The Company!

These are to give you a feel for the awesome company that I’m about to go work for! So excited!

Carrot Creative’s 6th Birthday from Carrot Creative on Vimeo.

Carrots Come Out to Play from Carrot Creative on Vimeo.

Finishing packing up everything today and then tomorrow morning bright and early we’ll head north to Brooklyn! Don’t really expect to be blogging much this weekend but I promise extreme details & pictures once I get all settled in. Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, however, are always good ways to get sneak peeks 🙂

Official start date is Tuesday!

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Signing the Lease

I officially have an apartment! (Which most people probably already knew).

Let’s see.. I saw the first apartment on Saturday. LOVED it. Wanted to move in immediately but was told I had to wait to find out if I had it for sure until Monday. I had another two appointments set up for Saturday afternoon. One fell through and the second was postponed until Sunday morning. The second appointment on Sunday morning was in a completely different neighborhood – and luckily I had Casey with me as my “body guard” 🙂

The apartment itself was currently being renovated. It was a 6 bedroom, 2 bath, garden level (-1) apartment in Prospect Heights/Crown Heights. Due to construction, we had to get off a stop early from the subway so the walk there seemed to take forever (-1). Since they were trying to fill 4 bedrooms there were about 10 other people who showed up to look at the apartment as well. Basically it was like a giant match.com meet up. Kinda weird but also kind of cool. The apartment was really nice and new (see below), I just didn’t like the fact that it was on the ground level – preferred to at least be one up for safety. The other people seemed nice but I wasn’t sure about signing myself up for a situation with 5 other roommates. Pretty much reliving college, plus some.

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It was a decent apartment and if I absolutely needed somewhere to live, it would have been a reasonable option. Quite a bit cheaper than #1 but I’m moving to a city and more than willing to pay extra for piece of mind and a safe walk home.

Needless to say, I didn’t sign anything there on the spot. Decided to head out and told them I’d let them know by that night (all while hoping something worked out soon with apartment #1). After making it back to Casey’s apartment for a bit before it was time to go meet Jon at Penn Station! He had gone home for the weekend – pretty weird the turn of events of having me pick him up in a city I don’t even live yet 🙂 We made it back to his apartment and picked up some dinner to make and eat on the roof! I expect many more dinner rooftop dates in our future. I was super excited to see him after almost two months apart!

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Can’t even begin to get over how gorgeous the view from his roof is. Seriously awesome. And couldn’t have picked a better spot to be sitting when I got the phone call saying the apartment was MINE! Helllooooooo New York!

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Met up with the landlord and the roommate the following afternoon (Monday) to put down a deposit & first month’s rent. We ended up talking for an hour and a half so I think it’s going to be a good living situation. I don’t have any pictures of the apartment itself so I’ll have to post those when I move in – in two days! More on the neighborhood and everything then too.

But first I have a whole lot of packing to do…

NYC: What I’ve learned

If I’ve learned one thing after a few days in NYC it is that the subway lines are a hot mess on the weekends. Trains pretending to be other ones running different lines, random line changes and end of the line calls way before the map says. I learned that it is horribly I convent for my impatient self to not be able to check the train arrival time due to being underground. Oh Chicago, your above ground system is genius.

I did, however, learn that I love this city.

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Everything from the accordion player and the acrobats flipping on the subway lines to the tree lined streets of Brooklyn. Walking five flights of stairs up to eat dinner while staring at the statue of liberty was fantastic. Or how about the fact that I’ve been here two days and already seen a stranger twice. Or had a twenty minute conversation on the train with a lady in Paris. When I asked her the big differences between the US and Paris she informed me that Americans work too hard and we need to learn to balance our lives. Noted.

I’ve learned that you can ask almost anyone for directions and they’ll point you in some direction. Whether or not it’s the right one. They even come back when they realize it was the wrong direction and add an “all the best” before taking off. Thanks strangers.

I’ve also learned to just hop on a train and pray hard that it’s headed in the right direction. If not, few stops down and you can change your mind.

I’ve learned that workers at bed bath and beyond should be paid more than overtime for their stellar assistance during freshman move in. Holy shoppers batman. Clearly not an ideal time to buy a towel unless you enjoy the hustle and bustle of families purchasing everything their freshman son or daughter could ever need. And then shrink wrapping it and loading it onto coach buses. Seriously, if bed bath & beyond was in charge of more things, everything would run a bit smoother.

I’ve learned that Craigslist could be a terrifically efficient way of making friends in a new city. I’ve already met quite a few people on it through the apartment search and have liked them all! Of course, there’re are plenty of weird ads on there to balance it out.

But most of all, I’ve learned that I have terrific family and friends.

The kind that will drive me to the train station after getting up at 4:40 am! After driving the thousands of miles out to chicago and back to pick me and all of my things up. Thanks, mom and dad!

The kind who offer last minute for me to stay on their couch when I spontaneously purchase a one way ticket to NYC. Then they show up at the train station to meet me at some ridiculously early hour on a Saturday with a subway pass in hand and get me to the correct destination 15 minutes ahead of schedule. Even though google maps said that wasn’t possible. And then proceed to hang out with me all weekend while accompanying me to apartment viewings acting as a body guard and walking reference all in one. Thanks, Casey!

And then the kind who lets me stay in their six person apartment – little do they know im going to ask to stay an extra night because I only bought that one way ticket and haven’t gotten the one back yet. Thanks Jon!

I’ve learned that even in this giant city, there are ways to make it feel small. I think I’m going to like it here!

House Hunters

After a quick twenty five or so hours at home, I booked myself a one way ticket to NYC in hopes of finding myself an apartment. I found out about this job right at the end of my internship in Chicago so the only means of apartment hunting was online and asking people a billion questions about the neighborhoods and where to live. Craigslist became my morning routine – checking for new listings, emailing five to ten people and responding to the few that I got back. There is only so much you can tell from a short sometimes non existent description and blurry cell phone pictures.

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It was a pretty train ride north. Thanks mom and dad for the early morning ride! I ended up getting a seat next to an RIT grad from a few years ago so it was fun to have something in common to talk about. What are the chances of that happening?!

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I got into the train station at 8:45 and my friend Casey was waiting there for me to whisk my off to my first apartment appointment. Seriously such a lifesaver. She brought me a train pass and everything in advance so all we had to do was sprint to the subway and hop on. Somehow we made it to the apartment 15 minutes before the appointment was set for. No idea how that even happened!

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The neighborhood itself was gorgeous. Tree lined streets, brownstones, very clean and lots of plants! I loved it immediately. Met with the apartment owner for 40 minutes to see the apartment and chat. Definitely seemed like an awesome fit for me! She’s vegan and seems to be quite similar to me. The apartment was so nice too! Although she did say that she had other people coming to look at it the following day so she couldn’t tell me a decision until Monday morning. Talk about the summer of learning patience.

I left the apartment feeling like that was the exact place I wanted. Especially when we walked less than half a block down and found prospect park! So nice! Only problem was the two day wait to find out if it was mine. One other apartment viewing fell through and the second was postponed until Sunday so Casey and I had the rest of the day to explore and hang out. We checked out some of the stores and such in the neighborhood before heading back to her place. And bought her a fish!

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For dinner we got wraps and took them up to her roof to eat overlooking manhattan and the statue of liberty. Seriously cool. The fish might have joined us on the roof for dinner.

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With a 4:40am wake up time, i was more than ready for bed by the time 10pm rolled around.

32 Hours at Home

Headed east early Thursday morning to go back to Maryland. I drove for the first time since may. Let’s just say that I’m so glad I’m moving to the city and I probably didn’t make my parents very confident in my driving with my comments every once in a while 🙂 biggest thing was remembering that I was driving!! I’m so used to someone else driving the train or bus now so it was hard to remember that I was in charge of this large moving thing. Two hours into it I seemed to get the hang of it. But passed it off quickly!

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Friday was my only day spent at home. We got back late Thursday night and after unpacking the car I quickly passed out. Friday was spent trying to organize my room, packing some more things, buying train tickets, signing job paperwork(!), and hanging out with my high school friends Alison and Megan! Breakfast was the best part of the day – dad and I picked some of their tomatoes! Yum! Hoping there are some left when I get back tomorrow.

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Dinner was grilled veggies and salad, super tasty. Then an early bedtime because the alarm was set for 4:40am!

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15 Hour Drive for Dinner

After hanging out with Remy on my birthday, I met up with my parents! Who had driven 15 hours from new jersey to Chicago for a birthday dinner 🙂 and to pick me up!

We walked around a bit and ended up going for a late dinner at mista down the street from my apartment. It was the same place we went after they moved me in ten weeks ago. Rounded out the night with some ice cream at Bobtail ice cream nearby!

Tuesday morning we woke up and met for a walk and some coffee! Saw tons of neat houses that we wanted to move into. And I finally got to take them to Next Door cafe where I had frequently skyped them from.

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After a quick lunch at my favorite vegan restaurant in Chicago, native foods cafe, we headed north to Sheboygan to see grandma and grandpa. I tried to take in as much of the farmland as possible after a summer in the city and a move to yet another city coming up!

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The two days in Wisconsin were fantastic. They were filled with chatting, walking around the neighborhood, eating grandmas cookies(!), and making (failed) rose hip tea. The second day was filled with a surprise visit from my aunt, uncle and cousin Alex! Had a tasty lunch at the excellent pizza place in Sheboygan and dinner with Mel and Shirley (family friends).

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Wasn’t long before it was time to hop back in the car and head 15 hours back east to Maryland.

Cupcakes & a Swing

Note: These have been a busy few weeks. In an attempt to catch up to where my life actually is we’re going to go speed racer style through this. So expect a lot of posts today.

Anyway. Last Monday I turned 22. It just so happened to also be my last full day in Chicago. Remy decided to kindly take a “summer day”, Leo Burnett’s allotted vacation days, to come hang out with me!

In the morning, I was left to my own devices so rather than eating my usual oatmeal breakfast, I ventured to a nearby cafe and bakery which had tasty almond croissants. I wandered there the long way to enjoy the fact that I was not an early morning commuter and could go wherever I pleased. The walk eventually took me to my favorite coffee shop,Next Door, where I went frequently this summer. Two hours and a coffee later, i had finished a crossword and read the entire paper before it was time to meet up with Remy.

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The day involved much walking. As in eight plus miles worth. It was a lot! But a fun way to see the city. You see, my bus pass ran out three days earlier and instead of buying another I just decided to walk wherever I needed to go for my remaining time there. For lunch we went to the local Mexican and margarita place down the street.

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After lunch we walked from lake view all the way down towards the bottom of Lincoln park (and back) and the all the way up past Wrigley field to Remys apartment. One key stop along the way was Molly’s cupcakes, a cupcake shop in Chicago that won cupcake wars a while back! Not only did they have cupcakes but they had swings along the bar instead of seats!! Super cool!!! Remy brought candles and everything so it definitely felt like a birthday 🙂

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The birthday continues…

The Day the Sleepover Ended

This summer has been one gigantic sleepover.

A little over a week after graduation, I moved to Chicago into Kristin’s apartment and took over. Okay, only her couch. And part of her dresser. And closet. And fridge.
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For real guys. I slept on the couch for the whole summer. Much to the dismay of people at work.
I, on the other hand, like to think of it as the perfect 10 week post-college experience. I will, however, be purchasing myself a bed upon finding my new home. Like promptly. And might refuse to make it for a month, considering I have literally taken the sheet off every morning and put it back on every night for seventy one days. Seventy-one days. I could get a job at a hotel except you can’t bounce any coins off my haphazard attempt at couch-making. My back, this week has been telling me that perhaps it’s time to invest in something less slanted.
But back to the roommate part.
We’ve gone on numerous walks to the lake, explored Chicago, tried new restaurants, had Sunday night dinners, watched the Olympics, attended neighborhood festivals, gotten ice cream (for lunch!) and more. Not only did she put up with my craziness this summer but we were actually roommates for a year at RIT AND the summer before that. Seriously. She deserves a prize.
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It’s been a terrific summer and I can’t thank her enough for sharing her apartment & being someone around to hang out with! Fortunately for Kristin – she has now landed herself a permanent couch spot in Brooklyn (when I locate one) whenever she finds herself in that area.