If Britney Spears could make it through 2007 than I’m sure Jim Boeheim, like the rest of us, assumed everyone was in the clear.
Like a Britney Shears Google search, the Syracuse coach is learning that the past is never truly buried. Though the statistics have not been fully collected, most Orange fans would argue that Boeheim’s life as this drug-addicted pop star’s near doppelganger has been enough punishment.
The NCAA has yet to review this new evidence, and thus allowed a self-imposed ban from the national tournament for the Syracuse Men’s Basketball Team. Boeheim and the boys may be out of the Big Dance, but my March will surely have some madness.
With the Annual College Media Association Conference being held in midtown throughout the weekend, pieces of my high school and college worlds collided to partake in the #ManhattanProjectRedux mayhem.
I’ve found few others who have academic intentions that begin with a pen and transition to liquid inspiration as quickly as mine do, but I took the alumni initiative to teach a few lessons this weekend.
The weekend kick-started on Thursday, when I brought my former roommate and best friend Kaylee to sit-in on one of my classes at NYU. Preparing for the grad school application process, with NYU on the list, she wanted to get a feel for the classroom dynamic. In my transition from upstate New York and Vermont to Manhattan, I anticipated making some adjustments. What took me by surprise, however, was being the minority in most of my classes.
Fun fact: There are more Meng Zhang’s in the NYU email system than there are Molly’s. I checked.
After class we high tailed it to the west side to meet the group for happy hour before going to Madison Square Garden for the Creighton vs. Georgetown game of the Big East Tournament. Somehow, in a bar of media conference attendees wearing socks with the Yik Yak character they had gotten for free, I took the brunt of the jokes for carrying a binder. Unfortunately, I know that’s not the first or the last time I’ll have school supplies in a bar.
A $12 pitcher special has a way of slurring speech and time, so we didn’t quite make it for the tip but I’ll credit us with seeing both halves. Also, a plus on the night is no one got a nosebleed in our section, but the altitude did leave us feeling parched at the buzzer so we wandered back the Blarney Stone Pub to rehydrate.
Before calling it a night the allure of street meat caught a few and gave some Castleton-goers their first falafel experience. The verdict is out on whether it’s the beer or New England accents to blame for the pronunciation coming out “flappel.”
I’m convinced that people who say “Early to bed and early to rise” miss out on all the fun of my “I’ll sleep when I die” philosophy. Olympians can have their Wheaties, the Molly Marathon runs on the cheapest cup of coffee I can find.
Out of bed before the sun was up to relieve the New York City lights, I made my way to the village to put in my last few hours of work for the week. By noon I was off the clock and in Trader Joe’s Wine Shop stocking up of the next round. I’ve never credited myself with having a refined pallet, so I checked out and headed back uptown to meet the group at Grand Central Station with a few bottles under $6.
When I’m in a good mood I imagine the main concourse of Grand Central is like a modern day Pentecostal experience, but most days I liken waiting in the crowd of foreign languages for the train to being worse than purgatory. I don’t feel unlike a Christ figure when I drink that much wine, so Friday was a good day.
Once everyone found their way to the station we hopped on the 5 express to the Bronx to spend the day at the Bronx Zoo. Thanks to my Hop Stop app for putting the entire trip on a very accurate time line, it seemed irresponsible to not take advantage of the travel time to power hour.
After a little wandering through the Bronx we finally found the zoo and spent the afternoon as some of it’s only visitors. As one of the only attractions in the Bronx, the zoo did not disappoint in its blend of ecosystems from around the globe.
From polar bears, to free roaming peacocks, to monkeys and tigers we were always surprised by what was around the next corner- I’m sure the map that came with our tickets would have prepared us but as I’ve said before I can’t read those.
With plans to meet the rest of the Castleton conference attendees for dinner reservations, we left the animals in the Bronx and took the train back to Manhattan. Still holding onto its roots from the original Little Italy, Forlini’s Italian restaurant is a Jamarcus DeMellier find in Chinatown.
Arriving with time to spare before meeting the rest of the group we made our way to the bar. When we become fast friends with bartenders they also usually become our best friends. Needless to say we added Martin to our group and somehow our sangrias refilled themselves.
Around a table that was anything but carbohydrate-deprived the group swapped city stories. We parted ways after dinner, but put off the goodbyes until the next day as they packed up their car in a midtown parking garage.
I left one party to welcome another and made my way to Penn Station to meet my brother who was in the city for the night. Ending the weekend on a high note, he saw my apartment and neighborhood for the first time and I gave him the Molly version of the NYU campus tour.
I may not cut my hair to look like him anymore, but having the opportunity to show him this new phase of my life, if even for a short while, was irreplaceable. My career goals aren’t fully defined, but my #ManhattanProjectRedux ambitions are to follow in my siblings’ footsteps.
I hope you’re not thinking the weekend took too much out of me. This March might not be orange, but mine is always green so stay tuned for more shenanigans wilder than the legends of the Cliffs of Moher.