Saturday, December 22, 2007

Spotted at Lincoln Center . . You Know You Love It

Spotted at Lincoln Center - Serena van der Woodsen. The Little Nolita Lady called me, breathless with excitement. XXOO, kids.

It Takes A Village

It takes a village . . . to raise a Meow.

We needed a cat sitter for the Meow while we're home in Houston for the holidays. So I put up a sign in the basement offering $30 to anyone who would come visit the cat and feed her a few times while we are gone.

FOUR people in the building called and offered to take care of the cat - FOR FREE!

Whoever said New Yorkers were a mean lot was wrong.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Doorman Dilemma

It is the season of giving - giving tips to Doorment and Super's, I mean. We had heard about this tradition of annual giving to those folks who help you out each year. And what a great idea! Saves you from having to dig in your pockets each time someone does something nice for you.

While the sentiment is certainly very clear, the reality of how to go about giving the tips is not. Do they get pooled together? How much is enough? If I don't give enough, will I get bad service the rest of the year?

It's a big question, and a big deal for these guys. If each one of my doormen gets an average of $50 from each resident in my building, that's $3000. The doormen in the West Side Beauty's building stand to make $5000 for their efforts.

I tried to find some guides to tipping, but I mostly asked around. The consensus was to give a range of $25 to $50 depending on how much interaction you had with them throughout the year, and how helpful they were.

Still, we spent a lot of time thinking and talking about how to handle this whole thing. It's another of those unique New York rites of passage.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

O Christmas Tree

So it's our first Christmas season in our neighborhood, and the most magical thing is happening. Overnight, small enclaves of Christmas tree vendors have appeared on a number of streets. They've got small trees, tabletop size, perfect for small New York apartments. They've got large trees, for the wealthy and rent controlled who have large apartments. And wreaths and garland for the festive who don't want to commit to an arboreal display. I LOVE walking by and inhaling the scent of pine; it's the smell of Christmas really.

On Sunday, it's supposed to snow, and I'm planning to pull a "When Harry Met Sally" move.

NOOO! Not that one! Dirty mind.

I plan to recreate the scene where she drags the Christmas tree down the block in the snow. In fact, I'm waiting UNTIL it snows, just to be more festive.

Then, The Boy and Lady Lawhorn are going to help me trim the tree, and I'm going to make wassail and christmas cookies. Jealous?

New York Perceptions from the Lady Lawhorn

My sister, the Lady Lawhorn, is still visiting and has had enough time to notice several new and different New York ideosyncracies:

1. Excessive honking. She hates it! All the cabby and limo drivers are OBSESSED with honking. Even if there is really no reason for it.

2. Walking strategy. The objective in New York is never to stop. So if you get the "walking man", it makes sense to cross the street and meander your path in order that you never half to slow down. Even for a second. Sprinting in front of a cab is preferred in order to shave a mere milisecond off your travel time.

3. No Dr. Pepper.

4. Plain Baked Potato. When she ordered a baked potato, they brought it plain, with no butter, cheese, bacon bits, or sour cream. When Lady Lawhorn asked for some cheese, the waitress acted like SHE was the crazy one. Who wants to eat a plain baked potato? What's the point?

Please Don't Hurt Me

What is going on? Isn't the holiday season supposed to bring out the best in folks? Yesterday, two women on my subway sparred verbally for 10 minutes. "You don't TOUCH me, honey." If one of them hadn't finally exited the train, I think they might have wrestled on the floor, pulling hair and spitting. Then today, I crossed my legs as I was watching Mad Men on my Ipod Nano, and then I heard it. A low growl eminating from the woman next to me. "Don't. You. Ever. Touch. Me. Again," she clipped. Her eyes looked crazy. Apparently I had grazed her knee with my foot when I changed positions. I mean BARELY grazed. I didn't even feel it! But I said I was sorry. What i really wanted to say was, "If you don't like being jostled around by humanity on your way to work, maybe you should buy a car and drive in." Instead, I moved to a different seat at the next stop, and gave her a look of huffy defiance. Like she cared. But if she had had a fork, I'm pretty sure she would have stabbed me with it.