Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Where The Streets Have No Sleep

I walk the streets day and night.  The streets that never sleep, the streets that carry such famous names as Broadway and Park Avenue.  I walk those streets day and night…Ok, not those exact streets but it’s true I walk the streets of New York City day and night.  Albeit on my way to and from work, that being day and night, I do walk the streets…

The walk is the same, the direction changes from North to South as the day goes from the AM to PM.  I walk up Third Avenue on my way to work every day and then down Third Avenue on my way home.  The difference between the two is amazing.  Almost to the point where the streets look to be completely different settings depending on the hour.

In the morning I am in a pack of people as we make our ‘commute’ to work.  It can hardly be called a ‘commute’ for those people that do their car to a ferry to a train to their under paying, over worked job truly have a ‘commute.’ I simply walk to work in a pack of people.  It’s funny to see these pods of people walking as one so early in the morning when coordination is not typically at its best.  Small groups of people are stopped at some lights and try to scamper through others, altogether. I do see the same people usually, the same kids holding mom or dad’s hand on their way to school and the same deliver trucks just about every morning.  It’s like we’re all playing our roles in big dramatic scene.  

The walk of late has been a fairly swift one.  The winds have been brutal and the temperatures unforgiving.  The pockets of people seem to be smaller and yet the boxes of merchandise that are dropped in front of every store seem to be getting bigger.  It’s like walking to work and a game of mouse trap breaking out.  Dodging cases of cosmetics outside Duane Reade and sacks of potatoes outside of Sarge’s Deli are the daily obstacles I have faced lately.

The stroll home is quite different.  The shops have closed their doors for the night, the restaurants are full of people, and the sidewalks are clear of incoming goods.  The bodies that are moving in what seems like pure synchronization  on the way to work are no where to been seen.  This is a One Man Show.  The deliver trucks have been replaced with garbage trucks picking up the days waste.  The cleaning people are the only ones occupying the stores that were bustling only hours earlier.

The city truly never sleeps.  It only goes through stages and phases.  Some prettier than others, some longer than others, but when all is said and done, it’s a beautiful baby in motion.  

Thanks for listening

Monday, February 27, 2006

On Your Mark...

We all started kindergarten at the same time, we were all chubby, awkward prepubescent middle schoolers just trying to fit in at the same time too.  We all were all sporting Letterman Jackets and ‘I know everything’ attitudes simultaneously.  We may have taken different roads to get to the college of our choice, but we all left at the same time.  There was so much that was the same, there were such thin lines that made us different.  

We now find ourselves in such different worlds, it’s tough to recall the backgrounds that we once shared.  We were all in the same places at the same time, never imaging that the chances for individual change were possible.  I am in a place so different from the people who started next to me.  Not better, and certainly not worse, just different.  I have recently spoken to a number for friends, people of my same age that are living in places I would find so foreign.  And I don’t mean Tibet or Fargo…

The starting point was a line we all stood behind, the finish line was too far off in the distance for anyone to clearly see.  Maybe that’s why we all ended up at so spread out, so far from each other.  The end, which is still too far to see, is different for everyone.  I am 24 years old, living in the best city in the world, with no one to worry about other then pretty little me.  That is not the case for all of those who darted in motion at the sound of the gun.  

Different mile markers now show the lives we have all decided to try.  Some friends are in law school, a mere 3 or 4 months from becoming Lawyers.  What?  Real, honest to In God-We Trust lawyers.  How can that be, we were just tailgating and sleeping until 1pm every day that ended in a “y”? And now those same people are at a huge point in their race, a point I will not see.  

Closing on a house?  That seems so futuristic and adult like, I cannot imagine such a phrase coming from these lips.  Living in a city where most places go for about $1000/sq foot has a lot to do with the strangeness of that statement.  However, this city is unlike most other places where my running mates have found themselves.  I’m closing bar tabs, and their closing on homes, new homes.  I want to understand that feeling, I do, but that is like telling finger painting toddler what it would feel like to have something hanging in the MoMa.  It’s just too far down the road.

My favorite part of the race so far are these very differences, difference is location.  I love speaking, learning, and listening to friends who have taken different routes.  Their experiences and ability to convey where they are and where they have been only make for a much smoother ride today.  Even though we left the starting blocks at the same time, we’ve found our own ways, our own ways to live our lives.  I am eternally grateful for the people who have stayed with in shouting distance of me.  Some have unfortunately veered off course, and I hope they soon find their way too.  

Thanks for listening

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Collateral Damage

The last 48 hours have taken me to the battlefields and back again.  I have seen the scars of those left behind, those wounded by the enemy, and those still suffering from a war that has made them awarded veterans.  I have not been watching too much CNN coverage or become engulfed in live MSNBC feeds, I have simply met great soles, good people, friends of mine, who deserve better…

I, as I mentioned in the previous post have more times than I’d care to admit been the shoulder to cry on once relationships have come to their end.  The rhymes and reasons that brought these relationships are not important.  The places and faces of these plays need not be exposed because their performances are timeless and universal.

I have in such a short time period met, spoken, and seen the results of relationships gone bad.  I am not making light of heartbreak or discomfort felt by anyone I have encountered because I write to do anything but that…If it were not for their experiences, my thoughts and fingers would not be moving as fast as they are…that I know for a fact.

The way we as people, are able to be hurt by one another, I will never understand.  How can someone who brought some much good to someone deliver so much pain so quickly?  The fight, phone call, or letter may have take so little time, but its power reaches farther than anyone can see.  The damage done by someone who seemed to care so dearly at one point makes the strength of their blow that much more of a deep impact.  These types of wounds as I have had the chance to witness lately last much longer than the means of their delivery.  

I don’t think I am being sexist in saying that these confrontations that are shear means to the inevitable end linger longer with women than men.  I am probably wrong, but women keep the wounds open and allow them to be seen by others.  Men probably keep their injuries hidden and seek treatment in all the wrong places.  This is probably one of the biggest differences between the two…

The hurt and the damage done by others before me, have used their weapons of mass destruction to leave a mark not easily repaired.  That is not to say unfixable or eternally broken, it only says the remedy will be hard to find and take longer to work.  I only hope now that I am bed side to those hurt, I  have never handed someone this type of pain, as I would never wish this heartfelt recovery on anyone.  

It is again these battles and the wounds the come with those very same wins and losses that may keep me on watch tower and not the battlefield. I only hope that is not the case.  I don’t think it is, only because playing in a great story is always better than watching one, now matter the outcome.

Thanks for listening

Beer Bong for the Lady

Saturday night at home, roommates out on the town, the couch and sushi to myself…aint nothing better.  After my bartending debut the night before, I decided it was time to take it easy.  Plus, I knew if I went out I would blow the entire wad of cash I was fortunate enough to leave the bar with Friday night.  I bounced around for Forest Gump to some terrible reality TV on VH1 while I dined on my Spicy Tuna and Philadelphia rolls.  When you have roommates it’s nice to get the place to yourself.  Funny little things like leaving my dirty clothes on the bathroom floor after I had taken a shower were my little highlights.  (Don’t worry I picked them up before I hit the sack)

I spent yesterday afternoon with a recently broken hearted girlfriend.  I took the 6 train to Union Square, an area I wish I spent more time in, to meet up for drinks.  The weather was beautiful and much warmer than it’s been the last couple of weeks.  While I waited for her to show up (how did people find each other at rendezvous before cell phones) I cruised over to the mini dog park.  I sadly had to leave my lil guy back in Arizona.  Clyde was is name, just about the most calm, well behaved Jack Russell Terrier on the planet.  After the barking and smell of dog poopy was a little too much, I walked over to the fresh market that had taken over the Northwest corner of the park.  There was everything from organic bacon to fresh tulips. I know it’s cheesy, but it kind of reminded me of that move “You’ve got Mail.”

Once my friend and I found each other, we headed south to find a bar.  She needed a drink and I could tell that from the sound of her voice.  That’s the nice thing about New York, I didn’t necessary have a bar in mind, but I knew we would be ok.  We walked down University Street looking from a place for her to drown her sorrows and for me to dry them off.  She’s a good friend of mine, so I hate to see her so upset.  She had been dating a guy for a few months now, but he told her early that day, over the phone no less, it was time to take “a break” ala Ross and Rachel.  

I haven’t met the gentleman or should I say young man, as he is only 23 years old.  My girl friend, a few years older deserves much more and will surely find it.  I have always seemed to be the shoulder to cry on, the hand to hold, or the ear to listen when it comes to break ups for as long as I can remember.  I guess I just try and listen, give my opinion and make sure they don’t feel bad about themselves.  That’s the worst part about being broken up with, or hurt by someone else, it makes you feel bad about you.  Maybe it’s that exact element of dating that I know exists that keeps me from getting into a serious relationship?  

Well I’m off to enjoy a blistering Sunday in the city…

Thanks for listening

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Bar Goggles

I had the chance to see life through a different set of eyes last night.  Similar to such 80’s classics as Vice Versa and Trading Places, I experienced something so far yet so close to my normal life.  I had the opportunity to guest-bartend at my favorite neighborhood bar.  The idea came to me about a month ago while sitting in the very same establishment.  I had waited tables and tended bar while in college and had thought about trying to pick up a few shifts a week since movie to the city.  I am one of those very few people that actually liked that line of work.  You get to meet a lot of people, have fun, and make great money.

Once the date was set and I knew I was going to get to jump to the other side of the bar for a few hours it was time to promote.  This is an odd feeling I’ve never really done.  It was nothing more than putting a few emails together, which included a photoshoped picture of my face on Tom Cruise body from the movie Cocktail.  Go big or go home right!  So the emails went out and so did the hope that a good number of people would show up.  

I got to the bar a little earlier to get the lay of the land down.  I went from one end of the bar to the other.  Looking for mixers, juices, bottles, towels, just taking it all in before the masses of people came barreling through the doors.  After about 20 minutes of going over the entire make up of the bar I felt anxious but ready to get the party started.  I was in uniform, khaki pants and a newly (as in that day) purchased black polo shirt from the gap, and a whole lot of butterflies.  

Slowly friends and coworkers started to stroll in, usually in small groups.  Most of these friends, who were now patrons of mine for the night were really welcoming and kind, as I’m sure that they could see the small “deer in the headlights” look that was probably strewn across my face.  There, however were few exceptions as there always seems to be…the worst was a handful of nickels that were thrown in my direction by a friend of mine after grabbing his freshly pour cocktail.  (I later found out he had had very rough night)

The biggest difference between waiting tables and tending bar is power.  While waiting on someone, they get what they want, how they want it, and in a timely manner. “Sure, we can steam those veggies and put them on the side sir.” The power rest in the customer’s lap.  However while standing behind the bar and in front of just about everything they want, you have the power.  They need you to help them, they need you to get them exactly what they want.  There is no other route to try and get where they are headed.  They cannot go around you, they have to go through you.  I have to admit it’s a cool feeling, but not enough to be a dick while behind the bar.  It’s just that reason that I tried to hide my inexperience with a nice look and timely service.  

I do have a whole new respect for the people who make their living or even make extra cash by pouring the poison.  The people keep getting to new level in intoxication as the night goes on, while you continue to reside in soberville.  They keep screaming louder and more often and they continue to take what seems like an eternity to order two Miller Lites and a Jack and Coke.  So to the people that stand between bar and in front the bottles we all love so much, I salute you!

Thanks for listening

Friday, February 24, 2006

A Blue Bic Pen

I have to admit that I omitted one detail from the previous night’s activities. I did in fact go to some swanky club on the west side where I did enjoy a beverage or two. I did meet up with a small group of friends after that where I again had a beverage or ten. All in all, it was a perfect night filled with good people and different places. That’s one of my favorite elements of this city, so many bars and restaurants you will always end up foreign place before the night’s end.

But it wasn’t the different groups of people or the new establishes that I failed to mention that really made me feel guilty for not exposing all of the night’s happenings. It was in fact something I wrote once I returned home. It wasn’t too late, I had been out later on a school/work night before. But for some odd reason, I couldn’t sleep. My mind was going a mile a minute and that’s not usually the case when getting home after a night out on the town. All of the sudden I sprang out of bed grabbed a pen off my desk and wrote something.

I feel like these moments that pop you to your feet are usually million dollar ideas or maybe even the answer to 9 across from the Time’s Crossword puzzle you just couldn’t figure out earlier in the day. However that was not the case here. This was not a shopping list, an movie idea, it was a simple 4 letter sentence. Maybe it’s a phrase, maybe it’s a mantra, and maybe it’s a code. I’m not sure at this point. I just know that for some reason I wrote it, I wrote it as quickly as I could, in fear it would soon leave me.

When I grabbed the pen off the desk and scrambled for a piece of paper, I found nothing. I found the back’s of envelopes, old receipts, but I needed something bigger, something that would last. Then I suddenly looked up and started writing…writing on the wall. "DO SOMETHING BIG TODAY" The letters were strong, not huge, but not small. It was literally the first thing I saw when I woke up the next morning and I love it. I love the phrase only because I think that I have been doing anything but that recently.

I am someone who wants a lot out of life and am willing to do just about anything to make sure I get what I want. But it’s just that, I can say I want that or I want this, but unless I’m doing something big, making something happen, I will be empty handed at the end of the day. So again…a phrase? A mantra? A code? I am not sure yet, but I’ll be damn if it isn’t something I’m going to continue to practice.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

In Da Club

Another company party at another trending hotspot. Another night in the city I love. I just wish these soirées would happen on Friday night and not smack dab in the middle of the week. After circling the floor a few times to find a crew to roll waaayyyy over to the west side with, I was sadly disappointed. It seemed as though most of the people that were going, had gone. Left without a heads up…Talk about a blow to the self esteem…”um, guys, anyone, is anyone out there?”

No worries though, it would be a great looking place with great looking people and an open bar for 4 hours. So after what seemed like an hour long cab ride that smelled like curry (seriously, it did) I was at Home. That’s the name of the place, Home. Trendy huh?

My assumptions for the night were correct. It was in fact a beautiful place and there were beautiful people. The advertising/media industry tends to lean towards the C-student/attractive side. All of which is fine by me, being pretty good looking guy and riding my entire life with a 3.5 GPA.

After a few cocktails and bite sized appetizers I started to think that these functions must cost a fortune! Not only is it open bar, food as far as the eye can see, there are give-a-ways, and bottle service. I couldn’t believe it, as if this was a normal night at the club, there were people sitting around small, low to the ground tables with bottles of booze. I saw Kettle One on some tables, and Champagne on others. I however, opted to go to the bar each time I needed another glass of poison.

Well, speaking of slow death, I have to get back to work…I’m kidding relax!

Thanks for listening

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Weather Wonderland

There is just something right about starting your week on Tuesday.  I’m not sure exactly why it feels so damn good but it just does…It’s like eating cookie dough out of the tightly wrapped casing, you know it’s not complete, or even close to being done, but the taste of perfection is just what you need.

The bitter wind and cold temperatures that made their way into the city over the weekend are still lingering around with no sign of departing any time soon.  This is especially felt when it comes to making that 10 block walk to work in the morning.  Some how in the summer it would take me 25 minutes to get to work, not so much in the winter.  The summer walk is full of beautiful weather and even more beautiful women.  However, the winter is a different story, the winter is like the Cliff’s Notes version of my commute—all facts, no bullshit, just me waking as fast as humanly possible, head down, hands in pockets, mind focused on nothing other than walking into that warm lobby.  

This city can be so one sided sometimes that those days of summer or even spring seem impossible.  How could streets that are so cold now become so steaming hot in only a matter of months?  They will though, this is just one of its phases.  We all go through similar phases.  Without sound overly hippy-like, I think I’m going just as this years weather patterns.  I feel good right now, not at my best, but certainly ready for a change.  There are elements in my life that I hope blossom into something when the days are longer and the temperatures are higher.  Albeit, work, women, or everything else, I know change is soon to come…Warm, sunny walks to the office are only a short time away…change is a good thing, change is something I will embrace…

Thanks for listening

Monday, February 20, 2006

Cold Impressions

Frigid temperatures can make the city I love so dearly appear to be the worst place on Earth.  Ok, it could never get that cold, it’s not Fargo for God’s sake, but damn it was cold this weekend.  Normally temperatures like this past weekend brought would simply mean a lot of Netflix movies and even more meals delivered than usual.

As I mentioned in a previous post I had my younger brother come and visit for the weekend.  Three full days with a 15 year old…It’s just such a tough age. I don’t think Zagat Guide makes a section for this demo.  If he were just a few years younger, there are a million shows, exhibits, and stores I know he’d love.  If he were just a few years older, there a million bars, clubs, and other adult establishments I know he’d love.  However, thankfully my brother is aged beyond his short time on this planet.  I’ve often joked that he’s the only person I know that should be collecting an allowance and Social Security at the same time.

Our first night was spent at a great Italian restaurant in my neighborhood.  I’ve walked by the place a million times and never seen it half full, but of course on this very cold, very windy night it was packed.  It, like most Italian places here in the city was dimly lit, white table-clothed and full of portly passionate Italian servers.  While listening to the specials, all 25 of them, I knew if the food was half as good as the service, we’d be ok.

We had a small wait at the bar before our table was ready.  My brother decided an appetizer was definitely in order as his flight had been rough, not to mention 3 hours late.  After debating between the  Mozzarella Caprese and the Beef Carpaccio, mini-me opted for the latter of the two.  How many 15 year olds would know what either item was, let alone choose the one made up of thinly sliced, very, very lightly cooked red meat?  Not many I imagine.  

Our age gap is just shy of a decade.  That’s a big difference when you look at the ages we are both currently at…35 and 44 are not bad, because the life styles at those ages are much more similar than 15 and 24.  He is so well spoken, it’s like speaking to someone my own age if not older.  He doesn’t just talk, he speaks.  There is a difference…I know people that talk all day and never say anything.  My brother, who I could not be more proud of, knows how to speak to people.  

As that night wound to an end, it was the wind itself that would keep going all night long.  The little bro crashed on an aerobed in my room as my other roommate had two friends from college spending the weekend in the city too.  The place looked more like a youth hostel than a New York City apartment.  After explaining that the odd clicking and banging noises were normal for a heater to make, he was out like light.

The better part of the next day was spent ducking in and out of SOHO shops.  Most of which were just attempts to warm up before continuing down the coble stone streets.  The wind was howling all day long.  It was without a doubt the coldest day of the winter.  The type of day that makes any exposed skin hurt after only taking a few steps from a warmly heated safe house.  We grabbed lunch at a perfectly placed, ski lodge-like BBQ place on Spring Street. It certainly brought our spirits and body temperatures up to a much needed level.

It was at lunch when my brother and I discussed one of the few serious topics of the weekend.  Why is it, or how is it, that one single phrase or comment can affect us so much?  A one-liner that was meant to make a small crowd laugh, can deeply affect the way we see ourselves. He spoke of a few different occurrences where I may have said some things I should not have…These comments were just messing with him at the time, years ago some of them, but they hurt him.  I don’t know if I’ve ever felt like a worse person…not just a big brother, but a person.

This is the guy who wants to be everything that I am, do everything I’ve done, and I hurt him.  What was just one brother making fun of another was anything but that…it was so much more.

I think this goes back to our age gap.  I never had an older sibling to idolize or look up to and now looking back I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.  I got to make my own mold, make my own mistakes without someone correcting or “trying to help me” along the way.  All I’ve every wanted him to become him is to be himself, be his own man.  While saying that I never realized that so many of things I may have said came across as banter for him to be more like me.  Again, I never intended my words to be interpreted that way but they were and have been.  

As much fun as it was bar hoping with him on Sunday, sharing a beer with him at my place Saturday, splitting Lobster Ravioli on Friday, I will take the lessons learned at lunch as the best memory of this trip.  He has no idea, but as he gains from me, I do the same from him…To go back to the age gap, it may make me a great parent one day, who knows… I only know that  I cannot wait until he’s just a few years older and we continue to become closer than the years before…

Thanks for listening

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Versace & Veggies

Mexican food… I wanted and needed Mexican food for lunch yesterday.  There are just sometimes food from south of the border is not just a craving but a necessity.  My friend and I were both feeling a bit off from the night before and decided something with beans, something with chicken or beef, and definitely something deep fried was in order.  

However, right as we were going to search menus.com for a place to rest our heads and indulge in some fine Mexican cuisine, he threw out a suggestion that was anything but normal, let alone Mexican.  He says “do you want to go to the Vanity Fair cafeteria?”  Now mind you those two words just don’t belong next to each other whether they be written or spoken.  They just don’t! That’s like saying kosher bacon.  

As it turns out, his girlfriend, who I have met on numerous occasions and quite like works in the Conde Nast building and they have a dinning facility on the premises and she would pick up the tab.  Done and done!  It was that simple.  I mean Conde Nast, they’re the publisher of titles like Vogue, Vanity Fair, and The New Yorker.  I’d have to be illiterate to decline such an invitation.  

After taking the shuttle to Time Square, it was just a few steps to the Mecca of Magazines.  We breezed through security and managed to make it up to the correct floor sporting a rather large unattractive “Visitor” sticker.  I noticed my friend placed his on his jeans, just below where his shirt fell, so knowing that he had graced these halls before I quickly did the same.  After all, I had visions of Super Models with Magnum bottles of Crystal Champagne and strawberries as far as the eye could see.  

But of course I was wrong in my foreshadowing of what I thought would surely be something out of a True Hollywood Story.  Or maybe a chapter out of that book The Devil Wears Prada.  Once we made it past the beautiful lobby, the perfectly placed black and white photography, and the meticulously placed back issues, we found who we were looking for…

After a quick exchange and nosing through some great looking photos on her desk, we were off to the “cafeteria.”  It was a quick trip down in a very sexy and sleek elevator.  It was around 1:15 and apparently prime time to grab a bite.  I say “a bite” only because I started to notice the details around me, the women were all tiny.  Not model, Kate Moss blowing lines of a CD case skinny, not close to that…Just skinny.  Every direction I looked, there beautiful woman and not to mention a hand full of gay men.  The women were all attractive.  Not because they were Brazilian, tall, curvaceous or even wearing promiscuous clothing…it’s just that they were all perfectly put together.  Not a single detail was spared.  If a woman had her hair up, there was a platinum chop-stick looking devise keeping it up.  Even the lunch trays were stylish.  They were not your usual rectangular, earthy colored plastic.  No, no, no, this is Vanity Fair we’re talking about.  They were a soft white, oval shape that seemed once again perfectly placed.  

Even though it was just lunch it was an experience not just a meal.  That is what I’m living in New York City for…not lunches or hair cuts, experiences.  

Thanks for listening

Friday, February 17, 2006

Brotherly Love

A lagging hang over and a constant drizzle outside are just about the two most difficult elements to overcome when early in the morning. It is because of the strength of those two monsters that I was not my usual prompt self today.

The city is oddly warm right now but it's also the calm before the storm. I ran into a good friend of mine, the trusty author of The Diary of Third and Long, this morning (late morning that is) on my way to work. He seeing that I was coatless gave me a warning that the temperature was going plummet later in the day. No good.

As I am at work, thus should be doing work I'm afraid I have to cut this short. My 15 year old brother flies in from FL later today, so I promise there will be more than enough material created this weekend for a plentiful post to come...

Thanks for listening

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Split Hairs

After another day sprinting up and down the halls of corporate America from meeting to meeting it was time for a little treat.  You may think this would be a nice dinner out or a trip to on of those really trendy bars that usually has a one-word name (like Heat or Silk).  You’d think that, but you’d be wrong.  

Once I left the office, I was off to the subway to head downtown.  The plan was to take the 6 train down to one of my favorite little slices of the city.  Because I walk to and from work every day I don’t get to ride the subway that often (darn!).  That is probably the exact reason I really don’t mind taking it from time to time.  The cast of characters you may encounter on a 40 block ride could put Studio 54’s guest list to shame.  So, there I am with mostly commuters, calmly awaiting my stop.  The real commuters are as easy to spot as the out-of-towners.  There are a few characteristics that make up your typical commuter: a book or some type of reading material, the ability to fall asleep while standing, and an overall blank stare.  

What I can’t figure out is the blank stare. I say this because after only two stops I find myself with the same exact look on my mug and I don’t know why.  I do, I feel this vague almost catatonic glance on my face that I can’t identify.  Although once I notice I’ve succumbed to this transportation trance, I break try and try to break it.  After all, why be like everyone else.

The reason behind my trip downtown was one I wish I could make more often.  One I for some reason probably enjoy more than most.  I was sadly on my way to get a haircut.  I know what you’re thinking, a haircut?  All this for a damn haircut?  This guy’s like Uncle Jesse on “Full House” with his hair isn’t he?  

That is not the case, I promise…There is salon (man, that sounds gay) that I found right after I first moved to the city.  To this day I’m not actually sure why or how I found the little gem.  It’s a ground floor place that has every bit of uniqueness and charm that make you love being downtown.  It’s not glitzy or full of marble sinks.  The place is all brick walled, none of that “exposed” brick that lures so many of use when we see it in apartment listings.  The space is just big enough that every element seems to be in the perfect position.  The stylists are all typical, crazy haired, over the top creatives who really seem to enjoy what they do.

The owner, who also happens to be the gentleman that cuts my hair, is a truly genuine guy.  A straight Puerto Rican guy who is always full of great stories…they range from great bars and restaurants in the neighborhood that I would never discover on my own to beautiful models at Designer shows.

All of this of comes at price of course.  A price a 24 year old ad exec cannot and should not be paying.  While waiting to get my hair washed, I happen to pick up a large, heaving, portfolio-looking book off the coffee for a little light reading.  I happen to flip to a clipping from a “Time Out” (One of the 545 New York City Magazines) article about well-known top of the line salons.  One of the warning signs that you may have entered one of these establishments was if someone offered you a beverage.  And at the exact second I finished that very sentence an absolutely stunning younger woman asked if I would like a glass of wine.  As if I didn’t already know this place was a bit out of my price range, right?  But seeing as I did have a very long and hard day, and the offering came from a woman who had probably never heard the word “no” in her entire life, I decided on a glass of red wine.  

That very same beautiful young woman came back just a few moments later to ask if I was ready to have my hair washed.  Again, there was no way I could say anything other than YES!  My question is, why does getting your hair washed by someone else feel so damn good? I think it’s like the sandwich theory: a sandwich always tastes better when someone else makes it…it’s a fact.

The price of this experience, monetarily speaking, may be a little out of my range but it’s one of New York’s offerings I can never say no to…For those 45 minutes I get to feel like I’m not a starving 24 year old trying to make it in a big city.  For those 45 minutes, I feel like I’ve already made it.  The haircut maybe be over priced, but as far as I’m concerned, the experience is one hell of a bargain.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Monday, February 13, 2006

Barnum and Bailey

This City of Silence was gone this morning.  Its quiet whiteness had all too soon been transformed into shear craziness.  There may not have been lions, tigers, or bears but it was a Circus on the way to work this morning.  Being a native Floridian and most recently living in Arizona, (Average yearly temp: 76 degrees) it’s days like these that make it just a bit more difficult see the silver lining of this great city. Or so you’d think…

After throwing on one too many layers I headed off to work about 8:15 this morning.  The sun was shining and the snow was still white enough to enjoy and not despise. In only a few days it will have morphed into this dark brown, icy in some places, slushy in others, unavoidable trap.  I only have about a ten block walk to work every morning.  It’s a little less than half a mile.  But this morning was just a little different from most others.  Everyone was so careful and so cautious with every step.  There were people leaping, people walking sideways, people going heal-toe, heal-toe, people with umbrellas, even people with sunglasses.  It was obvious that no one knew exactly what the right mix of attire, paths, or accessories would work best today.  I was no longer a Winter Wonderland.  Snow White had become the bearded lady over night.  

I have to admit I was never a big fan of the circus growing up.  A lot of that may have to do with growing up 25 minutes away from Walt Disney World.  However, what I do remember about Disney was how many times you’d change you mind about which ride, show, or character was your favorite.  First it was Space Mountain, only to find out that two hours later (all of which was spent waiting in line) that you liked Thunder Mountain the best.  You left the park wanting to be a cartoonist only to have the wave of excitement that goes with wanting to be a Marine Biologist (who didn’t want to be a Marine Biologist at one time or another) knock you over while at Sea World two days later.  My point is how often we were allowed to change what we wanted to be, what we liked and disliked, and where we wanted to go.

Do we out grow that feeling?  Does it fade away as our bodies start to change?  Does it last until we come across a cynical burnt out, never made it big college professor?  If we do in fact lose this, should we? I only ask because I know I haven’t lost it yet.  I want to, trust me, it sure would make life a lot easier.  I wrote an entry last week about the “high” I get when doing improv and that I’m not sure if that same feeling is possible in my 4X4 cube.  

However, I read a great article (Business Week) this weekend about Judy McGrath, the CEO of the MTV networks.  She, like myself, although 30 years prior, came to New York by herself to make it, and to make it big!  She first worked in print, but for the most part has spent her entire career making MTV what it is today.  She just sounds like she’s got it figured out… There are great stories in the article of food fights in the office, great deals she’s closed, and even how she makes sure she’s home (to her brownstone on the UWS) at a decent hour for her daughter.  It went on to explain that she’s the only person who has a great depth of knowledge as it pertains to English literature and the ins and outs of West Coast Vs East Coast rappers.  If that’s not finding balance I don’t know what is…I guess it was just great to see there is hope, there our people who are great at what they do because they love it and not the other way around!

*Sorry if this post is all over the board, I think the snow is getting to me.

Thanks for listening

Sunday, February 12, 2006

A City in Silence

A City in Silence

Let it snow, let it snow!  The city is wearing one of her best costumes right now, even as I type these words.  We here in New York were supposed to get somewhere between 8 and 12 inches of snow.  Early this morning, I just made a quick trip to the deli for a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich and a cup of coffee.  I could clearly tell that the weather guys drastically under estimated the snow fall.  However, to no surprise every news station has already named this storm.  Some have gone with “Blizzard 06” while some decided on “Winter Blast 2006.”

I don’t care what they called it or how many times they interrupt regularly scheduled programming to remind people to “be careful” and to please dry off you kids when they come inside soaked from playing in the mounds of snow that have come to be on every street corner (what parents needs that reminder).  I for one love the city looks in her white gown.  Sure, the snow is beautiful especially in areas like Battery and Central park…but it’s more than the continuously falling flakes or the foot prints of brave “soles” that have walked before you…it’s the silence that is my favorite element of days like today.  

As being someone who is constantly engulfed in the city’s movements, sights, and sounds I’ve forgotten how loud it can be.  It’s not like walking down the street burst your eardrum. It’s just that it is constant sound, constant stimuli for your ears.  But right now and for hopefully another 12 hours, it’s simply silent.  There are very few buses and even fewer cabs and people to pollute the quietness of the streets right now.  My roommates opted to throw on the snow gear and head to central park.  A mission I gladly passed up for a little “me” time in front of the window, lap top in hand.  As I’m sure they’ll come back with great stories and even better pictures I’m completely content sitting in my ski lodge/apartment all day long.  

I’m struggling with something right now that I’m hoping you as my readers may give your opinion on…what’d you say?  Can you help a guy out?  As I’ve started writing this blog, I have found myself questioning just who knows about it.  I mean, I’m proud of what I’m writing…I am. I do really want the people who are in my day to day life to read, follow and listen to me through the blog but if by allowing them to read it, will I start to, if I haven’t already, start to censor myself?

This would be like giving someone a stack of photos to look through because you’re exciting about them and then realizing that there is a picture of you and their significant other in a compromising position somewhere in that stack…whoops!  

For example what if I was interested in a girl? A very special girl.  A girl who knows of the blog and may be a regular reader…what do I do at that point?  Continue to write, continue to let personal feelings fill the page as she reads each day’s entry?  Let her see my cards and then go all in…that’s a big gamble.  Say this was a movie…what a great way for “girl” to find out that “boy” has feelings for “girl”.  I can see it now, the movie’s title: A Boy, A Girl, and A Blog.

Thanks for listening

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Una Familia

For the second Friday in a row, it was easy street all night long. I didn’t really go out this week but work beat me up and had no mercy doing it. It seemed no matter how early I got in, I was running at full speed and trying to get the clock to stop, so I could try and catch my breath. The positive glimmer to come out of weeks like this one is how fast it comes and goes.

I went to an early evening movie last night with my roommates. This was a little unique for me because I’m a big fan of going to the movies and I’m usually flying solo. This small group dynamic was a bit different for me. I finally saw Munich, as I have wanted to since it hit the theatre. I realized the irony about going to see a film about the death of Olympic athletes on the very night the Winter Olympics open in Torino, Italy. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed the movie. I knew very little of the entire tragedy that happened at the 1972 games. It was just another brilliant piece of work from Spielberg.

After the movie we went to a nice little place across the street from the theatre. It’s a funny little joint. It’s called Labella’s, it serves great pizza’s or at least they look great, I didn’t have any but the people I was with seemed to really enjoy them… So you’d think it’s an Italian restaurant, but they’ve got wings, and some other really atypical Italian dishes. That coupled with the worst music selections (early 90s R&B) and a disinterested waitress with an unidentifiable accent made it a different night out.

I slept in much later than I wanted to this morning. I was hoping to get up and about around 9, but after waking up a few times before and after 9, I slept until 11. Now that wouldn’t be too bad if I had gone a bender of mass proportion last night and rolled in around 5am, but I was asleep by midnight. I know toddlers who don’t need that much sleep. Oh well, I’m chalking it up to a long week.

Soon after I was awake I received a call from my mom. Not unusual for a Saturday morning. She’s nice enough to usually wait until late morning just in case I was out late the night before. Is she great or what? I noticed she had called last night while I was in the movie but decided not to call her back because it was a bit late and she didn’t leave a message. However, I should have…it was big news this morning. It looks as though my family, that being my mom, dad, and 15 year old brother are loadin’ up the truck and moving the state littered in Black Gold. That’s right they’re moving to Texas, Houston specifically. She’s been given a great opportunity with work to relocate and I couldn’t be more proud of her. The rest of the family too…it speaks volumes about the togetherness and understanding that runs though through our crew, our posse, our family. If I know anything at my young age, it’s that I would have a lot less, know a lot less, and be a lot less of a person if it were not for them…

Thanks for listening

Friday, February 10, 2006


After laying low for most of the week due to long hours and a blistering wind bashing my face on the walk home every night, I decided enough was enough when Thursday night rolled around. A girl friend of mine, one who I had sort of lost touch with was having a “I just quit my job” happy hour get-together at bar in my neighborhood.

The bar reminds of that Sam Adams commercial when the group of guys walk up to the bar ask “what kind of beer do you have?” and a beautiful German woman says “we have 245 different kinds of beer, here, at this now (drops a huge phone book style menu on the bar) and call me when you’re ready.” The guy, only seconds later says “I’ll have a Sam Adams please.” This place literally has a glazed wooden bar that is the length of a football field with taps as far as the eye can see. The lighting is really unique too. It almost has a ski lodge feel…there is just enough to see every face and every tap, but not much more. I only bring this up because after looking at my cell phone for a few seconds I looked up can had to readjust my eyes. Kind of like going to a matinee movie and then walking outside only to find a blinding sunny day!

The group of girls, four of them at this point were all very nice. They looked a little blah at first, their glasses were all empty and I thought they were actually getting ready to leave. But as it turns out, they were just waiting for their next round and were probably just as tired I was, from an ass-kicking week. I really had a good time talking to one girl in particular. She looked just like Tina Fay from SNL. The hair color, style, jaw line, she even had the glasses to boot! (looking back, it might have just been the glasses…just go with it)

We ended up talking about everything from the small liberal arts, women only college (a far cry from my academic institute, Arizona State University) she attended and met my friend to raising kids in private schools verses public schools. I love when good conversation happens when all you were expecting was a mish-mosh of small talk. We actually really didn’t have much of a choice to talk. We were jam packed in the middle seats of what was probably a 4-6 person seating area, which was now occupied by 8 people and their coats. That’s being in a bar, in a big city, in the dead of winter! However, coats and all, it was a pretty good time.

After a few beers of some foreign decent and distinctive flavor I departed for another bar in my neighborhood. I met a few friends of mine who were getting the first part of a bar triathlon going; PGA Golf, a staple in some bars and companion to some guys. Once that potion of this very trying athletic event was over, we moved to the next event, Darts. I love and wish I played more darts. The best part of playing was the two very attractive girls who asked if they could play winner. They were both Jewish (and before you jump down my keyboard for being prejudice, we were talking about how a classic early 90’s song reminded them of their Bat mitzvahs) and both very attractive. One a little more than the other, but isn’t that always the case?

They were both tiny and perfectly dressed. By that I mean they were dressed for the type of establishment they were experiencing. This would be a good time to tell you that this bar does dollar drafts and shot specials. A very local, almost perfect post college bar. There is nothing worse than being in a bar like this one, and seeing girls dressed to the nines! And I’m not saying these young ladies were wearing pj's, they just looked sexy with out going over the top. They are both attending law school here in the city and actually live about 500 yards from my building. One lives in a beautiful, twin towered, all windowed, white-gloved doorman building that I actually live across the street from…rough huh?

The only thing that I didn’t get or understand or possibly just missed was this: I thought the witty banter and flirtatious words were bouncing back and forth between the shorter one and I at a rapid rate. That is, until I mentioned something about Christmas. It was like as soon as the words came out of my mouth she was less interested or maybe not interested at all. I am not religious to say the least, but as she could now tell that I was not Jewish. (I know what some of you are thinking, there’s Jew-dar, just like gay-dar and that she knew I wasn’t Jewish the second I met her and that could be true) This kind of upsets me. I mean that would be like me not wanting to talk to her at all because she is Jewish. But why is it less severe or completely ok, for her to stop talking or lose interest because I’m not Jewish?

I know I’m probably blowing this out of proportion or just making a mountain out of a Matzo ball but let me know what you think…What if a Jewish girl were to meet a perfect match, that happened not to be Jewish, but would convert his life and beliefs for her, but she never gets to know that important piece of information because she doesn’t give him a chance???

Thanks for listening

Wednesday, February 8, 2006

Question Marks

Why is it that questions that really make us think come at the most unexpected time or from the most unexpected source? I mean, we’re asked hundreds of questions a day: cream or sugar / stay or to go / how’s it going / how’ve you been / what are you doing / where are you going / want to grab a drink / where do you live / what do you do- all of these are rapidly shot at us on a regular basis. It’s just that regular pattern of question marks that makes it amazing that we can some times cut through the static to find a real mind blowing, usually scary question.

I had one of these very sparks shot in my direction just some time last week. Its arrival was smooth even though it was unexpected. (Just like that Jet Blue flight that had an emergency landing a few months ago at LAX) Jersey, the girl who has become quite infamous of late, asked in such a simple way, “Are you really good at your job because you love it, or do you love your job because you’re good at it?”

I should mention at the time we were talking about college, post-college, first jobs, interviewing, making it in the big city, working for the man, etc. I had never heard it put so clearly. I mean I have had that very same thought before, but it was just too perverted in my own head to come to such a clean cut conclusion.

For once in my life, I didn’t have a thing to say, not a single word. My mouth was motionless and my mind had probably never moved so quickly. I didn’t know, I don’t know the answer to the question.

(A little background)

I wasted no time after I graduated to come to New York City. Hell, I passed on Acapulco, Mexico for spring break for a trip to take a small bite out of the apple I so badly wanted to call home. I landed in New York City on June 28th 2004… just 18 days after graduating and only a month before my 23rd birthday. (Why does that sound so young now?) I had a few leads for a job but nothing concrete and I didn’t have an apartment yet either. No job, no apartment, just me happier than I had probably ever been. I was in New York, I was going to live in best city in the world.

After a brief stay at the Milford plaza on the west side of town and few weeks on a futon in Hoboken, NJ I found an apartment. I lied to the existing roommates, telling them I had already secured a job. Oh, I also lied about my age too. I mean who the hell wants to sublet a room to a 22 year old, jobless and still-wet-behind-the-ears kid from Florida. However, only days after landing that place, a place I’m still calling home I landed a job. I hated it first, my boss was a sweet hearted red head who wore clothes older than me and whose idea of technology was a touch tone phone. But I busted my ass and was promoted after only 7 months about 7 head of schedule. The point is, so far in my young professional career I’ve seen success. Another promotion since that one just mentioned, but I still cannot answer Jersey’s question.

I had my improv class last night. There’s a high that comes with doing it. A high I don’t get in my office. (Maybe because my cube’s not big enough to get a cold in) But is this a perfect outlet to keep trucking away at the office or a calling…I don’t know. Maybe that is why I started this blog. Another outlet to balance my ‘grown up’ gig? I still don’t know why I just started writing one night. However, I do know that there’s no fun in knowing all the answers, I guess that’s why I’m having such a good time stumbling over all of the questions right now…

Thanks for listening

Tuesday, February 7, 2006

Part Two

Part Two:

So after a week or two of trying set up a time to grab drinks, Jersey and I finally decided on a Saturday night.  I figured she would probably take a train or drive into the city for our night out on the town.  I should at this point mention that Jersey is a few years younger than myself and is still actually in school. (College you sickos) We had since first meeting spoken a few times on the phone.  The conversation was always good, no awkward silences or dull-never ending drabble.  This coupled with always answering or calling be back soon after I left a message lend me to believe we’d have a blast.

She did in fact end up driving into the city after she worked all day.  Already you can tell that there will probably be some scheduling issues seeing as though I work Monday through Friday.  Nonetheless, I was happy to finally get to the point of going out.  After all, this was actually only the second time we had ever met.  I remembered a few key elements from the first time.  She was about my height, (that’s about average…for a woman) curly hair, great tan, a killer smile and athletic build.

All of this was in fact true again when we finally met up, except her hair, it was straight and still looked great!  I had her park in front of my building where I told her I would hop in and drive around with her while she found a place to park. (A dumb idea considering it was a Saturday night around 9pm) After scouring every block in the Murray Hill we opted for a parking garage near my place for a bargain price (insert sarcasm here).  We headed back to my place for some wine to get the ball rolling.  She said she was a fan of my place but also mentioned it was her “first New York City apartment.”  At this point I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing…only the rest of the night would tell.  After a couple glasses of wine, and what I thought was really good conversation, we decided to depart for dinner.  The only thing that struck me as weird so far was when I went to top her off (her glass of wine that is) she said “no thanks.”  “How responsible” was what one side of my brain was thinking while the other was thinking this was going to be dud of a night.

I picked a place on the Upper East Side called Panorama Café.   It was just perfect.  It was not too big or corporate (Carrabba’s) or too small and romantic (Il Cantinori).  The only funny thing about this place was it was clearly an Italian restaurant but it had little odd elements like big brightly colored Spanish tiled bar and pitchers of sangria.  That’s like a kosher deli serving sides of mayo.

Thankfully dinner went really well.  Again, the conversation flowed from one topic to the next.  The content was even quite real for a first date.  There was talk of families and thoughts for after school.  However for second time I was struck by a bit of shock we she said “no thanks” to a second glass of sangria from the waiter.  I tried to act unaffected by this as if it were nothing, as if I hadn’t even noticed.  But I did notice and for a second go-around my mind was going in two different directions.  

Once the bill had been signed and we were outside, it was time for a judgment call.  It wasn’t that late, maybe 11 or so.  I wasn’t sure if she wanted to head back to her car and then back to her home state to call it a night?  I opted for a location that was right between my place and garage.  The cabbie as most do, got the location correct and dropped us off ten minutes later.  I then threw up a late 4th quarter pass, hoping for a score.  “Do you want to grab a drink around the corner, I know a great little place?”  There was a bit of hesitation followed by a prompt “yes.”  It was time for the Irish pub portion of the evening.  But once again, when I asked if she wanted another beer, it was the phrase I had already heard too many times tonight, “no thanks.”  

It was a short distance to her car and the weather was cold so needless to say I was walking quickly.  I was again running through the chances of this making a turn for the better as the night seemed to be coming to a close.  Once I got her car out of the garage (I say I got it because I paid for it.  NYC parking is insanely expensive for those of you who don’t know)  

With just a few seconds remaining on the clock, it was time to take a time out, get a final play drawn up.  “Do you want to drop me off in front of my building” was all I could come up with…close to a Hail Mary I know.  So there we are…like so many sitcoms and romantic comedies parked in front of my building.  “I really had a good time tonight” she says.  “Thanks for everything” soon followed.  Both were nice to hear, truthfully they were.  And then….I lean in…it seems like she’s really a mile away from me as I move closer, b/c we’re parked on an angle and she’s in the driving seat (literally and figuratively at this point)  Soft…perfect…smooth…cheek!  Yep, that was a full blown turn to the side, give em’ the whole cheek routine.  

Now don’t get me wrong I was not pissed, after all I am a good guy.  I just didn’t see this coming, much like the decision to not have ‘another’ three times earlier tonight.  Did she just simply say “no thanks” to me, but not in so many words?  You’re probably thinking yes, but here’s the kicker and the ultimate factor in confusion for me.  We’ve spoken numerous times, she calls back, even called me a few times.  We always talk for 10-15 minutes, but the moment I bring up getting back in the city for a second go around she doesn’t jump at the opportunity.  Seems mildly interested, but nothing that is a clear cut sign she’s interested…I just don’t get it…any suggestions are welcome!

Thanks for listening

Things that make you go huh?

I just can’t figure it out.  See, the thing is there’s this girl.  This girl, we’ll call her Jersey, (due in large part because that is where she lives) is driving me B-a-n-a-n-a-s.  I think I have a pretty good idea about the female psyche; that is unless it pertains to me in some way shape or form.  I’m like that workout instructor that makes his living shaping his client’s bodies, but at the same time is completely out-of-shape himself.  I may know how to dish out the best routine for a successful relationship or meeting, but I sure don’t see the same results when it comes to my love life.

I met this girl about a month ago at a bar.  Third and Long no less, the bar I mentioned in the last posting.  It was a Friday night and I was there with a buddy of mine.  We cruised in around 6, right after work and stayed for a few hours.  The night was going pretty well considering I hadn’t paid for a drink all night.  But, I’d be lying if I said it was because of my daunting good looks and million dollar smile.  I simply forgot my wallet at home.  So, not only did I not have any actual US dollars, I didn’t even have a way to access single monitory note.  Nothing!  

But for the few hours we were there, this wasn’t a big problem as my buddy was gracious enough to buy my drinks.  As the bar started to fill out, and the changing of the crowds started (That’s when all the people who have come straight from work start to stagger and stumble out of the bar, the same time people who went straight home after work and are now in the process of “going out” change places) we were looking to wrap up the evening.  However, right before we started to make our final decent, a twosome of beautiful girls walked into the bar.  They looked around, sized the place up and chatted between themselves.  I didn’t look too impressed by the establishment or the gentlemen in it.  

My buddy and I said good bye to our bartender who had been throwing his two cents and witty banter all night long as he was working the door that night. Heading down 35th street towards the diner, I stopped in my tracks and said “sorry man, I got to go see about a girl” (what movie is that line from?) and I turned around and headed back to the bar.  

My plan of attach was simple, walk up, be witty but not over the top, offer to buy the lovely ladies a beverage and it would be smooth sailing from there on out.  But as I mentioned earlier I have not a dollar to my name.  This poses a big problem.  So, after looking for any shiny object around the bar I may be able to use to barter or trade for beer, I came to my senses.  Borrow money from the door guy, my usual bartender.  He would certainly be my financial backing on such a promising endeavor.  As a suspected, he fronted me the cash and off I went…

The plan worked beautifully, there was banter, laughter, and some charm, some cleavage, and some glimmering hope that this could work out for yours truly.   I ended up spending 20 minutes or about one Miller Lite with the two lovely ladies before they departed.  Don’t worry though I did get her number.  Now to find out about how the first date went and why she has now taken my confusion level off the charts, you’ll have check back tomorrow for part two.  

Thanks for listening

Monday, February 6, 2006

Super Brawl

Open bar on Super Bowl Sunday, for free? Now that's just mad! Yes, it's true, I spent the better part of Sunday eyes glued to the flat screen and butt glued to the stool. My local watering hole where I watch football at every weekend had a great deal for the game. It was $40 bucks open bar if you just walked in off for the street. However, it was free if you were or are a regular. Now that's just something that doesn't happen often enough. A little customer appreciation goes a long long way in my eyes or liver in this case.

(To find out more about this wonderful place, check out the blog listed to the write as The Diary of Third and Long)

As for the game and deciding who to cheer for I was torn. Who doesn't want to see Coach Cower finally get a ring, who doesn't want to see The Bus ride into retirement with the Lombardi trophy riding shotgun? However, it's always great to root for the underdog, the the Seahawks! For whatever reason there are a lot of Steelers fans at Third and Long on a regular basis. I will admit that probably played a role in my cheering for the Black and Yellow more times than not.

This was one of the first years I have watched the game in or at a bar instead of someone's house. I'm not sure which one I like better. It's great having an entire bar to pick your poison from and not to mention the other random patrons you may meet. But the comfort of someone's home allows you to hear the commercials that will be talked about at every water cooler in every office the next day. I wish I would have seen more, but the ones I saw were good, not great.

I was going to take today off, but decided after waking a little later than usual and not being able to get back to sleep, to come in into work. Luckily the day has been pretty quiet so far...I hope it continues that way, it would be great to get this week off to a nice smooth start. The rest of the week will surely be crazy at work...

Thanks for listening

Sunday, February 5, 2006

True Religion, I say no but they keep givin' -Fergie

Yesterday was an ugly day in the city.  There was a constant drizzle of rain as if the big man upstairs just couldn’t make up his mind.  The wind would pick up and make the rain come in right at your face and then moments later it was nothing but a cool mist.  Weather like this deems a perfect movie day or maybe a big chair at some corporate coffee house couple with a good book.  However, I will let know I did neither of these perfect fittings.  Apparently I thought it would be a wonderful day to run errands on the west side and head south to SOHO to run more errands.  Great Idea right?

After taking the subway down town and walking west all the while dodging rain drops at the same time, I needed to make a couple of returns. (gifts that just didn’t quite work out)  While walking down 6th Ave I found myself, like a lot of New Yorkers on a daily basis, I under scaffolding and noticed a small table with a few people checking out the merchandise.  The merchandise in this particular case happen to be Jeans.  Now, I’m not talking about your dad’s Levi 501’s, I’m talking about brand new, designer jeans that would normally cost anywhere from $185 to $250, all listed here for between $60 and $80.  I know what you’re thinking, their fake dumbass, they’ll fall apart the first time they’re washed.  

Those types of thoughts may have derailed a potential purchase had I not previously heard about this Jean Guru of sorts.  I have had numerous friends use his services and be very happy with the products as well as the costumer service.  The Jean Guy for instance will allow you to bring the jeans back if they don’t fit.  This makes sense and seems like it would be an often occurrence seeing as though there isn’t a dressing from underneath this scaffolding on 6th Ave in between 15th and 16th street.

His selection for guy’s jeans was far less then his for women’s, which I guess is to be expected.  However, that didn’t stop me from pulling the trigger and picking up a pair.   I decided on a pair of Antik Denim.  They’d usually sell for about $225 in most retail shops.  The trick now is where am I going to try these freshly purchased jeans on?  It’s raining and the NYPD usually frowns on public undressing so I’m was running low on ideas.  Until, I decided  like any normal customer buying clothing would just try them on in a dressing room.  I saw that there was a Kenneth Cole about two blocks up and decided that would be the location of my designated dressing room.  So I cruised in, looked around a bit, grabbed a pair of pants, asked where the dressing room was and made it happen!  

Sadly though, the jeans were not meant to be.  Or my ass was not meant to be as big, the two did not work well together.  So then the stress of, “what if the Jean Guy is a fake and has already packed up shop and I’m going to be 80 bucks in the whole.” I then quickly told the nice sales person that the pants I tried on just didn’t work, but thanks anyway.  Walking towards the site of the gambled purchase I could see (thank God) that the Jean Guy was still there and there was still a small crowd.  I walked up told the Jean Guy they didn’t quite fit and he said “I’m sorry to hear that, I wish I had more men’s pairs.  Here’s your money back.”  Mind you, this all took place over two blocks, twenty minutes, and too big butt cheeks.  You’ve just got to love this town!

As it is Super Bowl Sunday I’m off to the gym to preempt all of the beer, wings, vodka, tonic, burgers, chips, salsa that could take me down some time today.  

Thanks for listening

Saturday, February 4, 2006

Happy Endings

After a monsterous mid week, my time to take it easy, take a load off, rest my eyes if you will, finally came on Friday night. I almost feel like I’m in college again. Back in my years at Arizona State, Friday nights were usually one of the quietest nights of the week. I mean you had been going strong for probably 3-4 nights by the time ‘TGIF’ rolled around.

After what was another long day at work, due largely in part to my stick-in the mud, doesn’t have a straight answer in her body-boss decided to once again prologue her decision on my raise and title. That is just how I wanted to round out my week at 4:30 sitting in her office…It is circumstances like these that make a show like “The Office” so eerily accurate. It sounded as if she was quoting lines from “Office Space” maybe; “I’ve put in the request to HR, but you know how they are with their forms being done correctly, so I had to redo it a few times. We should have an answer by some time mid spring, 2007.”

My walk home from work was nicer than usual. We’re getting unseasonable warm weather of late and I love it. For some reason Third Avenue seemed soft and quiet last night. The usual hustle and bustle was no where to be found…even the bars that are big happy hour bars, that would normally have herds of drunk co-workers making irresponsible decisions, seemed to be at an all time low. Maybe it wasn’t just me the last few nights in the city, maybe in fact it was the rest of the city trying to keep up with me?

My only mission on the way home was a request from my roommate who was home hung over, hating the world all day to pick up some Gatorade. We have all been there, when only the cool drops of Orange Gatorade make that mind blowing pain slowly creep away.

The night was just want the doctor ordered. Or in this case what my roommates and I ordered. I’m a NetFlix guy and was ecstatic that I had two never before seen (by me at least) movies at home waiting for me. That was my ordered portion of the evening. My roommates to it to a whole new level; after placing two separate orders to two different places they managed to amass one of the best post hang over meals ever. A medium size pie (that’s plain cheese pizza for you non New Yorkers) from the best place in the city, only few blocks away and…wait for it….wait for it…Cheese fries from Moon Struck Diner, right around the corner. The DVD we decided on was some Indie film by the title of “Happy Endings,” staring Lisa Kudrow and Maggie Gyllenhaal. I was a really well told story. It got 6 thumbs up from this particular audience. As you can probably tell from the elements that made last night, it was in fact a Happy Ending.

Thanks for listening

Friday, February 3, 2006

Groundhog Day

I will admit I don't know if Punksatony Phil did or did not see his shadow. I don't know if there is more winter to come or warmer weather to follow...What I do know is that the last two nights in the city I love so much have beat me up! As I wrote in yesterday's entry, Wednesday night ended up coming out of no where to become a bender of mass proportion. As for last night, I had my agency's Holiday/New Year's/Groundhog Day party. It was moved back numerous times in the December due to the strike by the MTA...

The party was at swank Club called BED over on the west side of town. You'd think the combination of an open bar for 5 hours and a place called BED would be an HR nightmare. The funny thing about advertising is the diversity of the people that make it happen. Scanning across the bar can literally bring back dynamics like a 28 year old, mohawked, wearing destroy denim and having at a minimum of 5 piercings art director talking to some white collared, white skinned 45 year old account guy. You just never know...

As for the party itself, it went really well. It, like most parties started off tame and relaxed and later progressed what I would call a pretty good time. It was great to see how well some people clean up. Or how different people look while wearing "work" or "grown up" clothes at the office to the small tops and tight skirts they sported in BED.

Other than a few drunks bumping into me throughout the night, I don't really have any complaints. Except for one. The sorry goes like this: There is a woman I used to work with, not directly in the same division of the agency. She is absolutely stunning! She has such a classic beauty to her it really is amazing. This beauty is there everyday too. I can honestly say that I have never seen her have a rough day. I would compare her to Jennifer Love Hewitt meets Jackie O. As if her perfectly styled hair and make up were not enough, she's got a body that's banging like a new set of drums! She's has such a small, delicate frame that she drapes in what look like the world softest cashmere. Ok, so you get the point, she's a beauty!

So here's where the gripe comes into play. Because she is as attrative as she is, and probably has been her entire life she has to endure the "guys never come and talk to me" routine. I've read or heard that line come out of many Hollywood bombshells who complain guys just don't come up to them because they're too attractive or their looks intimidate guys. As a good looking, not amazing, but a good looking guy I hate to admit that that there may be a sliver of truth in that statement.

So as I saw this woman of the night talking to the same co-worker for the second straight hour I figured I would go in for a little relief. I should mention that this co-worker, a guy has been guilty of wearing penny loafers with no socks on casual Fridays. Not a good look bud, not a good look at all.

I started chatting with the two, nothing serious or of any substance at this point. The guy started to wonder off as I suspected he would. Shortly after I told the belle of the ball that she wore clothes very well, and has a great sense of style. I thought this was the perfect compliment. It wasn't "you have really pretty eyes" or "nice rack." I know she's been told she beautiful a million times, by a million guys. Why through another on the fire was my thinking.

My intelligent and thoughtful comment was soon followed by, "thanks, I know." Yes, that is a quote from the Cindarella's mouth. The worst part is that I don't think she meant it sound or even thought it was possible for that to sound wrong. I'm thinking to myself, "wow she's humble too." If was a nanosecond after those words left her perfectly placed lips that I knew in fact why she feels like "guys never come talk to me."

What can I say, it was not the first time a beautiful girl amazed me in BED....
Groundhog Day

I will admit I don't know if Punksatony Phil did or did not see his shadow. I don't know if there is more winter to come or warmer weather to follow...What I do know is that the last two nights in the city I love so much have beat me up! As I wrote in yesterday's entry, Wednesday night ended up coming out of no where to become a bender of mass proportion. As for last night, I had my agency's Holiday/New Year's/Groundhog Day party. It was moved back numerous times in the December due to the strike by the MTA...

The party was at swank Club called BED over on the west side of town. You'd think the combination of an open bar for 5 hours and a place called BED would be an HR nightmare. The funny thing about advertising is the diversity of the people that make it happen. Scanning across the bar can literally bring back dynamics like a 28 year old, mohawked, wearing destroy denim and having at a minimum of 5 piercings art director talking to some white collared, white skinned 45 year old account guy. You just never know...

As for the party itself, it went really well. It, like most parties started off tame and relaxed and later progressed what I would call a pretty good time. It was great to see how well some people clean up. Or how different people look while wearing "work" or "grown up" clothes at the office to the small tops and tight skirts they sported in BED.

Other than a few drunks bumping into me throughout the night, I don't really have any complaints. Except for one. The sorry goes like this: There is a woman I used to work with, not directly in the same division of the agency. She is absolutely stunning! She has such a classic beauty to her it really is amazing. This beauty is there everyday too. I can honestly say that I have never seen her have a rough day. I would compare her to Jennifer Love Hewitt meets Jackie O. As if her perfectly styled hair and make up were not enough, she's got a body that's banging like a new set of drums! She's has such a small, delicate frame that she drapes in what look like the world softest cashmere. Ok, so you get the point, she's a beauty!

So here's where the gripe comes into play. Because she is as attrative as she is, and probably has been her entire life she has to endure the "guys never come and talk to me" routine. I've read or heard that line come out of many Hollywood bombshells who complain guys just don't come up to them because they're too attractive or their looks intimidate guys. As a good looking, not amazing, but a good looking guy I hate to admit that that there may be a sliver of truth in that statement.

So as I saw this woman of the night talking to the same co-worker for the second straight hour I figured I would go in for a little relief. I should mention that this co-worker, a guy has been guilty of wearing penny loafers with no socks on casual Fridays. Not a good look bud, not a good look at all.

I started chatting with the two, nothing serious or of any substance at this point. The guy started to wonder off as I suspected he would. Shortly after I told the belle of the ball that she wore clothes very well, and has a great sense of style. I thought this was the perfect compliment. It wasn't "you have really pretty eyes" or "nice rack." I know she's been told she beautiful a million times, by a million guys. Why through another on the fire was my thinking.

My intelligent and thoughtful comment was soon followed by, "thanks, I know." Yes, that is a quote from the Cindarella's mouth. The worst part is that I don't think she meant it sound or even thought it was possible for that to sound wrong. I'm thinking to myself, "wow she's humble too." If was a nanosecond after those words left her perfectly placed lips that I knew in fact why she feels like "guys never come talk to me."

What can I say, it was not the first time a beautiful girl amazed me in BED....

Thanks for listening

Thursday, February 2, 2006

Hello, My Name Is...

What a night! Why is it the nights you think will be your average, chill, run-of-the-mill, grab a couple of drinks become such ragers? The night started off calm and cool Veered off that road quickly.

It started at Third and Long, a great neighborhood bar that I watch football at every Sunday. It is like scene out of "Cheers," Where everyone knows your name... The bartender is great and is as we all him the The Unofficial Mayor of Murray Hill. In fact it's because of that same mayor that I started this day-in-the-life-of blog. He too writes a blog that covers the daily happenings and mishappenings of running a bar. In the blog he's given all of the regulars pseudo names to keep it anonymous. The names range from Angry Black to Silent Bob. Yesterday was actually the one year birthday of his blog so he had a little "gathering" of sorts. He had name tags for everyone to wear so you could finally put a face to the name you've read so much about. Hearing the introductions was classic: Hi, Dirty Sanchez, I'm Mr. Plumber...

Needless to say as the night went on, so did the drinks and the shots. Yep, that's right, nothing like taking shots on a Wednesday night. I'm starting to think that it was those very shots that are responsible for the anvil that seems to be lodged into the back of my head?

It is for that reason this will be a short entry. For the regulars readers (that's you dad) I apologize. I will be back soon!

Thanks for listening