New York!

Hey all,
I have been SUPER busy with this whole "Graduate School" business. Phew! My boyfriend is the one constantly training for 5Ks, half marathons, and marathons....but I have been exhausted from just the first week. Our advisors are always telling us that come December we will "collapse into happy exhaustion"

This does not surprise me one bit.

EXCELLENT things have happened, and some NOT so excellent things have happened.

Given my work that I selected (social work- ta da!), I have to always be mindful of how I am feeling, and try to care for myself.

1) Leaving home was REALLY hard. I have wonderful friends here, but very little can make up for the comfort of family, friends, my boyfriend, and my established sense of independence that I felt in my cramped little studio in Rogers Park. On the other hand, I really lucked out in NYC real estate, and found TWO veggie minded roommates within 10 minutes of campus. One also happens to be a veggie trained chef who works in Chelsea....what?!

2) It's taking a while for me to get my job solidified. This work-aholic is NOT used to this! I am getting a lot of homework done, which is wonderful considering that I have a tendency to procrastinate like CRAZY. (Especially at the beginning of the semester). Hopefully this barista will be serving the thousands of commuters by Madison Sq Garden!

3) I am finally getting the trains/buses here. Chicago= +5000 points for its bus system. NYC= -5000 points for its bus system. NYC= +5000 points for its subway. Chicago= -5000 points for the "el". It all evens out, I guess!

4) Holy vegan friend, Batman! NYC has so many cool vegan restaurants. Too bad that I'm now in a financially compromised position that I can't afford all of them! Oh bother! Candle Cafe and Sacred Chow have already had me, and Scotters and I did my favorite Spring St. Natural Restaurant where I indulged with what I can only describe as the BEST veggie burger I've ever had! EVER! Once the funds come in (and Travis and Jonathan!) I will probably report in more or less detail about these places. Especially Lula's Sweet Apothecary- YUM!

5) Cheese. Oh gosh. When you are on a supreme veggie/student/poor girl budget, it is hard to resist the canned soup and mac/cheese staples for nourishment. I was pretty good about having some hearty fruit/veggie/low fat good foods...until stress and long days came about. I also didn't realize how much I depended on a blender for my quick food smoothie fixes. Thank god for the Mexican fruit and veggie carts throughout the city. If the fruit is right in front of you, how can you NOT eat it?! And hey...PB &J is veggie! Huzzah!

6) My classes rock. I've only had 2 days of class so far (once a week classes....my favorite!), but I can tell that I will be challenged and simultaneously have the ability to thrive. Likewise my field work in Queens looks super cool.

7) I MET JONATHAN FRANZEN! Yep, I'm a book nerd. Always will be. For my birthday I was able to meet the author of Freedom, one of THE most anticipated books of the year- for me AND the NY Times- haha! I told Mr. Franzen my sister's suggestion of his running for Mayor of Chicago. He told me he'd put it on his to-do list. The experience rivaled meeting David Sedaris. Jon Stewart is coming to town as well. So is Jamie Oliver.....

Looks like I need to start writing a book! :D

I miss you all in Chicago, and I feel so welcomed by the NYC crowd.

Now to try to correct the Starbucks folks on what a REAL Red Eye is..... ;)


  1. Chicago misses you soooo much more Sandra. Lucky NY, they don't know exactly what kind of a star they have in their presence.

    And I agree with you %100 on the whole mass transit point. As I recall, the 5 bus (orange line * i'm from Chicago!) didn't even follow his route. Seriously... who does that ...oh yeah, a NY bus driver.

    I miss you tons love!

  2. I was looking for a photo of Natalie and came across your blog in the process. I'd love for you to read my book, Goodbye Natalie Goodbye Splendour. Nice blog!

  3. Marti- thank you so much for the comment!

    I have been absolutely dying to read the book! Excellent advertising on your part. What a pleasant surprise :)

    Please let me know if you're doing any book signings in the New York or Chicago area!