A Memorable Day in Manhattan

55ee82ede803f7e6e82de050e224e5da

Source: Violet Lemay

It’s a new soundtrack
I could dance to this beat
Forever more
The lights are so bright
But they never blind me
Welcome to New York
It’s been waiting for you
       – Taylor Swift
            This soundtrack played throughout my head as I anxiously sat on a Megabus from Albany to 7th Ave this past Tuesday. I, Emma LeMay, a freshly turned eighteen year old from rural Vermont was given the amazing opportunity to go to the city on a late July afternoon and meet with the Chief Revenue Officer of Allure Magazine, Agnes Chapski. Casual.
             Thinking about it now, I have to pinch myself to believe this day happened. Not everyone gets to go to the World Trade Center and tour the office of a highly acclaimed Condé Nast magazine and certainly not every eighteen year old gets this chance to! Agnes and I connected during the winter of my senior year. Somehow I discovered her position at Allure and came to the conclusion that she was on the board at Emma Willard. I reached out to my head of school, Sue Groesbeck, and asked her if there was any way I could get in touch with Agnes. Publishing and editorial is something I hope to have experience in some day, and it would be useful to talk to someone in the field. Who better than an Emma Girl?!
             It took me a long time to figure out that a Chief Revenue Officer is a highly prestigious for  role in any company. They are the head honchos in the advertising/sales/marketing department. I was of course elated when Sue told me that Agnes would like to talk to me. There was a board meeting in February and a board of trustee and student dinner later that night, and Agnes and I set up a chat in the admission suite before dinner. She dressed as you would expect a CRO to dress, and she was very kind and easy to talk to. I asked her what her work was like, how she got there, her advice, etc… We sat at the same dinner table together, and I clearly remember hanging up our coats when she told me, “This summer why don’t you come down and visit the office? You can meet my team.”
             Flash forward seven months and an Emma Willard diploma later, and I found myself on the 31st floor of the World Trade Center sitting across from Agnes Chapski in her very own office. Before I go into further detail about our visit, allow me to rewind.
             My dad came to the city with me. It was fun to have some father-daughter time, even though I had my own schedule downtown shortly after we arrived. We were in Boston just last week, so it was interesting comparing the two cities. They both have their distinct features and characteristics, but I have to say, no city speaks to me more than New York. New York has a certain buzz to it that no other city I’ve set foot in matches. I find myself casted by its magic every time I am there even if that does seem artificial.
             We got off the bus around 1:30 PM and hopped right on a train to downtown. We got off at Franklin St. (thank you, iPhone) and walked a short 0.1 miles to Two Hands Restaurant & Bar for lunch. My friend Kayla and I stayed at a hotel very close to this restaurant in February. However, the restaurant was not open to customers yet. We went to the Two Hands Café on Mott St. instead in February, and I’ve wanted to go to the restaurant since. My dad and I had no wait, and we were seated snuggly between two tiny tables. The restaurant had a clean and simple design– white with blue accents. I ordered a beet cured salmon bowl, and my dad got an iced latte brassicas bowl. Both of our meals were delicious! The food from Two Hands is so Instagram worthy.
IMG_0548.JPG

Beet cured salmon bowl at Two Hands Restaurant & Bar

             After lunch, we had half an hour to stroll around the World Trade Center Memorial. It was a lot more crowded than it was in February, but it was nice to be there again. 9/11 will always be part of our country’s history and heartbreak. Around 3 PM, we walked to the World Financial Center where I met Heather Wells, an Emma Willard and Marist alum, for iced tea at the Financier Patisserie on the second floor. She was extremely friendly and excited to meet me and talk about our high school alma mater and my soon to be college alma mater. It’s so fascinating talking to a complete stranger but having something so special in common. Heather made me feel confident in my decision to attend Marist and reminded me to stay connected with Emma Willard like she has by being on the alumni council. We took a selfie and sent it to the director of alumnae relations at Emma Willard. I found Heather on Emma Willard’s alumni app, and according to Heather, people on the committee raved about my immediate networking after installing the app a few months ago.
IMG_0551.JPG

Heather and Me in the World Financial Center

              Heather had to return to work around 4 PM, so I found my dad and freshened up in the bathroom before my next appointment. He was super stoked about seeing Henry Kissinger right outside the World Financial Center. I didn’t know who he was, but fear not: my dad filled me in.
             We arrived in front of the World Trade Center at 4:10 PM. Now was not the time to be late. I told the doorman that I had a meeting with Agnes Chapski, and he gave me instructions to get where I needed to be. I found myself walking down the hallway listening to the echo of heels and dress shoes on the spotless, white tile floor. I came to the last desk that had “Condé Nast” branded behind it. I told the person working that I had a 4:30 appointment with Agnes Chapski of Allure. He took my ID, called up at the office, printed me a visitor’s pass, and moved my bags through a scanner. I nervously made my way to the elevator and struggled getting to the 31st floor because I didn’t realize the elevators were pre-programmed (#millenialprobs). Once the elevator dinged, I stepped out and saw glass doors etched with “Allure” on them.
Screen Shot 2016-07-30 at 6.45.34 PM.png
             A man with red Nike Free Airs, gray skinny jeans, and a black shirt warmly greeted me. He introduced himself as Vincent and Agnes’ assistant. We guided me through the office as I soaked in every sight, smell, and noise. I entered Agnes’ office, and it was exactly what you could expect: glass windows, a table with white flowers placed perfectly in the center, a spotless desk, a large desktop, unique artwork on the walls, and an elegantly dressed CRO. Agnes turned around from her computer and welcomed me with a smile and a hug. It was a total Devil Wears Prada moment (well, experience), but Agnes is certainly not the Devil (even if she does wear Prada).
             We talked about our summers, Emma Willard School, the business she is in. She showed me around the new site that Allure had launched earlier that day. She asked me about Florence and talked about how she would be in Milan, London, and Paris for Fashion Week. As I intently listened to her, I also sipped on the bottle of Fiji water that Vincent gave me.
             Agnes gave me a tour of the office; I got to see the business side and the editorial side. We stopped in the beauty room. I admired the editors working in a room with clothes and shoes for photo shoots. I also got to meet some other Allure workers (a bookings editor, beauty editor, and copy editor) in addition to passing by the Editor in Chief’s office. It was unbelievable. The funniest moment of the tour was when the bookings director said, “I just want to tell these girls [the ones who appear on the magazine covers and in the magazine], ‘Eat a damn sandwich!'” It had both Agnes and me laughing.
            We chatted some more after the tour (she gave me some quality advice) before she had to run to a dinner with a client. I didn’t leave empty handed; Agnes gave me a bag full of goodies (this month’s issue and beauty products). It was incredibly nice and generous that she took almost an hour and a half out of her day to meet with me and show me around. I never knew that I would be networking could result in something like this so soon!
Screen Shot 2016-07-30 at 6.45.43 PM.png
            Whether or not I am in that office again as an employee or visitor, I am 100% satisfied. I witnessed a work place that I have dreamed about working in. And that dream still lives– a dream to work somewhere like there at some point in my life. Like Walt Disney said, “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” I’m a strong believer in that.
Screen Shot 2016-07-30 at 6.47.45 PM.png
                   After my eventful visit, I went to Starbucks by myself and took the Path from OWT to Newark alone. I loved being free and independent in the city,  something I have dreamt about for a long time. It was a memorable day in Manhattan, and I’m so glad I got to share it with my dad then my aunt, uncle, and cousin later. Manhattan never seems to disappoint. xo ~e.
Screen Shot 2016-07-30 at 6.45.26 PM.png

7.25.16

My blogging has gotten away from me in the past few weeks! July has come and will be gone very shortly. It’s been an exciting month nonetheless… Turning 18, preparing for Italy (I’ll be flying one month from today!!!), being in Florida, picking blueberries, going to Boston and New York (tomorrow). Eating delicious food. Here’s some recaps of this month…

IMG_0523.PNG

Celebrating my eighteenth birthday in Boston and with Georgetown Cupcakes on July 17

My parents and I had a great night in Boston last weekend. We took a bus from Nashua, NH into the city (South Station) and stayed at a Marriott on Sunday night. It was a gorgeous day to celebrate a special birthday, and I wouldn’t have wanted to spend it with anyone else. We relaxed on a lawn outside of our hotel, shopped on Newbury Street, and ate dinner at Piatinni. It seemed only fitting to enjoy an Italian dinner for my birthday! It was exquisite cuisine. We thoroughly loved each bite of mussels, shrimp scampi, lobster ravioli, and scallops (not to mention cupcakes)! On Monday, I had my highly anticipated appointment at the Italian Consulate. As my grandpa said, “I was quite wired.” Luckily, I had everything I needed, and my visa arrived! It came on Friday, four days after my appointment. I am officially going to Florence!

IMG_0515

Picnic with my parents on July 22

My mom came home on Friday, and we both picked my dad up from the bus stop. Afterwards we enjoyed a picnic on the Manchester Green. As you can tell, it was a healthy and delicious picnic! Naan bread, berries, carrots, and prosciutto. We were going to go to the Arlington Carnival; however, I got a call from Jacob that his dad had forgotten his car keys in Florida. So the two of us drove in his car to Albany and back. The trip to Five Guys for burgers and shakes made it worth it!

IMG_0518

Ran my first 5K with Fayla on July 23

I ran my first 5K with Fayla this past Saturday. It was a warm day, but we ran early in the morning. I was proud to have finished in 30:50 minutes, despite having to slow down because Fayla’s legs started cramping! It was a great experience and for a good cause– Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.

Pre-run breakfast (resulting in no cramps):

  • Pineapple
  • Berries (raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries)
  • 1 piece of naan
  • 1 cup of water
IMG_0521.JPG

Went to the Valleycats vs. Vermont Lake Monsters baseball game with my grandparents and Jacob on July 24

Last night my grandparents, Jacob, and I took part in a longstanding family tradition- going out to a ball game. It was a wonderful night to watch the Valleycats take on the Lake Monsters. I found myself rooting for both teams, but the Valleycats pulled off the win during the bottom of the ninth inning. The game lasted a full 3 hours, but we still had time for ice cream at Moxie’s afterwards! I’ve loved going to the Joseph L. Bruno Stadium to watch these baseball games with my grandparents for as long as I can remember. I hope we can make it to another one before August 25 comes around.

In addition, I’ve been doing my freelance writing and working at the inn and my internship at MJG Interiors. Check out some of my recent work:

Pages I designed for the MJG Interiors website can be found here and here.

Several of my articles have been published on FlockU and SOCIETY19. Read about the upcoming season of “Bachelor in Paradise”, encouragement for going out to see a play this summermy original must-know recipes, and thoughts we all have on the beach.

The fact that I only have one month left at home has hit me in different emotional waves. I’m excited. Nervous. Anxious. Those who spend a lot of time with me may describe me as ‘cranky’ too right now. There’s lots of change to come, and it’s challenging to cope with. However, it’s good change. I’m ready for something different, and my nine months in Florence will be unforgettable and life changing.

I met with my daycare person, Stacy, this morning for coffee, and we caught up on the past 18 years. She reminded me that life’s full of different chapters, and every adventure is a new chapter. Chapters end differently, and there are twists and turns. It’s important to embrace those.

I can’t fight the change that’s to come or make time slow down or speed up. I can, however, make the best of my time left at home. This means not stressing too much, packing gradually, and spending time with my closest friends and family. There will be tough goodbyes, but rejuvenating reunions to look forward to. I hope you can enjoy the last month of summer as much as I will. xo ~e.

 

7.11.16

Summer is wonderful. Too bad it goes by so quickly! I feel like I’ve lost control of my summer schedule. I went from working once a week to working 5 days a week! I can’t complain though because I am making money that I will need for Florence. My flight is officially booked for August 25! That means there are less than two months home. Two months to savor.

Since I’ve returned from Florida, I’ve caught up on my journaling, worked, and cooked. Saturday afternoon my mom and I went to my grandparents’ house to make them lunch; we threw together classic Vermont grilled cheeses and my delicious summer salad. They didn’t spit it out, so that’s a good sign!

Today and tomorrow my dad and I are visiting my mom at her apartment. Finally! We even brought Kiara and have enjoyed being away from home yet still in Vermont. My mom has an adorable one bedroom apartment. It’s a little tight for all four of us, but we’re making do. We love that we can walk to Price Chopper and Rite Aid. That’s unheard of in our neck of the woods! It’s nice that we can celebrate her birthday tomorrow together. That reminds me– I’ll be turning 18 on Sunday! Can’t wait to go to Boston with my parents and be a legal adult. Fingers crossed on the student visa!

It’s that time when I’m beginning my packing list for Florence. It’ll be hard to squeeze 9 months into three bags, but I’m carefully planning out my packing. Stay tuned!

Be sure to check out my articles that were published today. They made my dad laugh, so I hope they make you laugh too. xo ~e.

http://www.society19.com/10-thoughts-beach/

http://www.flocku.com/articles/get-some-live-entertainment-this-summer

Fourth of July in Jacksonville

I’ve been in Jacksonville, Florida with my boyfriend and his parents for the past 9 days. We’ve been soaking up the sun, observing animals at the Jacksonville Zoo, grilling delicious food, and relaxing– that’s what vacation is all about! I knew Florida would be hot, but summer in Florida is a whole new ball game. It’s been 90 degrees + humidity every day, so it ends up feeling like 100+ degrees. It’ll feel refreshing to come home to Vermont tomorrow. I look forward to wearing sweatshirts and sweatpants at night.

Yesterday was America’s most celebrated holiday: Independence Day. Although this day is meant for proud Americans to honor their country’s independence, many find themselves drunk early in the day and partying throughout the night. I often ask myself Why does this holiday feel so revolved around partying? It’s a question I believe I’ll be asking for the rest of my life.

In retrospect, we enjoyed a fabulous & sober Fourth. We fried like over hard eggs on Jacksonville beach along with thousands of other people for a majority of the day then ate grilled steaks and veggies at our hotel. We returned to the beach later on in the evening to watch annual Fourth of July fireworks. I’ve never experience watching fireworks on the beach, and I quickly realized that it is magical. The beach itself is a haven, but watching fireworks while squeezing Jacob’s hand, listening to the waves of the ocean, and feeling the sand run between my fingers and toes is something else.

The fireworks were the best I’d ever seen. They lasted for a full 30 minutes and ended with a very grande finale. We were extremely close to the fireworks; they were set off on the pier that was a mere one hundred feet away from us (the pier itself was much longer). That’s the same pier where we watched fishermen haul a small shark out of the water earlier in the week.

Fireworks will always be exciting– no matter what age. Being so close to them last night brought me back to watching them as a young child at Willow Park in Bennington, Vermont. I was so terrified of them then, and I clearly remember sobbing while my mom carried me away from them. I’m glad I can enjoy them now, but that is a very vivid memory of my childhood I can appreciate.

Aside from watching fireworks and celebrating the day with friends, I thought about how far America has come in its history. There have been many battles fought in order for America to become its own country, and since then it has experienced constant change (for better & for worse). Something that will not change is that America will forever be my home; it’s where I grew up, where my family is from, and where I’ll always return to. We as a country have a long way to go in terms of learning. We certainly are not perfect, for we face many struggles and issues; however, there’s an abundance of aspects we can be grateful for as Americans. Freedom may be the most relevant one these days. xo ~e.