Sunday, February 27, 2011

City Love

My brother visited us for the first time since I moved to New York City. New visitors are nice because I once again get to experience the city with fresh eyes. Old, everyday routine things become interesting again.

My brother noticed details that used to fascinate me, but I now overlook. He marveled at the size of skyscrapers and the construction that went into building them. Each time we went into the subway he noted the arched ceilings, the girth of the steel beams, and the speed of the trains.  He liked the number of people always on the street, no matter the time.  All things that I love about the city, but take for granted.

Sometimes it takes a new perspective to reinvigorate my appreciation of what's around me.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Full House

On Superbowl Sunday, eighteen friends watched the game at our place.  Eighteen! Talk about a full house.

Our apartment, though roomier than the first two places, still lacks lots of space. Fortunately, our friends didn't mind and they happily squeezed into any available spot. Four nudged onto the loveseat. Two plopped on the floor. Eight settled into chairs. One hopped on a barstool. One rested on a big pillow. One sat on a step stool. And, one stood.

I never doubted that everyone would fit into our 11x19 ft room. But, Ben... he stressed just a little about everyone's comfort level. Despite limited space, the party was a success and felt very "New York". Nowhere else in the U.S. would it be normal for that many adults to be in the same room of this size.

Hopefully, everyone had a great time. If needed, we'll lure them back next year with the chili cheese dip. Here's to Superbowl XLVI in 2012.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Spring Is Coming

Yesterday, the sky wrapped New York City in a beautiful shade of blue.  The temperature reached 60 degrees.  That combination meant perfect weather for happy hour with the girls at work.

At happy hour, we noticed how the signs of spring were bringing pleasant changes to the city.  People traded apartments for parks. Strangers laughed and smiled, their faces visible when no longer hidden behind scarves and hats. People sat outside to eat at restaurants. A man at our restaurant actually held the door open for me.  Held the door open!

Of course, the niceties will be short lived.  It’s supposed to be 40 degrees tomorrow with a chance of snow sometime this week.  But, the good weather definitely whetted a few New York appetites for the coming of spring.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

My New Schtick

I’ve learned a lot of new words since moving to New York, specifically a lot of Yiddish words.  I’ve expanded my vocabulary. Added a little flavor to what I say.

I hear words like kvetch, chutzpah, yenta, oy vey, and mensch quite a bit.  Although, I feel I lack the pizzazz and authority to pull them off in normal conversation.  I have incorporated a few into my daily speech. 

Like the word schlep, which I use at least several times a week.  In New York, we use the word schlep to refer to our grueling commutes around the city.  For example, “I schlepped home from work in the rain with three bags of groceries.”  Schlep really gets the point across to people.  We don’t walk or stroll, we schlep.  I also like to throw in a jubilant mazel tov when appropriate, which isn’t too often, but often enough for me to include in this post.

Since moving to New York, I’ve munched on bagels with lox, eaten latkes, schmoozed at parties, and shook my tukhus on the dance floor.  I’ve dealt with a schmuck or two on the street and have participated in Shabbat on several occasions.  I’ve listened to people spiel about things, and once saw a stranger’s schlong (totally by accident on the way to the subway).

The new vocabulary really suits me.   It makes me feel very “New York”.  I think a few of these words will transition into a permanent part of my vocabulary.  Yes, that’s right.  I will make it a part of my schtick.  

* Check out wikipedia for the definitions of the Yiddish words mentioned above if they elude you.  

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Say That Again

I happened to walk into a classroom when the teacher was reading a book about a famous baseball player from Louisville, Kentucky. Except, she pronounced Louisville as "Looeyville."

Uh, oh.  Definite out-of-towner.  I had to interject.

I announced to the class that a true Kentuckian says "Looavul" or even "Luhvul," but not "Looeyville."  The teacher tried again, and I gave her credit.  She tried.  She bravely attempted a southern accent, but it still didn't work.  It just sounded like "LooEville."

Perhaps only those from the heart of the Bluegrass can really say it just right.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Mistaken Identity

Here is another post dedicated to the Second Avenue Select Bus Service...

On Monday, I settled into a bus seat and popped in my earbuds to relax to some good music. Unexpectedly, I felt someone tap my leg. I looked up to see an unfamiliar man in a dark hat, coat, and gloves. He mouthed something unintelligible and, what I assumed to be, unimportant.  Annoyed, I gave him a dirty look and returned to my phone.  No way was I going to interrupt my music and waste my time on a strange man.

A few minutes later I felt another tap on my leg.  I looked up to see the same man standing there. I reluctantly removed my headphones, expecting him to say something inappropriate or weird.

"I am with the MTA (Metropolitan Transportation Authority) checking valid bus tickets.  Please get out your ticket," he said.

Oops.  He wasn't a strange man on a mission to bother me or ruin my day.  Nope.  He was just an employee of the city doing his job.

That's when I realized just how hardened of a New Yorker I've become.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Last Friday, a girlfriend and I took the M15 bus down Second Avenue.  The bus was barreling toward our destination when it stopped suddenly and we heard the engine turn off while in the middle of the lane.  All of the passengers, including myself, groaned in annoyance. 

Then, a lady in the front yelled that the bus driver was sick and couldn’t drive.  Another bus would pick us up.  Everyone looked at each other in confusion.  Then, another person yelled to check out the driver as he ran into the emergency room at the hospital across the street.

I stared out the window and, sure enough, I saw him running for the double doors of the hospital.  My girlfriend, a Midwesterner, and I, a Southerner, immediately worried about the fate of the bus driver. What happened?  Was he okay?

But, a few of the rough ‘n’ tough, born and bred New Yorkers were not so worried.  One woman bellowed from her seat, “I’m not moving out of this %$#@ing seat until he gets back from the $%#ing hospital.” 

Never mess with New Yorkers during their commutes. 

* I snapped this photo with my phone as we filed out of the bus and into the street.  Some people ran down the street.  Some caught cabs.  And, some stayed on the bus.