You’ve been a great audience lately: You’ve stuck around when my posts were miserable and unhappy, and you were there waiting when I was ready to come back and try to bring myself back to life.
My posts have either been very, very sad or wicked, wicked happy. I realize there hasn’t been much in between.
So, because it’s Friday, and Friday isn’t a day for hard reading, how about a survey? I’ve actually never done one of those blog surveys that are always going around. But one of my favorite features on NYMag.com is the “21 Questions” column. I will now rip off that exact idea and those exact questions and answer them myself, simply because I’ve always wanted to, and why not do it on a public forum where people can openly judge me?
This might be fun and interesting or it might be painfully boring. I don’t know. Let’s find out…
Name: Ali. But you knew that already. So far this is boring.
Age: Freshly 29.
Neighborhood: Upper East Side, land of double strollers. Brian and I recently renewed our lease for a third year. We discussed moving out of NYC, but I was very sick at the time and couldn’t fathom the ideas of apartment hunting, moving and living somewhere new. Plus, I want a full year of being healthy in New York City before I can leave. I want to run all four seasons in Central Park before bidding adieu. When I’m sick, I hate it here and long for the country, but when I’m healthy, this city is the ultimate playground.
Occupation: Digital & Editorial Manager at JackRabbit Sports. I am still not used to telling people I’m not “an editor at a teen dance magazine…you’ve never heard of it, but it’s super fun and it was my favorite magazine growing up!” Old habits.
Who’s your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional? Lin-Manuel Miranda. He conceptualized, wrote and starred in In the Heights on Broadway, which is far and away the best show I have ever seen on Broadway. He is so talented and is such a go-getter, and I’ve admired his work ethic for years. (If you’re a “Modern Family” fan, you may remember Miranda as a guest star on an early episode; he was the “good doggy treat/bad doggy treat” guy.)
What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in New York? Brian took me to Jean-Georges for my birthday this year. It was out-of-this-world ridiculous. Some courses were so good that I actually laughed at them, because I couldn’t believe food that incredible even existed. Now all food tastes like a bad doggy treat because it’s “regular food” and not “Jean-Georges food.” (So now, in case you’re keeping score: Brian took me out for the best meal of my life for my birthday. For his birthday, I crashed my bike and he had to take care of me all night.)
In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your job? I don’t know. It’s so new and I’m so busy and I can’t believe I ever claimed to be “soooo busy” at my last job. I am feeling like I don’t come up for air much these days, and I’m definitely still learning the ropes and figuring things out. But mostly, I write about running, I post about running, I think about running and I talk about running. I do media buys and marketing, I work with an ad agency to get our new TV commercials juuuust right, and I do a lot of brand strategy.
What was your first job in New York? First “I’ll work for free” gig was Editorial Intern at Dance Spirit. First “OMG you’re going to pay me to do this?!” job came not much later, as Web Editor for DanceMedia, the publishing company for Dance Spirit, Dance Magazine, Pointe, Dance Teacher and, at the time, American Cheerleader. I learned HTML, wrote tons of blog posts, edited all the magazines’ newsletters and moderated very active message boards filled with crazy ragey teenage girls.
What’s the last thing you saw on Broadway? If/Then. If you go see it, then we can be best friends. It was incredible and I very highly recommend it, whether you’re an Idina Menzel fanatic or not. I cannot wait to get my hands on the soundtrack. I smiled like a fool for the entire first act, and bawled so hard during the second. I then proceeded to cry the entire way home, cried explaining the show to Brian, and cried myself to sleep. It’s good. Don’t let the tears scare you.
Do you give money to panhandlers? I like to, especially if they have a dog or a talent. But, admittedly, I very rarely if ever have cash on me, so I usually offer food since goodness knows I always have some of that on me.
What’s your drink? Water! I can’t drink anything carbonated (it makes my nose burn, why?), I’ve never had coffee and I think tea is boring. I like hot chocolate or hot cider in the winter, and if I’m feeling boozy I like something fruity or a glass of Pinot Grigio.
I’m not a beer drinker (the carbonation!), chardonnay skeeves me out and I don’t think I’ve ever truly “craved” a green juice. I do have a newfound appreciation for Juice Generation’s “I Love Watermelon” smoothie, though; I tried it a few weeks ago and, would you believe it, it was my first-ever smoothie? Deeeelish. And I love the watermelon juice at Juice Press, which is where I end all my long runs.
How often do you prepare your own meals? Roughly zero percent of the time. Ugh, it’s so bad and I hate myself for it. I always fail to plan (thus plan to fail), and then I don’t have groceries, and by the time I get home at night I’m tired and I’m lazy and I’m addicted to Seamless.com. I have been bringing my lunch to work a bit lately, though, so maybe I get a few points for that?
What’s your favorite medication? Whatever this mystery study drug is that seems to be working! Beyond that: sleep. I have been trying really hard to make sleep a priority and I give myself a hard out for bedtime when I can. I can’t believe how much better I feel in the morning and, subsequently, all day long, when I get a good night’s rest.
What is the best thing in or about your apartment? Selena Gomez.
The views. The proximity to Central Park. The proximity to multiple spots along the New York City Marathon route.
My little John Adler zebra trays that I discovered on this very cute blog.
Artwork by Tyler.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen on the subway? The same person more than once. If you do the same commute at the same time every day, you end up seeing a few of the same people from time to time. In a city this large, that blows my mind.
When was the last time you stayed out past 3 AM? Probably in my post-ABS (remember that guy?) party girl phase. I had some fun. I could hang. Now, 3 AM is scarily close to the time I wake up every morning.
Which do you prefer, the old Times Square or the new Times Square? Ah, I’ve heard stories of the “old Times Square,” but am too young to have actually known it. Times Square is a place I avoid, as many of us do, but at the right time, it’s not so bad. Stay far away during the post-work/pre-show hours, but if you can run through Times Square in the very early AM, it’s pretty special.
What do you think of Mayor de Blasio? I don’t think of him. He’s tall and he’s my neighbor now, but he’s no Bloomberg.
What do you hate most about living in New York? Everyone who lives here thinks they are the most important person alive. People shove you on the subway, throw elbows at you on the sidewalk and huff and puff if you dare get on an elevator with a suitcase. People can be very rude and very entitled and very nasty. It makes me sad.
Also, having to wash my dirty feet when I get home after a long summer day. It scares me to think about the grime I’ve picked up while hustling in flip flops.
Also people who try to steal your cabs (such bad karma!), also how expensive it is to take a cab to JFK, also how expensive groceries are, also how expensive restaurants are, also how expensive rent is. Holy shit how expensive rent is. But it’s been seven years and good gosh do I love this place I can call home.
If you could banish one person from New York forever, who would it be? It makes me happy that no one comes to mind immediately. I guess I don’t have that much hatred in my heart at the moment!
When’s the last time you drove a car? Last weekend! Before that it had been maybe a year or so. But while we were in Vermont, I drove the big blue van to and from many start and finish lines, and I helped get us out of the mud after Brian drove us right into a swamp.
Finish this sentence: The NYPD ______________. Should give more tickets to people smoking in Central Park and to tourists taking selfies while riding CitiBikes on Saturday afternoons. So reckless, I can’t take it.
Times, Post, or Daily News? Times. I get the Weekender (in print!), but I save them all up for Sunday. My beloved Sunday routine is to wake up very early, walk to spin class with Bethany, see all my friends at spinning, walk home and do some errands along the way, and then put on clean sweats and eat breakfast on the living room floor while reading three days’ worth of The New York Times. My favorite sections are the Sunday Styles, Travel, Real Estate and Metropolitan (mainly for the “Sunday Routine” column). I do not read the Automobiles section.
Where do you go to be alone? For a run in the park, most likely to the Reservoir. Or I take a very very very long shower.
What makes someone a New Yorker? Am I worthy of answering this question? I’ve only been here seven years and I hear you’re supposed to give it 10 before you take the title. I feel most like a New Yorker when I leave the city and am overcome with a deep appreciation for the stars in the night sky (we don’t see them much here!); and then, when I come back to the city and get my first glimpse of the skyline, I know that I’m home. I will never tire of the views of the Empire State Building from any angle or direction, and Central Park feels magical every single time I’m there.
OK, that was kind of fun. For me at least. Maybe not so much for you. Filling out a survey and expecting someone to care about your answers is by nature highly narcissistic, but such is blogging.
NEXT TIME WON’T YOU PLAY WITH ME? Or just play with me this time, and answer one question. Specifically: Where do you go to be alone? If you’re a New Yorker, answer all the questions for me. GO.