Thursday, December 30, 2010

LIST-O-MANIA!

Being a psychotically dedicated maker of lists, the end of the year always gets me all excited: there are superlative lists EVERYWHERE. Typically, they pop up on news sites and my Facebook sidebar and I can't help it... I always click on them. How can you avoid these tempting morsels of distilled and perfectly categorized information?

Top 10 Things Kim Kardashian Tweeted about While On An Airplane!
Top 25 Pictures Published in the New York Times That Involve Snow!
Top 15 Quotes from this season of The Jersey Shore!

The men's lifestyle website for which I currently work has ludicrous Top 10 lists all year long ("Top 10 Reasons Men Love Top 10 Lists" was, honest to God, a headline this year).

But, since high school, my most favorite list every year is put out by a guy I've been friends with since 1st grade.
I can't remember if I've posted it in years past, and am frankly too lazy to double-check, but this list is intense, informative, and incredible.
He alone - without help and without the backing of a bigger blog or music site- takes the time, and more importantly has the passion, to craft an annual

TOP 50 ALBUMS OF THE YEAR

It's a pretty amazing feat and he does it EVERY. YEAR. I generally haven't heard of 85% of the music on the list, and it isn't because he tries to be obscure or obstinately hip - he just listens to SO MUCH MUSIC, and always has. World music, underground hip hop, mainstream radio pop, folk, fusion, classical, instrumental, and any and all combination of them make it on his list.
You can find it here, at AnotherSuckerOnTheVine.blogspot.com.
His past years' lists are there, too.

Happy reading, listening, and discovering!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

It Appears I Inadvertanly Moved Home

After the busiest social week of my life in NYC (sing it with me now, "3 Christmas parties, 2 client engagements, and 1 Mr.Big sighting at a whiskey bar near Central Park"), my exquistely cozy and gray hometown of Portland welcomed me with damp and loving arms, pulling me into the fold of holiday everything.

I managed to artfully squeeze in most everyone and everything I had been missing into my 8 days here, with plenty of family time, Christmas movie classics, Portland bars, and old sweatpants... and then Snowpacalypse, 2010 Edition hit the east coast and SURPRISE. I GOT ANOTHER 5 DAYS AT HOME.

Literally between the time I checked in at the airport and arrived at my gate, my flight was cancelled. The next available seat on ANY flights to JFK, LaGuardia, Newark, Philly or Boston from Portland OR Seattle was this Friday, the 31st.


As I said in an email to my boss and co-workers today, I am starting to think this was all an elaborate scheme orchestrated by my mother to get me to inadvertently move back to Portland by simply stranding me here.

It's not a big deal, as my work has been very cool about it and I don't have any pressing NYE plans to get back for, so I'm trying to be relaxed about the whole thing... but lack of schedule and independence is starting to wear me thin and I think I'm ready to leave, now. Please cooperate, sky.

I feel like we need to talk about something... I've been avoiding it, you've been distant...I've said it once but I'll say it again:

I don't know how to write about living in New York!
As proof that it's all been said, a friend emailed me the following and I feel so honestly that I could have written it, it's eerie...

From this site, is the following:

How to Live in New York City by Ryan O'Connell

Move here when you’re 18 or 22, maybe even 24. Come from somewhere else-the north, south, west, Xanadu- and come to realize that everyone living in New York is a transplant. Even the ones who grew up on the Upper East Side end up moving into a place downtown, which, as you’ll soon discover, is like moving to a different city.

Discover the cruel and bizarre world of New York City real estate. End up spending an obscene amount of money on something called a broker’s fee, first and last month’s rent and a security deposit. Cry a little bit in the leasing office but remind yourself that you’re so happy to be here.

Picture hearing a man playing the saxophone outside your bedroom window. End up hearing a lot of sirens instead. Figure it’s okay because it’s New York and you’re still so happy to be here.

Go out to bars in the Lower East Side because the Internet told you so. Fall in love with a bar called, Max Fish, and always stay out till four in the morning. Eat a falafel and have someone pay for a cab back to your apartment. Watch the sun start to rise while going over the Williamsburg Bridge and feel like your life is becoming some kind of movie.

Eat bad pizza but trick yourself into believing it’s good because it’s made in New York. Do the same thing with bagels and sex.

Meet people who will be your best friends for three or four months. They’ll help you transition into city life and take you to weird bars in Murray Hill. It will be like the blind leading the blind but once you get a firm grasp on things, you can stop returning their phone calls.

Watch your life in New York go through phases. Spend a summer in Fort Greene with a lover and get to know the neighborhood and its rhythms. Once the fling ends, forget the blocks, parks and restaurants ever existed and don’t return unless you have to.

Encounter a lot of people crying in public. Watch an NYU student cry in Think Coffee, a business woman in midtown sob into her cellphone, an old man whimper on a stoop in Greenpoint. At first, it will feel very jarring but, like everything else, it will become normal. Have your first public cry in front of a Bank of America. Cry so hard and don’t care if people are watching you. You pay good money to be able to cry in public.

Work long hours at a thankless job. Always be one step away from financial destitution. Marvel at how expensive New York is, how when you walk out the door, $20.00 immediately gets deleted from your wallet. Understand that even though no one has any money, everyone is privileged to live in New York City.

Go home for the holidays and run into old friends from high school. When you tell them that you live in New York, watch their eyes widen. They’ll say, “Oh my god, New York? That’s so crazy. I’m so jealous!” Have a blasé attitude about it but deep down inside, know they have good reason to be jealous.

Go home and feel relieved to be away from the energy of the city, that punishing 4:00 a.m. last call. Spend the first two days eating and sleeping, getting back to normal. Spend the last two days feeling anxious and ready to get back to your real home. Realize this city has you by the balls and isn’t going to let you go.

Someday you might grow tired of it all though. You might start crying in public more often than you’d like, have a bad break-up and want to pack it all up.

Certain moments of living in the city will always stick out to you. Buying plums from a fruit vendor on 34th street and eating three of them on a long walk, the day you spent in bed with your best friend watching Tyra Banks, the amazing rooftop party you attended on a sweltering hot day in July. These memories might seem insignificant but they were all moments when you looked around the city and felt like you were a part of it all.

When you leave the city, you probably won’t come back. Eventually your life in New York will seem so far away and sometimes you’ll even wonder if it really happened. Don’t worry. It did