Posts Tagged ‘New York’

Having been here almost two months, I’ve learned a couple things I was woefully ignorant of before. I’m not even close to being a “real New Yorker” (I haven’t even cried on the subway guys), but I can definitely share some knowledge that’s helpful to people visiting or moving to the city.

Getting Around

#1 – Look up (and figure out) subway directions BEFORE you leave

#2 – Know the difference between going downtown and uptown

#3 – Local trains stop at every station; express trains DO NOT

#4 – The traffic on even numbered one-way streets go East; odd traffic goes West

#5 – The city is a grid, avenues go North-South; streets go East-West

#6 – 30-day passes can only be swiped once every 18 minutes

#7 – It takes longer to get there than you think

 

Food Stuffs

 

#8 – There will ALWAYS be a $1 pizza place. And yes, it will be delicious

#9 – The food trucks are better than you think; and cleaner.

#10 – There are restaurants for every culture…don’t be afraid to try something new

#11 – Look at the ratings that are posted on every restaurant; A and B are good, “grade pending” means a failing grade…

#12 – If you’re on a budget, stick to bagels and small falafel places, or cook at home

#13 – Mid-town is full of tourists and the prices rise accordingly

Staying Safe

 

#13 – Don’t walk alone

#14 – If you must walk alone, stick to popular streets (a good bet is 2-way streets)

#15 – The Lower East Side is actually pretty safe

#16 – When dealing with catcalls, pretend like you didn’t hear them, don’t look at them, and keep walking

#17 – When in Brooklyn ghettos, put your iPhone AWAY

#18 – Make a wide berth around the more insane-looking homeless, they can be grabby

 

The Music Scene

#19 – Open mics happen in various cafes and bars every night of the week, and they’re a great way to get gigs

#20 – The East Village has the best venues, all within walking distance of each other, a lot them free

#21 – “Free” means there’s a drink minimum

#22 – Just like any other big city, busk whenever you can (even on the subways)

#23 – Play as much as possible, form a relationship with other musicians, and make sure the audience knows where to find your music when you leave the stage

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I’m gonna be honest, it’s been kind of a rough week, but there were some awesome parts!

For instance:

The Oats played at Don Pedro’s Friday night and rocked the place (naturally). I had to scrape together a mailing list signup due to shitty circumstances, but we made it work, and got 7 new fans!

Smiley faces are infinitely better than giant Xs

Checked out the Highline for the first time! Why haven’t I been there before?? It’s beautiful. And has delicious gelato (pistachio fucking ROCKS)

Beautiful

Went to a show at Bowery Ballroom (by myself, because I’m cool like that – also I’m writing a review for it) and discovered this AWESOME rhythm-based, bass heavy band, Brick + Mortar.

And of course saw River City Extension, who were fantastic, unsurprisingly. There were, however, several drunk uber fans that made the experience significantly more sweaty and mosh pit-y (at a folk show? Really??)

I really should be writing that review, but the events of this week have left me emotionally drained, so I think I’ll devote today to listening to Muse, Mumford & Sons, and just not a giving a damn.

Who’s with me?

The majority of the posts on this blog are dedicated to sharing my advice from experience and from research, and to expose people to bands that I believe in that deserve to be acknowledged for their music. Today, however, I’m going to talk about my life the past couple weeks in a more personal way.

Although I love what I do, I’ve been struggling a little bit lately to keep my head above the stress of the industry, the difficulty in finding people that I can feel close to, and balancing the two without going crazy.

 

I’ve always been of the belief that I can do more, that I shouldn’t be satisfied with merely “good enough” – which is motivating, but it’s also disheartening and overwhelming sometimes.  The past two weeks have been non-stop for me, with managing a band for the first time, working 4 days a week, and writing for this blog as well as The Berklee Groove. I love everything that I do, but there have been times when I’ve thought to myself “What have I gotten into? What if it’s too much?” all while planning the next step.

 

It was especially difficult because, for nearly a year, whenever I was a little too stressed for my own good, I could turn to my significant other for support and perspective. However, things ended badly just before I came to New York and we’re no longer on speaking terms. I lost a best friend and that’s not an easy thing, especially living in a new city.

 

It’s not just affecting me, either. I haven’t been going out with friends nearly as much – and not at all during the week. It’s really been isolating and, without some serious support, makes the stress even worse. I can tell my friends are getting tired of inviting me out and always getting declined. I know it’s a learning process, but fuck if I know what I’m doing.

 

So what am I going to do about it?

 

Well, this past weekend I basically took a complete break – I didn’t work, or stress about something that needed to get done; I went out both nights and helped my friend shop for a birthday gift on Sunday. I danced and flirted and met some amazing people. It was a godsend really.

 

I’ve decided not to commit as many articles to The Berklee Groove, and luckily, because I’ve been working with the band for a couple weeks, the most time-consuming work for them is finished. Now it’s a matter of maintaining and keeping up with their current activities. I’m taking my own advice and learning to take time for myself and to have the ability to say no.

 

There’s no other industry I’d rather be in. I’m constantly amazed with where my life is headed – sometimes I just need a little perspective.

Second week down! I can’t believe I’ve even been here that long. This week was fairly insane; I didn’t have two seconds to myself, and I loved it (for the most part). Here are some pictures to recap:

Went to about 4 open mic nights this week. I never thought I’d have friends so talented.

Walked nearly four miles in the rain…for no reason. The life of an intern.

Berklee was here…

Got to see Lara Marling for free in Prospect Park! She’s pretty badass, and she has an English accent.

Met a goat on the street. NBD.

Couldn’t ask for a better way to spend my time than playing some music next to that skyline

Tip for making friends: Play music in the hallways for about an hour. Some people may quietly hate you, but the music lovers will come out in droves.

Tuesday I’ll give you guys a peak at the daily life of an intern in the music business, so if you’re thinking about interning at some point, you might want to check it out!

I’ll leave you with this:

First week down! Fuck, I love this city. Every day has been better than the last and I barely have time to think. So here are some things I did this week:

Snakes on a sidewalk. Because New York, that’s why.

Found a sweet panini place, Funini

Walked for two hours Friday night, passed by NYU

Partied at Cafe Wha?

listened to their pretty damn good house band until 2am, met the guitarist for K’naan (kinda blew my mind)

Saw the sunrise due to inability to sleep at all in this city. I’m not complaining:

On top of exploring New York and being sexually harassed more times in one week than I have in my entire life, I started my internships! I work 5 days a week, two days one place, three at the other, and I seriously love it. The venue I work for has a few interns and we get a lot of bitch work…I kind of prepared myself for it though and it’s good to know all the little things that have to be done just to keep a venue going. I really want to prove myself though and get some responsibilities so that’s not ALL I do this summer. I might go mad if I have to redo chalkboard menus every week (I mean really, I have horrible handwriting, they don’t want that anyway). The other place I’m interning does social media marketing and it’s a phenomenal place to work. There are more interns than there are employees, but we all get so many responsibilities and they really cater to what we are interested in. I’m more excited to go back there than is cool to admit.

On top of getting experience working for those companies, I also get some pretty badass perks: free shows, lots of networking events, free food (sometimes), and making some solid friends in the industry.

I don’t want to sugarcoat anything that happens during my internships this summer, but there are some things I will omit and have to be tactful about. Anything that I feel is important will be on here though. I made this blog for the purpose of sharing my experience and advice and I’m going to stick to that.

Got some suggestions for things to do in New York? I’m such a newbie, I’ve mostly just been walking around finding random places to check out.

My weekend, in a nutshell (with pictures):

Found an AWESOME little cafe on my first day in the city, Berkli Parc Cafe. I highly recommend the Chipotle sandwich. Delicious.

After my first day as an intern, I got a great reminder why I do the work that I do. Bear Language at The Bitter End. If you like Radiohead or Muse, please check them out, and then go see them live.

Wished I could be half as cool as this man. Just playing the saw. nbd.

Had the realization that, no, I’m not in Boston anymore. And I’m OK with that.

Why? This view:

And this one.

Goodnight New York

The City That Never Sleeps

Posted: June 1, 2012 in New York
Tags:

That’s always sounded like the perfect place for me, seeing as I’m a chronic night owl.

Heading out soon and I’ll be in the city before lunch! Lemme know if you’re around and maybe we can explore the big apple together.