Sunday, February 28, 2010

I heart New York...sometimes.

I'm not a gambling woman, but if I were I would confidently bet that there isn't a single sane New Yorker who hasn't, at least once, proclaimed exasperated hatred toward some aspect of city dwelling. Don't get me wrong. There is, hands down, no place like New York City. It's a land of opportunity and boundless excitement, home to the planet's most influential movers and shakers. In so many ways it's the smack dab center of the universe, and at the end of most of my days here I feel lucky to know it well. But, there is an uglier side of living here that the hundreds of tribute pop songs don't mention.

In preparation for this post, I spent the weekend recording each time I experienced or witnessed an element of the city that falls under "ridiculous."

1. Yanked out of sleep at around 4:00am Friday when drunk dude yells, "It's too cold to wait for this (f-bomb) cab!"...and I sleep with ear plugs.
2. Toddled my way to work through 1 foot of gray slushy snow at 8:30am Friday morning.
3. 7 people are ahead of me in line to use an ATM at 3:30pm on Saturday in the East Village.
4. I'm invited to eat dinner at the Waverly Inn- a cramped, dark, loud, unventilated yet undeniably trendy West Village eatery at 8:15pm on Saturday. Luckily, the company I was with made up for the underwhelming, overpriced food and general socialite ridiculousness.

All in all, it was a successful ridiculous-light weekend. The weather was a little too chilly for prostitution, so I didn't have to ask a transvestite hooker to scooch so I could unlock the front door to my apartment building. A 200-pound man didn't sit on my lap in the subway. I didn't spot a hobo defecating in the streets. I didn't happen to make a trip to Trader Joe's where I wait 25 minutes to pay for my groceries. And my rent- at least double what I would pay in Florida- isn't due for another week. (All true stories.)

Enough hating. Yes, New York is ridiculous. It's crowded, dirty, expensive, inconvenient and a little stuck up its own butt. But, I'll always love it. I'll cherish it for this ridiculousness and the 10 million other nuts (most from out of town) who call it home. I love it for the same reasons that I hate it...because I know that I'm in a unique place, a crazy setting that can't help but offer unforgettable life experiences.

It's a city without comparison...apples to oranges.

Tia Vanessa

Most rites of passage into adulthood make me cringe.

I'm secretly angry with my Dad for insisting that I do my own taxes this year instead of passing it off to my parents' accountant at home.

I finally realized/accepted (about 2 years late) that my mother is no longer scheduling my doctors' appointments so unless I want my teeth and other body parts to fall out I should probably find some physicians in NYC.

A mattress is far more expensive than I ever are friends' weddings, friends' new babies and the ten thousand events surrounding them.

But, there is one "adult" event that has me beaming with excitement. I'm going to be an aunt!

In less than two months, my brother, Diego, and his wife, Laura, are expecting Georgiana. This is my parents' first grandchild, my first niece, and really, we're all beyond ready to meet her. However, I have to admit, the title "aunt" is pretty daunting. As the youngest of four, I was always the baby. In fact, I'm still rocking the kiddie table at family functions and holiday meals. I babysat a handful of times in my teens, but I have very limited experience with infants. Georgiana will live down the street from me, and I plan on spending pretty much all my down time with her (as she'll likely need a super cool aunt to vent her frustrations to). They say it comes naturally to moms. Does it come naturally to aunts?

Either way, I can't wait to meet you George. Even if becoming an aunt confirms that I'm getting old.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Everything you need to know about me you can learn from my bowl of cereal...

Well, maybe not everything, but definitely more than you might think.

A friend recently asked what my comfort food is. I replied without hesitation- cereal with milk.

As a six-year-old waiting to take my first bite until the milk under my Froot Loops turned pink until now, cereal has been my morning (and often evening) meal of choice. The labels on the cardboard boxes have changed, but the satisfaction I get from crunchy spoonfuls floating in ice cold milk remains. Comfort, sincere contentment, even warm fuzzies from a plain ol' bowl of cereal? I know what you're thinking (non-existent yet judgemental reader): cereal, every morning, for 20 plus years. This poor girl has settled into a sad mealtime rut.

It's so much more.

Yes, it started with your sugary standards: Froot Loops, Lucky Charms, Rice Crispies. But, over the years my tastes evolved. In high school, Special K, Honey Bunches of Oats and Frosted Mini-Wheats served as my gateway to healthier choices. By college, I lost my ultra-sweet tooth to Kashi's fiber-filled options : Heart to Heart, Go Lean, a dabble in Go Lean Crunch. It wasn't long before this plethora of options lead to my current cereal eating strategy- mixing. It's a habit that's made quite a few roommates uncomfortable- blending two, even three different cereals to achieve the ultimate taste and texture. For example, mini wheats with something flaky or granola with simple toasted oats.

Despite clear favorites in the cereal aisle, I rarely buy the same box twice. And even my milk choices have been revised. Two percent to skim and a few bottles of vanilla soy for good measure. This (finally) brings me to my original message. My mixed, ever-changing bowl of cereal reflects an integral part of who I am. I appreciate comfort and stability. Yet, I'm eager to try new things that shake up my perspective. I'm a fan of simple and reliable but novelty keeps me engaged. I'm a girl who knows what she likes, but I also like putting these notions to the test.

It's this curiosity that motivated me to publish a blog. "Orange to Apple" isn't about cereal, or oranges or apples (although I'll likely write a post or two or twenty about them). It's a blog about me, my likes and dislikes and my experiences as a Florida transplant living in crazy New York City. It's an outlet for my curiosity, and hopefully a source for a handful of readers to quench theirs.