Welcome to my home base. Iā€™m a writer and actor in New York City with a love for fairy tales, travel, and cheese.

Pulling a Britta

Dear New Friends and People First Meeting Me,I've become aware of how much of a Britta I've been pulling when New York City comes up in conversation and for that I apologize. Let me explain.First of all, for those of you who don't know what 'pulling a Britta' means, it comes from the brilliant show "Community"and the character Britta Perry, played by the fantastic Gillian Jacobs. 'Pulling a Britta' is a phrase that develops from Britta royally fucking up most things she does even if she has the best intentions starting up. She also can be incredibly arrogant about her beliefs and actions therefore making the mistakes that more glaring. Britta once lived in New York. She likes to tell people about it. A lot.I've become Britta.britta"Don't tell me what to do. I lived in New York.""Well, when I lived in New York...""That reminds me of a time in New York...""In New York, it's totally different."I can hear myself saying these things and I do not shut it down. Much like Britta, I feel living in New York has given me the right in some way to use it as bragging rights. I survived New York City as an actor. I deserve to be treated with respect and regarded with awe. I left that city intact, with a good marriage, solid resume, and hope for the future.  I am a god damn unicorn. Gaze upon my glory.There are a few people I've met here that are heading to New York soon. I hope I haven't come off as a known it all to them. I love that city and I feel I learned so much in my time there that I need to spout some knowledge every time someone tells me they are going to move there. I feel I am an excellent guiding light; providing insider information they may not have gathered until three months in. I'm giving them a head start. I am an angel.It could come across as annoying and arrogant. I don't know if any one is taking it that way. It's like a door snaps open as soon as someone mentions they are moving to New York. I want to tell them everything. I want them to have all the tools I didn't have. I want them to find better jobs than I did and really see all the parts of the city I didn't find until later on when I finally went exploring. I want to tell them not every apartment is infested with roaches and that people will be cruel but also kind. I want them to know the good places to eat, the acting scams, to save money if they can, to take advantage of having access to everything and anything almost 24/7.I do it to people even going to visit. I worry I treat them like idiots; as if they've never visited another city. As if New York is not filled with tourist attractions, Broadway theaters, and all the shopping that are obvious points of interest. Maybe it's because I want more tourists to do New York right. But people will always eat at the mediocre bar and grills surrounding Penn Station instead of finding the hole in the wall that will blow your mind.I respond like Britta the most when someone tries to belittle me. Whether it be a customer when I was waiting tables or people I've had brief chats with in passing. They start talking about New York like I don't know anything about it. They went once and saw Mamma Mia and they know everything all of a sudden. How dare they? Don't they know? DON'T THEY KNOW I LIVED IN NEW YORK? I NEED TO TELL THEM! And I do. Probably obnoxiously. I've definitely cut people off before saying "I've lived in New York, I know about the bagels."brittabagelI'm not naive. I know when you visit New York frequently, you think you've got it down.  It leaves something with you when you go. A badge or medal of sorts that says "Yeah, I went to New York and didn't get robbed, figured out the subway, ate pizza, and saw Matthew Broderick on the street!" Yeah, lady, we've all seen Matthew Broderick on the street, okay?I probably was just like that on summers when I came home from college on Long Island. I frequented the city and went to hookah bars that didn't card and H & H bagels at 2am. I was basically a Manhattan socialite, guys. I think I get a little jealous when I hear people are moving to the city for the first time. At first, I find the jealousy to be overwhelming. That envy makes me want to tell them not to do it; that it's a soul sucking horrible concrete slab that will kill your dreams. That there were nights I ate saltines with peanut butter for dinner. That my credit cards were maxed out in the first year and I still have charges on them from 2007. I want them to know how I felt approaching year 10 when I hated everything and felt like I didn't know what I was going to do because my future seemed like a dead end where everything kept going in circles.I don't have to tell them that though. Everyone knows what New York can is capable of. We move there any way because we can't resist it. It's the Emerald City.I'd give a lot to go back to when I just graduated college and I wanted immediately to head back to New York to live in the city. And I did. A month after I graduated, I went back and crashed on a couch of two of my closest friends and apartment searched, deciding to live in a closet for $900 on the Upper East Side with a stranger. I had no job, hardly any savings, and I have never felt more alive than I did once I sat on that twin bed in the tiniest room of all time with one window and no room for a dresser in a city I had always wanted to live in.I want any one moving there now to have that. They will, inevitably. I hope my intention comes across that way. I do know a lot about New York and having lived there for so long, I earned the right to tell people I did and what I learned. I mean, I wish I had someone to tell me some of the things I am saying to others when I was moving into the city. Like that everyone has their "First Week In New York" horror story. I shared my own tale of how a dead body was discovered in the apartment next door a few days after I moved in with a brand new New Yorker who had just shared her own shitshow first week with me. It can be a real comfort to know something like that is a commonplace occurrence when you first give yourself to Manhattan. Like I said, I'm an angel.brittaangryI miss when New York was new to me sometimes. When I didn't know all that I know now. It's still a city I can learn from but it's more familiar now. It doesn't feel as big. It's not the Emerald City any more. It's home. I can hardly contain myself when I find a fellow NYC expat now. It's like going to a foreign country where you don't speak the language and finally finding someone who does. They get it. They lived there. It's a bond that forms that I can't explain, you know, unless you have lived in New York. I rattle off addresses faster and refer to things quickly, without having to explain them because of course a former New Yorker will know what it is. Whether it's a great bar or restaurant or homeless person that frequents a certain train, it sends a warm sensation down my body and I feel comforted. I grew up here but I don't know the ropes any more. I sometimes feel I know Manhattan better than Vermont. The general population still needs to know I lived there. Obviously. I'm proud of it. I'm like Britta in that I feel it justifies my opinions and my strength. It adds flavor to my character. It's become a part of who I am as any place you live for a long time does. Maybe I just come off as arrogant. If I do, again, my apologies. I'm just trying to be that really chill super wise 30 something that has it all figured out. Even though I don't. At all.brittpaintballI love New York. It can be a hard love to share. They'll all be saying the same thing in a few years though. They'll know what I mean then. They will want people to know they live/lived there. They will have earned their bragging rights. Sincerely,Rachel, a former New Yorker who really just wants to be helpful but also you to think she's super cool because she knows about New York because she lived there. 

Bring Back Saturday Brunch

Bring Back Saturday Brunch

The Disney Princess Effect