The last two days have been mostly spent freaking out. I kept thinking, "what the hell am I doing here? Why do I think I can do this? I don't belong here and I'm being incredibly irresponsible." Today, however, was really lovely and I realized why I belong here. I am so comfortable in the city. I love all the people everywhere, all different kinds of people from all different kinds of backgrounds. I love the smells and the lights and the energy. I love how each neighborhood has a totally different personality.
I was freaking out because I don't have a strong reason to be here. I don't have a real job, just a little part time job that won't even pay for my food. So I decided that I would apply for internships and other jobs in the city. I decided that I need to interact with all these people that I see, that talking and smiling and helping them is something that I desperately want to do. So the plan tomorrow is to send out at least 3 resumes and cover letters to galleries, museums and other places needing interns or part timers. I decided that I would definitely come home at the end of summer, but that's not how I role. I live my life playing by ear, seeing what will come up. I don't make plans because plans never work out. Something else always comes up. Basically, I'm going to keep my options open.
So far it's been a busy few days. On Tuesday Jendar and I did a little shopping and went to Institute where a Muslim speaker (who is a civil rights activist for the Muslim community in Manhattan) presented a basic history/overview of Islam. It was incredibly interesting. I had a basic knowledge already but I liked hearing the passionate and tender way he spoke about his beliefs. Yesterday Jendar and I went to the Museum of Modern Art to see a performance artist, Marina Abramovic and her retrospective exhibit. This is the first retrospective of a performance artist in the history of the museum. Her stuff was very interesting, disturbing and engaging. She liked to push her body to its limits, and I loved the physicality of her work. Afterwards we shopped a little more and then went out to dinner for Jendar's birthday to this little vegetarian Chinese place in Hell's Kitchen. It ended up being pretty tasty and I had my first celebrity sighting, James Cromwell who is very tall and scary in real life. After dinner we got some frozen yogurt and then headed home where I proceeded to get lost and wandered around Harlem by myself at 11:00 pm. It was a little scary and at least now I know which direction I should go when I get off the train.
Today I met up with an old friend who lives in the area and we went and ate a famous soul food restaurant in Harlem called Sylvia's. Man was it tasty food. I got the golden fried pork chops and they were just perfect. Then my friend and I decided to walk over to Columbia University and down through the Upper West Side and in to Central Park. I checked on google maps after and figured out that we had walked almost 6 miles. And I only got to see a tiny corner of the city! It was really nice and I only have a little blister from it all. I got to see Tom's Restaurant (the one on Seinfeld and featured in that great song "Tom's Diner" which song I had in my head for the rest of the day). On the way to Central Park I passed a community garden and I was able to go in and talk to a couple of the gardners in there. It was a really adorable little place.
Central Park was lovely. We walked across to 5th Ave and then walked up and crossed through Harlem on St. Nicholas back to my house. I was going to write my thesis on Central Park and so it is always special to go in and see how calm and peaceful it is inside. After all the walking we did I rested for a few hours and then went back out to Lincoln Square to go to the temple. It was a really lovely session and I loved the spirit that was there in such a tiny little space. The whole experience was really special and I plan to go back as often as possible. After the temple Jendar and I went to a pizza place downtown called Artichoke and got a thick crust artichoke pizza slice that was huge and delicious. Definitely worth what seemed like 20 blocks that we walked to get there. On the way back we got a slirpy at the 7/11 and while filling my cup up my skirt fell down. I have no idea how or why, but there it went around my ankles. I quickly pulled it up and no one acted like they saw anything, but it was still weird and embarrassing. I guess i'd better take that skirt in a little before I wear it again.
So then we hopped on the train, and I got off at the right stop and walked in the right direction and got home fairly quickly. I live next to a bakery and I was considering rumaging through their trash, but I might just go in one night and ask if I can take anything they plan on throwing out.
I'm still on Utah time, so I've been staying up late every night and "sleeping in" until 9:30 or so when my body tells me it's 7:30 and time to get up. I kind of like this system since all the fun stuff happens at night. I'll try to keep it until I get an internship and have to be up and about early again.