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Posts Tagged ‘NYC’

Of late, I’ve been blue or maybe gray is a better color description;  Not because I went to see Fifty Shades of Gray, but rather because there are so many things going on in my life.  Work has been troublesome and the immediate future in that arena doesn’t look very promising.  I seem to be in a time and place where if it can go wrong, it does AND it always costs $$$.

Then there’s the fact that it’s February and it’s been so cold here for so long that I can’t imagine we are actually going to have Spring next month.  The gray days of January and February are bad enough but when you live in The City, it can be downright depressing.  Imagine walking to walk when the wind is blowing and the temperature is in single digits.  Then imagine how it is to walk on sidewalks slick with frozen slush or cross streets where each corner is either a black pool or frozen lumps worn slippery by the hundreds of people walking on them.  OK, OK, enough already right?  NO! When the sun comes out and it does, the slick stuff melts and is black slush, something you would never ever walk in and the edges of the sidewalks are lined with piles of snow in Fifty Shades of Gray and Black and are embedded with trash.  This is NOT a criticism of the Sanitation Workers, because for 3 weeks alternate side parking rules have been suspended which means the streets have not been cleaned!

So now that I’ve painted the ugliest picture of NYC and haven’t begun to complain about the forced hot air heat that every apartment has, I will.   I hate the dry hot air which makes my hair fly around with electricity and my face crack, not to mention getting a bloody nose as all my nasal passages dry out.  Yuk that’s awful!! SORRY!

BUT THEN, there’s this…We left the apartment about 5:00 this evening and took the bus up to Fifth Avenue and walked over the Metropolitan Museum.  This IS a world treasure, there’s no doubt about it.  I take it way too much for granted and don’t visit the museum often enough.  We had in mind a few exhibits we wanted to see but of course walking through the museum on your way to one hall or another you are surrounded by art, sculpture, etchings, and artifacts from around the world!  Literally if you have never been to the MET, then you really can’t imagine  how big it is, how chock full of treasures it is and how accessible it is!  We marveled at Byzantine carvings, admired paintings by Jackson Pollack, Seurat, Pissaro, Van Gogh and more AND we hadn’t even gotten to the exhibits. 

We saw drawings and sketches by Paul Cezanne and the complete set of his portraits of Madame Cezanne.  Hortense Fiquet, (Madame Cezanne) was Cezanne’s favorite model, who he eventually married to legitimize his bastard son.  She posed for 29 portraits, never moving an inch and not talking since Paul Cezanne preferred his models to be silent.  This is the first time that the set of paintings known as Madame Cezanne in a Red Chair have ever been exhibited all together and in fact, they have never been together since they left Cezanne’s studio.  Then we were off to see the Caravaggio’s or at least that’s what we thought.  The exhibit was not exactly paintings done by him, it was more about the origin and evolution of musical instruments popular in the time of Caravaggio. However, we did get to view priceless Tintoretto’s and other Italian Renaissance painters.  The paintings were very religious and very beautiful.

We saved the best for last and headed to the American Wing where the fabulous mural, America Today painted by Thomas Hart Benton was displayed.  It’s a breath-taking,  wall-to-wall panorama of life in America in the 1920’s. The palette is rich in primary colors as befitting the strength of the muscled boxers, workers and the whole work itself.  Below is just one of the ten panels that make up this epic work.

AMERICA TODAY

AMERICA TODAY

But before we went into the room that housed these magnificent panels, we spent considerable time viewing his preliminary sketches, his models which were drawings and even small paintings of future sections of the mural-to-be.  There were practice sketches of hands in different poses, of complicated parts of machinery cobbled together and of many characters who would appear in the mural.  This is where I saw beautiful, sexy women just oozing femininity and each with the sparkle of life in the 20’s in their eyes.  They reminded me of my friend, the gorgeous Grace Gotham.  She exudes sensuality when she performs and was surely born in this era before her more recent incarnation.  Her burlesque performances are stellar with her as the shining star;  lithe, graceful and luscious, Grace could have been one of Benton’s models!  But don’t take my word for it, you can see for yourself at http://www.gracegotham.com.   Meet Grace!

Grace Gotham

Grace Gotham

 

 

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Ambrose Lightship, South Street Seaport, Manha...

Ambrose Lightship, South Street Seaport, Manhattan, New York City (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thursday’s Top Ten

The following is a sardonic bordering on sarcastic list of things we New Yorkers feel the need to explain to the visitors, tourists and out of towers who venture into our metropolis!   This list goes beyond my byline of “Oops I bit my tongue in chic”;  I gleaned this information from Thrillst NY. Some things just have to be ‘splained!

  1. We don’t call it “The Big Apple”, “New York” or even “NYC” – It’s The City.
  2. Everybody jaywalks – Go ahead, don’t be afraid, chances are you won’t get hit.
  3. The Italian food in Little Italy sucks – Probably because hardly any Italians live there.
  4. Cabbies don’t take advantage of tourists – They take advantage of ANYONE who doesn’t pay attention.  The answer to “Do you want to take the FDR”? is always NO.
  5. YES, it’s always this loud and NO it doesn’t bother us – For the love of God, stop covering your ears every time a subway screeches or an ambulance goes by.
  6. You have to walk faster than that – We don’t have highways, we have sidewalks.  Would you stop dead in the middle of the Interstate to take a photo of some random tall building? No? Then sweet Jesus don’t do it here.
  7. South Street Seaport is totally irrelevant – We don’t set foot on this anachronistic hell-dock unless we’re going to Beekman’s Beer Garden.  Even then we go in the back entrance to avoid the crowds of people taking photos of the man o’ war.
  8. The streets are short, the avenues are long and it’s a grid – Unless you’re in the West Village; that place is essentially a maze.
  9. That annoying TV in the back of the cab – You can turn it off, and if the credit card swipe below it doesn’t work, use the one above it.
  10. Our bars close at 4 am every nightNone of this 1 am or 2 am nonsense or “4 am on Saturdays only” – We booze it up every night till 4 am and still make it to brunch then next day.

A shout-out to Gail, who is my constant resource for  funny, weird, bizarre, interesting, and informative articles.  This one from Thrillist was a doozy!

 

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If two weeks ago when I last wrote a blog, I thought it would be two weeks before I sat down at the keyboard again, I would have said, “Oh no, not me, I’m committed to blogging”.  Well so what happened?  I’d say one part life happened, one part physic overload and one part computer game junkieness.   I just made up that last word.

Work has been feeling like 24/7 and I have to get a handle on that.  I’m letting a client/customer run my life and she/he has me jumping through hoops.  Of course I’ve had enough therapy to know that can only happen with my permission.  Oh those intelligent sounding, pragmatic answers are just so…..what?  I don’t know, just so true? hard to do? Yup all of that and more.

And then the worst thing is this new word game that I started to play on Facebook.  If Steven Covey could only see me now, spending hours in Quadrant 4 – time wasting and my numbing!  My Scrabble addicition was bad enough, Lexolous was getting intense and now this – Word Wonder or something like that.   All I can say is it’s a good thing I can’t seem to go any further without paying, something I refuse to do.  Hey even us junkies have our limits!

Lots of things have been going wrong too lately – time-consuming and annoying.  We’re not talking life or death here, just annoyances that seem to piggyback on one another.  Here’s how Monday went:  My intention was to pack up the cottage as quickly as possible and get back to NYC because I knew I wouldn’t be around on Tuesday all day.  That’s a perfect example of my neurotic guilt and sense of obligation.  Gee do you really have to be at someone’s beck and call every day, all day?  OK, well I hustled around and got food packed, windows closed and locked while Peter filled the bird feeders and gave the squirrels fresh corn.  Now for the record, I did strongly suggest we put the car into the garage on Sunday night as well as drop off some stuff with Jane at the hotel.  Didn’t happen – now it’s Monday morning and I’m short-tempered and curt barking orders as to what needs to be done to get this show on the road!   BAD KARMA!  The Metropolitan would not start…. Are you frigging kidding me? We drove it Saturday night to Spring Lake and back. Now it’s raining and it won’t start.  Of course I didn’t know it wouldn’t start because I had already left for the garage to pick up a picnic basket I was lending to a friend in Manhattan and to put away the booster seat we had to purchase when Finley was with us for 3 days!

I realized that the basket would not fit in the car the way it was packed now and you know I didn’t pack it that way!  So I unloaded the whole car and re-arranged everything and put in the picnic basket.  Still raining and where is he anyway?  I called his cell phone and he informs me the car won’t start!  Ay yii yi!  I lock up the garage and zoom back.  He’ll have to call our auto mechanic who just installed a new starter last week.  That’s right, last week.  We’re leaving it out in front of the house and the mechanic will see to it – we leave.  I realize that I’m wearing soaking wet shoes.  Why am I not wearing my usual flip-flops?  Well because I was thinking ahead and wanted these espadrilles to be in NYC so I could wear them on the bus tomorrow to West Hampton.  Do all espadrilles have roped soles?

BAD TRAVEL KARMA is an all day thing I guess, because by Monday evening when I have to get myself to East 50th Street to meet my Mah Jongg group, things are still going badly.  I left the apartment in plenty of time with the intention of taking the cross town bus to 2nd Ave and then switching to the 2nd Ave local to go south.  But as I walked out of my building, I saw the cross town bus heading up the block – I had just missed it.  I waited a while and no bus came.  So I walked to 2nd Ave and one block south to the bus stop and waited and waited and waited.  Not one but two Select (express) buses went by but no local. I kept looking at the time and said to myself “take a cab”.  I hailed the cab down and just as I was about to open the door I realized that I did not bring my handbag with me and had only my Mah Jongg money and no credit cards.  “Sorry” I say to the driver, “I made a mistake”.  This being New York, he’s probably used to a lot of crazy people.  Still no bus.  The Select bus stops two blocks north so I take a long look up the avenue and don’t see any buses coming and decide to walk north to that bus stop.  Walking as fast as I can in my flip-flops I scurry northward.  As I am approaching the block, I see that a local bus has stopped there and if you can picture a woman of a certain age and somewhat overweight trying to run in flip flops down the busy block then you are probably laughing your you know what off right now!  The bus pulls away.  Buses wait for no man or woman either by the way!  The express and local stops are both located on this block.  I’m sure another bus of either type will appear on the horizon soon.  WRONG! Almost 10 minutes later, an express bus pulls up, I get on and thank God for the air-conditioning because I had clearly worked myself up into a physical and mental frenzy.  

Yes I made it there, late of course and missed the first round, oh well no big deal.  However,  bad luck follows you around stuck to your shoe like a piece of toilet paper.  I sit down and start to play.  My hand looks pretty good.  I’m not going to go into the strategies of Mah Jongg here but you must always be careful not to throw someone else’s winning tile.  Because if you do you have to pay double.  Well you know where this is going…I threw the tile.  Now I had to pay her double her hand.  Oh but she was also East and therefore she gets doubled again, and Oh she threw doubles so she gets doubled again!  And Oh the bettor bet on her so she also gets the same amount of money.  When I tell you I lost $8 in one round, you can believe I was ready to pack it in for the night!  I actually had to owe the bettor $2 and pay it off as I won other hands!  

I sure hope tomorrow is much less uneventful!

English: blue espadrille from Los Espadrilles.com

Espadrilles ARE NOT water proof

May the craks and bams be with you!

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NYC Subway 6 Train

NYC Subway 6 Train Otherwise Known As The Green Line.

 

Oy has it been a crazy past couple of days.  I left the shore on Sunday (a glorious sunny day I might add) to return to New York City by train so I could conduct an open house at one of my listings.  I gave myself just enough time with a very narrow margin for error but that wasn’t because I like to live on the edge, rather, I was dependent on the NJ Transit system to get home.

 

I made it to the train on time in New Jersey and as I sped away from the station, I reached into my handbag for my cell phone and uh oh it was still at the shore.  I decided not to panic, well there was nothing to be done anyway.  My concerns were not phone calls as much as possible emails and texts from brokers trying to register customers or worse from my seller who would not know why I was incommunicado at this time.

 

Things were moving along nicely;  the connecting train at Long Branch was there and so we took off on time.  I had my Kindle with me and not much else since the plan was that Peter and our grandson return sometime on Monday.  In the meantime, Cash’s mom arrived in NJ to spend some beach time with her father and son.  They got the sun and the sand and I got the Open House   😦Just outside of Secaucus the train stopped and I started to fidget.  THIS is exactly what I was afraid of!  What if? I don’t even have a cell phone to contact either the seller or a colleague to pinch hit for me. And since we are all now SO DEPENDENT on our electronic devices, I don’t even know what time it is because I don’t have a watch on!

 

The train eventually got moving and we slid into the tunnel of Penn Station and I prayed I would be able to find a rest room quickly and get on the subway to head uptown.  Oh but I forgot to tell you, I didn’t have my Metro card;  No, that was still in my apartment!  After a quick trip to the ladies’ room and boy did I ever luck out!  The line coming in as I was leaving would have given me the figurative heart attack.

 

I headed for the red line – Peter hates it when I refer to the subway lines by their color dots;  he sometimes refers to the IRT, whatever that is lol lol.  Really, I’m from Connecticut, to me the colors make sense.  Anyway, in order to get on the subway I had to buy a Metro card because I left mine in my apartment (like I somehow forgot I planned on taking the train back on Sunday). The line to the ticket booth was about 20 deep.  There were two lines to the two machines and each was LONG and filled with tourists.  I figure they were tourists because three quarters of the line did NOT know how to use the machine.  I tried to practice some form of total Zen zoning and not tap my foot too much.  When finally it was my turn at the screen don’t you know the cursed hunk of no good metal and electronics would not let me purchase a Single Ride.  Ever mindful of the crowd behind me I just said, “what the f__?” and bought a $10.00 card.  I have a senior citizen discount Metro card and am totally annoyed that I had to buy this card so I could get home and work.

 

I thought I should take a cab across town on 86th St but since everything else was going  askew and downhill, of cou

 

English: An Old sign for the IRT at the Wall S...

 An Old sign for the IRT at the Wall Street 2/3 stop. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

rse there were no cabs.  I wondered if they were on strike.  A bus came along and I hopped on and at least had the gratification and satisfaction of getting a transfer for my $10.00 splurge.  The bus made pretty good time or so I thought because as you know, I had no watch or phone.  I dashed across the street and flew into my building only to come face to face with the seller who was as surprised to see me as I was her.   “Did I get her text?”  Uh no, and I have to explain how I left my phone in NJ.  And by the way, please excuse me I have to run upstairs, change my clothes, brush my hair and teeth and get to your apartment if you please.

 

Peter on the other hand and in the other state had his daughter and grandson to entertain.  He’s not really used to being a solo host.  Well, at least they had great weather and spent two days at the beach.  They were supposed to come home on Monday which turned into Monday night and then he called to ask what did I think about them spending another night at the cottage and he would return during the day on Tuesday.  I had appointments to show my listing on Tuesday but our cat, Nicky also had an appointment at the Vet’s on Tuesday.  It was going to be grueling round trip to bring guests back to NYC, take the cat to the veterinarian and when I finished doing the laundry he brought back, we would return to NJ.  In between appointments and his return I even managed to go to Starbucks and get a pedicure.  He looked like he had been doing battle for two days.

 

Back and forth, up and down and around and around we go.

 

 

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Today is a very hot and humid day in The City!  I know because so far today I have walked about 25 blocks, in TEVA wedge-hi flip flops and carrying what I call the typical NYC handbag.  Today it only had 2 folders in it and no Kindle (thank God).  I could itemize the numerous objects and necessities in my pocketbook but I bet there are thousands of woman all over the country carrying the same home away from home – what if I need…. bag!  Although many of them have it on the front seat while they drive around and are not carrying it in the asphalt jungle. Let’s just say, it’s always heavy and on a day like today, unwelcomely heavy.  With each block, my mood darkened.  Peter wanted to know when I would stop complaining about how hot I was and my response was….well that remark is probably better left unsaid in print. I arrived home (finally), stripped off my clothes and hopped into the shower.  What a fabulous feeling.

If you are wondering what that first paragraph has to do with the title of this blog, it’s actually a precursor to why sometimes living here gets you down, beats you up, changes your outlook on life and makes you wish it was Friday so you could run not walk to your weekend getaway.

So how do you know when you’ve lived in New York City too long?

Dinner – hitting up your slice place at 1:00am

PIZZA!!!

PIZZA!!!

2. Nothing fills you with more rage than getting on a crowded subway car and hearing, “It’s showtime”

3. $12 cocktails and $20 yoga classes seem normal now!

4.You’ve considered moving into your office to save on rent since you spend so much time there.

5. You’ve Seamlessed lunch and dinner in the same day  and not given a shit.

Who cooks anymore?

Who cooks anymore?

6. In the summer you consider the wind coming from an approaching subway to be a nice breeze.

7. You’ve flipped off a tourist bus.

WHAT are they looking at?

WHAT are they looking at?

8. When you visit the suburbs and try to sleep, the silence scares you.

9. You wear ear buds to the grocery store.

"Stayin' Alive," - I Need Endive

“Stayin’ Alive,” – I Need Endive

10. You walk faster than most people run.

Thanks Gail for sending me this hysterical web link.

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English: Albert Einstein, official 1921 Nobel ...

Albert Einstein

Seriously, yes I am! I know I have been MIA for a couple of weeks and one might think the worst;  like “oh dear, she must be really sick” or “oh my things must be going badly for her right now”…

Well I’m here to say NOT SO!  I have been busy, busy, busy.  And of course I am over-committed so unlike Einstein, for some reason I don’t have enough hours in the day to do all that I want to do and I have pushed off writing a blog.  On the other hand since I am a staunch believer in the fact that people do what they want to do all the time, I may have to try to be more honest with myself and my readers.  

It’s true I have been working and the fruits of those labors came true when I was able to list a property for sale in my building.  It took a few visits and a lot of time spent staging it but it was well worth it.  I put it on the market on Friday and the first showings and Open House were on Sunday and on Monday we had one offer, on Tuesday we two offers, on Wednesday we had three offers. On Thursday I l left town to fulfill my other business obligation.  It’s not very easy to serve two masters in two different states even if they are adjacent.

Someone will surely suffer or both and neither will be happy and then I’ll be out on both accounts.  So this weekend I have to settle the issue and am dreading the conversation.  I don’t want to let anyone down, I commit and I stay with it, I take responsibility to a degree that actually is self-destructive by putting other people’s needs above my own.  This time my own level of stress has been so great that I am going to push through my anxiety and confront the issue.  So many factors to consider.

So busy with two jobs, running between two states and all the rest of life’s miseries still in place, although I haven’t written any blogs in two weeks, I have found time to play Scrabble, I did get a pedicure, I did have breakfast with a friend, I did play one game of Mah Jongg and I did go out one night to dinner and a show with friends and I did go to the doctor’s one day.   Well that’s the truth dear readers and I did all that rather than try to write a blog.  

Did I have writer’s block? No, my friend Gail has sent me several articles I have saved because I want to use the material.  There was one reason I postponed and postponed and it began on Mother’s Day.  I wanted to write a loving blog in memory of my mother but instead we were out and then back in the car to NYC and then back into a grinding routine.  My birthday followed shortly after and I wanted to write about this particular birthday and my mother.  I started many times to formulate it in my head.  I knew it was going to be heavy and so I kept procrastinating.  Memorial Day came and went and we had company and we went to a barbeque and we went out to dinner and then we worked here in NJ and then home again-still the blog haunts me.  

I may have to try to write it soon, I think it will be cathartic.

This weekend is for seeing a first cousin who I haven’t seen since she was little and I have no idea of how many years have passed. She and another first cousin who I have never met – And this is on my mother’s side….the unwritten blog is sending me a message. But doesn’t it know I have to work tonight, tomorrow, tomorrow night and Sunday and then drive back to NYC really early Monday so I can go to work there?  Have mercy!

It happens to be pouring rain outside this morning which is making the whole yard a deep bright green.  I glanced out the window and am wondering where the newspaper is, perhaps it floated away.  

Have a delightful day, I’ll be back.

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There are way too many cars in NYC to begin with, not to mention people so just about anything can cause major gridlock and delays.  When the UN General Assembly is in session, not only do the dignitaries, ambassadors, consuls et al, amass – the protestors turn out in full force.  And what is being protested? EVERYTHING!  From regimes to policy, humanitarianism to health conditions and anything in between.  And then came Moving Planet!  Adding vegans, anti-frackers, climate-change concerns, anti-fossil fuel and green proponents.  As seen through the camera lens:

UN protests, General Assembly, NYC

MULLAHS

UN General Assembly, NYC, Palestine statehood

Protesting Palestine Statehood

China, Tibet, General Assembly

China versus Tibet

Sri Lanka, General Assembly, UN

Sri Lanka

 

UN General Assembly

Africa

UN General Assembly

Climate Control

General Assembly

Lebanon

Stop Fracking

No Drilling

All photos courtesy of Murray Head

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