Monday, March 26, 2007

The Waiting Game

Contractor? Check.
Drawings? Check.
Approval to start construction? No.

We've submitted all of our materials to the co-op board. Now we have to wait 2-3 weeks for their approval before we can crack the first wall.

Will we ever make it to the city?


Old Friends in New Places

What a night I had last night! My former boss (Mr. Grateful Dead) from Houston was in town, and I had the honor of joining him and family and friends to watch his son's cabaret show at The Metropolitan Room. The venue was small and full of character (and characters - the original Gerber baby, now pushing 90, was there), the lighting was dim, the martini's were strong and the company was a delight. I bored them with my stories of moving to the city, and we all took turns being impressed by Mr. Grateful Dead's progeny. The show was a two-person cabaret act, taking the audience back in time to enjoy jazz songs from the Prohibition era. With great music and a little bit of history thrown in, I was in heaven!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

The Injustice

The Boy and I headed down to the Murray Hill neighborhood to enjoy one of his favorite weekend feasts - a Philly cheesesteak from Carl's Steaks on 34th and 3rd.

We found curbside metered parking on 35th and were in the midst of reading the signs and trying to figure out the new-fangled parking meter when Daryl noticed a meter maid taking interest in our car.

I walked over to tell her we were trying to fill the meter right at that moment. In fact, The Boy was still standing at the meter looking puzzled.

I thought we had narrowly escaped a parking ticket. But I was wrong.

"Doesn't matter. I've already started the ticket. Nothing I can do about it now," said the portly meter maid.

She kept on poking at her blackberry-like tablet.

A civilian acting as her sidekick (why was she there, what was she doing?) echoed her statement.

"Yeah. She already started. There's nothing she can do about it."

"But we're standing right here at the kiosk trying to figure it out. We just parked the car," I said.

"Sorry. Nothing I can do," she said again, disinterested.

"Yeah. Nothing she can do," repeated the sidekick.

At this point, The Boy walks over. The whole scenario is repeated again, with the same lack of care by our apathetic city worker.

So, not having done anything wrong, we're slapped with a $110 parking ticket! Ms. Personality waddles away and The Boy and I fume in the car. Next time we'll just double park. They don't seem to care as much about that.

New York Drivers - Get Outa The Way!

Fasten your seatbelts, everyone. I'm driving in the city - weaving in and out of the unlined lanes, cutting off cab drivers and cursing loping pedestrians. I've discovered the West Side Highway and the FDR to quickly race downtown and I'm honing my parallel parking abilities.

My new relationship

The new apartment is like a new relationship that's getting serious. Slowly, I'm starting to bring over little things - shampoo, brushes, running shoes, beer, soda.

The pace has quickened in the last weeks, and we've even dropped an airbed at the place.

We spent our first night in the city - buying beer and ordering takeout Chinese. The next morning I had a great 5-mile run in the park. Spectacular.

Soon, we'll take the next step in our retail relationship - we'll install a TV.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Things I Like To Read On The Train

1. The Week Magazine Quick, easy to digest summaries of all the previous week's news and entertainment.

2. Time Out New York Updates on what's hip and happenin' in the Big Apple. Great for planning your weekend.

3. The Economist Not only does reading it make you look intelligent and cool, after reading it you will be intelligent and cool.

4. Books. A little on the heavy side, but will work in a pinch.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The First Step is Admitting You Have A Problem

Salt is great on food, but it does terrible things to leather shoes. So the Chef and i took The Boy to the mall on a mission to buy him some long-needed winter boots and a new pair of brown shoes. He has been ruining his dress shoes traipsing through the snow and sleet. The Boy needs some new footwear.The Fashion Mister was working, but The Chef was an adequate stand-in for The Boy's 'Queer Eye for the Straight Guy' weekend.

While at the mall, though, I realized I'm the one with the problem. I always knew i loved women's shoes. But hold the phone! I like really nice, very expensive men's shoes too! The Boy put on some Gucci's that were shit-howdy! I was in love again! And The Boy looked nice too.

We got the Gucci's, but couldn't find a passable pair of winter boots, so we changed focus. The Boy was in a trying on clothes kind of mood, so we shuffled him off to the denim dept and made him try on pair after pair of overpriced blue jeans and tightly tailored button down shirts. He walked out with a sexy pair of Seven for All Mankind jeans, a dark blue Hugo Boss button down that brings out his eyes, and some Burberry underwear. He was magically babalicious! So what if we didn't actually leave the store with the item he needed most!

Thankfully, The Fashion Mister has agreed to acquire The Boy some 'rubbers' to go over his dress shoes. Ha ha. Had a good laugh over that.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

You talking to me?

It tickles me that "up North" they get just as skittish about a bit of snow as we might have back home. Last week, with word of a big winter storm coming our way, tons of people took Friday off or left early so they wouldn't get stuck in the city. I thought these folks were supposed to be tough. Turns out they're just a bunch of pussies. : )

I'm a lumberjack . . .

The Boy spent the morning shoveling snow. He thinks he's a lumberjack or something. An hour and a half of hard labor, and he's passed out on the couch. But the sidewalk does look nice. And he even cleared a path for the bus riders to stand. He's too cute.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Apt. Renovation Milestone

We FINALLY found a contractor!

We have the contract and are submitting to our board for approval to begin renovations.

Fingers crossed! We are moving in by end of April no matter what. NO MATTER WHAT!

Top Five Broadway Shows (so far)

We were never into the theater or musicals when we were in Houston, but we've actually been heading out to Broadway quite a bit. Here are our faves:

  1. Rent. Liked it in Houston. Loved loved loved it on Broadway
  2. Spring Awakening. Good music. Story not quite as tight as Rent. But who doesn't love simulated sex and masturbation on stage?
  3. A Chorus Line. Unchanged from 1975. Still, it's a classic. Worth seeing.
  4. Mama Mia. An ABBA lovefest. I didn't fall asleep. Not once.
  5. High Fidelity. Loved the movie. The musical didn't have enough lists.

Southern Comforts

New York is supposed to have everything, right? But here's a few things you can't find:

  1. Prepared pimento cheese at the grocery store
  2. Smoked beef sausage
  3. Constant Comment tea
  4. California wine (well, you can find it, but not the variety you get further west. It's mostly French and Italian here.)
  5. Kolaches

A Dirty Secret

They pick up trash at night - not during the day. So you have to set it out the night before trash day, and when you wake up in the morning, it's gone.

Monday, March 05, 2007

The Birthday Party

We celebrated the Chef's birthday this weekend. We started early and stayed out until about 1 pm - super late for us.

Here was our itinerary:

5 pm: Burp
Neighborhood: East Village
Address:41 E 7th St between Second and Third Aves
Phone: 212-982-4576
Subway: Subway: F, V to Lower East Side– Second Ave; 6 to Astor Pl
Prices: Average drink: $7.50
TONY Review: Along with a bartender who could stand in as the sixth member of Judas Priest, two “Belgian Brewist Monks” in full friarly garb are always on hand to greet you at this sanctuary of suds. Gregorian chants drone in the background, the painted walls depict “the Belgian Brewists’ story,” and signs advise whispering only. The monastic theme may strike you as gimmicky, but you’ll have to admit that the 250-brew menu is divinely inspired.

Our review: Loved it! It was a little different than we expected, and there were no monks, but the beer (we field tested a brew called 'Kwok') was awesome, and the barmaid did indeed 'shush' the crowd when it got too boisterous. We would definitely go back.

7 pm: Little Branch
Category: Bars
Neighborhood: West Village
Address: 20–22 Seventh Ave South at Leroy St
Subway: 1 to Houston St
Payment: Cash only
TONY Review: Milk & Honey owner Sasha Petraske is letting commoners into this candlelit, subterranean spot to sample his legendary cocktails. No reservations required.

Our review: Tiny, cavernous bar with gigantic drink prices. This is a 'mixology' bar, with a changing drink menu designed for sophisticates. The Chef was sophisticated. The Boy and I and the rest of our crew were not. But, we all agreed to try again on a non-weekend night and with a larger open mind.

11:30 pm: Some R&B club down the street from The Blue Note
Neighborhood: West Village
Our review: We had every intention of going to The Blue Note, but the band we wanted to see didn't start until 1:30. We didn't think we were up to it, so we went down the street. For $7 each, we got a mid-caliber wedding singer belting out "celebration." Still, The Boy had a good time.

12:30 am: Some pizza place on the corner
Neighborhood: West Village
Our review: We ended the night in grand style with slices from a fluorescent lit pizza joint. The Chef's "Chick Chef" friend made a pop-in, and we took a respite from the hubub.

All in all, it was a great birthday celebration and a great evening. It was almost surpassed, however, by the Sunday afternoon munch-o-rama of fajitas, chips, salso, rice and other delectables prepared by the Fashion Mister.

The Boy and I hibernated after that. After such a big weekend, we were done for.

Happy Birthday Chef!

Friday, March 02, 2007

An Inconvenient Commute

Dear Al Gore,

As you know, The Boy and I are doing our part to decrease our footprint - we sold our large consumptive house (you should consider this), we sold one of our cars (The Boy's beloved Mercedes SLK convertible with heated seats and an air scarf), and we rely predominantly on public transportation to get around.

I am happy to do this, you know, for the Earth and all. But today was really trying. Today it took me two hours to get to work AND I had to spend one of those hours standing outside in the pouring rain, in the cold, with a malfunctioning umbrella. See, for some reason, the Path train that I usually take to cross under the Hudson river to get to work was malfunctioning. So at the last stop before we go under water, we were unceremoniously kicked off the train and told to go find the ferry. Or whatever. Frankly, they didn't really care. And Al, I know how you hate that!

Most of us had never taken the ferry and didn't know where it was. I followed the crowd outside, into the rain with my sad umbrella. Thankfully I had on my galoshes! (Now I know, Al, they are made of Earth-unfriendly plastic, but they were really a god-send from the water, until my feet started to go numb from the cold, of course.)

So we waited in line to buy tickets for the ferry. Yes! I couldn't beleive it either! After we were so rudely kicked off the train with no other recourse but to stand in line outside for an hour, pelted by the river spray and the side-swiping precipitation, we had to buy another ticket for the ferry! They were not honoring our path tickets! And to add insult to injury, the ferry ticket was $4.50, cash only! Well, I don't have to tell you what a fluke it was that I had any cash on me.

Anyway, I finally arrived to work at 10:30, sodden, shaken and hungry. I know I'm doing it for the world and humanity and all, to be able to breathe air and what have you. But I gotta tell you, Al, today, I would have rather weathered this storm in the comfort of my gas guzzling SUV. Please don't take it personnally.

Well, gotta run. Tell Tipper I said, "Hey."

See ya,