got the entire arena pumped for the concert.

photo 2The concert was unreal and was like three concerts in one because I got to hear only Beyonce songs, only Jay Z songs, as well songs they’ve done together. It ranged from “Single Ladies“, to “Big Pimpin“, to “Drunk In Love.” It was everything from pop to rap and from the early 2000s to music that is currently playing on the radio. In other words, it was everything I ever wanted and more.

photo 3I came to two grand conclusions from the concert. One, Beyonce is the most beautiful human being ever and can sing and dance like no one I’ve ever met and two, as much as it breaks my heart to say, Jay Z and Beyonce are definitely getting divorced. They hardly interacted on stage and my friends and I were convinced that the songs they played were very carefully selected and arranged by one another. Beyonce would sing, “But I’ll be damned if I see another chick on your arm” then right after Jay Z would sing, “I’m on to the next one, on to the next one.” Beyonce also sang “If I Were A Boy” after Jay Z’s “99 Problems.” The entire time I just got the feeling that it was one “screw you” song after another.

Try watching this clip from the concert for more proof. I’ve never heard the song but all it is is Beyonce straight calling Jay Z out for cheating. She also changed the lyrics from “been ridin’ with you for six years” to twelve years, which is the exact amount of time they’ve been together. Fast forward to about 3 minutes and you will see exactly what I mean.

photo 4The stadium lit up for “Forever Young”

Overall though, the concert was absolutely amazing and I would go to it every night if I could. Beyonce really is the queen and even though I’m bitter toward Jay Z, for cheating on Beyonce, I still love him and his music.

Beyonce and Jay Z please don’t get divorced because you guys are the best power couple I have ever witnessed and I love the two of you together. Just stay together for Blue Ivy, and me.

On my walk out of the stadium I realized I had seen five huge artists perform within 24 hours. And people wonder why I want to permanently live in New York so badly.

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Braving Brooklyn

Last Thursday night at the Cine Magic Riverfront StudiosSamsung celebrated the launch of Milk Music’s new streaming music service and partnership with ADD52. Signing up for the event, I didn’t really know what to expect. All that I was told about it was that the event would feature a showcase of musical performances by up-and-coming artists through the ADD52 program and an exciting A-list headlining performance. One of my bosses informed me that Passion Pit was rumored to play but I had no way of knowing for sure. Either way, I was excited to check it out!

image001The invite

Getting to the event was a bit stressful because I left my apartment 20 minutes before the event was set to begin only to realize that it was being held in Brooklyn. On my way there I considered turning around and going home because as we crossed over the bridge into Brooklyn things began to look a little sketchy. I thought I was in the wrong place until we pulled up to a building with a slew of people outside and flashing blue, pink, green and yellow lights. I checked in with the press, was given a wrist band and walked on in. I was pretty nervous because I had no idea what to expect. To enter I walked under a light up circle entrance which then led me into a room that resembled a basketball court, with gratified walls and headphone stations. My first thought was, holy shit I am really in Brooklyn now. It was one of those ‘Toto, I’ve got a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore’ moments.

photo 2As I continued farther down the room I eventually ended up in a huge warehouse-like space that housed a stage, two open bars, more headphone stations, and servers with champagne and appetizers. I watched three performances by Tayyib Ali, 3D Na’Tee, and Love Dollhouse and I promise I didn’t just make up those names, they are real believe it or not. They all are ADD52 artists who Russell Simmons has taken under his wing. His publicist described them to me as his “babies”. They were interesting performances to say the least. My favorite was 3D Na’Tee’s, though she was a little hardcore, but I mean after all she is a rapper. I got to meet Russell Simmons and take a picture of him for Guest of a Guest’s website. He was very friendly and animated. He reminded me of a nice, hip, not ready to be a grandpa, but still a grandpa, kind of guy. photo 3Russell Simmons

Out of no where a group of drummers came marching into the room singing and dancing and drumming up a storm. They opened up a side of the wall that turned into an enormous door and had everyone follow them outside. We were led down a winding path, lined with huge colorful balls of light, and then into another gigantic open studio room. Inside there was a big stage with bright lights flashing everywhere, a huge open bar with a beautiful view of the city all lit up, and a roped off VIP section.

photo 5photo 6Russell Simmons and Steve Rifkind made a short speech on stage before releasing the never before seen commercial for Milk Music’s ad-free radio service. Then Niykee Heaton kicked off the performances with her single “Bad Intentions“. I had no idea who she was or that she was known, but I quickly learned that every guy knew her and loved her, even the guy who I wanted to love me.

photo 10Niykee Heaton

For her next song she brought a rapper on stage to sing with her. I knew he must have been famous because the crowd went crazy but I didn’t know who he was because I’m not good at identifying rappers by their faces, I only know their music. He went on to sing a few songs by himself, but because he was singing songs like “Mercy” and “I Don’t Like”, that I know Kanye West sing, I couldn’t figure out who he was and I wasn’t even sure if he was famous anymore.

photo 13Turns out, this mysterious rapper was indeed famous and he was actually Pusha T. When I discovered it later that night while lying in bed I felt really stupid. It makes sense though because he is featured in all those songs, just not the main rapper. 

I had a similar experience when the next artist came on stage. The first song he sang was “Simple Things“, which I am currently obsessed with, but I thought that because he wasn’t introduced and I wasn’t told Miguel would be at the event, that it couldn’t really be Miguel. When he went on to play “Adorn” I freaked out and immediately pulled out my phone to Google search Miguel. When the images loaded I found myself looking at a picture of the man standing six feet in front of me. I’m a huge Miguel fan so the fact that I was watching a surprise performance by him seemed unreal.

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Miguel

It was very upsetting when Miguel left the stage, and my secret crush (that was standing next to me) left to go to the bar. Everything was made better though when Passion Pit entered the stage.

I had a front row view of Passion Pit’s performance. I had some how weaseled my way up to the front of the stage. They were great in concert but, at the time, my mind was elsewhere. I was scanning the room looking for the group of 6’foot tall guys who all looked like beautiful models.

photo 29photo 26Passion Pit

I still can’t understand it but for some odd reason, at the time, I thought it would be a good idea to leave 20 minutes early. Turns out it wasn’t a good idea because all I did was leave to go home and get in bed which was way less exciting than listening to Passion Pit. Also, it turns out that my crush looked like a model because he is a model. Also missed out on that one. So, I have a few regrets from the night but I cannot complain because overall it an awesome night!

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Gathering Street Style

As part of my internship I am required to submit five street style pictures a week. That means I have to go out into the streets of Manhattan and take pictures of the people who are the best dressed. At first it sounded fun to me but I quickly realized how intimidating and scary it truly is. Who wants to approach the best dressed, beautiful girl on the side walk and creepily ask for her picture?! Yeah, not me.

I have been the worlds worst intern about street style because I’ve only submitted it once… But shh don’t let anyone else know that. Want to know another secret, four of the five pictures I submitted were my friends and I dressed the majority of them in my own clothes. Desperate times calls for desperate measures!

Every week I walk around the streets scoping out good street style. Every so often I will see someone wearing something extremely fashionable and cute and just as I’m about to go up and ask for a picture of them my whole body shuts down. It’s as if I can’t open my mouth or move close to them. I physically can’t. I have tried so many times but I get so nervous and end up walking right by them like I never even noticed them.

If my boss asked me to take pictures of what-not-to-wear street style I could definitely get five each week. I wouldn’t care if I had to go up to someone who looked like they just rolled out of bed. There is nothing intimidating about sweatpants and a t-shirt. Louboutins, Helmut Lang, Celine, and Tom Ford, on the other hand, is terrifying.

I have also found that all the stylish people in New York can only be found downtown. The Upper West Side is filled with nicely dressed old couples, but that’s not really the demographic I’m looking for.

Hopefully I can find some stylish people ASAP because it is due again tomorrow…

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Movie Premiere Hopping: From MEENA to Tammy In One Night

After two nights in a row of covering events I was a little tired and was ready for a quiet night in. Unfortunately, in the heat of the moment I had signed up for the movie premiere of ‘Meena’, Lucy Liu‘s directorial debut film. Meena is a short film that deals with child trafficking in India and this premiere screening was held to raise awareness for UNICEF’s child protection programs worldwide*.

I desperately tried to get out of attending the event because sitting on my couch, in pajamas, with a bottle of wine and some of my pantries finest offerings sounded much better. I emailed.  I texted. Nothing happened. I watched the clock as it grew closer to the time of the premiere. Eventually, I gave up hoping for someone to take my place and threw on some clothes to head out for the movie theater.

As I stood in line with the press and photographers I vaguely overheard someone mention something about the movie Tammy. I instantly perked up because Tammy was filmed at my house last summer and I had been dying to see the movie. I got to hang out with the entire cast and crew for three weeks while they took over my house and transformed it into Lenore’s lake house.

I was then informed that Tammy was premiering in New York City, and not only was it just premiering in the city, but it was premiering that night in a few hours!! Obviously I freaked out because all that I had been wanting to do this summer was go to the premiere but I didn’t think they were having one. I emailed and texted producers, directors, and the event coordinator to no avail.

photo 7Lucy Liu and Zac Posen

From then on out it was hard to stay focused and interested in the Meena premiere because all I could think about was Tammy. I took over 300 pictures of the cast and crew, 20 of which actually came out decent, and interviewed Lucy Liu. Once my work was done I flew out of the movie theater in the direction of the Tammy premiere movie theater. I was that obnoxious New Yorker power walking down the street barely skirting by everyone in my way, and I swear everyone was walking at a snails pace that day.

My plan was to just show up to the movie theater and charm my way in. I strutted up to the sign in table and gave my spiel about how the movie was filmed at my house and how I know Chris Bromley and Rob Cowan and all the other crew members. The two woman working the desk looked at me then looked at each other and finally one of them spoke and said, “She dropped waay to many names to not be legitimate” and so that is how I got in!

I called my roommate Callie and told her to quickly get on the next downtown train to Sunshine Cinema, which is practically on the opposite side of the world in relation to where we live.

photo 2I waited in a crowded room outside the movie theater for Susan Sarandon, Melissa McCarthy, Ben Falcone, and Toni Collette to arrive. I mingled and chatted with the people around me and we talked about how excited we were to see the film. Not blurting out to everyone that they filmed the movie at my house took an extreme amount of will power.

The room was very crowded but I had found one little open spot near an elevator. All of a sudden the elevator doors opened and out walked Melissa McCarthy and her husband Ben Falcone! Melissa had taken half a step into the bustling room when she immediately made eye contact with me and dropped her jaw in excitement and surprise. SHE RECOGNIZED ME! HOLY SHIT, I’M JUST ME, LITTLE OLD ME. HOW DOES SHE REMEMBER WHO I AM SHE’S MET SO MANY PEOPLE! AND THIS ROOM IS SO CROWDED BUT SHE SPOTTED ME. WHAT?!?! That was approximately what was running through my head.

As she walked farther into the room she said to me, something along the lines of, “Oh my god hi I didn’t know you were going to be here!!” Then Ben Falcone passed me and had a very similar reaction. Everyone in the room was looking at me like, “who the hell is this girl?!” Melissa’s first big entrance into the premiere of her movie was her saying hello to me. That, right there, isn’t real life. No way.

photo 3Callie finally arrived and waited along the side lines with me for Melissa and Ben to finish their press interviews. All the while, Callie was freaking out that she was going to meet Melissa and I was freaking out that I had swung this seemingly impossible act.

Once Melissa and Ben were done with their interviews Ben came up to me and gave me a big hug hello. I told him about my crazy unexpected journey to the premiere and he told me how awesome my house looked in the movie. Then Melissa came up and she said hi and we talked for a little. It was unreal. Callie was absolutely star struck and I was floating on cloud nine. 

A bodyguard then came through and began to usher Melissa and Ben into the theater because the movie was about to begin. We hadn’t finished our conversation though so Melissa yelled over the crowd to me, “Is your mom here?! Tell her I say hello!!” and then Ben yelled “Please tell your whole family we say hello!!” Now EVERYONE was staring at me and I was grinning like an idiot from ear to ear. It was honestly one of the coolest, greatest moments.

Callie and I took our seats and I was just bursting with excitement. I had been waiting over a year for this moment! Not only was I getting to finally see the movie, but I had some how, by complete chance, made it to the NYC premiere!!

Last summer, while they were filming in Wilmington, NC my family and I were invited to watch them shoot around town in all the different locations. I had seen a lot of the scenes piece by piece and knew a lot of the background info so I filled Callie in on what was filmed in Wilmington, how many takes each scene took, and how hard it was to keep from laughing at specific scenes while on set.

photo 8The first glimpse of my house!

In the movie, when Tammy and her grandmother Pearl arrived at Lenore’s lake house and a shot of my house was projected across the massive screen I squirmed in my seat with excitement. I SO badly wanted to scream out, “that’s my house!!”, but I thought maybe it would be better if I kept quiet because Melissa and Ben would have definitely known who said it.

photo 4Spoiler alert: the deck Tammy is walking across is actually a fake dance floor over the shallow end of my pool

My house is the 4th of July lesbian party scene and not only do you get to see my house in the movie but you get to see me and my sister!  When Tammy and Bobby are talking outside on the lawn if you glance to the left side of the screen you will see me in a waiter outfit pouring glasses of wine. My big movie debut, I’ve made it! You see me for all of three seconds, but hey three seconds is better than no seconds!

Once the movie ended Callie and I headed to the private after party! It was held at a very low key bar that was serving delicious appetizers and drinks. I managed to sneak my way past the bodyguard and get into the private section where Melissa, Ben, Toni Collette, Susan Sarandon, and all their family and friends were. Callie didn’t get so lucky though, she got caught. The man wouldn’t let her in but I was on a high and I was determined to get her in with me. Confidence is key my friends. I was so confident when talking with this man that he finally let Callie go so that we could both say hi to Melissa again.

We got Melissa’s attention and talked to her some more about the movie and the house. She is one of the most down to earth people I have ever met. Both her and Ben are two of the nicest people. It’s funny because you hear celebrities talk about how they don’t feel famous and how they are just normal people and I can totally see that Melissa is exactly like that. At the end of the day they are just regular people, like you and I.

Callie desperately wanted a picture with Melissa, as did I, so I came up with a clever plan to get our picture without looking like dumb fans in the private party, aka “no fans”, section. I told her that my mom wanted to be here so badly and that she was so jealous and what not. I also slipped in there that we should take a picture to send to her! Melissa loved the idea and the three of us took a picture, where Melissa is waving to my mom.

photo 5This night was one for the books. When I think about all that happened I can’t help but ask myself, what is my life? I feel like sometimes I’m living in a movie because, really, stuff like this isn’t supposed to happen in real life. I’ll very, very gladly take it though!

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Shutterfly By Design

On June 25th, Shutterfly by Design held its 2nd Annual Open House private media exhibit. They brought in three designers to style and customize their own room using Shutterfly products that they created themselves. The decorators included the stylish fashion expert Olivia Palermo, D.I.Y. guru and Founder/CEO of Brit + Co. Brit Moran, as well as the talented interior designer Michelle Workman.
photoI make piles and piles worth of Shutterfly book so I thought it would be a cool event to go to but I wasn’t hooked until I read that Olivia Palermo would be there. If I had to name my top three fashion inspirations she would most definitely be one of them! To say I that was excited for the event would have been an understatement.

Instead of showing up right on the dot, like I always do, I thought I would go a bit late, once people had arrived. I came a little more than fashionably late though, more like remarkably fashionably late. I got lost trying to find the place and was an hour late, but I really didn’t miss much, or so I thought. Turns out I had just barely missed Martha Stewart. When I was told that I almost had to have the woman say it again because she said it so casually and nonchalantly that I thought it must have been a different person she was talking about. It’s not like I’m some huge Martha Stewart fan or anything but I’ve got to say it would have been pretty cool to see her in person.

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I roamed around the townhouse checking out the beautifully decorated rooms and gathering ideas for my home. There were seven rooms in total. Four were decorated by Shutterfly and three were decorated by the the designers. It was very interesting to see how they used Shutterfly products to customize a room. Everything down to the plates, pillows, wall art, and coasters were Shutterfly designs. I only ever thought to use Shutterfly to make photo albums, but this event opened my eyes to all the Shutterfly possibilities.

When I met Olivia Palermo I was so star struck that I was slightly shaking and I tripping over every other word that came out of my mouth. We sat down on the couch in her room and I asked her a few questions about the inspiration for her room. Then, like like star struck fan that I am, I told her how excited I was to meet her and about how I had passed her on the street in NYC a few years back. She was incredibly nice, as well as humble, and seemed genuinely thankful that I was such a big admirer.

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Olivia Palermo and I!

She went on to tell me a similar story to mine that a girl had told her. I didn’t hear much of the story though because she started it off with something along the lines of, “Your story reminds me of this other story that a young girl told me because she has a beautiful face much like yours.” And then I died. Olivia Palermo thinks I’m beautiful. Actually, it’s insane that Olivia Palermo even talked to me or knows I exist. I tried to maintain my composure but inside I was freaking out and doing a “happy dance” like a 10 year old girl would do.

photo 6Olivia’s room was inspired by gold detail, summer florals, and sketches from oliviapalermo.com. She told me that she believed a room should evolve just as fashion trends evolve. I told her I could completely relate to that statement because every time I go home from school I joke that the decor in my house is all new. My mom is always adding new additions to our home. I have a feeling my mom and Olivia would be great friends! Maybe I should introduce her to my Dad… he might come around.

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Michelle Workman in her beautiful blue room

Once my time with Olivia was over I made my way to the other rooms. Both of the other designers were extremely friendly and inviting. The rooms were polar opposites in style and design but were nonetheless beautiful and impressive. Michelle’s room was a mix of traditional pieces with a modern twist, and Brit’s room incorporated technology and fashion with graphic decals and pictures of ice cream and balloons.

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It was hard to make myself leave but after a while I had no new things to look at so I forced myself into the elevator and down to the subway.

This is the write up of the event  that I did for Guest of a Guest, check it out!

http://guestofaguest.com/new-york/party-crasher/last-nights-parties-keira-knightley-adam-levine-celebrate-the-premiere-of-their-new-film-begin-again-more&slide=5

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