A few days ago I was reading (and enjoying) a blog post over at An Historian About Town. It was about her 2018 style resolution and I do think you should check it out! I found it interesting because up until recently, my life revolved around fashion. I ate, slept and breathed fashion. Growing up, I aspired to be a fashion buyer and graduated with a fashion merchandising degree.
But before graduating, I needed an internship as it was a requirement to graduate. Many students took jobs at local fashion stores but I’ve always been of the mindset, go big or go home and this was no exception. At school one day, a flyer was posted that interviews would be held to intern for Giorgio Armani in NYC.
Giorgio Fucking Armani! Are you kidding me?
A few weeks later I interviewed with a well-dressed man who was an alumiumst of The Ohio State University for one of 8 internships offered at Armani. A week later he called me to say I didn’t get the internship but I did really well during the interview and he wanted to help me. While I could take an unpaid internship at Armani, he wanted to see me paid and that Ralph Lauren was looking for an intern. We decided that I would fly to NYC and interview with Ralph Lauren. I took a total gamble on being paid or not paid.
There was just 1 problem. Paid or unpaid, how the hell was I going to afford NYC? Enter fate. About a week after this call, some guy rear ended me. My bumper was slightly dented and I was shaken, but really that was it. When the guy’s insurance agent called to settle, I told him how sore I was from the accident and that I was thinking about getting my neck checked out for whiplash. Slightly embellished but I was 24 and saw a way to get to my dream, we settled on $1,200. This was perfect as my share of the summer rent was $300 a month from June to August, allowing $300 for food if I didn’t get a paid internship.
First Day In NYC
When I envisioned New York City (pretty much my entire life), no joke, I imagined something along the lines of Mad Maxx. I pictured men with machine guns guarding La Guardia and skeleton cars, up on cinder blocks. I imagined a war-torn city where there was no law and being mugged was a rite of passage. To my surprise, when I got off the plane at La Guardia, there weren’t men with machine guns. Ironically that would come a few years later when I would travel to NYC for business after 911.
I took my first cab ride to my temporary apartment and almost had a heart attack with his driving skills. I would come to accept this as standard operating procedures when riding in an NYC cab. After many trips to NYC I’ve found it’s best to close your eyes and hope for the best.
My apartment was on the corner of 2nd and 10th in the East village. I will never forget it. It was 6 levels above an Indian restaurant. An older woman with 3 adult children was visiting one of them in Greece and decided to rent out her apartment in the Village Voice. For just $1,200 a month, this 2.25 bedroom/ 1 full bath could be yours.
I knocked on the door and my temporary roommates answered. I’ll just say this now, I hated both of them. Not only were they ass holes but both of them had been accepted to a paid internship with Armani. I hadn’t even crossed the threshold when they announced they would be sharing the one room and I would be in my own room.
Uhhh……ok……sorry you both are sharing the same bed for the next 3 months but who am I to judge, I get a fucking twin bed….on the floor, but it’s my own room.
My first night there, I couldn’t sleep as I was certain our apartment would be broken into. I tiptoed onto the hardwood floors, into the living room. There were 2 large windows behind the sofa. I knelt onto the sofa and put my head against the cold window to peer down to the street. It was like nothing I had ever seen. At 3 am, there were people crossing the street. There were people laughing and several groups coming out of restaurants.
And honestly, my only thought was, ‘what the hell have I gotten myself in to?’
*Thanks to Google Maps, I was able to provide you guys with my apartment building as my featured image. The Indian restaurant has since turned into a bank I think.