Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Sorry New York... (a letter to nyc by josh ryan)

I'm really excited to share the first ever blog by my husband! Big stuff, folks. 11 years ago I told this Cincinnati, Ohio fella that I was moving to NYC to pursue a career in theatre and thankfully he came up with me and ended up loving life here (many times more than I did). It's been amazing to see the man and father that he has become in this city and I can't wait for the next decade. Here, in his own words, a letter to NYC...


Sorry New York but I have to quit…

I know it may come as a surprise to you but it’s all for good intentions. I’ve spent 11 years here learning and growing and I love that, but it’s time to venture out and start a new life somewhere else. I’ve always appreciated you and I thank you for letting me be a part of your life as well. I got my college degree here, I got engaged here, I had my baby here and I’ve met a lot of great friends who I will carry with me forever. These are things that will always be a part of me and also my family.

In the Museum of Natural History
When I look back a long time from now I’m sure I will tear up imagining in my head all the experiences I’ve had with you. The enjoyment of running in the park during the early hours of the morning, learning about your history, street graffiti, times of hardship, times of enjoyment, Fall arriving, Spring arriving, of finding a delicious restaurant that you visit often, staying out as late as you want, concerts & shows, new friends, your food, learning about people and culture through the eyes of others, all the museums and art, running races throughout your boroughs, all your parks and greenspaces, the architecture, the bridges, snowstorms, summer thunderstorms, the crazy people, the different people, the true New Yorkers, family and friends coming to visit, hanging out on fire escapes all night, running around your streets being free, bird watching, parades and celebrations and enjoying all that you have given throughout the years.

It’s funny because nobody in my family thought that I would make it here. They all thought I’d be back home in 6 months with my tail between my legs, but I stuck it out and worked hard and achieved the goals I set out to do. I’ve always told newcomers that when NYC is done with you, it will kick you out. I’ve seen you do it time and time again to those who can’t hack what you’re throwing at them or willing to work hard and adjust. I was able to dig myself in and become a part of you and all that you had to give. There may be 8.5 million people that live here but an Ohioan moving to the city with $380 and a suitcase usually doesn’t last -- but not me. I knew that this would be a huge challenge for me and I took it on as if I was on a mission to succeed with failure as not an option. 

The jobs that I had in this city speak a lot for what I was willing to do to stay within you. First, taking a position at Annie’s Restaurant on the Upper East Side as a busboy, cutting wildflowers all over the tristate, watching dogs all day at the doggy day spa, Fishs Eddy, NYC Parks Dept., Soup Man, Crumbs and H&M. Each one of them giving me more and more insight into who you are and the beauty that lies within you. I was able to see farms in New Jersey, coast line in Long Island, the borough of Brooklyn, borough of Staten Island, borough of Queens, Upstate, the East coast shoreline, small towns that dot the map surrounding you, the intricate streets and beautiful architecture of Manhattan and so, so much more.

As the time nears that my family and I have to say goodbye I’m becoming more and more appreciative of what I was able to experience and of what I will be able to carry with me when I leave here. I’ve learned so much from you and the people that you produce here. As long as I’ve kept working hard and never given up, you’ve been there to support me. So I thank you for everything that you’ve given me. It won’t ever be forgotten and I will use it always. It’s been a lot of fun, New York. I’m excited to someday come back and visit you and see what new things you’ve have created for all to enjoy.

See ya...........Josh

Thursday, April 23, 2015

My Top 20 NYC Moments

In one week, we will cross through the Lincoln Tunnel to NJ and head towards a new life out West. All I can think of are the hundreds of crazy NYC memories from the last 11 years. Too many crazy ones to try to process. The best, though, are those "only in NY..." moments that seem to happen way too often. This city brings a new story every, single day. Here are 20 of my faves:
  1. One January, we (or "Josh" I should say) threw our Christmas tree off our 4th floor balcony because we (he) didn't want to carry it down 4, narrow flights of stairs. I pretended like I saw nothing. 
  2. I'll never forget when I first moved up here and I had to walk over 50 blocks home because I totally ran out of money and couldn't get a MetroCard (don't lie - we've all been there!) and decided to take the route all the way up Madison Avenue, past some of the worlds most expensive shops. I actually laughed at myself, passing Chanel and Gucci and Prada, with not a penny to my name and yet loving every minute of it. Only in New York....
  3. Getting ice cream delivered (Sedutto!) on many occasions. And warm chocolate chip cookies (Insomnia Cookies!). And grilled cheeses at 2am (Green Kitchen!). And tacos (Taco King!). Food delivery is probably one of the things I will miss most when we leave. #SeamlessWithdrawl
  4. Going to a huge birthday party at the famous Plaza Hotel. Who does this?! And Christmas parties at the Museum of Natural History and The Central Park Boathouse. And being on a yacht in the Hudson. Unforgettable. (I work for great people...) 
  5. When Josh took a dip in the Atlantic...Ocean in JANUARY as part of Coney Island's Polar Bear Club. This is a real thing y'all. And just ridiculous.
  6. The amount of .99 cent tacos we consumed in 11 years. And from places names "Taco King," "Taco City," Taco Today." All...the exact same. For $10, you could feed a whole family! Who says NYC is expensive?!
  7. Running the midnight 5K in Central Park on New Years Eve in 2013. I think I cried at one point because it was just so cool. 
  8. Drinking a $26 cocktail at The Peninsula Hotel rooftop. I promised myself I would not forget the ridiculousness of that drink. And a $13 beer at The Gansevoort Hotel rooftop. Equally ridiculous. And a Manhattan at Bemelman's Bar in The Carlyle Hotel. NYC can be so ridiculous...and amazing. 
  9. Seeing one of my best friends perform as the headliner at Carnegie Hall. UNREAL. And also seeing some of my favorite singers perform at Carnegie Hall, going two nights in a row. It's one of my favorite venues in this city and so glad I got to see some shows there. 
  10. Seeing my friends perform on Broadway time and time again. Never. Gets. Old. I live vicariously through them and I'm totally cool with that. 
  11. Singing a tune at Birdland Jazz Club as part of my best friends solo show. So fun. 
  12. Getting an appointment to audition for Les Miz. When I moved to NYC all I really cared about was being seen for Les Miz. I basically forced an agent (that I wasn't signed with) to submit me for an appointment/audition. That audition, while it may sound silly, was a highlight for me. I never got called back (and not sure they were even casting at that point), but just being able to audition for Tara Rubin for Les Miz was a dream. Even today, if I could audition to be a piece of wood on the barricade, I would drop everything and go. 
  13. Getting callbacks for Sophie in Mamma Mia on Broadway when I first moved to NYC and getting so close to the end and then not getting it and realizing how truly hard this business is. And how there were 50 girls who all look just like me, are all talented and all have Broadway credits. No...fun....
  14. Cincinnati Nights! Finding out there is a restaurant in Tribeca (Edward's) that serves all food from Cincinnati. So random and so overpriced. And so something we did for 10 years. 
  15. The amount of visitors we had to our tiny, 1 BDR apartment over the years and "Josh's NYC Walking Tour"! If airbnb.com was only around 10 years ago, we would be rich!
  16. The year we had 28" of snow (i.e., the year I finally got good snow boots).
  17. Going to buy my wedding dress (by myself) at a little boutique on a brick-lined street in the West Village. And Skyped in my mom to see me try it on (and then begged her to help me pay for it).  
  18. The guy that ran down the UES each night in stockings and a thong. And the screaming lady on the UES who woke us up every weekend morning screaming at the top of her longs. Totally normal to us after a year or so. 
  19. When I was a waitress, I waited on so many celebs, including Heath Ledger (who brought his own tea), Steve Martin, Jessica Simpson & Nick Lachey, Diane Sawyer, Julianna Margoulis, Lisa Ling and Alec Baldwin. Only in NY....
  20. When Bear Ryan was born and we walked home from the hospital with him, 22 blocks up York Avenue. 

Saturday, April 11, 2015

on leaving new york...

Deciding to leave New York is not an easy decision. It's actually a terrifyingly hard one when you decide to not renew your lease - for good. The decision doesn't ever feel real. You talk for years about it and it feels so amazing to think about life outside the city (i.e., grass, trees, sunsets, etc.), until you actually decide to go through with it. There is something about this place, like no other city I know of, that poses this horrible guilt on you if you leave it. You have to constantly justify your reasons for leaving ("we just need more space and fresh air"), as if living somewhere else is just not ok. Leaving NYC can make you feel less than. Like you can't cut it and you're quitting. Like you're giving up on what some people think is the best place on Earth. I refuse to feel that way though.

Living in NYC -- there is so much love and hate. And it's always to the extreme. So much love for all that it has to offer and then so much hate when the 6 train is packed full and people are pushing you and it smells like urine. This article here I constantly reference to remind myself why i need out. 
Sights like this...I might miss. 

I've decided that NYC will always be NYC in some form. The buildings and businesses may change over time, but NYC will always be the energetic, crazy land where people can have the world at their fingertips, where there will always be good pizza and bagels. So why not experience more of the world? If NYC is always here, why not get out and try something totally different? Why stay when there is so much life waiting to be had somewhere else? NYC is that super annoying (but hilarious and beautiful) friend who just always wants to hang out and you finally just have to say NO!

In 3 weeks (!!!) we leave and literally will not turn back (well, maybe once to look back at the view from NJ) and it's part scary and part really exciting. I keep telling myself that "change is good" and I know for sure it will be for us. I also remind myself to not feel guilt about it. We lived here 11 full years. We did it all. We didn't come for a year and decide we couldn't cut it. We hung in there for a LONG time, paying obnoxious rent after obnoxious rent. We made it work. We made a good life here. We started at pretty much the bottom (remind me to tell you the story of when I had no money to get on the subway and walked 50 blocks to get home) and have worked our way to a life that we're proud of. So, it's time for something new.

Over the next few weeks, I will surely be writing many love notes to this place we've called home for so long. It's a sentimental time for us, so bear (no pun intended) with me on the blog! This city has given me, Josh and now Bear an incredible ride. I love New York, but I also love the idea of leaving the craziness behind for a better quality of life. So that's what we're gonna do.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

And so it goes...we leave New York.

Some exciting news to announce...

So today is the day that I tell you that we're moving away from the place we've called home for 11 years. We're quitting NYC cold turkey on April 30th and moving West. Far west. To Lake Tahoe, CA/NV. Yes...to Tahoe, a place that signifies almost the exact opposite of NYC. (See my favorite Tahoe video ever here.) It's all very bittersweet - especially to know we're leaving many close friends. We have no family here in NYC, but we have made some incredible friends here over the years (that we consider family) and that is really what we will miss. And the pizza. 

There are probably 501 reasons why we're moving but I will keep it simple here. We're moving because for us, it's just time. We have a little baby boy who needs a yard (and a lake) to run around in. A baby who needs fresh air, a dog perhaps and parents who are craving a more peaceful, outdoorsy way of life. And most importantly, because the grandparents live there and we all know it takes a village. And where can you possibly go after living in NYC? It has to be somewhere drastically different and equally as awesome. So...to Tahoe we go!
We LOVE NYC and always will, but it's time for a change and a new adventure. It's super cliche, but life really is too short. And much too short to live in the chaos of this city day after day. It's worn us down (well, riding the subway has at least) so much over the years, yet it's been the most exciting 11 years of our lives. We've checked everything off our NYC bucket list (see here). It's just time. 

There is a major adventure ahead (including a 2+ week cross country road trip, via Route 66, to get there). So follow along if you'd like because this here blog is a changin' very soon. Manhattan Emily...Moves West.

Our journey continues y'all!


follow our road trip on instagram - #theryansmovewest