Wednesday, February 18, 2015

My Weekend Upstate

I had quite the weekend. And I wasn't in New York City.

So quick back story: for Christmas, my mama bought 3 tickets to see Jay Leno, who was going to be doing stand-up in Rochester the weekend of Valentine's Day (it was a Christmas AND Valentine's Day gift from my mom to both my dad and me). Besides Spring Break in the beginning on March, I knew this would be one of few opportunities to go home...or go to Ithaca. And that's when I decided I would surprise all my friends at Ithaca.

Fast forward to last Friday, February 13. I jumped on a bus on 5:15AM from Port Authority headed to Rochester.

I spent Friday with my wonderful mother and my super sick (not like, "cool" but actually just very ill) dad. My mom and I caught up on some TV, ordered Mark's (I was almost in tears, people), and then we all headed off to see Jay. I wasn't definitely one of the youngest people there, but I genuinely had a great time. I feel as if I'm in between generations when it comes to The Tonight Show; I consider myself having grown up watching Jay Leno during school breaks when I could stay up late, but then again I love Jimmy Fallon and was able to watch his first show that started the new Tonight Show era. Anyway, I laughed at everything that wasn't supposed to be funny (typical) and loved cracking up with my mama.

Then it was Saturday. I was beyond excited to head to Ithaca, where only 3 people knew I was coming... I mean, I had this idea to surprise everyone in my head since the end of December and it was finally happening! I stopped very quickly to see Ryan (who knew I was coming) before heading up to my old apartment. None of my friends were home, so I quietly sat alone until people started arriving. My friend James tackled me into a chair, and my girls Lindsey and Allie had to pick up their jaws from the ground before tightly hugging me. But the surprising wouldn't be over until I showed up to a dinner date later that night.

One of my closest friends, Katie (aka KTB) turned 21 last weekend and unfortunately I wasn't able to be there to celebrate with her. The best I could do? Surprise her a week later. She cried. Her reaction will forever be in my mind, and I was so happy to be with her - and the rest of my friends - even just for 24 hours.

Truthfully, I was pretty miserable when I had to leave. I have missed Ithaca and my friends so much, and this past weekend being able to catch up with everyone was incredible. To my roommates, thank you for making time for me in your busy schedules this past weekend, and thank you for making me feel like I never left. I know that I will be back soon enough.

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I know it's been a long time again since I've posted, so here's some updates!
  • Work has been going well...last week my supervisor went to check out venues at for an event Syfy is planning at SXSW ("South by South West", a film/TV/music festival held in Austin, TX every spring) so I was able to learn about setting up events and contacting larger companies, which is totally scary but also pretty cool. And no, I'm not actually getting to go to SXSW... I'm bummed too.
  • For my Art in NYC class, we went to a bunch of galleries in Chelsea last weekend. Art is weird, let me tell ya. 
  • I got dinner with one of my closest friends and her parents last Monday before she left for New Zealand. Miss Emily (who has her own blog - check it out here) is studying abroad for the semester, and since she was flying out of JFK we made sure to get together.. she's going to have an amazing time and I can't wait to hear about her adventures!
  • Maddie and I had our first big bug in our room together - it was traumatic...
  • While I was home, my mom and I had our annual FIRST SHAMROCK SHAKE together! We always document by taking a selfie.

  • I've crossed some more items off my bucket list!
    • 53. Shop at Buffalo Exchange
    • 56. Eat a cupcake from Magnolia's Bakery
    • Places to Eat: Carmine's (where Emily's family and I went to eat)
    • Museums: National Museum of the American Indian and The Fashion Museum at FIT
  • Here are some more pictures.....

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Stay warm, people...seriously.
xoxo, Laurie

Thursday, February 12, 2015

5 Things I Miss the Most from Upstate

After experiencing some serious fomo (aka "Fear Of Missing Out", a somewhat new-age acronym I never thought I would experience) this past weekend, I found myself having a real tough time. I seriously, seriously missed being Upstate. I missed home, and all the things that make it "Home". But these are the Top 5 things I miss the most from Upstate

  1. Wegmans: I cannot stress enough how much I miss Wegmans. For everyone who knows how amazing Wegmans is (it was just voted "Best Reputation in the Nation", even over Apple and Disney!), it can be scary to think of a world without it. And now that I am living in this dark world of no Wegmans, I feel lost. New York City dwellers - or really anyone who hasn't experienced the greatness that is Wegmans - don't understand the importance of this place. They shop at their Whole Foods' or Costco's or maybe Trader Joe's, but HELLO. Wegmans literally has everything you will ever need and more. I am so lucky to have grown up surrounded by Wegmans.
  2. Mark's Pizzeria: Okay, before I hear all the, "but New York style pizza is so good omg!!!!", just stop right there. My friends and family know that I will never turn down pizza. Any and all pizza is beautiful in my eyes (except you, Little Caesars), but Mark's is special. I grew up on Mark's. This is the pizza I know and love; the pizza sauce that runs through my veins. I miss its thick crust and perfectly melted cheese, UGH and the calzones. And don't get me started on the pizza logs and fried dough. This will be the only food I eat when I visit home (I'm serious, I already talked to my mom about it). 
  3. Driving: Tammy, my cute little 2005 Toyota Corolla, is one of my best friends. I went from driving her every single day to having to take the subway... All the terrible things people say about the subway are true. I would give anything to get in my little Tam-Tam, blast the radio, and yell at stupid drivers while I probably miss a turn somewhere.
  4. Walking around campus: I think this can also be seen as, "I miss open spaces". Being in Central Park the other week reminded me so much of Ithaca that a wave of sadness crashed over me. I miss the grass in between buildings, the squirrels that, you know, are cute from a distance but don't try to eat food out of your hands like they do in the city, and I almost (alllllmost) miss the hills. But mostly I miss campus because of the smiling faces. People in NYC all have permanent bitch-face, myself included at this point. Plus I miss walking in areas where I don't constantly smell urine and/or garbage. 
  5. Stars: Self-explanatory. 

Some runner-ups include: having a microwave in my room/having my own kitchen, quiet nights, and of friends and family (and cat). 

Don't get me wrong, I'm really enjoying this opportunity to live in NYC! Sometimes I think about my friends who are studying abroad (hi friends) and how they are living in totally different worlds and experiencing other cultures... but then I remind myself that I, too, am living in another world with its own unique atmosphere. New York City is unlike any place I've ever been to for an extended period of time. It has its perks, but I definitely miss the quaint suburban and rural areas I've come to appreciate over the past 20 years. 

What is something you do (or have done) when homesick? Leave a comment!

I've got a super busy weekend ahead of me, so check back next week for an update!

As always, 
xoxo Laurie

Thursday, February 5, 2015

One Month Mark

As of this Friday (or technically February 9th) I will have been living in New York City for a month. How is that even possible? I feel like I've been here for two weeks, at the most. 

Speaking of two weeks. Um. Hey everyone....sorry I haven't posted in two weeks. I'll try to make this as short and painless as possible, but a lot has gone on! Here are some of the highlights:


My classes started:
Half of my classes are online, and the other half are just once or twice a week. Nothing too bad so far, but it has been a struggle having to remember doing homework each week. The class I'm most enjoying is my "Art in NYC" class, where we essentially go around the city to museums and galleries and then reflect on the environment or artwork.

My internship started:
January 26th was my first official day at NBC/Syfy (in case ya'll didn't know where I was interning, now you know!) and I'm the only intern for the channel. It's been insanely overwhelming, but I really think I'm going to like it. I have my own cubicle and everything (am I an adult yet?), so it's pretty exciting! 

This, along with my classes, have taken up a majority of the past two weeks, which is honestly why I haven't posted as much. But there aren't opportunities to take pictures or really write about what I do in the office, since some of it is "Top Secret" or whatever. Anyway, I am enjoying it thus far, and while this will continue to take up my time (I mean, it is the whole reason I'm in the city this semester) I want to focus on sharing the more adventurous and memorable aspects of my time in NY, like trips or accomplishing my bucket list and whatnot. 

I crossed items off my bucket list:
2) Visit St. Patrick's Cathedral
23) Eat from a food truck
36) Go to a "New York ___" game – Knicks, Mets, or Rangers
Museums: MoMA (so cool, loved it)
Museums: The Met (eh...)
(Psst...see the updated list here!)

I made it through NYC's HISTORIC snow storm, Juno:
.....this one is obviously a joke. People in my building were actually scared and I couldn't help myself from laughing in their face. "I'm from Upstate, you have no idea what snow is", was something I said so many times I lost count. "I told you so" was another statement I made frequently after the dreaded storm essentially missed us, just like I knew it would. The whole city shut down for five inches of snow. Comical. Nothing like "the snowglobe from hell" that Ithaca has been called. But my friends and I did make the decision to go to Central Park for a snow day! New York City snow is typically disgusting brown slush within minutes of touching the ground, but luckily Central Park provides the best place (besides Upstate or Alaska or something) to see beautiful, white fluffy snow.

I ate cool food at cool places:
Pie Face – went to the place around the corner with a fellow Rochesterian! My friend Kevin and I met up for a day and got a quick brunch from this place that sells pies: breakfast type pies with eggs and bacon, lunch/dinner pies with meats and potatoes, and the classic dessert pies we all know and love. All of the pies have a little faces on them (hence the name) to differentiate the flavors.

Guy Fieri's American Kitchen and Bar – okay so it's a little known fact that I have this weird obsession with Guy Fieri. Whenever Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives is on, I have to watch, I don't know. Anyway, the place was huge since it had three levels, and there were some of Guy's infamous quotes painted on the walls. The food was out within minutes of us ordering, and we were both super happy with what we got! Definitely will have to go back (with my mom, probably). 

Junior's – also right on Broadway and Time Square, we grabbed sundaes and cheesecake one night. 1950s feel, the place was packed even at 11pm. Great oldies music, our server was hilarious, and Maddie and I got the best brownie sundae we've ever had. 

( on the lookout for a new page on my blog, where I talk about restaurants I've been to and the great food I've eaten! Pictures will be in abundance...)

I had my first visitor:
This past Saturday (1/31), my good friend Ryan came to visit. Ryan and I know each other through a close mutual friend at school, and he works at a bar that my friends and I frequently visit (yeah, yeah, I know). A huge sweetheart, I was incredibly happy to have him as my first guest in the city.

Before I made my move down to the city, Ryan told me that he had plans to come to NYC to see a Rangers game at the end of January. Since I live next to Madison Square Garden, I offered him a place to stay, and in exchange he offered me a ticket to the game! Hockey isn't a sport I've ever really been into, but I wasn't going to pass up the opportunity to see an NHL game at MSG...I mean, it was on my bucket list. 

While Ryan was here we went to The Met (he came with my to my "Art in NYC" class on a Saturday afternoon, poor kid), walked to Time Square, went to the Rangers game, and saw the 9/11 Memorial before he had to leave. It was a quick trip, and I was bummed to see Ryan go back to Ithaca, but I know he'll be back soon enough!

I took a lot of pictures:


I know that was A LOT to post, but I just had to catch up! If you want to know more, definitely leave a comment or message me! Thank you to everyone who has been keeping in contact with me and asking about the blog, I appreciate the love and support more than you know.

More posts soon I promise!
xoxo, Lauren

P.S. I hope ya'll don't hate the heart background on the blog! I just thought of switching it up since it is February and Valentine's Day is just around the corner (but really it's because I'm already bored of the way my blog looks, so I've been looking into a redesign).