Category Archives: in and around NYC

Record Breaking Heat

Yes, it is hot out today. It is really, really hot. And as for someone who was recently diagnosed with environmental allergies, it’s even a little hard to breathe.

But guess what? It’s really hot for those in loads of gear serving our country in crazy-ass heat in the desert thousands of miles from home. I have the luxury of wearing a summer dress and flip-flops and the only thing I have to carry is my pocketbook. Those guys and gals, they have full on uniforms and pounds upon pounds (not sure how many but I am sure it’s not light) of gear.

When I want to complain, I stop myself because of those men and women serving. And also, because it is not snow and cold and ice.

At least it is acceptable for me to eat ice cream every day in the summer. In the winter, not so much.


What’s it worth?

I was talking with friends about their recent night out. It was dinner and drinks and it was 60 bucks a person for dinner and drinks. Sounds about right in NYC.

Funny that elsewhere that can get you three meals for a day and a good bed to sleep on. (See: Southeast Asia)


WHY? Won’t you look where you are walking?

I’ve said this before, but I am seeing it more and more. Why don’t people look where they are going? It seems like every time I look I see people reading and typing or playing games on their phones and reading books (yes, real, actual books, crazy, right?!) and Kindles.

Why do I have to watch where they are walking in order to not be wacked in the head or the arm because they aren’t paying attention?! It makes me absolutely crazy. I’m not sure if it’s a result of being cramped in city living for so long, or if I am annoyed that so many times I am the one to fall or trip or stub my toe AND I AM paying attention to where I am going.

Is the material that scintillating, or is it just a (really obnoxious and annoying) status symbol to show that they are so important/busy/rude/oblivious that they don’t have time to pay attention to where they are going?! I just don’t understand what is so important that they can’t look up to watch where they ARE. WALKING.

I have seen people playing games, texting, whatever. Just pull over, like you would in a car, and take care of your business elsewhere. Unless it is a dire emergency, get off of your device, PLEASE!

You heard it here. Young ‘uns — the best industries to get into are carpal tunnel surgeons, eye doctoring and electronic advice addiction counselors. This is what society is coming to. These are going to be major medical conditions in the very near future. And I bet there will be great job security.

If I am walking behind someone at a speedy pace and they are strolling along on your device, I’m going to say ‘Excuse Me’ and if they don’t move, I will whizz past with a ‘Really?’ or a ‘Seriously?’

Why do I have to dodge you, you rude, obnoxious person thinking everyone is going to move out of your way?

I would LOVE to one day jump in front of one of these people and just yell! I realize this puts me in the category of crazy and  I wouldn’t really do this in real life but when I think about it, I love the idea more and more. I’d especially love to just get the reactions on camera. What about to walk in a straight line, so if the rude person won’t look up, they will run into me. Okay, I really wouldn’t do that because somehow, someway, I’d be the one to get injured – elbow in the face, something like that.

I don’t spend much time in a car, but I’d be curious to observe what people do in cars in bumper to bumper traffic on a major highway. Not sure how you express your anger there. Does a car horn do it these days? Especially if they aren’t paying attention to the road – would they even think the horn was for them? Readers who drive…feel free to share what you see…or (shame on you) what you may do.

Brought to you by WHY Wednesday.


Goings on in the Hudson River

Last night, there was quite a commotion on the Hudson River.

The sweltering temperature had dropped drastically, the Hudson River had whitecaps and it was eerily quiet.

But not for long.

About fifteen boats, some big, some small, some official looking, some not showed up in my view.

The boats were traveling in a circle for a bit. At first it looked like it could have been a search and rescue mission. There were lots of horns honking at various intervals.

Eventually the boats made their way up the river in a procession. They did some more honking.

Then the boats started to go their separate ways.

I guess that was in preparation for this.

As you can see here, a boat with loads of water starting spewing water everywhere.

The boats kept moving farther and farther away from the water spewing boat.

 

And then it was done.

A Google News search shows nothing. My neighbor, who also watched, thought it might be a funeral procession for someone in the maritime industry.

If it was, I hope he or she rests in peace.

If it wasn’t, I’m very curious. I’ve seen a lot of stuff happen on the river, but that whole show was a first.


WHY would you eat THERE?

There’s an A, B, C, D, F rating system for NYC restaurants. Thankfully, my regular lunch stops all received A’s. I’ve yet to see a D or an F.

And, even with that A rating, I’ve still had issues. But even that place still got an A from the Board of Health. The question is, why would someone knowingly eat at a C, or worse?!


Batten Down the Hatches?

We had a tornado warning in NYC last night. The sky looked like a gorgeous shade of a pink and purple mix.

 

Um. I live on the top floor of an apartment building. How does one in the NYC area batten down the hatches?

You don’t want to go crazy because this is not tornado alley…but after seeing what happened recently in Missouri and Alabama, you don’t want to mess around.

But…this is not like the Wizard of Oz. We don’t have basements and tornado shelters much less tornado drills. All I’ve got is a bathroom with no windows and a bottle of wine.

Ultimately, the preparation I did was to flatten our foldable chairs and foldable table on the balcony. I brought in the smallest of the flower planters. And the grill is always tied to the balcony (the cover has already flown away once).

We can only hope for the best even though the sky looks crazy.


WHY is there even a question of bail or jail?

First, Dominique Strauss-Kahn from France, then, Egypt’s Mahmoud Abdel-Salam Omar. These aren’t men, they are monsters.

These two sexual attacks top global headlines. My local news has had more violent assaults to cover this week than any week in recent history. It seems like there’s no shortage of assholes.

These monsters decide they must have someone, and she’s there for the taking? Why do they think that they are above the law? Who the hell do these jackasses think they are? What makes them think they are entitled to a woman, any woman they want, whenever they want? If they are so needy for sex, find someone you can pay for it. Why do they feel the need to assault someone to get it? These animals decided to use their body as a weapon and because of that, I believe they should be castrated.

I apologize. I digress.

For the cases where there is a named attacker, why there is even a question of bail or jail absolutely amazes me.

It makes me ill that the judge is letting Strauss-Kahn wait out his trial in a multi-million dollar mansion. S-K made his bed, and instead he gets to lie on one in a $14 million USD mansion instead of in jail, like his fellow criminals.

The judge presiding over S-K’s case had a chance to make an example that would echo around the city, and possibly the world, yet failed miserably.

I’ve heard from reputable sources in law enforcement that there is a food chain in jail and those who are sent in on a charge of sexual assault, are at the bottom, just above child molesters. Had S-K spent significant time there, he could have gotten (some of) his due.

I have to believe that the judge was afraid that S-K would be prey for criminals higher in the food chain. Even so, why should S-K be excused from jail? What entitles him to bail? His (former, and disgraced) title? His wealth? PUH-LEASE.

Now, yet another judge will have the opportunity to make an example out of another (alleged) sex offender. Will he collect bail, or send a criminal to jail? The question if Omar will be given the same opportunity as S-K waits to be answered.

Why is this fair to the crime survivors? Shouldn’t the survivor of S-K’s attack be able to get some relief knowing that the animal who attacked her is behind bars? The only bar he might be behind is a cocktail bar in that mansion. By chance, and no fault of her own, she was violently attacked and violated by a wealthy douchebag who thinks he is above the law, and on top of that, gets out of jail on bail. She doesn’t even get to bask in the satisfaction knowing that her attacker is getting his due while biding his time in jail.

I believe that all monsters should be treated the same, regardless of their (former) stature, their income and how much interest the media may or may not have. They all belong in Rikers. But for now, we’ll have to wait and see what the judge who will preside over Omar’s case decides where he will spend his time during his court dates.

We can only hope that judge number two makes the right decision and keeps criminals — alleged or not, wealthy or not, shamed (former) international superstars or not — where they belong, in jail, without bail.

WHY Wednesday.


Tunnel Traffic

There’s nothing more daunting to a commuter heading into New York’s Port Authority Bus Terminal than hearing “Due to a disabled vehicle, please expect delays.” There are also electronic message boards informing commuters of delays.

Without even hearing the announcement, a seasoned commuter, like myself, can figure it out by seeing the length of lines. Lines that normally move at a fast pace – the bus comes, loads up commuters and departs. The next bus comes and does the same thing. It’s a very efficient process. Usually.

If there is a standstill, you can try to figure out how long people have been waiting just by looking at the faces of the people in line. Joining the standstill is daunting because it is a bit of a crap shoot. Will the line start to move? Am I going to be one of those faces in thirty minutes?

I digress. This is what I don’t understand. The Lincoln Tunnel “carries almost 120,000 vehicles per day, making it one of the busiest vehicular tunnels in the world.” Thank you Wikipedia.

Did you get that? IN THE WORLD. That’s a pretty grand statement.

I am going to make an educated guess that most of those vehicles are buses, carrying thousands of travelers. Yet they can’t figure out how to quickly fetch the disabled vehicle to ensure smooth traffic flow in the middle of evening RUSH HOUR?

Granted, it’s a tough job to keep traffic moving and ensure seamless commutes. Which is most of the time. I’m not knocking anyone.  I wouldn’t want to be responsible for getting a disabled vehicle out of the tunnel, or even be that disabled vehicle! I’m sure they have a system down but since I had time to think about solutions on my commute (that was three times as long as normal) earlier this week, here’s my proposed solution.

Caveat: I only know that there are three tunnels. I don’t know anything about traffic planning, routing or any of the other technical stuff that’s probably useful in making general statements like the one I am about to make.

But let’s pretend there is a disabled vehicle in the tunnel. Obviously all the traffic in front of said vehicle can move forward. Everything behind is totally screwed. Well, let’s get all the in front traffic out of the tunnel and have a tow truck planted at either end of the tunnel. Bring that puppy in and tow said disabled vehicle out. This should take mere minutes to clear up.

For further explanation, please see my diagram.

Thankfully, I only take the bus home at night. I wait for the day when the morning ferry is delayed because of too much traffic on the Hudson River.


Small Spaces

What you’ll put up with for location, location, location.

My first NYC apartment was in the East Village with two girls I met on Craigslist. The apartment was a converted two bedroom. As in converted into three bedrooms making the only common areas the hallway, the “kitchen” and the bathroom. For three girls on different schedules, it was perfect.

[By “kitchen” I mean two wooden countertops on either side of you and a fridge.]

I’ll never forget my uncle, who hadn’t been to NYC in over twenty years, said, this is where you live? In a room? My bed and my couch all fit in this cozy space. He was flabbergasted. My response was that NYC was my living room!

In another apartment, in the Village, my brother-in-law, who had never seen a NYC apartment, other than the ones that Monica, Rachel, Ross, Phoebe, Chandler and Joey lived in…opened one of my closet doors (which happened to be in the living room) and as he opened it, said, is this your dining room? Obviously once he opened the door, he realized that the apartments featured on Friends were not real NYC apartments.

In that same village apartment, there was no oven. Really, let’s be honest. The kitchen in the East Village looked like a gourmet’s kitchen compared to this one. The ‘kitchen’ here was literally a countertop with some cabinets…in the foyer.

My mom, before seeing the apartment, said maybe it’s an old building (which it was) and maybe the oven is hidden in the wall that you can’t see. Um. Not so much. Under the mini stove, where you would typically find an oven, was a mini fridge. Stainless steel and granite countertops, which was great for um…aesthetics?


“No, No, you not moving in until Friday!”

Moving day is always a pain but have you ever tried to move in only to find out that they were painting your apartment?

As my roomie, M, and I were moving into our very first apartment after college, we found the painter there…in full on work mode. He shook his finger and said in broken English: “NO NO, you not moving in until Friday!”

It was Wednesday.

WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So much for our families coming and helping to unpack. They got off easy because we had to move all of our stuff into the middle of the living room, as to not touch any of the wet walls, and then everything had to be coverednow covered with tarps.

We peaced out and headed to a bar. Our landlord put us up in a hotel for a couple of nights. I’ve moved a lot but that was probably the most memorable mess.