Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Day One

Today is Day One of three for the elevator in my building being out of commission for "necessary repairs." At least there was a head's up this time, giving me time to get used to it instead of being bombarded with it after a late night of work. So I will be making no extraneous trips out of my apartment; thank goodness I had yesterday day off to get my errands run and that I did my laundry already. Will the elevator run better after this little check-up? Stay tuned...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Great Friends

I had some pretty nice and wonderful things said (and wrote) about me today by my friends that pretty much made my day. And I didn't even have to get up on a chair in the middle of the conference room to elicit the nice things. So I just wanted to say thanks and that I love you guys for making me feel so special!

Just Walkin' in the Rain (because I really shouldn't sing in public)

As I've slowly been building my New York wardrobe I came to appreciate the extreme usefulness and loveliness of my wellies (rain boots) and two bubble umbrellas today. It wasn't raining when I left for my eight in the morning Crew meeting that lasted three hours (at least I was sitting on a comfortable chair next to Stefanie and able to make snide comments), I knew it was going to rain later in the day and so wore my navy-with-dalmations wellies that I bought at the Crew for ten dollars and my blue-and-yellow-daisy bubble umbrella. When I left the meeting and it was raining it actually made me smile!

And since I was so well-outfitted for the rainy weather (besides a suitable rain slicker/jacket, because even though it's generally not cold when it rains in the city you still don't want to get all wet) and because Mark and I had just had a Lumberjack breakfast at the Hollywood Diner, I decided to forgo the subway stop across the street and walk for a little while. I walked up seventh avenue from 16th street up to 28th street. And with my wellies on I could purposely walk thru puddles instead of avoiding them. It really is a great sensation to splash thru a puddle.

I'm pretty sure I've documented my distaste for rain in the city, and I feel I've been a little unfair. All you need is the right footwear and head protection and it can be quite lovely.

My wellies that I used to kinda hate but now think are really fabulous.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

You snooze you lose

My ever faithful alarm clock, which I've had since high school, is failing me.  Yes, it still tells me what time it is, it still plays cds and the radio, and the alarm will go off at its set time, but the snooze has stopped working.  I am not one of those people who can set my alarm for the exact time I need to be up and then just get up when it goes off.  I am one of those people who has to set my alarm for about thirty minutes earlier than the time I actually want to get up so I can hit the snooze button a couple times.  Strange, I know, but it's how my body works.  And now there's no snooze.  How will  my morning wake-up routine go on?  Too bad my cell phone alarm is too annoying to use over a long length of time.  Perhaps I'll just have to get up when the alarm goes off.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Musings on New York (from E.B. White's Here is New York essay)

"On any person who desires such queer prizes, New York will bestow the gift of loneliness and the gift of privacy."

"...or a young girl arriving from a small town in Mississippi [Utah, Idaho] to escape the indignity of being observed by her neighbors..."

"The city is like poetry: it compresses all life, all races and breeds, into a small island and adds music and the accompaniment of internal engines."

"New York is nothing like Paris; it is nothing like London; and it is not Spokane multiplied by sixty, or Detroit multiplied by four. It is by all odds the loftiest of cities. It even managed to reach the highest point in the sky at the lowest moment of the Depression."

"It is a miracle the New York works at all. The whole thing is implausible."

"Every facility is inadequate--the hospitals and schools and the playgrounds are overcrowded, the express highways are feverish, the unimproved highways and bridges are bottlenecks....and there is usually either too much heat or too little. But the city makes up for its hazards and its deficiencies by supplying its citizens with massive doses of a supplementary vitamin: the sense of belonging to something unique, cosmopolitan, mighty, and unparalleled."

"So complete is each neighborhood, and so strong the sense of neighborhood, that many a New Yorker spends a lifetime within the confines of an area smaller than a country village."

"To a New Yorker the city is both changeless and changing."

"At the feet of the tallest and plushiest offices lie the crummiest slums."

"It can destroy an individual, or it can fulfill them, depending on a good deal of luck."

"It carries on its lapel the unexpungeable odor of the long past, so that no matter where you sit in New York you feel the vibrations of great times and tall deeds, of queer people and events and undertakings."

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Sunset in the Cloisters

I went for a walk in the Cloisters tonight so I could catch the sun setting over the Hudson River, New Jersey and the George Washington Bridge. It was SO beautiful and a really peaceful night. The weather is so perfect right now in the city that I feel I have to take advantage of every opportunity I can to be outside.

The Cloisters, if I remember correctly, is a structure in Fort Tryon Park that was built in Spain and shipped over here for someone important. Or so I think. I could just be making that up, but I'm pretty sure it's something similar to that. Anyway, the Cloisters itself were closed by the time I got there so I couldn't walk around or go up in the tower, so I just walked around the grounds. There are a couple places around it designated at Quiet Zones and I saw a few people picnicing on the lawn.

Since the museum was closed I settled myself down on a bench with a great view of the George Washington Bridge spanning the Hudson River to New Jersey. When I arrived in New York this was the bridge I came in on. I wanted to see the sun set, as it's something I rarely get to see in the city with all the tall buildings. I miss just driving in my car down 4100 South and seeing the sun set over the Oquirrh Mountains, turning the whole sky pink and purple. The sunset this night wasn't amazing in the sense that it lit up the whole sky, but it was beautiful and lovely to just sit in a park and watch it. Here's the sky throughout the night.

As I sat there I read an E.B. White (he wrote Charlotte's Web) essay titled Here is New York and it was amazing that things he wrote about the city, in 1948, or still so true today. He completely captured the essence and feel and energy of New York in every word. I plan on posting some of my favorite quotes, but I also recommend any one who wants to really get New York read the entire thing.

This was me trying to take a picture of me reading.

And this is me trying to get a picture at night without using the flash.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Don't Turn off the Lights

I feel my time in New York has been fairly rodent and pest free. Yes, I see mice on the subway tracks (and now at the Crew...) and have heard many a horror story about apartments being infested with cockroaches and/or bed bugs. My apartment's been fairly safe from it all; I saw a few cockroaches in the kitchen a long while ago, but Maria soon solved the problem with buying some spray. And a couple months ago I saw one in the bathroom that paralyzed me as I tried to kill it with hairspray (and yes, they are very resilient creatures; the hairspray didn't faze it at all). Martha eventually saved the day and killed it for me without even blinking. And last month, as I was rearranging my room, I squashed one that ran across my floor as I was moving my chest of drawers.

But then one got away. It was bedtime, I was in my pjs, and I saw it crawling across my bedroom wall, coming out of nowhere moving incredibly fast. I was a paralyzed for a moment before realizing I needed to get a shoe to smash. Curse not wearing shoes at that moment! And curse my getting paralyzed by insects; I know that if I turn away from them for a second they'll be gone, so I stare at them as long as possible. This is not the best defense mechanism. Well, those suckers are fast and I'm not quite fast enough as by the time I got the shoe and stared it down for a few seconds, it scurried away to where I couldn't get it. And then I never found it.

It's said that cockroaches like the dark--they usually go scurrying once a light is flipped on. So for that night and the next night I slept with my lamp on, for fear of it, or, and oh the horrors, it and all its friends, came in the dark and crawled all over me. I'm now sleeping with the lights off again, but just writing about this has given me the creepy-crawlys. Perhaps another night with the light on.....

Friday, September 12, 2008

A Titanic Miss

I somehow missed the most important celebrity to come into the Crew. Kate Winslet was in the store this morning, and I didn't even know it. She was apparently at the register two down from the one I was ringing people on but I had no clue! For this I blame my crew-workers for not making a big enough deal about it. How could I have not known?! She's definitely the one celebrity I'd really like to meet/see.

In other celebrity sighting news, after missing Julia Stiles when she came into the Crew I happened to pass by her on 17th street as I was walking to work from my lunch break last week. Maybe Kate Winslet's telling everyone she walked by me as she was shopping at J. Crew.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Subway Stairs

Just when I start thinking that I should really do something in the form of exercise (I haven't been running for over a month!) I have a day like today.

I had to make two deliveries for the Tribeca Film Institute (TFI to those in the know) today, one on the Upper East Side and the other in Brooklyn. I always enjoy making my around the city and going to places I don't normally go. But to do so requires lots of subway riding, and therefore lots of stairs. First was the Canal Street stop for the 6 train, which was this labyrinthine maze that took me up and down two different sets of stairs. (Just a quick note to those who haven't been in the city: not all subway platforms are quit so complicated; I had just chosen the wrong entrance. It's usually just down the steps and you're there).

But then I had to walk four avenues to my first delivery, then back those same four avenues, down the subway steps, a transfer at Union Square--which required more steps, to Bedford Ave in Brooklyn, where I walked more steps out of the subway.

I don't want to go into too much detail about all the stairs I climbed today (I fear I've already done it) and bore my few readers, but let me just say that it was a lot of stairs. The city is my own personal gym. Rent is like my monthly membership fee. If that's the case, I should be getting a lot more bang for my buck.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

ATuesday List for Pambelina

5 Things I Love (Thanks to Pammy!)
(in random order)

1. Hairspray
2. Arrested Development
3. Penelope
4. Twilight/My Antonia
5. Dutch

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Do you want some rain with that rain?

Hanna has hit New York. It was all anybody could talk abut yesterday and all morning today. "Did you hear it's gonna rain like crazy tomorrow?" "Yeah, good thing I got an umbrella." So maybe it wasn't all we talked about, but it was definitely a part of a lot of conversations. I planned ahead this morning, not bothering to condition my hair or do too much with it because the humidity and rain would just end up ruining it.

The calm before the storm was actually worse than the actual rain. Do you know how humid and muggy it was this morning? It was actually hard to breath. And the subway platform? A literal sauna. My clothes were moist and soggy before even doing anything. After being here a year, my body still has not adjusted to the humidity.

I was luckily at work and indoors when it really started coming down. It was crazy and intense and deserving of the word torrential! It was fun to watch all the people on fifth avenue walking by, some with umbrellas and the unfortunate few who did not. But after awhile the streets became dead and traffic lessened and the tourist buses that are usually full of people taking pictures was left with the one poor couple in ponchos who had decided they were still going to get their money's worth.

And rain in New York in summer is not like rain I've experienced anywhere else. It's like taking a hot shower--but not in a refreshing way. It's utterly awful and makes the city this huge wet, soggy mess. All the subways are puddly and dripping and it's a feat of cat-like abilities to make your way through it all.

It was still raining when I left the Crew, and even though I had prepared ahead by bringing an umbrella, I did not wear my rain boots. So even though my shoes and socks, and therefore feet, were wet, my hair stayed perfectly perfect with my handy-dandy, brand-new bubble umbrella. Money well-spent....and gifted.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Your shirt or your face

I come across some interesting people in my work at the Crew; it's definitely a much different breed than the people I used to help while working at Wal-mart. Today I was helping a lady who wanted to make a return because she decided she wanted to get more botox instead. I don't know what was more surprising--that she was so open with her means of looking younger or that our clothes are priced high enough that returning them gives someone enough dough to make their face expressionless.

I think it's the latter.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Last night I got to see my sixth Broadway musical since moving to the city. Stefanie got free tickets from her work; she couldn't go because of a class, and since she knew how much I've been wanting to see it she gave her ticket to me! I went with her cousin who's in town for some auditions.

Some elements I found better suited for the medium of film, but it was still a great, razzle-dazzle of a good time! Did you know that Tom Wopat, from The Dukes of Hazard (I don't know if he was Bo or Luke--I am not a fan of the show) plays Billy Flynn?! And he's good. And man, can those actors sing, dance, strut their stuff, and wear the tiniest little outfits! Kudos to them for doing something I can clearly not do.

Monday, September 1, 2008

I Wanna Wake-up in a City That Never Sleeps...

It's really been a whole year. It was Labor Day 2007 that I arrived in New York City with a truck full of my stuff and big dreams for my future. Man, was I excited, nervous, scared, enthused, shocked, unsure, and totally ready for my New York experience. I'll never forget my first day in the city and how new and different everything felt. I remember being totally lost and confused when I was above ground, and not much better when I was below on the subway. I wondered if I would ever get used to my new home. And now, when I walk the streets and ride the subway, I'm always amazed at how much has changed in a year. I ride the subway like a pro, I understand the streets and can figure out which way I'm pointed when I get out of the subway (well, usually; there are still some stops that I get totally confused at. Just look for the Empire State Building and from there I can figure out which way I'm walking). The city just feels so different now than it did a year ago; I actually feel comfortable in it. And if someone asks me for directions, I can usually send them in the right direction.

Tonight the city must've known it was our anniversary and decided to get me something. I arrived at Penn Station a little late and more than ready to just get home. I was able to get right onto a 3 train (with just a little bit of running up the stairs) and then got onto a waiting 1 train at 96th street. This almost never happens, as either the 1 train is just pulling away or I have to wait a really long time for it. And it was after 11:30, when the trains are usually running a lot less frequently. So thanks for my present, New York.

"I wanna be a part of it, New York. And find I'm King of the Hill, Top of the Heap.....These little town blues are melting away..... I'm gonna make a brand new start of it, in Ol' New York! If I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere! It's up to you New York! New Yoooooork!"

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