Ed note: Our writer Rachael has left Minnesota for college in New York City. Every Wednesday she’ll share her experiences in a column we’re calling “Manhattan Mosaic.” Follow her exploration of the city, post high school life, and a brand new music scene.
The past week I’ve been living off of street vendor coffee and $1 pizza. Why? Because seven days ago I took the plunge and moved into my New York City suite with three randoms (they’re all wonderful). Welcome Week was full of the same parties forcing out the same EDM songs, but luckily (or unluckily depending on your lifestyle) classes start later this week. Instantly the city’s charm shone through the inherent immaturity of college freshman; “stoop kids” outside every dorm, skyscrapers lit up at all hours, the world’s biggest bookstore, and the glorious flea markets with tape selections wider than Barbra Streisand’s discography. It’s tragically hip, really.
I do understand the eager impetuosity of my peers, this is all new to so many of them–living in a dorm, being away from parental figures, surrounding oneself with fellow creatives–unfortunately the luster has worn off some for me, as this is my third year living on campus at an art school. While everyone else is busy sweating the experience out of their system, I have visited three islands, received a job at a Mediterranean Grill, and even figured out the utterly un-Minnesotan grid system. Meanwhile, two people have thrown up in a pizza parlor, two people lost their wallets, and two people were mugged (honestly one of the most frightening things out here).
On the topic of things out of the Minnesota comfort zone, I had to leave a McDonald’s red-faced after asking for a medium pop and instead received a look as if I had ordered in Latin (soda, soda, soda). I dread the day I order a bagel in my Midwest inflection. Even with the constant intake of junk food due to the inexpensive nature of it all, I feel as if I’m in the best shape of my life. Time flies when I’m walking around Manhattan, and I walk everywhere. It’s impossible to get bored. Take in the sights, take in the people, maybe avoid the smells, but embrace the “greatest city in the world” in its entirety.
Along with starting classes this week, I will also take advantage of my metropolitan location by searching for the perfect cup of coffee and bringing my first New York paycheck straight to the box office to pick up tickets to tours that aren’t hitting the Twin Cities such as Wavves and Code Orange Kids. Living on this little island ain’t so bad.