Monday, September 07, 2009

It's My 10 Year New York City Anniversary!,


It occurred to me on Friday evening that I moved to Manhattan 10 years ago on Labor Day weekend in 1999. Since TR and I were kicking around the city, I decided to scan in some photos and take a look at what I've been up to since 1999. Even back when people shot in film, I was always the one who had a camera handy. These are from albums that I had around the house, albums that stop in 2005 when I got my first digital camera.

Our story begins at Syracuse University in 1999. You'll notice I don't age. I moisturize.

Very scholarly. You'd be smiling too if you didn't have to live in Central New York anymore. I used the pen that I was given at graduation solely for writing student loan checks.

I threw myself a graduation party a few weeks later at a place called the Ischoda Yacht Club in Norwalk, Connecticut. It wasn't so much a yacht club as it was a boat house where old men hung out. It did, however, have a huge party room that overlooked the Long Island Sound. By the end of the night we were all dancing around the place to The Greatest American Hero theme song and wearing the tablecloths. Good times, good times.

A few weeks after that I landed an apartment in the most unfashionable part of Manhattan: 94th Street and Second Avenue. It came with a roommate and rent was $550 a month. I had $400 in my checking account and no job. A week after I moved in the AP hired me on their online desk. It had just been changed from being called "Special Projects" since putting news on the Internet was a novel idea to them. In an obtuse way, it still is.

My friend Deb was the first of all my Syracuse friends to show me the ropes around Gotham. To this day I am not sure why she's chewing on Dave's ear in this photo.

Deb lived on 44th Street and Ninth Avenue, which back then was still considered sketchy. Oddly, this past weekend I walked past her place twice while out with clients. In the photo below, I can assure you that we are all stone cold sober. That wouldn't be the case a few hours later.

We look like a Benetton ad.
We look like a Benneton ad

Despite the dark cloud that hangs over campus, my friends and I went back up to Syracuse for Homecoming, year after year. During the first trip back up my friend Jill and I started talking to the guy below at one of the local bars. He told us his name was Phil and he took a bit of a shine to me. We hung out all night, boozing and carrying on. He also lived in Manhattan and insisted that we hang out when we got back. Later that night, while we walked home, him to the Sheraton and me to my friend Cara's place, he gave me his business card, which had an entirely different name on it.

I said, "Your name's not Phil! Why would you tell me it was Phil?"

He looked at me sheepishly. "You were having so much fun calling me Phil, I didn't have the heart to correct you."

I never called him once I got back to the city, but I kept his business card in my wallet for a very long time because it made me laugh.

For years I took Saint Patrick's Day off from work to go to the parade, etc. No one in the office ever thought this was strange, even though I'm obviously not Irish.

Rule #1 when living in Manhattan: Don't leave your Halloween costume to the last minute. Otherwise, you will end up like me in 2000, with a one-horned Viking hat and a robe left over from an Obie One Kenobi costume. The guy? That's Jeff. We ended up dating for a few months a year later.

I love Halloween. Sue and I in 2001. She's a bowl of grits.

I don't know who these guys were, but they sure were friendly.

No NYC round up would be complete without Jessica, who lived on my floor freshman year at Syracuse and ended up two blocks away from me on 94th Street. It took the AP a month to get me on the payroll when I started, and Jessica once spotted me some cash when my coffers got frighteningly low so that I didn't starve to death. She is a true partner in crime.

Jessica took this shot one random afternoon in Union Square in 2002.

Getting my masters degree from Columbia, 2002.

Party in the Chinatown apartment, 2002. I loved that place. I would move back in a second.

On a singing tour in Bulgaria, June 2002
What on earth am I drinking?

I've never been a huge fan of Brooklyn.

When Jen would come into Manhattan for the weekend, it usually meant Ab Fab-esque antics that I can't write about because we both have jobs that we would like to keep.

In 2003 La Madre and I took a trip to Lemgo, Germany for my grandmother's 85th birthday. An hour after arriving at the retirement home, my mother pulled a Lemgo phone book out of her purse (it's a small town) and told me she was calling her first boss, Herr Jeshke, who still lived in town. Sure enough, half an hour later Herr Jeshke showed up, all 80 years old of him. Next thing I knew we were at his house, eating food his wife prepared and drinking his beers. Then we spent the night at his house.
Beers in Lemgo, Germany with Herr Jeshke

No trip to Germany is complete without a hop over to Paris. I realize that I am an American tourist wearing a beret on the Champs Elysee, and that I should have been immediately deported. In my defense it was really cold and the beret was warm and conveniently sold in every tourist shop.

Holding up the stereotype in the street across from the Eiffel Tower. I'm surprised I've been allowed back into France after this.

Speaking of France, while flipping through the albums I found this shot from a family vacation in August, 1987. We're somewhere in the Loire Valley, having lunch at a restaurant with a significant bee problem. I thought putting a napkin on my head might keep the bees away. It did.
Dejeuner in the Loire Valley, August 1987

New apartment in Gramercy, 2002. This is not the dumpy basement apartment I lived in for five years, but a shared two bedroom in the same building.

Oh look, camping in the fall of 2003, wearing a white beret. This one was my grandmother's, who died shortly after my mother and I visited in the spring. Some people get an inheritance when a grandparent dies. I got berets.
Camping in a beret and red velour pants

Regressing on that same camping trip.

Despite the pouring rain, let's all pose for a photo.
It's pouring rain, but let's pose for a photo

One of my fave photos of Jen.
One of my fave photos of Jen

I have never actually owned a car. I'm not sure if I ever will. At graduation from Syracuse my dad told me over dinner that he wasn't going to buy me one, so I needed to find a place to live where I wouldn't have to drive. That is a large reason why I ended up in Manhattan -- for the public transportation.

Happy New Year, 2005. I wish I still had that dress, but I dropped it off at the dry cleaners and forgot to pick it up. I hope someone is showing it a good time.

Running the Idiotarod in January 2005. It's a five mile run through two boroughs while pushing a shopping cart. You can read about it here.
Idiotarod, 2005

...and this afternoon, with Andre.