Nervous excitement

In less than 48 hours, I will be at the capital of the world, the Big Apple, the Concrete Jungle where dreams are made of where there’s nothing you can’t do.

As a spontaneous decision, my friend and I decided we wanted to go to New York this summer. Neither of us had any internships, jobs, or reasons to be there, all we knew was that we wanted to get out of the Midwest and see the real world again before we gain another 20 pounds and start listening to country music.

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Me at Madison Square Garden in the Winter of 2011. That winter was also known as the “Snowpocalypse,” where city cleaners were on break as tourists swarmed the city for the countdown.

Thanks to the magic of Craigslist and mass emailing, I now have a part-time internship at a publishing company in Manhattan. Even if it’s not the highest paying job in the world, I can’t say I’m not relieved to actually have a real purpose to be there.

Now that’s settled. Let the nerves rush in.

As someone who spent a significant amount of years in Pintung City, Taiwan, I assume I’ve had my fare share of urban rudeness and taste of concrete to maybe be able to survive in New York. City public transportation is no stranger too me, I know the unofficial Taxi protocol, and I am capable of the “I know what I’m doing so don’t mess with me” expression that works better than pepper spray.

But the bad thing about being in the Midwest for a long period of time is you lose that survival instinct.

So before I enter the biggest, most historic, and probably meanest city in the world, I’m getting ready to get rid of my Midwest Face and whip on my City Attitude so I don’t express that vulnerability equivalent to writing “mug me” on my forehead.

No matter what happens this summer, it’ll be another opportunity to finally be in a city beyond the perspective of a shameless, ignorant tourist. As much as I love traveling, I despise that feeling of being “foreign” in a strange land. As a broke college student, I sure ain’t there for the shopping. I want to ride the subways until I memorize all the stops, designate a regular cafe or pizza place, and befriend the guy at the convenient store.

Growing up watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S, I couldn’t resist making a list of things that I must do in New York. The city’s fantastical romanticism seems much larger than the size itself.

A List of Cliche Things to do in New York (As generated from decades of media content made about the city)

  • Jog in Central Park
  • Sip coffee in an artsy Cafe by yourself
  • Read newspapers in the Subway
  • Hang out on the roof overlooking the city
  • Each brunch with mimosas on a Sunday with girlfriends and talk about sex
  • Blast “Empire State of Mind” upon entering the city
  • Live in an apartment across your best friends who are miraculously able to afford the huge place despite having average-paying jobs

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