Friday, March 31, 2006
“Two fried eggs on a hard roll with butter,” the large Hispanic man in front of me yelled. He was a big guy, probably a construction worker, who's flannel shirt seemed to go on for miles between the shoulders. The petit woman to my left, dressed very conservatively, almost too business like for a Friday in my opinion shouted “seven grain wheat, toasted, with two egg whites.”
So many damn choices, it seems highly unlikely that you would ever hear two identical orders in the same morning let alone back to back. But of course, on this morning it happened twice. Right behind the nicely dressed woman, an equally nicely dressed man in a double breasted, black pinstriped suit, ordered the exact same light starter to his morning.
Now I don’t know if the rest of America eats breakfast like New Yorkers do, only because who has the energy to make a “two egg omelet, with pepper jack cheese, red onions, and tomatoes,” the order from the young guy to my right, first thing in the morning? I’m lucky if I can manage to make a Carnation Instant Breakfast shake before I leave the apartment. A culinary process that entails opening the packet of powder, pouring it into a glass, and then pouring milk into that very same glass…
These delis are like finely tuned machines that only seem to get more efficient as more people fill in the lines. There are 5 or 6 guys behind the counter. All sporting tight latex gloves and all different types of hats, keeping their patrons at ease when it comes to cleanliness. A line forms in front of each of them, they shout “next” in a very soup-Nazi like voice. Nonetheless, the service is prompt, the choices are endless, and rightfully so, it is the most important meal of the day!
Thanks for listening
Thursday, March 30, 2006
*Women will carry bags from designer stores around for months with their day to day stuff in them…shoes, magazines, etc
*Asking how much someone pays in rent is totally legitimate and by no means rude
*There are still places that do not take debit
*Having a beer or cocktail happens more times than not
*People at restaurant counters say “stay or to go” instead of “for here or to go”
*Restaurants never, and I mean never forget to give you napkins and the necessary condiments
*People use a straw to drink out of soda can
*Snapple is everywhere
*There’s a good chance the woman you’re talking to makes more than you do
*Matinee movies are made up of 85% people by themselves
*We don’t drive, we’re driven (oh, that’s deep)
Thought I’d try something different today…
Thanks for listening
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
He Shoots, He Scores!!!
Any party that starts at 4:30pm on a Tuesday afternoon is my kind of party. I, as I suspected wasn’t able to get there right at 4:30, but who wants to be the first person to show up? Not this guy… The space was amazing, it was held in the New AOL Time Warner Building, with brilliant views of Central Park and Columbus Circle.
The party was being thrown by a very large TV Network that knows how to entertain. They did an amazing presentation about up coming shows and brilliant new ideas that are going to change the media landscape as we know it. A number of people spoke to the crowd of a few hundred and in something I don’t think I’ve ever seen at any time of gathering, professional or not, everyone of the speakers was really, really well spoken. Each was different from the previous person to hold the podium before them, but all seemed successful in their endeavors.
After having a couple of cocktails and realizing that I didn’t see anyone else from my agency, and that I wanted to leave before the crowds started making a move for the doors. After all, who wants to be the last guy at a party? Not this guy…But before I was to call it an evening I saw my one network contact. She’s probably in her mid 40’s, very well put together, and just a pistol! She’s a fast-talker, but managers to sound so sincere while doing it. (No a small task for anyone who makes their living selling) “Hi there, I’m so glad you could make it!” She goes in for a kiss on the cheek, something I’m still not quite used to…That type of male to female professional greeting. I ok with it though, as long as it’s with a person I like that is…
“What’d you think?” She asked so bright eyed, like a little kid riding around the drive way for the first time without training wheels, as to say “how’d I do?” “Great, the whole presentation was so well done.” I meant it too. She went on to say “people are going to think I’ve had botox, because I’m not going to be able to get this damn smile off my face all night.” She was so proud of her work and was clearly passionate about it too. (Again, not something easily done for someone who makes their living selling)
“You’ve got to come meet someone. You’ve got to tell him, what you just told me!” She was so excited again. As she’s saying this, she grabs my hand, leads me across the room to meet one of the biggest of the big-wigs, and the presentation’s emcee. This guy was huge, at least 6’6…I didn’t know whether to shake his hand or box him out and try to go for the rebound. I gave him a firm grip, introduced myself, first and last name, a sign of strong personal presence (or so I’ve read). We continued to talk for a few minutes, when he says so my one of know two contacts, “oh, is this who you forwarded me the email from the other day?” “Yes, this is the guy.” Again, she excited. “Great, thanks so much for doing that” he said to me.
I was in the zone…I was speaking without having to put much thought into it. I may not be able to do fractions or large numbers in my head, but when it comes down to talking shop, mixed with a little bullshit, I get into my own little world. I guess it’s the equivalent to an athlete going into “the zone” and since I was never able to quite get there…I get this version. One I’m completely ok with…after all, I was on my court now.
Thanks for listening
Monday, March 27, 2006
As it turns out, I don’t think we ever did a count down or even a happy birthday once the clock struck twelve. After the power hour that is your 21st birthday, the whole “it’s midnight, it’s my birthday” thing really looses its luster.
Although it was late and my two rock stars, in town for only a matter of three days and two nights, were probably a bit tired, they kept throwing them back. We made our way to a place I like to call “home.” No, we had not made our way back to my apartment, we had just walked through the ever annoying swinging wooded doors of Third and Long, my favorite bar in the city. As I hoped, the big man that runs the show was working the door. As this is my favorite bar in the city, this guy is one of my favorite people in the city. (I mean that in the most heterosexual way possible)
I introduced my good friends, we all exchanges a few pleasantries and then it was time for some more drinking. “Vodka Red Bull please.” I looked at my buddy, head cocked to the side, just like a dog when you say its name with a bit of confusion, as he ordered not just one for himself but one for me as well. After what seemed like million Miller Lites, it was “a good call” to make the switch…
The bar was pretty slow, so it gave the three of us time to bullshit. Something we could make an Olympic event out of we’re so damn good at it! We seemed to cover all subjects while sitting in the back corner of the bar. (A corner I didn’t even know existed) We talked about friends, old ones and new ones…The ones doing really well and then the ones who weren’t doing so well.
We moved from friends to relationships and then back to friends. After all, what’s better than talking about people when they’re not there? Come on, you know you’ve done it before. Hell you’re probably doing it right now. Between the wise cracks and “I heard so and so go really fat” comments, my friend did throw me a compliment that meant the world to me. We were discussing certain friends that are still riding the “I don’t know what I want to do, I don’t wanna grow up” rollercoaster…all the while letting mommy and daddy pay their admission to the fun park. He said he’s always had so much respect for me because I’ve always had such a strong work ethic and that I always busted my ass even though I may have not needed to. He’s a great guy, a great friend, and someone I know will achieve and obtain anything he truly wants.
When on the subject of relationships, we talked about the two of theirs’ and how well they work together. You know there are those couples that you’d rather hang yourself with a linen napkin than sit through a long night of lengthy conversations. We then moved on to my relationships…and that for obvious reasons was a fairly quick exchange. However, I did realize that I am happy flying solo right now. Having someone would be grand, but only if they see me for me, and would give me all that I would give them. I will admit I really like me, and until I find someone that makes me think more about them than me, until I want to and cannot wait to put them in front of myself, I’m better off being a one man show. I understand that may be a selfish, stereotypical twenty something view point, but it’s the truth and it’s me.
Thanks for listening
Eat, drink and be merry. If there were a theme to this weekend, it would certainly have to be something very close to the statement just mentioned. It was a great weekend from the west side to the east side of the city. I had my best friend from middle and high school, as well has his girl friend come visit for a few days. It was his first trip up here since I’ve lived here…I mean it’s not like I’ve been here for almost two years…WTF!
They arrived early Friday morning while I was at work, but I managed to meet them for lunch near my office. I had them meet me at Spades, a Chinese place on 37th and 3rd avenue, that’s home of the best $7 lunch as far as I’m concerned. We ate quickly, and laughed in between each bite. His girlfriend is great. I really like her more every time I see her. They’re a great couple that’s so easy to be around.
Once the bill was dropped, it was obviously accompanied by three fortune cookies, we knew it was time to get moving. Both of my visitors had been to the city before (Thank God because doing every major touristy spot in the city is exhausting the first time, let along the 15th time) so I just pointed them in the direction of Grand Central Station and told them to enjoy the afternoon.
That night we decided to stay pretty close to the coup as there were some great college basketball games on TV. We started the night at a place called Duke’s on 19th and Park Avenue. Now don’t let the Park Avenue in the address fool you, this place has $2.50 Bud Lights and sells the bottom of the barrel beer, Pabst Blue Ribbon.
We were a big party, which meant we would have to wait a while to be seated as we were not the only group of people who decided that Duke’s would be a great place to watch the game. Luckily we did find a spot at the bar to call home. The three of us, were only a small portion of our party, family friends of my buddy as well as friends of there’s rounded out a party of 7.
After hearing “you’re table should be ready in about 5 minutes” 15 times, we decided it was times to change locations. The UF game would start 20 minutes and we knew we wanted to be some where with big screens and the sound on high. After throwing around a million ideas we decided (on my suggestion I might add) on Park Avenue Country Club. (Again, do not be fooled by the name, the serve pitchers of Bud Light as their house specialty.)
More Details to follow…
Thanks for listening
Friday, March 24, 2006
“Yo!” I shouted as I walked closer to the curb and raised my hand in the direction of building tops. I had just had a few drinks with friends and it was time to call it a night. I thought about taking the subway, there was a stop only a block away. It’s always cheaper, and sometimes faster than taking a cab in the city. However, it was late, I was tired, and so badly wanted to be magically wisped away landing directly in my bed.
I see a cab coming north on Layfayette, his light on, heading my way. He must have seen my extended arm because he swerved across 3 damn lanes of traffic, nearly causing a town car to take me out. The driver of the all too popular and black Town Car laid on his horn. I’m not talking about a quick beep either…I’m talking about the noise that comes from movies after a bad guy is caught in a high speed chase – the car crashes and his head is laying on the steering wheel causing the horn to hold a long, never ending monotone note.
Ok, I’ve seen that happen a million times before. No worries on my part. There’s nothing wrong with an aggressive cabbie. The only thing that means is that tmy fare will be less than say, if Miss Daisy was driving the cab. I opened the back door, slid across the seats and gave him the address. “I’m sorry, do you know how to get there, I’m new.” Now, it’s not like I live in the West Village and the streets have names not numbers. I live in Murray Hill. I even gave him cross streets too.
I told him to just head north and it he would need to make a right in about 20 blocks. At our first light, a cabbie pulled next to him and said “you’re trouble light is on” and I can only assume he was talking about his hazard lights. Well that sent my guy into a big panic. “I’m just going to pull over for a minute.” “No you’re not buddy, not with that meter running you’re not!” It was evident at this point in our journey together this guy was really, really new. Not to mention the cab smelled like dirty curry diaper.
So in a matter of seconds this guy was on his phone. His hands free phone of course because having a cell phone to your ear in New York is grounds for a ticket. I think they give these drivers hands free phones instead of a state issued driver’s licenses. So I start to think that this guy is probably not just new to a cab, and is maybe new to the country, because he seems to be avoiding all major driving rules and regulations. After another near miss with yet another black Town Car, and telling him to STOP four blocks short of my place out of the love I have for my own life and the intense hate I have for bodily harm…I was home.
Thanks for listening.
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Sometimes we need little things like the players in my dinner theatre tonight to make our day (playing the lead role, Vino). I will admit that over the past few days, I have been in what I would call a rut. I’m not real sure why, I just know that I haven’t been myself. I haven’t sprung out of bed, and sped through my day with the same tenacity that I usually like to leave as my calling card. I don’t think there is a person, place, or object to blame, just something I the air maybe? (God knows it could be the frigid temps and even colder stairs from people on the streets that are just as sick of winter as I am)
Last night I did manage to escape the cold for a brief hour or so. I was under the lights as they say…Center stage for all those to see. It was prefaced by “good luck, break a leg, good luck” from the others around me. It was for the first time I had really gone on a stage of any type to perform and to perform with others. I have spoken to crowds, some in the 1000s, with little angst. That’s just talking, speaking, and being me…me. I can do that in front of a million people. But tonight was different, it was in front maybe 20 strangers and I was part of an ensemble. I was a piece of the comedic puzzle I was only praying the audience would find worthy of putting together.
After a brief warm up, and few more “break a leg” comments and me thinking “do they really say that?” it was show time. Most of my class members are actors/waiters, actresses/make up counter-salespersons, so they are much more familiar with the grounds of tonight’s performance. The lights went up, and there we were, a group, all up there for the same reason.
I fucking killed! I loved it! I just wish it would not have gone by so fast. It lasted for over an hour, but only a few minutes had gone by in my mind. The crowd started in the dark and all too quiet, but grew brighter and much more involved as the show went on…
The final scene came to an end, my name was called to come back on stage and take a bow…I had never bowed before, you don’t bow after a killer presentation to the client, you don’t bow after making a great catch in flag football game, you just don’t. That, even considering all the crazy request that came from the audience, might have been the most difficult part of the show for me. Well, that and after it was all over I realized that no one I invited had shown up. Granted I sent something out the day of, only because I received the info late myself, but I will admit it hurt. Not a lot, but a bit. Just one person I know would have made my night. One, “you were amazing” from a familiar face instead of the compliments from friends of fellow cast members.
I don’t now if I will go back for the next level of class. I was thinking of taking a writing class instead…A decision I have to make in the next couple of weeks as spring sessions start soon…
Thanks for listening
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Once my body temperature started to rise to a safe level this evening after a very long and brutally cold walk home, I received a phone call from an old friend. I guess more than a friend though, it was from an ex. Now, most people would probably let that puppy head straight to voicemail, but not me. I have really only had two girlfriends in the past few years, or what I would call adult relationships. This timely phone call happened to be from one of them…
We speak what seems like every month or so. Unfortunately, she always seems to call when she’s having problems with her boyfriend. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m not sure how or why I always seem to be the consummate counselor to my friends. She’s been dating this guy for almost two years, but every so often her name pops up on my caller ID and I hear her voice and then their latest issue. The dilemma behind tonight’s phone call was about the tiny little annoying things a significant other does that drives you up the wall. But as I mentioned they had been together for almost two years, so it seemed pretty late in the game for these issues to have any staying power.
After all, I think it’s those very same enounces and quarks that we end up loving because they are part of what makes that person…that person. I think the tolerance of these idiosyncrasies is when you really know you’re with the right person. After all, if all of those tiny annoyances came up on the first date I highly doubt that dessert and coffee would be an option. But when being with someone for a long period of time, his or her strange oddities are bound to come out sooner or later. And once they do, and the will, it’s up to us to decide how bad they really bother us. It’s like buying a used car, (sorry nobody is a brand new model, never been driven off the lot before, at this age) that looks great, drives great, handles well, but everyone once in a while it picks its teeth or slurps its soup. You’re still going to get that car if it makes you feel good, if it makes you feel comfortable and if it is going to go for another 100,000 miles. Right?
But then again, I don’t have the best luck with women and couldn’t tell you the difference between a spark plug and a break pad so who am I…
Thanks for listening
Monday, March 20, 2006
“No Woman, No Cry…No Woman No Cry” I had to do something this morning, the first official day of Spring to make it seem like was actually the time for April Flowers and May Showers. I had to because Mother Nature was certainly not doing her part. I don’t usually through on my iPod for the walk to work, only because I listen to it all day while at my desk, but I certainly did today. I think I may make a habit out of it though, it’s like having a soundtrack to your own movie playing for only you to here…
The walk to work was a bit brisk, but what was more distracting was the battle field that was left from what looked like one hell of a weekend. The streets were packed all day and all night on Friday because of everyone’s favorite green holiday. I am half Irish, so of course I was one of the thousands of people drinking more Guinness than I would normally do in a month, in one brief night. It’s just like drinking Corona on Cinco De Mayo, it just makes sense.
I actually stayed in the neighborhood and bounced around from bar to bar for most of the night. My usual stomping ground, Third and Long had been taken over by a million people I’ve never seen before. It was like a home invasion. “Who the hell are all of these people,” I yelled to my friend the manager/bartender/bouncer/guru/writer. But, was St. Patty’s day, everyone is Irish for the day and everyone is a big drinker for the day. (Wait, aren’t they the same thing?)
For as good of a night St. Patty’s Day was, I felt like something was missing as the night went on. I don’t know if I realized what it was until the next day, but there was definitely a void. I was with a group of people that I work with, and have gone out with a million times before. Most are now good friends, who I also happen to work with…something I know I’m lucky to because I’ve heard a million horror stories from friends about coworkers.
However, for as much fun as they are, I’m the baby of the group. Again, not something I mind, but I wish I was not the low man on the Totem Pole, professionally speaking. The crowd is older, and I don’t mind it a bit. I have usually, no matter high school or college, always run with an older crowd. But for some reason, I felt like I didn’t have a “crew” or friends that were just my friends and not people I know from work this weekend. I don’t know what made this weekend different from any other before it, but it was, I knew it was…
This July will be my two year New York City birthday. Something I’m very proud of…it’s like making it through your freshman year at Arizona State – not many people do! I have a lot of friends in the city, they are all different pockets of friends scattered from West End to York St. All of these different dynamics are unique and I love them for that exact reason. Some groups I know from school, some I know from my Improv class, and some I’ve just met randomly at bars.
The problem with this is that I don’t feel like I have a set group, a set line up, going into every night or weekend. I have said before that I am not naïve enough to think I will somehow replace or transplant the group of friends I had in college. Those friends are one of many aspects of college that will never, and I mean will never, be duplicated. However, that being said, it would be nice to have something similar to that group. I think differences and diversity in a group are great and usually essential to having a well rounded crew, but I also think having some commonalities within the group are necessary too.
So I guess I have come to a couple conclusions at this point. One, I have a group in Chicago, I feel for whatever reason I would easy slide into and become part of...They are mostly good friends of good friends of mine. I also have family there…aunts, uncles, cousins, the whole works. I have written about how I love Chicago, but not yet, I’m not leaving this city. This is the toughest city in the world with everything from Fashion to Finance holding their headquarters here – and until I feel like I’ve made my mark on Manhattan, I’m not going anywhere. I’ve just got to keep being me, getting involved in different groups, whether it’s softball or writing, just getting out there, making my mark.
Thanks for listening
Friday, March 17, 2006
“Hey babe, it’s (insert name). I’m just calling to see what you’re up to…maybe see if you want to grab drinks later in the week. Well, hope all is well. Give me buzz when you get a chance, take care.”
Done. Perfect, not too much, not too long, and no useless rambling…the perfect message. When calling the special someone, why is it as soon as the ‘sound of the tone’ is heard, we get a little anxious, a little nervous to leave a stupid voicemail. Is it because we really don’t like the pressure or just because we really like the person we’re leaving some choice words for?
I like to think I’m a very good message leaver. I mean, I don’t go in with a script. I just shoot from the hip and hope something worth while comes out. I’m sure we have all left a few horrific ones, especially if they happen after 1am after a drink or ten. Taking those out of consideration, why is it that after we leave a voicemail for someone we’re interested in, we immediately start to question the return call. If and when will she call back? Will she wait a while, play the game if you will…Or will he or she call back before you’ve placed your phone back in your pocket?
I think the best post phone call – voicemail action is to leave it alone. You’ve done you’re part, the ball is in their court (how about that basketball reference in the middle of March Madness) and you can only hope for the best. However for some reason, I think it’s human nature to still sit in wonder in the back of your mind. Did I call to late, should I not have left message, or should I have sent her a text instead of leaving a message? All of these come running into our brains. Not, mine though…no way, not this guy. (wink…wink) Happy St. Patty’s Day!!!
Thanks for listening
Thursday, March 16, 2006
The sun wise shining and spring seemed to be here to stay just a few short days ago. Looking outside, it looks like it’s warm and sunny. However, like so many other women, Mother Nature is not what she appears. There’s a brisk wind that makes my cheeks red for 15 minutes after I’ve arrived at the office, and a mercury point that still merits gloves and a scarf. Now, granted this is an odd time of the year when people are breaking out their sunglasses prematurely because they have been hibernation for months!
The month of March is here and I love it. Between St. Patty’s day, March Madness, and the official start of Spring, what’s not to love? Today will surely be a crazy one at work, only to be outdone by tomorrow’s festivities. I will surely have more than enough material to carry the weekends post along…
Thanks for listening
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
There are roughly 9 million people that live with in the New York City lines. There are over 30,000 restaurants for those few people to choose from on a nightly basis. So why am I so lucky that a rep that I’ve never met before tonight could happen to pick an establishment that would reaffirm my love for this city? Ms. Manhattan as I refer to her at times is like so many great loves…she is so good at being at her best at the exact moment you've counted her out.
Tonight I traveled, from work, with coworkers I would not usually associate with outside of a working environment to a little slice of tiramisu heaven. Again there are a ton of these network dinners, mostly stagnant of realness and usually good food too. Both are things I try to avoid at all cost. However tonight would be a different setting, a different breakdown all together, and one that would make me feel right at home at a table set for 9 million.
After a long walk and a few stops we finally made our way to the final destination and resting place of the evening. The ride downtown had been filled with “this place is amazing, this place is such a great restaurant” that I was starting to wonder if it would be able to hold a candle opera to my former restaurant back in Arizona. (I worked for great man, at a great place for two years while in school)
Dinner, as it should, started with drinks and everything but the kitchen sink for appetizers. There was lightly battered calamari, baked clams, butter-flied shrimp and an antipasto to write home about covering all corners of the table. I was, to what I hope was no coincidence, sitting at the head of the table. A table that was 16 deep and on the average seat, 7 years my senior. The placement of everything that made this meal…was perfect.
The apps were great, the wine was ok, and the conversation was deep without being politically or corporately charged full of opinions. The night was only soon to reach its climax though. It was not the desert or the after dinner drinks, although the number of them should have won out completely, that made a mark in my mind and heart.
The owner, who seemed to be best of and long time friend with our host, a Jewish kid from Brooklyn who grew up Italian was where the best treat of the night would come from tonight.
The reason, and I can literally say this with an honest face (or set of hands) that I ended up living, loving, and landing New York City was Franco. I was lucky enough to meet Franco, a man 40 plus years my senior and a spirit that was mine on a highest of Starbucks highs. I worked for him and instantly fell in love with his passion and drive. An Italian immigrant who had owned multiple places in New York with a clientele that rendered such names as Sinatra and Cosby. This guy’s mission and taste for life, and even more so, the life of New York was what ultimately made me make New York my permanent residence and not just a rest stop.
So, as I shared a cocktail with the owner of this great place in the West Village, I thought I should throw out the name. Why not right? What do I have to lose? “Yes, I know Franco, he used to live next door. He’s in Arizona now. How do you know my friend?” I couldn't believe the words were coming out of his mouth. Well, as long as the day is beautiful in Florence, I hit the gnocchi on the head!
That answer, that comment made a city of 9 million, as small and simple as a bottle of Brunello, shared with three old friends. I know I am being melodramatic…but it’s those interconnections that make a city that holds its heart so closely protected…shine for all who are wiling to see…
It made my night, it made my week, and it made me feel at home…it truly did…
Thanks for listening
Monday, March 13, 2006
I worked another 15 hour day today, but left feeling good about the day. It was long, no questions asked but I got done what needed to get done! As I walked home in what is going to be the nice night of the week, I decided to give the old phone book a gander.
As it was after 11, I figured it may be a great chance to get in touch with some of my friends back in AZ. I started to scroll, one of the first names to pop up, starts with an “A” (no kidding right) I contemplated making the call. Yeah, I miss her, she’s a beautiful person that is doing really well for herself back in AZ. However, I haven’t spoken to her in months, at least. So I think to myself, do I have that much in me? That’s terrible no?
I truly enjoy talking to this girl on the few chances we actually catch each other live but now, what, I’m too tired or just not as interested as I used to be to hear how her life is going? I felt like a really shitty friend. Was I too busy now, was that my excuse, that I hadn’t kept in touch…Or was it just growing up or growing apart?
I’m not naive enough to think that I will ever replace, or even try to, the friends I left in AZ. It was college, everyone was friends. But the closest ones are a large part that I am who I am today. I know as we grow older, we sadly enough become a bit more cynical with each passing year. We choose not be befriend people as easy as we once did, at the same time we so easily let go of the once we once kept so close.
I guess this could be a mini ‘call to arms’ in the fight to stay close to the ones who did or still do matter. In order to not become just another number or contact, you’ve got to matter to someone! I know we cannot make a difference or impact with every ‘friend request’ but it sure wouldn’t be a bad thing to think about it.
I am sleep deprived and feel this may have turned real sappy around the 3rd word, so I apologize. I hope to be back to my normal self tomorrow.
Thanks for listening
Saturday, March 11, 2006
I spent most of yesterday in New Jersey at client meetings. As I have mentioned before, I walk to work so using the fine mass transportation of New York City is not something I have the privilege of doing on a regular basis. I actually walked to work early, and I mean early in the morning. But after a few hours at my desk, it was time to take off for Penn Station. The cab was smelly, but surprisingly quick at getting me from one side of the city to the other.
I was meeting a coworker there so we could share the fine experience of riding off into Jersey to spend our entire day in meetings. I have failed to mention at this point that it’s the nicest day, weather wise in 3 months. Temperatures were almost in the 70s in some parts of the city. It’s been so damn cold for so damn long you forget the city can even endure such pleasant weather.
After waiting for my coworker, who was as usual running late, I noticed the million people going in what seemed to be a million directions. People who look like their going to work, coming from work, going on job interviews, never had a job interview, just about every walk of life imaginable. We missed the original train we were planning on taking, but only had to wait another 25 minutes for the next one. We found our train, and we along with a million other people were on our way…
Well the sun was beaming into my bedroom early this morning, a sight I haven’t seen in longer than I would rather admit. I stuck head outside and it appears to be a beautiful day in the city. Between the two windows, written in blue ink is, DO SOMETHING BIG TODAY. I’m not sure what that’s going to be, how it’s going to come about, but I’m going to try.
Thanks for listening
Friday, March 10, 2006
Thursday, March 9, 2006
Imagine you are cruising down the Pacific Coast Highway. The weather, as it always seems to be, is perfect, not a cloud in sight. You’ve done the impossible and found the perfect pair of sunglass that fit your face as if they were made specifically for your features. The sun is shining - giving your face that perfect sun drenched warm feeling. The curves of the road are taken so tightly by the European convertible you’re riding in, you feel like they’re filming a commercial showing off how well it handles.
There are some turns of the road that come so close to the ocean you can actually smell the salt in the air. What a perfect trip! You have mansions dangling from the side of mountains to your left and what appears to the endless ocean on your right. You’re heading south without a doubt in your mind and a care in the world. When then all of the sudden…BAM! You’re in Detroit!
Now that seems highly unlikely I know, but that’s dating in New York City for you. Why are there so many vehicles – dating, seeing, hooking up, just friends, friends with benefits, going steady (ok, no one uses that one anymore). With so many labels and places a relationship can end up, no wonder I always seem to end up shaking my head and searching for a compass.
Tuesday, March 7, 2006
Two of my best, if not my two best friends are getting married. (I feel like this is the proper time to mention that one is a boy and the other is a girl) I was very close to both throughout most of my time in Arizona. The two’s relationship ignited out of no where on one of my frequent visits to the Valley of the Sun. It was instantaneous, they just worked together, they just made sense.
Some may say it’s too early to go down that path, that path that takes 50% of those who go down it, right into Splitsville. So if that is the case, why not take their time, get to know each other even better than they feel they currently do? Why does this move feel so right for them? Why is their certainty so strong? Is this the stuff that make romantic comedies a tad bit true?
My next point is couples that take their time, however long it may be for them to decide that in fact their counter part is the one they want to sit shot gun on their life long road trip. For whatever reason, as I’m sure there are many, these two want more time to pick their destination. Does that make them any less in love, does that take away the spark a new couple has while blazing down relationship road?
I know couples in both circumstances and I think both are right for their decisions. I know that in this world of wireless, instant messaging, multitasking, googling, tall mocha skim latte, hybrid, yoga, array of choices it’s good to take your time in making the choices that matter. However, that being said I think there is weight in just pulling the trigger when something you want crosses your sight. I don’t know which of these paths I will take, I don’t even know in what direction to start walking, but I’m sure going to enjoy the ride.
Thanks for listening
Monday, March 6, 2006
I left for the airport right from work Thursday afternoon. Traveling for pleasure but throwing it on the end of a work day makes for quite a stressful day at the office. I had a ton of work that had to get done, and every time I turned around I was going into another meeting. All very productive meetings, however it’s tough to get stuff done while not at my desk. I must have checked my cell phone (AKA my watch) a million times throughout the day. It was like I had a big shot clock going over my head all day- Five hours until take off, 4 hours until take off, holy shit, three hours until take off…
After turning on my ‘out of office’ message and trying to make my desk look relatively organized and hide the fact that it was a war zone, I was off for the bus that would so slowly (so I thought) take me LaGuardia. Somehow, my driver made it to the airport in record time. And in another strange occurrence, the line to get through security was nonexistent. With the travel gods apparently showing more love than usual, I figured something would be derailed soon enough, and it was…
My 7pm flight was now set to depart at 8:45 which made the last remaining seat at the bar that much more welcoming. I think airport bars might be one of the best view points to people watch. People of all different ages, colors, cloths, and bags all heading somewhere different…I had two women to my left who were obviously from Texas. Their accents and the fact that I could see Dallas Fort Worth on the boarding pass that was being used as coaster, made their destination pretty easy to see.
I ended up chatting with the guy to my left, and I’m not even sure how. I think it might have been a sports highlight on one of the many TVs. It’s like there is an unwritten rule that if two guys who have never previously met want to start talking in a bar, sports must be the first topic. He was a nice guy and a big St. Louis Cardinals fan, my Chicago Cubs biggest rivals. After a few beers, he went to check the status of his flight and returned with news that it had been canceled. Hearing this jumped up, finished my drink and darting off for gate C12. Not canceled, just another delay, 8:45 had turned into 9:30.
I did finally make it to the city. I didn’t check a bag, so that meant it was straight from the gate to a cab. I called my buddy who had driven in from Indiana, to find out what fine establishment I needed to tell the cabbie would be my final destination. The first difference I noticed between Chicago and New York was the back seat of the cab. It was spacious, almost roomy. There was not a divided wall of fiberglass with a sliding window separating the driver and his costumers. I thought this was weird and probably a little unsafe but actually kind of liked it. You feel more like a passenger than a prisoner.
The first night with two old friends from college was a long one, but certainly one I enjoyed. They are both the type of friend that you can go years without speaking to and seemly pick up right where you left off. That element of a friendship is one that I really value and am lucky enough to experience more times than not when seeing old friends. Both friends are successful in their own ways, but have never lost sight of what’s truly important…family. It’s nice to be able to sit around and talk about real life, the past and most certainly the future. It was great to see both of them…
I saw my mom and my brother for lunch on Friday. Other than feeling the effects of a long night before, and clearly by my mom’s first words, “man, you look rough” wearing it on my face, it was great to see both of them. We met for lunch at a great place right off of Michigan Avenue. (Their 5th Avenue) The menu items were all a little frou-frou for the ideal hang over meal, but delightfully tasteful.
After numerous bars, restaurants, and even shops I really started to notice the people that make up Chicago. The people are pleasant without being over the top sappy. I love that it can be a big city, just behind LA to take third prize in that category and still have some friendly characters. There is a genuineness that most seem to be let be seen with little effort.
My feelings about the west coast, especially the baby Los Angeles that is Scottsdale, Arizona is different from the niceness I witnessed in Chicago. People in Scottsdale were even friendlier, and by far much more attractive, on average. The sun and beautiful people are constants in the valley of the sun. My problems arose once I wanted to see what was behind the those $300 Chanels. Those tan, toned bodies were always exposed but real genuineness was usually no where to be found.
New Yorkers are tough and I love it. We have to be, this is the toughest city in the world. Please do not confuse toughness with meanness- that we are not. I think we just all wear a tough, almost invincible layer that we allow only the few and well deserving to penetrate. I do know this is necessary tool to win the battle of the apple, but I sometimes wish it wasn’t so constant and wasn’t so dense.
In having some friends and a ton of family in Chicago, I have now found what I think is the middle ground of the East and West Coast ways of life. Geographically speaking, I guess it makes sense that it is the Midwest. But after my experiences on both coast and now with some exposure to the Windy City, it is truly the middle. The tan, toned bodies are not so tan and more than likely covered by a Cubs sweatshirt, but what’s behind them is something I really enjoy. There is a realness that people just wear on their sleeves that mixes so well with their big city attitudes and genuineness.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not packing my bags and leaving on a jet plane anytime soon. Just nice to see what else is out there…I still love you New York
Thanks for listening
Thursday, March 2, 2006
After about 14 hours at the office yesterday and the chance of 2-5 inches of snow fall today, this entry will be short and sweet. I am heading to my sister city, Chicago later this evening. I always thought I would have ended up there after graduation but that’s obviously not the case. I do have a million cousins and friends from school that our occupying the Windy City, but New York just called my name.
I am flying in for a wedding of a cousin on my mother’s side. She is one of what seems like a million (Irish Catholic) cousins in the city. The weddings are straight out of the movies with everything that makes a great party and a wedding.
Later this afternoon it will be a bus to LaGuardia, a plane to O’Hara, and then finally a train to Chicago. I can only hope I run into Steve Martin and the late John Candy. I’m not sure if I will be able to write while I’m there, but I will be sure to try.
Thanks for listening