On March 1, 2015, I left NYC to become a nomad. On September 1, 2016, I’ll be returning to NYC to stop being a nomad.

Over these 18 months as a nomad, I’ve traveled to all 50 states, 14 countries, and 3 continents. And I’ve spent 114 nights in the city that never sleeps (often times very much sleeping).

Returning to my former home of seven years was never a foregone conclusion, I anticipated that the allure of warmer weather would draw me to the west coast. But then fate stepped in. And by fate, I mean chance and choice.

During a recent trip back to the city, I visited Brady, Ian, and Matt, three fellow OSU / 8th Floor alumni, and friends who have hosted me countful times (28 to be exact) while nomadding. They just moved into a four bedroom apartment in Brooklyn with another friend from comedy, who stayed a whole month before promptly getting a writing job in LA.

So, they were in need of a roommate. I was in need of a room. Fate? No, but it sure was convenient.

And that’s basically the reason. I mean, yes, I had already done my research and had narrowed my eventual destination to NYC, SF, or LA, and yes, NYC is a great choice for professional, comedic, and personal reasons, and no, it has nothing to do with the fact that Chick Fil A is now in the city.

It really comes down to the fact that moving back to NYC means: I don’t have to find an apartment, I don’t have to research a neighborhood, and I don’t have to figure out roommates. Plus I get to live with three hilarious dudes who root for the Buckeyes (both the OSU athletic team and the delicious chocolate / peanut butter treats).

I look forward to eating $1 pizza and $15 milkshakes, seeing beautiful skylines and ugly subway stations,  interacting with passionate people and aggressive jerks, and using efficient grid layouts and streets that smell like trash in the summer.

All that’s left to do is load up my New York playlist. (And complete the lease paperwork, rent a car, drive to Ohio, remove my stuff from storage, load the car, drive back to New York, unload the car, go to Ikea, buy Lincoln Log-esque furniture, return to the apartment, put it all together, return the car, and take the subway home).

One of my goals for 2011 was to have at least 50 new experiences here in NYC. They could be restaurants, bars, performances or an activity.

I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge, so I didn’t just stop at 50, but made it all the way to 101. The full list of experiences, complete with ratings and one-line reviews, can be found here.

  1. Park Here. Indoor Park. Really cool idea, sadly only temporary.
  2. Pio Pio. Peruvian Restaurant. Incredible Chicken.
  3. Night Court. Judicial System. Very unique, interesting reflection on society.
  4. Book of Mormon. Broadway Musical. Incredible show, hilarious, even standing room only seats are great (and cheap).
  5. Sleep No More. Interactive Theater. Incredible experience and very unique. I want to go back.
  6. Down & Derby Disco. Roller Skating. Awesomely good time. $5 entry, $5 skates. Only happens once every few months in the basement of a hotel.
  7. HanGawi. Vegetarian Restaurant. Very cool ambiance, delicious korean vegetarian, more expensive.
  8. TV on the Radio. Concert. The venue (Williamsburg Park) was pretty cool and the band solid, but pretty expensive.
  9. Meatball Shop. Meatball Restaurant. Quite delicious, a new favorite. Tried all of the sliders.
  10. Cafe Lalo. Restaurant / Desserts. Amazing dessert place, a little expensive but quiet delicious.

I finally got a chance to do one of the weirder items on my list when I went to Night Court with some friends last night. As I understand it, people who are arrested must be arraigned within 24 hours, and given the shear volume of people in NYC, it means the courts are open from 9am to 1am, seven days a week.

After heading to a friends going-away party Saturday night, we decided to check out Night Court to see our judicial system is process (and find out if it was anything like Night Court, the TV show). We made our way to 100 Centre St around 12:30am (we didn’t know it closed at 1am), unsure of what to expect.

After going through the security process, we made our way around the corner and into room 130, where they arraign the felonies. We quickly learned there is no talking allowed in the courtroom (even though the lawyers and police officers seemed to have their own side conversations) as we were shushed almost as soon as we entered.

There were a wide variety of cases presented, ranging from drug possession to domestic abuse. At first I was surprised by what the defendants chose to wear to court, but realized that’s because that’s what they were arrested in.  I was also surprised to find that you get a significant discount on your bail if you post it using cash (something to keep in mind I suppose?).

At 1:10am (must’ve been a lot of cases), we decided to leave the felonies room and check out misdemeanors in room 129. We saw the tail end of one case and then a quick release of another and they closed up shop for the evening.

Overall it was an interesting thing to see and though I don’t think I’ll plan any personal trips back, I’d go if people wanted to see what it was like. And for those of you wondering, “WHY?”, I was interested in checking out Night Court out of curiosity for what the court process is like and how the fact that it’s midnight impacts the process. Aside from lots more yawning, I’d imagine that’s what the normal process looks like.

Experience Date: 2011-03-19
Location: 100 Centre Street, Manhattan
Hours: 5:30pm to 1:00am, 7 days a week
Website: Things to Do in New York: Watch Night Court
Rating: ****

On Wednesday night I had sketch class at 8:15pm at UCB.  Or at least I thought it was at 8:15.  In actuality, it was at 7:15–I don’t know how or why, but I had the time wrong in my calendar.  As such, I showed up to the school ready to go, but alas had already missed an hour of the class, and was not allowed in (it’s a UCB rule that if you are more than 15-minutes late you are not allowed in as it would disrupt the rest of the students–something I completely agree with).

So as a punishment to myself for my stupidity, I decided I would walk home, not realizing it was about 4 miles.  But along the way, I had some random thoughts that I captured in my phone:

  • Lady comes up next to me and says, “You ready to go home?” I say “Yes, how did you know?” Then she says “You ready to see Claudia?” and I said “I don’t know who that is lady.” Turns out she was talking to her dog the whole time.
  • I need to be doing something for the HTW site every single day.
  • I do always look to make the best of things. Even though I’m trying to be pissed at myself, I keep thinking of how I can at least make the most of the situation.
  • Everyone wants to believe they are different or special. I actually am.
  • I can make it about 2 north-south intersections before having to wait for a cross-walk.
  • New York City companies spend a lot of money on electricity to keep up a prestigious image even at night. Matter fact, many of us spend a lot of many trying to keep up a meaningless façade.
  • Roughly 35% of the women I’m passing are very attractive. 10% are “that aint right” attractive.
  • I’ve jaywalked at least 20 times on this walk.
  • If you don’t have anything to say, don’t say anything.
  • Based on frequencies of stores, the 2 most important things to New Yorkers are money and coffee.
  • Improv Everywhere idea: Get a bunch of old people to play bridge at the Gap, solely so you call it “Bridge the Gap.”
  • You should legally be allowed to stick sticks in the spokes of bicyclists if they are riding on the sidewalk.
  • Burger Heaven. Heaven for who? Not hamburgers.
  • Principles aren’t principles till they cost you something. Damn you stairs.

Walk time = 1 hour 20 minutes, 4 miles.  Stair time = 4 minutes, 30 flights.

10 things that should be true, but aren’t:

  1. Soccer should be called football.  (American) football should be called soccer.
  2. Monday should be considered the first day of the week.  Sunday is part of the weekend, so it should be the end of the week.
  3. The world should be on one system of measure.  I don’t care if it’s metric or whatever it is we in the US call it, but, like Highlander, there should only be one.
  4. The English alphabet should only have 25 letters–get rid of the ‘Q.’  It is a worthless, copycat of a letter that can’t even be by itself most of the time.
  5. There should be a Chick Fil-A in Manhattan.  It should be open on Sundays and in close proximity to my apartment.
  6. The word palindrome should be a palindrome.  It’s confusing that it is not.
  7. Slow traffic should always keep to the right, no matter the form of transportation.  If you’re going to stand on the escalator, do it to the right side.
  8. Chicken should have the same health benefits as vegetables and be consumed as often as grains.
  9. “Shoulder” should be pronounced “shood-er” or “should” should be pronounced “shooled”.
  10. Puns should be heralded as one of the greatest forms of comedy.

Oh, and I guess there should be things like world peace and no starving children.  I also realize that #1-3 could be solved by moving to a different country, but I shouldn’t have to do that.

UPDATE 2016: A promo video I made in 2008. Check out the incredible title graphics!