March 2018 Recap | Settling Into the Real World Again

Since I began my new job in mid-March, it’s taken me a few weeks to settle in and figure out my commute, schedule, and energy level. I’ve been trying to catch up with people I haven’t seen in a while as well as get to know my new coworkers (who are all nice, funny, and welcoming, for the record). I’ve also still been working on my apartment and the exploration of my neighborhood which takes up a good amount of time. I know, “excuses, excuses”, and I’m sorry I’ve been quiet on here, but I promise, I’ll still be around. Here are some fun things I did in March:

Met my Ultimate Travel Idol

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Rick Steves, who has been promoting travel throughout Europe for forty years through his guidebooks, PBS show, podcast, audio tours, and more, came to Barnes and Noble on the Upper East Side the first week in March to talk about his updated version of “Travel as a Political Act”. He’s basically another member of my family when we travel to Europe, with everyone saying “Who has Rick?” before we leave our hotel so I knew I couldn’t miss the opportunity to see him speak.

My friend Jeff joined me in the front row (I got there quite early) and I wore a Rick Steves t-shirt that my sister had gifted me one Christmas. As soon as Rick saw me in the audience, he said he liked my shirt and I felt inside as if it had been Justin Timberlake talking to me. After an awesome presentation and an interesting Q&A, he offered to sign books by spinning around on the side of the room instead of sitting at a desk like I’ve seen at previous signings. It actually worked out quite well.

When it was my turn to have my books signed (one for my sister, one for me), I told Rick he was awesome, he told me *I* was awesome for my shirt, I told him I was a travel writer as well, and I asked if I could give him my card. I didn’t want anything in return of course, but just wanted to do it, in case he ever saw it later (if it didn’t end up in his hotel garbage can that night) and wanted to visit this site (HI RICK! ARE YOU READING THIS?!). With his permission, I slipped my card into his coat pocket and ran off to grab a drink with Jeff.

Caught Up With My Crew

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After being gone so long from the city, I still have a long list of people I need to catch up with and I’m slowly making my way through. A group of us had fancy drinks for Katie’s birthday, followed by slices of pizza, because really, the best nights are when you mix the highbrow and the lowbrow. Katie, Spencer, and I had fancy drinks again a few weeks later at a place that serves drinks in yellow peppers and lightbulbs, because Instagram. I visited my friend Julianne at her apartment and met her husband and their two adorable cats for even more fancy drinks, and trust me, Julianne knows fancy drinks.

But don’t worry, I can see my friends without having fancy drinks. I met my friend Carrie, one of my favorite people from my former finance life, for an afternoon treat one day. I attended a baby shower for one of my best friends from college and hung out with another super cool baby during the day. She’s still a favorite even though she made her mom and I drive back to the city while listening to Baby Beluga on repeat, for more than an hour. I also met up with my friend Chris who was in town from Philly, who I’d randomly met up with in Prague the same exact date last year.

A few of my travel friends and I got dim sum out in Flushing and explored a stationery store for hours – I kid you not. And of course, I celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with my Brooklyn and Astoria cousins, their crew, and one of my old coworkers. We went to several different stops and I had several different Guinnesses.

Worked on Making My Home a Home

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My parents had kindly helped me on moving day in February but wanted to come up to Brooklyn again before I started work. I was of course so happy to see them and took all of the picture-hanging-help and delivery-of-everything-I-left-at-home I could get. AND they brought our pup Darcy! It was Darcy’s first time in Brooklyn and we have concluded she is not a city dog. She of course enjoyed seeing me and smelling all of the smells, but was quite distressed about the sounds, the vibration of my apartment when large trucks drive the BQE, and my stairs, for some reason (likely ghosts). She was carried up and down like a freaking princess pup. But hopefully she’ll get used to Brooklyn because one of these days I am going to kidnap her from my parents and keep her for myself.

My place is definitely coming together, but there’s still a lot to do. I found a kitchen island on Facebook marketplace in Park Slope and put it in an UberX to get it home. I was struggling so much to get it in the door that a woman stopped and helped and offered to even get it up the stairs with me. It would’ve been a tough day otherwise, so thank you, Sandra!

Celebrated Easter with the Fam

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The Saturday of Easter weekend was one of the only nice days we had in March, a weird month with what seemed like hundreds of snowstorms. My extended family and I spent the majority of the day outdoors, dying eggs for the fourth-annual egg crack (which I finally did not lose to a baby, but instead lost to a newbie, my cousin’s fiancé), playing football, three-year-olds racing marathon runners, and hiding eggs (I was apparently making them too hard for the kids to find). We also had tons of laughter around the dining room table, played on the stairs, and got into a few rousing rounds of Dutch Blitz.

What I Wrote

What I Read

I know it’s the nerdiest thing in the world to be proud about, but March marked my third month in a row killing it at checking books off my list. A few things have gotten me to read more – my friendship with Katie (who wrote an awesome post about reading in February), Book of the Month Club (use this link for a free book!), and my obsession with tracking it all on Goodreads (become my friend here). I didn’t know if I’d be reading as much once I started working, but I can get a good hour and a half in each day during my commutes which also makes them more enjoyable.

  1. Uncommon Type: Some Stories by Tom Hanks (yes, that Tom Hanks)
  2. Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney
  3. The Twelve-Mile Straight by Eleanor Henderson
  4. Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong
  5. Year of Yes by Shonda Rimes
  6. Startup by Doree Shafrir (do not read. so bad.)
  7. Bed-Stuy is Burning by Brian Platzer
  8. Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang (my fave of the month)
  9. Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert
  10. Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
  11. Bonfire by Krysten Ritter (yes, that Krysten Ritter)

What’s Next?

Settling in more, hosting people at my apartment, Hamilton, and…33.

xx

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