Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sometimes you should forget what Mama told you...

All our childhood lives we are told, repetitively, "Don't talk to strangers." Everyone tells us this; Mom. Dad. Teachers. Babysitters. Television Commercials. Safety Officers. Children's Books.  Airplanes fly across the sky leaving the message in white fluff. Okay, I made that last one up but you get the idea.  

Now, for the most part this seems like sensible advice.  It's dangerous, someone may try to steal you, or maybe you'll just look like a creeper if you go around talking to everyone in the street.  But then you realize, at some point, everyone is walking around each day, minding their own business, but really we should engage each other more.  For example, I was walking down Broadway several weeks ago and had just visited The Big Gay Ice Cream Truck (and!) Anyway, these girls were walking by, talking about where to get ice cream when one notices me and says, "That girl has some!! So there has to be some nearby!!" Now, normally, I would have continued on my way as if I hadn't heard but on this particular day it was bright and sunny out, I had gotten off work early, and I was in the middle of the most amazing Nutella and soft serve sugar rush.  So I stopped and promptly steered them in the direction of their own personal summer afternoon sugar-coma (You're welcome, Ladies.) How sad if they hadn't gotten to experience this blissful experience just because they were "Strangers?!"

But the most important reason you should talk to strangers, especially when you live in New York City, is because when you see someone's doppleganger, it's probably actually them. In real life.  For example, last night as I was leaving work and heading to the train I noticed this woman standing on the corner, clutching a piece of paper and talking on her cell phone.  As I was walking by I noticed her voice sounded oddly familiar and she seemed to be lost saying into the phone something like "I'm standing right there but I don't see anything..." When I turned I thought, "Wow. She looks kind of like Giada De Laurentiis" and I moved on across the street.  Then I decided to call Summer so I could stand around without being super creepy because maybe this lady was lost, and given her location and the potential that she was a celebrity of sorts, she was probably looking for my restaurant (which is very subtly labelled.) But she wandered farther away from me (in the wrong direction) so I decided to just go home. BIG STUPID MISTAKE. And this, kids, is when you ignore Mama and talk to strangers!! Because it was, in fact, her. And I could have taken her where she needed to go and, moreover, created an even more incredible customer service experience for her in the most fantastically amazing "Jean-Georges" kind of way. Ugg! Next time.... I won't let the opportunity pass me by.  So if you look sort of like a celebrity, you may want to steer clear of Union Square because I'm probably going to try and befriend you, and take you to my lair (aka ABC Kitchen.... where you will at least be fed VERY well.)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Rainbows and Unicorns for Everyone!!!

So basically the cosmos have all aligned to make my life the most simplistic and perfect it's ever been.  As I was looking for an apartment, and getting rather discouraged as the deadline was fast approaching and I was having zero luck at even having people contact me back... a wonderful turn of events occurred!!  Ann Marie came bounding into work about a week ago, bouncing with excitement, announcing that her roommate decided she wanted to move out!!!  Jenn (the other roommate) was a little distraught as she was telling AM about this, but AM was all, "OMG THIS IS THE BEST.NEWS.EVER!!!!! MY FRIEND CAN MOVE IN!!!! HAPPY DANCE!! WOOOOO!!!!" So yes, I will have a roof over my head. The catch?? It's not available until the 15th and I need a place the 1st, but CieCie offered to let me crash with her, and Jenn is totally cool with me crashing on the sofa until then. But then, THEN! Margaret (the girl moving out) contacted me saying she was going to be house sitting the first two weeks of September and wondered if I wanted to move in early... do I??? DO I???? YESSSSS!!!!!!!!!!

Okay, calming down... breathing... But seriously?! How does it get more perfect?! IT DOESN'T! (thanks for the positive thoughts and energy, Mom!!)

Now for the things I've been up to since I was last here:

1. Summer bought her ticket to come visit!!!! We are in full planning mode and I look forward to seeing her in October!!! (I may have to do a dry run getting to the airport just to make sure I can get to her...) We are going to see all the things and do all the things and eat all the things we can. I imagine there will be little sleep and lots of caffeine...

2. "The Juice Girls" went to Bryant Park for the last summer movie installation to see "Bonnie and Clyde." It made CieCie sad, apparently she was unaware of how that little love story ended...
"Juya," Kristina and Me

CieCie, Julia, Kristina (wearing all her work clothes, because it was cold...)

Surfing on the lawn...

3. Martina McBride came in with, I'm assuming, her husband.  I was talking to him about wine when I turned to include her in the conversation and realized I recognized her... I may have jumped a little.  Then I promptly went to find Lori Lynn (the other southerner) to confirm the siting...  Sure enough, it was her. And I was excited because "B," Sara and I use to dance around the living room, jumping on the furniture, singing into hairbrushes, and creating music videos (without the video) to her songs when we were little. I'm here to tell you, she's very strikingly beautiful in person. Yep.

4.  I had my first NYC Pizza experience in Brooklyn at Grimaldi's Pizzeria, located under the Brooklyn Bridge, with Julia and Heather (who's hopefully not going back to Utah in two weeks...) It was so gooood!! And really busy. Long line. Waited an hour. Learned you shouldn't talk about food when you're starving and in a long line to the food. But it was worth it. Also, it's cash only and they put you at the first place large enough to accommodate your group (often at a family table with strangers.) Also, ALSO... the whole staff is male. Odd.  But I really liked one of the guys shirts which said "Grimaldi's" on the front in "The Godfather" typeface and on the back read, "I'm gonna make you a pizza you can't refuse..." hahaha.

5. When I got on my train that evening... it smelled of mouthwash. It was weird.

6. Hoping to rope Heather into taking pictures of me (she's a photographer and I want to be made pretty.) But for now, here's a little sketch from Julia (we're going to attempt this again at a more opportune time)....

"It's as much of you as it's gonna be..."

We wait on trains a lot. Sometimes we sit. Sometimes she draws. Sometimes I take pictures. Mostly we try not to fall asleep.

p.s. I made a new friend today who told Heather and I we should start a NYCFood blog. I should eat and write, she should eat and photograph, he'd help with web design. He also told me he could just sit around and listen to me talk forever, it didn't matter what I said, so long as it was in this cute southern accent.  I think he's going to make a trip down south in search of love :) Glad I could inspire.  Also, he has some pretty awesome art projects and social media projects in the making.  It's all very interesting. 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Meet the "Juice Girls"

Clockwise from top left: Julia, Me, Kristina, CieCie!

Stopping in for an Update!

I may be the world's worst blogger. Seriously.  I can't even remember what I've shared and what I haven't, so if I get a bit repetitive, please excuse it.  Here goes.

1. There has been quite the parade of celebrities in the restaurant lately (some of which I have seen, other's I have not. Sad.)  So for the roll call: Martha Stewart celebrated her 69th birthday with us.  Beyonce and Jay-z had a little date followed by the British David Beckham (all of whom I didn't have the pleasure.)  Oh, and Susan Sarandon was in as well, I made her a Waterfelon!!! Then I sang Rocky Horror tunes the remainder of the day... Oh Janet Weiss!!

2. Some lovely work folks had a Rhône wine party (which is a little region in France that makes wine, and I believe it tends to be slightly peppery?) Everyone either brought a bottle from the region or cooked something for dinner (I did both).  I brought a white wine (a Viognier, which is my favorite) because I don't like my beverages to be room temperature as a general rule, and I made broccoli slaw with a sesame tamari vinaigrette.  What started out as a tasteful and grown up wine tasting with lovely apricot glazed short-ribs and a multitude of salads, with each wine being carefully tasted and talked about, and referenced in a book soon became a room full of drunken friends dancing around to old school 90s music.  And ending with everyone hanging out on the roof, looking at the stars and watching the cars climb over the Williamsburg Bridge towards the city.

3. During said party I met a guy who competed on an episode of "24 hour Restaurant Battle," and was having a party on the following Wednesday to watch the episode air!  Kristina, Julia and I attended and it was a lot of fun.  The restaurant Justin created was called "...& Jelly," if you haven't seen the episode google it, or find it on YouTube.  It was a very interesting idea and the food looked pretty awesome, I was pleasantly surprised how the concept was expanded to be more than the traditional ideas of jelly and butter. Intrigue...

4. The "Juice Girls" have taken to Julia's favorite bar to play trivia in Greenpoint at the Black Rabbit.  It's a lot of fun with categories that are way better than what Columbia has to offer.  For example, there was a "Name that Song" portion.. the catch? all the songs were played BACKWARDS!!! And included such gems as "You Oughta Know" by Alanis when she was angrier, and some Hootie (I TOTALLY told them it was Hootie, and I would know!)  The first night it was just myself, Julia and Kristina and we won a PickleBack shot...Whiskey with a pickle brine chaser (it's surprisingly good, seriously, try it at home.)  After trivia comes the Chat Roulette portion of the evening.  Which is sort of like a one-on-one video chat room where it randomly selects a participate and you can talk to them, or click next if you don't like them.  It's kind of scary, and absurdly hilarious. (did I mention we had a video projector to shoot this on the wall at the bar?? yeah, it was awesome.)

Some trivia facts I learned:
-Long ago, when the Bishop of Rochester's chef poisoned people, killing two, new style of execution was legalized... what was that style?? guillotine?? Nope, Death By BOILING! Yeah... Ouch.
-The largest loss of life in the history of the US Navy occurred when the USS Indianapolis was torpedoed, horrible right? But oh wait, then there was a bought of shark attacks!! How horrid. Yeah, I survived the war, my ship sunk but I managed to escape alive, then I got eaten by a shark.  Thanks.
-And some animal facts: The Goldfish is the only animal who can see both infrared and ultraviolet light.  On average, birds live a mere six months. And, AND the mosquito has teeth!! Forty-Seven TEETH!!!!! ew.

5. I found my new favorite coffee shop, thanks to the lovely CieCie.  It's just down from work, called the Grey Dog, and reminds me a lot of CoolBeans! (which makes my whole heart happy!) The menu is written on giant chalkboards, the staff is friendly, the music is wonderful, it's a happy little haven in the middle of the bustle :)

6. I recently ate a Vietnamese sandwich, a Bánh mì, with Ann Marie and Mary. It was REALLY good, especially with Sriracha!! MMmmmm, spicy! Then we went to Duck Duck, a bar around the corner from her place, where we watched the Sunday night shenanigans occur (dancing and whatnot,) and we people watched and drank Cerveza Pacífico Clara! It was good, and served with a lime. Also, it was drizzly and wet so I got to borrow Ann Marie's rain boots!!! I LOVE rain boots!

7. And lastly, the "Juice Girls" are crossing their fingers for a trip down south (as two of them haven't been because they're from the west coast, and CieCie and I want to take them!!)  The goal is to go through Charlotte (CieCie's hometown,) make a stop in Columbia to take them to my favorite places (I'm thinking the Whig, Blue Cactus and ArtBar if it's a Friday!) then onward to Charleston.  The hope is to go through Asheville on the way back and maybe stop in at River Spirit!!  For anyone wanting to take a little trip to the mountains, check this place out!! It is the business endeavor of a dear friend of mine who I'd lost contact with the last few years until this week!! So "Yay!!" and happiness for his growing establishment! Also, it's beautiful and "I want to go to there!"

I didn't have the patience to link up any pictures, so instead I left a train of things to get lost in. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

That time someone had to teach me how to get inside the bank...

No joke, Kids.  My co-worker had to show me how to get into the bank because it's a tricky little devil.  I've always been the kind of person that goes into the bank, walks up to a teller, says, "Hey, how are you today?!" and gets a little face time.  So the idea of using the ATM to deposit money not only seemed like an alien idea to me, but I also don't trust those machines to read the check write. And what would I do if a check said 420.00 and it read 4.20... you know?! There's no security in that.  But now I'm a big girl in the big city, and not only did it take me about two weeks to even FIND my bank branch, but I also don't have time to go by during normal business hours.  So I weighed my options and decided that other friends have had success depositing money through the ATM, so maybe it wasn't really the devil trying to eat my humble dollars for lunch.

One night at about 7:30pm, I walked the nine blocks to my bank and tried to open the door to the ATM room, but it was locked.  Okay, maybe they don't let you use them off hours, I thought. Although there was a man inside but he was standing around all awkwardly so I thought maybe he had just gotten off work and was waiting for his co-workers to exit as well so they could lock up for good (seems reasonable, no?)  About a week later, I was leaving work with a co-worker (who's lived in Queens all her life) and as we made our way towards the train station she asked if it would be cool if she stopped by the bank.  "Sure!" I said.
Then proceeded to tell her how I had been trying to find the time to get to my own branch for weeks and I desperately needed to go because I had almost an entire month's worth of paychecks that needed to be deposited (so I could give it all away to the lovely people that shelter me, and put me through college.)  I also mentioned to her that it was locked last I went, so it would probably be a waste of time to try again that day, it being after five and all.  To which she replied, "Well, you have a debit card right? Did you swipe it??"
"What do you mean, 'did I swipe it?' I couldn't get through the door, it was locked!" I said.
This is about the point where she stopped and just stared at me with a look of complete shock and hysteria, "There's no way you don't have these anywhere in the South!!" she said, "You just have to swipe your debit card and it unlocks the door!!" WTF?!
Yeah, so APPARENTLY in order to cut down in crime and whatnot, you can't get to any banks ATM unless you have a card. I mean, I was stunned into silence the entire time she showed me this... seriously?! Well that's just genius!! And more over, I could have put this money away weeks ago if only I knew my debit card works much like a hotel key.  Thanks New York... Good one!
At least Melissa got a good laugh out of this....

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I made it to "Shakespeare in the Park" to see A Winter's Tale with Kristina and her roommate, and although I'm sad Julia was unable to attend, I'm glad that meant I got the chance to go!! It was magical, set in Central Park at the Delacorte Theater underneath the summer starlit sky.

(above is the alfresco theater, but a different production)
THE WINTER'S TALE Directed by Michael Greif
With Gerry Bamman, Francois Battiste, Linda Emond, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Bill Heck, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Byron Jennings, Heather Lind, Hamish Linklater, Jesse L. Martin, Nyambi Nyambi, Matthew Rauch, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Richard Topol, Max Wright

 In other exciting news, we had the shoot at the restaurant on Wednesday.  It's a reality show of sorts (from the bits of information we could piece together.) But if that's the case, it's not so real.  Not only was the entire restaurant shut down for this shoot from about 1:30-5:00pm, but they also hired an actress who trained in our restaurant for a couple of shifts to "serve" the celebrities during their meal.  That's just absurd, especially since a pretty hefty portion of our staff is aspiring actors and actresses, some with degrees in theater from TISCH and other prestigious colleges. Lunacy I tell you, particularly because our staff comes trained properly, but okay crazy movie people... waste your money and here's your twelve dollar juice.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Because Sharing is Caring

Silly Animals:

Retarded Dog- the "Paint" art is the best!

Unhappy Bird

Weird things with Babies:

In a watermelon- "epic cute"

Creepy Baby Cake


Adorable and Hopeful:

First Dates Make Everyone Nervous.- and it's a beautiful feeling.

Hello Friends.

Things have been a bit busy lately, sorry for the hiatus. I think the best way to catch everything up is a little list, so here goes!

1. I'm now at full time at work, although I've actually had overtime the last two weeks (time and a half, I'll take it!)  I also managed to get off training pay early which was a fantastic little surprise!
2. I absolutely adore the ladies I work with and particularly enjoyed going to see the late showing of Inception with them (if you haven't seen it, go! My mind is blown and I must see it again!)
3. We've had quite the parade of celebrities lately, including Henry Winkler, David Schwimmer, Tom Petty, and Lucy Liu (who I believe is doing a movie shoot this week at the Elixir Bar!! And yes I'm working!!)
4. Ann Marie and I had no luck finding a place together so she is going to sublet a place month to month and I guess I'm going to stay put for now.  We'll see what happens from there.
5. Sarah Sutton and Steven Kady dropped by to visit!! We found a nice air conditioned, underground pub (because underground bars are our thing.) Then I got on the right train heading in the wrong direction and took FOREVER to get home, then went the wrong way off the subway stop, then my phone died while I was talking to my mom and she maybe had a tiny heart attack (whoops!) It's okay Mom! I'm safe! There was a police officer standing beside me, literally, I could have reached out and touched him (but that might have been weird.)
6. I still haven't gotten around to seeing Shakespeare in the Park, and I'm doubting I will be able to given all the hours I've been blessed to have (and the overtime I seem to put in as well) but maybe there will be time for other fun events.
7. Summer is (crossing my fingers) coming to visit in the Fall!! Which makes me happy because I love her and I love fall!!!! And, AND! For Christmas Erin may be sending herself to visit me!!!!!!!!! Yay!!!
8. On a more serious note, I've also realized over the last few weeks (after a long-running thought process stemming from the last several years) that you can't control pretty much anything, and accepting that is the best way to find happiness.  All you have, all you can do, is your best.  If someone doesn't like it, at least then you've done all you can and can just walk away with ease. Yep. No more control freak over here. And also, friends are amazing gifts and really the only thing worth anything in this world. True story.

Well that's all the catching up I've got time for this evening.... Now I have to figure out what I'm going to do with my hair for the movie shoot... hmm....

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I'll be back...

"don't worry bout me. you know real life... it ain't like the movies. life is just a bunch of stories you go through and they all end sooner or later. but it's okay, i'm going to go find my next story."

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Yada Yada.

There's not a whole lot to report over the last few days.  Let's see, work is going very well.  I'm actually off training pay this week ( I now need to secure five shifts a week, right now I have four.)  Ann Marie and I are on a search for a place together come August 1st.  It's a bit of a struggle finding an affordable place in a location we like, and we are trying to sublet two rooms to avoid security deposits and leases.  This actually isn't the hard part, it's finding free time to meet with potential roommates.  I think ABC is conspiring to keep us working opposite schedules.

One thing I like about the city, it inspires me to eat at home more than I did in SC.  Mostly because I don't know where anything is, and I spend copious amounts of time alone (eating out is less fun alone.)  But I do adore the produce section so that's just fine with me! Also, I was sent to Whole Foods for work and found out that apparently there is no sales tax on produce (and I wasn't the only one unaware, because no one at work knew this either... even my manager.)  Also, I found the Container Store (on a work errand) and if you've never been, and you love things to be organized (hey, I love it! Even if it appears otherwise!) This place is a happy organized and labeled haven! Which reminds me, I need to buy a pot to make pasta. And go to the Salvation Army (there were really good reviews for the one near my place!)

As for today, I found a supermarket closer to my apartment today.  It's super tiny but has all the things I need (and when I say tiny, I mean if someone has a cart, you won't be passing them down the aisle.)   And it rained a lot today, so I watched Hulu and found a TV show called "Kitchen Confidential" based on the autobiographical novel by Anthony Bourdain and they mention Jean-Georges in an episode! The End (for today.) There was going to be a picture included of my backyard covered in rain with the sunflowers shining happy and yellow, but my computer is sleepy and refusing to cooperate. Off to bed with the both of us. Goodnight interwebs.

UPDATE: Picture Upload Success.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

New York for Free.

Just a day in the park....

Yesterday I didn't get lost on the train, even though there was a tricky stop on my three train route.  I found this Conservatory Water at a pace you'd swear meant I knew where I was going.

I watched a young girl sail this boat straight into another one while her Australian friend barked directions on how to sail which went unheard.

I had a lovely lunch with Alice and the Mad Hatter.  Walked down "The Mall" to the sounds of a piano and a saxophone, both trying to draw attention from passersby. (I'm partial to the piano myself)
I also watched people paddle around in boats beneath the weeping willow trees, watched a young family splash in the fountain, and experienced one hellaciously hot day.  Apparently New York missed the memo that SC is suppose to be hotter.

As for today, I had productive day at work with the lovely Kristina (she's from San Francisco, graduated from TISCH and is pursuing a career in acting.) And the ever chipper Cici, who hails from Charlotte and loves everyone.  She also gets ridiculously excited over the simple things, (ex: she did a happy dance when she found currants in the fridge.)  She and I will get along well, I can already tell.  Plus, the two of them went to see Beirut last night.... um, yes please.

After work I sat in Union Square for a while and after getting off the phone with Mom the gentleman beside me turned and said, "You're from the south, aren't you?"  This led into a hour and a half long conversation about the city and Eddie's take on all the things you should do here.  First off he said to Write It All Down (some advice I've already been given.) He then gave me locations to several places that offer free salsa lessons, free art shows, free plays, free movies, free Shakespeare, used books for forty-eight cents, various other dance nights that offer lessons, free exercise sessions, on and on... 

Advice from Eddie:

1. Never take a cab (they charge too much and will take you "they long way" to make an extra dollar.)
2. Always keep a $10 Metro Card for emergencies (in case your monthly expires and you are stranded late at night.)
3. Pick up the Village Voice every Tues/Wed.
4.  Run along the Pier because the air is lovely, and when you feel unmotivated to run just try to make it to the next light pole, then the next, then the...
5. Whenever you feel a little uptight and overwhelmed, go to Coney Island and ride the Cyclone, because it's scary as shit and everything will be a breeze afterward.
6. Go to clubs that don't have cover because they are always more fun.
7. Watch movies on Friday-Sunday mornings because they are $6 and you can feasibly spend all day watching everything that's out (especially if you go to a theater with a multitude of showings.)
8. Always carry a snack and a good book because it makes all the waiting go by faster.
9. Find the cheapest way to do what you are interested in when you're getting started, take pictures of everything and make no apologies for it.
10. Make a list of goals for each day/week/month so you're always striving towards something.
11. Take the bus from one end of town to the other so you can see it all above ground, get to know the neighborhoods, it gives you a visual image you can't get on a subway. 
12. Write it all down because it makes you see beauty in the small things.
13. Keep a separate journal for the happenings in the restaurant world, because it's a whole different beast... "something you could write a musical about."

Eddie told me all about the various places to dance because he thought I looked like a dancer.  He said, "you have a dancers body." Which I disagree with, but I appreciate that he thinks I look like I exercise and he was pretty flabbergasted when i admitted I had worked out, really worked out exactly once in the last five years.  He also tried to convince me I should eat duck, because it's basically a water animal...

Monday, July 05, 2010

Little Coincidences

Today was very relaxed, thank God.  I didn't venture farther than about ten blocks to and from the little supermarket today.  Mostly because I was entirely too exhausted and in actual physical pain from all the exercise.  Plus I want to save energy for tomorrow when I go to the gym with Ann Marie again (she's spinning, I'm not.)

Moving on... For those of you that were unaware, Summer and I like to play a little game with my life.  It's like a real life version of "Six Degrees of Separation," and basically in my world things are ALWAYS connected.  Now at first it was because I am from a small town, then it was because I had been in Columbia for so long that it made sense my groups would intermingle eventually, but today was just proof that this shit always finds me.  Summer can pick up her life, move somewhere new, and not have a connection with anyone around her.  Me?? I'll give you an example...

So today, after I got my iced coffee and egg and cheese wrap, I wandered in the direction (I was told by the lovely couple at the DunkinDonuts) of a grocery store.  On the way, a gentleman started walking beside me and kind of struck up a conversation more or less like this:

Him: Why are you walking so fast, honey?
Me: Oh, just habit, I suppose.
Him: I hear ya. In a hurry to get home?
Me: Actually I'm on the way to the grocery store.
(insert mindless chatter about how hot the weather is)
Me: Yeah, it's pretty warm but at least it's not as humid as home.
Him: Oh yeah? Where are you from?
Me: South Carolina
Him: Oh, I have family there.... in Marion. Near Florence, are you familiar??

Of course you do, sir. Of course.

And also, last night my now boss, Brandi, brought fireworks to the rooftop (a rocket to be exact) and was asked where she got it? Did she hope over to Jersey to buy it? "I got it from South of the Border in South Carolina." she replied. OMG!Really?! "Yeah," she said "Me and Pedro go way back."

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Big Bang, Pretty Lights

I finally met the manager in charge of the elixir bar today and we got a little busy from brunch so it was nice to have a lot of stuff to do.  My entire body, however, was not a fan. Everything hurts SO BAD. I'm already getting far more exercise than I'm accustomed to so adding a spinning class was the worst decision. Ever. I'm pretty sure the muscles are so tight they are going to absolutely snap soon. But I'm trying not to let that little physical hiccup keep me inside.

When I finally got off work, had a little dinner I picked up from the Whole Foods in Union Square (that place still fascinates me... the lines alone are something to marvel on, but I digress,) I hopped on a train to meet Ann Marie and some co-workers over in Williamsburg to grill out on a rooftop with some icy cold beer and watch the fireworks.

The zoom is a little retarded. "Caution: Objects May Be Closer Than They Appear."

Although I new building went up within the last year that blocked a lot of the fireworks from this particular roof. Nuts.  But what we could see was pretty impressive, all 66% of it.
But now I have a phone date with the lovely Erin Ellis....Goodnight.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

A Place to Call My Own

"Mi Casa"
My humble little room. From the window you can see the garden in the backyard that belongs to the other tenants who Breck apparently cooks with frequently.

The wall of books left behind (predominately art books.) 

The living space, dining area, and kitchen (with a gas stove!!!!!)

It took two trains, five ascending staircases (several headed down as well,) about four blocks or so on foot and half an hour later I finally arrived from Ann Marie's to my new place.  I only brought essentials; my one carryon suitcase and my computer.  As far as I'm concerned, she can keep the rest of that crap (I'm too tired to fetch it)

Also, the roommate has been so nice.  He invited me to hang out with his friends tonight to watch fireworks on a rooftop, I believe.  But by the time he got home every muscle in my body was pretty much tight as a knot from the spinning, walking and non-stop standing.  So instead he told me there were veggies, beans and tortillas in the fridge if I was too tired to cook!! I think he may be giving Ann Marie a run for her money in the "Best Roommate EVER Competition."  But alas, I shall retire for the evening because work comes early, lasts long, requires a 30 min. train ride and copious amounts of coffee.  Plus I'd like to save some energy for July 4th festivities!!!! 

Friday, July 02, 2010

A Zillion Things.

It has all started running together and it's only day 2.5, so here's a summary of the last two days:

I got up early on official day one, had some honey nut cheerios with Almond milk (super delicious, btw) went to interview with Brandy at ABC Kitchen (the new Jean-Georges restaurant on Broadway just down from Union Square, it's quite the talk of the town apparently.  It's been mentioned in the NY Times at least twice that I've seen, as well as a popular Manhattan Magazine.)  Brandy, however, wasn't available so I saw the GM instead, Ryan.  He's super adorable and surprisingly young.  While we were chatting about my background and why I wanted to work at the Elixir Bar, Jean-Georges came over to ask something and I was able to meet him!!! And he was delightful!!! And he said he hoped I joined their team!!! OPEN MOUTH, AWE-STRUCK, OMG.YESPLEASE!  After filling out copious amounts of paperwork, we decided that I should start IMMEDIATELY, so I was scheduled for the following day!  Afterwards I basically just wandered around Union Square, watched the moms with their kids at the weekly park event, went to the Sbux to recharge, Barnes and Nobles with it's four freaking floors!!!  Was treated to a lovely sushi birthday lunch (because did I mention I turned a quarter of a century?!) with Ann Marie and her friend/co-worker April (now my new co-worker!)

Things to note of the day:  People sleep on the subway. They sleep sitting down, leaning against the wall, holding onto a pole swaying with the train.  Also, an absurd amount of Sbux goers order tall beverages.  Now, for those of you not in the know... that's a small. It's very, very tiny and I just don't get it.  Maybe they should start ordering a large and then maybe they wouldn't snooze through their stop... Just saying.

But moving on to day three...  Ann Marie and I scoured the interwebs (Craigslist) and called a guy about an sublet, made an appointment for mid-afternoon, then headed off to spin class. That's right folks, I spun. Sorta.  Basically I kept up for about ten minutes, felt like my legs would give out completely, my chest tightened and I'm pretty sure I started to have an actual heart attack, sat down in the saddle praying for it to just all end, then Ann Marie looks over and says, "Only twenty more minutes!!!"  ONLY!?!?!? Um, kill me now. Thanks.

After the treacherous trip down the stairs of the YMCA (seriously, my legs felt like jelly,) I went to meet a potential roommate and, AND I didn't get lost on the train!!! Huzzah!!! I now am the proud renter of a delightful room over in Bed Stuy (sp?) with a lovely guy named Breck (he's an artist) and has a most adorable girlfriend.  He seems super cool.  Does work periodically with a catering company that was recently featured on Martha Steward and he said he might could hook me up with that. WHICHWOULDBEFREAKINGAWESOME!  He also really likes to cook, and occasionally does so with the people in the building who have a little garden out back!!! And I'm welcome to cook and join, and OMG he's awesome so far!

Onward to my first day of work which was.... Amazing!  They people are awesome and interesting and I love them already.  And the product is uber labor intensive but completely worth it!  More on work later, promise!!! But for now I just crash, I'm exhausted! My New Job.

Oh wait, Ann Marie and I had dinner when I got home over in Park Slope (which will hopefully be where we live soon, it's also where the YMCA is located.) I had the most delicious Fish Tacos at a place called "Rachel's"  Mmmk, goodnight! 

ps. sorry for the typos, too tired to proofread. bye!

The view from my train.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Write It All Down.

Today was... overwhelming, to say the least. So much has happened in less than 24 hours, so many emotions have been experienced and quite frankly, I'm exhausted!

I guess the best place to start is the beginning, which started at the dark and dreary hour of four a.m.  The car was loaded quickly, the hair was washed, and we were off!!! Headed directly to the nearest caffeine fix, of course!  And I must say, it was a particularly horrid experience, and hands down, the worst cup of coffee I've ever been forced to drink.  Oh who am I kidding? I did drink that crap, I even stopped at a later gas station to try and doctor it up, save the innocent victim, but it was no use.  Mom, B and myself arrived at the airport at the exact time we were aiming for, how that happened with the additional three unplanned pit stops along with the awful drivers on the road is beyond me.  But everything started out wonderfully.  I checked my luggage, the nice man at the counter let my stuff pass even though it was overweight by about four pounds, and then we said goodbye.

As things always go with me in every airport security interaction I've ever had, I had to be double checked, all my stuff had to be sent through the x-ray again... apparently something about me screams, "Possible threat!"  Then I promptly planted myself outside my gate and waited patiently, and by patiently I mean this is about when the panic started. What am I thinking?! I hardly know anyone in New York, I don't like strangers, I hate being lost, do I really need to go?? But of course, my pride pushed me through the doors and onto the plane (although I'd be lying if I didn't admit I kind of wanted to step on the happy, snugly couple snoozing on the floor.)

The flight was... standard.  I actually slept through most of it as the lady beside me was less than pleasant when she had to get up and let me by to my window seat.  But at the end she apologized for leaning on me in her sleep and made nice talking about how people bring too much stuff on planes and she hates flying because it takes so long to get off the aircraft.  I guess in the end it wasn't me she hated, she was just sleepy.  At the baggage claim in LaGuardia Ann Marie found me!! We collected my belongings and decided to take the most cost effective way back to her apartment (from Queens to Brooklyn) which included one lengthy mostly crapped and standing bus ride (although a delightful man assisted me in getting my bags off the bus,) followed by three very large flights of stairs (another man carried my heaviest bag up two flights for me!) and a subway ride.  But the view, THE VIEW, from the subway crossing over the East Bay was simply magical.  We had a clear shot of the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty (who looked as big as a plastic army toy,) and a panoramic view of Manhattan!! That's when the calm started, "Hello, pretty city!"

Ann Marie fed me as soon as we arrive to her cute little apartment, and we started the search for temporary housing immediately.  Then off to work she went, leaving me with a time to meet a potential apartment, directions as to which subway to take, a phone number and my shiny new MetroCard! I proceeded to get completely lost for the better part of three hours, ended up on Wall Street instead of farther into Brooklyn, missed the appointment and ultimately the space got rented before I could find my way back. Sad! But on a happier note, I did get to see a man walking around with his pet snake about his neck in the subway.  He then kissed it on the snout and replaced it in his large yellow laundry bag.

So to recap:
Travel. Bad coffee.Travel. Panic. Travel. Heavy things. Nice people. Hit the ground running. Subways are confusing. Don't be late. Weirdo Snakes make it all worth it.

Oh, and some man stopped and asked me for directions!! Does that mean I look like I know what I'm doing!? Score!!!!!

Also, there was a most adorable little asian girl drinking bubble tea on the train. she was super cute. The end.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Love is in the Air

often times i can be cynical and slightly bitter, especially in the romantic realm, but this made my heart full and happy. i hope; i wish; i'm certain; one day, this will be for me.

Monday, February 01, 2010

la la la...

i love music. i love that there is a song for every occasion; whether you need someone to be sad with you, someone who understands your plight; whether you need someone to scream to the top of their lungs with you, or sing happy joy with you; whether you need someone to hold your hand and skip through the flowers with you, or reminisce about days gone by; whether you need someone to show you the light at the end of the dark tunnel, or someone who understands the insanity of new love and first butterflies.  i love that when you turn it up super loud, the entire world can just fade away and it's nothing but you and your song, your voice, your instrument, your soul.


this was an entire list of about 5 songs. but blogger decided to hate me, so one will have to be enough...

Saturday, January 16, 2010

oh life, it's just you again. joy.

me: i just want to love him! why won't he let me?
 Erin: you should ask him THAT
me:  i would sound bat-shit crazy if i asked him that. haha
 Erin:  so? you don't really have anything to lose...
 me:  i guess not. but i think i would just get silence. so what's the point?
 Erin:  knowing that you tried.
and knowing is half the battle
i hate wondering what if
 Erin:  that shit sucks
the imagined never goes away
the actual you can learn to deal with or get over...

but is it really so easy?? to just say it, just put it out there, make yourself that intensely vulnerable? what do you have to lose? the possibility. the hope. maybe it's better to jump in the fire, let it burn if it must. then move forward. oy, could someone else please handle this part of my life? thanks.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Trouble with Rachel...

After reading a lovely little blog I like to frequent, (curious girl ) I have decided she has the right idea about focusing on your life and the things about you and your character that hold you back from your hearts desires.  As I read Lisa's list, I realized this is a woman in her 40s who finds some of the things that hold her back which are surprisingly similar to the things I find in myself.  So here goes, "the trouble with Rachel..."

  1. She is insightful and full of deep thought, which often times comes out in a way that isn't constructive to others but seems more judgmental.  She doesn't know how to take the truth and the insight and present it in a soft way that allows people to really hear her; so what they actually hear is a "know it all bitch who needs to get off her high horse."  She also needs to learn to turn this insight on herself and her own personal life, and truly listen to close friends advice.
  2. She has a tendency to "vent" about her problems to just about anyone who will listen; and while this is therapeutic at times, it often makes her seem more of a gossip than she really means to be.
  3. She wants to live a healthier lifestyle but is incredibly lazy and will blow off exercise for any little excuse (creating lists, blogging, surfing the internet, shopping, lunch.)
  4. She doesn't trust people in general, but specifically men, leaving her heart constantly guarded.  If she let's that guard down, it becomes nearly impossible to let that person go, or to give someone new a chance.
  5. She loves to plan and start projects, but she never has any follow through.
  6. She allows "fear" to have a huge hand, and typically the deciding vote, in her biggest life decisions. 
  7. She needs for all things to be in their place but is also a massive clutter bug.  These things don't go hand in hand and often lead to stress and a feelings of anxiety in her day to day living space.
  8. She desperately wants an outlet for her artistic side but is too lazy, scared, unsure, to actually fulfill this passion.

I'm sure at some point I will add to this list (and maybe even be lucky enough to delete) but for now this is what I have. These are some of the things about me that one might consider flaws.  I'm  not saying it's all bad stuff, but you know... all things in moderation.

Friday, January 08, 2010

24 Things To Do Before I Turn 25

ok, so this is a borrowed idea from a lovely lady out in Portland. (hula  )  and although this list isn't particularly large, i also only have six months it i plan to have it completed by my 25th birthday. which is in july. the start of july actually. so here goes

24 Things to do Before I turn 25
1. move to NYC with ann marie.

2. paint a canvas.

3. purge my belongings and sell the lot

4. go to a live play

5. see a concert

6. make a snowball

7. complete a long overdue handmade gift

8. bake a cake

9. throw a themed party with food

10. obtain a camera and learn basic photography

11. manage something

12. create 52 blog entries

13. leave the country

14. spend an entire day volunteering

15. practice yoga

16. play an entire song on the piano from memory

17. put my feet in an ocean that isn't the Atlantic

18. attend a local art show

19. go to a flea market and find one fabulous something

20. go skating, whether it be roller or ice

21. read four books

22. create and fill a "quote jar"

23. spend an entire day laying in the warm grass with a book, some music and a picnic

24. refinish my kitchen table

tall order? perhaps.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

This Year in Review

2009 was not always good to me. actually, 2009 was mostly unpleasant.  but what i found out today (thank you facebook) is i was apparently pretty optimistic and positive this year (my most frequently used word was "happy"). so i decided to make a list of some of the things 2009 brought that were good. things that made it all worth it..

1. Dancing into oblivion with music so loud you can't think with a new friend.

2. Getting my first tattoo designed by my best friend.

3. Living a few glorious months with one of my favorite people in the world.

4. Meeting one of the best friends I have ever had.

5. Many summer evenings with a magical group of people. Taco Tuesdays. Brewery Night. Friday Dancing. Chicken and Waffles.

6. Four birthday celebrations in my honor.

7. Nights spent in Charleston with friends whom I miss every day.

8. Road trips to Charlotte. IKEA. Trader Joe's. Michael Jackson.

9. Beards.

10. Finding confidence.

11. Halloween. Part One. Part Two.

12. Mountain Weekend '09

13. A pterodactyl of Fall Music Mixes.

14. Happy friends and their engagements.

15. Christmas Vacation in sketchy places.

16. New Year's Eve Celebrations. Part One. RENT drinking games. Part Two. Champagne and Dancing.

17. Leaving the year in a happier place than it started.