Surprise NYC Weekend in Photos

Greetings from snowy NYC!!

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Anyone who follows me on Instagram knows (and may have known for a while now) that I flew to New York City this weekend to surprise my best friend Joanna for her birthday. I got the idea back in November when tickets were really cheap, and bit the bullet & made the purchase just a week or 2 after Thanksgiving. This is the reason why there are very unspecific “travel day”s worked into my half marathon training plan…I knew this Saturday I’d be flying across the country!

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But first, I had to celebrate Valentines Day in Sacramento! Yvette and I met up with a big group of girls for sushi, but got there early and had our own private dinner date 😉 as soon as we finished our food (we were starving!) we joined the rest of the ladies. Unfortunately I didn’t stay long, cause I had a 6am flight to catch!

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And fly I did! My brother graciously picked me up at 4:30am and took me to the airport. There was snow on the ground when we connected in Chicago which I knew was a bad sign. My flight to NYC ended up delayed about an hour and a half (most of it on the runway).. THEN, the pilot announced we were in a holding pattern circling LaGuardia, and everyone on the plane started purchasing alcohol LOL- myself included. We made it eventually to NYC, where snow was in the air!

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I hightailed it to Joanna’s friend Arielle’s apartment where I could stash my stuff and get ready for the surprise party. Joanna’s roomie (and our longtime friend from middle/high school) Alex arrived and we had a photoshoot on Arielle’s amazing balcony!

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Eventually we made it to Swift, a bar in the East Village where Joanna was unassumingly led by her boyfriend. She was already crying before she was led to the corner where I was hiding and I was revealed.. It was an emotional moment when she realized I was there and not on a dodgeball pub crawl in Sacramento wondering which boy I should invite (like I told her I was 😉 )… I even sent her fake workout selfies and claimed I ran 11 miles that morning- HA!

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After drinks at Swift and dancing at Bowery Electric, I headed back downtown to Alex & Jo’s place, where I frolicked in their snowy rooftop lounge while waiting for Alex to get back and buy a pizza from 7-11. Which I proceeded to eat HALF OF. I was running on 3 hours of sleep and totally needed the fuel! Let’s just say it was glorious.

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I made up for it by having a healthy banana + coffee + kombucha recovery breakfast before high tailing it back up to midtown to get my stuff from Arielle’s apartment. Like my outfit? I call it “morning after chic” 😉

Then we took advantage of Joanna & Alex’s gym and I got in my best non-running workout in months! Made me kinda having a gym…

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Joanna headed out for her bday dinner with the BF, and Alex and I decided to walk around TriBeCa until we found a good spot to eat. Um, bad idea when it’s 25 degrees outside and feels like 18! After what felt like hours of walking, we started getting desperate and ducked into a cute little place called The Butterfly. I got bratwurst sliders and Brussels sprouts with bacon & apples and Alex got ravioli and it was all SO good! Pleasant little surprise!

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At dinner, I had the genius idea of staying in and watching the new season of House of Cards. After seeing (and posing with) an ad for it, we knew we had to do it! We stopped at Whole Foods to get a couple of fancy beers then plopped down in front of the tv for what turned into 3.5 hours of Netflix. We watched the first 4 episodes back to back… Soo good!

The weekend is far from over, as today is Joanna’s actual birthday and I’m not leaving until tomorrow. We are hopefully going for a long run this morning followed by birthday brunch, and I cannot wait! So excited to be here and celebrating with her in person! Happy birthday Joanna!!

Have you ever surprised a friend or had a surprise party thrown for you?

Have you been to NYC? How about in the dead of winter?!

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The Problem with Internships…

So after a week here on the east coast, I finally had some semblance of job-hunting action today in Manhattan.  An interview for an internship.  The internship was for a non-profit organization that I wasn’t completely familiar with, but its main goals of fighting poverty and AIDS internationally seemed right up my alley.  I scoped out the location yesterday; not too shabby.  The building, which I later discovered hosts several UN committees and non-profit organizations, was across the street from the United Nations (one of my several dream jobs).

I went back today for my interview and was feeling pretty good about myself.  I wore a nice collared shirt, slacks, boots, and toted around my spiffy UCSB resumé portfolio that came as a gift for graduating tour guides earlier this year.  I certainly looked the part, and didn’t feel so much like a tourist as I traveled the several blocks from Grand Central station along with all the other business attired professionals.

However, the passersby that I noticed wearing the more expensive suits and the higher heels were probably not headed to interviews for unpaid internships at very small non-profit organizations like I was, as I came to find out.  The office I entered was bare, as they had recently relocated, and the staff was sparse.  I had a very nice talk with the Director of Communications, who repeatedly reminded me that the internship wasn’t so much of an internship as it was a volunteer position, since it’s unpaid.  She told me about the organization and what she would need from a Communications/Outreach “volunteer“.  She did most of the talking.  After she asked if I would like the position, I told her that I needed some time to think about it, since I’m in the process of deciding whether or not to relocate to New York…and moving across the country on the promise of a 2 day/week unpaid internship isn’t exactly what I’d consider a sound decision.

I spoke on the phone recently with a friend of a family friend who gave me some advice about my job search.  He works in the Washington, DC area and when I told him I had been struggling finding an entry level job and had shifted my search to internships, he said (more or less), “Don’t settle for a job that doesn’t pay.  Paid jobs are out there!  You are talented and you deserve to be paid for those talents.”  I started thinking about that right after I was done with my “interview”.

Internships are, ideally, for students.  The fact that so many companies and organizations have begun to hire more and more unpaid interns out of college to do the jobs that entry-level workers used to do flat out sucks.  College isn’t easy.  It’s expensive, and stressful, and eye opening, and I’d even assert that a lot of students learn more in one semester than they ever did in high school.  I know I certainly had a few quarters at UCSB that felt like it.  Having a college degree may be more common now than it was in the previous century, but it’s still an accomplishment, dammit! So why are we, as college graduates, now being relegated to the bottom of the barrel?  The obvious answer, I’m guessing, involves the state of our economy.  Another response could be that college graduates are so eager nowadays that most of us don’t care.

As lovely as it’s been to visit New York & Connecticut in this beautiful autumn weather, I don’t think I love it enough to stay just because of the promise of having a volunteer position that “could look good on a resume!”  My interview today was both literally and figuratively across the street from the UN.  I need to find my job at the UN itself, so to speak. I’m going to hold out for my big break.  Because, as L’Oreal would say, I’m worth it! And as I myself would say: I’ve earned it.