Sunday, September 19, 2010

Lost in Translation

"Yeah, we're trying something new for a restaurant. Almost tasteful, but not quite. You know. At the edge of taste."

Friday, September 03, 2010

I thought it said "Tu-na Back Rub"

Want one?
Aromatherapy free of charge.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Corny Island

It seems I've recently been many a place where bathing in Purell upon leaving seems a good idea.

Which brings me to my trip to Coney Island with the kiddos last week. It only took me four years to get there, but then, I've not been to the Statue of Liberty or the top of the Empire State building yet, either.

Coney Island was fascinating in a run-down, decrepit kind of way. I caught glimpses of the past glory... if I squinted my eyes so the grime and peeling paint weren't so obvious, the hot dog stands and carnival games became quaint and old-timey. As is usually the case, people watching was the main attraction. And boy howdy. Were the people there an attraction. Notice I said an attraction, not necessarily attractive...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

And Then There's This Guy

Sometimes I have to be at work at 6 in the morning. Early, right? That means I'm on the subway platform by 5:15, because although it's only a ten minute train ride to work, the trains run so sporadically at that time in the morning that I've got to overcompensate.

Not long ago on one of those early mornings, this groggy fellow got a little too comfortable on his mustard yellow plastic seat. He was so sound asleep (or something else) that he tipped off the seat and stayed asleep on the floor. Everyone around him, including me, ascertained that yep, his chest was still rising and falling, and let him be.

What Does That Taste Like, Exactly?

Smog with a dash of grime, perhaps?
Mmmm.... I love the flavor of metropolis on my tongue.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

New York Lexicon Definition 8: Lake Missagain

Lake Missagain (noun)

  • The puddle of water that forms curbside at every corner after heavy rains or melting snow. The one that I try to step over and inevitably misjudge the size of. Dangnabbit.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Let's Get This Potty Started: A Haiku

Auto flush broken
I remain oblivious
Dancing in the stall

C'mon. You know you've done it too.
You finish your business, stand up, and watch anxiously for the autoflush to kick in.
But it doesn't.
You wait.
It doesn't.
So what do you do? You wave your hands in front of the sensor, shimmy your hips a bit, mime sitting down and standing up again. And before you know it, you're doing the autoflush dance.

Or is it just me?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Unsolved Mysteries

How'd that get there? I found this at the end of Pier 45.

If, while walking through the city, you pay attention to what's on the sidewalk (and you'd be unwise not to), you'll notice any number of items lying in the most unlikely places. For me, it's a bit of a game to create the back stories to those things. Most often, the setting to the story is the middle of the night, and various and sundry characters play the lead role, pursuing deeds of darkness, romance, and adventure.

And this glove? It was placed there by a conscientious junkie, don't you agree?

New York Lexicon Definition 7: Repress

Repress (verb)

  • Def. 1: What an impatient person does when, while waiting for the elevator, he/she looks at the elevator button, sees that I've already pushed it, and proceeds to push it again anyway. As if my initial push is insufficient to call the elevator.
  • Def. 2: What I must to to the feelings of annoyance that arise when Def. 1 occurs.


Are you saying you don't have citywide pillow fights in your town?

I shudder to think of all the potential bed bugs, drool, dust mites, etc that were being so fiercely flung.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

New York Lexicon Definition 6: Astoraphobia

Astoraphobia (noun)

  • The sense of disorientation and anxiety that a New Yorker, accustomed to shopping in tiny corner bodegas, feels upon entering a large, brightly lit Walmart Supercenter

Not to be confused with Astoriaphobia, which is an unnatural fear of a quaint neighborhood in Queens.

Friday, March 19, 2010

New York Lexicon Definition 5: Stingikin

Stingikin (noun)

  • The single pathetic, tissue-thin, sorry-excuse-for-a napkin that New York restaurants sometimes give their take out customers. These "napkins" disintegrate prior to any actual contact with skin.
An unlimited supply of napkins is not the norm in the city, and for anything beyond the stingikin, one must beg, plead, and glance desperately at spilled drink, chocolate-covered face, or other applicable mess.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

You Are Not Alone

It is easy, and perhaps necessary, in New York to inoculate yourself against the ever present crush of humanity around you. Privacy is an illusion, and if you wait until you are really and truly alone to have "private" conversations or let your guard down or cry, etc, well, you will never have the opportunity. So New Yorkers have made an unspoken deal with one another: If I encounter you in a situation where your humanity can not be glossed over... if you're weeping unconsolably or talking about your sex life on your cell phone... if you're putting on your makeup on the subway or laughing out loud at a passage you've just read on your Kindle... I will look through you and pretend I didn't see it. It's not unkind or uncaring. No, it's the opposite. It's a peculiar sort of respect. It's recognizing that we live in close quarters, and we're human, and we experience things in those close quarters that aren't always pretty to behold. Don't get me wrong: If someone is truly and obviously in trouble, and a fellow New Yorker can help, they will. I'm talking about the smaller things. The things that we kinda wish we didn't have to show other people, but we've got no choice because of this beautiful, overcrowded urbanity in which we find ourselves.



Just because you hold your one hand in front of your face doesn't mean I can't see you picking your nose for days on end with the other. I can see it. I see you picking your nose. Please, please stop. I can't pretend about this one.

Monday, March 08, 2010

I Went to Brooklyn Today

I often smile when I think of the way West Michiganders (over)react to sunny days. You see, the combination of winds over Lake Michigan and the state's northern latitude leave West Michigan with more than its fair share of overcast, gray days. Native dwellers learn early that if one is fortunate enough to encounter sunshine, one simply must go outdoors and quickly absorb some vitamin D. Staying indoors on a sunny day is almost a crime. "Better go outside now," one might think. "You don't know when the sun will come out again!" It reminds me of a Ray Bradbury story called, "All Summer in a Day," in which humans inhabit a planet where summer only comes for one day once every 17 years, and good grief do those people go crazy with excitement when the sun comes out.

This urge to be outside every time the sun shines poses a problem for West Michiganders who move to, say, Florida. Or the Southwest. Hard to be productive when you're outside all the time.

Anyway, today was one of those glorious days when there was nary a cloud in the sky, and I could feel my West Michigan sun-greed impulse in full effect. I decided to explore Brooklyn, a borough I've not yet had the opportunity to know well. I'm so glad I did, because not only did I see quaint neighborhoods, brownstones, Prospect Park, and antique shops, but I also saw signs like this:

Sunday, March 07, 2010

New York Lexicon Definition 4: Peenomenon

Peenomenon (noun)

  • The numerous ways in which a New Yorker encounters urine on a daily basis. Examples include frozen dog pee slicks on the winter sidewalks or sizzling dog pee puddles on the sidewalks in the summer, the unmistakable fragrance in the subways, and the odd sequence of listening to your neighbors' restroom activities through thin bathroom walls prior to ever meeting them face to face.
And good grief, let's not forget the part of the peenomenon which actually included me being peed on by that guy in the telephone booth. Or rather, I wish I COULD forget.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Po-tay-toe, Pa-tah-toe?

You say "health food store," I say "wine shop."

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

New York Lexicon Definition 3: Roadgawk

Roadgawk (noun)

  • What a tourist becomes when he/she stops abruptly in the middle of the sidewalk to take in the sights, blocking the flow of pedestrian traffic.
I crashed into a tourist roadgawk at the top of the subway steps.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

New York Lexicon Definition 2: Faux'l

Faux'l (noun; contraction of "faux" + "cool")

  • The deluded sense of "I'm cool" that descends upon one while wandering the streets of Soho, as if one could absorb all the cool that emanates from the stores there.
I felt faux'l this morning while I walked home from Soho, thinking I might be cool even though I was wearing Old Navy jeans.

Take a Deep Breath, Now.

We're almost there.

Monday, March 01, 2010

New York Lexicon Definition 1: Sadisticab

Sadisticab (noun)

  • The taxi driver who takes evil delight in repeatedly pressing and releasing the accelerator, resulting in instantaneous motion sickness for all passengers.
Sadly, there is no way to differentiate between a sadisticab and a less malicious cab. Ride at your own risk.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

On the Sidewalk

The definition of "garbage?" It's relative. Especially in SoHo.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Subway Sing Along

There are two competing subway singers on the RW trains in the afternoons.
One is a group of men who sing Oldies but Goodies in four part harmony.
The other is a blind person of indiscriminate gender who sticks to Da Ya Think I'm Sexy, for the most part.
I've seen them in the corner of the platform, negotiating who gets which train, and when.

I've started to give them change after they pass by. Not so much because I appreciate their singing, but more so because I realized earlier this week, as a result of an eyebrow lifted glare from Chloe, that I unintentionally sing along with them. Oops.

"God bless you," they say, when my couple quarters fall to the bottom of their hat.

"No, God bless you", I think, "for providing me with subway karaoke opportunities." And one day, I promise, I'll get up and sing with them for real.

I'm quite certain they will not be God-blessing me then.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Turning My Back on Facebook

It wasn't easy, deleting my Facebook Account. The actual technical act of deletion, I mean. I don't imagine that it is in Facebook's best interest for users to go deleting their accounts all willy-nilly. So those savvy FB designers buried the Account Deletion instructions away... maybe somewhere far beneath Farmville.... and made it difficult for me to find them. Users can "Deactivate" their account relatively easily, which, as far as I can tell, is FB's way of a slow-burn approach to cutting the FB habit. No, I wanted cold turkey, so I googled and found the link (in a bit of chuckling irony, someone has created a FB group called "How to Permanently Delete Your Facebook Account"). Even still, FB tells me that it won't actually delete accounts unless the user doesn't log in for 2 weeks, thus ensuring that the addict has access to the drug to the bitter end.

The idea that I should tell Facebook to talk to the hand has been dancing on the outskirts of my mind for a while. I recall a conversation with friends just prior to Christmas, when he detailed the fact that his mom had a tagged a particularly hideous photo of him on FB, and he didn't have the heart to untag it, but then worried what others, particularly people who hadn't seen him in years, would think when they saw it. And we all said with such bravado, "Who needs FB anyway, really? Maybe we should delete it. Yes! We should!" and then we immediately scurried back to our respective smart phones to check the latest status updates. Then, last week, I stumbled across this article about people who were choosing to give Facebook the cold shoulder, and then I laughed my head off at this video, and I made my decision.

And you're wondering why.

Facebook Stole My Blogging Mojo*
*I can't take credit for this phrase. Diane said it to me first.
Remember when I used to write? Complete thoughts? More than just a snarky sarcastic comment? (See?! I still can't do it. Case in point). Facebook stole my blogging mojo. Posting a phrase in a status update is so much easier than fully thinking something through and crafting coherent communication of that thought. I know that I'm no Shakespeare, but I like writing. I like spending my spare moments thinking of analogies and turns of phrase. And with FB, I grew lazy, relying on short bursts of words to communicate. Add to that the fact that I spent my spare moments FB stalking rather than thinking of writing topics or word choice, and, well, you saw it. My blog disappeared. I want it back.

The Great Time Suck
Honestly. How much time did I waste on Facebook? I cringe to think of it. Scrolling around aimlessly, looking at random photos, clicking through to other random photos, somehow ending up on pictures of people I don't even know. Gross. And it happens in small increments, so the actual accrual of time goes unnoticed. Sneaky, sneaky Facebook. And guys? I don't care what virtual animal you just adopted or how many Swag bucks you've accumulated or what you had for breakfast. Really. So why was I spending my time looking at that?

The Lurk
I was lurking. Who doesn't? But I was lurking too much. Call it nosy. Call it voyeurism. Call it unhealthy. Is there a positive word to describe it? Not so much. So I don't want to do it anymore.
I love to hear about friends' and families' lives. Yes. But that's different than skulking around the pages of people I once knew or hardly know, developing opinions and judgments based on small snippets of information that certainly don't portray the full depth of that person. Speaking of that...

The Facebook PR Campaign
My friend Michelle blogged about this once-- how people use Facebook (and blogs) as one giant public relations platform. And, based upon what I said before about making snap judgments of people I don't really know because of a single Facebook photo, they're probably wise to do it that way. But authenticity suffers greatly. I'm not asking that people spew their dark and dirty all over their status updates. Heavens to betsy, please don't. I just decided that I didn't want to play the PR game anymore, at least, not in that realm. If we're truly friends, then let's be true friends. I recognize the irony that I'm stating this in a blog, which could be its own PR platform.

So it's been a week of Facebook-free for me, and there are times when I miss it... I find myself wondering if my friend who was pregnant has had the baby and posted the news on Facebook, assuming all would see it there, and I didn't... or those downtimes when I'm waiting for something and peer at my iphone, wondering what's on there to hold my attention. But the craving passes after a few moments.

And I can always contact my friend directly. How 'bout that?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I'll Have That with a Side of Heart Attack, Please.

Apparently, this is a selling point since Bloomberg banned trans fats. It's a cholesterol speak easy.


'For Chloe, it should be called, "Trainwork."

Sunday, January 24, 2010

So Clever

Diesel's new ad campaign is posted all over the city.
I love it.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Come Now, Supermarket

There's no need for commentary on the moral character of your produce.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Thursday, January 07, 2010