Friday, August 27, 2010

Speaking of AC units...

We once had two window AC units, one in the living room and one in the bedroom.  The bedroom unit broke in June.  Its absence left us with an insatiable thirst for cold air at the beginning of one of the hottest summers New York City has seen in the last seven years.

We wanted to resign our lease in August before we plunked down money for a new AC.  We decided to survive without an AC in the bedroom for the next two months. That proved to be impossible in 95-degree weather.

So, we blew up an air mattress and camped out every night in the living room under the cold air of our ONE working AC. We decided to enjoy the experience. We pretended that sleeping on an air mattress was like camping or being on vacation. 

In August, after we resigned the lease, we searched for a new AC. We no longer wanted to sleep in a bed that rested four inches off of the ground and deflated during the night. We went to Bed, Bath, & Beyond and bought the very last AC unit they had left in stock. 

It was fate.

We carried the heavy AC unit to a waiting taxi that dropped us off at the corner a half a block from our apartment building.  Ben carried it inside and up the elevator to the fifth floor.  We put it together and plugged it in wall.  We then waited for the room to fill the room with frosty air.

We enjoyed the AC unit for two, TWO, nights before we awoke to a machine gun, lawnmower explosion sound.  Our AC broke.  Broke!

I waited silently in bed and didn’t move. I hardly breathed and waited for Ben’s response. I suppressed a laugh and knew that Ben was probably about to go crazy. Luckily, he was so disoriented from sleeping that I don’t think the he grasped what happened until the next morning when we awoke to a hot and humid room.

I double-checked the AC again yesterday just to be sure. Still broken. Our one shot, our last chance for cool air that promised nights of good sleep is gone. Guess we’ll have to sweat it out until next year.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Keeping Cold

Most New York apartments don’t have central air conditioning. Most New York apartments use window AC units. Not what you would expect, right?  

It's certainly not what I expected when I first moved here. For some reason, I imagined EVERY apartment to be modern and cutting edge, to have the best and newest of everything. After all, it is New York. 

Newer apartments (usually pricey ones) do have central air, but most cute and charming (read between the lines... old) places don't. I guess I never considered the fact that many apartments were built before central air.  But, after living here, window AC units make sense. They're affordable and an easy fix. 

So, although Ben and I can't boast about the luxury of having central air, we can boast about having a true New York experience of living in old buildings and sweating through summers together.

Perspective, people, perspective.

The first and second pictures show what a typical window AC unit looks like.

The third and fourth pictures demonstrate the popularity of AC units in a typical apartment building in NYC.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Celebrity Sighting... Again

Amazingly, I saw yet another celebrity! Yes, another celebrity. Even I can't believe my luck these past couple of weeks.  

Yesterday, my girlfriend and I enjoyed a cup of gelato on a bench outside a little bakery on the Upper East Side. I noticed an attractive lady walking toward the bakery while we chatted.  She walked right in front of us and then into the bakery. It was Kelly Rutherford.  She plays Lily van der Woodsen on the hit TV show Gossip Girl.

I loved Gossip Girl for about two seasons, and I'm only slightly embarrassed to admit that. The show was about rich high schoolers with crazy lives from the Upper East Side. It took place in New York so I had to watch it. It was my duty as a New Yorker.

I also watched Gossip Girl for research purposes. The show taught me cool places to take visitors when they stay with us. I equated watching Gossip Girl to taking a bus tour of the city or reading Zagat books. The show helped me become a better hostess and tour guide.


Anyway, here is Kelly Rutherford...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


People always ask how and why I have seen so many celebrities in the city.  Two reasons... 1) I wander the streets during the weekday when a lot of them are filming or shopping, and 2) I have eagle eyes with which to spot them.

Celebrities go out when most people don't.  They hit the clubs and restaurants on off nights.  They shop during the week when most people are at work.  Most of them, surprising, don't really care to be noticed.  I learned all of this when unemployed with lots of free time on my hands.  I see it happening again now that I have the summer off from work.

I do pride myself on my ability to recognize someone from a distance or when dressed down as a "civilian".  One of my most impressive sightings was when I spotted John Slattery from across the street and about 1.5 blocks away.  What can I say?  I'm good.

Last week, I walked to the grocery store and passed the film set for Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.  I've never watched the show, but I know many people love it.  I snapped a picture of the set with my iPhone and realized that I got a picture with one of the lead actors in it - Christopher Meloni who plays Detective Elliot Stabler.  He's the guy in the middle of the picture wearing a black sleeveless shirt and a gray tie talking on a cell phone.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Parked Cars

I have written over and over about how important space is in the city. How can it not be? There are so many people and cars and buildings crammed onto one small island. Below is another example of how New Yorkers work creatively with limited space.

A number of people drive into the city for work. They have to park somewhere, but parking garages are not that common and finding a spot on the street is difficult. Instead, New York has small parking lots where they use "lifts" to stack cars on top of each other to increase the number of cars that can be parked in one space.   

Below are two pictures of two different parking lots in the city that show how many cars they can fit into a small area.   

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

When The Stars Align

I just ran into the one celebrity who all girls my age wanted to be and all boys my age dreamed about when kids… Tiffani-Amber Thiessen!  She played one of the main characters on the hit TV show Saved By The Bell.  She was the one and only Kelly Kapowski. KELLY KAPOWSKI!

I was waiting for the light to change at 67th and Broadway when I noticed a really tall, muscular man standing with a baby stroller across the street on the opposite corner.  He was so big that I knew he wasn’t just any regular guy, but I didn’t recognize him. I immediately looked for his wife who was standing next to him.  I couldn’t tell who she was because she was too far away, but I got the weird feeling that they weren’t just any normal couple.

The light changed and I weaseled through the crowd so that I would be within an arm’s length of them when we passed.  I realized who she was before even reaching her.  My body shook with excitement and I couldn’t mask the goofy smile on my face. It took complete self-control to not shout out the most famous cheer that she often led with Zach during the show…

B-B-B-B-B, B-B-B-B-B, Go Bayside!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Summer Fun

My life is pretty perfect.

First (and this reason alone makes everyone insanely jealous), I only work two days a week this summer. And, I hardly count it as two days because I only work two hours on one of those days.  Incredible, I know.

I knew people wouldn't like me because of my summer schedule, but I'm amazed at the number of people that really hate me.  At first, I felt bad.  I felt guilty for having so much free time.  But, I got over that and I don’t feel bad anymore.  I actually feel pretty AWESOME.

This is where I triumphantly pump my fists into the air.

People roll their eyes and scoff at my schedule, but I don't get offended.  They are just so consumed with envy that they can't help themselves. I can empathize.  I usually sigh and shake my head to show that I understand their predicament.  I offer advice and say, “Become a teacher.”  They then usually say something about not liking children.  Well, I can’t do anything about that.  So, I return to the morning paper, sip my pina colada, and enjoy my break.

I am traveling almost every weekend this summer.  I have the time to visit people that I normally would not get to see.  It also helps that they live in all of the right places- Cape Cod, North Carolina, Kentucky, Arkansas, Indiana. I plan to earn enough frequent flyer mile points to cover my trips for next summer. 

I have to give props to Ben. He is fantastic.  He encourages me to take trips to see friends even when he has to work.  He doesn't get mad when he can't get ahold of me at noon because I'm at the beach. He happily listens to stories about mid-day trips to the movies or lunch dates. He's the best. He's very supportive of my lifestyle.

Oops! It’s 11:30am.  I better get out of these pajamas and do something.  Then, I can say I did more than just write this blog post.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

It's Getting Hot In Here

My husband was a good sport the other day.  He let me photograph him to practice and improve my skills.  Here are some of my favorite pictures.

Sorry, ladies, this stud is taken.