Welcome Week Stories: A Failed Stint as a New York Guru

Stefanie Chan for WSN

Stefanie Chan for WSN

By Patrick Seaman, Staff Writer

As a fresh freshman at NYU I really, really didn’t like the idea of Welcome Week. I was new-to-NYU but not-new-to-New York City, and the idea of being told how to have fun and where to go by people who had been living in my city for one, two, maybe three years was a little ridiculous to me. I’d been having fun and eating dank food and going places and hitting spots in New York for my whole life, and I didn’t need any corny Knicks game or tea hour or an East Village walking tour to show me around. I was a Cool New York City Kid.

To fully understand this story, one needs to understand me when I was entering NYU. I was convinced that, being from New York, I’d show people my favorite spots and act like a New York City guru. I had this image of myself as knowing all the coolest places to eat, drink, make merry, create stuffed bears and buy cursed headlamps that make the wearer lose vision whenever the lamp is on, even though it really wasn’t true at all. I knew — and know — a few cool spots, but I wasn’t really all that knowledgeable, and I was kind of a mouth breather. Guru hallucinations were not a good look on me.

The first person I tried to impress at NYU was a girl I met in my Writing the Essay Class. I heard her mention she worked at an ice cream store, struck up a conversation and invited her to get ice cream at this place that “totally is the best ice cream in New York City” because I talk only in the highest degrees of exaggeration.

We went to get ice cream at Davey’s Ice Cream on St. Mark’s and 1st (which really is dope go there), and then went to go sit in a half-park, half-homeless center near where I grew up called Stuyvesant Cove. We talked for way longer than I expected, and then walked back to campus, where she invited me up to her dorm to hang out more.

Now, in my mind, I had just spit the game of games and introduced this girl to the single greatest dairy culinary experience of her life. I was a winner. I was also super misinterpreting the situation and the story is too embarrassing to finish.

However, one thing did go right. Despite being so wrong about the aphrodisiacal powers of Davey’s Ice Cream, I put myself out there and made a really great friend, one who I am still, somehow, close with to this day. So, don’t be afraid to do Welcome Week events, even if they’re corny, but also don’t be afraid to take a girl to Davey’s Ice Cream and make a fool out of yourself. It’s (probably) a win-win.

Email Patrick Seaman at [email protected]