Welcome to the Concrete Jungle

 

Welcomeee to the jungleeee! I dare you try to read that again without singing the song in your head. YEAH you know which one I’m talking about. For me, when I hear this song (or literally read the title) I’m immediately transported back to high school dance team. Despite my being 23 years old (I promise I wasn’t alive in the 80’s), this was the song that was blasted from the stadium bleachers EVERY single time our team scored a touchdown. Then would commence our victory sideline dance which hadn’t been changed in 20 years and included a whole lot of awkward hip slaps and pivot turns. But you know what, it was OK because we were winning!  

The reason I bring this story up isn’t that this shoot was literally inspired by the only green area in the concrete jungle of NYC, but because of what that this shoot reminded me of, feeling on top of the damn world. A feeling like this can only come from one thing, confidence. Although growing up a dancer was hard at times – physically and mentally – if there’s one thing it taught me, it was to be confident. When you’re performing on a weekly basis, you learn to thrive off of the energy of stepping out of your comfort zone, especially what that included a killer costume.

Like everyone, I have my moments of insecurity, but sometimes all you need is a fantastic outfit to renew your confidence and you’re ready to GO. I swear, I slipped on this kimono and I was ready to conquer the Iron Throne (or at least climb a forbidden water tower). 

Photography: J Goldberg Productions

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Big Apple BABY

 
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If you subtract the summer that I lived in the Big Apple when I was 16 for an internship (yeah, I started hustling young), I’ve officially lived in New York for one year! This Florida girl survived a winter AND her first 9 to 5 8:30 to 7 (eye roll).

How did I get here, you ask? I tapped into my resources, whipped up a digital resume (alexandragoldsmith.com), and dedicated myself to kicking ass in my Skype interviews until I secured a position. **If you’re interested in the details of how I found a job in social media marketing from another state, comment below.**

Next, it was time to figure out where to live. I was fortunate enough to have a cousin already living in Bushwick, Brooklyn who kindly let me move into her apartment, so I squeezed my wardrobe into a suitcase, shipped a few too many boxes, and hopped on a plane.

Not going to lie, when I stepped off the train, I was scared AF of Bushwick, but it seriously grows on you. Oh, and...the apartments are a million times cheaper and nicer than the ones you’ll find in the city – trust me I’ve looked everywhere. I’ve come to love the local, artistic, and wonderfully diverse community (and avoiding the Manhattan douchiness that seriously gets to you).

After quickly learning to walk faster, be way tougher, and not take lunch breaks, I finally felt like the badass New Yorker I always dreamt I would become. The city inspired me to work a hell of a lot harder at my career, step out of my comfort zone to make new friends, and finally start the blog I’d been wanting to create for way too long.

Check out some of my favorite NYC (Manhattan & BK) spots I’ve come to love this year, and drop me a line if I missed any of your go-tos!

  • Restaurants: Juliette’s, Sushi Yasuda, Philip Marie (brunch), Double Zero (vegan pizza), Miss Lily’s, Dos Caminos, Coco & Cru, Franchia (vegan), Roberta’s
  • Vintage Stores: Beacon’s Closet, GG Nix Vintage, 10 Ft Single, Buffalo Exchange, Star Struck Vintage
  • Cafes: Little Choc Apothecary, Culture Espresso, Brooklyn Whiskers, Little Skips
  • Bars: Freehold, Libation, No Fun, Sweet & Vicious, Bowery Electric, Sixty LES, Refinery Rooftop, Cienfuegos, The Woods, Three Diamond Door
  • Gyms: Rumble Boxing, Body Space Fitness, Barry’s Bootcamp, Laughing Lotus Yoga, Warrior Fitness Bootcamp, Pure Barre
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Sweater: Free People Shorts: Pistola from Bloomingdales Shoes: Nike