In the morning

I wake up before the alarm. Through un-curtained windows, the morning light is already pouring in, filling the room with a warm glow. There are birds chirping away happily in the trees just outside my window. It's so very quiet. I pad across the room to the bathroom, thinking about how we'll need to get …

Home is where…

When I was living in the UP (Michigan's Upper Peninsula), we used to go see local-legend Gary Tunstall play at the bar. Toward the end of the night, when everyone was good and liquored up, he would play a song he wrote called "Straight Up." It's mostly an instrumental song, played fast and bright on …

Fording the river

It was cold, windy, and snowing; the perfect day for a walking tour in a new part of the city. Some time ago, sharing in my excitement of exploring every corner of New York, my mom had sent me a pack of walking tour cards. There were about 50 or so, each a pleasant walk …

Heading Downtown

2007 was a year of real things. A real job. A real engagement. A real apartment. No longer the starry-eyed grad student in the heavily-subsidized apartment, I spent the winter laying low and saving money for a place to live. I wanted to stay on the Upper West Side, or return to the Village, or …

Settling in

After an incredible fellowship at the Museum, I returned to Michigan to finish my senior year at university. Though nearly the moment I returned, I applied for grad school at Columbia to get back to New York. It was my version of having it all--a good graduate school in the city I'd fallen head-over-heels for? …

Arrival

New York was always a fairy tale for me. Growing up in the Midwest, there's always a lot of talk about "getting out" and "going to the city" (this is back before Detroit was cool again). And some made it--they went to Chicago, or Minneapolis, or Grand Rapids, which was somehow always included in that …