Saturday, October 31, 2009

Tips to Navigate Public Transportation: Tip #5

TIP #5

Hold on to the pole. You do not have the balance of a tightrope walker. If you stand hands-free, I guarantee that you will fall into or onto someone the second the subway jerks or stops. You won’t get yelled at because it was an accident, but you won’t be liked. So, grab a pole and don't let go!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Tips to Navigate Public Transportation: Tip #4

TIP #4

When there are two seats side-by-side and perpendicular to the window, do NOT sit in the outside seat and block access to the inside seat. This creates a waste of space, a waste of a seat, and lots of dirty looks from the people standing and wish to be in that comfy seat. I, for one, have worked on a dirty look saved especially for seat hogs who commit the aforementioned atrocity, a look which expresses my contempt for their obliviousness (or selfishness). Trust me, you do not want to see my look. So, scoot over!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Tips to Navigate Public Transportation: Tip #3

TIP #3

When you sit down on a bus or subway, don't take up TWO seats - one for you and one for your bag(s). Confine yourself to one space unless there is plenty of room to sprawl out. Nobody likes the person who takes one seat for themselves and then another for their bag or briefcase. Your inanimate object is tired and needs a place to rest too? Really? Because I'm pretty sure that my legs would appreciate it a lot more.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tips to Navigate Public Transportation: Tip #2

TIP #2

When you get on a bus or a subway, don’t dilly dally in the front and mosey around looking for a seat. That wastes time and annoys everyone behind you because you clog the entrance and prompt people to shout unruly things at you. Plus, everyone already seated or standing automatically assumes you are a tourist. And, honestly, who wants to look like a tourist?

Head straight for the nearest open standing area or seat and sit down. My blood pressure skyrockets when people stop in the entrance and cause the doors to close with people still waiting outside. People that could have easily squeezed in the extra space! It's a double doozie for those left behind when running late, or when it's cold and rainy.

Ben and I once got separated on the subway because a family of tourists stopped in the doorway of the subway car, which inevitably pushed Ben back onto the platform. The doors closed before Ben could squeeze on, and I limply waved bye to Ben as the train took off. Ben shrugged his shoulders and we exchanged a look of understanding as the train zoomed down the track and left him on the platform as I rode to the next station. Trust me when I say that those tourists received no warm and fuzzy smiles from me. Pretty sure I rolled my eyes and sighed extra obnoxiously loud just to get my point across... okay, so I didn't really do the second part, but I thought about it.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tips to Navigate Public Transportation

The lack of bus and subway etiquette in New York can drive me bonkers. Most New Yorkers have it, some fail to adhere to it, and tourists have no clue about it. Public transportation etiquette is the epitome of a smooth commute; therefore, a smooth day. I dedicate this week’s posts to the “Do’s and Don’ts” of commuting via the MTA in New York City.

Consider these tips a shout-out to all New Yorkers who DON’T do this and should, and to all vacationers who want to blend better into the city scene and lessen their chances of getting yelled at by a native.

Check back each day for a mini-manners lesson.

TIP #1

When getting on a bus or a subway, have your metrocard ready to swipe at the machine. Don’t wait and pull it out at the last second unless you have a quick draw. It’s irritating when someone clogs an entrance into the subway because they didn’t have their metrocard ready. It usually elicits a rumble of grunts and sighs from a backup of rushed commuters. Keep in mind that a daily commute of 45-60 minutes to work is not uncommon (Ben and I do it), so many find that minor interruption bothersome.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Catching a New York Giants game on a Sunday night!

Friday, October 23, 2009


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Bedbug Update

We still do NOT have bedbugs and we keep our fingers crossed that it stays that way. I wrote a post about bedbugs last week and, ironically, Monday's cover story in am NEW YORK was "The Bug Apple". The news article reported an increase of bedbugs in the city. Coincidence? I think not.

The paper mentioned that bedbug infestations in the city are on the rise, and that bedbugs can spread to businesses, theaters, hospitals, offices, schools, buses, and subways. Eeeeeeewww! As soon as I read that I gave my seat-mate on the subway a sidelong glance and indiscreetly scooted further down the row of seats. Can't be too careful nowadays.

The article also mentioned that bedbugs are active at night given that they are nocturnal creatures. They feed on humans and animals. Sick. These bedbugs give a whole new meaning to the phrase "the city that never sleeps."

To leave you with one more interesting fact, just a little something to whet your appetite for a future trip to the Big Apple... bedbugs can survive up to 18 months without food and can be found anywhere in the home - cracks in the wall, couches, books, clothing, and even electrical outlets. I venture to guess that the home invaders would LOVE to try somewhere new and use your suitcase to get there. Welcome to New York!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Guess Who

I took the picture below (posted earlier today) with my iPhone in the main concourse area of Grand Central around 8:30 this morning on my way to meet friends. The picture turned out relatively clear considering I took it with a cell phone and my eyes half closed from getting up so early. After some detective work and inside tips, I found out that they were filming a TV spot starring... Donald Trump! He actually stood about 10 feet away from me, and I swear that we made eye contact. Coincidentally, this is my second sighting of the Donald! The man gets around. I have only one thing to say about him... he sure has a great tan.

Something exciting is going on in Grand Central on this Sunday morning at 8am! Will do my best detective work to find out.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The World Is Our Runway

This past weekend, Ben and I joined 13 friends from college for a little reunion at our ole' stomping grounds. Ben snapped this picture of three of us girls on our way out of the horse races after an afternoon of betting, drinking, and eating our winnings away. This picture captures the day well - we were exhausted but excited, full but ready for Rincon Mexicana, broke but still looking like a million bucks. Thank goodness for good friends.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

House Guests

We’ve survived 1000-legged bugs. We’ve survived Amazonian roaches. And, now, it looks like we may have possibly, potentially, avoided a case of… bedbugs.

Yes, bedbugs are real. The old childhood saying, “Sleep tight and don’t let the bedbugs bite”, is not so cute anymore. A New Yorker’s greatest fear could include an infestation of bedbugs in their apartment. It sounds funny, but is a total nightmare.

Fortunately, we have not experienced that torture firsthand… yet. But, I do fear the day that some more unwanted houseguests might migrate over the threshold of our door and into fabrics of our clothes, furniture, and mattresses.

Bedbugs travel into apartments from items picked up on the sidewalks, going to a house that has bedbugs, or by mysteriously traveling from apartment to apartment in buildings. Much. Like. Our. Building.

Two weeks ago, we met our new neighbors, two cute girls that live across the hallway from us. During our first conversation ever, our neighbor mentions that they just exterminated their apartment for bedbugs! Apparently, the apartment below our apartment, the apartment below their apartment, AND their apartment all got bedbugs. Yikes! The odds are not in our favor.

I tried to appear unaffected and not freaked out, but once I started to hyperventilate in a paper bag, she cut the conversation short and summed it up with, “Well, I need to go get our curtains out of the laundry.” Because, we soon learned, EVERYTHING must be washed in hot water, dried in high heat, dry cleaned, steamed, and the apartment exterminated to kill the bedbugs. Then, all furniture must be cleaned to rid the apartment of any eggs or leftover bugs.

The work and the pricetag… wait… give me a second… just gotta grab my brown bag and calm down…


Luckily, LUCKILY, it’s been 2.5 weeks and there have been NO bedbug sightings in our apartment. Each day, I check all nooks and corners, and behind the couch and bed. I scream if I even THINK that I see something move. And, every night, I pray and ask God to please, please, please let me sleep tight and not let any bedbugs bite.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Interesting Approach

The red SUV on Riverside Drive appeared normal until a closer inspection revealed an interesting sign on the passenger side window...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


I don’t know much about computers, so I ask Ben for help. I first TRY to figure it out on my own, but usually lose unsaved information or delete a program. I basically screw things up when left unsupervised. So, I ask Ben to help me.

But, I go CRAZY when Ben wants help and asks for the location of things in our apartment before even looking. Where is the paper? Where is my hair gel? Where are my sunglasses? And, just last night… where are the measuring cups?

WHERE DO YOU THINK?!?! (I yell in my head). Where do people usually keep measuring cups… in the KITCHEN! There are only TWO drawers in our entire 3x3 foot kitchen, so there is a pretty good chance that they are in there.

But, I don’t yell that. Instead, in a calm voice, I say, “Why, the measuring cups are in the back of the drawer that is next to the stove, babe.”

But, in my head, I continue with… And your sunglasses? In the nightstand drawer where they have been for two years. Your hair gel? On top of the dresser in the bedroom in full view AND where I placed it after I unpacked your toiletry bag from vacation that you left sitting on the bed.

We live in the same 2½ room apartment. There are only so many places for things to hide. Next time I suggest that Ben look (just a little) before asking or I take some St. John's Wort.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Storytelling Festival

I took this picture of a storyteller as she prepared to go on stage at the Storytelling Festival held in our hometown and put on by my mother-in-law. This picture doesn't show it, but those that attended waited out cloudy skies and mini-monsoons to see their favorite performers. The rain may have dampened the air, but not the excitement of the audience or the energy of the stories told in the tent.