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Neurotic As Hell

Choosing Figs Blog

I want to move to New York. Or Portland. Or Austin. Or Seattle. Maybe. I thought about that as I sat under a sculpture of two giant lovers embraced in a kiss in Parque del Amor, "Love Park," in the Miraflores district of Lima, Peru. At least, I managed to think about it for about two minutes before a man asked me to take his picture and then started talking to me. And then I couldn't get rid of him no matter how many times I tried. I'd say, "I'd like to walk alone for a bit," and he'd say, "OK, I'll come...

I didn't know Amber until I showed up on her doorstep three years ago to crash on her air mattress in Brooklyn for a few nights. Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago and I was moving in again (this time upgraded to a pull out couch). In the three years in between, I've read every last word of her blog. Seriously, it's one of very few blogs I read cover to cover. She's always up to something interesting. Her photography is amazing. And she's incredibly honest, even when it's something difficult to write about. And I like that...

It was my sixth time in New York but the first time I stepped back and thought, time and time again, "I could live here." I could live in New York. I really think it had to do with the advent of the smartphone, allowing me to be anywhere in the city and figure out anywhere I wanted to go. Or maybe that I didn't walk through Times Square once. Or maybe that everyone I saw was up to something awesome: kite clubs, sideshow performing, backyard s'mores, launching a new company in a day. It's the kind of place where I think...

The one touristy thing I had on my New York to-do list was to take a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. I was planning to go solo, but, when my friend Kristin told me that she'd never done it before either, we decided to meet up one afternoon for the trek across the East River. We met on the Brooklyn side of the bridge (you can start and end on either side) and made our way to Manhattan, stopping to take photos of the scenery, the skyline, the river, the other walkers, and, of course, the bridge itself along the way. It...

Every time Molly Schuyler does something, I can count on at least five people sending me a link to it. Which probably says something about both my reputation and hers. There was that time she ate 363 chicken wings in 30 minutes. And that time she ate a 72-oz steak in just under 5 minutes. And then ate another one. The woman is a phenomenon. A few days before my hot dog eating contest I went to Coney Island to watch her eat 5.5 pounds of brains to win Glutton Force 5 and the NYC Zombie Crawl's Brain Bash at the Beach brain eating...

I was a celebrity. Being approached on the street for photos. Getting asked for an autograph at a bar. Receiving random high fives from the crowd. Being told by a mass of self-proclaimed groupies that they were rooting for me. For me. A self-proclaimed groupie myself. I told that group of guys that they picked the wrong girl to cheer for. I told them I came in dead last, far behind all the other totals. I told them I only had qualified by default. But no one cared. "But you did it," they'd say. They'd all say, when I'd sheepishly tell anyone who asked...

I'm still recovering from my totally awesome last place finish at the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July hot dog eating contest. So, check back later for a full contest recap. But I just wanted to check in and say a big gigantic THANK YOU to everyone for your support. Seriously. I know some of the most amazing people who are always encouraging me to follow my dreams, no matter how weird they are. Thank you. Thank you everyone! I HAVE THE MOST AMAZING FANS EVER!...

Where I stood to watch 3 years ago. Where I will eat on Friday. Three years ago today I boarded a one-way flight to New York to attend the July Fourth Nathan's Famous hot dog eating contest and begin my 'round the world trip. At the time I thought, "There's no way I would ever want to travel for more than a year," and I'm pretty sure everyone else thought, "She's not going to make it three months." But things chance. People change. Yesterday I again boarded a one-way flight to New York. This time to compete in the July Fourth Nathan's...

Mallory gets a steady job baby-sitting for a couple of twins. And boy are they cute: they dress alike and look alike. There is no way to tell them apart! But soon Mallory learns that just because they are cute on the outside, doesn't mean they're cute on the inside. They are terrors! They throw off their name bracelets so no one can tell them apart, they speak in their own special twin language, and they switch places. Mallory is ready to give up. They are too much trouble for her to handle. But then she discovers a secret: the twins aren't...

Booking plane tickets makes me nervous. I can spend hours searching Kayak and Skyscanner for the perfect place, the perfect price, but, even if I find a great deal, can never bring myself to book. Even if I know that I have to be somewhere for something at a specific date and time I hem and haw over whether I should get there an extra day early or what time of day I should leave and arrive. The longer I travel, the harder making travel plans gets. It seems like it would be the opposite: I'd get so comfortable picking...