Wednesday, 31 October 2007


Okay, I’ll admit the title of this post is sooooooo lame, unfortunately I can’t do any better I’m overworked and lacking inspiration. Nine days to my hols and counting!! Whoo hoo!!!

So, a happy Halloween to you, I hope, unlike me, you’re going to do something fun tonight. I've been debating the merits of stopping by the
Halloween parade in the village this evening, but quite frankly I don’t think I can be arsed. I’ve not been sleeping well this week so I’m in too crabby a mood to deal with the crowds, however if you are ever in New York on Halloween and of a sunnier disposition than I am at this moment then I definitely recommend stopping by to see it, it's a great parade. In fact, even better, you could join in, since this particular parade, unlike most of the others in the city, is a free for all. Absolutely ANYONE can join in as long as they’re in costume; you just have to turn up at the staging area at 6th Ave. and Spring St between 6.30pm and 8pm and as long as you’re all gussied up you’re in.

I did it myself a few years back; I joined a friend and a gaggle of her friends as a 1960s Tom Jones groupie – a very easy costume, mini dress, boots, big hair and Dusty Springfield style make up. We screamed and danced along in the parade behind ‘Tom’ – the husband of one of the women who was the spit of the Welsh singing sensation – throwing our knickers at him – we each had multiple pairs of lacy ones attached by elastic to our wrists - as he lip synched to Tom’s hits in his best Tom Jones costume - tight black trousers, shirt open to his navel and a glistening gold medallion resplendent on a rug of fake chest hair. He had the groin thrusting down pat. It was a very fun night and I’d say that if you can actually get your act together to be in the parade, it’s a much better way to enjoy the festivities since you don’t have to deal with the jostling crowds of spectators.

Of course festivities aren’t just restricted to the parade; there’ll be people in fancy dress all over town this evening and there were a lot interestingly dressed people on the subway this morning, many looking like they were half in costume already. I was trying to work out whether the woman next to me – in vivid orange skirt and matching tights – was making a fashion statement, or whether her outfit formed the basis of some pumpkin themed costume she’d be wearing later on. Whatever the reason it was an outfit that was a tad too bright for my bleary sleep deprived eyes at 7.30am in the morning. I also heard on the radio that dressing as Amy Winehouse is expected to be a popular choice this year - it was all about pirates last year - so I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for beehives on the way home. In the meantime i've nabbed some pics of Halloween 2006 from NewYorkDailyPhoto - a blog I love to bits - for your viewing pleasure. If you are interested in seeing more photos I highly recommend checking out NYDP's Flickr site here. It's fab!! Have a good one!!

Sunday, 28 October 2007

The Mating Game

This post probably isn't what you thought it might be about given its title - although I am still playing the mating game with ol' teetotal, chick flick loving Tel Aviv - TCFLTA for short - I just haven't gotten around to writing about it yet, despite his many 'when are you going to blog about ME?' requests. Soon Tel Aviv, soon :-)

Instead this post is a bit of a plug for the band Bitter:Sweet. Not that they need it I'm sure, their music has been everywhere this past year. If you live in America and watch even the smallest amount of TV I don't see how you could have missed them, especially if you watch Grey's Anatomy.

Right now their song, Dirty Laundry, is being used - yet again - to promote 'Samantha Who', a cute wee TV show I'm trying on for size at the moment. I'm quite liking it.

Bitter: Sweet are a fabulous band, I love the whole slinky sound they have going on. For a while they were my band of choice for music to dance around my bedroom. They don't perform in NY very often, they're LA based, although I saw them at Joe's Pub back in February when my gorgeous gay hub - and Andersen Cooper looky likey - Miles was over for a Valentines visit. The lead singer has that whole sexy chanteuse thing going on. Miles and I had quite the girl crush on her. If you've never heard of them I hope you enjoy 'the mating game'.

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Longing for a Pisco Sour

Phew, it’s been a tough week. There just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to get everything done at the moment. I’m working furiously to get through everything before I go off on my hols to Chile in a couple of weeks, but my ‘to do’ list keeps getting longer.

It’s my own fault. I made the mistake of warning people that I’ll be out on holiday in a little over 2weeks so now people are stopping by my desk, smiling sweetly at me and asking, ‘oh but could you just do this project before you go?’

I need to learn how to keep my big mouth shut!!

Unfortunately the whole department is swamped with work at the moment, since, on the plus side, we’ve been fortunate enough to have already met our financial targets for the year. Unfortunately the picture is not so rosy company wide, so there’s a hiring freeze, a company wide hiring freeze, which means our department’s had to absorb a lot of the additional work and hold off on recruiting new staff. It’s not been the most popular decision I can tell you. The team has been slaving away morning noon and night and morale is at an all time low. There’s only so long people will put up with working until 10pm everyday.

I raised the morale issue to my manager at our status this week, and he in turn raised it to our head of department at the directors meeting later the same day. My manager suggested arranging team drinks as a thank you for everyone’s hard work. Unfortunately our head of department was extremely reluctant, saying he felt it was inappropriate when the rest of the company is not doing well. He then went on to brush off the heavy workload as temporary, saying, “I’m sure it will only be for a few more months.”


Ha! Take us for granted much!!

So, let me get this straight, we’ve beaten our revenue target for 2007 by 20%, got the extra work done, despite being 6 people down, and he won’t even take the team out for a beer? Meanwhile, across the hall, his co-head of department seemingly finds the money to whisk his group – albeit a smaller team - out for dinner and karaoke shindigs!! Hmph!!

I was ready to jump across the table and give him a slap in the director’s meeting, but reminded myself I have a vacation to pay for and Christmas presents to buy, so I restrained myself, but I was fuming at his attitude. The man is an idiot!!!

Why is it that senior managers in marketing agencies never think to apply their marketing expertise to the experiences of their staff? They’re always pontificating to clients about how it costs 5times more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an existing one, but do they apply that to their own staff? No, of course they bloody don’t. It would certainly cost his nibs a lot more in recruitment fees to replace even one of the most junior staff members, than it would to buy an appreciatory round of drinks for the whole department, a small, relatively inexpensive gesture which would go a long way in boosting the morale of the team.

Whatever! It would serve him right if everyone quit.

On top of work stress I'm also starting to get a little freaked out this week about the fact that done precisely bugger all to prepare for my upcoming trip to Chile in exactly 2weeks, something that I'd pushed to the back of my mind until an email from Melissa – my travel buddy – landed in my inbox this week.

We booked our flight to Chile about 3months ago and it's a trip I've been interested in ever since I was bitten by the South America bug following a trip to Buenos Aires in 2004. By the way if you’ve never been to Buenos Aires I can’t recommend it enough. It’s a gorgeous city, it’s inexpensive and the people are lovely, although of course they had their fun with me ribbing me about Las Malvinas and Diego Maradona and the hand of God from England vs. Argentina game of the 1986 world cup.

Unfortunately flights to Chile weren't quite as cheap as they were to Argentina, in the vicinity of $1200 over the last few years, and I’d sort of given up on going any time soon, but then something made me look again this year and would you believe it, we got a flight for $680. It was so cheap by comparison to previous years that it made me a bit suspicious, but all seems above board, so I guess we just got lucky.

As part of the trip we’ve been investigating popping down to Patagonia to see the Magellanic penguins and what not, but when we looked into booking the 3hour flight from Santiago to Punta Arenas – apparently the world’s southern most city – it was close to $700. Yes, more expensive than the flight from New York!!! It turns out that you can get cheaper flights, but you tend to have to be in Chile to do it, so we’d resigned ourselves to sorting it out when we arrived in Santiago. That is until Melissa sent me an email on Tuesday saying she thought she’d found a travel agent in Chile that would allow us to book online in the US and the flight would be $300!! Happily we booked it yesterday, which kick started my excitement for the trip. I’ve started trying to refresh my memory of the 2years of Spanish I took in high school, oh a mere 18years ago. Re-learn Spanish in two weeks, that's feasible right?

Last night I set about looking for a hotel room in Punta Arenas…and um….oopsie….no rooms available!! It’s high season and Patagonia is BOOKED!!!


It looks like we may well have to resort to camping out with the penguins. Hmmm these chicks look nice and fluffy, do you think they'd make a nice pillow? :-)

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade

I've been a little bogged down with work this week and haven't had much time to blog, but ,like many places, New York is in full on Halloween mode at the moment and this Saturday sees the 16th Annual Halloween Dog Parade held in Tompkins Square Park in the East Village.

I've never been before, but it looks like a fun event, so I'm going to try and stop by and check out the dogs in their costumed glory. The short video above is of last year's event. Enjoy!!

Saturday, 20 October 2007

The joys of travel

So, no need to pop down and give the bull a tickle for Kim after all. She gave birth to a 7lb 10oz - as yet unnamed - baby boy yesterday. I got the news via text last night when I landed back in NY after my 3day business trip to Florida. I'm looking forward to meeting the little fella when I'm back in England for Christmas in a couple of months time. Speaking of which, can you believe my sister emailed me this week to ask if there's anything in particular I'd like for Christmas? Um....hello, it's still OCTOBER!!!! Honestly!

The business trip went well, although I am happy to be back in New York. We were all a bit worried that we might get stuck down there an extra day, due to the heavy storms that had been forecast for the north east. The weather types seemed very concerned that the storm which caused a freak tornado in Pensacola would travel up to the New York area and cause problems for our flight, but thankfully we dodged that particular bullet and only had a couple of hours delay.

It's hard to believe these days that air travel was ever considered glamorous!! The flight home wasn't too bad, but the flight *to* Florida was not the most fun I've ever had. There were
characters, including the actor Joe Pantoliano - Sopranos, Memento - who I noticed making himself very much at home in the front seat of business class while making my way through to economy. You couldn't miss him in baggage claim at Fort Lauderdale; he was wearing a HUGE stetson. Clearly trying to travel incognito, so that no-one would recognise him ;-)

We also had the full complement of screaming babies - 4 of them, all sat very close to me. I sympathise with the poor little mites I really do, but my God it was quite a cacophony. I almost lost the will to live when they didn't calm down for even a second during the flight. The older guy across the aisle from me dulled the pain by drinking heavily and cranking up the volume on his iPod, occasionally singing along at full volume - Petula Clark's 'downtown'
seemed to be a favourite - clearly oblivious to the fact that he was shouting over his headphones. I think even Joey Pants all the way upfront must have heard him roar his drink orders to the flight attendants. And then there was the woman behind me who thought it perfectly acceptable to put her feet up on my armrest so that her toes - not the prettiest - were inches from my face. Um...hello! Manners!! She then huffed and puffed her annoyance when I asked her to move them.


After that experience on just a 3hour flight I am seriously considering prescription drugs for my 16hour flight down to Chile in a few weeks.

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Hoping for a stroke of luck

I’m flying down to Florida with a team of colleagues today to pay another visit to one of my clients. We’re supposed to be participating in all day brainstorming sessions over the next few days to discuss overhauling some of their existing programs, but we’ve just learned that the primary client, the one who we need to approve any changes, can no longer make it, so we're still going, but the value of the trip is a little up in the air right now.

The situation reminds me of the time a team of us flew out to visit a client in Silicon Valley a few years ago. We were presenting the findings of an analysis we’d spent 6months working on with our client and this was our once in a lifetime opportunity to present to her board of directors. We spent weeks preparing only for an emergency board meeting to be scheduled at the eleventh hour. There we were, all ready to go, with our all singing and dancing presentation and instead of presenting to the powers that be, the holders of the purse strings, we flew all the way out to California only to end up presenting to a team of interns.

Some you win… :-)

Preparing for the brainstorming sessions has been intense, but happily I had a lovely and relaxing weekend to soothe my jangled nerves. I stayed at Tel Aviv’s place for much of it, which was very nice. He has a fabulous, airy apartment in the Financial District, right off Wall St. It’s a neighbourhood I never spent much time in until recently, so I'm enjoying the change of scenery. It’s been touted as an up and coming residential area for the past few years now, although I think they may have even been saying that when I first moved to New York in the summer of 2000. That year, on the hunt for a place to live, I saw a gorgeous 2bedroom apartment in that area on John St, for $3,000 a month, which I considered sharing with 2 other potential housemates I’d met online. We were planning to put up a dividing wall to split the large living room and create a 3rd bedroom, a fairly common practise in New York, but we missed out on the apartment and I ended up taking a share in a large place on the Upper East Side instead. The UES apartment was nice, but nowhere near as beautiful as the downtown place which was in a building newly converted from office space to apartments, something that’s happening a lot down there. Tel Aviv’s apartment building used to be a bank and when they did the conversion they retained the black marble lobby. It’s funny when you first walk in as it still has like a bank like feel even though it’s very plush and on my first visit I remember wondering if I’d entered one of the nearby office buildings by mistake.

One of the reasons we missed out on the beautiful apartment in the Financial District back in 2000 was our hesitation about living in that neighbourhood so another apartment hunter with no such qualms beat us to it. My biggest concern was how lonely the area might feel at night, since, like the city of London, it can feel pretty deserted after office hours, bars and restaurants are few and far between, and as for a place to buy groceries? Forget it. There’s nothing down there, so when I pictured myself living down there I saw myself jittery and jumping at my own shadow on the way home from the pub of a weekend evening.

Seven years later I’ve learned that it’s actually pretty hopping down there, well, comparatively hopping to the tumbleweeds I expected. There still isn't much in the way of bars or restaurants, but at least Fresh Direct - the local online grocery store - delivers to the area and there are tons of people walking around, workers, residents and tourists, my God the area is teeming with tourists. They're everywhere, snapping photos outside the Stock Exchange, draping themselves over the statue of Washington or lining up to rub the bronze bollocks of the Wall St bullock in Bowling Green Park. Apparently bullock bollock stroking is purported to bring good luck. Who knew?

There’s no bear on Wall St, only the bull, and I’d previously assumed this had something to do with the bull being the more optimistic of the two symbols of the financial markets, and that traders were likely a sufficiently superstitious bunch to not be too keen to risk a run of financial hardship by the presence of such an ominous symbol, however a quick peek on
Wikipedia reveals a more interesting back story…

“The sculpture, however, was not commissioned by the city as a work of public art. Rather, Di Modica created it on his own (at a personal cost of some $360,000) and installed it in December 15, 1989 as "guerrilla art", trucking it to Lower Manhattan and placing it in front of the New York Stock Exchange as a Christmas gift to the people of New York.”

I’m just trying to picture the scene with the artist – in my mind wearing a beret, smock and clutching a paint palette and bearing more than a passing resemblance to Peter Sellers playing Inspector Clouseau – trundling along in a big lorry in the middle of the night on a stealth mission to drop off a 7000lb bronze bull on Broadway :-)

Wikipedia goes on to say…

“The police seized the illegal sculpture and placed it into an impound lot. In response to the public outcry favo(u)ring the sculpture, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation re-installed it several blocks away to its current location in the plaza at Bowling Green where it faces up Broadway”

And they’ve been fondling his testicles ever since

Speaking of luck, my friend Kimberley in London could do with a bit of that at the moment. The baby she’s expecting is more than a week overdue and the delay is driving her crazy. She’s trying every 'old wives cure in the book to try and bring on labour as the alternative is that she'll be induced, something that is apparently more than a little bit painful. Yes…worse than childbirth!!! She’s been eating fresh pineapple, taking hot baths, going for long walks, and engaging in vigorous sex – something she claims is not so easy for a woman of her current dimensions. She’s saving her final weapon - the fiery hot curry - until Wednesday night, so fingers crossed it does the trick. However if the curry doesn’t work and the baby is still a no show by the time I’m back from Florida, I think I’ll pop down to Wall St and give the bull a tickle on Kim’s behalf. You never know ;-)

Top Photo Credit: Rithviks @ Flickr
Above Photo Credit: "Tourists & The Bull" Dahliapics @ Flickr

Friday, 12 October 2007

There’s a spy in our midst

Tel Aviv cottoned on to the fact that I have a blog some time ago. We were having a conversation about whether our jobs were fulfilling – Tel Aviv LOVES his job – and I admitted that my job doesn’t really do it for me. However instead of thinking about retraining to do something else, I focus on using my spare time, limited though that is at the moment, to focus on more fulfilling pursuits.

“Like what,” he asked.
“Well I like to write and I salsa dance.”
“You write? Do you have a blog?”
“Um…yes I do”
“What’s it about?”
“It’s all about me” I responded with a laugh.
“Can I read it?”
“Not just yet. I’ll let you read it when I know you better.”
“Am I in it?”
“Well…sort of. I reference you, but not really. I don’t tend to talk about who I am dating, so at best you’re a peripheral character”
“Peripheral? But I WANT you to write about ME”

Not the reaction I was expecting. In fact I’ve generally been led to believe by various bits of dating advice that letting the cat out of the bag about your blog is the kiss of death to most relationships, clearly not in Tel Aviv’s case.

That conversation occurred about a month ago and since then there’s been an occasional request from Tel Aviv to see my blog, but I’ve always batted his requests away and told him I’d share the link with him when I was good and ready. He changed tack recently and asked if I would at least share something I’d written with him. I kind of suspected where this was heading, but this week I pasted a copy of a post into an email and sent it to him.

Today I was looking at the Google Analytics tracking of my blog and noticed a visitor who searched on the term:

"I've been biting my tongue and trying to be patient, but i was definitely getting bored of"

A line from my very first post, the very same post I emailed to a certain someone earlier this week. This same visitor spent a whopping 37minutes reading my blog.

Hmmmm. How very curious. Who on earth could it be?

Tel Aviv you are SOOOOOO BUSTED!!!

Although I can’t say I didn’t totally expect he’d resort to these sneaky tactics. I would have done the same. Good thing I’ve switched on the comments moderation ;-)

Thursday, 11 October 2007

Ok so it's a bit mushy...

...but I love this guy's voice. The song is Dream Catch Me by Newton Faulkner. I find his voice very soothing in my current stressed out state. Well, okay I'll admit it, I'm always stressed, it has little to do with work. Hey, give me a break, I'm a Gemini, I'm ruled by my nerves. Actually I don't believe in all that astrology gubbins, but if there's one characteristic of Geminis that holds true for me it's the ruled by her nerves thing. I'd love to be laid back and mellow, but it's never going to happen. Fortunately songs like this have something of a momentarily calming effect. Enjoy!!

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Isn’t it supposed to be autumn already?

Monday was a holiday in the US, for some at least. Columbus Day is an odd holiday in that not everyone I know gets the day off. In fact I’d say that nigh on half my friends work for companies that don’t take it as a holiday, including poor old Tel Aviv, so for those friends it’s business as usual. Thankfully that’s not the case with the company I work for, so technically I was blissfully free of responsibilities for an extra 24hours. I say technically as I had intended to come into the office for a few hours on Monday to try and clear a few bits and pieces from my plate - I’m still up to my eyeballs - but when Monday came I just couldn’t face it and accepted an invitation for a lovely lunch with Nigel at Morandi instead to catch up on the latest goss on his love life - single handedly keeping afloat that one, he goes on so many dates. Suffice to say I paid the price yesterday by having to work until 11pm, but it was well worth it to have a 3day weekend. It made me realise just how much I need a break. Happily I have a trip to Chile to look forward to in just under a month. I cannot wait, although with only a few weeks left I’d better knuckle down and brush up on my Spanish pronto.

As for New York, well, it’s been too damn hot for me recently; it was 80-odd degrees at the weekend and very humid, completely inappropriate weather for New York in October in my opinion, when it’s supposed to be in the 50s or 60s. I’m supposed to be flouncing around in cute fall clothes right about now, not rummaging around on the top of my wardrobe to retrieve the summer togs I put away a few weeks back when it briefly turned nippy out. I’m not the biggest fan of summer in general, well that’s not strictly true, I do like it and I enjoy it for a few months, but I love the seasons and come September I’m more than happy to see summer make way for autumn, hands down my favourite time of year, unfortunately for a moment it didn’t look as if autumn was about to happen and I was worried we’d go straight from summer to winter as we seemed to do last year, however it’s raining today, so perhaps I’ll get my wish and we’ll see a break in the heat and a return to more normal temperatures in a few days and I can bust out the fall clothes and let the flouncing commence :-)

My friend Melissa isn’t a big fan of hot weather either, so the two of us were a couple of moaning minnies traipsing around in the heat and humidity for Open House New York on Saturday. It was a fun day though; we pretty much stuck to checking out a few places in and around Chelsea as time didn’t allow us to go much further a field, it’s amazing how long the OHNY tours can take, as you really only get to see a handful of places, so you have to pick your places in advance. This year we toured the meeting rooms of
Grand Masonic Lodge on west 23rd and 6th avenue, which wasn’t as interesting as either of us had hoped – once you’ve seen one overly ornate meeting room you’ve seen them all and disappointingly we didn’t find out about any Masonic secrets or learn any complicated handshakes – followed by a visit to the gardens tucked away in the General Theological Seminary on 9th Avenue and 20th street, that was nice, very peaceful, and open from 9am-3pm every weekend anyway, not only for OHNY, if you are ever in the hood and need a spot to sit and navel gaze in peace - and afterwards stopping for coffee at Ninth St Expresso and a wander around the shops in Chelsea Market, a fairly regular haunt for me, as I have friends in the west village and often stop by 202 restaurant for brunch, but I was gobsmacked to discover that Melissa, a lifelong New Yorker, had never visited. However, by far the best thing we did in my opinion was to take a trip over to see The Encampment’, a large scale art installation, by Thom Sokoloski, of 100 white, illuminated tents pitched on the south end of Roosevelt Island.

According to the blurb from the website…

"The Encampment is a large-scale public participatory art installation. 100 - 19th century luminous tents will be erected as a work of optical art on Roosevelt's Island Southpoint. From 7pm to 7am each night, New Yorkers will be able to view the luminous symmetries of the tents from both sides of the East River, as well as visit the actual site and experience the installations in each of the tents. It proposes an archaeological dig as its metaphor; the search for artifacts is replaced by the search for a collective memory of Roosevelt Island."


I’m not sure I got all that from it, but it was fun wandering around and peeking into the tents, which have different…um…installations I suppose the word would be…inside - I’m not sure what these were supposed to represent – bowl of fruit anyone – but each interior was conceived by a number of different ‘creative collaborators’ who worked on the project with the artist.

Here’s a picture by Robert Bennett for the
New York Times.

The tents are illuminated from 7pm-7am each day to pleasant effect. It was very interesting to see and a gorgeous night to be on Roosevelt Island which has great views of the city and, in my opinion, provides one of the best views you'll ever see of the Chrysler Building, which is often obstructed by other buildings when you’re in Manhattan. It’s definitely worth a quick trip over there for the view, although there’s not much else to see on Roosevelt Island as far as I know, especially now that the tents are gone. It was a brief installation, only up for 3days.

Personally I love a bit of installation art. I’m not sure why, perhaps because it’s something I couldn’t come up with myself. It’s usually so bizarre. I’m hoping to be able to convince Tel Aviv to have a wander around the art galleries in Chelsea this weekend as Rafael Risemberg is leading one of his monthly
best exhibits tours. I love these tours. If you are ever in New York and want to do something different to the usual museums I highly recommend them. It was via Mr Risemberg's best exhibits tour that I came across my favourite installation piece to date, the harmonica playing vacuum cleaners, or, to give it its proper title, ‘Harmonichaos’ by the French artist Celeste Boursier-Mougenot, a sound installation of 13 vacuum cleaners each with a harmonica in their ‘mouth’ that were alternatively set to suck – do you suck a harmonica or blow? I forget – so that they would play a tune of sorts. It was weird, like being in a Dr. Who episode, I kept expecting them to come at me a la the Daleks. It was also a little eerie since it was held in a large windowless back room of the Paula Cooper gallery so it was almost pitch black in there other than the small amount of light coming from the vacuum cleaners and it took a moment for your eyes to adjust. The picture below doesn’t fully capture the effect of being in there in the dark amidst 13 humming vacuum cleaners, but it gives you the gist.

Apparently the piece sold for $200,000!! I think I might have a go at creating something with sweeping brushes when I get home ;-)

Friday, 5 October 2007

Allowing it to evolve

I’ve been fairly quiet about how things are going with Tel Aviv, mostly because I have a slightly superstitious streak when it comes to relationships. I don’t want to jinx things by blabbing when things seem to be going fairly well, and things with Tel Aviv do seem to be moving along quite nicely thank you, but then again I thought that about my relationship with Gobshite, I thought things were going marvellously and then he dumped me out of the blue, so what do I know? Clearly nothing!!

Despite my well known preference for keeping mum when it comes to relationships a few of my friends have recently started making far too many inquiries about how things are going between us. How do I feel about him? Can I see us staying together for the long term? One close friend even asked ‘do you think his mother will mind that you are not Jewish?”

Um, I haven’t a clue, I haven’t really thought about what his mother might think in the 6WEEKS WE’VE BEEN DATING. I’ve been far too preoccupied picking out bridal gowns and wondering what we will name our children!! NOT!!!!!!

Excuse my language, but what the fuck!! Clearly someone has far too much time on her hands if she’s busy pondering where my relationship is going and already wondering how his mother might react to my not being Jewish. She’ll be choosing herself a bridesmaid dress next. Somebody needs to get herself a hobby and sharpish!!

All in all I think its going as well as can be expected given it’s really only been 6weeks since we started seeing each other. I remember when I met him – it’s etched in my memory because it was on the same Saturday in early August that my friend
Francesca almost got squashed by a roller skating Tim Robbins. We met when I bellied up to the bar at Park, just off Union Square on 15th street, to order drinks for myself, Francesca and Jacqui and he turned and started talking to me. The usually teetotal Tel Aviv now claims he only did this because he was drunk….on Corona Lights of all things. Charmed I’m sure!!

After that it took him another week to call and ask me out, so our first date wasn’t until towards the end of August, so when you think about it it’s been no time at all. So far I’m enjoying his company very much, he’s laid back, lots of fun and has a sarcastic sense of humour that I like a lot, but I’d say we’re still firmly in the ‘let’s see how this goes’ phase. I’m really not one for rushing things and like to let relationships evolve at their own pace, I’m certainly not one of those girls that starts wondering where things are going after a couple of dates. That being said things seems to be moving along quite smoothly so far, although of course now that I’ve actually written a blog post about him my superstitious streak is flashing warning signs that he’s probably going to dump me faster than hot shit off a shovel.

Only time will tell, but keep your fingers crossed for me!!

Just because...

I'm smitten with Dave Grohl. Sigh ;-)

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

A good nosy around

It’s Open House weekend coming up in New York, a fabulous event where all sorts of places, both private and public, throw their doors open to the commoners so that we can have a good ol’ nosy around lots of interesting spaces we'd never usually see. I recently read that the Open House weekends started 10years ago in London – I have a vague recollection of it going on when I lived there, but I never took advantage – and has since extended to various cities across the globe. I can highly recommend it if you get the chance to check it out. It’s been running in New York for five years now, although last year was the first time I made the effort to check it out with my friend Francesca and I am very glad I did.

There’s an amazing variety of places which participate, but my favourite places to visit by far are the architects’ houses/studios and last year Francesca managed to squeeze in two of them, including an gorgeous house in TriBeCa that had been completely gutted by the architect couple who lived and worked there. It was beautiful as you might imagine. They’d removed the entire back wall of the building and replaced it with glass to maximise the light and they were fortunate not to have any windows from neighboring buildings overlooking their property. I was very impressed by the effect of the glass wall, although when I excitedly related how fabulous it was to a friend of mine he rather snootily informed me that ‘all architects do that, it’s very common.’ Clearly I must have been the only person in the world that didn’t know this was commonplace in architectural circles. Fancy that. Whatever, it still impressed the hell out of me.

The bonus of the TriBeCa house was that the wife was actually there and very enthusiastic to give everyone a guided tour of her home, answer any questions and generally share details of how she and her husband had approached the renovation their home and studio. She was a lovely woman and her enthusiasm for her home was infectious, however I am ashamed to admit that at one point, when I was stood close to her, I was focused less on the intricacies of how they’d cut a piece of marble to form a cantilevered table in the garden and more on how hairy her legs were for someone wearing a knee length skirt without tights - I kid you not, they were a good half inch long, clearly a woman with her mind on higher things than leg waxing. Evidently I'm a shallow, overly grooming focused New Yorker, since I appeared to have been the only person in the the place to have noticed such a thing while she held everyone else architecturally enthralled.

Earlier in the day we'd seen another architect's house/studio in Grammercy Park that was interesting, but not somewhere I would want to live. It was very cold and had water features everywhere, with a sort of moat around the living area on the ground floor and three wooden and very wobbly stepping stones you had to cross to reach an open staircase up to a ‘bedroom’ - technically just a platform cantilevered over the living room - they love their cantilevering these architects don't they?

As I toured the Grammercy house I kept thinking how different the male architect’s life must be to my own for him to live in such a place. God forbid he should ever arrive home worse for wear from a couple of cheeky glasses of wine on a Friday night after a hard days architecting. He’d be likely to stumble over his stepping stones and trip and drown in his own reflecting pool. The bedroom was no less treacherous with the top half of the bed extending out over the staircase with a 10foot drop to the ground floor below. You certainly wouldn't want to risk any vigorous sexual activity in that bed I can tell you; it would be all too easy to get carried away in the throes of lusty pash and roll off the side of the bed and plummet to your death in the moat below. Now there's a contraceptive for you.

So kids, should you ever be in a bar and an architect tries to lure you back to his Grammery pad for a roll in the hay, for safety's sake, just say no, or suggest a nearby hotel instead ;-)

Update: I just found a couple of photos courtesy of Flickr of the place in Grammercy. It's called the Ling Loft and is at 225 East 21st Street.

Here are the stepping stones you have to cross to get up to the sleeping area (Photo credit Kathryn via Flickr)

And here's a long shot of the ground floor of the apartment by Michael Surtees via Flickr.