Sunday, February 28, 2010

How (not) To Wait Out A Snowstorm

A couple of weeks ago, I mocked the city's response to an impending snow storm. Schools were closed. My company told us to stay home if we could. I cheerfully worked at home that Snow Day, watching the pristine flakes fall all day long, accumulating about 10 inches in the city. However, it was hardly the storm of the century. I didn't get a chance to play in the snow, but ventured out for a movie that evening. Pretty tame stuff, even for someone like me who's still only experienced snow about a dozen times.

Fast forward two weeks and another impending snow storm. The response this time was more measured. The city didn't cancel school until the morning after the worst of it hit, but most of my co-workers were prepared to stay home again. This time, that was indeed the right choice. The city was ultimately covered in18 inches of snow.

After putting in a series of 14-hour days for a Friday deadline, I didn't have the choice of staying home. I tromped through a foot of pristine powder at 6:30 am to ensure I arrived at work in time for an 8 am meeting with the Grand Poobah. I passed a cross-country skier taking advantage of the relatively deserted sidewalks. It was just he and I and the swoosh swoosh of passing skis. I expertly navigated the cross-town trek from the subway to my office, past the World Trade Center site which was also ambling to life despite the treacherous weather.

It continued to snow all day, I noticed, as I watched it's frenetic descent in the windy enclave of downtown Manhattan. At lunchtime, I shared a social moment with a nearby table as we watched, incredulous, as a jogger outside loped by in shorts and no shirt.

I hoped to leave the office before it was dark, before the temperature dropped and the powdery snow turned to ice. Instead, I worked until almost 9 pm. When I left, the city was quiet. The streets and sidewalks were clear. The snow had stopped and I headed home. It was as if the snowstorm never happened. I was just another workaday career girl in waterproof boots making her way to the subway and the long trip home.

Photo by me.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Jammed Up

One of my favorite memories from growing up is the amazing breakfasts my dad would prepare on weekends and special occasions. Bacon and grits and pancakes, Oh My! Round eggs. Toast. Yummy biscuits. With jam.

Fast forward 20+ years later, and I still love me some breakfast. Unfortunately, The Boy doesn't do Kitchen, so if I want a comforting breakfast meal prepared for me, I've got to do what the rest of the New Yorkers do, and head out for brunch.

The West Side Beauty and I usually head down to Soho on Saturday mornings for a little Physique 57 action and post-workout celebrating at the neighborhood's vast array of restaurants.

I love the ritual of determining our location each week and the wonder of checking out a new menu and all the possibilities it represents foodwise. We've checked out Balthazar, The Cupping Room, Hundred Acres, Country Cafe, Jane, etc.

We've drooled over the $16 bread basket at Balthazar (though never purchased it), we've stared breathless at the southern inspired morsels from Hundred Acres. But one thing we've noticed almost across the board, is that jam and toast are often missing.

That's right, fellow feasters. We've been to locations that were "out of jam" (Country Cafe) or "only serve jam on Sundays" (Jane). Wha?

At the other locations, toast (or the infamous Balthazar Bread Basket) are extra. They don't come with the meal. Really?

Now seriously, New York is supposed to be the center of civilized living. That means I'm paying $15 to $20 for eggs and breakfast meats. So I gotta tell you. There ain't nothing civilized about a breakfast without toast and jam (or biscuits and jam or croissants and jam).

I think we need to band together to make things right. Let's protest! Save the Jam! Support the Toast! Your breakfast will thank you.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Head Over Heels

Well, it finally happened. After more than three years of living in New York, I took a tumble on a busy public street. I was crossing Broadway in Soho and came across the 'black ice.' It wasn't near the curb or helpfully marked by police tape and cones. Oh no. It was just there, lying in wait for the toe of my sleek over the knee boot to strike. Then ass over teakettle I flew, bags flying, arms flailing. Flat. On. My. Back. I was a piece of performance art, my shopping bags artfully arranged around my flaccid form like flower petals.

And oh was there a large audience for my performance! Tourists in leather pants, their tiny guidebooks their talisman. Tightly coifed ladies in mink coats. Gum smackers from New Jersey. Covens of stroller moms. But it was a man with a crutch who helped me up. Yes, it took a handicapped person to alight me from the ground. The irony burned.

I walked away with a sore wrist, a bruised butt, and a major case of embarrassment. But it wasn't as bad as the travails suffered by the West Side Beauty. It's supposed to snow again this week. Let's hope we can both keep our feet on the ground!