Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Making it work in a big city

So post graduate life is well on the way. As grateful as I am to have the support of my parents not only emotionally but also financially, come August I am cut off if I am to remain in NYC. For those of you who are judging me for being 23 and still relying on my parents for money, get over yourself. Sometimes it takes people longer to find a full time job. (especially when you're an aspiring window display artist in NYC... pretty specific and minimal job opportunities)

ANYWAY. I am currently working at Anthropologie as a sales associate because they usually promote from within and I am working my way up the ladder. The first question is: How do people "make it work", rent, food, going out, monthly subway pass, college loans, all on $10 and hour sans the 6.5% (or whatever it is) tax deduction from you pay?! Being the ambitious person I am, I picked up shifts tomorrow and voluntarily signed myself up to work 7am to midnight. What the hell was I thinking?

By the time my second break rolled around my feet were so swollen I had to losen my t-straps a notch. Standing on concrete for 11 hours straight really ins't great for your body, let me tell you. Not only were my feet hurting, but people who shop can be really mean/rude/belittling. Yes, I know I work at a retail store getting paid $10 an hour and you make a couple hunded grand a year, but I DO have a college degree and I'm not an idiot so please don't treat me as such. Working a cash register or finding you a size in back stock may not be my strong suites, but put a camera in my hand or ask me to make an installation and I'll stun you. (being assertive, not conceited, is a key trait in surviving as an artist and making yourself known--thank you Jeff Jones)

After all of this complaining I got home and was thinking to myself how so many people in the service industry work from 7am-1 or 2am every day, and they don't complain ;). Yes the people who are mean to service industry workers need to get over themselves, but I think so do I. I am voluntarily living in NYC and trying to make it work. Needless to say, I have zero social life anymore and every time I come home my kitten acts like I've been away to war for months. The question I'm asking myself now is, "Is it worth it?"

Should I move back to Saint Louis :/ for a while and save some money, work my tail off there, and attempt to make some more business connections so that I can later move back to NYC and face the struggle all over? Or should I stay here and attempt to find some mediocre desk job so that I can afford rent and food whilst attempting to be an artist in New York? The mind reels...

Friday, May 10, 2013

So I usually start my day with a thoughtful quote or profound literary piece from my dad in an email or text. Today I received this video What is Water? WATCH IT. (I think it was removed so here is another link

When you live in a crowded place where you are constantly moving around, and where it takes at least 35 minutes just to get through the line at the grocery store, it is helpful to be reminded that you are not the only person who feels frustrated, tired and annoyed at the end of a long work day. Sometimes you just get so wrapped up in it all that you forget you are not the only person on earth.

More importantly, why do more graduation speeches not resemble this one? What a perfect depiction of the every day "adult life" that so many of americans live. Instead of glorifying independence as a free right to party whenever we want and spend money however we choose, why aren't more parents/advisors sitting college students and recent grads down, looking them in the eye and saying. "LISTEN, it won't be as fun as you think." Maybe more college grads would be better prepared for the real world if that would have happened.

For the majority of my life I feel I have been incredibly independent and self-sufficient. The major flaw is that I have never been financially independent--whomp whomp. I still enjoy going to the grocery store and seeing all the different people. My point is that maybe the little annoyances come with financial independence. Who knows; maybe it is just being young and living in a city that I love that fules my naivety.

All that I am saying is that as an artist, and as a compassionate human, the video I posted above is a lesson worth listening to and one that all recent college grads should be required to watch. All you have to do is realize what the water is around you.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Naming things is hard.

I spent tonight updating my website, LinkedIn, resume, job reference list, and cover letter. All of this took place after an unpaid, 11 hour work day. Work honestly just gets me awake and so pumped to have a non-internship, full-time job to call mine.

One thing that has recently happened is that I have moved! Woo woo! I now live with people my own age, not that I didn't absolutely love living with two of my cousins who were 20 years my senior, but it's so nice to be around 20-somethings again. I found my roommate on Craigslist and she is adorable and the best roommate I have ever had. Who every thought after seeings "Craigslist Killer" (Lifetime you misleading thing, you) that I could find such a great roommate through Craigslist? Go Craig!

I also started working at Domestic Construction and have been there for almost three months now and absolutely love it. My boss is one of the most rad (to use her favorite term) artist chicks I have ever met. One of my new role models for sure. She isn't even 30 yet and has already owned her own clothing line, and now owns her own event design company. Seriously, talk about drive and passion. I am so grateful to work for Domestic Construction in their amazingly bohemian studio in Greenpoint. I have also fallen into quite a smitten relationship with their mentally handicapped cat, Fluff. I've been trying to take him home but they won't let me... yet...

The best part about DC is that I was able to work at the Bronx Zoo in helping to set up an event the other day. That's right, I spent the entire day next to barking, playful seals on a beautifully sunny and temperate day. It was perfect. I was also able to help stage an event for AMC! From Breaking Bad to Walking Dead to Mad Men, I was at the height of my existence.

I also just got an interview with my dream company, Anthropologie, for my dream job, Display Coordinator. So obviously I've been super busy submerging myself fully into my internships and am ready to take on a full time job where I can create! Lets go!

Am I not the luckiest girl around?

Monday, February 18, 2013

So much change!

It has been a while! On of the off chance that someone besides my mother reads this, I'm just going to keep updating the blog when I can and hope that my life is as interesting to the outside eye as it is to me.

I got a restaurant job and I also quit on the third shift. So, there went my theory of really wanting to work in the restaurant business, at least one with Italian management--incredibly different from every other type of management. I worked there for one day learning how to be a barista (definitely not my calling in life) before they put me on the floor as a server, on a Friday night, with 30 minutes of training, on a computer system that is definitely circa 1980, and had me wait on three 4-tops and three 8-tops. If you've ever been a server anywhere, you know that's a lot of tables. Well, it feels like even more when you have zero training, zero help in your section, and a rather pushy man ordering a bottle of tequila every 30 minutes.

The manager at the restaurant told me she could tell I wasn't from New York because of my "accent" and because I wasn't loud, I was "humble". Her "New Yorker" way of saying that I should probably be a little louder and pushy. So, now that they won't pay me, I've been exercising my non-humble side and have shown her my Nerinx woman side instead. You are ever SO welcome, Tabitha, you sassy little Indian chick from Jersey.

The good thing about quitting the crazy restaurant was that I now have another interview for an internship with a company I could really see myself with long-term. It is called Domestic Construction (google it I dare you) and it's located in Greenpoint. The company specializes in event planning and something I just discovered called "event design". Jackpot! Since graduation I have been looking for companies that incorporate artwork into events/event planning and here it is. Hopefully I get the internship with them and/or they hire me on full time! Fingers crossed and intelligence engaged.

The past week I had the flu and am now best friends with my cousins' cat, Shiva. At home I have a 85lb Golden-doodle named Wally who holds my heart, and a 5lb Coton de Tulear names Sophie. I think Shiva may be inching her way in, but only time will tell. After being an apartment alone for the past week, however, the only contact I've had has been with the cat and the guy who comes to pet the cat for about an hour a day, ohhh New York living.

The upside of being in a bed for a week is that I discovered the show "White Trash Weddings". Nothing makes me happier than this show. Watching this show is both entertaining and educational about how another half lives (I wouldn't go as far to say THEE other half). One wedding in particular that I watched had a woman who bought a yellow sundress from a consignment shop for her wedding. Seeing as this was her 4th and her husband's 5th weddings, I understand that. The real kicker was that she "b-dazzled" her dress with one of those "As Seen on TV!!" sequin guns. She did a great job lining the neck with sequins, but did an even better job b-dazzling her new husband's last name across the front skirt. For the reception they kicked back with some Coors Lights, 15 pizzas, and rode into the dusty sunset in a go cart (a one-seater so the groom drove and the bride rode on the "hood" essentially straddling him). How can you not want to watch that show?

On the opposite spectrum from "White Trash Weddings", I hung out with some new found friends in their upper east side studio this past weekend. The girls were decked out in Michael Kors bags, Christian Louboutin shoes (you're 23 and you have two pairs of Louboutins? Be my BFF) and David Yurman arm candy. I definitely felt like Dorothy in Oz, except my ruby red slippers were from Target and theirs were Christian Louboutins.

On a more serious note, it has been a little bit of a struggle to move to this huge city without really knowing more than two people my own age. I'm still working on figuring out who I am and why I am on the planet. My advisors prepared me for a post-graduate life for when I turn 35, not for when I'm 23. I have no full time job, no solid direction and way too many interests. Thankfully my Dayton family is close and my advisors will still be hearing from my post-grad self asking for advice.

Working at ELLE has helped me to narrow down my job search a little. It has shown me that I'm interested in fashion, but do not eat/sleep/dream fashion. ELLE/Hearst is full of wonderful, kind and talented people, I'm just not meant to work in an accessories closet. It's a different type of creativity that I'm really looking for.

In the mean time, there are a few things that I've learned so far that aren't a result of my costly education, but of just pretty much being alive:
- Cab drivers are some of the most intelligent people you'll meet in NYC, and are almost always humble.
- Humidifiers in New York in the winter are essential if you don't want to walk around all day with bloodshot eyes and no moisture in your body what-so-ever
- Don't drink past stupid... for real (thanks, Dad, I'm really listening this time)
- Books are fun if you read the right ones
- It's not where you are it's who you're with (although the location can make quite an impact)
- You can let your dog do it's business on the sidewalk. Gross.
- Hand sanitizer is a good friend to have
- Waterproof boots are helpful during a blizzard / Blizzards are real
- The majority of the people in NYC are very nice

Friday, January 18, 2013

Friday Things

Today I embark out into the streets of Williamsburg in hopes of finding a job! I know I want to work in a restaurant, because, let's be honest, that's where the cash money is. My only major concern is that I'm afraid I will start working some place and immediately turn into a hipster. I guess only time will tell.

I'm sure I'll spend most of my morning reading "Heft" in a café, eating chocolate croissants (my weakness) and attempting to like black coffee. Hopefully a hottie will come sit next to me and chat for a bit. God I love New York.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


I arrived in NYC yesterday--woo hoo!! Spent the afternoon walking around with my amazing mother scoping out hardware stores, grocery stores, restaurants and shopping in Brooklyn. Thank goodness that there is an American Apparel a block and a half away (can I say dangerous?).

We went to lunch at Osteria Il Paiolo. My mom got the asparagus risotto that had fried clams on top--it was DELICIOUS. I had the Insalata Mista that was a mixed green salad with cherry tomatoes and a cheese similar to fresh mozzarella, but the middle was more milky. It was delicious as well and dressed with a light olive oil and some salt and pepper. The food was amazing, and the waiter was even better. Our waiter may have been the most gorgeous guy I have every seen. Definitely going back there... for multiple reasons.

The fashion around me is already sparking inspiration. Although there are a plethora of hipsters in Williamsburg, I'm loving the fashion and the fact that everyone is so different. Since I'll be working in Manhattan, I'm looking forward to seeing an even wider variety of fashion.

I am officially accepted by HR and start on Tuesday! Wish me luck!

Monday, January 14, 2013

City so nice they named it twice!

Found the most amazing anecdote online about NYC:

The flight is booked and I officially move to New York City tomorrow at 8:10am. This is unreal. I've spent my morning trying to get every appointment I have in the next month changed until today. By the time I come back I will have mangey hair, hopefully some new vintage finds, zero money and a sassy attitude. Not that my sarcasm needs any help, but im sure the city with help to season it.

I've also been searching on blogs and different sites all day for advice on moving from the simple Midwest to the Big Apple. I've been told not to wear my favorite type of shoes, flip-flops or t-straps, in the warmer weather due to the trash juice--delicious. I have read to avoid the trains with no one in them during the busy hours, ignore the bums, bring a LOT of money, and use a raincoat instead of a umbrella. Walk on the left and stand on the right. I might be in a little bit of trouble seeing as I would probably jump right into an empty train car, want to save all of the bums, I have no savings traveling with me, and I need to buy a raincoat thus depleting my current budget significantly. I'm working at ELLE... there is no way I'm going there with a plastic poncho or something similar that fits into my budget.

The good thing is that I have amazing parents. I am 23 and they have assured me that they wouldn't let me starve (ie. they will send me money if I go broke, which I will quite quickly). My sweet mom also bought me a new pair of some amazing Frye shoes yesterday. I guess she still wants her little baby to fit in. I'm not going to argue with that or a new pair of shoes.

It's all becoming real and I'm starting to freak out a little. One of my friends wanted to give me some drunken advice the other night before I left my hometown I've been so comfortable with for so long. He said: "Just don't change your personality. You're too sweet and perfect just the way you are." Thanks, Joe. If it wasn't hard before it was then. I have so many genuine people that are a part of my family and group of friends that it truly makes leaving here something very difficult. I'm blessed with my family, friends, and this opportunity. Thank you so very much to everyone in my life who has supported me through everything in my life.

I'm ready for what lies ahead.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Dreams coming true

Just received news that I was accepted for an internship with ELLE in NYC! I'll be working with the accessories department and couldn't be happier. May get a chance to go on a photo shoo or too--how amazing!

I'll be making the trek from St. Louis to New York City, starting to live in Williamsburg while I look for a place, within the week. How crazy is live? So blessed and so excited to start my new job. Cannot wait to live in a place with such a vast variety of fashions. Hopefully I'll compile my own fashion inspiration photos and become kind of Sartorialist-eque!