Thanks, Tony.

For my 18th birthday, I wanted to go to Les Halles. Not that I could afford any decent cut of steak, but for the chance to bump into my hero. I knew he didn’t work there anymore, but I kept up hopes he’d stop in and I could tell him ‘No Reservations’ took up every spot on my DVR.

That year is still is the hardest and loneliest time of my life and Bourdain’s travels were some of the only things that could take my mind off the chaos happening around me… but it wasn’t just a distraction — I believe he changed the way I grew up.

Here was this girl, 18, truly terrified of everything — entranced by this rock star who traveled the world, met incredible people and all the while, stayed humble.

Who could’ve seen that over the next few years, I would travel the world on my own? Become just as opinionated and unapologetic? That I would demand a bifana at the Feast of St. Anthony in Lisbon, eat red ants in a garlic sauce in Cambodia… it was all in no small part, because of him.

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Thank you, Tony. For fighting for women, for inspiring me to bloom. I’ve always wanted to write just like you. Share a bottle of wine and pick your brain about how to be honest and yet still connect with absolutely everyone. I made so many of my friends watch ‘Parts Unknown’ in hopes of maybe getting a better understanding of why I’m me.

The lessons you taught me still guide the way I live my life; I am always striving to hold onto humility and be an empty glass, because of you. I hope the eats are delectable and the beer is cold, wherever you are. I look forward to sharing that bottle of wine.

If you or anyone you know is considering suicide or self-harm or is anxious, depressed, upset, or needs to talk, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text the Crisis Text Line at 741-741.

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A Ship Adrift at Sea

I could barely hold it together. I was dabbing tears from my windswept cheeks with the wrists of my shirtsleeves on a rush hour train.

Continue reading “A Ship Adrift at Sea”

Emmy. Nominated. (Part 1)

A little late on this … but I got nominated for an Emmy Award.

Off the bat, I want to say I recognize proportionately little of my own work brought me here. I put in work and the rest was luck and people who loved me, gave me a chance and lifted me up.

Continue reading “Emmy. Nominated. (Part 1)”

Emmy. Nominated. (Part 2)

On September 24, 2015, Pope Francis made a historic trip to New York. I got to skip some of my final days in school to attend his evening prayer at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City for WPIX’s digital coverage.

Continue reading “Emmy. Nominated. (Part 2)”

The Subway’s Narrative

The lines and stops forming a circulatory system of the city, a paint-by-number, dizzying puzzle for the uninitiated, carves its own story for each soul that lets them flow through long enough.

The ABC boy whose father watches him play classics and collect tips has been defined by his beats at Times and Union Square. The basketball teams and showtime performers are defined by the rush hours and long interludes in tunnels they trap their victims in.

The time I divided and donated to steamy, dusty halls showed exactly who and what I was obligated to, or more importantly, made the effort to travel for. They say you’re not a New Yorker until you’ve cried in a crowded car. Perhaps instead it becomes a part of your identity when you define yourself by red, yellow and green lines and numbered street names. Perhaps instead when you’ve navigated alone, leaning over another poor traveler to see the map. Perhaps instead when you take the G into the middle of Queens at 2 a.m. — until you give up and take an Uber instead.

I’ve written about many parts of New York as if the city was a man who persistently breaks and mends my heart. Of course, the city is old and comprised of moving, conflicting pieces — it has a personality like no other. The subway is no different.