April Update

2 years in NYC + new neighbourhood + Moderna in my veins

It’s been a minute. I hate letting so much time go between blog posts, but life has been moving pretty quickly, at least relative to Covid speeds! There’s lots to update my readership on, so rather than dig into some deeply profound observation I’ve made over the last few weeks, I thought I could provide a simple play by play of major events in my life over the last month.

On March 22 I celebrated my two year anniversary of moving to New York City. Whether I live here for the rest of my life, or I move away next month, I will never regret the decision to move here. I tend to avoid regret in general, but living in this city has been such an incredible experience and one that I will unapologetically encourage any young person to take, should they be lucky enough to have the chance.

My two year anniversary made me reflect on two very different years. Covid hit right near my one year anniversary and completely changed my job as well as my interaction with, and affinity for, this city. The first year had me traveling across the city four days a week, then coming back to New York to galivant around the five boroughs on weekends, meet new people, explore neighbourhoods, restaurants, bars, parks, running paths, and host visitors.

My second year had me cooped up in my apartment, working 10-12 hours a day from one corner, and moving 10 feet away to make my meals in another corner, while taking as many opportunities as I could to get outside and run some miles to avoid going stir-crazy. Work became much less enjoyable, and WAY less “sexy”. Most of the fun was stripped out of the job, and the lack of human interaction has been tough for me.

The interaction with the city, however, has been amazing. The pandemic and marches for racial equality back in April-June brought a feeling of belonging to every NYC resident who stayed put during those epicenter months. It was a dark time, but the sense of community was something special that could be felt on the streets, during the nightly healthcare worker applauses, in the news, and around the hospitals as they coped with mobile morgues parked outside to house the thousands of Covid casualties.

Regardless, I’m excited for the upcoming summer in the city, strolling the streets and continuing to explore more neighbourhoods, even though it’s doubtful I’ll be traveling for work anytime soon.

My two year mark was also met with a big life event - moving in with Lynn! I said goodbye to the East Village (at least from a resident standpoint) and moved up to Lynn’s former apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan to start our next chapter. The move was incredibly smooth. I ended up hiring a local moving company to deal with the stressful parking on Manhattan streets, and carrying all three of my furniture items up the three flights of stairs at Lynn’s place. It was an incredible investment as the entire move - including driving diagonally across the island - was complete in less than 4 hours.

Our apartment has come together nicely with vibes reflecting both of our personalities. While the area is so different from the grime of the East Village, it’s still an awesome NYC experience, and the fact it’s only ~500 meters from Central Park is something I need to pinch myself about on the regular, especially as a running enthusiast. I’m just around the corner from John Lennon’s former apartment (and murder sight), and to even type that is something that’s so crazy to me.

Lynn and I continue to make great food and great cocktails in our little apartment while we wait for the world to open back up. We look forward to visiting more friends, hosting more family members, and continuing to explore more areas of NYC, maybe without masks one day!

Finally, I was able to snag a Moderna vaccination last week, receiving my first dose on April 5th, with dose number two scheduled for May 3rd. As much of a disaster as Covid cases and deaths were in the US, at least they have crushed it with the vaccine rollout. The sign up system online, and fact that we can have them administered at our corner drug store, has been pretty impressive to say the least. With this progression, we should be closer to a new and safe normal by summertime (fingers crossed)!

And that’s that. Work continues to be busy - I’m currently staffed on two different projects booking me for more than full-time hours - but I may as well be working hard and gaining as much experience as I can. Lynn and I keep each other on our toes during the work days by trading between the desk in the bedroom and the kitchen table in the living room depending on who needs to be on camera during their Zoom meeting, and who needs to prepare chickpea salad for lunch!

I hope you’re doing well, and thanks for reading,

Mike