At first glance, it kinda sucks that it’s ending with such a large blemish. That Summer 2011 will be remembered as “The Summer My Laptop Was Stolen.” That’s not to say that this will be the only event that will resonate from the last two months – there’s a great deal I got done. I interned at the Museum of American Finance (with the photographs and video to prove it), writing posts for their Twitter feed, helping bring the Race Around Wall Street into fruition, and scanning documents from the museum’s aptly-nicknamed “Icebox Archive“. Along with gaining the ability to economize words – and even characters, in the case of Twitter – to concisely convey an idea, I went to the New York Mercantile Exchange, the New York Stock Exchange, the offices of Bloomberg, and the New York Federal Reserve, places I never had even a minuscule chance of visiting on my own or with another institution. (For the record, I really don’t want to work in the financial industry. That’s something else I learned this summer.)
I went to a downright inspiring exhibit at the New York Public Library, along with the engrossing Alexander McQueen exhibit at the Metropolitan (an exhibit that will surely be talked about for at least a few more months, and one that made me recognize the importance and art in gallery design and curating itself). I went to an absurd number of free concerts (let’s see – Andrew Bird at Prospect Park; Jim Gaffigan and John Pinette at Comedy Central Park; tUnE-yArDs at Hudson RiverRocks – that one was by far the best show I’ve ever seen; They Might Be Giants twice, one at the Apple Store in SoHo and the other at Williamsburg Waterfront – a veritable Nerd Woodstock, featuring Eugene Mirman, Patton Oswalt, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, and Jonathan Coulton, among others, in the absolutely pouring rain; a concert by a group called Citigrass that I basically stumbled upon at the World Financial Center Plaza when walking along the Hudson; Mavis Staples at Lincoln Center Out of Doors; and Aaron Schragge, player of the Japanese flute the shakuhachi, at the infinitely-cool Rubin Museum of Art; and whoever the hell played the Armstrong House concerts on the 4ths of July and August – with (Supreme Being willing) Das Racist, Reggie Watts, Santigold, Janelle Monáe and Cee-Lo Green over the weekend at the Afropunk Festival – that’s 15 in total by my count). I visited MoMA (most of the time just to see movies) more times over the course of this summer to see movies more than I’ve visited any museum in the last couple of years (seeing Casablanca, Wall-E, Up, Ratatouille, and Jaws at MoMA, Scott Pilgrim Versus the World at the Museum of the Moving Image, the documentary The Captains on the deck of the USS Intrepid, and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at the Performing Arts Library), which has given me the inspiration to apply for an internship position in the film department at MoMA for the spring. I saw movies and made dinner and watched soccer (seriously, we watched the Gold Cup final together and I can’t totally remember why she watched it with me) with Kelly Cordray, the best friend I could ever have. I saw (and continue to see, and brim with pride at the sight at) my brother grow up from ‘annoying little bugger’ to ‘someone I can see myself actually being friends with as an adult’ right before my eyes. I read John Green’s book Paper Towns in one night (the same night, for the record, I saw Wall-E and Up) and Tina Fey’s memoir Bossypants in four. I walked what had to have been hundreds of miles – along Broadway, through Chinatown, beside the Hudson River, to and from the Upper West Side, and even a bit in the wilderness of northern Queens with new friend/beacon of awesomeness Kelly Montoya. And I gave blood twice.
It’s not like after school starts, all sources of fun end. Whether it’s the Vendys or Doctor Who returning (that’s another thing I did this summer – watch a crapload of Doctor Who) or random book talks at Barnes & Noble (almost forgot – saw Jimmy Fallon and Henry Winkler talk about their respective books over the course of the last few months at the Union Square B&N) or new and awesome sandwiches or just listening to Andrew Bird and M. Ward on repeat (as I did a lot over the course of this summer), there will be sources of happiness as the nights grow shorter and the air grows colder.
And, as Kelly Cordray once relayed to me from a memory of hers, it’ll all be over in a hundred years, anyway. There’s simply no need to fret over the sucky things life throws at us, ’cause good things will come again soon, and all of it really won’t matter in the end.
And at the very least, I get a loaner laptop.