Oh how a month can change everything in your life.
One month ago, I was serving as the Northeastern Regional Manager for Rhum Clement and Rhum J.M. I had served in the role as a freelancer during mid-September till the end of December and was brought on full-time with the title of Brand Manager – Northeastern U.S at the start of 2013. It was a difficult but rewarding position with an emerging brand that had taken hold over the past three-five years in the Northeast – primarily New York Metro – and the opportunity was ripe for education, job training, etc. My role switched to a Northeastern Regional Manager in a matter of days at the end of March and priorities were flipped from managing marketing endeavors with direct sale components to managing primary sales relationships with vendors, distributors, etc with less emphasis on brand marketing.
I was living in Park Slope with my lovely fiance Lauren Myerscough with two adorable terrors of cats named Clyde and Maxwell. I had taken roost in Brooklyn about five years prior with living a lively cultural experience in Bed-Stuy (Do or Die) about a mile away from where Biggie Smalls was born and raised. I had established a strong network of friends and family in the New York area and was, for the first time in my life, felt at home and balanced.
Talk was common at our house about jumping ship out of NYC because of a plethora of reasons including the job market was below par for my fiance’s law degree, the damn F/G/R trains always seemed to be out of commissioned on the weekends, the cost of living, etc.
And here lies the Stockholm Syndrome of NYC. It is one of the greatest cities in the world and one of the most difficult to maintain a decent quality of life. My good friend Rosser Lomax once stated to me after a few rounds of good Scotch, “New York City is for the young, the rich and the overprivileged”. I couldn’t agree more with his statement.
New York City locks you down with all of its bright lights and makes you forget that you are paying 30%-40% of your annual salary just to keep a roof over your head. Many people have told me that New York City either makes you or breaks you. I can agree that I was officially “born-again” on the streets of Brooklyn.
And here lies the rub of the whole situation. I spent close to two years in Manhattan and was on the verge of leaving NYC after losing my gig with Comix Nightclub in the Meatpacking District. I decided to stay and moved out to Brooklyn with my good mate Ned Thorne at an apartment in Bed-Stuy and over the course of the years, Brooklyn took hold of my heart. I’ll expand my love for Brooklyn in a future posting.
Despite my best efforts with the role with Clement and J.M, the position was eliminated during the week of June. If you want the full story, buy me a beer or six and we’ll talk shop. As you know or don’t know, this strange business of spirits and booze and bottom lines causes priorities shift day to week to month and liability is a beast let loose with immunity from collateral damages wrought.
A month later, I sit at a table in the Shelter Island Library listening to the new Austra album. Over the course of four weeks, the following things have transpired in our lives:
– Broke our lease with our Park Slope apartment with three weeks to move down South to New Orleans
– A wicked 3-Day bender of booze and way too much good food
– A spattering of job offers landing on my “IN BOX” and various offers for bar gigs, etc.
– An all-expense paid 3-day trip to Bordeaux to help with VinExpo
– Securing a summer gig in Shelter Island at La Maison Blanche
– A 45%-60% reduction of all personal properties
– A massive BBQ with all of our NYC friends and family
– Renting a freight company, packing up a majority of our stuff with help from friends and sending it down to New Orleans
– Packing up a car full of cats and suitcases and a cooler full of food for a 22-hour drive to NOLA – no stops except for a Hardee’s Thickburger and gas
– A proper “mini-vacation” in the French Quarter to see the sights and sounds of our new home.
– Unpacked our freight container and loading all of our property into a storage unit in NOLA
– Flying back to New York City on July 4th
– With the salvation of Pete and Nate of Avua Cachaca in providing transportation to Shelter Island, I was back “behind the stick” on July 5th
– Waking up on July 6th in a bed in a room in the attic of the hotel with only 5′ 5″ of clearance way out frak out at the end of Long Island proper
Over the course of the next two months, I will be keeping a healthy posting of my Summer 2013 experience living the life of “My Own Private Cocktail”. Until tomorrow….