Monday, March 31, 2008
Sunday, March 30, 2008
I will now spend six days a week in agonizing anticipation of Sunday brunches with my girlfriends - not yearning for the fellowship and conversation of my closest friends - but craving Il Bastardo's omelette with cream cheese and smoked salmon. Not to mention that the $15 all-you-can-drink Champagne, Mimosas, Bellinis, Screwdrivers and Bloody Marys have solidified its high echelon within our Sunday brunch clique.
Phone Photo Op - My Omelette with cream cheese and smoked salmon ($9.00) and Debasha's Eggs Benedict with Maryland Crabcakes ($12.00) and monster Mimosa
Ra joined me on today's city walk after brunch. En route to our starting point at Broadway and 14th Street, we passed by a film crew and browsed the real estate listings in the window of a Citi Habitats office. The latter gave both of us the remarkable urge to bang our foreheads through the glass or dig our eyeballs out with forks smeared with hot sauce. I don't know how else to describe the self-deprecating thoughts and suicidal tendencies sparked by New York City real estate prices.
Phone Photo Op - Film crew on Seventh and West 20th
Spend a Saturday the way New Yorkers do.
Begin at 14th Street and Broadway (L, N, A, R, 4, 5, or 6 train to 14th Street).
Union Square, with a statue of Lincoln at the north end and one of Washington on horseback at the south, might be assumed to have been laid out along patriotic lines. In fact, Union refers to the 1831 "union" of the old Bowery road with Broadway. The happy result is the center of a lively neighborhood known for its home-furnishings stores, publishing houses, modeling agencies, and stylish restaurants - the Union Square Cafe (21 E. 16th St.) and Mesa Grill (102 Fifth Ave.) being two of the best. Home to Manhattan's first and largest farmer's market, Union Square is transformed into one of the city's most delightful communal spaces every Saturday, when farmers from within a 100-mile radius of Manhattan arrive with truckloads of fresh produce, flowers, maple syrup, eggs, cheeses, and baked goods. (It's also open Monday, Wednesday and Friday when it draws a much smaller crowd.) Show up early, grab some coffee at the Coffee Shop (corner of Union Square West and 16th), wander the market in the company of New Yorkers at their most cheerful, then head up Broadway to ABC Carpets and Paragon Sports, at Broadway and E. 18th Street. Walk west on 18th to Fifth Avenue and up Fifth to the Flatiron Building, which has been turning heads since it was completed in 1902. On the north side of 23rd Street is Madison Square Park (site of the original Madison Square Gardens), shaded on the east by two of midtown's earliest skyscrapers, the Metropolitan Life Building (1902), at 1 Madison, and the New York Life Insurance Company (1928), at 51 Madison.
From City Walks: New York: 50 Adventures on Foot by Martha Fay
Washington at the south end of Union Square
Dog park in Union Square
Lincoln at the north end of Union Square
Looking south on East 17th Street
ABC Carpet & Home
Madison Square Park
Dogs in Madison Square Park
North end of the park
The lawn is closed October-April
Metropolitan Life Building
To alleviate the stress of MTA-imposed, maddening commuter delays, we decided it would be hilarious to take a picture of me swigging a bottle of Drambuie at all the subway stops where we had to wait/transfer due to weekend construction on the A/C line. There is now an impressive slide show of photos in my digital camera featuring me in profile guzzling the golden elixir next to signs for Union Square, Fulton Street, Broadway Nassau Street, Nostrand Avenue, Utica Avenue (because Brooklyn-bound trains were running express with Manhattan-bound trains running local for all bypassed stations), and Kingston-Throop Avenue.
"Given your role with the United States government," I said, "Let's get the legal issues out of the way ..."
"Let's not say illegal. Let's go with ill-advised," he replied.
We both had a pretty good buzz going by the time we arrived at the Penthouse, where the party was already well-underway. However, thanks to an ill-advised mix of Drambuie in transit, Vodka Soda upon arrival and some sugary mix during two rounds of Flip Cup, I was in Ra's bed and asleep by 1am while the party continued well into the night.
I wish I had more fun times to include in my Saturday night report, but I don't know what else happened. End of post.
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Ra and I went to a lounge in Chelsea for Happy Hour on Thursday night, where our good friend was DJing. After turning down a promoter's complimentary dinner starting at 10pm on Little West 12th Street followed by drinks and dancing at a nearby club, we were both back in Brooklyn and Harlem respectively before nine o'clock and asleep by ten.
We had ambitious hopes for a Friday night out, but you know it's been a long, hard week when two 20-something New Yorkers pass up another promoter's complimentary dinner in the Meatpacking District and a table at Tenjune. Or maybe we're getting over the clubs, restaurant openings and velvet rope parties that are so exciting when you're new to the city. Or maybe we are unwilling to admit that we can't party in our late-20s like we did in college.
Friday afternoon we were comparing text messages we had received from promoters inviting us to various clubs in attempt to lock down a plan that we both knew we would likely bail on later. By the time I left the office, we were texting each other and relieved that we both felt the same way. All for pajamas and couch night? Say, "Aaaaaaaah."
Besides, Iris had to attend a Fashion Show in Brooklyn, Tasha is out of town for a wedding, and Mayra - though she vowed to continue with an active night life as long she can still fit in her club clothes - is in the uncomfortable phase of the first trimester of her pregnancy. Tonight, however, we're gathering at Ra's apartment in Brooklyn for a house party. Wine and hard liquor for all and Virgin Bloody Marys for Mayra. Full report tomorrow.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
I particularly love the snickers and snorts of muffled laughter that you hear in the background during humorous news clips. Like yesterday during a clip of a carjacking that took place while a news crew was actually interviewing police officers nearby. I had to snort at that one, too.
Metro Traffic Agent Joe Nolan and meteorologist Bill Evans have cool TV personalities, too, even though the latter's Accuview Forecast has inaccurately sent me to work with my wellies and it barely rained or rained at all. On more than one occasion.
"Things I Love" Thursdays are inspired by "I Love New York" (BNY, February 14, 2007).
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that she is in a small recurring role on national television. I stare at the TV. I hear her. But I don't comprehend her lines. I gawk at the screen. Agape. I see her. But it's not registering. It's not her voice. It's not her accent. It's not her humor. She's hilarious in real life, but the woman on the screen is different. It's not the person I've known for a decade and lived with in college.
Terrence called from England last week after her first episode ended. It doesn't air there and he wanted to know all about it. Across the ocean, he listened to me babble like an excited school girl and strained to hear clips while I rewound and fast-forwarded through the show and held the phone to the television during her lines. He said that I sounded like the first time he watched his best friend play in the NBA.
Oscar Wilde once said, "Anybody can sympathize with the sufferings of a friend, but it requires a very fine nature, in fact, the nature of a true Individualist, to sympathize with a friend's success."
I believe that with every fiber of my being and consider it a true measure of your love for someone else. There is no way to describe the simultaneous disbelief, pride, joy that I feel right now. Just throw my arms in the air at the crest of the roller coaster and scream, "Woo hoo!"
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Phone Photo Op - This morning, there was a chicken leg.
Yes, $1200 a month for a 350-square foot apartment. Drumsticks gnawed to the bone included at no extra charge.
"In Washington, the first thing people tell you is what their job is. In Los Angeles you learn their star sign. In Houston you're told how rich they are. And in New York they tell you what their rent is."- Simon Hoggart
Monday, March 24, 2008
Hey New York friends,
I need your help. I finally had my stuff delivered from storage in Chicago last week and now I need to unload things that don't quite fit in our apartment here. I've been able to find homes for quite a bit on Craigslist but still have a couple of items hanging on. Perhaps some of you are searching for the perfect little dinette set for a small space, or a great, super sturdy mission style coffee table? If not, please feel free to forward this to anyone you think might be interested (also, if we have mutual friends, please forward this along. I seem to be missing quite a few email addresses). I've included pictures and the details are below. Please note, I'm flexible on the prices, but I can't provide delivery. Mahogany coffee table measures 54" x 30" and is 18" tall and I'm asking $150 for it.The dinette set is 24" x 24" and is 30" tall and I'm asking $60.
Thanks so much!!Wendy
Click here for more information and photos
I only have a bed, a bedside table, couch, end table, a book shelf and a rolling laptop cart in my studio apartment, and I couldn't fit even her dinette set in my apartment. And it reminds me of this. And I sigh. And I laugh. And I love this New York life anyway.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Food and drink are a defining - if not symbolic - part of most societies, but it's the diversity of authentic cuisine within the five boroughs that makes New York distinct.
Today I joined my girlfriends for Easter brunch at L'Orange Bleue in Soho, where I ordered the Omelette Maxime and a mimosa from their brunch menu. A lazy Sunday afternoon passed us by as we enjoyed our usual brunch conversation: politics (a few jokes about Spitzer), finance (the latest news surrounding Bear Stearns), fashion, jobs, men, rent. Once all that could be eaten, drank and said ... had been eaten, drank and said, we went our separate ways - to Brooklyn, to Harlem, a sale at Steve Madden, and a city walk.
Debasha joined me for my first city walk of 2008.
Phone photo op - Cherry blossoms in L'Orange Bleue
Brunch Prix Fixe, includes the mimosa - only $12.95
The teeming immigrant neighborhood of The Godfather or Scorsese's Mean Streets is long since gone, but a "Little Italy" of sorts survives: an enclave of old-style restaurants, bakeries, red, white, and green flags, and memories.
Begin at Mulberry and Canal (R, N, or W train to Canal Street).
In the 1930s, one-sixth of New York's population was from southern Italy, a huge number of whom crowded into the famously mean streets bounded by Houston, Canal, and Lafayette Streets, and the Bowery. A mass exodus to the suburbs followed World War II, and Chinatown has pushed farther north ever since. With the northern edge of the neighborhood recently reinvented as "Nolita" (City Walk #11/Card No. 13), the old Little Italy survives as a vestigial enclave frequented mainly by tourists and, during the 11 days of the San Gennaro festival (celebrated every September since 1926), by New Yorkers of every ethnic description. Booths selling zeppoli, cannoli, and pizza line Mulberry Street from Canal to Houston. The rest of the year, Mulberry is still your best bet for a meal. Be sure to stop into Ferrara's on Grand Street, just east of Mulberry, for pastry and cappuccino. Forzano's, at 128 Mulberry, has an appealing selection of Italian books and housewares. Alleva's and Di Palo's, at the corners of Grand and Mulberry and Grand and Mott, respectively, continue to sell homemade ricotta and mozzarella, even as almost every other storefront on the block displays Chinese lettering. Umberto's Clam House survives at the northeast corner of Broome and Mulberry Streets, but the old police headquarters, the fabulous pile that fills the block from Grand to Broome, has long since been converted to condominiums.
From City Walks: New York: 50 Adventures on Foot by Martha Fay
"Best bets" along Mulberry Street
Ferrara Bakery & Cafe
Di Palo's Fine Foods
"... even as almost every other storefront on the block
displays Chinese lettering."
Umberto's Clam House
Mulberry between Grand and Broome
Looking north on Mulberry Street
Saturday, March 22, 2008
I just came across The Perfect Man starring Hilary Duff (a.k.a. not another cutesy, toothless teen movie) and watched the first few minutes. Just as I was about to surf off of TNT, Duff's character says, "For those of you who haven't done it yet, put 'must see New York skyline' on your list of things to do before you die."
Queue sunset-drenched skyline of New York City ... and I get chills. It's not Citizen Kane or The Godfather. It's Hilary Duff. Images of New York do that to me every time - no matter what the medium.
And, uh-oh, this is a movie about a blogger.
3:50pm Update: Still watching the Duff movie. But only because it's filmed in New York. [Cough]
Friday, March 21, 2008
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Here's one reason why from BNR ... just as I was considering a second job (no pun intended ... unless it will get me $5500 an hour):
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Posted 12:53 AM by Todd
Super Updated UPDATE! Pissed and Petty gave us the link for pictures! Go look!
Update: Does anyone have a picture of this woman? I really need to see what "Kristen, the attractive brunette" (who can charge $32,000 for a night) looks like. Seriously, someone find me a picture of this woman.
What in the world makes a prostitute worth $32,000 a night? What does she do that raises her rates above the $30,000 line?
- 100% absolute total discretion*
- Transportation is included. Airfare, cabs, hansoms. You know, the works.
- She cleans while you're "recovering". Dusting is included. She also does windows.
- Your shoes will shine.
- She'll "springs ahead" all the clocks in the apartment. She'll also do your watches and that VCR you haven't set since 1998.
- You know how your closet needs to be reorganized? Consider it done.
- Your initials waxed into her crotch. In cursive.
- Boss giving you shit? She'll seduce him and then sue for sexual harassment.
- Wife giving you shit? She'll seduce her and then tape it for you.
- She'll teach you Latin.
- She'll tuck you in afterwards, read you a story, and rub your back until you fall asleep.
- You'll wake to a pressed suit, a mint under your pillow, and that lingering feeling of guilt that one day the public will eventually learn of your ridiculously hypocritical behavior.
Later, -T-Audentes fortuna iuvat* - kinda
Labels: *BNR* is Not Safe for Children, Hookers, penguins, Politics, Updated UPDATE, Your initials shaved in her crotch in cursive
From a response Todd left on a recent post on BNR:
He asked, "Lord what about when there was only one set of footprints, and also a straight line with bootprints on one side and small, round circles on the other?"
The Lord replied, "Those were the times that you passed out drunk and a pirate carried you in a wheelbarrow."
I swear, New York Bloggers ... they have the OMG posts and comments that make you actually LOL in your HTML. But Todd, please don't fall for the Christmas Blend marketing ploys!
"Things I Love" Thursdays are inspired by "I Love New York" (BNY, February 14, 2007).
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
One of our high-level executives had once recorded a temporary outgoing message for her office voicemail before leaving for Ireland. Excerpt below:
"This is [name removed]. Please ..... aww fuck ........ You have reached the voicemail of [name removed]. I am out of the office through [date]. Please leave a message and ..."She had "added to" the message instead of "deleting and rerecording." Awesome.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Monday, March 17, 2008
There may be few cities in the United States that take St. Patrick's Day as seriously as New York does (or like White people do). It feels as prevalent in the streets as Christmas. Ok. Maybe not Christmas. It's like the spring version of Thanksgiving and beer is the turkey.
Last year, I was Irish twice. Once in Hoboken in early March and a second time in Manhattan on the 17th. The bars of the surrounding boroughs can't compete with Manhattan's alcohol establishments on the nationally-recognized St. Patrick's Day so the only solution is to have multiple St. Patrick's Days within a 25-mile radius of the city. It's quite nice.
Today everyone and everything was Irish, even the classic Black and White Cookie. "The cookie that says 'New York'" was saying, "Eat me. I'm Irish" today.
Phone Photo Op - The Green and White Cookie in the window of The Breadstix Cafe on 8th Avenue at 23rd Street. On a day when 99.9% of New York City was looking to the beer, Breadstix reminded us that we can still - we can always - look to the cookie. Because "if we can't look to the cookie, where can we look?"
"The thing about eating the Black and White cookie, Elaine, is you want to get some black and some white in each bite. Nothing mixes better than vanilla and chocolate. And yet somehow racial harmony eludes us. If people would only look to the cookie all our problems would be solved."
- Jerry Seinfeld, Seinfeld episode no. 74, "The Dinner Party"
Sunday, March 16, 2008
And in what appears to be a new tradition in strange Sunday phone photo ops and burning questions, how exactly does this happen?
So my girls and I decided not to go see a band performing in the Lower East Side and redirected our plans to the west. I hate hummers (because they are not environmentally friendly and they just look stupid), but getting to the clubs in the West 27th Street region of the island can be a headache on foot. My girls and I have done the walk from 28th and Seventh many a time when vacant cabs are scarce.
While we were all impressed with the high ceilings and tall windows of the West Village apartment of a lawyer for a prestigious New York-based law firm*, I was most intrigued by the presence of this handy appliance.
*Partnered by a former New York mayor.
After drinks, pizza delivery from Two Boots, and three bowls of Ben & Jerry's pistachio ice cream from the lawyer's refrigerator (all three bowls consumed exclusively by me), we squeezed two guys and about 15 girls (not an exaggeration) into a stretch and went to Marquee, where I stuffed myself with their fabulous little chocolate squares and strawberries.
The mid-Clicquot sip and chocolatey aftermath are featured below.
The morning-after chocolates I pilfered upon exiting the booth at the end of the night using Demi Moore's strategic chocolate swipe from Indecent Proposal.
While the night was quite enjoyable overall and ended with Iris and I crashing at an investment banker's highrise apartment in east midtown after a pit stop at Ray's, the evening was most noteable for what may have been my first encounter with a Manhattan-based dishwashing device.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Meet the cast of characters from my nightlife in New York City.
We're like the United Nations or a gang of Disney Fairies.
Clockwise from top (with fairy correlation):
Natasha M., (Tasha) the film and TV voice over/actress (the adorable blonde)
Ra, the shoe designer (the token Black hottie*)
Iris, the handbag designer (the gorgeous White girl with an ass)
Mayra, the international manufacturing, research and multimedia supervisor (the Equedorian with the entire exotic package, including the sexy accent)
Me, executive assistant, blog author (the half Filipina/half White girl with long hair)
*Featured as the Token Black Fairy in our Disney remake and representing for:
Gina, the fashion merchandiser who just moved to LA
Debasha, the fashion corporate merchandise planner
Other main characters:
Tokii, the best friend, whose acting career takes her away from the city more and more and takes my heart with her wherever she goes (the next Tia & Tamara Mowry by appearance; next Angela Bassett by trade)
Annisha, the publishing marketer (the Caribbean beauty)
Candice, the sexy flight attendant (the Black Southern belle)
Cassie, the Connecticut-based, soon-to-be-fulltime-New Yorker, hot nanny that I would never hire to be eye candy for my husband in my home, and one of the top five prettiest people I've ever seen in real life (Puerto Rican with a Southern accent - does it get any hotter than that?)
The most interesting part of the above list is that all of us, with the exception of Annisha (from Trinidad & Tobago), are from or have lived in North Carolina.
There aren't too many Disney references that can be applied to our unmarried-gals-in-the-city lives, but this blog is full of cliché Sex and the City quotes. Many of my cliché moments are inspired by the most important women in my life within the five boroughs ... although that area is quickly expanding to encompass the world.
Friday, March 14, 2008
David (the son of my aunt's second husband) works in publishing, and Charlene (David's wife) is a corporate event planner. Both based in Manhattan. Both very successful. And both full of New Yorker-isms.
When I arrived 40 minutes late because of late-night publishing/ advertising blah, resulting from a morning of ribbon-tying for an upcoming event, followed by the frustration of trying to find a cab in midtown between 5 and 9pm, they were forgiving and armed with wine. When I had confimed by cell that I was five minutes away, Charlene had said, "That's New Yorker speak for 'I'm at 96th and West End.'"
Despite the fact that David and Charlene live in Brooklyn with their adorable son (of whom I have only seen adorable photos) and Charlene sent me a welcome gift while I was living on the air mattress in the living room in the Bronx (the title of that post is "Cockroaches Not Welcome Here" but that's not what she sent), it took a year and a half for us to get together ... and for me to get my New York State driver license.
David said something that I wanted to make the "quote of the evening" in my blog, but the wine haze has clouded it over. If I ever remember what it was, I'll have to update this post.
I decided I liked Charlene immediately, but fell in love with her when she refused dessert and then told her husband that he needed to order the cheese cake. Any man, who has been in a relationship with a woman for longer than five minutes, knows what that means.
Since Terrence is still in England and wasn't present to order a dessert for me to
Thursday, March 13, 2008
However, it wasn't my need to return to the population of law-abiding, proper-license holding citizens. But motivated by an inane desire to flash a New York I.D. at night clubs and bars - rather than my old North Carolina one - I finally headed over to License X-press, Manhattan's solution for what would otherwise be a painful afternoon at the DMV lined up behind thousands of New Yorkers.
The process, overall, was not full pain. I arrived at one of the DMV's satellite offices on 34th and Eighth on March 4 at noon armed with all of the documents deemed necessary by the DMV powers that be. I waited in line for a signature card (less than 2 minutes), waited in line for a eye test and photo (about 15 minutes), waited for my ticket number to be called (about 30 minutes) so that window 9 could review my documents (about five minutes), waited for my ticket number to be called again (about 20 minutes) so I could pay $46 to window 7, turn in my NC license and accept an interim license* (about five minutes).
*A piece of paper to keep in my wallet while awaiting my Photo Document so I've been carrying my Passport to night clubs and bars.
Now I get to carry this ...
... And in classic dorky Katie, feel like a real New Yorker.
I wish I had my camera phone while I was running on the treadmill before this morning. On the row of stationary bikes in front of me, almost every newspaper was turned to this double-page spread in the New York Post: The Gal Who Laid Gov Low
The headlines across New York newspapers have been hilarious today.
"Things I Love" Thursdays are inspired by "I Love New York" (BNY, February 14, 2007).