Thursday, July 31, 2008

Workin' woman.

What a day...I don't even know where to begin?

It felt great to wake up at 8, shower, get ready and make my way down the quiet streets to the subway stop at Utica. I took the A train to the 6. The 6 train gets PACKED because it's on the way to grand central station and I realized very quickly that that is a VERY popular stop. For about 9 stops, multiple hands were touching body parts that I didn't even know I had. I stood in a huddle of steaming bodies until we passed Grand Central Station. After that I had an entire seat to myself for the remainder of the subway ride! It was the same feeling you get when you suddenly realize that no one is occupying the seat next to you on a long flight. Mmmm. I arrived to the upper east side a bit earlier than expected so I stopped into this little cafe and bought my first bagel and coffee. I really wanted to talk in my fake New York accent that I always do but then I realized that it wouldn't be as funny as it was in Austin considering everyone speaks that way out here. I also realized that New Yorkers don't believe in lines...ESPECIALLY when it comes to food! Three or four people butted in front of me. When a 70-something-year-old 4-foot-tall woman pushed me aside, that was when I decided to draw the line! It was time to be a little more assertive. I stealthily slid through a small crack between two men with large brief cases and ordered my bagel with lightening fast speed before anyone even realized I had cut in front of them! It was invigorating...and my first New York style bagel was doughy, huge and delicious. No cream cheese necessary.

The day at the store was overwhelming, but in a good way. I have a ton to insane amount, actually. I know that it will take time to get the store organized and running smoothly...and to be honest, I'm not worried about it at all. I know that the numbers will go up once I get in the groove and get the staff trained. I think the previous manager was more overwhelmed than I was when she realized the changes that are about to go into effect in order for me to get the store back on track. Eeeek.

After a longggg afternoon of organizing and selling, 5:45 came around and we hopped onto the 6 train (I think? I'm trying to remember all of these subway lines!) and headed down to Soho to go to Betsey's 30th anniversary party. I couldn't believe how many photographers and press there were. There were so many people in the SoHo store that at some point the entire AC system went out! It was interesting to watch the glamorous models and socialites try to figure out strategic ways to remove sweat without looking like "sweaty girls". I spoke with Betsey and Chantal and I met a TON of people who seemed to already know about me moving up to NYC, so it was a huge boost of confidence. I was beaming by the time I hopped back on the train and couldn't stop thinking about how I was in Texas just TWO days ago. I never thought I'd ever be in a position like the one I was in this evening at the SoHo store. It is coveted by so many employees of this company, I will never take this for granted. I just can't believe how surreal this all is.

I'm exhausted and ready for bed!!!! On a side note, I still need to figure out how to deal with all of this walking. My feet are throbbing. I'm just considering these blisters to be battle wounds! Yeah! Perfect.

Until tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

First day on my own in NYC

Today was my first day on my own in New York City...and guess what? I'M STILL ALIVE!

I must have had a dream last night that this entire trip was absolutely bogus, because when I woke up this morning I was shocked to be in this room. It still hasn't hit me that this is my HOME now. I won't be heading back to Austin any time soon, it will take me a while to take that to heart.

The morning started out productive. I woke up around 9, hung all of my dresses up and then went downstairs to drink coffee with Kim, the owner of this brownstone. She made me a map to get to the subway and gave me the routes she thought would work out best. I wound up traveling to Manhattan with Craig, a man who is also staying in this home. He was a perfect companion on my first subway ride because it was a little confusing at first. The two of us headed out to Union square where I hit up the Barnes and Nobles to find this New York City Molskine that Kate told me about. Craig and I both wound up buying one. I think this will be my new NYC bible! Haha. We parted ways and I sat in the park in Union square eating a tuna wrap that I bought at the Whole Foods (which was HUGE!!!) It was so much fun sitting on the benches and watching all of the millions of different types of people eating, talking, sleeping nearby. There was also a farmer's market going on.

I walked around that area for quite a while until I received a phone call from S, my new area manager. We were going to meet up at the store I'll be managing, so I decided to get a head start and jump on the subway. I am SO surprised at how deep the subways go into the ground. While I was waiting on the platform, the couple next to me would not stop complaining about how hot it was. I kept thinking, good lord...we're like 1000 feet under ground!! We're pretty much the closest we're going to get to the core of the planet in the middle of August! Of course it's going to be a sauna!!!! The good news is that the subways are air conditioned and even when they're packed (like the 4 was yesterday on my way home) they are still very comfortable.

The subway drops you off at 3rd and lexington which is a really pretty area. There are a bazillion stores...urban outfitters, a candy store, Bloomingdales, etc. The walk to my store is peaceful and in a much more trafficy area than I was expecting it to be in (which is a good thing!) I spent the afternoon with the current manager figuring out the nooks and crannies of the store...and boy are there a zillion of them. It's going to be a busy next few weeks trying to get that place in order, but I am very motivated and very excited because I've had experience with this same situation. It was a pleasant surprise to know that, although the store might be doing poorly, the low sales are definitely due to a bunch of controllable factors that I am ready to get in gear.

For now I will leave you with a few pictures of my room in this four-story brownstone. I absolutely love it and I don't think the pictures do it justice. Note to self: Invest in a nice digital camera.

Until tomorrow!

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