Monday, October 25, 2010


Not long ago, a car crashed into Pastel, the nail salon across the street from my office. I heard the first bump and thought "fender bender". Then we all heard the loud crash. We don't know exactly what happened, but according to one source, the silver car (pictured) was hit from behind and then the driver couldn't stop the vehicle, so she veered it onto the sidewalk (out of instinct, I assume). Rather than colliding with another vehicle (which has safety features that pedestrians on sidewalks do not), the car hit the window and the support column on the corner of the salon. I'm sure the apartments above felt the jolt. Fortunately no pedestrians were hurt, although I'm told an employee in the salon was slightly injured when she jumped away from the wreck.

Some passersby helped the driver walk from the car and when the emergency crews got there they put her on a brace and loaded her into an ambulance. She was obviously very shaken up.

A counter, stools and miscellaneous items were thrown around inside the salon. Our boss said that counter is where she usually sits while her nails are drying. Thankfully no one was sitting there this morning.

A bit later, the emergency crews placed "FIRE LINE DO NOT CROSS" tape around the business, but the salon employees were letting patrons in. I guess life (and business) must go on!

Monday, August 30, 2010

More Bikes

Sad Bikes in the City:

LaGuardia Airport (Queens)

World Financial Center (Battery Park City, Manhattan)

Washington Heights (Manhattan)

Broadway-Lafayette Subway Station: Brooklyn-bound Platform (Manhattan)

Happy Bike in the City:

Brighton Beach Boardwalk (Brooklyn)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

'Tis the Gift...

I haven't secured a full-time job yet, but I have been working as a long-term temp at a company that owns cinemas and a few live theaters. This evening a new movie was being premiered downstairs from my office. I was staying a little late to finish up a few tasks, so between emails and downloads, my co-worker and I watched out the office windows to see what celebrities were showing up. Katie Holmes (sans Tom Cruise) was the first big celebrity to show. Kevin Kline was there. So were other famous people who I've seen somewhere but whose names I don't know. I also caught just a small glimpse of what the paparazzi are like, and it's no surprise to me that some celebrities have slugged photographers. The crowd started snapping pictures and yelling, yelling, yelling to get the stars' pictures. It was chaotic (even though my co-worker said they were a calmer group today)!

I've seen a lot of stars since I moved to New York. I seem to have a knack for accidentally running across them. (My roommate was a bit jealous when I saw Zach Braff at an event her company organized, shortly after she had finished her shift and went home. Sorry, Sterling.) I don't make a scene when I see a celebrity, even though I really do enjoy it. I'd like to say that famous people don't intrigue me, but they do. Sometimes it bothers me that I even care because I feel like I shouldn't and perhaps because it reflects my shallowness more than I'd care to see or admit to. And when I see famous actors up close, talented or not, I realize that they're just another person who has gained notoriety and I have many friends who are at least just as dynamic as they probably are.

So after a few email frustrations and plenty of celebrity-voyeurism, I finally left the office and walked through the crowded sidewalk outside the theater towards the subway. It was then that the subtle, but really wonderful things began happening. A young woman stopped in front of me on the sidewalk to take a picture of a townhouse stoop filled with flowers and plants, then giggled as she realized that she had stopped in front of me before politely letting me pass. She had a sweet laugh and a sweet smile.

Further down the street a man was walking his dog and I noticed that even though the man was a holding the leash in his hands, the dog was holding it as well, in his mouth, and walking so proudly and looking up at his master with such complete adoration and happiness. Then, out of the blue, a snippet of a song passed through my mind: "'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free, 'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be
..." I don't even know all of the words to that song, but it was such a nice reminder to notice and get caught up in all of the intriguing, beautiful and simple things happening right around me every day. Like the discarded paper that was suspended on the wind between two buildings above my hand, dancing gently through the air. Or the small dog sitting in the window of the pet resort as I passed.

So I think that maybe it's okay to get a little excited when someone famous is nearby, but I hope I'd rather be someone who gets even more excited and intrigued by all of the great things that exist in the real world that I see every day. (Though I will admit that shallow or not, I do wish Katie would have brought Tom.) :)

I leave you this evening with the lyrics to "Simple Things", written by Elder Joseph Brackett while he was at a Shaker community in Alfred, Maine in 1848.

'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free,
'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gain'd,
To bow and to bend we shan't be asham'd,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come round right.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The kind of day...

...that makes me happy to be outside.

...that makes me grateful for good friends.

...that gives me hope for steady work again soon.

...that reminds me why I moved to New York.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Ugly Me

I started watching Ugly Betty last year. When I saw previews of the show in the past, I thought it was certainly something I would not be watching. Instead, I've found that the quirky and creative nature of the show keeps me coming back every week. And it seems that weekly, my life is more of a reflection of the show's storyline than I could have foreseen.

For instance, a few episodes ago a blackout struck New York City just when Marc needed to get his presentation to lower Manhattan in order to be promoted to an editor position. The building super had just installed an electronic lock on the main floor, and because of the power outage no one was able to leave the building. (Suspend reality enough to ignore the fact that in a power outage the door would be unlocked.) "Oh please," I said. "If it's that important, ask a first floor neighbor if you can climb out of their window."

Cut to last week when I was at SeaTac's building and we needed to get to the train. We went to the first floor and the magnetic lock was stuck. Would not budge. In fact, the entire door frame was about to come loose when we pushed on the door. We went back upstairs to call the management company, then went back downstairs about ten minutes later to try again. Finally, by pushing my fingers into the space between the door and the frame, I managed to pry the two apart. Ridiculous. But I wasn't about to knock on 1A's door and ask if I could climb out of her window.

In the following episode, Betty is informed that she has just won a Blobbie Award for her blog. (No, I have not been informed of any awards for my blog.) After asking her boss to introduce her at the ceremony, they hit a rocky place in their relationship and she decides to blog a rant about her boss and the situation. Of course the information in the post gets out to the masses, which goes very badly, and it turns out to be the worst idea for a blog entry ever.

Upon beginning my blog two years ago, I decided that I would keep it upbeat and positive as much as possible, and I plan to continue in that spirit. Last week I had an unexpected development occur and I now find myself back on the job market. I will not be writing much about that development, but I will most likely be writing a little bit about my newest experiences in the world of unemployment. And I will keep it upbeat. I would not like for my life to parallel the Blobbie Award storyline.

Despite the nature of this new adventure I find myself in the midst of (if you've ever been unemployed, you know what I mean), I am feeling mostly good about a chance to start again with a fresh perspective. Even though this means that I will not be moving anytime soon, I still feel a sense of renewal. In that spirit, I spent much of today rearranging my bedroom furniture while watching the snow fall all day long outside my window. It was a great day. Tomorrow I will be updating my resume and applying for jobs. Let's hope some of today's good feelings carry over into tomorrow's tasks.

Through the course of the TV series, Betty has gone from an underling at a major magazine to an associate editor. I wouldn't mind my career following the general path of her career's storyline. You never know. It could happen. After all, Marc did manage to get out of the building and he did get his promotion.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

It's Decided.

My roommate is planning to move closer to the garden where she works, and I am finally ready to get my own place. I am hoping to find an "affordable" studio in Manhattan at the end of March. I've begun exploring neighborhoods (in-person and online), emailing friends for any leads they may have, and figuring out the finances of it all. The neighborhood I am currently fixed on is Washington Heights. That is subject to change, but after taking a long walk around the Ft. Tryon Park area I decided it is a neighborhood I would be glad to consider. We'll see what happens.

More to come...

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Kansas Day

January 29th is a good day. Though I've always been fond of Kansas Day, I've celebrated it with much more gusto since moving away from the Sunflower State. And I always like to find a good reason to celebrate.

Last year Sterling and I celebrated together by making cookies in her apartment. This year we are roommates and I find that living with a Kansan makes the holiday even better. We had planned to make sugar cookies again on the 28th, but Sterling did not feel well, so it was up to me. I tried to use the Jayhawk cookie cutter, but all the detail in the tool makes it tedious to use successfully. I also tried to cut dough into the shape of Kansas, but some of the cookies looked a little more like Nebraska (blasphemy!) and then the borders expanded into the surrounding states as they baked. I guess it's the thought that counts.

By the end of the night I was reminded about why I should wear an apron when I bake.

Fortunately, the cookies were a big hit around the office and I felt that I had done my part to spread the joy of Kansas to a tiny corner of New York City. After work, SeaTac, Sterling, Baltimore and I ate great burgers, tots and sweet potato fries at the Trailer Park Lounge and Grill in Chelsea. A dessert of Moon Pies followed.

Even though Sterling and I attended rival universities, I find that celebrating our common heritage and homeland only brings more peace and comradery to our little apartment in Brooklyn.

Happy Kansas Day, Everyone!

Ad astra per aspera!