Dating, Moving, NYC, The Four Seasons

The Four Seasons Test

I used to joke with some of my girlfriends that you had to date a guy through all four seasons before even considering marriage. How else are you going to know their different habits in the winter vs the summer, the things you can’t stand or even the things that make you that much more attracted to them? New York City and I have made it through four seasons. We have survived each other and have found numerous likes and dislikes, but I think we just might get along – for a little while at least.

FALL 2013 – Our first couple months were a whirlwind of moving, fun and fall. Living in the Financial District for our first month was entertaining and scary – I don’t think I was able to go home the same way once, it’s so confusing down there! But he did have fun running around the point of the island, experiencing Oyster Fest (our first weekend in New York, way to draw us in!), going to Governor’s Island and more. When the end of October came we were moving into our midtown east apartment, talking jogs through the millions of paths in Central Park and getting a small peek at an East Coast fall (I have since heard the real ‘East Coast Fall’ is really experienced by traveling upstate or up north a bit). As overwhelming as it all was, what with the millions of people everywhere, New York had given us a great introduction and we were quite excited to see what lay ahead.

WINTER 2013-2014 – We were excited about what lay ahead. . . until winter came. At first I was just laughing a bit quietly at others. When the first “storm” came in, the meteorologists predicted a snowfall of three inches. Psh, three inches. Well according to the completely empty shelves at the grocery store and the 1hr check-out line (that’s Not exaggerating!), three inches of snow may have well been the start of the next ice age. Really I was most sad that my backyard of mountains was gone, that skiing would not be available to me within 10minutes when I wanted (how spoiled, I know) – and then came the wind and wet. I have been cold before. I have stood in a full body spandex suit in -27 degree dry temperatures. That pales in comparison to the wet wind that whips through, around, over, under, really any and every direction possible, through the streets of Manhattan. I HATE New York City Winters. In the four seasons test this was truly a potential breaking point. I have let it pass this year because I had to be fair – I had to give New York City the full year to see where our relationship would end up.

SPRING 2014 – Thank God New York Winters are not as long as Utah winters. While I almost went crazy, I can handle (at least I think I can, ask me again at the end of this winter) 3.5months of gray-brown snow and bitter cold (compared to the Utah winter of 6months, which I actually Love!). I cannot begin to express my delight as the snow and cold turned to rain and milder temperatures. Birds began singing (in Central Park that is, I don’t hear birds elsewhere), buds began blooming – the city was coming to life again. I began braving running outside again (my outdoor running threshold completely changed here, I will completely admit I became a pansy and learned to almost like the treadmill). While I was dreading the summer coming (all I heard was how hot and humid it is), I was really thoroughly enjoying this East Coast spring. If I wasn’t going to get my spring skiing, I certainly could enjoy a true spring of flowers and green and things that Utah just sometimes seems to miss.

SUMMER 2014 – The months creeped away and suddenly it was summer time. I would look out the window of my apartment and take a guess at how quickly I would just sweat through all my clothing. . . but then it never really came. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it was humid for me, but that’s not saying much. When it is 25% humidity in Utah I feel like i am going to melt whereas in New York City people say, “oh it’s only 65% humidity, it’s really rather dry” – HAHAHA, dry. Funny. But those 95 degree temperatures combined with the 98% humidity never came. I avoided the state completely for the month of August just to avoid this dreaded, ‘East Coast Summer’ but going to the mountains and all I missed was beautiful, perfect weather. And then the beginning of September came. . . if September is all I have to deal with for a New York Summer, I will easily and gladly survive. Yes I felt like melting a couple days, but they were nothing worse than what I would experience visiting my grandfather in Houston, Texas (you want humid, melting death – try a day down there!). Summer, you made me like New York quite a lot – this relationship, while taking awhile, is slowly getting stronger.

FALL 2014 – Here we are a year later. The ‘Four Seasons Test’ is complete – so where does our relationship stand? Well I’m not ready for a breakup yet. New York, while she took awhile, finally introduced me to some amazing new friends, given me mostly good, enjoyable weather, and above all has introduced me to an experience that I will be proud and enjoy sharing no matter where we end up down the road. However, even after a year has passed, I am not ready to say we are in a fully committed relationship, I’m not ready for those, ‘three big words’. I do know that we are in a long term relationship, and while I know it will not be forever for us, I still look forward to seeing how long of a commitment this City pulls me in for and if she will every pull those ‘three big words’ out of my mouth for her.


Disregard the Surgeon General

Step, step, drag. . . step, step drag. . . step, step drag. . .

No this is not the rhythm to a dance, this was the rhythm to the woman walking in front of me today continuously smoking her cigarette. It made me chuckle while simultaneously shaking my head in disgust that she must smoke AT LEAST one pack a day if she continues that rhythm for the whole day.

Yet she is just one example of what seems to be happening with everyone around me. Since when was it again ‘Cool’ to smoke cigarettes? I see it everywhere, from people of every age, and an astounding number of my generation. Correct me if I’m wrong, but for those of us in the 20-35 age group, did we not have the fight against Joe Camel? I distinctly remember entering a poster making contest in elementary school about putting Joe Camel in jail! Are we not the generation that has grown up with more anti-tobacco adverts than ever!? And yet now it’s OK to smoke!?

I had friends in college who started smoking, claiming they only smoked, ‘when I’m drunk’, and that they weren’t actually addicted – they could quit whenever they want. . . I’m pretty sure this habit has extended post-drinking – sure you’re not addicted?

I must hear or see at least five commercials or adverts on smoking and it’s dangers a day. The havoc it reeks on your body is tremendous (trust me, I’ve seen the lungs in a cadaver lab) and no dopamine high is worth it. So why then is EVERYBODY doing it? You can make as many excuses as you want – tell me it’s only when you’re stressed, that you’re just doing it to lose weight, blah, blah, blah – none of them are good or legitimate excuses.

Now here I go making a ‘west coaster’ bias, but I swear I did not see that many people smoking out west. And no, I am not just referring to Utah (definitely an anomaly state), but to Washington State, California, Oregon, Colorado, Wyoming, etc. Yet in my travels to Europe I have seen a ton of people smoking (especially in France and Italy) . It’s as though the farther east you go the more smokers you find.

I have seen smokers of all types. The fashionista with her DD in one hand, cigarette dangling gently from her other. The ‘badass’ with his pants so low he looks as though he has ridden a horse for the past five days straight, taking long drags to then blow out big billowing clouds. The mom (& nanny) smoking as they push along their little one (um, secondhand smoke issues?).  But my favorite has to be the women I have seen lighting up after walking out of the gym (or to it). I am fairly certain you have just canceled out any good you have done (or were going to do). Oh, and you look absolutely ridiculous trying to be ‘cool’ in your Lulu Lemon and likewise ‘cool’ with that puff of smoke around your head.

New York, I’m sorry, but I have finally found something to disenchant me a bit.