Renember when music videos told stories?

A friend posted an old Janet Jackson video on my Facebook wall yesterday and I started you-tubing Janet’s videos from the mid 90’s to early 00’s. The “Got Till It’s Gone” video took me back to the 7th grade–the last time I was really content and oblivious to the world around me. In other words, innocent. I  was socially awkward in my early teens (hard to imagine if you met me in high school and beyond) and didn’t have many friends. My frequent companion was music–particularly music videos; MTV, VH1 and BET were my major forms of recreation before the boys came knocking, before fashion become an obsession, and before body image issues started creeping up.

I remember watching “Got Till it’s Gone” and not getting certain parts of it; what did a guy getting his head shaved have to do with anything? But, the video did have a certain effect on me, despite the fact that I didn’t know the story behind it. It made me feel calm, cool and relaxed. I loved Janet’s funky hair, loved the mellow beat, loved how carefree everyone in the video was. But most of all, I loved the unique looks of everyone in the video. The song is set during apartheid and depicts 60’s and 70’s black culture, and while I didn’t find this out until later, the essence of the song wasn’t lost on me. I wanted to grow up and be like the people in the video–carefree, lively and happy.

This isn’t the first JJ song that defined a moment in my life. In the 4th grade, one of the “popular” girls in my class asked me to sit at her table at lunch. I was excited but scared–why would she want to sit with a geekazoid like me? As soon as I set down my lunch tray, the grilling began. Continue reading

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It's a beautiful weekend in the neighborhood, won't you be mine?

This weekend was my first official weekend as a San Franciscan (last weekend, I felt more like a tourist on vacation) and the end of my first week on the west coast. I was pretty busy Monday-Friday working and getting over the 3-hour time difference, and Friday after work I did movie and dinner with my one and only friend in SF and I went home exhausted. But, Saturday morning I woke up with a sick feeling in my stomach — I was officially homesick. It was a beautiful weekend in San Francisco and I just didn’t have the heart to enjoy it as I should’ve. I’ve been told that it rarely gets warm in the summer here (the coldest month is apparently August!), so everyone was out and about at the beach and parks in the city. Saturday morning, I had plans with one of my roommates to go to AT&T park  to watch an outdoor showing of a World Cup game and then head over to an outdoor gallery show in Buena Yerna, but I couldn’t get out of bed. My heart and head ached with loneliness.

After chowing down on Burger King for lunch (I live on the same block as a million awesome cheap restaurants, but I was craving some good-old fashioned grease), and finishing three episodes of Big Love, I decided I needed to get out of the house. I blew out my hair in preparations for a ‘roommate’s night out’ and walked out of the apartment to  explore the neighborhood with plans to do some writing by Golden Gate Park at the end of my wandering. Continue reading

It’s a beautiful weekend in the neighborhood, won’t you be mine?

This weekend was my first official weekend as a San Franciscan (last weekend, I felt more like a tourist on vacation) and the end of my first week on the west coast. I was pretty busy Monday-Friday working and getting over the 3-hour time difference, and Friday after work I did movie and dinner with my one and only friend in SF and I went home exhausted. But, Saturday morning I woke up with a sick feeling in my stomach — I was officially homesick. It was a beautiful weekend in San Francisco and I just didn’t have the heart to enjoy it as I should’ve. I’ve been told that it rarely gets warm in the summer here (the coldest month is apparently August!), so everyone was out and about at the beach and parks in the city. Saturday morning, I had plans with one of my roommates to go to AT&T park  to watch an outdoor showing of a World Cup game and then head over to an outdoor gallery show in Buena Yerna, but I couldn’t get out of bed. My heart and head ached with loneliness.

After chowing down on Burger King for lunch (I live on the same block as a million awesome cheap restaurants, but I was craving some good-old fashioned grease), and finishing three episodes of Big Love, I decided I needed to get out of the house. I blew out my hair in preparations for a ‘roommate’s night out’ and walked out of the apartment to  explore the neighborhood with plans to do some writing by Golden Gate Park at the end of my wandering. Continue reading

A new city, a new job, a new me?

**I decided to stick to this blog, starting a new blog just seemed like too much work. I’ll still be posting protected posts on my more private thoughts**

Not my neighborhood--but a few typical San Fran houses!

I did it, I moved to San Francisco. Two times zones and 2,906 miles away from the place I’m lived my entire life. I got here Friday afternoon and I’ve been pretty busy ever since. A friend of a friend has been taking me around, getting me acquainted with the city and introducing me to his friends and I am very, very grateful to him for that. My three roommates have also been very sweet, giving me pillows, a mirrors and anything else I need–all I brought was a comforter, one bedsheet, clothes, shoes, bags and makeup! I’m sleeping on couch futon until I get a bed.

I really like the area my apartment is–Inner Richmond. It’s on a busy street filled with restaurants, groceries, nail salons, hair salons, cafe’s–you name it. Clement street is known as the second unofficial Chinatown in San Francisco and everything is very accessible including several bus lines. It takes me approximately 25-30 minutes to get to my job, which seems like a pretty sweet deal to me. I’ve thought about moving more centrally, like Nob Hill or Russian Hill, which will be walking distance to my job in the Financial District, but I think I like where I am. The Golden Gate Park and the Bridge are very close and it has a cute neighborhoody feel, sort of like Queens. The daily dosage of green, my super-friendly roommates and a walk-in closet are all worth the 30 minute commute!

Today was day two of my new job and so far, so good. I’m still unbelievably thankful that I landed a job at one of my dream organizations in a really progressive role. It feels a little weird getting up and getting dressed in a new room, getting on a bus to go to work and not the subway, but I also feel really giddy about it. It still feels like I’m still on vacation, I can’t wait to decorate my bedroom and my work cubicle and make it feel like home!

Hello 2010, Part 2

It’s my last day in NYC as an official resident for the next (hopefully) few years. As I’ve probably mentioned before, countless times, I was born in raised in Astoria, Queens my entire life, not even having gone away for college. And now I am picking up and moving to the other side of the country. This year has been a whirlwind–we’re halfway through the year and I’ve already accomplished a few of the major things I’ve been planning; spending two months in Bangladesh, making a career switch, and moving out of NYC. I’m a teeny, weeny bit proud 🙂

A new year, a new decade–I’ve always pictured big things happening in my life in 2010. Of course, what I had envisioned is quite different from how my life has turned out, but I’m still happy. I haven’t been this happy in a while and the best part about it is that my happiness isn’t due to anyone else, only me. Learning to make yourself happy is important and quite hard and while I’m not even there 50% of the way yet, I’m closer than I’ve ever been before.

I’m going to miss my friends, my parents and younger sis more than I can express. And as much as I love the people in my life, we’re all moving in different directions, as it’s only natural for my friends and I to do so in our mid 20’s. I wish myself and all of my friends moving on to new ventures all the luck in the world.

A new job, a new city, a (slightly) new me.

I haven’t updated this blog as much as I’d liked to so I’m going to start clean and NEW. My new blog will talk about my life as a New Yorker in San Francisco, as a single gal in her mid 20’s after six years, and as a non-profit media professional. I’m keeping my new blog anonymous for the most part (so that I can rant and rave to my liking), so if you’d like to still follow my blog, send me an email at jennchowdhury@gmail.com or leave a comment below and I’ll send you the link 🙂