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Neurotic As Hell

Choosing Figs Blog

This is what 4am looks like when you're at the bottom of a canyon that cuts off power for the night. It's what 4am looks like when your group, the "slow group," starts its ascent. It's what 4am looks like when you're trekking Colca Canyon in Peru. Black. It looks so black you can't even see a foot in front of you. But, if you look up, there will be stars. More stars than you've ever seen. So you turn off your flashlight, and stand, for a moment, staring upwards, wishing you knew more constellations, any constellations, before turning your light...

"This is Antigua." That's all I could think when I entered the main square in Arequipa, Peru. Both were surrounded by walkways of arched columns where touts would constantly hassle you to book a tour, eat at their restaurant, buy some sunglasses. Both were flanked by a giant church. Both centered around a park, and a fountain, where women in traditional garb tried to get you to buy traditional souvenirs, eat some ice cream, or, in Arequipa's case, take your photo with an alpaca. Arequipa was bigger than Antigua, but so eerily familiar that I often forgot where exactly I was....

Huacachina, Peru is a weird little outlet in southwestern part of the country. The town, if you can even call it that, centers around a natural lake, and that is surrounded by giant dunes of sand. It's a vintage relic, really, one of those places you could imagine being filled with rich Peruvians on a weekend holiday back in the seventies. But this is 2014, and it's now kind of run down, and it retains all that 70s charm, and local vacationers, while still there, have been outnumbered with bus-loads of tourists stopping to take photos before getting back on...

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. Parque del Amor in Lima, Peru. At least, I managed to think about that 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,"...

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...

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!...