Guys, I’ve made it. to the city that never sleeps, the city where you can start from nothing and (hopefully) become something. New York. Friggin. City. The idea of moving to New York City jobless (and homeless) is terrifying-yet doable, breaks me and throws me totally out of my comfort zone, yet is something that I’ve yearned to do for the past year. If I figured it out how to survive in Tokyo, I am going to figure it out here. I had a few job interviews and it’s been just 6 days of living here in various boroughs: West Village, Upper East, Bedstuy/Brooklyn, Kip’s Bay, and now Hell’s Kitchen. I have most of my belongings in West Village, am surviving off carb-loaded salmon lox bagels everyday. I’m also learning how to live out of my Everlane weekender bag and borrowed Incase backpack to every home. I’ve been learning how to optimize each day out of this backpack with as many free/cheap activities like painting streetscapes and building from the High Line and reuniting with friends in the street.
Did I tell you that beyond the smelly scary hobos and rats here, it’s so much more beautiful here with rich, scarlet and golden leaves and historical buildings? It’s already a thousand times colder than California.. that is making my skin go absolutely cukoo. With my worst eczema flareups from this climate change and stress, I sometimes want to rip off a chunk of my own skin. Did I tell you that I mistakenly ordered a fat yoga mat from Amazon and had to carry it from downtown to uptown, got stuck in the train, then back to midtown with my heavy Everlane weekender bag? Did I tell you that I am terrified of my teeth messing up because I haven’t found my retainers that I thought I put it into my luggage? I am running out of underwear because my friends don’t have in-house laundry, I forgot most of them in West Village, and I am being a cheap-ass. I am SO excited to compile my underwear together and do laundry at J & E’s home this weekend.
Anyway, as I’ve been making friends in all these boroughs, I’ve met one who’s invited me to his Friendsgiving. And with this, I want to share with you what I’m planning to prepare: Brussels Sprouts and Pancetta Pizza.
My beginning life in New York City has been a huge test of my perseverance, courage, comfort, pride, finances. Honestly, more than Tokyo. The trains don’t make sense, skipping several stations, especially on weekends. Yet it is quite humbling to realize that almost everything is out of my control. Being surrounded by awesome friends thriving in Wall Street, tech, med fields makes me feel very small and pitiful, yet it is also quite encouraging for me to not stay as a bum on my friend’s sleeping bag/couch… but get out, explore and work/reach out to figure out what I can do and contribute to New York City.
As another designer, hustlin’ with/against the whopping 40,000+ designers in New York City metro area, I will thrive. I will figure out how to make more international friends here, shop for groceries on a budget in the cold winter, how to stylize in crammed space, and bring the sunlight into whatever crummy/cold/dark/small space I am stuck with ….and I will capture it all in the best way possible.
Brussel Sprouts and Fig Pizza
- 1 Refrigerated dough
- 2 C brussel sprouts, sliced
- 3-4 tbsp fig butter
- 1/2 C mozzarella cheese
- 1 shallot or red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/4 C arugula
Preheat the oven to 450. Grease the baking pan with olive oil and spread flatbread to about 9″ x 12.” Pierce several holes into flatbread.
Spread desired amount of the fig butter over the flatbread, leaving approximately a 1″ margin for the crust.
Sprinkle a generous amount of mozzarella cheese over the fig butter.
Slice the brussels sprouts into thirds and shallots or red onions into thin slices. Sprinkle the sliced red onions, brussels sprouts, and pancetta throughout the flatbread.
Bake at 450 for about 10-12 minutes. Let cool down for 5 minutes. Sprinkle the arugula leaves over, then slice and serve immediately.