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!