Sometimes when you meet someone and find that you two both have a special interest in common, it really helps to bring you two together. In the instance of Natalie, that interest is more of a lifestyle: FOOD.
A new restaurant opens up and the first person I text is Natalie. Our facebook chats are basically just us linking each other food (and cat) articles. We strive to eat out at new places and try all types of food because why would you eat somewhere you’ve been before? We dream of grocery shopping at Eataly and made it a priority on our bucket list to eat at Alinea before we graduate.
When I’m with you, I don’t even ask if you want to try some of my food, because I know that you’ll ask to try some. And we’re okay with that, you know? Because then every meal is like a small plate and you get to try a little bit of everything.
But food is just one interest. In the time that I’ve known you, our friendship has spanned to include a mutual obsession with cats. We also spend a lot of our time exploring the city and neighborhoods of Chicago. A lot of conversations happen as we are walking down a city sidewalk or sitting on public transit. Funny stories consist of the time that you cocooned yourself with your blanket scarf, or the time that we dyed our hair in a dorm bathroom last year, or our ~eyebrow-raising~ interactions when we see each other at parties, or the time you got motion sickness on the L, etc. etc. etc.
Whether it’s wandering aimlessly through Wicker Park or trekking downtown to check out a new clothing store, we always have so much to say, so much to do, and so much to eat. And so little time. But we capture the memories through the pictures that we shamelessly take. I feel comfortable pausing and saying, “wait, let’s grab a picture,” because I know that you’ll most likely be all for it.
Visiting you in Hong Kong
I can’t believe we actually made it happen. I was skeptical because I didn’t have much free time while I was abroad, but we managed to make it work with a single weekend. We shopped, we ate, and we drank. It was an unprecedented weekend where I explored a completely new city on my own with just a friend. You showed me the best that Hong Kong has to offer, and for that, I am forever in awe.
Dying our hair
People will forever see us as the two trendsetter girls who dyed their hair before it was cool. People thought we were a part of some cultish, exclusive club. What can I say, we just wanted a little more color in our life. It was a huge jump, a decision I’m SO glad that I made. Thinking back to it makes me smile, and knowing that you are forever entwined with those memories makes my smile grow wider.
Starting your blog!
I’m so happy you did this, and that you let me in early on the secret. You’ve always wanted to do something like that, and you finally did it. I have great hopes for it, and I know that in due time, it will transform into something that you’ll be proud of, and will lovingly look back on. Your writing will improve so much, you’ll catalog all of your food adventures, and you’ll have a great portfolio of pieces.
We dressed up and explored Chicago all day, with only a bus pass in hand. We ate, took pictures, and ATE SOME MORE. That was one of the happiest moments of freshman year, because I was so fed up with Evanston life that I just needed to escape. And you’re like, my main escape buddy. You and I both understand the importance of not getting sucked into the suburban bubble. You’re a natural city-gal, growing up in Hong Kong and what not, and while I love myself a nice porch and rocking chair to sit on at the end of the day, I’d be so content with a balcony, people-watching from above.
Commonplace Evanston moments
I know that I said that adventure is really important to me, but so many realizations and important talks have taken place in dining halls, on the quintessential lakefill, in mediocre restaurants (ahem, Clarke’s).
Natalie, I hope 19 (lmao so young) treats you well. You deserve nothing but the best in life. It’s like I told you randomly one evening, I think that you’ll grow up to be so successful. I know that you’ll accomplish great things. I can see it already.
<3 <3 <3