That New York Life

During my senior year of college, almost exactly two years ago in May of 2013, I had the privilege of going on a choir tour across the country to New York City. At Oregon State, I was in Bella Voce, the women's choir, for all my four years of school. The men's choir, OSU Meistersingers, and the coed Chamber Choir all embarked on this trip together.

Five days of nothing but singing, rehearsing, eating, sightseeing, performing, experiencing the night life, and navigating the streets of NYC. With all of our best friends! At the end of senior year! To freakin' NEW. YORK. CITY!!! It was a pretty memorable trip, to say the least. I shared a few sneak peeks on my Instagram, but this is where all the good stuff is revealed. Enjoy!

NYC = Cabs galore, amirite?

Where all the magic is made. #hearteyes

Magnolia Bakery - made famous (to me) by Lazy Sunday, the original SNL Digital Short.

I had already been to New York once before, so this time I skipped all the typical tourist destinations - Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Broadway play, etc. Not to say that I didn't visit some touristy areas, still went to Times Square and back to my favorite Rockefeller Center, just not all the usual (and super time-consuming) spots. 

Instead, my friend Monica and I decided to go on one of those awesome tv tours for GOSSIP GIRL! It was a really cool guided tour by bus, and we got to visit all the hot spots that are featured on the show. Keep in mind this was just a couple months after the series ended so GG was still fresh in our minds and super exciting! We visted the Met steps where the girls frequently gather, as well as the building and steps that were shown to be the prep school they all went to, Constance Billard. We drove by building fronts and doors for all the main characters pent houses and apartment buildings, gardens and parts of Central Park that were frequently featured, and of course The Empire. Oh, the Empire(!) I always loved Chuck and rooted for him til the very end. #thatMotherChucker! <3 

Meet me at The Empire.

Or we could meet at the Met steps for yogurt and scheming after school? #blairhairbow

The little bar they always met up at! I think it's supposed to be in Serena's building?
Or is it The Empire bar? Ahh help!

After all the GG sightseeing and getting up at an ungodly hour to go on that tour (#worthit) we actually did some singing! Somehow our choir directors booked us a night to sing at an all-OSU performance at Alice Tully Hall, which is in Lincoln Center. We had our own program and everything! It was kind of surreal singing there. NYFW is at Lincoln Center, the ICCA's competition from Pitch Perfect is at Lincoln Center! It's a really beautiful venue, too. A little stressful gearing up for our performance, memorizing a 15-minute joint-choir song, as well as all our individual choirs' songs as well. So amazing though!

Beautiful front windows of Alice Tully Hall!

A fun reflection photo with Monica and Linh while sightseeing.

Even though you can't see as much sunset in the sky in NYC from the streets,
it creates beautiful colors on buildings!

Another really exciting part of traveling to New York City right before college graduation was that NYC is in my top lists of places to move to. I graduated with a degree in apparel design, and as you can probably guess, NYC is a great place to get a career in design started. New York and LA are the large hotspots of apparel development and design, with a little pocket of activewear brands out here in the PNW (Nike, adidas, Puma, Pendleton, The North Face, Nordstrom, etc.). There are very few opportunites elsewhere, besides a small company here and there in random cities. 

New York has always been on my mind, since probably middle school, but I'm glad I grew up in the Northwest in the pocket of awesome activewear brands. (I currently live in the suburbs of Portland, Oregon, in case you didn't already know.) Wanting to relocate cross-country, and actually doing it are two very different things. I decided not to go to a design school in NY for many reasons - partly because I wanted a full, state-school-type college experience, partly because I am the eldest of four kids and I didn't want to just move across the country and be away from them right as I graduated high school. The reasons are a little different now, but I think at this time in my life right now, I want to focus on growing my apparel design career in the PNW. (Hey, hire me!)

Maybe New York will have its moment for me in 3 years. Maybe in 5. Maybe 10, even? I'm only 24 and I'm not ruling out any possibility. If the time is right, I'll make it happen. For now, I will keep enjoying the fresh, clean air, beautiful green summers, the field (and not the back of a building) in my backyard, and of course having my family and friends nearby. Life is good. And, New York, I still love you. <3

Spotted: A fierce twenty-something just arrived from Terminal 3, looks like her bags are packed
and she's ready for the big city. I'll see about that, though. XOXO, Gossip Girl.

Be sure to follow along on Instagram and Twitter if you want to stay updated on all my adventures :)

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