Zelda’s Seven New York Adventures for 2017

‘Tis the season for resolutions, to-do lists and their ilk. This year I’m focusing not on the things I want to minimize or cut from my life, but on the new places and things I want to experience in this, my fourth year calling New York home. This is by no means a complete list — and I welcome thoughts on spots I may have egregiously overlooked! — but a jumping off point. This city has so much to offer, and as long as I find myself here, I want to take advantage of some of the things that make it, as they say, “the greatest city in the world.”


New Museum (235 Bowery, newmuseum.org): Admittedly I may be cheating here, giving myself an easy first check since I’m planning on going here this week. But even so, this is a New York museum I have not yet visited. And their “Pixel Forest” exhibit, a survey of the work of Swiss multimedia artist Pipilotti Rist, has been blowing up my feeds for months. It’s high time I experienced it for myself.


Met Breuer (945 Madison Ave, metmuseum.org/visit/met-breuer): I’ve been intending to go to this museum, an annex of the Metropolitan Museum fo art housed in the building formerly known as the Whitney Museum, since it opened last month. I even attempted to go once, but traffic and time were not on my side, and all subsequent efforts have failed to get past the “Oh yeah, I should check that out” stage. 2017 is the year I actually make it happen, hopefully before their Kerry James Marshall retrospective closes.


Tenement Museum (103 Orchard St, tenement.org): Scout has written on this blog  about her love for this museum, which taps deep into our cores and reaches the little historical fiction nerds of our hearts. Their tours put you in the shoes of some of New York’s bygone residents, walking you — literally and metaphorically — through the lives they lived and the spaces they called home.


Coney Island (Brooklyn, coneyisland.com): Last year, the Rockaways were among my favorite New  York discoveries. This year, I want to make the trek down to their livelier counterpart. True, all the schmaltz of the boardwalk may be a bit overpriced and cliche. But I’ve always been the type to embrace the bells and whistles, lean into the corny, get lost in the twinkling lights of the Ferris wheel. And until I’ve eaten a hot dog from Nathan’s, I don’t think I get to call myself a true Brooklynite.


The Cloisters (93 Margaret Corbin Drive, metmuseum.org/visit/met-cloisters): Apparently this is the year I finally visit all of the Met’s outposts. This has been on my to-do list for a while, a combination museum-garden that blends the Medieval with the modern. The four-acres of Fort Tryon Park surrounding the Cloisters are a huge part of the attraction, so this will be an all-day activity for a sunnier season.


Trinity Church (770 Riverside Drive, trinitywallstreet.org): Acknowledging our efforts not to turn this site into a full-fledged Hamilton fan blog, I do have to slip this one onto my list. Trinity Church is famous for many reasons, but the one that has me intrigued is its cemetery, eternal resting place of founding father Alexander Hamilton, his wife Eliza, and his sister-in-law Angelica. I finally made it to the room where it happens this past November. I feel it is only right to pay homage to the real folks who inspired all the musical, meme-able genius that has followed.


Mets game (Citi Field, 123-01 Roosevelt Ave, newyork.mets.mlb.com): I do not harbor the antipathy towards America’s greatest pastime that Scout does. As the daughter of a rabid Red Sox fan, I was raised to love the beautiful game, especially when Boston is at the plate. But I do agree with her that baseball is a sport best enjoyed live, with all the peanuts and cracker jacks that entails. New York is home to a great baseball team, and a team that shall not be named, and I’d be more than happy to root-root-root for them…just as long as they aren’t playing the Red Sox.

images via: the new york pass, getaway mavens, fodor’s travel, spoiled nyc, vault travel, untapped cities, eater new york

Bless Your Heart, New York: Goldilocks and the Three Roommates

Dear New York,

It’s been a minute since we’ve had a chat, just you and me. In general, you’ve been kind to me lately. Your air is finally starting to turn crisp, the hot garbage perfume of summer being swept out by the smoky leaf notes of my favorite season. You’ve given me karaoke nights and poetry readings, outdoor movies farmer’s markets, drinks on my rooftop and lazy days strolling around the park. But there’s something that’s been on my mind lately, dear, and my mother said never to go to bed angry, so I think it’s time I got it off my chest.

I wrote to you last year, New York, about how unreasonably cruel and withholding you were when I was looking for a new apartment. You made me jump through seemingly interminable hoops, bled my over-worked printer dry copying form after form, and crushed me with an August heat wave as I drove back and forth through your crowded streets with a good chunk of my worldly possessions. But things worked out in the end, bless your heart. I’ve been in my apartment for a little over a year now and, despite noisy upstairs neighbors and perilously thin walls and a club around the corner that renders many of my weekends on the sleepless side (the police chief said he’s working on it, dear, but I do wish he’d hurry it up), I like it quite a bit. I’ve made it homey and cozy, decorated walls, and forged happy memories within its walls. I thought we were through having this housing fight, at least until I have to move again. But then one of my roommates moved out and we embarked on a quest for a third. And that was when I realized what I thought was a closed discussion had merely been tabled for later.


Before I go any further, I want to assure you that this story has a happy ending. We did find a new roomie, eventually, and she is lovely. But the road to finding her, New York, was a freaking roller coaster. The remaining roommate (let’s call him Todd) and I, started by putting feelers out, making it known to friends and acquaintances that we were in the market for a new housemate — and, hopefully, a friend. Todd and I sent dispatches out along the webs of our social networks, online and in person, hoping one of those lines would trigger a bite. But none took. In this city of constant flux, where it seems somebody is always coming or going or in search of a pad, the moment we opened up our home seemed to be the one time that all of our friends, and friends of friends, were already housed.

So we went further. Todd crafted a lengthy Craig’s List post, whose details and witticisms, we thought, combined fact and whimsy into a work of residential poetry. We futzed with phrasing and details for days, trying to strike a balance between the rigid (price not negotiable, no smokers or pets) and the casual (but we want them to think we’re fun and nice!). Finally, it was time to send our message in a bottle out into the internet ocean. The replies came fast and furious at first, Todd and I fielding emails and stalking Facebook (me) and LinkedIn (Todd) profiles all afternoon. We thought you were on our side, you see, rewarding our efforts with good housing juju and a speedy end to our quest. Boy were we wrong.


Your capricious cruelty really revealed itself the next day, when you sent us candidate A. A was sweet and funny, if a bit young. She effused praise for our humble home, gushing over how adorable and homey it was and swearing that it was “totally awesome and definitely her first choice.” She swore she was in, if we would have her. Todd was at volleyball, so I promised to discuss with him and relay our answer ASAP. We talked. We agreed. We marveled over how painless the whole process was. We sent her an enthusiastic yes, complete with our smiling selfie faces. And in return, A said…nothing.

It took a few days before the glow faded to anxiety, which finally sunk into the realization that you had punked us. We had been ghosted, no other word for it, and our confused little hearts spasmed with rejection and fear. Clearly, you weren’t in the mood to make this easy for us. We were going to have to work for it, hard. We pushed the panic away, buckled down, and reposted our ad. I was going away for the weekend, so Todd bravely fielded the bulk of the requests, showing off the apartment and giving his best sales pitch for why folks should want to be in the business of being our roommates. As for me, I waited.


Sunday night I got a text. “This is B. I showed her the apartment this evening, and she is amazing. I offered her the place on the spot. Sorry but she is so wonderful, I’m confident you would approve. I know you’re at the music festival but can you text her? She said she’d be happy to set up a time to talk with you tomorrow.” The text was swiftly followed by an email extolling B’s virtues and explaining why Todd felt sure this was the girl for us. “I need you to reel her in with your charm,” he said. I fired off a text, full of exclamation points and smiley faces, but not so effusive as to be creepy. I waited. “Did you talk to B?!?” Todd asked. “Texted her, no response,” I replied, with the “teeth gritted in anxiety” emoji. The next morning, you hit us with the news: B was happy to have met us, she thought we had a lovely home, but she had decided to go in a different direction. She wished us luck in our search.

At this point, things kicked into high gear. Since I work nights, Todd scheduled showing after showing, sometimes double booking, in the evening when he and the majority of our prospective roomies were free. It felt like we were on some warped dating show, one of those MTV deals where a parade of prospective matches goes by, sizing you up and swiping left. Each night, Todd would send me detailed minutes and analyses of the days applicants (nothing brings out Todd’s inner corporate executive like housing). Some were ok; some were clear no’s. But none of them came close to A or B. We were down in the dumps, beginning to despair. Would you really betray us like this, New York, leave us adrift and strapped with an extra room’s rent that neither of us was eager to take on?

And then, there was C.


C viewed the apartment on a Tuesday, at the same time as another candidate, D. D wasn’t a great fit, but she texted Todd afterwards: “Not the right place for me, but thanks for showing me your home! Also C seems wonderful and like a great fit, so I think you guys should take her!” All signs were pointing up, but we had been burned before. I quickly set up a phone call with her for the next day. I confirmed with Todd that, if I liked her, I should go ahead and offer her the room. I went to bed with butterflies in my stomach. Would she like me? Would I like her? All I could do was wait.

The next day, our phone date arrived. And New York, darling, you finally, finally came through. C had found us on the internet. She was not a fellow graduate of Todd’s and my alma mater or a friend of a friend. I had all sorts of visions of the perils of welcoming a stranger from the internet into one’s home, fueled by one too many viewings of Criminal Minds. And yet, within the first few minutes, something told me that C was the one. We chatted for a while, just to be sure. She nervously confided that we were her top choice, and she would be thrilled to fill out the paperwork ASAP if we wanted to have her. Taking a deep breath, I popped the question, officially. And C, in her words, said yes to the dress.

Like Goldilocks and the porridge, our third match was the charm. You took pity, I guess, seeing our stress, and sent us a roommate who is fun and sweet and clean and one of the kindest gifts you’ve given me in my time here. Also, she has yet to try to murder us in our sleep (as far as we know), so plus one for internet connections. Everything, I suppose, worked out better than expected, and in the end we lucked into a roomie who fits into our new triangle like a charm. But man oh man, New York, did you really have to make it so hard?

Until next time.



Roomies! @thaisonofny @sojustinesays

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Life Moves Pretty Fast

Most people associate the summer with a nice slow-down. The days are longer and warmer, and everyone takes their time now that they have more sunlit hours in the day…at least that’s how it seems to go everywhere else. But this? This is New York City, the city that NEVER sleeps. And here, if there are more hours in the day when it’s socially acceptable not to be sleeping, that only means there’s more to do.

Now admittedly, I may be a bit biased. I work in the tourism industry, so summer is our busy season.  But add that to the amount of social engagements that seem to crop up when there’s more sunshine and more outdoor space to be social, and my introverted self gets a little overwhelmed. I need a very delicate balance of social and alone time, and if not kept in check I tend to devolve into a semi-functional stress ball of a human (insert picture of me wrapped in several sheets hiding from the world). Not that it’s inherently a bad thing to have lots to do, but for folks like me, it takes a lot out of us. Stress relief becomes very important. So here are some of my tips to stay as stress-free as possible as your work and social life ramps up this summer.

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Meditate: Y’all, I started meditating on the regular when I got my most recent job, and let me tell you it is amazing. Maybe it’s a sort of placebo effect, but making an effort to be really mindful for ten or twenty minutes a day has made me more efficient and productive and has definitely reduced my stress. While one option is to simple focus inward on your own, I prefer a guided practice and guess what? There’s multiple apps for that. My personal favorite is Calm. They have a guided practice for sleep that I use nearly every night, and a commuting meditation that is great for public transit.

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Color: Embrace your inner child with one of the many adult coloring books now on the market. Coloring keeps your mind somewhat active, exercising a different part of your brain from most day-to-day tasks, and it allows you to push your troubles aside for a little while and just make something pretty. I think the same is true for other creative projects — knitting, whittling, drawing freehand — but coloring is an equal opportunity artistic endeavor. If you can hold a pencil, you can color.


Clean: Hear me out: I know that most people don’t really like to deal with their mess. But I am a firm believer that a clean room/house/sink equals a clean mind. I always feel like a small weight has lifted when my space goes from disastrous to tidy. So pull on those rubber gloves and do your dishes, or whip out the vacuum and spruce up the living room (preferably with a catchy soundtrack, dance moves encouraged). And let me tell you, nothing is better than collapsing into a freshly made bed.

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Hydrate: This is especially relevant when it’s hot outside, but no matter the season my brain just functions better when I supplement my caffeine intake with some good old H2O. I try to get in two 32-ounce Nalgenes  or like four S’well bottles a day (although it ends up being closer to one of the former or two of the latter).  I feel better when my body gets the liquid it needs; plus, I get to show off all the awesome stickers that live on my water bottle.

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Go on a Solo Outing: Whether it’s to your roof or the bookstore or the bar or the coffee shop or even the great outdoors, it’s great to do something just for yourself. This is one of the things I miss most about having a weird schedule. Working at night or on the weekends really allowed me to go do things on my own, and let me be out of my apartment without draining my socializing capacity. Whether you go on a hike or go lay in the park and read a book, just go for you.

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Exercise: Okay, so I haven’t been on a regular exercise regimen since I was on a sports team in college, but even if I don’t always follow my own advice, I know that exercising is a great way to relieve stress. In the words of the great Elle Woods, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands.” So listen to Elle: relieve stress and avoid homicide.

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Journal/Write: Sometimes you just gotta get it all out. Journaling is a great way to do that. Just put it all out there. Maybe you’ll look back on it later, or maybe you’re the type to spew your feelings in a Word document and then select all and delete. And if you need a a bit more structure or guidance to get you started? There are journals for that. You can write fiction, or poetry, or songs,  or to-do lists. Just put it out there.

The best way to relieve stress, at least for me, is to spend a little time with yourself — to do some stuff just for you and forget about the rest of the world for a while. In this busy season and city, it’s especially important to slow down the tempo of your world and give yourself a breather. Because in the wise words of Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast; if you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

Summer Character Inspiration

When we first started this blog, we took as our namesakes two awesome Southern women who inspired us, in myriad ways, with their beauty and wit and strength. And so sometimes we like to wonder, what the original Zelda and Scout do when faced with 21st century New York City? We like to think they’d embrace it as we have, especially as we drift into the pleasant (or not so pleasant, damn you climate change) summer.  And it gets us thinking about other iconic Southern women. What museums would The Help’s Skeeter visit? What would the melodramatic Scarlett O’Hara listen to as she lounges on her roof (or more likely on a beach in the Hamptons)? What would Jean Louise Finch wear to combat the heat and humidity and hot garbage smell of these city streets? From this week’s daydreams, here are what we think some of our favorite Southern ladies would do with this New York City summer.


Zelda Fitzgerald 

Listen: Coming Home, Leon Bridges

Do: Midsummer Night Swing, Hendrick’s Gin Cucumber Festival of Wonder, Governor’s Island Jazz Age Lawn Party

Wear: Flowy skirts and t-shirts, and these sunglasses

Watch: “You’re The Worst

Live: West Village, Manhattan


Jean Louise “Scout” Finch (To Kill A Mockingbird)

Listen: Side Pony, Lake Street Dive

Do: New York City Bourbon Bash, Taming of the Shrew at Shakespeare in the Park, NYCFC at Yankee Stadium

Wear: Overalls (she’s totally stoked they’re back in again) and Chacos, all day every day. 

Watch: “Preacher

Live: Kensington, Brooklyn


Scarlett O’Hara (Gone with the Wind)

Listen: True Sadness, The Avett Brothers

Do: “Manus x Machina” at the Met Costume Institute (through August 14th), Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic

Wear: Maxi dresses and big hats, so, you know, not much has changed. 

Watch: “Orange is the New Black

Live: The Hamptons, but really we can’t imagine Scarlett dragging herself above the Mason-Dixon line.

FRIED GREEN TOMATOES, Mary Stuart Masterson, Mary-Louise Parker, 1991

Idgie Threadgoode & Ruth Jamison (Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Cafe)

Listen: Love You To Death, Tegan and Sara

Do: Brooklyn Pride Festival, Smorgasburg, Waitress on Broadway

Wear: Sundresses and Frye boots for Ruth, girlfriend shorts and linen shirts for Idgie. 

Watch: UnREAL

Live: A loft in Gowanus, Brooklyn

NORMA RAE, Sally Field, 1979. TM and Copyright © 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved. Courtesy: Everett Collection.

Norma Rae

Listen: Hamilton, Original Broadway Cast

Do: “Hey! Ho! Let’s Go: The Ramones and the Birth of Punk” at the Queens Museum (through July 31), probably has season Mets tickets

Wear: Honestly, her wide leg pants and printed t-shirts are back in style, so she’ll keep on doing her thing. 

Watch: “Mr. Robot

Live: Sunnyside, Queens


Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan (The Help)

Listen: Johannesburg, Mumford & Sons

Do: NYC Poetry Festival, “Edgar Degas: A Strange New Beauty” at MoMA (through July 24th), Afropunk Fest

Wear: Printed shorts and Converse high tops

Watch: BrainDead

Live: Harlem, Manhattan


Two Southerners and a Wedding

As Scout wrote last fall, we’ve officially reached the moment in our young adult lives where we start to attend a lot of weddings. And in this, our twenty-sixth year on this earth, wedding season has just begun. We attended our very first New York wedding this past weekend (And thus had no time to Eat This, nor to Drink That. Apologies. The series will return in June!). So we thought we’d give you this little photo essay to commemorate the experience. It wasn’t all that different from a Southern wedding — in fact, there were several Southerners from the bride’s family in attendance, easy to spot by their brightly colored attire and snazzy bow ties — and it was a beautiful celebration of love between two of our dear friends. Zelda has known the couple since college, and her introduction of Scout to the groom remains her most successful matchmaking endeavor to date — platonic or romantic. A bestiedom was forged that day, much to her delight, and this weekend we all got to celebrate together.

There’s nothing better than celebrating the happiness of people you love. Scout had the honor of getting the inside view as a groom’s-maid, while Zelda got the perspective of an honored guest. There were songs sung, tears shed, whiskeys drunk, and many dances danced. It was a wonderful start to this, the wedding season of our lives, and we say, if they’re all this great, bring it on!




How to Have a Sick Day, New York Style

I recently found myself stricken by a nefarious disease of the throat, chest, and sinuses (viral pharyngitis, if you really want to know, which as I best understand it is a fancy science word for a very sore throat, a cough, and a nose that’s auditioning for the role of “Leaky Faucet”). Being sick as an adult sucks. Should you not have a job that offers paid sick time, you may find yourself battling through the illness in order to get yourself a much-needed pay check, warding off dirty looks and generous squirts of Purell from your co-workers who don’t want to be similarly afflicted.

Even if you are lucky enough to have the luxury of calling in sick, you still have to fend for yourself: no mom to fetch you home-cooked chicken soup, chauffeur you to the doctor’s office, fetch prescriptions from the pharmacy of your choosing. Nothing forces you to adult quite as brutally as being sick. I, for instance, had to drag myself out of my bed, put on some semblance of clothing, hike to the urgent care center, and wait at the pharmacy for my prescriptions to be filled, and I got to pay for my trouble with some of my own hard-earned cash. (On the bright side, the lovely pharmacist offered me a lollipop while I waited, making me feel simultaneously like a goddamn grown-up and a five year-old, a rare feat).

Nobody makes sick days look whimsical and adorable like Meg Ryan.

Nobody makes NYC sick days look whimsical and adorable like Meg Ryan.

Luckily, there are some things you can do to make your day of recovery and repose go more smoothly. And this is where the good news comes in for you New York readers: This city is a literal Mecca of delivery options. This comes in handy on a regular basis when you’re feeling lazy or anti-social. But nothing makes you truly appreciate the wonders of Seamless or Food Kick like a sick day. There’s a profound joy in realizing that, motherless though you may find yourself, you can still make the cough drops and pho come to you.

But even if you find yourself far outside the New York delivery radius, there are still some things you can do to make your sick day more tolerable. Here are a few of my recently honed tips for how to be ill like a champ.


1. Get your cozy on. Real pants have no place in a sick day. Put on your rattiest, comfiest sweats — the ones you’ve had for years and can’t bear to throw out because they’re so damn cozy. Layer up with as many blankets as you can manage. Build yourself a nest of pillows and nestle in its fluffy embrace.


2. Hydrate. Yes, your mother is right, and it really is important to push fluids when you find yourself under the weather. I like to keep on hand a liquid trifecta, in a range of temperatures, so I’m never without a beverage to suit my current state. My go-tos are tea (an herbal, non-caffeinated variety hydrates best, I lived on Sleepytime with honey to soothe my throat), orange juice (get those antioxidants flowing!), and, of course, water.


3. Wash your face. Maybe this one is particular to me, but when I’m feeling like utter death, I find if I splash some water on my face, massage in a little face wash, and towel off with my fluffiest washcloth, it makes me feel a little less dire about the state of things. If you’re feeling really ambitious, you could shower or take a bath, but sometimes that is entirely too much effort, especially if you’re feeling feverish or battling chills.


4. Treat yo’self. Whatever it is that makes your heart happy and soothes your aching bones/head/throat/chest/etc., get on your computer and make a nice human on a bicycle bring it to you. Bonus points if it also helps with tip number two! My personal favorite is miso soup, steeped in comfort and nostalgia after all the high quantities of Japanese food consumed in my childhood. Matzoh ball, ramen, or pho also does the trick.


5. Binge. You’re stuck in bed. You have no energy to do anything or interact with anyone. The hours stretch ahead undivided by obligations. This is the perfect opportunity to revisit old favorites, reunite with childhood friends, catch up on standbys, or delve into a whole new world of entertainment. I generally opt for a mix of all three. My choices of late? Chuck (the rewatch), Anastasia (the classic), Criminal Minds (the catch up), and finally, finally I started watching Orphan Black (100% in Clone Club. Give Tatiana Maslany all the awards!)


It’s A Tier

“Best friend is not a person, Danny; it’s a tier.” – Mindy Kaling

Maybe it’s the spring weather, maybe it’s Derby season and all the thoughts of home it brings, but Zelda and I have both come to a startling realization lately: We like it here. Proud Southern ladies that we are, we find ourselves *gasp* happy, living in this smoggy, smelly, sleepless city. We never thought this would be. Is it home? I don’t know, but possibly. Zelda waxed poetic last week about her roof and her life here, which brought us to a conversation about home. For me, my acceptance of New York as home, or at least a home, came because I’ve realized how hard it would be to leave it. Six months to a year into my time here, I thought I would be able to just pack up and go…somewhere, anywhere, else. But now, leaving would be so difficult — not really because of the place specifically, but the people I’ve met here.

Making friends as an adult is weird. Unlike childhood or college days, for the most part, these are people you have to actively choose to spend your time with, and in New York when it takes an hour to get pretty much anywhere, time is a commodity. I only schlep my ass from Bushwick to Ditmas Park (or, god forbid, Queens), for certain people. I have trouble leaving my bedroom to go to the refrigerator: Cross-borough commuting means real commitment. 

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When you’re in school, you meet people and become friends because you are constantly in the same place and going through the same things. Your social network is built in, a buffet of potential pals from which you can pick and choose. But when you enter the real world and are left without much of a structure or built-in cohort, making your friends becomes strange. It’s hard and it requires effort, and on top of that, staying in touch with the friends you’ve already made after you left the hallowed halls of the educational institution of your choice requires even more effort. Even though we live in the same city, Zelda and I see each other a lot less than we did in high school, and we came up with this blog scheme in part to force ourselves into seeing each other on a regular basis (not that we wouldn’t otherwise, but it definitely helps to have a shared project). My best friend from college and I live together, and we still don’t see each other that much. But at least with those old friends, you have a foundation to work off of; you can go lengths of time without contact and still pick up right where you left off, because you’ve got deep roots. New friends, adult friends, New York friends are harder, because you’ve got to somehow build a relationship without forced proximity or a shared activity to hold the foundation of your friendship together.

I made my first friend in New York sitting at a beer bar a few blocks away from my first tiny apartment in Alphabet City. The bar itself had just opened, and I had already made it my local spot. On the night in question, there was one other girl at the bar (not uncommon at places that served craft beer three and half years ago; I’m happy to say ratios have since improved). We were both at least two or three beers in, and both there often enough to know the bartender; he introduced us and we hit it off, exchanged numbers, and intended to hangout. We didn’t.

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I have so many numbers in my phone of people I’ve met once (usually at a bar) and never actually got up the nerve to text. However, I found myself in that same bar six or so months later (on the same stool I’d been on once a week for those six months), slightly inebriated and chatting to a super cool girl, with a strange sense of déjà vu. We went to exchange numbers only to find that we were already in each other’s phones. We had a good laugh about how we must have been pretty drunk last time if neither of us recalled meeting the other. But that second meeting was enough to force us to put some actual effort into the friendship.

That girl is now one of my best friends in New York. We hang out whenever we can, even if it only ends up being once a month or so. She got me the job that got me through six months of post-grad school life. I saw her transition out of a career she hated to one she loves. Plus, she’s my favorite drinking buddy. But it took our meeting twice, six months apart, to get there. In this stage of life, in this chosen city, sometimes you have to meet someone multiple times before you actually decide to make a go at the whole friendship thing.

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I was sitting at a bar in Midtown sipping on old fashioned when I had the strange, sudden realization that the guy I was drinking with (and also his fiancée, also known as Jason and Sarah) had somehow become one of my best friends. Without my even realizing it, our friendship had reached a level where his leaving town for a couple of weeks motivated me to drag myself to Midtown to get a drink in a bar full of finance bros with him (a sacrifice both of us made for this friendship). This was the first time the concept really struck me as strange. I made a friend, as a mid-twenties adult, and now I’m in that friend’s wedding and comfortable enough to pass out on their floor. The more I examined it, the more I realized that these were the friends that made New York home. The people I’ve met here, the people I’ve chosen here, new and old, are the ones that will make it hard for me to inevitably leave (someday, not in the near future). And because of them, I can’t imagine going right now.

Last night I attended a goodbye party for a friend I made at my last job, a work friend that had I been there longer might have become closer. She was packing up and moving to Boston with the intent of starting a family. And while obviously she was excited and happy about it, it kind of terrified me. This place, these people, are what home is for me now. It’s marathoning something amazing or terrible while sprawled out on Jason and Sarah’s massive couch, it’s grabbing drinks or dinner with Krista, it’s dancing in the kitchen with Jennifer, it’s going to concerts and plays and watching DCOM’s with Katie, it’s shooting the shit and playing Werewolf at Andrew and Ellen’s, it’s watching British panel shows and playing board games with Stephanie, it’s making fun of our dog with Claire. It’s these people that I’m not going to be able to wrap up and take with me, even if I wish I could. These are my people: my best friends. I add them to the long list that I’ve collected over the years — in Louisville, Baltimore, Prague, and Brevard. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can only have one, because in the wise words of Mindy Kaling, best friend is not a person: It’s a tier, and it’s home.