Because I can

I’m typing this up in Bryant Park, my second favorite park after Washington Square. It is so full of people, yet shockingly green. And the library lives there, which is why I’m here often.  **hold up, I need to stop and tell you that a man just interrupted my typing by walking over to my cute little table and asking “what matters to you in a day spa?”. He does not look like any sort of man that frequents a day spa with his neck tattoos and a Sons of Anarchy jacket. I told him I don’t go to day spas. Ever. Which is the truth. He walked away. That was weird.** As I was saying, I’ll walk over to the library in a bit to look for more jobs. Preeeeettty exciting. But first I’m treating myself to Bryant Park and some time to write. And so we can all feel like we’re hanging out together, this is my view as I type-

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This morning I went on a run. It was not fun. I had to do 5 miles, which used to seem like a lot but is one of my shorter runs now. I’ve been gaining mileage well and really enjoying it. I had an awesome 9 mile run in Chicago (Selemon attributed it the cleaner air, which I reluctantly have to agree with) and I’ve been excited to hit 10 this weekend.  Like really looking forward to it. There’s just one problem. My legs aren’t really on-board with the plan.

Right now it hurts to touch my shins. When I do touch them, I immediately get a visual of raw, inflamed steak being pulverized by a meat grinder. My poor, hurting legs. They have been so trusty and getting so strong and I know they deserve better than this.  I bought a special shin massager and compression socks. My shoes were professionally fitted to offer the stability they need. I don’t know how to support them further without just giving them a break.

Today I started running and it hurt. That’s not unusual and there are two types of hurt when running; the kind that makes you stronger and the kind that causes damage. I was able to push through 1.8 miles running and then I stopped to walk a moment and I thought I would fall over. I was dizzy with pain shooting up both legs. I’ve never experienced anything like it. Fire was in my nerves and absolutely overwhelmed my entire body with pain. I really thought I’d fall over. I was dizzy. It didn’t  hurt that badly while I ran, but as soon as I stopped. Oh lord. So it became pretty clear this was beyond “good” pain and I needed to stop. My legs deserve better than that.

This is something I don’t believe I’ve ever shared, but I will now, because it applies. I made the decision to start running after my Aunt Vicki became paralyzed. It made me want to be strong. To never take these legs for granted. To run, run, run because I could. And that’s reason enough.

Because my running was born out of appreciation for my legs, I will have to respect them and take a few days (or weeks) off. Make sure I’m not damaging them, because I will never, ever take them for granted. My half marathon is in two and a half weeks and I’m not sure what I’m going to do. I really hope I can run it, but maybe I won’t be able to. But at the end of the day, I’m listening to my body and the ability to do that shows strength too.

On a lighter note, my detour of a walk home had me hobbling through Chinatown, which is always a treat. All of the stores are in Chinese (I’m assuming that’s what language it is…) which isn’t surprising but I did love seeing that even Popeye’s Louisiana Chicken was in both languages. I was super amused by how easily you can turn down a block in New York and feel like you’re in a completely different place. I took a few photos to share with you all.

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And because you weren’t able to come on the run with me, I took a selfie of what I look like when my legs want to kill me.(you’re welcome). As I walked past the bazillion people along Broadway I kept thinking of resting bitch face. Which I was definitely displaying.

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Oh, and to motivate myself for more desperate job flailing (it feels more like flailing than “applying” these days) I thought I deserved a sugar rush, and stopped by a Scandinavian candy shop on my way up to the library. According to this shop, Scandinavians are the #1 candy consumer in the world which means my sugar tooth is a genetic predisposition and entirely outside of my control.  Thank you, candy shop fun facts. There are two of these shops near my house and both sell their candy in bulk by weight which means I get to fill my bag up with tons of varieties. Including salty black licorice, which is actually super tasty but better in small quantities. Here is today’s loot.

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Don’t they just look bright and cheerful? The candy equivalent of a friendly, warm hug. Alrighty,off to the library! In the trusty words of my bag of candy, have a sweet day and if you have any tips for leg care let me know!

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Sunset Run

This morning it was raining so my run was postponed to evening.

It turned out to be a very lucky turn of events.

Because the West Side running path delivered the best sunset views. I paused about 10 times on my run to take photos.

Many, many years ago my mom brought my siblings and I to Duluth. There was a gorgeous sunset over Lake Superior and I wanted to take a photo. Instead my mom explained how to take a photo with our minds. To take in the “picture” but also how it feels. To mindfully capture that moment for everything it has to offer.

And the views were offering a lot to remember tonight. And while I can’t transport the feeling, I’ll do my best with some photos.

050 064 066It was mind-blowing-ly beautiful


F*&)ing Walk!

Last week I was walking down the street in the financial district. I was on the phone with a crucial contact at NYU Medical Center discussing my job search. Admittedly, I was distracted and not quite sure where I was headed, which led to the slightest hesitation as I came to a corner.

Suddenly a woman yelled, quite loudly and very aggressively “F*CKING WALK, B*TCH. UUUGH!”

And for some strange, beautiful reason my North Dakotan-bred reaction was not anger, not even horror. I found myself giggling. And very, very proud.

Not what I expected either.

But it felt perfectly New York and I was just so damn amused that a random woman on the street had yelled at me. While I was on the phone with a potential boss. And all I could do was giggle.

A week later it still makes me smile. I consider it a crucial moment in the “welcome to New York City” timeline.

In other New York milestones, I was walking home from the subway after a few days in Chicago, when I walked past our neighborhood homeless man and exclaimed, without even realizing it was coming out of my mouth, “You got a haircut! It looks good!”. You see, the older gentleman normally has a very long beard and hair and suddenly looked quite clean-cut. He’s always sitting on that particular corner with his markers and crayons fanned out as he draws pictures on cardboard. In spite of my personal no-money-to-panhandlers policy I have fished out some cash for him when my heart tugs me that direction. And I had noticed he had gotten a haircut. Only in New York. Ooooonly in New York.

All these odd, seemingly unpleasant interactions just add to the adventure that is this big, crazy city. And for that I am deeply, giggle-inducing grateful.


That New York Magic

I was about to title this post “That New York Je Ne Sais Quoi” but that French phrase seemed to remove the very New York-ness I was attempting to articulate. And I’m not sure “magic” is the right word either, but its something we can hold as a working title for now. Maybe as my time here continues we can update the series with a rotation of increasingly appropriate replacement words.

There are moments that happen in New York City that could occur anywhere else on Earth. When you’re sitting in yoga pants watching the Real Housewives you could be in Indiana or Ohio, but instead you’re in New York. You’re just paying higher rent and way too much sales tax on those yoga pants.

And then there are moments that can only happen in New York. and sometimes you get a lot of those moments in one amazing day.

Tonight I went to The Moth StorySlam. It was hosted at Housingworks, that beloved little bookstore I’ve talked about before. The Moth is a live event that also airs as a podcast on NPR . The event consists of 10 stories 5-10 minutes long. We also had a lovely, very funny host to guide us through the evening. His name is Dan Kennedy and if you want to hear some of his stuff, here he is

I waited in line for an hour and I sat on the floor. But it was cozy and it was lively and strangers shared deeply personal and sometimes hilarious stories. And the thing was- these people sharing stories? We’re in New York. So they are the best of the best. And I know that sounds snotty. There is an abundance of smart, wonderful  people everywhere. In Minnesota. In Fargo. In Cleveland. But these people sharing stories…some were random and some were authors. Some were comedians. and that…that’s exciting. You have to admit that, right?

It was a great night. Another one of those community nights.

Oh, and on the way out? I passed that front table where another one of my former books was proudly perched and flagged by an employee. It was The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. And as I walked into that cool New York night air, it was really the cherry on top of an already perfect evening.

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The line behind me. There were a lot ahead of me as well!

moth 006My little view nestled on the floor along a bookshelf and behind a book ladder :)

moth 008Our host, Dan Kennedy leading us through the evening. Cozy, right?

People shared such beautiful stories. It’s one of those evenings that will really stick with me for a long time.


Apartment Tour! Woohoo!

Are you guys excited? Because I’m excited to finally share some pictures from the little home we’ve made here in the City. Our apartment is just under 600 square feet. Which is honestly pretty small for two people. But it’s cozy and clean and I think we’ve made pretty good use of space. We’ve developed an intricate system of hooks in and on everything (along with our “put a tote on it” theory) that I think is worth sharing another day.

But Mom keeps bugging me for pictures – so here we are! We’ll start in our bedroom… room tour 004

The bedroom is small. We have our queen bed and that’s about it. One day we’ll get some small (under one foot) bedside tables, but that will happen a bit down the road from now. The curtains were left behind by previous tenants which was great because they are blackout curtains. Our windows face East and they have awesome views, but its nice to block the sun in the morning for a bit :)  We also use the wardrobe left behind by the tenants before us. There isn’t a built-in closet. Overall, I love how its so cozy and it doesn’t get more “New York” than sleeping surrounded by exposed brick!

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Really just a bed! And one wall for our picture of Florence, Italy.

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To give you an idea of scale, this is the view from the bed toward our wardrobe. Please excuse our totes, which are a bit disheveled. Not perfect, but functional.

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and now we walk out the bedroom and into the living room! …well living room/study/dining room/kitchen. We’re very multi-purpose around here.

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So that’s the rest of the apartment looking into the bedroom so you get an idea of how it all flows. (our wine rack needs a refill :) )

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Looking into the bedroom/kitchen cart view

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Our kitchen! Selemon bought and assembled that kitchen cart to the right which has been a God-send for more counter space.

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Because Mom wanted to see “our dishes”. You’re adorable, Mom

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Then you turn the corner and see our mini hallway/front door/amazing closet area, which leads to the bathroom…

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Oh hi, cute bathroom! I love our black and white tiled floors, and plan to do some decorating when our bank account allows.

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I like that we have a nice bathtub and a window in the bathroom so we can let steam out. It’s the small things :)

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 Oh hello! Bathroom mirror selfie!

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And here we are, back into the living room/kitchen/study again!

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Oh, and that thing next to the couch? That’s my closet!

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Cozied up on the couch looking at our sweet little apartment

Thanks for coming along for the tour! Hopefully this gives you a better idea of our little New York City apartment!


And now, a nap

That well-intentioned, but now dreaded half marathon is coming up and I’m filled with annoyance that I signed up for the damn thing. My 10k last week was really rough and getting my runs in this week has been torture. Yesterday felt like 99* with humidity so I walked and promised I’d long run today.


I woke up. Told myself to at least run 4. Then do 4 more this evening. Split it up.

I walked outside and it felt gloriously…chilly? I guess not “chilly” but it was in the 60s and that, indeed, was amazing.

I begin these runs with very rough ideas of where I’m going and use it as a way to tour the city. I’ve run the Brooklyn Bridge and thought I’d give the Manhattan Bridge a try.

It ended up being a gorgeous day and I had a great run all through Brooklyn.

Thank goodness too, because I was getting a bit depressed about my running funk.

Sometimes you just need one win, you know?

And now, of course, pretty pictures from the bridge

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I just can’t get over how pretty this city is.


A beautiful day in the neighborhood

Yesterday I took the scenic route on my way to get some groceries. It was a beautiful day. Still very warm but not you’re-in-a-sauna humid. I am looking forward to fall, but I certainly didn’t mind all the sunshine. I took some pictures so you could share the experience too! 


This is the street we live on! I think its pretty cute! 


Our other cross street


Now I’ve crossed over Houston (2 blocks South of us) and am in Soho with its classic white fire escapes



I love how each building is completely different 


Officially crossing into the Lower East Side from Soho


Sort of repetitive, but whatever, I just love staring at buildings here


I just liked the tagline. And upon uploading it, I thought it gave you all an accurate display of how women dress here. I really need to up my game. 


That fantastic patch of green on the upper left corner of that building was the cherry on top of  a very cozy street in Soho.


I just found this street corner charming. Does that translate? Does it look charming to you?


Please excuse the white hat. One can only stand in the middle of Broadway taking a picture for about one shot.


 And getting close to home sweet home! This lovely view welcomes me back as I cross Houston back into my neighborhood.

Thanks for following along :) Hopefully this gives you a better idea of where I’m living!