Friday, August 29, 2008

California Coast

The view of the California coast from Highway 1.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Lost and Found

Our luggage arrived! I pumped my fists triumphantly in the air. Once again, we won. Us vs. the airline. Us vs. Unclaimed Baggage in Scottsboro, Alabama. We did it. And, just in time for our weekend trip to Kentucky. Whew.

I missed the first drop-off phone call early this afternoon when I was in a meeting on 6th Avenue. I called the mystery number back and hoped that it would be someone, anyone with our luggage. It was, but I missed my chance and he wouldn’t swing by the Upper West Side again until later.

So, I camped out in our apartment a-l-l afternoon and waited. Impatiently. I waited for the clothes that would need to be laundered and repacked. At 8:30pm, the phone rang.

I ran outside and waited on the curb just as a midnight blue minivan squealed around the corner and sped past me. Darn. Suddenly, the driver slammed on the brakes and threw the van into reverse. The side door opened and our luggage fell out!

The driver smiled. I cheered. We high-fived. I thanked him and rolled both suitcases in, very relieved.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Update Soon...

It's 2am on Tuesday and we just returned home from California. Naturally, our luggage did not arrive with us. Oh, the perils of jet setting and vacationing in exotic locales. I will post pictures and stories from our trip this week.

By the way, this is the 100th post for Itty Bitty! A small, yet important feat for me in the blogging world. I planned to write something more fabulous to celebrate the momentuous occasion... oh, well.

All I can muster at this hour is, "Welcome home!"

Friday, August 22, 2008

Neil Still Rules

My parents visited this past weekend. On Thursday AND Friday we joined crowds to sing our favorite songs and dance the nights away at the Neil Diamond concert in Madison Square Garden. Yes, nights. We saw Neil TWO times in TWO days. My dad “accidentally” purchased the same tickets twice. Some might call us crazy, but we prefer “die hard fans.”

I prepared Ben for the concert, for what I knew was coming thanks to seeing Neil perform in Columbus, Ohio eight years ago… an audience with a median age of 55 years and a packed wheelchair section. As expected, not much had changed in almost a decade.

We laughed as the crowd danced to several songs, capitalizing on the opportunity to get the circulation moving again in their legs. Without an intermission, they forwent beer and got their caffeine fix with Coke. With such a tame crowd, we were shocked when someone lit a doobie during “Forever in Blue Jeans.” Who knew?

I suppose Neil assumed that fans rarely attend two concerts in two nights, so he found no reason to improvise and change up his routine. After the first night, we had memorized his act and on the second night we lip synced and pantomimed his every move, even down to his best line for the audience seated behind him, “Did they actually make you pay for these seats?”

Oh, Neil. You are good. “So good, so good.”

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

View from the Bottom

Looking up from under the stairs at the Apple store on 5th Avenue.

Monday, August 18, 2008

New 'Tude

I’ve now got the ‘tude. The attitude that helps keeps me afloat in the big city. For awhile, I avoided the ‘tude, kept it at bay. But, after time, the ‘tude crept under my skin and in my blood. Now, it owns me.

I walk around the city like I own it, with a straight and unblinking poker face. I walk like a badass. If not, people will chew me up and spit me out. Literally, they will walk all over me… and then take my wallet while I dust myself off.

At first, I felt bad about my new ‘tude. But, now I like it. Where ever I go, I don’t look scared and confused. I look like I own the place. I don’t walk around any neighborhood, with an anxious look on my face. Instead, I stare straight ahead. Sometimes I nod my head at a passing pedestrian and my lips may curve into a little smile. But, only when necessary.

New Yorkers don’t walk around and wave and smile at every person. They’re tough, forward, and pretty badass. Much like my new self.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Riverside Park

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Project Runway

We don’t own a full length mirror, so I depend on Ben to tell me which shoes look better, which purse completes my outfit. I look to him for advice when undecided between two outfits. I rely on his ability to recognize a fashion faux pas.

I thought that I had done a better job.

As we perused the weekend sales at Macys on Saturday, I noticed a trend with the clothes Ben picked out for me. The common thread being that they were all atrocious.

Shirts covered in glitter and sequins. Shorts with a half inch inseam and dresses only to be worn when working the corner. Where did I go wrong?

Apparently, my goal to create a mini (heterosexual) Michael Kors was a wee bit high. Classy and clean just can’t compete with short and flashy. Sigh.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Riverside Park

Ben at Riverside Park along the Hudson River, several blocks from our apartment.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Eye on the Budget

Ben noticed that I stick the budget pretty well. When he says, “We CANNOT spend money.” I listen.

But, when he says, “We’re doing okay”… I see a little room for leniency. The extra cash comes in handy if I find a scarf on sale or a chocolate cupcake in a cafĂ© window. After a “few” small purchases, Ben reels me back in with, “We CANNOT spend any more money.”

But, last night at the grocery store, I saw the budget bend for several of Ben’s whims. When I picked up a carton of organic blackberries for $1.68 to pack in my lunchbox for work, Ben said, “Are you sure we need those? You will eat them, right?”

Yet, when we looked for dinner and compared prices between generic and name brand foods, other items somehow made it into our cart. Like a large jar of pickles for $3.99 and a tub of cottage cheese for $2.99. Suddenly, I couldn’t understand why I got called out for a $1.68 tub of blackberries when Ben, the Budget Master, got to toss whatever he fancied into the basket.

So, I asked him about it.

He nervously laughed and said, “Oh, babe. I was just kidding. You CAN get those blackberries. I just wanted these for snacks.”

Oh, I see. That’s how it works.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Happy Anniversary

On Saturday, we celebrated our first wedding anniversary with dinner at the historic Four Seasons and the Broadway play Spring Awakening. Our night started with a cab ride to the Four Seasons located on 52nd between Park and Lexington. A taxi sounded much nicer than the subway, which retains heat like the Sahara or a sauna this time of year.

We arrived at the Four Seasons where a gentleman opened our cab door and escorted us inside. We walked up a flight of stairs where a host wrote our name, table number, and unbeknownst to us, a note that told our waiter it was our anniversary. On our way to the “romantic corner table”, we walked past an authentic Picasso art piece that stretched from floor to ceiling.

We browsed the menu and wine list, which included copies of photographs that featured former Four Seasons patrons President John F. Kennedy and President Bill Clinton. In 1962, Marilyn Monroe sang her famous rendition of “Happy Birthday” to President Kennedy at the Four Seasons.

The dinner was delicious, but more important than the taste, was the way we were treated. The service was incredible. Giuseppe, our waiter, surprised us with strawberry ice cream topped with a one foot tall pink cotton candy tower and a candle on top to celebrate our first year wedding anniversary. Apparently, a lot of the other guests came to celebrate special occasions because almost half of the tables nibbled on mountains of cotton candy.

On Sunday, we woke up and looked at each other. We twirled our rings and smiled at the thought of being not only best friends for life, but partners as well. We’ve done a lot, and it’s been one experience after another. So much has happened as newlyweds in New York. I can only imagine what the upcoming year has in store.

Happy Anniversary!