You did it! You, freaking amazing woman! You did it!
10 years ago I arrived in New York City for the first time. I was merely 21 years old. Had never been outside of Europe. Never been on a plane. Continue reading
You did it! You, freaking amazing woman! You did it!
10 years ago I arrived in New York City for the first time. I was merely 21 years old. Had never been outside of Europe. Never been on a plane. Continue reading
On August 10, 2016 just a few days overdue my water broke. It was early am around 7:20 I believe and I remember the feeling … “this is it” while desperately walking around the apartment trying to gather the stuff I should have already packed in my hospital bag. Continue reading
Wow! So today, July 1st 2016 – just about 35 weeks pregnant with a little baby boy; I’m sitting on my POÄNG chair from IKEA, in my new apartment in Elmhurst, Queens – thinking back…. Continue reading
Green Card in 2014. Graduation in ’15. ’16 life changing circumstances forces the inner hustler to break through.
I guess I’ve always had it but being raised in a different culture with a sense of shared stability and security never forced me to see it. Continue reading
What happened? My mom always told me that the 20s would be go somewhat fast but once you hit 30 – time would FLY. I turned 30 last year, and ’15 went by so fast I don’t even understand. Last year I graduated, incorporated my business and achieved to travel quite a bit. Continue reading
I've been gone for a few years. If you didn't miss me, you don't know. But I actually purchased this domain and blogged (in danish primarily) since 2007. After I came to study in New York as an international student in 2012 I more or less gave up blogging. Not that I didn't want to share the experiences of being an international student in the greatest city of them all; more because I could never really find the time to commit 110%.
The website is being revamped. All of the previous blogs are now private, but some of them will be translated into English and become public again. I believe they do offer great information on life in New York City, and that's one of those things I want this site to do. Offer information! Give you, the reader, a look into what it means to be a new yorker. Even if you aren't. I'm not a native new yorker myself but I do consider the city my home and I can't wait to help you get an even better New York City experience!
So welcome, enjoy all the information you find her and know that I'm working very hard on updating and adding things every single day.
Soon you'll be able to see a selection of the walking tours, meet & greets, introduction-packages and more that will give you comfort in knowing that you're in the best hands possible - and that this trip will be awesome! I love New York! And you will too!
Until then, if you happen to read and understand Danish, jump on over to the Danish counterpart: "Turist i New York"
Do I need to tell y’all how awfully difficult it is to fill out the applications for a Green Card? Yes, I am here on a F-1 visa, and yes I’m positively still ‘in-status’. I’ve not violated the terms of my visa and it’s still valid until sometime in 2017 I believe.
But I married my boyfriend and with that comes certain bonuses that I actually refused to receive years ago. See, I am a stubborn lady. I am also very independent. The dream of living in New York was mine, and I wanted to earn the right to achieve it. I didn’t want to be handed to me easily. I wanted to work for it! ….. But then, I met him. In 2010. Long time ago. And it also took a long time before we came to the conclusion that it would be silliness beyond silliness to carry on like this. He didn’t want to see me go back to Denmark and I didn’t want to lose him. So what do you do? You accept when the man proposes. And with that comes: I-485, I-130, I-765, I-313, and a whole bunch of other I’s = The application for permanent residency and employment authorization. Aka. Green Card. Though they should call it Gold Card because it cost a lot of money!!!
Any-who … The application have now been sent. I filed it out myself, with the occasional help from hubby whenever his fill-out-skills was necessary. Let’s see how long it takes…
Can’t believe it – Husband, NY, Greencard. What did I do to deserve this?
So, dear readers – this is what happened: I got married!!
I could go into a great deal of details, as I know there’s a bunch of people who are standing shocked and surprised without a clue as to how that happened. But – details are for later when time’s right … Continue reading
My little blog, how I’ve neglected you. Life is hard, you know? Life in New York is nothing like what you see in the TV. There’s blood, tears and hustling involved. Unless you have wealthy parents or have been extremely good at saving – moving to the Big City doesn’t guarantee more happiness in your life. It doesn’t even guarantee that you’ll find yourself, or your long lost dreams or purpose in your life. The only revelation that might hit you is that you shouldn’t have moved to New York to begin with.
Thankfully, the latter is not true for me. I’ve never for a split second regretted making the move. Throwing away a life in Denmark and all the security that came with it. I should have done it differently had I had different tools but “it is what it is” (a new saying that I picked up here in NYC)
I’m hustling. Paying my bills. My rent. My tuition. Keeping up with all the responsibility that comes when you live in a country where you don’t have any security or safety net protecting you – just in case something were to happen.
I love it.
Now, I’m at my 5th and second to last semester as an international student. I have absolutely no clue how time passed by so extremely fast. I feel like it was yesterday that I wen through JFK’s doors with my visa freshly stamped .
When the semester is over in less than two months, I have another 3 months summer holiday and then my last semester. During the summer I hope to travel a little bit and I hope to start my search for a job during my OPT. I really hope that my education, my knowledge and my passion for the city will help me land the job that eventually can sponsor me for a work permit so that I can stay here.
I promise to talk a lot more about that later, because I’m not planning on neglecting the blog much longer. Until then, let me get back to this midterm about financing new ventures … (my entrepreneurship plan class, yay!)
I have never been interviewed for a job. Hold your horses! — It’s not entirely true. I was interviewed for a position at Bauhaus (an European pendant to The Home Depot) and for a office assistant at a start-up of a magazine that is no more. Not jobs I was really interested in, but I was young and desperate to “get something on my resume”
The other day I met with my DSO (Designated School Official) at City Tech. She’s the one that deals with anything “international-student” related. But let me just say: She’s mad cool! It’s so refreshing having someone at the school who knows you and will do their best to help you out. All I needed was a signature to keep my study grant from Denmark, but we ended up discussing the international student situation at City Tech. I told her I think it’s a shame that CUNY doesn’t get more recognition in Denmark. Anyways … The point I’m trying to make is; She asked me if I felt Americanized? – And I do. I’m a new yorker now.
So when this new yorker gets an email from a fancy hotel in the city, asking if I would be interested in meeting for an interview as a concierge, the girl says “Yes, why thank you!”
The interview was really nice, relaxed and I felt like I did a good job. He said that I would make a great addition to the team.
Situation is unfortunately so that I’m not legally allowed to work off-campus as F-1 student unless I get permission to do so. And even in that case, I can not work more than 20 hours a week. The position I was interviewing for was full-time. Sad face.
Nevertheless – I will always be able to contact him again, once I have the permision to work and I really look forward to it.
I would love to work as a concierge – see, I don’t dream of a long career at the top but I want a job that I have passion for, where I feel that I make a difference in the tourist’s life. I think it’s good to provide a service for others, and be able to go home and be the most important person to your friends and family.
So even though I did not get the job – I feel like a got a valuable lesson in job-interviewing and once again I was confirmed that I am in the right industry. The tourism industry. The-being-there-for-others-industry. Plus. Concierges get mad perks. Say Broadway tickets. Say invitations to events and restaurants. Say – tips!!
Next year when I graduate, I hope that I will find a position like that again and that time around I will be able to accept!
They say it takes living 10 years in the City before you officially can call yourself a New Yorker. I say; “I’ve been a New Yorker since the day I sat foot on 42nd street!”.
Sure – What I fell in love with back then, is not what I love about the city today. Much like when you first fall in love with a person — 20 years later it’s not his six-pack or the way she walks down the street in her 6-inch heels. It’s something deeper, way less superficial.
When I came to New York I entered a fairy tale much like what I had seen on TV. I needed a break from my reality in Denmark and the new scenery welcomed me into a unrealistic bubble of joy. Today my life is very real and 90% of the time is super stressful, demanding and tough. It’s a roller-coaster emotionally, a ride I most likely shouldn’t have gotten on.
Am I regretting making the ‘big move’ to New York? Am I regretting following my dreams? Not at all.
I have an apartment that I recently re-signed for a third year. I picture myself staying in this apartment and be like my “old-lady-neighbor” 20 years from now. Most likely I will also have a cat (or three like her) even though the building doesn’t allow it.
I love that I have everything I need around me: The Subway (trains), a subway (sandwiches), Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Chinese Food, Healthy asian food, Peruvian food, Mexican food (like in the “the chinese-people-are-making-the-mexican-food” places) Italian food, pizza, Jewish restaurants (I don’t think I’m allowed to go in. They have no windows, or the windows they have are covered in heavy curtains) Pharmacies, CVS, Knish Knosh (look it up), several banks (not like any of them want to give me a loan or a no-fee account), Super markets and farmers green market. Oh, and my gym. I keep forgetting. Yes. All of that within 3 minutes walk. We also just got a 99cent store called Youtube.
My commute to school is on average an hour. I don’t mind. I have an iPad and I’m really good at being cool like the rest of the New Yorkers who commute hours daily. Like, I will form the words of the songs with my lips and try not to make a sound. Yes. And I will push you to the side when I need to get out if you don’t understand you have to. I don’t care. I still get up for the pregnant and the elderly though.
I can’t believe I’m at my 4th semester at CUNY. I’m still studying hospitality management but my heart is in tourism. I hope that when I graduate next year, I will get a job that can sponsor me so I don’t have to go back to Denmark. Yes, there I said it: I don’t want to go back. I don’t want to go back. I can’t possibly leave my home …
Read my 5th year anniversary blog: http://www.iloveny.dk/2011/09/26/five-year-anniversary/
7 years has passed by. I still [heart] New York 2006-2013!
Sunday afternoon I had sudden cravings. It doesn’t happen too often but when it happens nothing – not even drizzling rain could keep me from it. I wanted my empanadas! There’s this small place on 108 street and Van Doren, called Empanadas Cafe – I’ve been there with friends a long time ago and once in a while my friend have brought me some empanadas.
The place is small, with only seating for 6 people inside and two three tables outside. I like the managements vision; being conscious of the environment and aiming to make food with the best ingredients. Granted, fried food will never be healthy – but it better be made out of good fresh ingredients!!
Reasonable pricesl $1.50-$2.50 a piece. I ordered a chicken, a pesto and spinach ricotta. The latter being absolutely AMAZING!! I also got a traditional colombian soda. Expected it to be overly sweeten but it was just really good!
If you’re danish and you wanna take a walk with me in Queens and maybe stop by this place – go to my tourism website and contact me: —> http://turistinewyork.dk/kom-til-queens-ny/
Ok, I should probably have posted this blog last weekend but you know my middle-name is: procrastination:
All the movies I’ve ever seen take place in NYC during the winter months always featured tons of snow. Continue reading
Yes, you haven’t heard from me since last summer. Most of you probably thought I completely forgot about y’all! I didn’t. I can’t explain what happened, but all of a sudden 6 months went by without a single blogpost. Now, we’re in 2013 and I started my 3. semester at City Tech in Brooklyn. A few months ago I got my credits from Denmark transferred, and I now know that I’ll be graduating in Dec ’14 with a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality management.
Eventhough there’s still almost 4 semesters to go, I know it’ll go by super fast and before I know it I’ll be looking for a job in the hospitality field here in NYC. As some of you know, after a F-1 visa holder finishes his/hers studies they’ll allowed to work full-time 12 months (so-called OPT) in the field of which they have been studying.
I don’t want to go back to Denmark, so I hope that the OPT will open some doors and give me some opportunities to apply for a work permit and eventually a Greencard.
Last semester was really, really tough. I went through some personal challenges and focusing on school was difficult. But I managed and with a little help from my professors (They’re the best, seriously) I got through. My GPA is now 3.2, and I think that’s pretty good considering all the facts …
This semester I’m taking 4 classes. I would love to take one more, but can’t afford it. International students pay per credit, one class is normally 3 credits. I need a minimum of 12 and that’s $6000 right there my friends. Still no scholarships .. Still carrying the load myself.
But, I’m taking one class in particular that I’m really excited about: “Urban Tourism” First of all, the professor (Phillip) is amazing. I took one of her classes last year too. Second, the subject is what I’m all about … So, hopefully I’ll gain a lot of knowledge and tools to use on my project “Turist i New York” (www.turistinewyork.dk) Lately there’s been a lot of support and the Facebook Page has gotten almost 400 likes!! I’m ecstatic and really hope that I can one day support myself financially while doing what I love; Helping people getting the best NYC-experience possible.
Until you hear from me again …
The story of a transformed Dane
I’ve been a visa-holder in the USA for 6 months now. There’s nothing ‘big deal’ about it, because of all my previous travels I have already spend a tremendous amount of time in the States.
But I feel at home. Like I said I would. I don’t feel homesick, there’s nothing about living in Denmark that I miss. My family, yes! I miss my family a GREAT deal! I hate missing out on my sisters graduations and their lives. I hate that I can’t see my mom when I know she wants to see me. But, besides from that loss – I lost nothing by moving here.
I’m about to renew my lease on my apartment. It’s already been a year since I got it. Still don’t have enough money to completely furnish it, but my super keeps an eye out for me and that way I got a free (and well-maintained) IKEA couch.
I also finally got a real bed after about 9 months of sleeping on an air mattress. I got a good deal on it, from one of the Danish folks over here that had to go back to DK.
It’s been super tough the first six month but I’ve found a way to keep up the good mood and continue my school work. That’s why I’m here after all.
I’m continuing …. That’s the purpose. Keep fighting for your dreams…… even if people shake their heads and say: Naaah, little missy, you won’t make it!
I finished my 1. semester with a 3.7 something GPA and I’m happy.
With that said: I got 3 months of summer holidays before my next semester begins. What to do?
I’ve been planning forever on getting my New York City Tour Guide License so that when I’m legally allowed, I can start giving tours. It’ll cost me $50, and a lot of prep. But I think it’s about time.
I have also been contemplating getting a driver’s license, since it’s way cheaper over here than in DK. Problem is, I’ve never driven a car and I’m afraid I need a bunch of lessons – which could add to the expenses since I don’t really know of any good friends with cars, that could teach me. Hmm.
So – my plans for this summer is: Get $$$ (I’ll be the one digging for treasures on Jones beach) and try and get my licenses. Get a good tan (and I’m not taking about the tan-line on my feet because of my sandals, please) Have delicious smoothies, meals, cold beers, great laughs (I didn’t buy those Comedy Club tickets from that guy at Times Sq for nothin’) and … Well, try and breath and let time slowly pass by.
I do ‘people-watching’. I pretend I don’t look. But I do. I check out your outfit, your shoes, your bags, your nails. You sit next to me and you read your kindle or your newspaper – and I read too. I’m cool about it.
Sometimes I see people in nice business attire, looking like they got the success and the game. Then I look in their eyes and I see a tear or something else. It’s hard to describe but its as real as a tear running down the cheek would be.
I wonder why that pain. I wonder what happened, why you sad? Did someone break your heart?
Or I see couples holding hands but with a distance between them. A distance that we all know eventually will break up the love that once were. Why break each others heart?
Or, a overweight girl sitting in her skin tight leggings and her fake eyelashes going some place just ‘to have fun’ but I see her, there in the light and I know she already settled for less. Girl, you know they’re heart-breakers….
And once in a while I notice a guy sitting across from me, looking at me and I wonder what he’s thinking ….
I’m so excited that I finished first semester with great outcome. I definitely showed more dedication – the whole ‘mandatory class attendance’ works really well for me (fyi, dk-college not so much)
Still missing one grade (I wonder what’s keeping him) but I got two A’s and one B+ (the professor is a tough grader and doesn’t easily give out A’s) Continue reading
So I’ve been in New York for a couple of months now, and it feels so GOOD not having a deadline on when I’ll be shipped back to Denmark.
I was kinda nervous because financially Continue reading
January 30th, 2012 was the first day in my life as a student in New York. I was super excited and not really nervous. I entered the school with the attitude “Do You know who I am?”
At first glance of my class room I was shocked. With all due respect to the public school system in New York I thought to myself: “This is so baaaad…!” It was a culture shock!
I’ll wait and tell you what I thought of my professors and their teaching until the end of this semester 😉 Haha, but no, I enjoy my professors. They are very helpful and its obvious that they care about their students! Some of them are even graduates from NYU and Columbia which means that the quality of my education gets better – for cheaper money! That’s what I call a bargain!
So far I haven’t had any problems keeping up with the work, and I think this education was the right decision for me! 🙂
Next week I have my first test and I’m a little bit nervous but my professor told me I’ll do better than I think.
I’m still looking for employment on-campus (only thing allowed for F-1 students, and I’m not planning on breaking any laws and risk being deported!) but so far nothing seems to come up. I even applied to Cleaning gigs but nope …
I’m doing good though, and I have a very nice and sweet roommate which makes everything a little easier! (Yes, apparently I’ve become ‘that’ person … the person having roommates!)
Until next time … For the danes; take a look at my newly updated website (Tourist in New York) www.turistinewyork.dk
Would you believe that it took me 14 trips before I visited the Empire State Building? – But isn’t the Empire one of the ‘must-see’s in New York? Yes. So why did I chose not to?
Well, I’ve always traveled on a budget. Said no to museums, Broadway shows, concerts etc and instead focused on being able to afford the next plane ticket.
BUT! I got a chance to visit it more or less for free – so I did. It was a late Friday night, crystal clear night. There wasn’t a lot of people and the employers paid a lot of attention to each individual – or just me? Don’t know. But I had some really nice conversations with a few of them. It adds to the experience. Tourists, never let go of an opportunity to talk to a New Yorker!
I took some pictures with my LG Prime’s not-so-prime cam – So I’ll just spare you some time and just upload one … I want you to put yourself in my shoes; The City I love – this is my home! Well, a little to the right is my home. Queens, baby!
I’m not much of a cook, meaning I don’t enjoy cooking just for myself. But I know that for financial and health reasons I should cook more often. So going through a whole bunch of recipes I fell across this one: Cauliflower Crust Pizza If there’s one thing I love it’s italian food. Pizza and pasta, wine, olives … you name it. So I bought the ingredients and I prepared the cauliflower, the ‘dough’, the toppings and while I was at it I also did the dishes so the second the pizza was done, my kitchen looked flawless. – THAT I’m proud of!
At first glance it looks exactly like regular pizza. It taste delicious but next time I probably add more spices. I like my spicy food. Maybe jalapeños would be a welcomed ingredients.
Here’s the pictures to show the progress. I steamed the cauliflower and chopped it with a knife instead of using the grater. It was too messy. I added fresh garlic in the ‘dough’ and didn’t add onion salt. The toppings was green peppers, pizza sauce (only half a glass) tomatoes and fine chopped onions plus some chili powder, basil and black pepper. It took a little longer to bake the crust, since I doubled the serving (it was a huge ‘half’ cauliflower) Approx. 25 min baking and another 15-20 minutes of broiling with the toppings. Bon appetite!
I’m actually pretty impressed by my own skills. Remember, I was also the one that messed up a shake & bake!
It tastes great, and I know what I’ll be serving at my first dinner party for my friends in a few months.
It was relatively easy, didn’t take much work. Affordable as well, and the cleaning was done while waiting for the crust to bake and the toppings to broil.
I’ll give MYSELF 5 stars out of 6 … Reason I can’t give myself the last star is because I should have trusted my instinct and bought jalapeños! Ay, what to do ….
P.s. My roomie gave me ‘Thumps up’!
This is my tale about my POE (Port of Entry) into the United States of America:
So after finishing up my business in Denmark it was time to gather my stuff and get on that plane back ‘home’!
I got a one-way ticket with Icelandair for $500 on cheapoair.com which was a pretty good deal at the time. They ran for about the double on other sites.
– I packed two huge suitcases and got a ride to the airport.
At the airport I was the first one in line, but I had a few lbs excess baggage and the lady “kindly” asked me to unpack or pay.
So I went to the side, removed three books from one bag and a sweater from another (seriously, we’re talking 4-5 lbs too much) I thought it would be okay for me to go back to check-in my luggage afterwards, considering I had been waiting 45 minutes before they even opened check-in (actually, I was checked in just needed to drop my bags) but as always the Danes are not very considering despite they all starred at me while I repacked my bags. – In other words, I got a last taste of the danish attitude and had to go back to the end of the line, and wait another hour.
My bags got checked-in and I took my books and sweater with me in as hand-luggage. (Cause who ever weighs your hand luggage at the gate?)
The trip to Iceland was AWEFUL! At take-off I started crying, being overly emotional with the thought of actually leaving my family for .. I don’t know how long. The flight attendant saw me and asked if I was okay. I was. At least for a while.
Normally I have pretty decent buddies to sit next to, but this time I was sitting next to a very tall young man that had his legs irresponsibly spread (why does guys always do that?) and his arms were taking up more space than just the armrests. Need I say, personal space? He would at times look at me and he just moved around a lot. And at one point he fell asleep and his head fell on my shoulder.
The second we landed in Iceland he took his seatbelt off, and when we were at the gate he almost crawled over me to get his bag from the overhead bin. I was so upset that I told him to cool it. Nobody else stood up yet, not even the flight attendant. My bag and jacket was in front of his in the overhead bin, and he started pushing my bag to the side to get his out .. I was getting really annoyed and I told him again: “YOU HAVE TO RELAX!” with a loud voice. I wasn’t being unfair. The dude was acting weird. Besides, I had the aisle seat. That means; I stand up first – I take my stuff … and then you’re free to do the same. Don’t crawl over my legs and don’t violently push my stuff the side, moron! (Edit: Looking back, I’m afraid he might have had some mental problems)
Anyways….. I love Keflavik airport. I did a little ‘looking around’ and got a yogurt and juice. Then about an hour after I was on my way to New York. I had my window seat and a spare seat between me and the guy sitting by the aisle. Made up for the trip to Iceland.
At JFK I feared a huge line at the border/immigration but – almost miraculously – the line was short and I only had to wait 5-10 minutes. Then I feared that the immigration would deny me. Though you have a visa, it’s still immigration that determines whether or not to let you in. And giving the fact that I’ve been traveling on visa waiver a million times I had this idea that now would be the time I got denied – but I didn’t! He asked me what I was going to study, and for how long. And then, he stamped my papers! I’m telling you, RELIEF! – Didn’t have to wait for my bags either, they came out right after each other after 2 minutes. And I got a cab after only waiting a few minutes. So despite the cruel wait in Copenhagen, having to unpack and the annoying dude next to me from Copenhagen to Iceland – the last half (and most important) part of my trip was painless and when I arrived at my building the doorman came and helped me with my bags!
At home, beautiful roses awaited me again. My friend is just the sweetest!
So to sum it up;
After 26 times of crossing the Atlantic the 27th time proved to have some of the worst and the best experiences of traveling. I experienced the worst seating companion of all times – and the shortest line at immigration at JFK, and shortest wait for luggage ever! And now, being home with no intention of going back to Denmark for the next 5-6 years I’m finally starting to breath again 😀 … at least until my next blog, where I’ll tell you how it feels like when the study grant you’re entitled to as a danish citizen proves to be hard to get approved and it leaves you with the fear of being without income for the first semester of school!
Going through my massive amount of New York City pictures … To make it a little fun, there’s 1 interesting mistake in ONE of the pictures. Which one?
I don’t believe in making new years resolutions – neither do I make a big deal out of New Years Eve. The only thing special about Dec 31, is that after 24 hours it enters into yet another month called January. I understand the whole idea of new beginnings but honestly. Every Monday is a new beginning for me (joking!)
With that said, I have made it a tradition to write an epilogue by the end of every year. It’s a way for me to sum up the year to never forget that I’m actually living a life! 🙂
Normally I have a very personal one but this year I’ve decided to spare you the tears! 😉
The greatest thing in 2011, has to be the fact that I spend half the year in New York City. Oops. The year had 365 days of which I was on American soil for 185 days. That sounds insane but the beauty of it is that I was 110% LEGAL! (besides the times that I jaywalked – and for that I’m truly sorry…)
A lot of people ask me whether or not I actually don’t work while I’m in New York, how I can afford it etc. Well, what can I say. It’s New York, it’s expensive and tempting to work illegally because the chances of getting caught, if you’re smart, are limited.
I personally know of several people that have worked off the books! They do it for a couple of months and then they return to whatever country they’re from. For me, it’s never been an option. I have far too much respect for the authorities and for myself to ever jeopardize a good standing relationship with America. Besides, I have self-control and I know how to manage my money. I work, I go to school and I save when I’m in Denmark. That way I can enjoy, relax and spend time with my loved ones in NY when I’m there. Of course you absolutely have to be careful how you spend your money, but I’ve been spending so much time in NY that for me, it’s not a matter of spending money anymore. The mere thought of walking down Queens Blvd, while sipping a home-brewed cup of coffee is far more exciting than a night out on the town!
I graduated a 2-year college program! I’m now an Academy Profession graduate in International hospitality and tourism management! (It credits more than an American associate degree – hence why I also wrote a 50-page final thesis – dissertation if you like)
I moved out of my Copenhagen apartment and into a New York apartment. Moving is never easy but this move ended up costing, besides a lot of money, most of the belongings I’ve gathering the past 8 years. Though my rent almost doubled, I’m not regretting getting it. It was kinda love at first sight thing, and though it definitely has its flaws I know that it’s gonna be my home for many years to come.
I met some really interesting people during ’11 and I had to say goodbye to a few too. Life takes its twist and turns and if we don’t pay attention we end up losing the grip and are tossed away.
Though I made my fair share of bad decisions I also know that I’m even more determined now to live my life according to what I know is the truth and in a way .. all of this … is worth going through – exactly because I’m on the road to ‘recovery’. Determination is my power!!!
2012 is gonna be a complete continuance of 2011 and the year before that and all the years I’ve lived and breathed since I was born in 1985. I only have one purpose with my life, the only thing new years give is another year to do what I find best! No resolutions.
Goodbye ol’ tears.
I wasn’t able to sleep last night. I was “over thinking” my F-1 visa interview, completely convinced that they were going to deny me. For what reason you might ask? – For spending too much time in the U.S the last couple of years.
I arrived at the embassy too early. My appointment time was 10.10 am, but because I was afraid of getting lost (it was so easy to find!) I left home early and was in front of the embassy at 9.30. Since it’s not allowed to queue up before appointment time I decided to walk around the streets. I noticed a nicely dressed young man coming out of embassy, talking on his phone and saying something about ‘lack of paper’. This added to my insecurity, because how can such a nicely dressed man be turned away because he didn’t have proper papers.
30 minutes later I arrived and I did see a small line of people outside. Two dark dressed security guys checked our passports and gave us instructions regarding the security check. No phone, cords or any electronic devices are allowed into the embassy.
I started conversing with another man, who was there for a business visa interview due to a conference in California. I was surprised that he too had to get a visa despite it not being ‘work’ and only for a 6 days stay. Proves to show how important it is, always to be aware of rules and regulations and your purpose of travel – so you don’t end up getting denied at border/customs.
After handing your phone etc. to some other security guards and yourself and your bag have been checked (like in the airport) you’re let inside a relatively small waiting room. Inside there was about 15 people waiting. You get a number and you wait for your name to be called. It took a very long time! —- Once it was my turn to get ‘checked-in’ I asked the woman, what time it was, only to find out that I’ve been waiting for 1 hour 20 minutes. During your check-in, you’re asked for your SEVIS fee and MRV fee receipts, your passport, your confirmation of visa application, your I-20 plus any other documents relating your financial situation. Also remember a medium-sized envelope already stamped. The woman asked me how I was going to pay for my stay, and a few questions regarding my visa application (change of my name when I was teenager, plus my experiences with my previous work) Then she told me that all the papers were going to be handed to the consul, who would be the one making the decision of my visa.
At this point I was really nervous. But then, my new friend (the guy with the business visa for 6 days) pointed out that Henrik Qvortrup was there applying for a visa. He’s probably not very known to Americans but in Denmark everybody knows and have an opinion about his work as a editor-in-chief at one of our colorful tabloids, his skills (or lack of) as a journalist etc. I thought it was interesting when I saw that he was turned away and came back 15 minutes later. Apparently he didn’t have all his papers in order either. I heard him say to the woman behind the counter(with his broken danish/english accent): “Yes, I am a journalist. But I do not know if I am famous!” … That made me giggle out loud. Really, Qvortrup?
Anyways, side track …
After my check-in it took approximately another 10 minutes when my name was called. She asked me what my purpose of the trip to the United States is, how I was going to financially support myself and after I nervously answered her questions she said: “You have been approved. You will get your visa in 2-4 days!” and handed me my documents.
Just like that! It’s been 5 years, 3 months and one week since I came to the United States the first time. 13 trips back and forth over the atlantic ocean and now I’m going to have a visa that allows me to stay and study until Dec, 31 2017!
I think THAT calls for a celebration!
(To all of you going through college application and visa application, please feel free to send me an email if you have doubts or are unsure of all the rules and things to be aware of. I wished I had a guide that would have helped me. It is tough and hard work – and it’s not cheap either. I started my college application in Dec, 2010. Since then I spend about $900-$1000 on fees. There’s a lot of paperwork and a lot of waiting. But now I can finally start enjoying my efforts! If you want help, again, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thank you Embassy of the United States of America! 🙂
I don't really fancy celebrities. Yea, when you're in New York you get to see famous people on the streets but to me it's not a 'big thing' seeing or meeting celebrities.
Especially not if that means I have to wait in lines or huge crowds to be able to meet one.
About 6 months ago I was packing up my old life in Denmark. I was excited about finally being able to start a new journey. But looking back .. I wish I had done a lot of things differently.. Continue reading
I’ve been talking about the different attempts and the progress in the ‘reaching of my dream’ over the course of a few blogs, Status on NY dream vol. 1-4*. Now it’s time for an update.
I realized I had to get a Form I-20 from the university before even being able to apply for a visa. This caused med a bit of anxiety and stress, but finally I have the paper! Got it – along with a message that I need to get an Assessment test before being able to register for classes.
I took the Assessment test (CAT) this past Thursday. It’s a reading, writing and math test. I wasn’t too nervous about the reading and writing part (that I believe I did pretty well) but the math part really freaked me out. What will happen if I fail it? I’m not even sure. And the stupidest thing is I got the best grades in math just a few years ago. Guess it has to do with the fact that I wasn’t allowed any help besides a calculator and some of the questions, I simply didn’t understand!
On Dec 21, I’m going to get the results and I’ll be able to register for classes as well. As a part of this, I have to give proof of having being immunized for measles, mumps and rubella (which I have, and my doctor in DK is working on a translated version of my documents) I also have to pay a $100 commitment fee (is that subtracted from my tuition? I hope so!)
After I got my Form I-20, I did my DS-160 visa application, along with paying the SEVIS fee of $200. Booked my interview at the embassy in Denmark for Jan 3. ’12. (When I return to DK there’s another fee for the interview of about $150 I have to pay)
At the moment I’m trying to figure out how many scholarships there are available in Denmark for us ‘free-movers’ who are planning/responsible for all parts of our education. Most of the scholarships I’ve found is only available for master/ph.d ‘student’s and not for bachelors like myself. Also, the fact that I’m not enrolled in any Danish colleges/universities causes problems. One would think that WE that plan our own education abroad would be ‘favored equally’ with any other danish students – but no!
But you know what, it’s taken a long time to get here and now I’m most likely going to be back in NYC with a VISA in under a month – so who cares about the little things! I’ll figure a way to make it work, like I always do!
To be continued ….
* read previous chapters here:
Today I was looking through some of the videos I’ve taken in NY, found one of a squirrel and posted it on youtube. I always loved the squirrels in New York and I call them ‘my little friends’.
Anyways, listening to ‘You’ve got a friend’ made me think of the good ol’ days when my sister and I was playing. I was around 10, she 8. We were some very imaginative young children and had made our own Indian (like in, the one’s with feathers and tepee’s) camp out of paper and crayons. We spent hours and hours playing out the lives of our Indians, obviously since I’m the big sister I had the chief! Anyways .. it was good times and we were listening to cassettes with music my mom had recorded, I guess back in the 80s.
The one song that always catches my ears and ALWAYS reminds me of my sister and I playing is that song: You’ve got a friend … and in this version:
I love you sis!
I was busy sleeping so didn’t have time to update you all on MY black friday adventure.
I went to Queens Center, a large mall in my neighborhood. I was there 10 minutes after they opened at midnight and it was crazy. They call the event: ‘Midnight Madness’ for a reason!
There was a line formed from the subway station into the mall more or less. Continue reading
Black Friday is the day where the official sale for Christmas starts. Since it’s the day after thanksgiving, it also means that it’s this upcoming Friday. I never really understood what the dealio was but now I do!
I love a good sale, and I get a kick out of buying things and paying less than 50% for it and then getting compliments.
Like when I bought my DKNY red coat from Daffy’s. I get compliments all the time, from the makeup artist at MAC, that made my day by saying: “Girl you look fierce in that jacket. I love it!” — In situations like that, I’m trying to say ‘Thank You’, instead of bragging about how little I paid for it (But here goes: It was $360 … I paid $70)
Anyways .. So I thought Black Friday was like a trip to Daffy’s, TJMaxx and Century 21 all combined.
But apparently the Americans are going C-R-A-Z-Y with the sales. All retails stores have their sales going on, some even beginning midnight and going through the weekend. I know I’m gonna be high on caffeine starting from 11.45PM Thursday night, just before hitting my mall that has lots of activities and great sales throughout the night. And H&M handing out gift cards for the first 100 visitors, with a value of $10-$300. I need one of those.
Also, most of the sales I’m looking to get my hands on is up till noon whereafter the savings will drop (From like 50% to 25% on average on the entire store) So I’m gonna be tired Friday afternoon! BUT then there’s the ONLINE sales as well…
I’m trying not to be stressed out about it, but the thing is I don’t have a lot of money (you know, visa situation blah blah blah) but I have to get some things for my apartment and I would love to be able to save!
I’m already making lists of things I should get, and things I might get and things I’m not allowed to buy! I have to be responsible …
Also, IKEA is having a sale on some furniture I wanted to buy last week but this weekend it’s half off.
Ay ay ay!
Imma keep y’all posted …
This weekend I’ve been doing a lot of surfing online, in lack of better things to do. Such as the important things. But I. I’m a procrastinator … and now, I’m thinking that maybe I should have spent 30 minutes on doing my laundry, so I have clothes to wear tomorrow.
So be it.
I’ve been looking at some blogs about New York. We’re a lot of bloggers that wants attention. Or is it just me. Begging for some kind of recognition. Some kind of. I know I’m all over the place at times when I’m writing. And I also know that a lot of my blogs are just ‘bleh’ .. ugh!
But I love to hit the keys on my macbook pro and I’ve loved it ever since it was a pen and a notebook, and I was 7 or 8 and I wrote about what I did in school. Back then it was a journal. A diary. A place where my thoughts eventually developed into these huge secrets.
Anyways, so I’m saying. I’m a blogger. And I’m envious of some bloggers that do it so well.
But. I don’t like blogs that are lacking personality and uniqueness. I want to know right away, why I should read it.
So often I just see fancy pictures of pretty outfits and a few lines describing what’s on the picture. I think they call them fashion blogs.
I rather spend $3.99 and pick up the newest edition of Marie Claire.
I admit. Few of my posts are like that. Like blah! – So that’s why I started thinking to myself, that I need to re-vamp my site. Very soon it’ll be different. Plus. I wanna focus on some of my past posts. There’s some great ones in between.
I did come across a few blogs this weekend that I actually took some time and read: (no particular order):
Edge of the City – “Where urban meets suburban…”
I loved New York – “the observations of an old, new yorker on the new, new york.”
Scandinavian Femme– “A Femme Mix of Recipes, Fitness, Fashion, and all that Jazz”
Cecilie NYC – A danish girl blogs about her life in New York. (in danish)
Take a look …
One of the things I love about living in New York, is that take-out doesn’t have to be unhealthy, expensive and boring!
Today I ordered from Mint’s Thai Kitchen. A restaurant, that offers dine-in or take-out. I haven’t had the pleasure of trying their food yet, but I’ve seen the restaurant on Austin St., while walking by.
I ordered a two courses lunch prix fixe, of own choice of two courses. I went with the Larb Chicken Wrap and Panang Curry. I also ordered a Thai Iced Tea.
The Larb Chicken Wrap was, not so much a wrap as it was a large piece of lettuce with chicken and a few other ingredients. Though the taste of the chicken was good, it was too soppy and well, not a wrap.
The Panang Curry, I had high expectations to. It’s one of the things I always order, when ordering Thai and I simply love it. I would say that the portion size was good (also considering the fact, that lunch specials often are smaller in size) the rice was freshly cooked and the panang chicken itself, was actually quite alright. It was a good experience! The taste was fresh, as well as the ingredients, plus it had the expected level of spiciness which sometimes can be difficult to get.
The Thai Iced Tea, came in a clear can with lid and a separate cup with ice, which I thought was a nice touch.
This is my first time ever having a Thai Iced Tea, so didn’t know what to expect. But, I do like it.
It’s not too sweet nor bitter. The bright orange color is interesting! And everybody that knows me, know I love my colors, so for that it gets 1 point (not that I’m keeping score)
– But I have to add, that I’m happy I got a diet coke with my order. If you’re thirsty, this Iced Tea is not the right choice. (I’m still working on it an hour later…)
Over all: The prix fixe was $8, and with the choice of different starters/appetizers I would most likely order it again. Not the Larb Chicken Wrap (or whatever it was) but maybe a soup .. And definitely the Panang Curry chicken!
As for the Thai Iced Tea: I’ll get back to you on that one.
Order via: grubhub.com
Delivery time: 40 minutes
Price (pre tax + tip): $11
AND that was my first food blog, ladies and gentlemen! ’cause why not …
This is getting on my nerves. If there’s anybody that deserves getting a visa I would be one of the first on the list. Have I not done everything the last 5 years in accordance to getting this dream fulfilled? Or am I fooling myself. Where did I go wrong?
I still need to prove I have about $14.000/year – right now, the only solution is someone willing to sponsor me, and understand that I wouldn’t really take their money because I have the money coming from scholarships in Denmark.
This is stressing me out.
Since my first encounter with an American hospital back in April, I’ve been thinking how absolutely fortunate we are in Denmark.
Never having to worry about being able to cover the cost of the help from a medical professional.
I went and looked at my online medical journal that keeps track of all the encounters I’ve had since birth and it scares me to think the amount of money I would have had to pay for this had it been in America. – Or, the lack of help I would have gotten since I would probably never have been able to pay for most of these things.
So now I’m here again, a little bit scared about what to do. I’m having some severe stomach ache with a high heart rate, nauseousness and maybe a little bit of fever. It started yesterday afternoon. I don’t think I ate something weird, and I have had plenty of water (yes mom, I bought a Brita filter bottle to go) I hoped that when I woke up this morning, I’d feel better. But no, it’s absolutely the same. I get dizzy standing up, my pulse is too high and I feel disgusted thinking about eating anything.
If I was in Denmark, I would call the doctor or the emergency room and have a check-up. No questions asked. At least I would know what it is instead of self-diagnozing through web articles.
But I’m in New York. I have travel insurance but it was such a hassle last time (and to this day I still get bills though I know it was paid for many months ago) so I feel that I wanna wait and see if drinking chamomile tea won’t make me feel better.
Most likely this is just a harmless infection and I’ll feel good tomorrow. But what if it’s not? I can only imagine the thousands of Americans without healthcare (or limited) battle these decisions!
I love that I’m taken care of in Denmark. I don’t know what I would do living with such an uncertainty all the time.
Ay I’ll be alright but if you don’t hear from me again — call 911 in a few days 😉
So this whole ‘getting my student visa’ situation is really getting frustrating. I keep reading other people’s experiences and hearing how other people did it. People give me good advice but when I look at my papers it looks a lot more complicated.
It makes me really sad, because I really want to continue my education in New York. I think it will be an awesome opportunity to study hospitality and tourism in the greatest travel destination on earth! Also, I don’t feel that I put my best foot forward while studying in Denmark and I do want to enhance my understanding of the industry. Plus, I think it will benefit not just me on a personal level but also the business I want to build once back in Denmark.
Anyways, I’ve not given up the last 5 years and it’s absolutely not the time to do so now. Not only is it a perfect choice for me to study in New York it will also be of my own personal interest. I have a lot of friends in New York that I can’t wait to get to know better and I wanna ‘be a part’ of the group! I’m not ready to say goodbye to any of them now.
So in my fight to keep this dream going I went to get my picture taken yesterday, and I filled out my application for the green card lottery. I did it a few years ago, not knowing that you’re not suppose to pay for it. This time I did it the right way and it was so easy! Now, obviously there’s no guarantees that I’ll win it but it doesn’t hurt to try.
Today I was also looking into other hospitality management programs in New York. There’s definitely others but the cost is still the same or more. I wish I didn’t have to show documentation that I have $32.000 … When in fact, I do have them .. coming!
And all the airports I get in my heart is pumping for … well, yesterday was a nightmare.
After my final exam in the A.P program of hospitality and tourism management, which I passed, I went home and took a 3 hour nap. I woke up around 7pm, had dinner and finished up some work as well as packing my bags for New York. Continue reading
Yesterday night I was tweeting when I accidentally started reading about the Guns for Cash program where you can turn in a gun, no questions asked, and get cash in return. October 22nd, you would receive a $200 bank card. It intrigued me to read further on NYPD’s website.
After a while, I hit the Missing Persons button and I just couldn’t stop staring at these people’s faces. I started thinking about their families, their lives. Why they are missing? Did one of them decide one morning to leave and never come back? Or did someone do them harm? … And I was thinking, what brings a person to leave everything, not turn back, just keep on walking away from everything they know. And what brings a person to do harm to a fellow human being?
I know that sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the life that I’m living and I feel ’empty’. I feel that there’s nothing I can do, but to leave and not look back. But I would never really do it, though the temptation of it is so sweet at times.
I guess we all have times in our lives where the roughness of breathing makes it unbearable to continue and .. well, we can make decisions that either have tragic consequences for ourselves or for other people.
I wish that these missing persons will show up, healthy and happy. Or if anything, I wish that their families no longer will have to suffer from the uncertainty, the longing …
Man, this world is crazy! We need the Resurrection.
I looked into a few of the cases … I’m such a mess, tears running down my cheeks reading about these people. They’re not just a face with a name and a date of disappearance. There’s a story behind.
Like Edmond Tillman’s: (especially read the comments below the article) http://jasmynecannick.typepad.com/jasmynecannickcom/2005/11/black_gay_and_l.html
Indira Montiero’s: http://www.charleyproject.org/cases/m/montiero_indira.html
I’m going through more than I want to admit right now. It’s really really hard! Not only am I dealing with personal issues that I should have dealt with years ago, I also have to face the fact that I’m actually in a bad state – financially!
As I mentioned in my last blog I accidentally misunderstood how I need to provide the financial documentation that I will be able to pay the expenses involved with studying in the US.
That meant that I’ll have to come up with a whole bunch of money. My bank, with a little help from my grandfather seems willing to help out with a loan. My financial situation in general isn’t that bad, so they’ve normally been really helpful and this time it sounded like we’d be able to work something out, even though it’s a whole lot more than what a normal 26-year old would borrow when it’s not for a house or a car.
Next Thursday I have my final exam where I have to defend my dissertation. I should have started preparing but I’ve been so focused on my financial situation. Actually, I’ve been worrying a lot…. I wanna do what’s RIGHT!
Well isn’t this just lovely?
I didn’t do my work good enough, I hadn’t read my papers thorougly enough – the ones I got when I was accepted to CUNY.
I thought I didn’t have to prove I had the financial funds Continue reading
It was hard leaving New York. Leaving the town of Forest Hills, that is my home. Leaving my friends, that I love so much!
I got the chance to say goodbye and hug two of my best friends, and it did break my heart looking over my shoulder when saying the last farewell, on my way through security. I know, that when I return .. it’ll all be here .. but it will be different!
I gotta do, what I gotta do. If any of it was real, it will have more the reason to be real when I come back! I have to tell myself that.
The flight was not as pleasant as hoped for. I love flying Icelandair. But we were stuck on the runway for 40 minutes. I took a Benadryl and was able to sleep most of the way to Iceland, but I woke up with an aching body many times. I guess sleeping on an air mattress / couch for 3 months is not healthy at all.
When I finally got to Denmark, my mom picked me up. Haven’t seen her in 4 months and it was a tearful moment.
A few hours later, I saw my baby sister (the 15 year old) and oh, I love her so much! I kept hugging her, never wanted to let go.
It was a weird evening, being back in the house that I grew up knowing that it’s no longer home. Not knowing what will happen to me in the next couple of months. But I will be strong, “I will come back STRONG!”
Denmark is my country and I will get the best out of it, before I go back to New York for school. After all, that was the whole purpose of going to New York in the first place, right? Not creating a life, not falling in love …
Please, remember me! Please!
(This one is dedicated to you!)
“September 26, 2006.
It was an early morning, didn’t sleep all night. My bags were almost packed and all I had to do was get as much coffee down without puking – I was a nervous wreck. Continue reading
It’s no secret I’ve been trying to finish school by writing my final thesis/dissertation. Continue reading
I’ve been so busy, way too busy to write anything. Even my dissertation is suffering from it. But life is so beautiful, and how can I possible say no, when being asked to go out and enjoy life!
Since Irene, I’ve been running around, seeing things, experiencing things, hung out with friends.
I’ve been spending a lot of time with one good friend in particular, and has really been a true pleasure to get to know him better. I normally never talk about my private life in this blog but he really is worth mentioning! Through his eyes, I now see New York in a different light. It’s something I will take with me. (You know, this is ‘real’!)
It also took me on a trip to Philadelphia, where I met new great people.
Yesterday, I went with my a close girlfriend of mine to see Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. It was on my Bucket list for last year but never got a chance to go. BUT WOW! What an experience! Absolutely recommendable!
I’m so happy to have friends that makes life easier and even though I don’t want to leave them to go back to Denmark in 12 days, I know that they will all (no exception, right?) be there when I come back. And I can’t wait for that day. When that’s said, I will make my stay in Denmark good. Will be great to see my beautiful sisters and wonderful mom again. I sometimes forget how much they mean to me.
I made sure I had candle lights, canned goods, veggies and fruits, water and yes, I even bought a bottle of Captain Morgan. They told me I could expect her Saturday evening.
I always get a little stressed out, when I’m expecting company. I find walking a good way of releasing the stress, therefor I went to the nearest park and walked approx. 5 miles in the rain. It was really nice.
When I was back home, I was curious if Irene was gonna be here on time. You know the drill, looking out the windows – looking at the clock.
Eventually I got bothered and I thought watching a movie would help ease my mind. It really didn’t.
I mean, how disrespectful not showing up on time? After all the preparation? It’s no secret that I was really upset with Irene.
I made myself a drink and went to bed. I don’t know why, but I was thinking to myself; that maybe I got the time wrong. Maybe she wouldn’t arrive until early Sunday morning. After all, it was a long journey she was on.
I woke up a few times during the night. It was raining a lot! Actually, it poured down for hours. During the night it got more and more windy. But so far, when I looked out the windows, I didn’t see anything that fit the description of Irene.
Around 9am I realized that Irene must have had dressed down for NYC. Didn’t she get the memo that the entire city was extremely prepared for her and her windy friends? It was kind of an disappointment but then again, nobody should party THAT hard!
(Jokes aside: Thankful that NYC wasn’t hit as badly as other areas of the East Coast. My heart goes out to the people who did suffer great loss!)
I’ve always said that New York City is the love of my life. Because no matter how imperfect I am, how much I mess up. New York will never leave me.
I also tease people sometimes by saying I’m going on a date. People think I’m talking about an actual date, when in fact I’m just talking about dating my city. In other words: Just walking around the streets of Manhattan is to me, quite an awesome way of spending my time.
After I moved into my apartment I have been able to enjoy my time alone and have more energy to actually enjoy the wonders of the city I live in, without having to stress around.
Lately I’ve been spending quite a lot of time with a dear friend of mine. I thought he knew New York, maybe not as much as I do, but quite well. Therefor it was a very nice surprise when I realized that some of the places we went, was the first time he’d gone. I love when I can show people MY city! But I love it even more when I can actually share it with my closest.
Yesterday, I wanted to take him to my favorite cafe on the Upper West Side. It’s called Edgar’s Cafe. Sadly, I came to realize that it has been closed since the last time I went. But, I was happy to hear that they have a second location not far from the original. We went and I had the opportunity to speak with the owner. He explained that after 22 years at the original location, he could not renew the lease because the rent was being doubled.
That made me feel so sad. The owner is an elderly man from Sicily and he seemed like such a nice person. We had a brief conversation and after our brunch, I went and shook his hand and thanked him.
Here’s some pictures I took with my phone:
The prices are very reasonable, but even if they weren’t I would still come back. I love the Edgar’s favorite omelette and the coffee is just delicious! Go check out for yourself: Between 91 and 92 street on Amsterdam avenue.
Now, one of the next couple of days I’m gonna take my dear friend with me around Forest Hills and try and convince him that this area kicks butt!
But if I can’t … At least I still have the City!
I haven’t been able to write as much as I want to. There’s been so much going on and though my intentions are to always update and please my readers, life gets in the way!
But I do want to make a brief summary of the last couple of weeks:
I did it!
Nobody, not even myself believed that I was going to do this. Now, while the tears are running down my cheeks, adding a dimension to the smile on my lips, I know I had it in me.
Eventually the struggle, the hassle, the hard work has paid off.
It’s 4am; besides from the rugs I bought in Ikea yesterday and the suitcases that I managed to pack the leftovers of my past 8 years in Denmark, the room is empty.
It doesn’t matter. I already knew this apartment was going to be my home. It already feels like home. I am home.