Getting Familiar 

6:00 AM Elizabeth Seckman 51 Comments

Cole and me
I traded taking a selfie with mom for lunch, 
I grew up small town. So small in fact, my home town didn't even have a traffic light. There was no rush hour and a traffic jam was most likely just a couple of folks stopped in the middle of the road to chat (that was a habit my father, who grew up in a city, never got used to-- who the hell stops in the middle of the road to chat?).

So, when son #1, Caleb, chose NYU Law as his school of choice, that first visit to the city had me a bundle of nerves. New York City is a far cry from rural West Virginia. I spent the summer before classes started bugging anyone and everyone I knew who had lived in the Big Apple. I got information on everything from train schedules to grocery deliveries.

The first night in the city, I won't lie. I was a rookie. My heart raced every time a horn honked. I was shocked by the mountainous piles of bagged garbage on the streets and the people picking through it. I made super slow progress down Broadway stopping for every street hawker and up-and-coming rapper. I bought at least five CDs, a hat, and more prints of the NY skyline than I knew what to do with.

Now, a few years later. Boy #2, Cole, was invited to interview at Columbia University for their Film and Creative Production program. The interview was on a Thursday and my husband couldn't get the time off work, so I'd be the parent on point. Three years ago, I'd have had a coronary at the thought.

But I'm no longer a newbie! My years of experience, all the questions I bugged friends with, and by doing my own research, I made this trip without breaking a sweat.

Cole
waiting on the subway
(And so happy about the pics!)


I now know...

~it's a good idea to bypass  the craziness of Time's Square (sorry rappers and artists!)

~how to use the trains and the subway.








~how to find the less obvious NY city icons. 

Tom's is the front for the Seinfeld diner
No, I didn't get the big salad and no,
Paco wasn't cooking. 

I got this picture from Facebook. It's a better angle.
I would have had to stand on a busy corner for this angle.
and well, I'm not that bold yet. 
~to expect the unexpected in the city 


Dinner at Cafe Du John? 


Then drinks later at Le Crapper?
Where there once was insecurity and fear, there is now a new adventure in every trip. Each time, I am a little smarter, a little wiser. The same goes for writing. In the beginning, there is so much to learn it can feel overwhelming. But dive in-- ask questions and do research...pretty soon you forget that you were ever  insecure in the first place.






This was an IWSG post. The IWSG is a database resource site and support group for writers and authors. Featuring weekly guests and tips, a monthly blogfest gathering, a Facebook group, a book club, and thousands of links – all to benefit writers! #IWSG
Thanks to our leader, Alex Cavanaugh and this month's co-Hosts: Stephen Tremp, Pat Garcia,Angela Wooldridge, Victoria Marie Lees, and Madeline Mora-Summonte!



The IWSG made The Write Life's 100 best sites for this year! Way to go guys!!


51 comments:

  1. You can handle the big city now like a pro!
    I was exposed to Tokyo when I was a small child and London right out of college, living in each area for a while. New York would make me nervous but I could handle it.
    Thanks for mentioning my sale and The Writer's Life award!

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    1. I enjoy visiting, but I'll stick to smaller spaces for living. I'm too attached to owning my own lawn to adjust to concrete.

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    2. And my pleasure to share your sale and success. You promote all of us, we owe you!

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  2. New York City was overwhelming to me too the first time I visited. I think the biggest shock for me was how riding in a cab was always an unpredictable experience. I learned though. I wish your sons every success in their career and college adventures.

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    1. It is a different world! I haven't ridden in a cab, but I have used Uber. That won't make cabbies happy.

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  3. I grew up in a small town, but not as small as yours. Going to somewhere as big and noisy as New York City feels overwhelming. But you're giving me courage to do it sometime.

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    1. Having an iphone makes it a whole lot easier. I was googling everything to map it all out. Much easier with technology, I figure.

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  4. I've been to New York City at least eight times and I still haven't got used to it. The Big Apple is a country in itself and I don't mind going there for a day or two but after two days, I'm ready to head to the quieter side of life.
    Wishing you all the best.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

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    1. I'm with you, Pat. I enjoy a visits, but I want to come home to fresh air and green spaces.

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  5. What a fun trip with your son! That's awesome. I grew up a Navy brat and we lived all over the world. I used to have to take 6 boxes a day (round trip) to go to summer school in San Francisco.

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    1. No wonder you're so fearless! I moved into my childhood home when I was about ten days old and moved out when I got married. No real changes in my youth besides vacations.

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  6. The big city doesn't entice me in the least...I'd much rather explore a Utah desert...just saying. *wink*

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    1. I think it's cool to see the city, but I prefer smaller too. I'm not sure about the desert. Too far from the ocean. I need water fixes too.

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  7. Love this post, Elizabeth - and good for you! I especially like the Seinfeld pics/memories. :)

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    1. We stumbled into it by accident. I told my son I wanted to eat there because it felt "Seinfeldish". Little did I know until we went inside that it was the real deal.

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  8. Nice post Elizabeth. Big cities are indeed overwhelming. I was a kid when I moved from a small town to a big city, I remember being extremely shy on my first day of school in my new city.

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    1. I was shy as a kid and I was in the smallest of places. I can't imagine how I'd have adjusted to a massive school.

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  9. I'm not sure I could handle New York although I lived and worked in London for four years. Didn't really think anything about it at the time. I was in my 20s at the time.

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    1. I think young people worry less. I kept obsessing over getting on the wrong trains and ending up places I didn't want to be. My boys think that's ridiculous. They never worry about things like that at all.

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  10. I went to NYC by myself for a writer's conference many years ago and Google saved me by letting me see what the streets looked like between my hotel and the conference center. I'm much happier in tiny towns and the woods!

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    1. I'm with you, Tamara! But speaking of writer's conferences-- I told my sons that once they were in their own places and paying the rent, I am going to let them host me so I can attend some writer events in the city. They owe me. LOL

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  11. I lived in the city for 1.5 years with 3 little kids, and that was enough for me. However, I appreciate what that time taught me. I can do the city. I know how to get around and how to deal with the crazies. If you can survive NYC, you can pretty much survive anywhere.

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    1. I can't imagine it with little kids. I'd be having everything delivered-- I'd probably never take them out of the apartment.

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  12. My son's doing Film Production at university, he's having a blast! I hope Cole's interview went well :-) As for cities, I can just about manage London, as long as there's someone to help me with the Tube - that confuses me!

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    1. We should introduce them!

      The only way I can manage the subway is with the maps function on my phone. I can put in the address and set it to public transit and it tells me what trains to take.

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  13. I have no idea how I'd fair in NYC. lol

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    1. You'd do great. You are the queen of organization- you'd master the Big Apple before you ever hit the street.

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  14. Yeah, I think I'd have a nervous breakdown. I know I get anxious when I go to Las Vegas. NY would probably have the same effect.

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    1. I think most cities are the same as far as nerve wracking. I'd be just as nervous heading to Vegas for the first time.

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  15. That is true, much to learn at the start, but diving in gets you closer to being a pro each day. Blah to some of the stuff in NY, makes you think you need a tetanus shot daily. I strolled by the pushers. And I still get annoyed at chatting in the road, move your arse already lol

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    1. A hepatitis shot would be nice too. Purell is a definite add to the packing list.

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  16. So true. Things are oh so nerve wracking until you learn more about them.

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    1. The unknown always seems to be the most stressful in any situation.

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  17. New York is a big Apple to bite into, just like writing. Scary, but taken one step at a time can be taken on and appreciated...

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  18. You are a pro, Elizabeth! I loved reading this post considering I was in New York city just a few weeks ago so I totally understand where you're coming from. Once you get the hang of it, it's such an amazing place to go. Hubby and I first visited back in 2009 and this time round loved it even more. I think it's one of those places that you can never tire of and there's always something exciting to see! I agree with you about Times Square – although one visit is a must lol. I would never stay anywhere near Times Square though!!
    Hugs
    Suzy xx
    www.suzyturner.com

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    1. Times Square is a must see, that's for sure. There is so much to see in the city, we check out something new every time we visit. It truly is an amazing place with so much history. We've barely scratched the surface of things to check out.

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  19. NYC sounds like an exciting place to visit... probably too hectic to live in!

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    1. I think if I lived there, I'd pick a block near a grocery store and just live on my block. LOL.

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  20. I've been to NYC once and I loved it. I only wished I'd had time to see a Broadway show. But I still love my little suburbia...I wouldn't want to live there. Wishing your son greatness, he'll probably love it!!!

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    1. I love small town quiet too, but do enjoy the visits. I haven't seen a Broadway show yet either. The tickets can be so pricey! I've been trying to find the off-Broadway shows-- I know there has to be some independent theater somewhere. I just haven't found it yet.

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  21. I'm looking forward to visiting NYC once in my lifetime!

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  22. Nice! Getting used to new things, places, can be difficult. Seems you "dived right in" and made the city an adventure. Much like writing a story/book and seeking publication.

    Go You :)

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    1. Exploring, getting lost then figuring it out-- yep, just like writing.

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  23. I've enjoyed my visits to NYC, but I don't think I could live there. Too crazy of a place. Your boys are very impressive young men. Sounds like they have bright futures ahead of them.

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    1. I prefer open spaces and my own patch of green too. A few days in the city and I miss fresh air.

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  24. The things we do for our kids. They push us further from our comfort zone than anything. Still, looks fun.

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    1. You're right about that! The older they get, the more flexible I find myself having to be. Gone are the good old days when they went where I told them and did what I wanted. Now, I follow them.

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  25. Wow, your son sure seems like he's enjoying! And taking along you with him is so awesome!

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    1. I've always told them they can never go so far away that they can escape me. :)

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