Observations After 4 Weeks in NYC

Life

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I’m spending my longest stint ever in the Big Apple this summer as an intern for MLB.com — early June to early August. Born and raised as an Angeleno, naturally I’ve always wanted to live in New York. I’ve been fortunate enough to have that hope become a reality. If I have the opportunity to stay past this summer, I gladly will. These are three things I’ve noticed about this grand city so far:

1. The people aren’t as cold as everyone on the West Coast stereotypes them to be.
Sure the New York vibe is different than LA’s vibe. People are generally more dressed up when they go out, and their idea of walking is closer to running. And during one of my first weeks here I had a miscommunication with a nut vendor, and was told to “Fuck off.” But for the most part, everyone’s alright. I’ve had plenty of positive interactions with strangers. New Yorkers, you’re good with me.
2. Humidity will not kill you. 
Everyone told me of the horrors of the “East Coast humidity,” so I mentally prepared myself. Granted, it hasn’t been that hot since I’ve gotten here, but I honestly don’t think it’s that bad. Maybe it’s because I’ve spent countless insanely hot plus-100 degree summers with no AC in West Covina. Maybe I’ll be dying in a few weeks. What I’m trying to say here is don’t let weather woes deter you.
3. Cheap food exists.
Prices are high, as they are in any major city, but cheap eats are also a thing, as they are in any major city. There’s dollar pizza and $1.25 dumplings. I had a friend write this on one of my Facebook statuses:
“And the culture of drinks after work and sunday brunch is fun. If only they paid people 20K more so you don’t have to live in Brooklyn or Queens, and can actually afford to go out and do the artsy stuff, it’d be perfect..”
I say that’s a gross exaggeration, and it’s possible to make the city an affordable place if you really try hard enough. (I might just be saying this as a naive, not-yet-hired recent college grad)
I’m sure I’ll have more to add to this list as the weeks roll on, like whether or not Shake Shack trumps In-N-Out (I doubt it will). Cheers to new places and new spaces and new faces and living life on the edge.

Be better

Life, Sports

While it’s easy to assume things about people based off the color of their skin or the way they dress, it’s equally as easy to think before you speak. Remember everyone is human at the end of the day. Let’s be better.

NBA guard Garrett Temple:

No One Ever Says Goodbye

Life, Sports

Endings are abrupt. It doesn’t matter what the circumstances are. They always land with a loud, resounding thud — even if you see it coming.

The Mad Men series finale was shocking. Literally right when it ended I said, “WHAT?!” out loud and my dad, who was reading downstairs, asked me what was wrong. I know that critics guessed what would happen and that the episodes only run for an hour, but I still felt like I was left hanging, mouth agape.

Who knew Don Draper could ever find peace. The man who committed adultery countless times, and who drank and smoked to no end. He did what he wanted when he wanted, and was never satisfied. He was living the life: high-paying job, beautiful wives, adorable children, dashing good looks. Then, at the end, he found closure. That was unexpected.

Deep down I wanted to see him die a triumphant death like Walter White. Instead, he finished his TV life happily smiling crisscross applesauce on lime green grass.

Hours before the end of the Mad Men era, the Clippers had a dismal, crushing end to their postseason run. I didn’t see that coming, either. I thought for sure this was the year they’d break their losing streak. THEY BEAT THE SPURS IN SEVEN. But I guess the Spurs are a bit on the older side… and the Clippers have failed us many times over before.

It’ll be forever sad when the inevitable endings happen. The best shows will come to an end. The best teams (OK, maybe that’s an overstatement) will die.

Death by Expectations

Life, Sports

The Clippers were slammed Friday night in San Antonio. I didn’t watch the game, but I did see a rerun at a bar later that night where I saw about two minutes of the first quarter in which Blake Griffin turned the ball over. Sigh.

Their 27-point loss in Game 3 was something I expected but didn’t want to happen. Of course the Spurs were going to come out on their home floor, guns blazing, ready to demolish the Clippers. After all, this could be the last year of an epic NBA dynasty of Coach Pop/Tim Duncan/Tony Parker/Manu Ginobli (so they say, anyway). Meanwhile, the Clippers have never seen past the second round and if they don’t break that streak this year, it could be the last year of their core team as well.

Both sides have lots to lose. The expectation runs higher in San Antonio than LA because championships speak louder than anything else. The Clippers are the second class citizens in Los Angeles, sharing their home court with a legendary franchise, and I’m certain their confidence levels and mindsets are nowhere close to that of the experienced Spurs. I think this is where the problem lies.

Everyone has expectations of you. First impressions are long lasting and judgments stick. It becomes easy to bend to them, to truly believe, “OK, maybe they’re right.” The thing is they’re not right. Not always. Flip that perspective and rewire your thought process. Focus on the positives and own them. Soon those expectations will be crushed, stomped on and overcome. That is what the Clippers need.

They’re down 2-1. It’s not experience or better players that they’re lacking (their youth and athleticism is enough), it’s brash determination. If they have that, I’m calling this series Clippers in seven.