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Posts Tagged ‘NYC’

I Get Around

So, as you might have guessed from my last post, I’m here! It’s actually been almost three weeks now. I’ve experienced a lot of exciting NYC so far, and I’ve had to find my way around to do so. Lemme tell ya how.

Getting Around NYC

Method 1. Car (not recommended)

Back in the long ago time of two weeks ago, I had the use of my parents’ car. During this time I got acquainted with customary New York greetings. A quick honk is a way of saying, “Hello and welcome to the city Georgia driver!”, while the longer, almost never-ending horn blast can be loosely translated as “Please move along now friend! Life is too grand to dally! That’s right. Scoot it. Scoot! Seriously, get the F out of my way!” Instead of waving hello with the whole hand, middle fingers are flashed in a friendly and playful exchange between motorists. How fun!

I got a parking ticket, basically a personal thank you note from the city expressing their gratitude for making Astoria my new home. It’s practically the key to the city! After paying my $45 fine, think it as a membership fee, I’ll be in a special club for New Yorkers only! Oh goody!

Method 2. On Foot

I have gotten lost while walking so many times already. I prefer this method of transport when it comes to losing my direction (apparently one of my favorite activities). It is easier to rectify a wrong turn with no one-way streets or horns barking “Hey asshole! Hey neighbor!” to worry about.

Astoria is crazy with their numbered streets, roads, drives, and avenues. Last week I made the ever so wise decision, considering my track record, to buy groceries at an unfamiliar store. I worried my frozen peas were going to thaw out before I ever made it back to my apartment. I cursed my choice of purchases (canned goods!?) while lugging around my bags for half an hour. Thankfully, and for the good of future frozen veggies, there are two grocery stores closer to home. I finally bought my own NYC Not For Tourists Guide with many handy and discreet maps which will become a permanent addition to the contents of my purse.

Method 3. Cab

I cannot comment on this method from personal experience. It would cost about $30 to get me home from Manhattan or Brooklyn. No thanks. I would rather wait around for an hour in order to catch a late night train. I’ve got more time than cash to burn.

Method 4. Bike

My roommate’s method of choice. She’s got the fit legs to prove it. I’m jealous, but doubt I will soon join her in this eco-friendly mode of travel. I’m too scared. And there seems to be lots of physical effort involved.

Method 5. The Subway

Halloween on the Subway

Easily the best way to get around NYC. It’s great. It’s easy. I live right by the N. Even I hardly ever screw this up!

It is safe too, but I must say that earlier this week I saw a gun pulled out on the subway.

While seated on the N returning from my trek into Manhattan after a vigorous day of window shopping on 5th Ave, I witnessed some cwazy on the train. Two young men rushed in mid-fight. Lots of yelling and cursing. They seemed pissed. Shouts soon became shoves, and one guy was pushed hard into another passenger. This happened right in front of me, and I was hoping they would continue to move on so no one could fall in my lap. The guy that got shoved reached into his pants. The passenger he was just propelled into began to yell “He’s got a gun! He’s got a gun!” I was trying to mind my own business, but that will get anyone’s heart pumping. Then the guy pulled out the “gun”, a hairbrush. Al three dudes started laughing and ran out of the car. The last one said as he left “You all should be ashamed.”

The subway driver made an angry announcement about holding the doors and delaying the train. I didn’t know what to think. It was crazy. I looked around. The other passengers didn’t seem phased. I started grinning.

And that’s how you get around in NYC.

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Best Date Ever.

Sorry male suitors, you can’t top this. My roommate Brannon and I had the best friend date possible last night. Not only do we know how to have a good time, we know how to do it for cheap. Real cheap.

We left the apartment around 5pm, starting the night off early and with a bang too. We satisfied our vegetarian hunger with falafel in the Village for only $2.50; a tasty, tasty steal for the price of subway fare!

While wandering through the Lower East Side in search of Rice to Riches, an all rice pudding eatery, we noticed a crowded store front. We naturally had to investigate and found the bookstore Bluestockings was having a lesbian erotica reading. We had to stay of course! I had no idea it would be so heavy into S&M. It was entertaining and some stories were even funny, especially the one about the cowgirl and the carnie. We both put $1 in the donation bucket.

Since Rice to Riches was not to be found in our NFT Guide, we walked down the street to Sugar Cafe and splurged on coffee and a sugar fix. Lesbian erotica can work up a girl’s appetite. We split tiramisu and baklava. Delicious. $5 ea.

Sugar

We chatted at our table until my coffee was cold and it was time for our next destination, Crash Mansion. According to their website they were voted #1 rock venue in NYC. We got there just after 9pm for an hour of free drinks thanks to a heads up from Open Bars. We were serenaded by a glammed out, David Bowie-esque Michael T and the Vanities, a rocking 80s cover band. Totally rad. They were followed by a downright frightening band of Pilgrims and Indians. Male thongs on stage. The horror. They were fun and loud and took their influence from 80s rockers as well, but with much less style (and fabric). C’mon boys, “rock out with your cock out” is just an expression!

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Brannon and I got out of there for $3 in tips ea and our vision blurred more from the band’s outrageous costume than the three free rum and gingers. Brannon was feeling pretty good. Sometimes I wish I was 5’2″.

We left the Lower East Side for Chelsea and made it to UCB just in time for the 11pm sketch show, $5. Three sketch groups did an old classic and a new or otherwise “less classic” piece. The show ended with a velociraptor interrupting passover. That was a B side. Good times and laughs.

We got home in time for Brannon to pack for her camping trip while we drank a couple beers and shared some wasabi peas. What a perfect night. Girls make the best dates… I wish I was more into that lesbian erotica. 😉

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Oh blog! I put you in the corner, and we all know that nobody puts baby in the corner. Sorry bout that. I suppose I could say I’ve been too busy living life to write about it, and while that is almost true something tells me I just got lazy. Blog, I’ll buy you flowers and take you out to a nice lobster dinner if you let me try to catch up quickly and make it up to you. K honeybee bloggy-boo?

OK, some blog worthy events I have missed since I went AWOL:

Mom and Dad spent their 40th wedding anniversary back in February watching the Super Bowl. How romantic.

February also marked the nine year anniversary of my becoming a vegetarian. Next year I’m throwing a party. No giant sub sandwich needed, maybe giant falafel?

The same month I visited Chapel Hill for NCCAF. I saw a lot of great improv. My group Elaine was reunited for a really fun show. I played a French terrorist who was lured into capture by Girl Scout cookies; singing orphans made an appearance at one point. After our performance we tried dabbling in modeling… good thing we’re funny.

The Basement held the Spontaneous Combustion Festival in March. Also a great time. Furbus and penthouse after party, oh yeah!

I had been spending time with girl friends already, but in early March The Unit was formed. The Unit core consists of five fun gals up to no good. The group has been hanging out in various incarnations in Atlanta and Athens ever since. We see concerts, we dance, we drink tequila shots with Marissa’s parents. We talk all night. These amazing friends are the reason I have not gone insane while living here. I’m so thankful for having these girls in my life!

Chances are any Friday or Saturday night I wasn’t with The Unit I was probably hanging out with a group of French foreign exchange grad students from GA Tech. I randomly met these kids in January at Opera, the biggest club in Atlanta. They liked to dance so we became friends instantly. I drank many a room temperature beverage with these European nerds (not referring to Cécile of course, she is no geek) during their spring semester. They were only here until the beginning of May, so they had to live it up America style while they had the chance. I thoroughly approved of this pursuit of fun, and together we explored Atlanta. They even taught me a little French. Let’s just say my French vocabulary isn’t in the text books. Pictured below are my friends, the first six, and two of their classmates at Sweetwater Brewery.

In April, Ashley, Alicia, another friend, and I took a quick, spontaneous road trip to Austin, TX with a pit stop in New Orleans. We are talking salsa, margaritas, and dive bars. We were there for my birthday, and it was a good one. Ratatat guest DJed at the place we were dancing. The adventure was, as Marissa would say, epic. Pictured below is our traveling group plus guide seated on a massive rock at Barton Springs Park.

My good friends from college Zac and Hollie got married in May. Ashley, Courtney, and I drove from GA to Iowa City for the ceremony. It was possibly the coolest wedding ever, so casual and relaxed. One of the groomsmen walked down the isle barefooted. We ate organic pizza, drank home brewed beer, and danced to Freak Nasty’sDa Dip” (which I should admit I supplied to the playlist). Below the couple do “the Hollie” with back up from the bridesmaids.

Unfortunately my grandma fell and broke her wrist. When she had to have a second surgery on it in late May I drove to Arkansas to stay with her for a few days. I actually left the day after I got back from Iowa. Lots of driving that week. We watched a good bit of The Dog Whisperer, The Game Show Network, and Lifetime. I cooked, and to my surprise my fried squash, my favorite food and a tricky dish indeed, came out to perfection. Grandma spent a lot of time complaining about what she couldn’t do, then yelling at me to stop with the chores and come sit down. That is Grandma. He wrist seems to be healed nicely now.

In June, Ashley and I made an exciting last minute decision to go to Bonnaroo. My disposable camera is still yet to be developed, but I can promise that we saw some things. So many stages, so many bands, so many wannabe hippies, so many degrees, so little showering… somehow all this equaled an incredible time. The highlight would be the outrageous late night dance party that was the Girl Talk concert. It began at something like 2am and went longer than scheduled (no one was complaining). We were then misdirected back to our tent. We got to camp at sunrise. Amazing.

Later that month my family and I visited my sister in Virginia for a couple days. I got to see her in a very cute production of Jack and The Beanstalk and a spectacular Wizard of Oz at the Barter Theater. Somehow my nearly 6′ tall sister played a munchkin. The wonder of costume! Obviously my favorite part of the play was when she, suspended on wires, flew her bicycle through the tornado as the evil Toto-hating neighbor of Dorothy. She always gets the parts of the witch or wicked stepsister. Typecasting? Winks. Love you sis!

I managed to squeeze a little work in between all this travel. I started doing antique shows for my parents again this summer and cut the retail back to only three days a week. It was a smart decision for monetary and family reasons. Dad is having some health issues and needs to limit his time working in the heat. I sell mostly in Atlanta and thereabouts, but I have been to a market in Charlotte, NC once and just a few weeks ago Brimfield, MA. I really like peddling the wrought iron. I will make sure to have my camera charged up when I go back to Brimfield in September. This is a week long antique show that happens three times a year where many dealers camp out in the fields they set up in. I spent three days in the tent and met some real characters out there including two old men and a 12 year old kid who all want to date me and a gruff old woman who sells jewelry and swears like a sailor loudly under her hoarse breath. Besides for the kid, a real sweetie, I’m not sure who scares me most.

I tried to quit my retail job at the end of May and was actually offered a promotion instead. The whole interview process was long and tiresome (don’t get me started about the interviewer who didn’t show up and the other fun BS I had to deal with), and by the end of it I changed my mind. I had pushed my lofty plans for NYC aside until out of nowhere my good friend Brannon came up with the perfect place for us to live in Astoria, Queens. This apartment is nice and has amazingly affordable rent for the location meaning I could live in NYC for about the same I would pay in ATL… basically I was being asked to choose between my dream and so-so retail promotion with a minuscule raise. It seemed like a really tough decision for about a second. Below is my future home.

I haven’t exactly kept to all my goals I blogged back in January (for instance I now put my resolve into untagging myself from those pesky double chin photos), but I think I’ve succeeded in staying true to the most important ones which are simply staying positive, having fun, and getting the hell out of here.

So blog, I’m back. I’ve got things to write about. I’ve got a life to live. I’m MOVING OUT! In October! My name is on the lease as of the first of this month (I got a friend to sublet in the meantime). You know, living with my parents (yours would probably be a different story) wasn’t so bad. It didn’t really suck after all. But please, don’t get me wrong; I’m doing a little dance inside my head just thinking about having my own place again. Thank you blog, friends, and nights out in ATL for getting me though this transitional phase only three months past my self imposed deadline. That’s right on time for a procrastinator like me!

Yep, I’m back. Back from Paris as of yesterday actually, but that dear blog deserves a post all of its own.

So blog, doesn’t that feel better? We aren’t strangers anymore. Think we can make things work if we really try? Oh, caught you smiling! I knew you would come around. And hey bloggy-boo, if I slip up again I swear to go to conseling, like maybe take a writing class in NYC. And blog, if the screen on my laptop worked I promise we would cuddle like crazy.

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