you can have manhattan.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

when i decided to move back to california i had to break my lease and take all of these very official steps to do so, one of which was mailing a certified letter of resignation signed and notarized to my management company.


this was a new one for me {one of the many things i have new york to thank}.

it means to certify a document and prove that it's really coming from you. one must visit a public notary to do so. to become one of these said notaries you have to take an oath {an oath!} and a written exam and bam! the secretary of state says you're in. you even get a very official and fancy embosser to stamp your highly certified documents with. i digress. this is not the point of the story.

so i find a public notary at a ups store just around the corner from my office. i have my letter printed, my certified check in hand {for so much money i can barely stomach it}, and i can't bring myself to go inside. is this it? am i really doing this? am i sure? do i push through another seven months? it's a disgustingly hot and humid day in june which isn't helping me think with a clear head.

now, i'm a believer in signs from the universe. a big believer. but they only come every so often and definitely not when you're looking for them.

earlier that day i was texting one of my dear little chickadees during her move back to the west coast. naturally, with any big life transition comes doubt and fear, so i texted her the lyrics to my favorite song of the moment by one of my all-time favorite artists as a little reminder to trust herself.

sara barielles, 'manhattan' goes something like this:

'you can have manhattan
i'll settle for the beach
sunsets facing westward
sand beneath my feet'

so here i am on lafayette street fretting and trying to just breathe through the anxiety and the humidity, and, you guys!, out walks sara barielles.

i can't help but feel like we're some kind of kindred spirits. she's from northern california. i'm from northern california. she moved to new york in the winter of 2013. i moved to new york in the winter of 2013.

she said: 'i always swore i would never live in new york. i always felt so overwhelmed here. it's ironic, the thing you think you don't need is the thing you actually need most.'

that's what i think too.

so that was all it took, really. to be reminded that i wanted it. that my grand plans for my next city are real and valid and deserved. it was a sign from the universe that i was doing the right thing.

into the ups store i went.

and i didn't look back.

sara barielles quote found in a billboard article and here's a great interview with her too. 
p.s. remember that one time we met?


Monday, July 14, 2014

more than anything i feel grateful. and i know what you're going to say... gina, isn't that word of yours a little overdone?

but the thing is, it's true. i made a choice to approach every life experience this way, so even when the going gets tough i'm still able to put things into perspective and fill up with nothing but gratitude.

i decided to leave new york.

it just happened. all at once. and when i decide something, well, there's no going back. what's done is done.

i blame austin. but i think austin saved me, really. it was early may and i hadn't left new york for almost four months after a looooong winter, a failed attempt at love, and an insane work schedule. i kind of forgot what life was like outside of this place, but austin reminded me. it refreshed my memory of big open blue skies and serenity and life's simple pleasures like waking up to birds chirping, babies, big houses, crafting, driving in cars, and lazy afternoons. things that i forgot existed. a lingering anxiety melted away from my being and my heart was filled with nothing but hope. and optimism. the feeling that life could actually be what i wanted it to be. funny how that works, don't you think? you have to physically and emotionally not have what you want, to realize what you do want.

the thing is, i never belonged here. but who belongs in new york, really? that's not meant to be negative {a phrase i keep repeating} or harsh, it was just always an undefined adventure. a challenge. a dream. a wish.

so i did it. and it was everything i hoped for somehow. but also not enough.

p.s. for more austin adventures take a trip down memory lane.

it's your bucket, i'm just livin' in it.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

right before i moved from san francisco i started crossing things off a bucket list {remember, here and here}, and i've been living my life that way ever since. i think it's a good approach to take so as not to get stuck, and instead live life fervently, where weekends start with a sense of adventure and end with a feeling of accomplishment. so, let's get to it, shall we? oh, one warning, this post really should be like, 11 separate ones...oops. ready, go!

1. visit the bill cunningham 'facades' exhibit.
a long time ago when it was still winter, i went uptown to see the bill cunningham exhibit at the new york historical society. it was a sunday, frigid cold out, and the perfect day for a solo new york adventure. i'm sure by now you know my love for bill, and might remember the time i was completely star struck when i saw him in action. 'facades' was a fascinating exhibit documenting bill's photos of his friend, editta sherman, dressed in vintage clothing at prominent spots in new york city. i liked it so much i walked through three times. his photos deserved it.

2. see the little prince exhibit.
i dragged my bests audrey and andrea to see this at the morgan library and museum on a chilly spring saturday afternoon. it tells the story of how antoine de saint-exupéry wrote many iterations of the little prince in new york city, and it even holds the original pages of his writing and drawings.

3. channel 'gossip girl' and have a drink at the campbell apartment.
the campbell apartment was once the private office and saloon of john w. campbell in the 1920's and tucked away in a corner of grand central terminal. it's got great music, even better lighting, and one of the best manhattans in town. couldn't help but think, 'xoxo gossip girl' the whole time.

4. saturday morning run around the central park reservoir.
just cause, you know, it's sort of picturesque. and it seems like it's what true new yorkers do. 

5. plant a garden in new york city.
because that seems normal, right? i always say that the next place i live i'm going to have a little back patio and be able to plant flowers and drink tea basking in the sunlight on saturday mornings. well, the first friend i met who had a square foot of dirt in her 'backyard,' i convinced to let me plant a garden. she is a gem and i can't thank her enough. 

6. drink rosé in sheep's meadow {again}.
i've learned that nothing says summer in new york like an afternoon spent in sheep's meadow. so, what did we do on the first day of summer? you're looking at it.

7. visit dumbo.
if you wanted to know, dumbo stands for 'down under the manhattan bridge overpass' and ever since i saw this picture on instagram's instagram account, i've been wanting to reenact it. mission accomplished. i love how you can spy the empire state building through the base of the bridge.

8. go to gma.
i'll say it once and i'll say it again, i am a self-proclaimed gma addict. i've started nearly every morning with robin, george, lara, amy & co for the past five years, and watching them each day at the gym has provided me with such comfort while living in new york {,similar to how sarah & vinnie do, too}. there is something incredibly fascinating to me about producing the news and i left feeling nostalgic for my news anchor besties.

9. finally get to abc kitchen.
to get into abc kitchen you have to call exactly one month ahead of time from your preferred date at promptly 9 a.m. to reserve a table at a decent time. when asked, people frequently say this is their favorite restaurant in new york city. the ricotta toast with strawberry jam is everything. and, how lucky i was to have my mama and my second mama in town.

10. get a mister softee...with rainbow sprinkles!
who doesn't love a classic vanilla cone!? it seems mister softee trucks are parked on every corner of manhattan in the summer and i've refrained until... now! it's like eating vanilla flavored air. it's heaven, really.

11. try the bloody mary's at the st. regis.
a while back, a google search entitled ‘best bloody mary in manhattan’ revealed to me that the st. regis was near the top of the list. at $25 a pop, make sure you drink it slowly {we may or may not have had two}. they are perfectly spicy and delicious. that's a wrap {for now}! i am so grateful to be able to partake in these adventures. they certainly do make this new york life sweet. there are still a few things to cross off the 'ol list. i'll keep you posted, of course. love love. 
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