WEEK 3 RECAP:
The places the wind may carry a person when they choose to drop the weights keeping them down are always magical, always surprising and always liberating. And isn’t that the unspoken creed of New Yorkers? to abandon what you had in search of something more, something completely different than what you have always had? The energy here is one of continuous panic, a constant hustle and bustle of yellow taxis and brain fried stockbrokers. But within all the chaos and calamity, a city surviving off the finer things in life. the plays, the art, the food. Everything here “strives to be the best” and for someone like me who shares that inner mentality, it feels in a way like home.
Leaving Chicago, heading into the big apple was daunting. A blizzard had ravaged the East Coast and I was heading directly into the supposed aftermath on a train. Not knowing what to really expect was exciting in all of its nerve-wracking apprehension. Rolling into the dark tunnels of Penn Station after a sleepless night was my first taste of New York. Bounding from the train car, bouncing with a sense of confidence that I had finally made it here, all by myself, without any help. The empowerment from that alone was enough to make my innards leap in my chest cavity.
It’s funny how if you don’t have a plan one always seems to come to you at the right moments even if maybe you don’t expect it or maybe you are becoming overwhelmed by the lack of one. After having jumped around from bed to bed in a New York hostel, buying one night at a time while searching endless webpages for some place to live that wasn’t an outrageously overpriced shithole, I finally broke down. Missing loved ones, missing a sense of stability, missing anything remotely recognizable takes a mental and emotional toll you simply cannot escape forever. Curling up into a ball in a cheap, coed hostel room while strangers snored and shouted gibberish in their sleep was not my finest moment, but it was my biggest growing moment. I can’t say I’ll never be overwhelmed again but I know now I can handle it if it does make another appearance.
After finally finding a decent place for a decent price in Manhattan, I took it upon myself to see the apartment. My first impression was not good, two homeless men sat on the apartment doorstep smoking hand rolled cigarrillos and to top it off, the friendly, long haired, Ecuadorian man who was supposed to meet me to show me the apartment was late. I stood for 15 minutes at the door listening to about 200 monotonous “can you spare a quarter” routines. “Not a good start” I thought to myself.
In the end though, I felt comfortable enough and desperate enough to accept the place. I ran about like a marathoner, pulling the maximum amount of money from random ATMs scattered throughout the neighborhood so I could pay for the rent that night. 3 very interesting, friendly roommates, one from the Canary Islands, one from Belgium and one from California. Now i finally had a place to unwind in and prepare for school…
The Art Students League of New York is an important century’s old art school. One which I once considered a fanciful dream to attend. I cannot even recall what prompted it to once again enter my memory but before I realized it I found myself standing at its doorstep. I opened the heavy wooden doors and the smell of nicotine and oil paints flooded my senses. “This is it”, I thought to myself. “This is where I want to be”. I had signed up for classes the next possible date within an hour of wandering the halls, peeking my head into drawing studio classes and getting an eyeful of people drawing penis and boobies. I had missed drawing like this, it felt amazing to finally be back.
So much more happened I cannot even fit it in, A drunken rave in a Brooklyn warehouse, the purchase of a handmade Amish painting palette, and getting hit by break dancers doing backflips inside the subway train, New York is full of adventures and they all just seem to find you…