She first moved to the South Park Slope section for a program assistant job at the crime victims’ nonprofit, Safe Horizon, Inc. Her weekends were spent at a part-time job at Florentine School, where she taught English grammar and expository writing on Saturdays and Sundays, a supplemental school in Chinatown that teaches music, math and English to Chinese-American elementary and junior high school students.
After about a year, Amanda was promoted to the Executive Assistant in the fundraising office at Safe Horizon, and moved again, this time with both of her sisters, to the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn.
“I loved that neighborhood, being so close to such great authentic Mexican food as well as Brooklyn’s Chinatown, where I could get my fix on all the cheap veggies and seafood,” Amanda tells us.
It was around that time, she says, that she “decided to focus on my social life and stop working seven days a week.”
Amanda shared with us a story of a ‘crazy landlord named Felix’ who, among other things, “loved to do karaoke in his living room on Sunday nights and had an album of Beatles songs played with a salsa beat in Spanish.”
“I haven’t done any writing about him yet, but I have a bunch of handwritten notes somewhere.”
Amanda also continues with her own writing projects. For two years she wrote theater reviews for the blog New Theater Corps. “It was great exposure and I met some amazing people,” she says. “I saw the best and the worst of the Lower East Side/Downtown/ Alphabet City/Way Uptown/ Upper West Side off-off-off Broadway scene all for comped tickets.”Amanda met deadlines, learned how to self-edit, and got along great with the editor. Last May the blog “disbanded,” she says, “so now I’ve just been going back to working on my own stuff, poetry and prose.”
She also has a poem coming out in print this month from Main Street Rag. She also took a workshop in Cobble Hill, where she “loved being in a workshop environment again.”
After a few changes on the work front, Amanda now works on special events and individual donor fundraising for Partnership with Children, Inc., where she manages about six events a year, working on invitation design, mailing lists, managing a Board and Junior Board, scheduling happy hours, wine tastings, breakfasts, galas, and the newsletters.
“It’s pretty fun,” Amanda says, “and I like that it can give me leverage to all these other really great career paths. As much as an introvert that I am, I love planning parties and eating fab food and hanging out with the freelance techies in the sound booth.”
But perhaps the biggest news, Amanda says, “and most shocking to myself, still after six months,” is that she has since moved, again, this time with her boyfriend in Long Island City, Queens.
“We’re in a tiny apartment in a building over 100 years old, so the walls are solid and the place is quiet. We’re close enough to Astoria that I can go to church and do my grocery shopping on the weekends. We’ve become kind of nerds, just hanging out drinking beers and watching Netflix, but I don’t mind. I haven’t quite figured out giving myself enough time and space to write now, but I’m working on it. I make him spinach pie and tzatziki and baklava, so he’s pretty happy. According to my grandfather we’ll be going to Greece on our Honeymoon.”
Amanda and her boyfriend go to Manhattan by chunnel in to midtown, where they go to poetry readings and see live music. Oh, and she’s also thinking about graduate school.
And Saint Rose? She misses it. “As much as I wished I was in New York the whole time I was in Albany, now I kinda miss living there.”