‘Do you know anyone in New York?’

Yesterday, I attended First Friday, a monthly happy hour that attracts aspiring politicians, political journalists, Hill staffers, and wonks. I usually run into friends at First Friday, so I go every month regardless of the inevitable political discussions. Joey and I became friends through a University of Arizona political club as freshmen, but we don’t typically talk politics, so we jokingly whined about having to chat about the election that night.

Joey and I arrived at the gathering fairly late and soon learned that cups of Bud Light were free until 7:30 p.m. We pushed past the others to grab drinks and then retreated outside. I bumped into several friends, all of whom congratulated me on New York. After they wished me good luck, I asked if they had contacts in the area. By the end of the night, Joey made fun of me for posing this question countless times.

“God, you’re asking EVERYONE if they know people in New York,” he said, shaking his head.

Laughing at First Friday!

Nevertheless, he offered to put me in touch with one of our UA classmates in Manhattan. Joey had a valid point, though. I’ll stop at nothing to meet people in the area. In many situations, I’m timid, but not when it comes to moving, job searching, and interviewing. Whenever I have to do those things, I channel my assertive mother, who will literally stand at a grocery store line for an hour and talk the employee through each of her purchased items if she thinks she’s been ripped off. When need be, I’m aggressive, and I’m taking that approach to my relocation.

Empire State HDR 02 Manhattan New York City
Image by Jon Himoff via Flickr

Thankfully, I’ll be in NYC in a little more than a week. I’m staying with a friend for a while as I search for places to live. That brings me to my obvious request:

If you have any friends or contacts in the NYC area, please drop my name and email address their way. I’d love to get to know people up there and possibly find a roommate, so I beg of you to point me in the right direction. Thankfully my colleague Kells has been a tremendous help putting me in contact with his cousin, who has introduced me to her buddy in need of a roommate, so I feel like my pestering has been effective, albeit annoying.

So, if you know anyone in the area, help me out šŸ™‚

As I get ready to move on to big and exciting things, I can’t help but think about how much I’ll miss my D.C. co-workers and friends. I had an awesome year at TheDC and will definitely miss my employees who watched me grow, stumble, succeed, take a plunge, and get back on my feet again.

First and foremost, I’m grateful for homepage editor Vince Coglianese, the ultimate calm in the storm and leader. He’s kind of like the parent who keeps his cool while everyone else panics.Ā As I’ve said in previous entries, Vince oversees a lot in the office and is the go-to person for almost anything, so I’ll miss his guidance and patience. I’ve never seen Vince lose his cool, and I’m not sure what would happen if he were to break. We all kind of depend on and feed off his strength. He looks out for everyone, has comedic timing, is an expert headline writer, and an all around awesome person.

I’ll miss Steven and Paul, two other excellent editors who know how to handle stressful situations and keep everyone relaxed. I’ve known Steven almost a year and will never forget all the funny conversations we had about growing up in small towns and meeting the most unusual people imaginable. Crazy people flock to us, and neither of us could decide who had worse luck with random strangers.

Paul has a calming demeanor and never complains, and I foresee great things for him at TheDC and beyond. His patience and willingness to work beyond his capacity will serve him well in the future. Kells is quiet but observant and picks up on things many people don’t notice. Joe is another calmingĀ presenceĀ in a sea of chaos, and he has an uncanny way of knowing how to flesh out practically any story and connect with all staff members. Expect Ā to see big things fromĀ Michelle, our new video reporter who tackles serious issues and is kind to everyone she meets (it’s because she’s from California!). I’m going to miss the quiet compassion of my “twin” Peter Tucci, who was born two days after me in the same southern California hospital. He looks nothing like his family members and bears a striking resemblance to me, so the ongoing office joke is that we’re siblings:

The veteran reporters — Alex, Jeff, Boyle, Will, Caroline, CJ, Alexis, and Neil— will keep producing exceptional content and making TV appearances. I’m really going to miss Boyle, who comes to the office every day bursting with enthusiasm, story ideas, and theories. Most of the time, he’s so passionate about his articles that he gets jittery. I’ve never met anyone like Boyle, so if you have yet to cross paths with him, you’re missing out on what many like to call “The Matthew Boyle Experience”.

Boyle, Nikki, and me

Laura B. will continue running the world and managing the office, an overlooked but crucial task. Her job is much harder than I think anyone realizes, but she’s appreciated by all. She also has impeccable fashion sense, which I’d love to emulate. Once I lock down an apartment in New York and have my funds in order, my next priority will be to invest in a new wardrobe. Am I selling my soul to a shallow, materialistic industry? Perhaps, but I want to keep up with New Yorkers in pace and style.

Who could forget the wonderful professor Matt Lewis, my trustworthy mentor at both The Daily Caller and Townhall.com? I’ve known Matt since my lowly intern days in 2008, and even back then he wanted to know my story. For someone who frequently goes on TV, Matt is one of the most down-to-earth, approachable folks I’ve ever known. Interns, entry level employees, senior reporters, and execs flock to him. Matt often jokes that people frequently come to his office to chat and subsequently slow down his writing process. Of course he doesn’t mind this, and there’s a reason why people turn to him. He’s nice to everyone, and I think it’s because he made it on his own in journalism and television. He came from a small farm town in Maryland and made his way up through hard work, persistence, and drive. Matt is my hero and I’m really going to miss our bi-weekly coffee runs and chats. Of everyone at TheDC, I feel luckiest to have gotten to know Matt.

There’s also the famous, mysterious Jim Treacher, who is also the wittiest person in the world. He’s another excellent mentor at TheDC and I’m beyond lucky to have worked alongside him. He’s as approachable as they come, so please tweet or Facebook at him one of these days. You’ll be glad you did! Like Matt, Treacher is an open, kind-hearted public figure who takes an interest in those who have talent. He doesn’t care how popular, unpopular, conventionally normal, or weird you may be. He spots talent instantly and welcomes all. I’m going to miss his hysterical one-liners, but thankfully I’ll always have my daily dose of Jim Treacher on TheDCMorning!

Last but not least, I’ll miss my “Chocolate Buddy” Alex Treadway. For the past year, the two of us have wanted chocolate at the exact same time of day at least once a week. In the late afternoon, we raid the office kitchen andĀ refrigeratorĀ for something sweet, but of course chocolate is hard to come by with a large staff of hungry workhorses.

After a while, we discovered our mutual adoration for afternoon chocolate and dubbed each other chocolate buddies. At around 3 p.m. once a week, he’d place an Oreo, Kit-Kat, or Hershey’s kiss on my desk to fulfill my insatiable chocolate craving. As a going-away gift, I gave him a bag of chocolates all for himself. Hopefully he’ll find a replacement chocolate companion upon my departure. I’ll be working with a team of young foodies, so I’m sure I’ll have no problem finding someone who shares my affinity for treats.

Like Boyle, I am overflowing with ideas for my new position at The Levo (League) and cannot wait to bring my zest for writing to the website’s swanky Manhattan office. I wholeheartedly love Caroline, Amanda, and Elizabeth’s mission — for the site to be a resource for young working women— and hope to spread the word on this amazing community.

To echo one of Boyle’s old Facebook status updates, “DAILY CALLER 4 LYFE!” I’m proud to be a lifelong fan of TheDC, but even more thrilled to start writing about topics that are closest to my heart and become somewhat of an ally, advocate, and support system for PYPs (pretty young professionals).

When I used to write weekly columns for my college newspaper, I tried to advise my fellow classmates on a broad range of issues. Around Halloween my senior year, I opined that expensive costumes are unnecessary and pleaded with readers to do the “holiday” on the cheap to cut costs during a recession. Though silly, the article started an interesting campus dialogue. That week, a girl approached me at Gentle Ben’s bar and said my column had convinced her to go to Goodwill for a costume rather than a pricey party store. Several other friends vowed to do the same. I remember feeling proud that I’d gotten through to someone with my writing.

This is exactly what I aim to do at Levo (League). If I can help even one person with an issue pertaining to PYPs, I’ll feel satisfied and accomplished. After all, I never forgot the way my Halloween piece resonated with a handful of girls. I’d love to do the same for PYPs in need of guidance.

With that, I coin the phrase, “LEVO (LEAGUE) 4 LYFE!”

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