Life, Liberty and The Pursuit of What the F@&%!

It’s been a while since I rambled about absolutely nothing relevant to any of the couple thousand of you that somehow end up here every week, so now is the time. The 49ers just lost the Super Bowl (or Superbowl for you creative SEO types) and I’m about as frustrated as a man can be. Except for maybe that last month I spent with my ex, that was definitely rough. I never thought I’d be living in New York right now, and a very tiny part of me is relieved that the 49ers didn’t win. Because I don’t think I could have handled missing another parade down Market Street while I am stuck living the dream in Brooklyn.

6 months ago I spent most of my days working from the beach in Santa Monica or one of the countless Coffee Beans in the area, blogging, tweeting, Facebooking and fixing the screwed up SEO practices of big companies as a freelancer. Now I spend 11-12 hours a day in an 8 foot by 8 foot cubicle that’s filled with sneakers, writing about sneakers and reaching seemingly unattainable goals. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t question what I am doing, especially considering I go into the office every weekend and still can’t seem to catch up. My knowledge and skill set is grossly overlooked and I am paid about 40% less than what I think I should be getting. Yet still, this new “real job” has been one of the most enjoyable and as fulfilling, for my own personal goals in life, as a job can get.

Jesus Face Palm

I’ve never really been cutout for working for someone else. It challenges everything I am as a person to be a part of something that is just a job for the people around me. It’s also nearly impossible to bite my tongue when people say things just to appease people, knowing that the truth is convoluted in the fast talking. These uncomfortable things are exactly why I am here. To see them, to learn from them, and to make sure they don’t happen in my business, is an education that shits on any piece of paper a college can give you. How do you put a value on the invaluable lessons?

Before I took this job, I made some changes in my own business to compensate for me being removed from the equation. Unfortunately, the changes didn’t work out the way I had hoped and it undoubtedly hurt people that I care for. Thankfully, in my own world, I surround myself with people that are understanding and caring, about people, more so than the almighty dollar. I am very blessed to be surrounded by such great people, even if not in the geographical sense, at least in my heart I know. Though, I should probably tell them all more often.

Aside from my personal goals and shortcomings, I’ve met some great people being in New York (as well as some really stupid ones). I find it most entertaining the people that think they know what they are doing when clearly they don’t. The ‘I read this on the Internet and have clearly never applied it to see if it works’ approach is always a nice reminder as to why I have a business helping businesses. The other thing I can’t figure out, which is completely random other than the stupidity connection, is why people lean out over the subway tracks to see if there is a train coming. Like looking down the tracks is going to help it get there quicker? It’s perplexing to me. I’ve wanted to ask so many people but I know the question itself would just confuse them and probably kill my brain cells in the process of explaining.

Anyway, now that I sound like a complete asshole, the new responsibilities at the job are nothing short of interesting and will probably keep my attention for a short while. At least until I remember that even though it was less creative, I was living a better life. NYC has always been on the bucket list for me, I’ve now scratched that off and am proud of it. I’ve made some really good friends, some people that push me to be better and played the game on the level with some of the people I respect most in the industry.

If life is in 7 year cycles, I’d like to think the next two years will establish a few things that I thought I’d already have set in stone by this age. I never imagined that I’d be single at this age. I also never imagined that I’d still be roaming around experiencing all the things most people are too afraid to experience, ie. new people and new places. But the funny thing is, I always thought by the time I hit 35, I’d be home in San Francisco, ready to embark on the next chapter. Maybe 34 is more accurate and maybe the 49ers and Giants will both win titles next year. After all as fucked up as today was, and as some of my time here has been, life is pretty fucking awesome.

 

10 Things You Should Know If Moving to New York

New York City - World Trade Tower - Manhattan Bridge - Brookyln, NYI’ve now been in New York for a little over a month. I’d like to say that the lack of blog posts is just me slacking and enjoying the city and new people I’ve been meeting but reality is, I haven’t even met the people I intended to meet long before deciding to move here. It just takes me longer to do everything here. There is no “quick trip to the grocery store” without a car. No matter how many different routes you take, there is no shortening your commute, whether it’s 5 blocks walking to the local pizza spot or 10 stops on the subway to work. I’ve not contacted at least a dozen people I should have weeks ago. I will do a better job about updating my blog from now on for two reasons, because I have loved ones that check it once in a while and because if I don’t unload some of my thoughts, I may go crazy. Nothing to do with NYC, I just need to write in order to keep the noise in my head at a tolerable level. Here’s 10 Things I’ve Learned Since Moving to New York City and I’ll probably rant some more and add some more to this as time passes.

10. All Subway Trains Are NOT the Same

The C Train, which I take, fittingly, is like an ’84 Regal. Straight bucket. It sounds (and stops) like it may not arrive to the next stop in one piece. It’s even got those ’70s colors that proudly state, “We’ve made it, we think. Is this your blow?” It’s only most of my ride to work but if it were completely mine, I’d throw some D’s on it. Something that would last you. If you’re smart, you’d take any other train to get to that Nets game you’re dreaming of (sorry if getting to a Nets game is actually your dream), even the N Train has potential for jocking Jay-Z but who am I, just a transplant that recently discovered THIS! I have a new hope for my life in Brooklyn. Who wants to go buy a Nets shirt with me?

9. Humidity is A Bitch

Think you’re gonna walk a lot? Explore the “greatest city in the world” on foot so you can see more than the graffiti-lined tunnels of Gotham City? Be warned, it’s not that easy. I mean, it’s no Atlanta or Austin in the summer time, but carrying your belongings around in a backpack, along with that jacket in case it gets cool or starts raining, makes the humidity pretty rough. This is coming from someone who has been spoiled with the 72 and sunny of Southern California for the last year or so, I might be biased. Carry an extra gym towel, you might need it.

8. You Can Find Anything You Need in Life in a Bodega

Well, almost. I haven’t found a girlfriend in there but i am sure it’s only a matter of time. Somehow, the 8-foot (really it’s closer to 6) wide storefronts that litter every block of the city and are sometimes next door to each other, are like the portal to another world! Real life Mario tunnels! You can go in a tiny store front, walk past the gum and newspapers to find a full salad bar and hot food, seating areas, etc. Some of them even have multiple floors, free wifi and…PUBLIC RESTROOMS.

Coffee With Extra Dream, Showbiz Cafe, 21st Street, NYC7. Don’t Expect to Recharge Anything But Your Caffeine Fix at Starbucks

Coming from California, where there are so many entrepreneurs, a seat at the local Starbucks is sometimes as difficult as landing Lakers tickets, charging up your BlackBerry, iPhone and MacBook Pro is a daily ritual and in that order. Oh, and the caffeine fix too, but plugging in is priority. just ask my #lifeofablogger friend Miles who saw my crazy charging system in my car before I moved out here. New York City, Manhattan specifically, hates entrepreneurs. Or at least people who plug in their laptop and work from Starbucks. Support Your Local and find a mom and pop coffee shop and plugging in won’t be pain on in baristas.

6. BYOBS: Bring Your Own Breath Savers

Not boobs. Get your mind out of the gutter. If you couldn’t find a use for that limited edition Gucci or Louis Vuitton gas mask you bought to battle SARS and anthrax scares, the real threat is cigarette smoke. Not sure if it’s the high stress level, the cool factor or the awesome health benefits of cigarette smoking, but in NYC you will inevitably be stuck behind someone that chain smokes a full pack in a matter of one block. Or even more fun is standing in a crowded subway train next to a smoker. Bring some dust masks, or if you’re feeling frisky, some gum,in case you decide to do some saliva swappin’.

5. Download HopStop!

Nothing says “Rob me, I’m a tourist.” quite like walking around pointing at a map of the city or a map of the New York City subway system. I’m not saying don’t act like a tourist. In fact, just the opposite, do it all you want. I do every day and I actually live here. I’m just suggesting that you avoid looking like an easy target and download HopStop. It’s a website that has a sweet app for the iPhone that allows you to search routes, get directions, check schedules, subway stations and look at the subway map, all from the palm of your hand. It works for multiple cities and allows you to save trips, so if you decide NYC isn’t for you, HopStop can also help you get  someplace else.

NYC Subway

4. Don’t Eat the Rats on a Stick

Just kidding. Everything sold on the streets of New York City is edible and healthy…if you’re a pigeon. If you’re not a pigeon, go buy some pigeon gear from Staple because he’s supported me along the way and there’s some great restaurants in the area too. If you can’t tell what it is, no worries, it will taste good it’s New York, best food in the world. (If it doesn’t, there’s plenty of pizza joints you can get a slice of cheese for a buck. There’s no such thing as bad pizza, just ask Tina.)

3. Be Prepared to Be Molested

If you’re planning on riding the subway, which you are even if you think you aren’t, it will be crowded. If you’re lucky enough to experience the wonders of a white winterland (or even better a Hurricane like Kathy), anytime between the hours of 7 and 10 am will probably be the most intimate experiences of your life without knowing the person’s name you are now sharing breath with. I’m pretty sure the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy originated on one of these early morning commutes because who the hell knows what or who just grabbed your ass, it will always be a mystery.

– Bonus info: In order to know when a train is full, here’s a general rule of thumb: If the person next to you’s phone rings and the vibration isn’t strong enough to turn you on, there’s room for more passengers. “Is that a cell phone vibrating in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?” is a completely appropriate bad joke at this moment as well.

2. Not All New Yorkers Are Assholes

The assumption that you have to be tough to survive in NYC has its stigma in other parts of the world. Even people who lived their entire lives commuting to the city, assume most New Yorkers are assholes. It’s true, they can be. Remember, you get what you give. Bring a positive attitude and leave your baggage (the emotional kind) behind and as long as you walk faster than 55 mph you’ll be good!Really, a lot of people are new to NYC, like myself, and I give helpful and “exciting” directions to tourists because…who doesn’t love excitement!? The few people I have met outside of work are pretty amazing people. The trend continues.

Delight the world with compassion, kindness and grace.

1. The Absolute Most Important Thing To Know About Moving To New York

Don’t forget your smile. Smile at strangers. Despite everything you may have been told otherwise, a smile can brighten up someone’s day. I’ve made it a point to get at least one smile out of someone each day. I haven’t failed yet. It may take a few tries but if you are persistent, you’ll find someone that will smile back (maybe even me!) and it will remind you, no matter what, life is good.

Life is good. No matter what, life is good.