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The Ex-Villagers | Bought a Ticket to the West Coast

mari 2Courtesy Mari Fagel. Mari Fagel and her boyfriend.

“Damn girl, you one fine piece of midget!”

Having just moved to New York City, I was already feeling small in such a big city. But when I was cat-called out on my five-foot-one height while walking down Bowery on my second day here, I wondered if I was ready to take on the Big Apple.

I’d lived in the city briefly in the summer of 2007 while interning and, frankly, I hated it. Each morning I woke up to the stench of fish coming in from my window since my N.Y.U. dorm on Lafayette was across from a Chinatown seafood market. I was so excited to hang out with my college friends who’d grown up in the city, only to realize they were in the Hamptons nearly every weekend and ate dinner at home with their families during the week. So there I was, taking the N train from Rockefeller Center back to Canal and Lafayette after work each day only to crawl in bed and watch episodes of “Greek” on my computer.

Then, three years later I got the call from NY1 News that I’d been hired as an on-air reporter, so I decided to give the city a second chance. With just two weeks to find a place, and having experienced only Chinatown and Midtown the summer I’d interned here, I was clueless as to where I should live. But then a close family friend told me her third roommate was moving out. Perfect. Bowery and First would be my new home. Read more…