Thursday, September 28, 2006

Family habits

Ok, today is officially Three Post Thursday. I'll attempt to spread them out a little more but today was a red letter day. I was cleaning some images for work and I was concentrating pretty hard on what I was doing. I then realized that I was doing something that everyone in my family does while concentrating, we stick our tongues out the sides of our mouths.

Does anyone else have behavioral family traits that you've noticed?

Drego, My Shoe Guy

The idea of having a cobbler or shoe guy was completely foreign to me until I moved to the East Coast. In KC I certainly never did enough walking to warrant re-heeling of shoes and if a heel broke off, it was "Adios".

I never really found a good shoe guy in DC, althought I'm sure there are plenty. The only one I ever went to tried to get me to pay for my shoes when I picked them up even though I'd already paid for the repairs. I'd give him a break if I thought it was an accident but the man had a sign posted that read, "Payment required when dropping off shoes". Now I know I'm blonde, but I'm not stupid.

ANYWAY, I have a new shoe guy in NYC approx 1 block from my office. He took my black, Nine West pumps and made them brand new again. He put on a new heel end (for those of you who don't need a shoe guy, high heels have a metal post in them that once you wear the end off your heel, you walk on that, bizarre) and put new leather putty stuff on the heel. These shoes have never looked so good because the first day I had them I got caught in a metal grate and ripped off an inch long leather strip. I LOVE THIS MAN. I took off the boots I was wearing and exchanged them for the shoes I was picking up. AND this is done in approx 24 hours but can do a rush job if you need them sooner. Love it.

What's up McDonald's?

After watching Super Size Me I didn't eat McDonald's for a year but of course, convenience (and deliciousness) overpowered by health concerns. Health concerns that existed until I found the delicious McDonald's side salad with Paul Newman dressing...for a DOLLAR! Well, it was a $1.10 after tax in DC. I would usually get a side salad to eat with my boring frozen dinner lunch. You'd get your veggies in for a low price and still delicious. Such a deal.

Well, some coworkers and I went on a pilgrimage to the great establishment which is McDonald's. Me to get a side salad to supplement my PB sandwich, they were getting a regular salad. I was very upset to learn that in NY, and maybe nationwide, the side salad is not on the $1 menu. It's $2.05. What's up with that? The whole time I ate my 2 dollar and five cent side salad I was plotting how I'm going to bring my own salad to work every day. It's ICEBERG lettuce! It's in no way fancy or difficult to make! I just happen to think salads are better when someone else makes them.

I would LOVE to hear whether this is just a NYC thing or whether this is a nationwide development. Anyone, please, send McDonald's salad info to the NYC bubble in which I live.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

I Thought I Left that Behind in Elementary School

Apparently I'm being punished by the bakery gods. Through some bizarre zoning mixup, a cookie factory was allowed to operate next door to my elementary school. It was cruel to send children out to play when we could smell freshly baked cookies and not have any. All day long, from when the bus dropped us off, to when it picked us up again...cookies.

Now it's happening again! Every day around 6:30 or 7:00 it smells like freshly baked bread in my neighborhood. At first I thought it was just an overzealous neighbor with too much time on their hands. Then on a neighborhood excursion I walked by the culprit: Eli's Bread is just two blocks away.

This is no normal bakery, according to their website, it produces over 40,000 lbs of dough DAILY and they are "baking around the clock". Luckily, Eli's Vinegar Factory is next door to Eli's Bread so if I ever want to sample the tasty deliciousness I smell every day, I just have to go down the street.

A word of caution to anyone who lives in NYC and thinks about going to Eli's Vinegar Factory. While it is a very cute gourmet grocery store, half of the items have no price posted. If my parents taught anything, if there's no price, you probably can't afford it.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Tasti D-Lite

It's not just Charlotte York Goldenblatt's favorite evening snack on SATC, it's also a staple in the diet of many New York woman. While my first experience with Tasti D-Lite made me think it was completely disgusting, I think my actual comment was, "This tastes like sand" it's starting to grow on me. If you dress it up with the variety of toppings like, strawberry shortcake, hot fudge and nuts, caramel, it can be downright tasty. It's also a low cal snack which I'm sure is 90% of the appeal. Apparently that's all the models will eat which is probably not good since it's just chemically modified air.

While it is definitely growing on me, I must say I find the chemical makeup baffling. I accidentally spilled some on my desk the other day while enjoying an angel food cake/dutch chocolate twist. I tried to clean it up with a napkin but it wouldn't absorb into the napkin. The napkin kind of served as a zambonie just pushing it around. I finally got it off the desk and it NEVER absorbed into the napkin. It just kind of sat on the napkin until it dried. Weird, chemically doused, but that won't stop me from getting a sundae later this afternoon. Woo!

Laundry Services in Manhattan

Earlier this week, I did my laundry for the first time since moving to New York. Which, honestly, for me, is impressive. I hate doing laundry, it's one of the worst cleaning tasks in the world, but I'm not a big fan of the other ones either. As I've been told, I'm very lucky to have laundry services in my building. Our landlord owns the next building over and they have the laundry room in their basement. Which, I guess, is pretty convenient.

I was very surprised by the size of the washing machines/dryers! I think you could fit an entire person in there. It's the never ending pit of dirty laundry. I'm going to have to reevaluate my sorting methods (sorry Grandma Anne) because I will never have enough of one color to do a load with only that. My reds are still sitting in the basket, sad because I wouldn't wash them with the other loads. For $3.50 to do a load of laundry, I'm certainly not going to be doing any partial loads.

If I wasn't in the mood to do my laundry there is a lovely "Fluff and Fold" service in this town where you just take you laundry to the cleaners and they do your laundry for you $.70 a pound. At some point when I'm feeling a little more lazy and have a little more disposable income I just may have to take advantage of that. Until then, every three weeks, you can find me schlepping my laundry up and down 4 flights of stairs.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

New York, New York, New York

Apparently, I also live in New York County. Probably the only time in my life I will live in a city, county and state all with the same name. Probably the only place where this is the case. Makes it easy to remember but stuff like this messes up kids who grow up here. You grow up thinking something is normal or typical only to find out in college that it's not.

For example, I grew up thinking it was customary that if you put an envelope in a Ziploc bag with a quarter (what a stamp cost back in the day) that the postman would put a stamp on it and mail it for you. Harsh reality when I found out that wasn't the case.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Sidewalk Traffic

I was searching the New Yorker cartoons online today, which if I may say (and I may, since it's my blog), is a very fun activity. This cartoon most accurately represents my feelings about walking on the sidewalks of New York.

Depending on the day of the week and time of day I may be in different lanes. Shopping in Soho after work, definitely in the far right lane. However, at 8:45am, I am in the far left lane and people who should not be in this lane include people who flagrantly swing their arms making it impossible for you to pass them. Your arm should not be perpendicular to your body while walking...EVER.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

No Smoking? No...No Laundry

Now I might be slightly inebriated, however, I just realized that the no smoking in bars law in NYC has nothing to do with the dangers of second hand smoke. Nothing!!! It has nothing to do with the dangers of second hand smoke and EVERYTHING to do with the fact that New Yorkers got sick of taking all of their smelly smoke filled clothes either to the dry cleaner, the guy who does your laundry, or to the laundromat.

With the danger of sounding like the smelly girl, I'd like to make a confession. I threw the shirt that I wore tonight (for approximately 6 hours) in the clean pile on my cedar chest which holds other clothing items that can be reworn without washing. If you were allowed to smoke in NYC, that shirt would not only be thrown in the dirty clothes, but sealed in a ziploc bag to keep the smoky smell from drifting to the rest of the clothes in my closet.

I champion the No Smoking laws in New York! Cheers to the smell free scent when returning home from the bars. I'm sure the sale of Febreze in NYC went down after the No Smoking law was inacted and I'm glad the need to spray down your clothing after a night out has been diminished. I HEART New York!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Rain ballet

It's been raining in New York for two days and I'm learning a lot about umbrella etiquette. There are so many people on the street with umbrellas that you have to adjust the height of your umbrella so you don't run into another person. I had to do this in Washington but I feel like it's more choreographed in NYC.

I was part of a group of 6 people (3 going East, 3 going West) that with each pair meeting, mirrored each other in action. The first two, one went up, the other went down. The second two, one tipped their umbrella left the other tipped right. And the third group (the one I was part of) had particular flare. I tipped back and turned right, he did the same. Then we followed it up with a chorus of Singing in the Rain.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Nerd Alert

I didn't get a chance to post this yesterday but yesterday I got to meet my nerd research idol. We had a mandatory seminar at work on accurate online research methods. A group of new hires sat around with this guy discussing nerd-research-methodology topics for 2 hours. Which of course were supported with Research on Research which he conducted. I could not be happier at my new job.

He mentioned something interesting that I'm going to look into further but I'll touch on briefly. Apparently a clinical psychologist conducted a study on reasoning and successful excuses for cutting in line or other similar behavior. She found that you only have to say "because" and people will let you do most things. "Because" is your reasoning for everything. I have to cut in front of you because my friend is waiting. Even though that isn't really sufficient reasoning why you need to get somewhere first, it's sufficient that you have a reason. Weird.

Entertainment overload

I now have Internet AND cable (250 channels + the movie channels for a month). Woo hoo! I am completely overstimulated and even my little ADD self can't take it. Unfortunately I cannot watch TV and be online at the same time since I don't have a TV in my room but given the dorm sized apartment it's not too tough to listen from the other room.

I haven't watched the Daily Show or the Colbert Report in weeks and I'm going through total and complete withdrawal. I will be fixing that in just a moment. And eating the cookies I just baked. Like I said, ADD.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


I am very surprised that I have been in my new apartment for over a week, without TV, and I still find things to do. Last night I went to the gym, the grocery store, made an actual dinner (not cereal), washed all the dishes, took out the garbage, put away clothes and watched "When Harry Met Sally" (that while based in New York did not have a lot of NY references I understood).

I'm thrilled not only to have the time to do things after work, but also that I've thus far done it without regular TV programming. Oh, good news though. In my attempt to find TV channels that worked, I can get 7th Heaven, every channel in Spanish and the church channel.

No cable or Internet at home for another week and a half since neither Melinda nor I could make it to our appointment tomorrow. I guess I'll have to continue to be a productive member of society.

Monday, September 11, 2006


I have never wanted a dog as much or been so happy to NOT have a dog in my life. It seems everyone has a dog on the Upper East Side, and how can you not with puppy stores on every block? I went and visited a 12 week old Pembroke Welsh Corgi in a store yesterday. While I desperately wanted to take her home, for $800, she was a LITTLE too expensive. PLUS, where would I put a dog? While some apartments are large enough to accommodate a dog, mine is not one of them. I have actually seen dogs that resemble bears walking on the streets with their owners. I saw a dog yesterday that, on all 4 legs, its head reached my armpit. No apartment is big enough for a dog that size. And something else I encountered with this dog, I can't imagine why anyone would want to pick up poop that big. Most people have a grocery sack, this needed a 12 gallon garbage bag. N-A-S-T-Y.

Friday, September 08, 2006


Apparently it's not uncommon to see a new hair stylist for a consultation before getting your hair cut in NYC. I guess if you're going to pay someone a lot of money to cut your hair you want to make sure you trust them. Had this been more common in DC I probably wouldn't have gone through 4 stylists in 17 months. This consultation is my first adventure to the West Side and I'm psyched.

I Wish I Could go Back to college

My sister, Abby, posted about how our little sister Whitney's new trailer house felt a little like camping. Looks like two of us had to adapt a bit. My new apartment felt a little bit like a dorm room when I moved in but it's started to grow on me. I think I'll be reminded of it's dorm room status when people start to come visit and say that it's "cute". We just need a dry erase board on the door to make it complete.


I am so thoroughly enthralled by the subway system in NYC. Not only the appearance or the characters who ride, which are very entertaining in themselves but the timing of the system. I've spent the last 4 days trying to figure out the best route to work and the number of factors are insane. The biggest is time. I've found if I leave my apt at 8:05 that I can get to the office at 8:45 (15 mins early). Of course I don't want to get to work early but if I leave anytime between 8:05 and 8:15, I will get to work at 9:15. Not exactly the same amount of time.

Therefore, I will be getting to work early every day and blogging about my newest realizations about NYC. I hope you enjoy!