Travel Blooper Friday: My Brooklyn Disappearing Act

With the start of the school year just around the corner (thanks for reminding me, Target, and every other retail establishment in America), I thought today I’d tell you about the time I went to school in New York for the summer.

Brooklyn, circa 2002: I thought I wanted to be a fashion designer so my parents agreed to let me “try it out” during a month long pre-college summer program at Pratt Institute. I was sixteen and we were living in New Jersey and we couldn’t afford for me to stay in the dorms on campus so every morning my mom would drive me to the train station, from whence I would board a bus for Penn Station New York, catch the subway to Brooklyn and walk to Pratt.

The commute took two hours every morning and two hours every evening; I would do my homework on the train as best I could and would arrive home covered in charcoal, clutching my huge gray plastic portfolio, which I’d recently begun jamming into the subways doors just as they were closing in order to pull myself inside.

I'm still not sure why my "fashionable hiking wear" line never caught on... How amazing is that poncho???

I’m still not sure why my “fashionable hiking wear” line never caught on… How amazing is that poncho???

It was kind of a big thing for a sixteen year old from a small town in New Jersey to be commuting to New York every day, and the deal was I had to call home each morning when I arrived on campus.

One morning I forgot to call. And despite my efforts to fit in amongst all of the wannabe artists (most of whom were way more tormented and seemingly therefore way more talented than I), I found myself being called out of my fashion design class and into the office—the office! At college! Well okay, pre-college. But still. It was in front of everyone, all because I’d forgotten to call home and because my mother had, as any good mother would, panicked and called the school.

Moral of the Story? To be honest, I’m not sure that there is one. Just an apology: sorry, Mom.


4 Responses to “Travel Blooper Friday: My Brooklyn Disappearing Act”

  1. Landlord No Longer

    Wow, what a nutjob your mom is 😉

    And lest anyone think I was overprotective, I was more, “I don’t care where you go or what time you come home or how much you have had to drink, I just need to know where you are and an ETA of arrival time”

    And of course my best line was, “I don’t want to be that mom that when the police ask, what time was your daughter supposed to be home” or “when did you last speak to your daughter” and not have the answer, because then they would think you were some chronically truant child and would put less effort into finding you!

    Ugh, parenting…makes one a crazy person for sure 🙂

    • Kat Richter

      Haha! I remember you always saying that about not wanting to look like an idiot if you had to talk to the police 🙂

      I will say you guys did pretty much let me do whatever as long as you knew where and with whom I was doing it.

  2. Jerseyite Lurker

    Your first season of navigating the subways of New York alone at age 16, and you didn’t have any bigger mishaps and misadventures than that? Or will those misadventures be coming up some other Friday?

    How’s Abuela?


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