… that I moved into Brittany Hall, on the corner of 10th and Broadway, to start my freshman year at NYU. I wish I had kept a journal that first semester, since I don’t remember all that much. I do remember the first days vividly, though: there was a drinks night at El Cantinero (which I think we didn’t need an ID to get in although it may have happened after I got my fake down on Bleecker St.) which I drank White Russians (ugh, affected), spilled candle wax on my hands, and then worried that I would get lost on the three-block walk home. Later in the semester, I would make out with a girl who had a picture of a stern, beefy man on her wall. “Who’s that?” I asked. “Oh, that’s my brother. He’s a center for the Green Bay Packers.” What sort of madcap adventures would I get into next? Depressing ones, it would turn out.
I go through phases when I see the NYU freshman moving in each year. Their “Class of 201X” t-shirts freak me out every time, and of course they seem young, but there is also a twinge of jealously. It’s not even “I wish I was doing it over again”, because, really, I don’t feel the need to retake Conversations of the West a second time. However, I am jealous of kids who get to go to school with an Internet that has so many more possibilities than the one I had in 2000. I was just thrilled to have a high-speed connection, the better to download crummy mp3 rips from Napster and, was it Scour? How-dee-do, I’m an adult that can read Slate every day. Felt very intellectual and grown-up.
Maybe that’s what I miss; sitting on a stoop in the West Village, eating a croissant from Claude’s and feeling like, for sure, what could be more exciting than a life like this? Now I can’t even eat carbohydrates all the time. So here’s my advice to the incoming freshman: enjoy life’s flaky crust and buttery interior, because it doesn’t last forever.