It was a year ago this month that I rolled into New York City, the last year has had its ups and downs (oh those downs) but it’s always been interesting.

I think I know now why they call it the city that never sleeps… it’s not the city, it’s the people in the city that never sleep. For months I’ve been going to bed for 4-6 hours a night. You learn to, the city demands it. I guess that’s the thing about NYC, something you don’t really understand until you’ve lived in it, it’s a place that’s always short on time and just when it’s knocked you down it’ll charm you back in with some surprises around the bend.

It’s like we’re the bird that’s fallen out of the nest and the city is the cat that is sadistically pawing at us, tormenting us and making us feel alive at the same time with glimpse of getting out alive.

Last year I was just coming off my road trip across the country and a trip to Berlin as a finalist for the Mozilla-Knight Foundation Fellowship, when I got here the time seemed right, I figured why not hang a shingle and see what happens.

I’ve long wanted to live in NYC, ever since my first visit to the city in 2007. At the time I prided myself on having avoided all the tourist attractions. I wore it with a badge of pride when I told people I’d been to NYC multiple times without having seen the Brooklyn Bridge, The Statue of Liberty, a broadway show or eaten at Eatly. I’ve corrected about 25 per cent of these since living here.

To make the most of my time (never knowing how long you’ll be here is a huge part of the NYC mindset) I created a NYC bucket list with things like visit the Bronx Zoo, see a game at Rucker Park and have lunch at the United Nations.

I’ve moved six times since I’ve been here, taking advantage of a series of sublets. My current home is a nice set up in Astoria, Queens (the land of Christopher Walken and Nas), with a backyard for BBQs and gardening and some pretty awesome roommates.

My freelance career has gone as most do: some ups, some downs, some unpaid bills, some, well, hounding for those unpaid bills (which reminds me… ). I’m loving every minute of it though! Here it’s all big fish in a big pond; the competition is fierce, but at the same time it’s inspiring.

I’ve gotten to work on some interesting projects and launched a couple of my own endeavors while I was at it. From meeting with photo greats like Neil Leifer and Alex Webb (again, but always a pleasure) to helping a Brooklyn start up get off the ground and launching a storytelling project of my own, it’s been a great year, that’s gone by way too quickly.

All in all, I have to say I’ve enjoyed my time here.

How should I celebrate?

Now the question is how should I celebrate my one year anniversary? Send me your best suggestions and I’ll Instagram myself doing the best ones! Leave me a comment below!