Shameless Billy Joel reference to follow…

Checker Tables

Checker Tables

I’m in a New York state of mind. Today was the first day I felt like I belonged in New York City. It was another grey day, cool and rainy like the first one, but today the streets were mine. They are full of my memories, my stories, my magic. I’ve eaten at the little bakery on the corner as well as the hole-in-the-wall Chinese place across the street. The subway stop under the Best Buy is my stop. I don’t stand on the sidewalk waiting for a pedestrian light to change; I stand with the locals half-way into the street so I can move insouciantly across if a taxi happens to hesitate a half a block away. And my friend LB and I talked shop on our way to the MoMA tonight for an after-work art viewing, nimbly sidestepping the tourists from the Midwest who persist in studying their glossy city maps in the middle of the sidewalk during rush hour.

My Water Tower

My Water Tower

I live with ghosts. My Spartan room is a small bastion of safety, outside of which I hear all sorts of strange noises – footsteps padding down the hallway, showers running, keys turning in locks. I’ve even seen a shoulder or ankle turning one corner as I’m coming round the other. As I’m the only girl living on a male floor in a residence hall, I take comfort in being haunted from a distance. An actual encounter with these spectres is to be avoided at all costs…and I believe the feeling is mutual. Today I received my dorm-room-sized fridge, it’s purring contentedly next to me, empty but cold, and the atmosphere is complete with my a-mazing city view of a water tower.

The head, the heart, the hand. My CELTA course started out like a wall of water. My co-trainees and I watched it build throughout the morning on Monday, the fear growing in our eyes, and it has crashed down on us without mercy, shattering whatever ideas we had of an easy course with plenty of time for sightseeing. The content of the class is so much more difficult than I could possibly have imagined too, but I’m already teaching 40-minute lessons and enjoying myself for the most part! Here is what I’ve learned: Teaching is about leading students to the answer through the right questions; it’s not about lecturing or telling them what the answer is. Teaching is also about providing students with something for their head (new information), their heart (making it relevant), and their hand (a written record). While I’m still not sure what I’ll do with my CELTA, the journey itself is opening my mind to a new way of looking at life and learning and experience. I need to try to make a decision soon though, graduation (and might I add pointless unemployment) is now three weeks away!

The hungry girl’s guide to NYC. I’ve basically kicked my shopping habit. A taste of debt-free living will do that to a girl. It’s not that I’m opposed to putting money down for a quality item, but I’m going to earn the cash first and I’m going to have a solid rationale for adding it to my wardrobe. But one thing every girl needs is a good meal. So here are a few of my favorite places on the cheap: Havana Central by Union Square for a Cuban sandwich (22 E 17th St), Garage in the West Village for a Sunday jazz brunch (7th and Grove), the Great Sphinx food cart in Chelsea that has spicy gyros (16th and 9th), Michelle’s on the Upper East Side for breakfast (3rd and 91st St), Hudson Hotel by Columbus Circle for expensive wine, cool murals in the Hudson Bar, and where I saw Hex Hector who is an incredible DJ (58th and 8th), and finally the Amish Market in Tribeca for an overwhelming salad bar perfect for a girl on the go (53 Park Place).

Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge

And so week one closes, leaving me with only three more weeks to dig in, study hard, and explore my city. I’ll keep you posted!

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