Conversations Over Coffee, Vol. 2

I so loved sitting down to coffee with you last month that I think I'll make it a monthly trend. I've been living in New York for a few very chaotic weeks and don't have anyone nearby to meet for a real life coffee date just yet, so again, doing it virtually is just as well.

David and I have been living together for a month. It doesn't feel like that, though. See, before we moved in together, we spent time together in such a way that made it feel like we already did. For at least 2-3 nights at a time, sometimes more, one of us would move in with the other, and round and round we went. Before we made the move I had an insatiable obsession with reading articles about "what to expect when you move in together," but it was all pretty useless. Warnings about him seeing me without makeup or living with his bathroom behaviors or trying to figure out how to share a bed were all lost on us—been there, done that. We move quickly around here, I guess. The only things that really changed about our living situation were a) both of our stuff is in the same place, and b) we don't have to cross a river to get to each other.

But we have been in a bit of a weird situation. Pretty much the same week that we decided to start looking at apartments (meaning, we were prepared to move in a month's time—NYC real estate dictates that you work fast), David's job sent him to another state for a project that needed him. Luckily the work travel is just about over, but for the first month that we lived together, he was only here four nights per week. Because of that, we haven't fully established our weekday rhythm together. Weekends though... we've been pretty good at weekends.

Last weekend in the beautiful weather, we went meandering through our neighborhood. We live right at the top of Morningside Heights, right at the bottom of west Harlem. To our right is Riverside Park and the Hudson River, to our left is, well, Manhattan. We're right smack-dab in the middle of neighborhoods with such rich history and so many sights that make me go "Holy shit, I get to live here?" Last Saturday we walked almost all the way to the east side of the island, stopping to peek at nearly every menu in the south side of Harlem to scout out our next brunch spot. (So many eateries, not even remotely enough time.) After cutting back to the west side through Morningside Park and emerging near Columbia campus, just south of our apartment, we popped into Tom's Restaurant. You know the place as the exterior shot in Seinfeld. We (now) know the place as the diner with delicious 22 oz. milkshakes.
I have fallen in love with running in Riverside Park. I've ventured over to Central Park too, and I enjoy it as well, but fighting the streetlights and foot traffic to get there isn't worth it on a regular day. Riverside Park is literally half a block away from us, so access is easy. And I gotta tell you, it's damn pretty. Running south, the Hudson and views of my beloved New Jersey are on my right. On my left is block after block after block of beautiful old buildings. Think You've Got Mail—in fact, Riverside Park is the meeting place at the end of the movie. I ran past that garden the other day, and couldn't wait for spring. I can't wait to see how gorgeous this place is when everything turns green again.

What else is going on? Well, I'm still job-hunting, so there is that. I think I've said all I want to say on the subject—it's hard, it's depressing, it's depleting, and I just want to get to work. Oh, and if I have to read one more piece of vague advice about how cover letters are the secret key to landing a job but never read any two people agreeing on what a cover letter should look like (Be creative! Don't be weird. Stand out! Don't be off-putting. It doesn't matter how you open! Your opening is everything. Summarize your background! Don't summarize your resume. Really show the interviewer who you are! Don't write more than exactly 11 sentences.) I'm going to scream. Listen, recruiters/HR: if the cover letter is really this make-or-break, throw people a freaking bone. Better yet, I propose you only request a cover letter from the resumes you actually read for more than 1.2 seconds and don't throw in the trash. It takes me a half hour to apply for a job it takes half a second for you to reject people from...let's rethink things a bit. (I could go on about this for days; I'll quit here.)

I haven't taught a single yoga class in a month. On the one hand, I've enjoyed the break and the return to just being a student. On the other, I miss it tremendously, and I'm not even practicing nearly as much as I'd like to. My old studio felt like home; I knew all the teachers, could pick and choose classes based on what kind of practice I was in the mood for. I found a nearby studio that I do really enjoy, but making the 12-minute walk over there isn't always appealing, and I admit I've been more than a bit lazy. On the bright side, I'm starting to make more time for my home practice, which I have pretty much neglected for a year and a half now. I'm in talks with someone right now about getting a few classes to teach, which I hope is exactly the zap I need to reignite this machine.

A machine I was finally able to reignite though was my run game. It has taken me SO long to fall back into my groove; even when I was running on the schedule I gave myself (which was a bit more forgiving than it should have been, considering I've got a marathon coming up) I wasn't enjoying it or feeling the benefit like I used to. But I had a great rebound week and, come on, these views on the run? Would you stay inside?
The view facing north, the George Washington Bridge which connects NYC to NJ.
The view from a few miles south is just this, all along the water. That cluster of buildings on the far left is NYC's financial district. On Sunday, I ran all the way downtown and had picture-perfect views of One World Trade, Lackawanna Station in Hoboken, and just the most gorgeous river and skyscape shots. I wanted to take about a million photos; in fact, I feel that way pretty much every time I walk out the front door, and especially when running through Riverside Park. But I've found too that there's something that feels so nice about just having it there for me, knowing I can see it all and be awed by it every day. Trying to find one perfect shot would be almost a lie, because everywhere you look it just feels like you're in a movie.

The funny thing is, I say this as someone who never had "big city dreams" or thought she would settle in NYC. Don't get me wrong, I love this town and always have. Growing up across the river, how could I not? But I always thought NJ would be home, and that a marathon's distance away was close enough. And at the start of my residency here, I was almost embarrassed about the idea of being a doe-eyed New Jerseyan coming to Manhattan, looking around with eyes wide and feelings of grandness about everything I saw. How cliche and pedestrian! But the thing is, New York is all that. The Upper West Side is everything it's cracked up to be. It's as beautiful as it looks in movies; more so. It's as electric and vibrant and inspiring as every TV show has ever made it seem. It has its downsides too—I had to hold my breath walking out of the subway station today because it reeked of pee—but this city is a living, breathing organism. I knew that already; I felt it every time over the past 27 years when I emerged from the Lincoln Tunnel into midtown or walked the maze of the Lower East Side to get to my favorite bar and pizza place, and that's why I let David convince me to move here. I didn't realize until I got here though how much I needed its life, its breath to course through me right now.

There's more we'd chat about over coffee, I'm sure. I'd wish you a happy new month and mention I turn 28 at the end of this month—and confess that I have mixed feelings about it. We'd talk politics, because how could we not? We'd touch on the Oscars, and I'd annoyingly repeat my story about how I've seen every broadcast of the Academy Awards since literally the day I was born, because I was born on Academy Award night in 1989, during the announcement for Best Picture (Rainman). I'd wish you a happy Women's History Month and ask if you're participating in next Wednesday's Day Without A Woman.

I'd apologize for the lack of comments I've been leaving. I can only keep up with reading these past few weeks, but I am here and I do love knowing what's going on with you. I'd ask if you're reading anything good, and hope you're enjoying some spring-like weather. I'd ask how your spouse or SO is doing, and what's new with your family. I'd tell you I hope work is going well and your hobbies are keeping you entertained. Before we parted, I'd give you a sincere squeeze and tell you I hope to sit down for coffee again very soon.

Linking up with Kristen.
Linking up with Joey.


  1. Yaayy I love catching up with you, sweet friend. Is it super weird if I just randomly show up and decide to have 22 oz milkshakes with y'all?! I sure hope not. While I'm sad that you're not teaching again, I am glad that you are feeling rejuvenated by being a student for a little while. And I'm super proud of you for getting the running machine back on the road :)

    Speaking of running -- any training schedules you'd like to share for a half marathon? I'm going to sign up for the Disneyland Paris 10K + half marathon and need to get on a proper training schedule! xo

  2. Glad you're enjoying city life! I miss living here - but I get my fix from working here and getting to spend time here during the week (and sometimes on weekends if I have plans in the city!). I really hope the job thing works out for you soon - I don't want to give unsolicited advice (because ANNOYING) but if I can help in any way let me know. I've worked in a bunch of different industries, kinda have friends all over anddddddddd I used to be a recruiter :)

  3. Of course you researched cohabitation lol. Sometimes it just works, and I'm very happy that it's been so seamless for you both! I had no idea the end of You've Got Mail was at that park- how cool! Those views are pretty amazing, too. I hope that you get that teaching gig, and so happy you found your running groove back!

  4. Yay! I'm so glad you're enjoying NY. I used to want to move to a city, any city, but I skipped over that phase of life and went straight to suburbia and now I don't even want it anymore (kind of like bungee jumping - it's still on the bucket list, but maybe it's time to admit I really don't care anymore). Gorgeous views!!! If this area looked like that I might run outside more. Speaking of which, I have also gotten back to it. First mile completed since having a baby, whoop whoop! On the treadmill, naturally, since that's my preferred location and because I really, really wanted to watch Beauty and the Beast and my parents have both the VHS and a crappy old VHS playing TV in front of their treadmill. :D

  5. I love this! I once thought I'd live in the city. Now I am not so sure, but I still dream of now owning a car and just doing it.

  6. yeah i remember reading things about moving in together as well and it wasn't a huge change. same with getting married. the only thing that changed for us when we got married is we had to pay lots of money and fill in lots of forms. but bathroom behaviours (not to mention all other house behaviours) were already well known. seriously though, milkshakes and fries? i want to be in your relationship. haha. riverside park sounds amazing! the house we put in an offer for last night is close to a park i used to run in a few years ago. i can't wait to run back in that park.. if we get it of course. those views! gorgeous! i would run all the time with those views (probably false, but in make believe land, we can pretend). i think it's lovely to be so happy and excited about living in a certain place. i feel like i grew up right outside a big city as well and i was always like ugh, the city. i'm way too cool for the city and it's so not worth the trip or the hype.... and then i go there, or move away and come back, and even with the horrible pee smells (seriously!) and congestion etc etc, there's nothing like a big city. in my opinion :) i know sydney is like, NYC's baby sister, but still lol.
    birthday month!!! 28 was a good year for me. i love your oscars story :)

  7. So cool that you get to run where they filmed You've Got Mail!!! I love that movie!! And I am totally jealous of all of the city you get to explore just walking out your door! So cool. I want to visit NYC so bad one day! Yay for the running rebound! I always have to laugh at the articles about living with other people because chances are that you do a lot of the things already without "living together" unless you are super old fashioned and never spent the night with that person. And the cover letter. I never understood what to write on one of those that didn't sound fake and generic. I wish you all the luck with your job search!

  8. Annnnnd we're overdue for something sometime before the end of the month...

  9. It sounds like things are working out wonderfully! Those views are absolutely gorgeous -- I would want to walk everywhere. Not to mention I would definitely be doe-eyed and gawking, stopping to take photo after photo. I have never lived anywhere other than my small town, and while I love it... I can't help but wonder what it would be like to live in a big city like that. To have so much just right outside your door. It seems scary and wonderful all at once!

  10. Glad to have stopped by today to get caught up on everything going on with you. I'm not sure you remember who I am, but I'm Elle! Anyway, congrats on your move! I've never lived there, but have family sprinkled around there.

  11. I think I get an adverse reaction to the word(s) cover letter-- there are few things I despise more and could not agree with you on everything you said on all of the conflicting ways you're supposed to write them. They always take me so long to write because I second guess basically every sentence. Done ranting about cover letters now ;) So happy you're adjusting well to the move and city life-- I can't imagine anything better than living in new york! Have you guys been to Jacobs Pickles for brunch? It's super hyped on Yelp, but was actually really, really good. It sounds like you've enjoyed a break from yoga teaching- are you going back to your old studio at all, or just looking for somewhere totally new in the city once you get settled? I'm sure it's so overwhelming to find the perfect place in the perfect location. Anddd now I'm seriously craving a milkshake.


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