New York City is the concrete jungle where dreams are made, the greatest city in the world, the city that never sleeps. It’s a city full of dreamers who hustle and make their opportunities happen with hard work and passion.
I love New York. I’ve always felt like I can be my complete, full self in the City. The fashion, the independence, the community; there are countless aspects of the New York City lifestyle that I feel best fit my overall personality and aesthetic.
However, so many times when I travel there I’m on a tight schedule, heading to an audition or to Ripley Grier Studios to work. I love what I do, and I love the community of people I have found, but there haven’t been many days where I get to enjoy the City for all that it has to offer.
But there are rare occasions, and those are the best days. New York City truly is a magical place, and every once in a while the stars align to reveal its true power.
On my most recent escapade in Manhattan, I met up with an old friend from Atlanta, a fellow actor who moved to NYC about two years ago.
Sitting in Union Square Park with a box of Ben’s Cookies (the absolute best cookies you will ever put in your mouth), we swapped stories of our favorite days we’ve had in The City. Jeremy labels such days as “New York Days” and can be described as follows:
You wake up on a normal day, hitting the “Stop” button on your iPhone’s alarm even though you’re so tempted to snooze instead. But you gotta go to work (or dance class, an audition… insert whatever you want here), so you get up and continue with your morning routine.
You have no plans for the day ahead of you after your scheduled obligation, so you figure it will be a relaxing day of rest.
But then, something happens. A friend texts you with free tickets to a concert. You get invited to attend a premiere at the last minute. You turn a street corner and discover your new favorite spot. You run into an old friend and spend the rest of the day with them.
You barely look at your phone the rest of the night. Because you’re truly so happy and enthralled with The City. An ordinary day turns out to be one of the best ones of your life. Because NYC pulled through for you when you least expected it to.
For Jeremy, it was a day when he met a couple of dancers in a coffee shop he worked in. After they all discovered their common interests and mutual friends, the girls revealed they were back-up dancers for a well known electronica band and were performing that night at one of the biggest music festivals in New York City- and they gave Jeremy a free VIP pass.
Earlier that day Jeremy headed into work with no plans ahead of him, little known to him that he would end up heading to a music festival full of his favorite bands wearing an Artist’s Pass entry wristband. Free music, free food, free booze, and celebrity treatment? New York City definitely pulled through.
This past Friday, I didn’t have many plans for my day ahead. I was tentatively going to meet with a photographer friend in Brooklyn- we connected over Instagram and were going to meet for the first time in person and just get to know each other, maybe even shoot a little.
The plan had been to meet at 1 pm, a time that wouldn’t allow me to do much with my morning since Brooklyn is an hour away from my apartment and I needed to sleep in late.
But my phone vibrated and Sam changed the time to 5pm. A better time… but what was I to do beforehand?
I went online and noticed that my favorite dance studio, Broadway Dance Center, had a 12pm Street Jazz/Hip-Hop class. I love taking dance classes- it’s the perfect workout and a chance for me to train in my craft. The only problem with this particular class was that it was 11 am when I found out it was scheduled. I needed to pack up a small backpack for the rest of my day, get ready for the class, and be in Midtown within an hour- a task that seemed near to impossible.
But somehow I made it to class on time, even though I missed the first Downtown train at my stop. I hopped on the next and caught the express at 96th Street in perfect time; like it was waiting for me. Smoothing out my trip and shaving off lots of time, I briskly walked to the studio, and breathed heavily to the woman at the front desk while trying to tell her I wanted to sign up for the class. I made it with a minute to spare.
Afterwards I felt incredible, powerful, confident, and overall happy. It was gonna be a good day, I could feel it.
And just on cue, my roommate texted me and invited me to come to the rooftop pool at an incredible apartment building on the cusp of The West Village and Chelsea. She is a nanny for a sweet family in the building, and was to take the kids swimming for a couple hours.
It was a perfect post-workout dip, with spectacular views right on the Hudson River and good company. I was able to spend my spare time eating pizza, swimming in the nicest, private rooftop pool, and getting ready for the photoshoot.
I then headed to Brooklyn for the first time. In all of my travels to the City, I had never ventured there. And boy had I been missing out.
I met up with Sam and we shot for about in hour in front of graffiti walls and vintage cars. We then wandered to a park on the bank of the Hudson, sitting and gawking at the view of Manhattan.
Exploring a new part of New York was magic in it of itself. We walked all over Williamsburg, ate some great food, and watched the sunset as lights twinkled on across the skyline.
And then my brother messaged me exclaiming that there was a surprise DJ set at a club in Brooklyn that night- and the DJ happened to be the front man of our favorite band, Tame Impala.
I had to go. I needed to go. But advanced tickets were sold out and the venue was likely to sell out at the door.
Except they didn’t, or at least not until after I got there, miraculously. I contacted an old family friend and she and I, along with her roommate danced the night away in a club in Brooklyn. It was an incredible show, and one of the best nights of my 20’s so far. We managed to push our way to the front, and there I was, dancing 5 feet away from one of my favorite artists Dj-ing it up in a random Brooklyn club. It was unreal. The energy of the crowd was electric and I truly felt the magic of what its like to be young and single in New York City.
As I hopped into bed at 5am, I couldn’t help but laugh at the crazy day I had ended up experiencing. I never thought my ordinary Friday would turn into a day like it had. I took a dance class, enjoyed a sweet rooftop pool, had a photo shoot, explored Brooklyn with a new friend, and danced the night away to my favorite music with more. New York had pulled through.
A New York Day indeed.
-The Fly Girl