Penniless in NYC

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

snapshots from my trip

I'm back home after an eventful Spring Break! I'm still going to write about some of the things I experienced last week because I got behind while I was there, so it goes. In true New York fashion, I had my absolute best moment in the city, followed almost immediately by my worst moment. I'll explain in sequence.

I started my day in Central Park with my friend Bradie. We laughed the hardest I laughed the entire trip, took off our coats in the 60 degree weather and ate crepes. Then we packed her up, got her a cab and sent her off to the airport.

I headed downtown, where I was going to meet someone I had connected with at the College Media Conference that was wrapping up. We ended up talking for almost 2 hours, touring not just the Time & Life building but also the floor of my dream workplace: InStyle Magazine. I left with professional advice, more confidence, an armful of magazines and a new friend.

The next stop was the New York Public Library. After sitting there for a few hours working on homework and my new website, I was about to leave when I got an email saying I needed to call a fraud center because my account was in jeopardy.

Thinking it was probably just my bank worried because I was spending money in New York and not in Utah, I packed up my things and walked outside to call my bank. During the course of the conversation, the sky darkened and began to thunder, as if to warn me that the magic of New York was mere minutes from wearing off.

As it turned out, my card information had been stolen and used back home and my account had been frozen while they were figuring out which purchases were actually mine and which were the stolen ones. What did that mean for coatless Katherine shivering outside the library under an umbrella as rain began thundering down? I was going to be without a card for the next 48 hours or until they could ship me a new one.

An added problem: I was leaving to Seattle the afternoon my card was scheduled to arrive. After panicking momentarily, I ended up telling the representative to ship my new card to my home address and I would figure out the next day and a half in New York and somehow get money by the time I flew to Seattle.

I ran through the pouring rain back into the library and looked in my wallet to see how much cash I had on me. It came out to a grand total of three crinkled dollar bills and a MetroCard with one more ride on it. I called my parents (bless them) and they figured out how to wire me some money for the few days I had left in the city. Everything worked out okay and luckily I had bought ramen noodles earlier in the week I hadn't eaten yet.

That night I made myself some ramen and watched Brooklyn in honor of St. Patrick's Day and then spent the entire next day at the Met. (Which by the way is a donation entry, so if you find yourself with only three crinkled dollars left in all of New York, the Met is a perfect place to spend them.) It was a beautifully stressful 24 hours, a culmination of all the emotions that inevitably accompany living in New York and despite it all, I'm excited to return (hopefully sooner rather than later) and experience it all to its fullest.



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