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28 Notes

Looking Back: The NYC Nomad

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2 years ago, I wrote the first blog post of my nomadic travels in NYC. At that time, I thought I might live with different people for a couple of months while I “figured things out.” It turned into much more than that, an indelible experience on my life with images from the people and places of New York City.

I lived in a different neighborhood, with different people, every week for nearly two years!  Towards the end of my project, I realized that as soon as I stopped I’d look back on it and ask “How did I ever do it?”  And now, after month-long sublets in South Williamsburg and Greenpoint and 6 weeks in my new, permanent home in Alphabet City, I’ve reconsidered just that:  How did I do it? How did I move almost every week since March of 2010?

You can get used to anything, and I got used to moving. Almost Every Sunday, I packed everything I owned into four bags and moved to a new neighborhood of NYC. I thrived on meeting new people and seeing new places – on getting to know this city in a truly unique way. I was constantly aware that seeing any place for a week is not enough, but when you know you only have a week, you see a lot more.  You also talk to people a bit more, and through my SoundCloud fellowship, I met and interviewed people who know a far different New York City than I ever will.  (Bernie’s been in Stuytown since the 40’s!)

It’s quite hard to encapsulate this project in a single blog post.  I had over 100 roommates and lived in everything from a tiny studio to an 8 person loft, from a Park Avenue doorman building to the South Bronx.  I even camped one week in Brooklyn.  I stayed with people from the age of 8 months to 80 years old (my 80 year old host was still flying planes) and in 52 unique neighborhoods across the 5 boroughs (map here).  

None of this would have been enabled without some amazing friends and supportive family, friendly acquaintances, and welcoming strangers.  I’m still overwhelmed by the willingness of people who shared their apartments and lives with me. I learned so much, a great deal of which is still being processed.  I’m similarly overwhelmed by the number of offers to stay with people around the world (especially Brazil!).

I want to say thanks, and I’m having a party at my new place so feel free to stop on by if you’re in the neighborhood.  Here’s some more info on the party.

I’ll end this how I ended my first blog post for the NYC Nomad and say that I hope to see you in your neighborhood!

4 Notes

I wonder if this ad would have been okay 20 years ago on a subway station #brooklyn #nyc (Taken with instagram)

I wonder if this ad would have been okay 20 years ago on a subway station #brooklyn #nyc (Taken with instagram)

19 Notes

A week on the northern tip of Manhattan in Inwood

Inwood is another one of those neighborhoods I felt like I just had to get to on the road to 52.  The very northern tip of the island always fascinated me and I only ever made it up to the Cloisters on bike rides in the past.  After spending a week with Bronwyn and Matt, my instinct about Inwood proved correct.  The neighborhood plays host to some unique aspects of the island of Manhattan including the only “road” on the island (Indian Road), the only old growth (read: original forest) on the island, and the site of where Peter Minuit is said to have purchased Manhattan for the famed 60 guilders and some trinkets.

My hosts for the week were Bronwyn and Matt, who fall under the category of strangers.  Bronwyn and I couldn’t quite figure out how we had connected but we think it was originally through Tumblr and then through Project Hope, New York’s annual survey of the homeless population.  If you’re interested in participating, details can be found here.  I didn’t have any connection to Matt, but he was cool with having a random guy on the couch.  They have a nice two bedroom place where you can literally fall out of bed and into the A train.  This is uptown, uptown, uptown though, and you’re hopping on the subway at 211th street.  Didn’t realize that existed?  Well, it goes up to 218th street, but don’t confuse it for the Bronx.  One bartender in the neighborhood is known to say that Inwood is “not the f#@%*$# Bronx.” It’s not far though, and I’m kind of disappointed I didn’t get a chance to say hi to Leslie in Riverdale and revisit Wave Hill Park.

The weather was (is) pretty fantastic for the time of year and I ran through Inwood Hill Park, the highest natural elevation in Manhattan.  We had drinks at a great beer garden in the neighborhood, and amazing brunch at Indian Road Cafe.  As Matt said to me, Indian Road cafe is the only place that has figured out how to do coffee, beer, and a restaurant all at the same time.  This cafe and a walk in the park is worth jumping on the Express A train for an hour or so.

Inwood is one of those neighborhoods where you can feel the pride of its residents.  It’s quiet, people seem to look out for one another, and I felt like I was on an island more than I do in other parts of the city.  There ‘s also a great farmers market all year round - a plus for any NYC neighborhood.

I have a few posts to catch up on as I write from Brooklyn Heights.

Happy Holidays!

8 Notes

As a Manhattan suburb its growth followed the introduction of steam-powered ferries in 1815. By 1839 the area had been incorporated, with friends of John Jacob Astor winning a bitter factional fight in naming Astoria for him.

White, Norval; Willensky, Elliot; Leadon, Fran (2010-05-29). AIA Guide to New York City (Kindle Locations 20568-20569). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition. 

21 Notes

7 Notes

From 50 stories up in midtown.  #nofilter #nyc #manhattan #aerial #iphoneography #iphone4s  (Taken with instagram)

From 50 stories up in midtown. #nofilter #nyc #manhattan #aerial #iphoneography #iphone4s (Taken with instagram)

13 Notes

Swimming in Brighton Beach…It’s delicious!

I caught up with Anna on a cold, crisp, beautiful fall day. She rides her bike to the beach and jumps into the water, often into November.

The NY Times has more about this cold weather swimming phenomenon, which is apparently prevalent in this part of Brooklyn.

Stay tuned for a post about my search for an interesting person.  It wasn’t easy!

42 Notes

The NYC Nomad in Brazil

Well, I’m not there - at least not yet.  But here’s an article that ran in an airline magazine last month.  So far I have multiple offers from Sao Paulo and an offer to go to Rio and the capital, Brasilia.

NYC Nomad Brazil TAM Airlines

1295 Notes

People liked this one on @instagram so I thought I’d share it here. I think I need to live near the beach.

People liked this one on @instagram so I thought I’d share it here. I think I need to live near the beach.

27 Notes

Brighton Beach boardwalk

Brighton Beach boardwalk