The Day the Conversation Died.

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There are few things in life that annoy me more than online dating. It’s right up there with people clipping their nails on the subway and finding pee on the toilet seat. But a couple months ago reality smacked me in the face when I witnessed first hand the reason my generation is so obsessed with OKCupid, Match, Plenty of Fish et al: We have lost the art of conversation.

While at a fashion event on the Lower East Side, a reasonably attractive, well dressed dude approached my friend and introduced himself. His first mistake? Even though there were three of us sitting together, clearly in the middle of something, he didn’t seem to think it was necessary to acknowledge us. But anyway. It quickly got awkward because neither him nor my friend were overly chatty but he would. not. leave. So I took it upon myself to get the conversation going. I asked him about his job, he didn’t ask us about ours. I asked him where he was from and when he said Boston I told him I was going there the following week and asked for restaurant recommendations, he didn’t have any. I asked him where in the city he lives, he didn’t ask us. (You guys, it’s not that difficult to make small talk. Even if you have nothing in common with someone, if you’re asked a question, you ask the same one. If you’re lucky, the answers lead to more questions. This is called a conversation.) After 20 painful minutes, he moseyed off to mingle.

It was a perfect example of a typical night out. But what kills me most is when I’m at a bar and I realize that every single person around me is on their phone, posting status updates, uploading selfies or chatting to some unknown on Tindr. Then they’ll go home and complain about how difficult it is to meet someone in New York and continue messaging total strangers who are also complaining about the city’s dating scene.

Seriously? Is this what the world has come to? JUST TALK TO PEOPLE.

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New York: it’s a hell of a fucking tough town. And it never gets easier. Like, ever.

Every day is a constant battle to prove yourself. To prove that you’re worthy. That you deserve to be here. That you’re good enough to live in your apartment. That you’re good enough to keep the job you jumped through hoops to get in the first place. Even that you’re good enough to be let into a bar to drink its gin and tonics.

It’s hard.

There are days when you come home feeling so mentally and emotionally battered and bruised it’s like someone took a bat and beat up your ego.

And we’re all so possessive. We all think we own this city and that all of these tourists and blow-ins are such wannabes who will never belong.

But it’s not ours. It’s nobody’s. New York is that one girl in school that all the guys adored and were so protective of and whenever anyone got close enough to her to think they were in with a shot, she shut them out, and then they freaked out when she showed an ounce of interest in anyone else.

But we keep coming back for more. No matter how many times you kick us to the curb, New York, we still want you to like us. Because, to paraphrase the wise Cady Heron, it’s better to be in the city, hating life, than to not be in it at all.

Hold me, thrill me.

Make Fetch Happen

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Considering ads for Fetch Bar & Grill are all over the bathrooms at Animal Haven, the no-kill shelter I volunteer at on weekends, I had never thought of going there until Susan suggested stopping by for a post-Met bite one Saturday.

If you’re a dog lover, this Upper East Side eatery will likely be your happy place. Walls are lined in framed photos of patrons’ pooches and a portion of proceeds goes to animal shelters. I had the veggie burger ($10) with avocado and the usual fixings–delicious and I even went home with leftovers (it tasted just as good for lunch the next day).

Last week I ventured across the Park again, this time with my brother and cousin in tow. I ordered the Adam’s Apple Salad, my bro had the Philly Cheese Steak and our cousin went for the Grilled Chicken Sandwich. Our bill came to $35.90 and the only complaint to be heard from our table was that we were all too full to move.

What: Fetch Bar & Grill

Where: 1649 Third Avenue

Why: Down-to-earth environment and quality food.

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No More Meat

At some point over the past month I became addicted to documentaries. It started out innocently enough with starving models and fame hungry kids but before I knew it I’d moved onto food, and that was a whole other ball game. 

Forks Over Knives. Food for Thought. Food Matters. Vegucated. Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead. You name it, I’ve probably watched it. 

What’s funny is that I’ve read Skinny Bitch and the like but nothing really drove home the point of how bad meat and processed foods are for you quite like these films. Listening to these fit and healthy people who had once been dying of cancer and heart disease explain how changing to a whole foods, plant-based diet had saved their lives was an eye opener. (Not to mention the horrendous treatment of animals, even at supposedly organic farms.)

I’m now trying, for probably the 15th time in as many years, to be a vegetarian. Luckily for me, New York is a mecca for vegetarian and vegan restaurants and almost everywhere has something non-meat on the menu. 

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Community Food & Juice is an eco-friendly eatery in Morningside Heights. Dishes are inspired by the season and made using organic, sustainable ingredients where possible. I went there Saturday for brunch and my Farmer’s Chop with feta, sesame seeds and champagne-cider vinaigrette was delicious–and at $10 only a few bucks more than my usual order at Pret. My friend had the Community Omelet ($12) and I have no idea how she managed to clear her plate before I finished my salad, but it was impressive. 

What: Community Food & Juice

Where: 2893 Broadway

Why: Delicious organic fare at decent prices.

 

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Return of the Mc

Bless me, Internet, for I have sinned. It’s been one year since my last post–and I’ve decided to bring this baby back. 

The main reason I stopped this blog is that it became a moany, whiney, snotty sobfest. It was boring. All I talked about was how much I hated my roommate, hated my neighbors, hated my job and hated how expensive this city is. When I started this blog I was 21, recently graduated, high on that buzz you get from being the first to leave, but terrified at the thought of failing. A year ago I was 24 and jaded. I was happy to be here but sick of the city. Off the top of my head I could list 20-odd things I hated about New York, but if someone pressed me to say why I love living here I would paste a smile on face and say “Because it’s the greatest city in the world!” And while I truly did, and do, believe it, I didn’t appreciate it. Image

New York is an expensive city. Everyone knows it. Manhattan and Brooklyn have the highest rents in the U.S. And while I and the majority of my friends live paycheck to paycheck, we actually get to call this place home. And that’s a pretty awesome feeling. 

So LATC is back, but with a twist. It won’t be full of woe-is-me posts. It will be about stuff that’s actually worth your time. Like the best Happy Hour in the East Village. Or which brunch spot gives you more bang for your buck. Even the best subway stop to hop out at if you think you might throw up.

 

[PIC: Henry Hudson Bridge, as seen from Inwood Hill Park in Upper Manhattan.]

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