I was born just a few weeks before the blizzard of 1978, still memorable to me only because of the photos of my mother’s VW Beetle buried under the snow. I lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in North Cambridge, to be exact (on Pemberton Street, to be even more exact, perhaps too exact).

My formative years were ones of relative bliss. I watched a new subway being dug, played with my friend Aaron, and learned about the workings of the world. When I was two, we moved—across the street.

I went to day care, learning how to be nice, share, and cooperate. I had little friends and we used to run around and play baseball outside and with the piano in the gym inside. At some point, I went to 1st grade at the John M. Tobin School, and, although I was neither the shortest nor the youngest in my class, I would be close for the next 8 years.

1991 brought high school, and I decided to ride the train out to Concord Academy, a decision I have never really regretted. I had an interesting cultural awakening at Concord, realizing that there were kids with considerably more money and less interesting things to say than my former classmates, but I also made some friends that have lasted for quite a while now. I learned a lot too.

I played baseball all four years, and was a co-captain my last one. I think we only won 5 games that year, but we tried real hard, and we had a good time. I played flute in the Jazz Ensemble, and arranged “On the Sunny Side of the Street” for the band when I was a senior.

After high school, I did probably the stupidest thing I have ever done—I worked on an independent film. For working 14-hours a day, 6-days a week (84 hours a week, for you math whizzes) in such lovely places as a Hell’s Kitchen porn video store I was compensated with the whopping weekly sum of $125 ($1.49/hour, which I think, even then, was below minimum wage). I did get to hang out in the general vicinity of minor film stars (ok, very minor) and have long conversations with homeless people while watching the trucks on blisteringly hot days, but, aside from that, the only perks were living in New York, and the $8/day in meal money.

I went to Cornell in 1995, a relatively naïve young man (in some respects—in others I was not, it doesn’t matter what falls into which category). I was, from the outset, in the Urban and Regional Studies major in the College of Architecture, Art & Planning, and immediately felt at home. I learned about cities, rode cafeteria trays down the library slope in the winter, drank in small dorm rooms, and had an interesting relationship with my roommate. [One interesting anecdote here]

My second year I lived in the same room, with a new roommate, and we had a blast. I worked in one of the dining halls, sticking hamburgers on the wall and putting onion rings in people’s omelets—they had asked for “anything as long it is vegetarian” and the things were just sitting there.

Junior year I went to Rome through the Cornell-In-Rome program. I lived in Trastevere, re-discovered soccer, (I fell in love with one of the roman teams—Lazio—after going to a game one Sunday night [full story, in intimate detail here]), and had an all around bang up time. I can still give advice on good things to do in Rome, so email me if you want some.

I decided I couldn’t bear another Ithaca winter after a fall in Italy, so I took the spring semester off (actually, I had planned to the whole time) and traveled for 3 months around Europe and then settled at my cousin’s farm north of Milan for a few months. I returned to the States, and, after lying on the part of my customs declaration relating to any time spent on a farm, settled back into my life again.

My senior year at Cornell, I lived off campus, owned a car for the first and only time in my life, and played so much FIFA 2000 that me and my housemates almost didn’t graduate. Those were the days—of chinchilla crap at home (housemates owned one), guinea pig pee at my friend Sarah’s house (she owned some), raccoons actually coming into our kitchen looking for scraps, and writing my thesis, which had nothing to do with any of the aforementioned tidbits.

After graduation, I went home for a while, then moved to California to start graduate school. And I think that brings me close enough to the present to stop my history, except to stay that I have a pretty good life here: a girlfriend I love and who loves me back, a great group of friends who get together to watch the West Wing on Wednesdays, a job, and leisure time to fill with various activities. Hopefully soon there will be more stories/summaries to add here.

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