Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Comment Section is FIXED!!

I'm obviously NOT a computer whiz. Feel free to leave your two cents after any of the posts :)

Also, I am in the process of adding some of my friend's blogs that I follow on the side bar. One of them includes a book blog that we (Mizzou girls) started post-graduation to share what we are reading.... so if you are looking for a good book to read this break, check it out =)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sake Bombing

It doesn't take much to convince me to go out. If it sounds like a good time, I'm usually game. However, when my friend Becky asked me to go Sake Bombing on Saturday it made me a little nervous. I've been sake bombing in Iowa City, but this is NYC and these people don't mess around.

After making the trek to Alphabet City (this is in East Village, where the streets are labeled "A ave, "B ave", I think you get the point) we met up with a group of people at a really swanky looking German bar. We walked in and there was a long tree branch with lights streaming from it on the wall that crawled up towards the ceiling. You couldn't help but stare at it. This place was clearly not the grounds for where we would be sake bombing, so we left for the popular NYC Sake Bar, Satsko. For those who don't know what Sake Bombing is, it's when you pour a shot of sake (Japanese liquor) into a shot glass, and then place it on top of chopsticks that are placed over a glass of beer (see stolen picture from Wikipedia). You then yell "SAKE BOMB!" and slam your fists on the table so the shot will drop in the beer, and then of course you consume it. As you can imagine this can be an expensive night, but I am proud to say I spent ten dollars. It was Becky's friends birthday and other people kept buying the drinks. Amen for people who have paid jobs.

After successfully continuing our night in East Village I officially checked myself into bed at 5 a.m. This is by far a new record for the longest time I've spent at the bars. NYC really doesn't sleep. Lucky for me I had a 10:30 a.m. meeting on Sunday with a woman from a babysitting program who is helping me find a family to watch on the weekends. I must have looked like I was hit by the bus, but regardless of my appearance she is still trying to help me find a placement. I'm crossing my fingers that something happens soon because my bank account hates me.

I do actually try to do my body more good than harm (I don't go sake bombing every weekend). I took a kickboxing class at my free gym and it left me sore for two straight days. Actually, my arms still kind of hurt... I made it to my free week of the Rockefeller Plaza gym membership 6 out of the 7 days. The good news is it only costs $180 to join! AKA I will be returning to my early morning runs in Central Park. Unlike my hometown of Antarctica we actually haven't had snow yet and it's been in the high 40's. Having said that I will probably be punished with a blizzard tomorrow.

Two more days left of work and the Friday is the BIG interview in Mt. Laurel. Becky and Jess (roommate from Mizzou) will be joining me me in Philly for Friday night/Saturday, and then it's back to the Mitten for Christmas on Sunday! I will hear about the internship around the end of the month... I'm hoping for the best, but expecting the worst. Send your good Karma my way please!

Friday, December 11, 2009

I accidentally went to Brooklyn

I have the same old sob story about my computer. It continues to take it's last breaths, and as it dies so do the other things in my my new headphones. I got them two months ago and now only one of the earbuds plays music. Awesome. My computer still won't upload pictures, but it WILL charge my iPod if I turn it off and plug it in as I turn it back on. I'm starting to learn all this wonderful tricks to make my electronical life last until I get home.

This week has been really busy at work. I am finally done with the OCTOBER social media report (I essentially read all the blogs and tweets for the month of October concerning David's Bridal and crunch some numbers for some stats and then report on the trends by comparing it to other months and from my own observations). My advisor tells me creating this report (and using Cision) will look amazing on my resume, so I'm pretty happy about that. Unfortunately, by some grace of god I must have the November report done by next Thursday (these things take foreeeeveeer).

Today, I worked up on the "beauty" floor (most of the time I'm on the "fashion" floor.... I can hear you laughing now) but because they needed some emergency help on fixing the product closet that was an absolute disaster I was on the upstairs. A client is coming in on Monday and the closet has to be PERFECT. I internally groaned when we (the interns) were assigned this.... I didn't come to NYC to fix up a closet. However, I took over the job, let the other interns do other things and made that closet look like Extreme Makeover came through. I labeled, rearranged, unpacked, reorganized, and straightened out that eyesore. To say the least the girls were impressed. They had never seen the closet so "neat". Literally they went on and on about it. I even got some free products out of it (score!). It also helped that I was given Starbucks midday compliments of Lippe Taylor. It's amazing how Starbucks is my primary motivator in life (sad, I know). But maybe I have found my new calling in life...I could be a professional organizer? Maybe the hoarder next door would hire me?

Aside from work I have been doing my usual exploring of NYC. Jaymelee (another intern) and I went to see the Tree since it is "lit" now. I have to say it does look pretty amazing. Rockefeller Plaza is like Christmastown. I saw 5 Santa Clauses on one street (sadly no elves). We also went inside St. Patricks Cathedral, which is really gorgeous. I really wanted to light a candle but I didn't have any money to put in the donation box. How pathetic/hilarious is that? Jaymelee also introduced me to my first Knish. Basically some sort of breading over potatoes. Too bad it's always the cheap food that is the unhealthiest.

I also signed up for my one-week membership to the The Sports Club in Rockefeller Plaza. Honestly, I thought it was going to be better. It's hard to be happy at any Gym anymore because I was absolutely spoiled at Mizzou with their Rec Center. I mean how many gyms have a waterfall and a lazy river in it? Of course, the location of this gym is amazing. I literally lift weights while looking down at all the people/the tree/the ice rink while I lift weights. (10 pound dumbells, I consider this a success). The gym itself is really big and the equipment is fairly new (there is no place to plug in my iPod, but like I said I've been spoiled). I'm even considering taking a boxing class on Sunday (pending how late my night will be Saturday. I'm headed down to East Village with a friend). I do like that they offer to steam your clothes and I have been able to stock up on Q-tips and cotton balls. It's just really isn't the same as my beloved Mizzou Rec Center. (Yes, I do expect you to feel bad for me).

After leaving the gym today, I did witness a guy propose to his girlfriend on the ice rink while everyone watched (the ice rink was cleared off somehow). Everyone was applauding and "oohing" and "ahhing". I just imagined all the married woman watching this and looking at their husbands asking why they didn't think of that. Made me laugh a little bit.

On quite the opposite spectrum of the ritzy area of Rockefeller Plaza is Canal Street. For all of my family members who have heard Katie talking about getting in vans to buy purses, this is the area. Jaymelee and I attempted Canal Street Thursday and despite the cold temperatures (still no snow!) we were quite successful. I decided I'm pretty good at bargaining with people. I was looking at several items (I cannot disclose what they are for Christmas purposes) and after holding and admiring and putting down these items I would start walking away and the owner would give me a lower price. I say no thanks, but then keep looking at it. I then ask him to go lower in price and if he says no I start walking out the door again and this is precisely when he says FINE and usually gives me the price I want. You never pay the first price you are given on Canal Street, and if you do you are a fool.

This is the point in the post where I tell you how I made it to Brooklyn (on accident). We were only on Canal Street for an hour because it was waytoo cold. We attempted to buy bags, but unfortunately weren't invited into any vans. Jaymelee and I being the brilliant people we are managed to get on the right train....just headed the wrong way. I noticed that we were traveling above the ground instead of under and I even commented to Jaymelee, "Oh, this is awesome we get to see the City and all of these bridges." BRIDGES?!! UMM WAIT. WE AREN'T SUPPOSED TO SEE BRIDGES. And 7 minutes later we are in Brooklyn, and not a good part of Brooklyn. Although we were laughing about it, we were also whispering to each other about how we needed the next train to get there ASAP so we could get back to Manhattan. There were some pretty shady people around (except for the man in purple pants and cowboy boots, he was just humorous). I knew I was due to make a stupid mistake with the trains. (Side note: I was 40 minutes late to work on Tuesday because a man on my train was having a seizure and they had to shut down my route for several blocks until the ambulance came. I walked 22 blocks to the next train station....I have no idea if the man is ok, but I can tell you it felt like I was in a movie. There were people literally yelling, "Is anybody a Doctor?!!! This was the point where George Clooney was supposed to enter the scene).

Tomorrow I do not plan on going to Brooklyn, but I do plan on going to see "Tropical Butterflies Alive in the Winter" at the Natural History Museum. It's on the list of top ten things to do in NY in the winter. I have to give credit to my friend Tyler who sent me the link to this article. Maybe some day I will be able to post the pictures I've been taking... hopefully before Christmas (sorry!)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Walking the Brooklyn Bridge

First off, pictures hopefully will be added Monday. I currently have a computer that randomly decides when it wants to recognize my camera, ipod, or headphones. It's been fun trying to charge my iPod with outlets that decide not to work. Alas, trying to upload pictures is not working right now.... to make things better we don't have working internet at the apartment so I am currently sitting at Starbucks using the internet. Fun, fun.

Anyways, this weekend was a blast. I spent Friday night walking around NYC Christmas shopping. NYC does NOT let you forget it's Christmas time, and usually this time of year I am focused on finals and not Christmas, so it's been great. Having said that, NYC is an absolute ZOO at shops. Macy's in particular is a DISASTER. It would be great for kids (there is a Santa's mailbox, and a Christmas Wishlist....and of course Santa). However, for the rest of us "shoppers" it is a nightmare and I don't plan on going back there until after the Holidays.

Katie came to the City on Saturday night and we had a blast. I started off my night with my friend Becky at her co-workers party (they all work at Verizon). If I learned one thing from this party, it's that New Yorkers drink everything out of a straw. I've noticed this a lot with people walking around holding coffee cups with straws sticking out. I sort of understand this....people don't want to get stains on their teeth. I don't really participate in this ridiculous looking straw and coffee consumption though. I know a stellar dentist in the Grand Rapids area that could help me out with any "stains" that may occur. However, I do not understand why so many girls were drinking out of straws.... at a party....when they were drinking either Sprite and Vodka or Mimosas. Coke and rum? Yes. SPRITE AND VODKA? I don't get it. I glanced around seeing if there were any other outsiders not using straws, but I found myself not only a non-Verizon worker, but also a dreaded non-straw drinker. Thankfully they looked past this flaw of mine and I was able to participate in the festivities.

After a couple of hours at this party Becky and I left to meet up with Katie and her roommates/classmates at a bar called Metro 53. As you can imagine, Katie and I together always have a good time. I wish I had pictures to document this night, but you will just have to take my word for it. I even managed to meet someone from Long Island who wasn't a "guido". He actually seemed like a pretty decent guy and admitted to hating Long Island people. However, Becky pressed him for information on his latest break-up of a girlfriend of 5 and half years and his answer was, "She cheated on me....with a Lacrosse player...from NOTRE DAME." HAHA! I died and told him I am a HUGE Notre Dame fan. I don't imagine I will be receiving a phone call from him :) Too funny.

Today I started to tackle my "to-do list" for New York, and decided to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. I made it there right around sunset and it was gorgeous seeing the Statue of Liberty in the distance with the sun setting in the background. You walk around the city everyday but you don't realize how big it is until you get to see it from the distance. I will try to put up the pictures as soon as I get my computer/internet to function properly.

Until then, happy Christmas Shopping everyone! Let me know if you want me to put a letter in Santa's mailbox for you!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Good News, Bad News

Starting off with the bad news.... my computer is on Death Row. It decides to do strange new things everyday and the verdict from Mr. Apple Man is that my hard drive is wearing out :( I'm thinking needing a new laptop while working at an unpaid internship is not exactly an ideal situation. I've been trying to get my parents to put Kelly up for adoption (to save $$) for a couple of months now, so I'm hoping this will give them the right push to do so. (We have to act quick, she is almost 18!). Although my beloved computer (lasted over 4.5 years!) is on the fritz, the Apple Store was pretty awesome (see pic). It was also located right next to FAO Schwartz which made me wish I was a kid again (who doesn't want a oversized stuffed animal sting-ray?)

So I told you I was going to attempt the "Tree-lighting" ceremony in Rockefeller Plaza. Well, I did. After foolishly thinking I could show up (along with another intern) about 20 minutes before the concert started I realized how crazy people are about free events. I didn't really want to see the tree (I can see that hassle-free any other day) I just wanted to hear the music! Unfortunately, we could get anywhere near the action, so we went to the Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square to watch it on TV. That was an experience in itself.... mostly because our waiter was on drugs. The first story he told us was of his days in California as a gang member. Looks like you've come a long way buddy....

Anyways, to the GOOD NEWS. After applying for an internship with NFL Films about 2 months ago, I got a response! I will be traveling via bus to Mt. Laurel, NJ on December 18th for an interview and then spending the night in Philly (about 30 minutes away). I'm trying not to get too excited because the odds of me getting this internship are 38-45% (I did the math). Then again the chances of getting an actual interview was pretty slim too. Unfortunately, the internship is again unpaid, but working with the production staff of the NFL researching players, teams, and writing and editing would be such an incredible and valuable experience....and thankfully I have some supportive parents who thoroughly enjoy expensing my life (right?). This is exactly the kind of opportunity I was hoping for coming out of college.... it's just coming a lot later than expected! So keep me in your prayers and send good karma my way because I would die and go to heaven if I got accepted. It would be sad to leave NYC (internship would start mid-february and go until may), but the opportunity would be too good to pass up! I'm already doing research to prepare.

Other than that, work is going well.... I'm learning new things every day and working hard! I've also been on the hunt for another celebrity-sighting. I'm really hoping to run into Lady Ga Ga or Jay-Z. Also, the other picture is of a floating snow flake.... I just found it humorous.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Grocery Shopping in Harlem

There is nothing quite like having two 6 a.m. flights, a sleepless shopping night with the cousins, and a very successful night on the town in a mere 5 days to completely exhaust you. Alas I arrived back in the Big Apple yesterday and was greeted with some really great weather. Great enough to inspire some people watching (staring?) in Central Park. It was fun going there as a walker instead of a runner (got that bursitis flaring up), mostly because I could use my SLR camera and take zoomed in pictures of people from afar without them noticing.
There are quite some characters in Central Park. I saw the amazing bubble man (see pic) a bride (also see pic) and of course someone playing the bagpipes (they are EVERYWHERE). Yesterday I was on a mission though. I wanted to find "Strawberry Fields". With my roommate Sara in tow we travelled across the park to the West Side. On our way we saw some people paddling their little row boats, boyfriends and girlfriends holding hands... boyfriends and boyfriends holding hands... and of course dogs (thankfully they have sweaters on this time of year, wouldn't want them to get sick!)
Our final destination was quite the attraction. There were flowers over the "Imagine" tiles that made the peace sign, and also a little shrine with candles dedicated to the Beatles (it was almost like they were all dead). The whole time we were there Beatles songs kept playing in my head. Luckily our next destination was Harlem so the Beatles became the LAST thing I was thinking about.
There is this gem of a store called "Fine Fare" that I kid you not is HALF the cost of what I pay for groceries on the upper east side. Everything in this area is super "cheap". I honestly paid $6 for box of oatmeal on the Upper East Side and I saw a box in Harlem for less than $3. I actually did most of my grocery shopping before I left for NYC. Mom, Dad, if you are wondering where all the oatmeal and granola bars went....
So I gathered some of the essentials and walked out of the store with only a $15 check out bill (amazing!) I however made the mistake of waiting outside the store for my roommate (it was a ZOO in there). Not only was there a man waiting at the exit door trying to sell food (really sir, because we JUST went grocery shopping), I was also approached by a crazy man trying to get me to by a baby out of a trash bag. Let me clarify, a baby doll. I kind of laughed and asked him, "What am I going to do with that?" He acted surprised that I didn't have any kids. Let me tell you, even if I had kids I would not be purchasing a baby doll with it's head popping out of a trash bag!
I'm looking forward to the next couple of days here. I worked out in Becca's hotel gym today and will be doing the same tomorrow. She is staying at a REALLY NICE hotel near Grand Central station. We are planning on ordering some delicious takeout tomorrow and watching the Biggest Loser finale. It gets even better (I know, I know... Biggest Loser and takeout already sounds too good to be true), but Wednesday we are watching the lighting of the tree at Rockefeller Center and none other than Michael Buble and Aretha Franklin will be performing there for free!
Until then I will enjoy my remaining days with the hoarder next door. He is almost completely moved out (he had about 6 movers come yesterday). It worked out great for me because they carried my suitcase up four flights of stairs!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Christmas has arrived in NYC

I have lots of pictures from some of my recent dwellings around the city. Friday after work I went to the MoMA (museum of modern art) to check out some of the photographers (Lee Friedman, Diane Arbus, Ansel Adams) I studied in my last semester at Mizzou. Fortunately and unfortunately friday's are free at the MoMA, but that also means it is CROWDED. It was definitely worth it though. I took some pictures of some notable artists, Picasso, Van Gogh, Pollock. Apparantly the Pollock painting (the one that looks like a child could do) was actually done from above, and it takes a lot of "calculations" and physical power (or so my audio guide informed me). There was also a Tim Burton section (see the picture of the man about to be eaten) but alas that area was for "members only".

After the museum I was already close to Rockefeller Plaza so I grabbed some hot cocoa and watched the ice skaters for a couple of minutes. I can't wait until Katie's next visit into the city, I imagine us skating around the rink while holding hands (get excited Katie!). You can also see that they are still in the process of building the Christmas tree. Right now they have the Swarovski Star on display nearby. It's HUGE. I absolutely adore this area though. So many lights already up! There are a lot of shops and plenty of happy people around...definitely an area where the rich live (the Prada and Versace stores give it away). I'm looking forward to using my one-week pass to a fancy gym in Rockefeller Plaza that my roommate gave me. She doesn't work out, so it's my gain! I'm planning on using it the week before I come home for Christmas. Tomorrow I have a guest pass for a really expensive gym nearby. Little do they know I have no intention of starting a membership for $175/month. Sorry! (Clearly I'm trying to avoid buying a gym membership).

Besides another painful loss from Notre Dame, this weekend was great. I went on an Upper East Side Bar Crawl with my friend Becky on Saturday. It was a blast, even though we discovered there are A LOT of long islanders that come to the city to go out (these people can be some what obnoxious, I'm sure Katie can back me up on that one). I'm making a list of things I still want to do, and a concert at Radio City Music Hall is one of them. Katie and I have been trying to get Lady Ga Ga tickets for the end of January, but it's proven to be a lot harder than we thought. Hopefully we get lucky! See everyone soon!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

There are an unnecessary amount of dogs in New York

I don't know why so many people feel like it's a good idea to have animals in their shoe box apartments. What's even worse is people think that their dogs are "cute" so they in fact buy multiples. The reality is these people's dogs are just bigger versions of rats and they annoy me on a daily basis. No, I do not think your dog(s) is cute. I in fact am irritated that you thought it was a great idea to get three of them and take up the entire sidewalk while walking at an obnoxiously slow pace. I also don't like when I am running and your dog decides it wants to come smell me. Is there a law against me kicking your dog? No, there is not, and if you do not leash that thing it will be injured. But please, until then continue to take your dog outside in the middle of the night so the entire neighborhood can hear it bark.

Besides my current goals to start a "Euthanize the dogs of NYC" campaign, I have been exploring the area I work in (Union Square). Here are some pictures of a farmers market a couple blocks away. It's pretty much busy all day long. They have tons of fresh fruits and vegetables as well as pasteries, jams, and cookies. I love eating lunch in this area because there are so many interesting people to awkwardly stare at. It's also interesting to hear some bag pipes in the middle of a busy city (I love bag pipes!) Also in Union Square is this shop (Fishs Eddy...yes that is how it's spelled) that is full of amazing dishes, bowls, kitchenware, etc. that remind me of my Grandma Paas, who as I learned loved to collect dish sets. The great thing about this place is that everything has a reasonable price, and there are so many trinkets you wouldn't think of having for your kitchen, but would be the CUTEST accessories.

You've seen the pictures of my kitchen though, not exactly space for such things so I will just continue to browse.
Lastly, I was able to meet up with a friend from home (Becca) in Times Square for some dinner and drinks. It took us an HOUR to decide where to eat. When given too many choices it clearly becomes an obstacle. If you find yourself in Times Square anytime soon though, Virgils offers some great BBQ and not to mention delicious Hush Puppy appetizers that make you wish it was a real dog you were eating.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I Live Next to a Hoarder

The man next door has been trying to move out....for days. He is what I have concluded to be a hoarder: someone who fails to use or discard such a large number of seemingly useless possessions that it causes significant clutter and impairment to basic living activities such as mobility, cooking, cleaning, showering or sleeping. To describe the odor and amount of crap he has STACKED HIGH in his apartment is truly indescribable. I don't even think a TLC show can save him. Please see exhibit A: this picture is of books.... not even close to 1/4 he has in his apartment that he has been trying to move out (the books continue around the corner). Actually, he had some interesting books on WWII and Hitler that I am going to ask to have (Merry Christmas Dad!) If I could take a picture of the inside of his apartment I would....

But until then, this is where I live: First: the lovely outside of the building, then one of our window areas....can you tell girls live here? Next is the loft. I am on the left (on the side wall above the door. It's not a bad place to sleep until I wake up in the morning disoriented and practically injure myself trying to get down. And check out that KITCHEN. Good thing I'm not a cook.

Lastly, is the Bread Shop across the street. They make delicious homemade bread, muffins, pasteries..... so many great carbs.
This weekend went by a little too fast. I wasted my Friday night watching the Notre Dame game at a bar about 45 seconds away. Too bad I started a tab BEFORE I realized it was a "California" bar.....aka UCLA/USC/Dodgers crap everywhere. I then was quizzed some Notre Dame trivia questions from a Pittsburgh which any answer I didn't know I sent my Dad a text. This guy pretty much thought I was brilliant (thanks Dad!) so I earned some free beer. It would've tasted a lot better had Notre Dame won. I was also befriended by some nice bartenders (Charlotte and Evan). Nothing like making friends with the locals!

Next up, purchasing a ticket to the Celtics vs. Knicks game at Madison Square Garden for next Sunday!

Friday, November 13, 2009

At the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Dad and I in Central Park, & On the top of my roof!

Banana Republic & Sparkling Wine

No, I don't shop everyday, despite the fact that I am SURROUNDED by shops and my other vice... STARBUCKS! In SoHo today I was offered sparkling wine while I shopped at Banana Republic! And yes I accepted (twice). Life in NYC has been so different and so great. I've been here for a week and I already made it to 3 happy hours (I met up with friends from home and Mizzou). I also have forced myself to get out of bed early to go running. Central Park is only 5 blocks away, and the view of the City while running around the Jacqueline Onassis Reservoir is quite a sight.

I'm pretty much a local at this point. I go to work every day....take the metro....walk past Clinton Kelly on my way to lunch (no joke!)...give the doormen the classic head nod as I pass on my way back to my studio loft.... Speaking of which, I live with two other girls (very easy to get along with). One is a student from Taiwan and the other is a model from Sweden. The place is adorable, expensive, and tiny. I live in a great neighborhood, the Upper East Side (UES for us locals). It's a mix of young business professionals, "posh" people, and "creative-minded" people (if you will).

I'm still getting used to the sounds I hear at night. They range from sirens, to people yelling, to blaring music, and dogs barking...but it really is a safe area! I also am getting used to this thing called "work". Apparently people work 9-6 these days? The internship is going well, I like the other interns as well as the people I work for. I was also called the "best intern ever" the other day, I should have asked, "so does this mean I'm hired?!?"

I'm working on taking pictures of my neighborhood/studio/life, but here are a few for now!