Monday, 27 August 2007

An oldie, but a goodie

It’s going to be a tough week; I may be gone for some time. I have to fly to Florida tomorrow – Fort Lauderdale to be precise - to spend 3-4days with my new-ish client (2months on the biz). I know I know what you’re thinking…”Florida? You have to go to Florida. Oh my heart just bleeds for you, you poor thing.”

I know, there could be worse places to have to travel on business, but kids, I’ll be stuck in a conference room in back to back meetings, not lounging about on the beach with a cabana boy rubbing suntan lotion into my back. How evil is that, to send me to Florida and then keep me locked up in a chuffing conference room? They’ve done that to me before, they sent me to a conference in Miami, at the National Hotel of all places, where the conference rooms cruelly overlook the glittering and inviting pool. Bastards!! I kept staring longingly out of the window while some geek droned on about data standardization. I didn't learn a thing. So, despite the lovely location, I’m not looking forward to the trip at all. However one thing that did cheer me up immensely this morning was when they played this song on Radio 1. I love it to pieces. I almost grabbed Jose from the cube next door for a dance.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!!

Sunday, 26 August 2007

Men...step away from the lycra!!!

Walking home through Central Park yesterday afternoon I was most distressed by the sight of a tall, plump, French cyclist man buying a bottle of water from one of the vendors close to East 72nd St. Aforementioned male was wearing stretchy lycra all in one pale grey short shorts number that was so so so very tight that each testicle was visibly lifted and separated!!

My poor poor poor eyes. The image is burned on my retina

I could tell he was French, because he was calling - in French of course - to two women who were walking away from him (I wonder why). I suspect the women were his wife and daughter. How they could have allowed him to leave the house dressed like that I'll never know.

So much for French style!!

I pilfered the above photo from Attractive isn't it!! My apologies if you were eating!!

Saturday, 25 August 2007

Diving back into the dating pool

I had a date this week, my first since breaking up with GS - or Gobshite as I affectionately refer to him – almost exactly a year ago. In fact today, it’s EXACTLY 52weeks to the day that he dumped me over lunch in Bryant Park. Happy days :-)

GS and I met in salsa class in the autumn of 2005 and became close friends pretty much immediately. Like me he was a foodie, a movie buff and a HUGE fan of Eddie Izzard. He made me laugh like no-one else could and we’d hang out until the small hours every week after dance class. I had many a midweek hangover to blame on late nights out with him - he was a restaurant manager, so his ‘weekend’ was Wednesday and Thursday – and it was no surprise when I had my annual review at work that my boss said that he felt I hadn’t really progressed much in the past year. Ooopsie!! I didn’t really care about my career; I was having the time of my life.

After a couple of months hanging out together GS made it very clear he was attracted to me. I was surprised and told him that although I loved spending time with him I wasn’t sure I was interested in him in that way. He was disappointed, but we continued to hang out and have a lot of fun together. Looking back I suspect he was just biding his time until I changed my mind, and change my mind is exactly what I did. Towards the end of May last year GS and I started dating.

For the first couple of months everything was rosy. He was such a gem that not a day went by when I didn’t feel like smacking myself in the head for not taking a chance on him sooner. Unfortunately my bliss was short lived and in the third month of us seeing each other things rapidly went downhill. He began to distance himself and at times became downright petulant. To this day I’m not sure what happened because he clammed up and refused to talk to me about it - this being the man who often said that the best thing about being with me was that we could talk about anything. Things came to an abrupt end in late August when he invited me for lunch in Bryant Park. When I walked up to kiss him hello he turned his head so that my lips met his cheek and told me we needed to talk.


Suddenly lunch didn’t sound so appealing, so I ordered just a coffee - it was a great day for the muffin top, not so great for my emotional well being. He got as far as ordering a roast beef sandwich on ciabatta bread with grilled red onions, radish slaw and black pepper aioli only to loose his appetite after one bite. A shame because it looked delicious, even I, the pseudo veggie (fish only, no meat, well okay, except for the pork buns at Momofuku Ssam Bar…and…um…a bacon sarnie every Christmas. Ok, ok, I admit it, I’m a complete sham of a pseudo vegetarian), was almost tempted to have a nibble. A bit more luxurious than a slice of cheese between 2 bits of bread and a dawb of Branston pickle eh. That’s because Bryant Park has been celebrity chef-ed by Tom Colicchio, of
Top Chef fame (LOVE that show) and there are 4 of his 'Wichcraft booths dotted along the west side of Bryant Park selling gourmet sandwiches, soup, salads, ice cream and coffee. I highly recommend it for lunch if you’re ever in New York during the sunnier months. Bryant Park is a beautiful place to sit and eat; it has free wi-fi too, so you can blog whilst there, should that be your want. I love being there, it’s a total New York moment for me, although at the time it was somewhat spoiled by the fact that GS choose it as the location for the break up. I felt odd going anywhere near there for the following few months, that is until I came to my senses and decided to reclaim it for myself. I’d say about 90% of my visits to Bryant Park over the last seven years in New York have been in the 12months since the break up. I’ve been there so often it’s definitely mine. I’m a couple of visits away from sticking a flag in the lawn ;-)

Anyway, back to my break up lunch in the park. The conversation went a little something like this…

GS: I think we need to take a step back from our relationship.

Me: Are we breaking up?

GS: No, no, it’s not a break up; it’s just a…a…well, a stepping back.

Me: It sounds a lot like a break-up to me. If it’s a break up why don’t you just call it that?

GS (Irritated): No no no! It’s not a break up; I just need to have a break from us for a while. I can’t be sexual right now; I need to focus on my career.

Hmmmm!!! Focus on his career!! Right! My arse it was a stepping back, this, my friends, was a fully fledged break up without a shadow of a doubt. Why couldn’t the wanker just be honest with me? I know why, because if he told me outright he was breaking up with me then he’d feel like the bad guy. Better to just let me read between the lines and work it out for myself. Fuckwit!! Why don’t men realise that leaving women hanging like that, wondering whether this is the end of the relationship or whether there could be a reconciliation, being cowardly instead of being upfront, is EXACTLY what makes them the bad guy!! Why don’t they understand that???

At the time, my opinion of the break up was that it was less about me and more about the stress he was under – he’d recently moved into a new apartment, taken on some new responsibilities at the restaurant and was anxiously awaiting the New York Times to come and review the place – they didn’t visit until almost 9-10months later. The review was published on my birthday of all days. Naively I thought he might come to his senses after a few weeks and call me. Seriously, the man spent close to 6months chasing me only to dump me after 3months when he finally got me. Of course he didn’t come to his senses at all, but about 10months later I finally came to mine.

I know what you’re thinking, you're thinking “TEN MONTHS???” Are you fucking kidding me? You only dated for 3months and you wasted 10months getting over him!! No actually I’m not kidding you, it really did take me that long to get over the horrid little twirp, although when I say it took me that long I don’t mean that during those 10months I was walking around wailing and gnashing my teeth at the unfairness of being dumped. That’s not the case at all. I was fine, I got out, I was busy, I did things, but I say 10months, because it’s taken me that long to feel like I’ve 100% moved on. I no longer feel any anger towards him for his cowardice or pretence at friendship; I’m certainly not shedding any tears, in fact the strongest reaction you’re going to get out of me with regards to GS these days is a shrug. I no longer dream of running into him on the street and giving him a sharp kick to the goolies. Those days are happily behind me.

However it does take me a while to move on, even from the shortest of flings. It’s just the way I am. I recently read an interview with the French actress/director Julie Delpy where she said "I’m very romantic. I suffer tremendously for love," and I immediately thought 'me too'. I feel such crushing disappointment when things don't work out the way I hoped they would, but I know it's part and parcel of life and I deal with it, but in my own time, and I have to say that one of the things that needled me most about the break up was not losing my boyfriend, but the reactions of some of my close female friends. Friends who in all other aspects are completely wonderful and supportive, they'd be there for me in a heartbeat, but when it comes to getting over a break up...well they most definitely come from the 'pull yourself together' school of tough love.

Six weeks after being dumped I had dinner with one of those girlfriends at Mexican Radio restaurant downtown on Cleveland Place.

"How are you feeling?" She asked

"Oh still a bit up and down about things" I replied.

She looked at me in disbelief.

"STILL!!!! You’re still upset? How long has it been now, a month?? I can’t believe you're still upset??"

“Well, yes actually I AM still upset. Our romantic relationship may have been brief, but I had expected it to last a bit longer than 3months. I honestly thought he was a good friend and as such I thought he may have been a bit more invested in making it work. I was very close friends with him for almost a year, so yes I do think it’s going to take me more than 6weeks to feel like I’m fully over him and I can do without the judgment from people who are supposed to be my friends thank you very much. It’s not as if I’m walking around with a face like a slapped arse, I’m keeping busy and hanging out with friends, throwing myself into work, but it's going to take me a little while and if you ask me how I am feeling I am going to tell you the truth. Do I say to you ‘oh wow, you really got over that broken engagement quickly, two weeks, that must be some sort of record, what are you, some sort of heartless bitch?’ No! Of course I don’t, I’m supportive like a friend should be, so don’t sit there and judge me just because I take a little longer to get over breakups, okay?”

Of course I didn’t say anything of the sort. Instead I just sat there feeling worse about myself. Marvellous!! Trying to get over a break up is bad enough without knowing that some of your friends think you're pathetic.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t just will someone out of my head. I just have to wait for the day when I wake up and think, 'oh, I haven't thought of so-and-so for ages. Wow. I'm completely over him.' I can't force that day, but I do my best to try to distract myself from thinking of a recent ex by keeping as busy as humanly possible. Unfortunately I found that even as long as 6-months post break-up GS would occasionally pop into my head unexpectedly and I’d find myself brushing away tears. Lucky for you if that's not the case in your life, but please, no judgments towards those of us who have a bit more trouble moving on.

It was completely lost on my friend at Mexican Radio that I wasn’t just upset about the loss of the 3month relationship, but the loss of a friendship that meant an awful lot to me, even if it meant very little to him and was just a means to getting into my knickers. Her contemptuous attitude didn’t help me get over my relationship any quicker, if anything it made me want to distance myself from my friendship with her.

Anyway that was last year and I am happy to say I’ve most definitely moved on and I’ve dived back into the dating pool. In fact tonight I have date #2 with the guy I was out with earlier this week, so who knows. Keep your fingers crossed for me ;-)

Thursday, 23 August 2007


I can barely walk this morning – noooo not for THAT reason. Honestly, minds out of the gutter you dirty buggers!! Ha I wish. No, nothing so fun, I went to a body sculpting class last night. It was the first time I’d been to the gym in about a month. I’m usually a fairly regular gym goer, but work has been so busy lately that I’ve been in the office until 9 or 10pm every day. Instead of working out I’ve been developing a very close personal bond with the office vending machine. It’s not pretty.

Last night I got the opportunity to leave a little earlier and decided it was high time to get off my lazy arse and get myself to New York Sports Club pronto. I left the office at 6.45pm for the 7pm class at the nearby gym and felt like I was sneaking out of work early. Sigh. I remember the days when I used to leave on the dot of 5.30pm. I miss those days. I’m not by any means a live to work person. My work idol is my previous boss, Kimberly, who when asked about her “5year plan” for her career told her manager that her goal was to work a 4day week. Ha ha. And now she does. She’s got her priorities straight that one. I’d love nothing more than to work 9-5pm everyday, take an hour off for lunch and never work a weekend, but unfortunately that’s not going to happen any time soon, since we’re understaffed and in the midst of a hiring freeze and my conscience won’t let me skip out without making sure everything is done. Sometimes I hate myself for being such a goody two shoes.

Anyway back to the exercise…I’d never been to this particular instructor’s class before, but I knew he must be good from the long line of people waiting to get in. When the preceding class ended there was a near stampede for the door with everyone jostling to get a spot. I squeezed myself in to an available space at the back of the studio and waited for the class to begin.

It was different from the usual body conditioning classes I’ve been to in that we didn’t exercise specific muscle groups in isolation, but rather multiple parts all at once - very efficient - so instead of just doing squats to tone our tushes, we’d squat and then come up and do a shoulder press with alternating leg extensions, or pliĆ© squats with bicep curls and heel raises to tone our inner thighs, bums, biceps and calf muscles. There were also no breaks in between, so each exercise flowed into the next. It was hard. The instructor had some sort of name for the type of exercise we did, but I was too busy making up names for him to remember what he called it.

It was exhausting and after 4 or 5 sets of doing combination moves I sneaked a look at the clock. Big mistake, I was dismayed to see it was only 7.20pm. A mere 20minutes of the class had gone by and I was already fit to drop with another 40minutes to go. The girl behind me walked out about half way through, but I stuck it out. Today I’m paying the price. However I ache in a virtuous way, so I think I’ll go back for more punishment next week. I swear my arse is perkier this morning. If I keep taking his class my bum will be so firm I’ll be able to bounce tennis balls off it, should that be my want ;-)

Monday, 20 August 2007

Kathleen Turner just gave me the once over

I think she was admiring my cardigan. I admit, it is very nice. I get a lot of compliments on it. It's a sea foam green Cynthia Rowley number that I got for $40 (bargain) at a sample sale.

Kids, I am ON FIRE with my celeb spots at the moment. First Tim Robbins and now Kathleen, a legend of stage and screen. I didn't twig who it was at first. I recognised her, but I returned her smile because I thought she must be someone I knew from the office - I was right outside the building. Then I realised who it was. She looks different in jeans.

Isn't it weird how you don't always connect where you know celebrities from, but assume you must know them as their faces are so familiar. A friend of mine once greeted Noel Gallagher like a long lost friend when she saw him on Oxford St, in London some years ago - this was at the height of Oasis' fame. She said to him "Oh my God, how are you? I haven't seen you in ages. How have you been?"

Noel apparently played along and told her he'd been doing well and that it was good to see her too.

She walked about 10feet before realising he wasn't some random acquaintance from her local pub. She said she felt like a complete idiot for the rest of the day :-)

Friday, 17 August 2007

Coming to a silver screen near you

There’s much movie making afoot in New York City just now, not that there isn’t always some sort of filming going on, episodes of Law and Order and what not, but the city seems to be especially popular with filmmakers at the moment. According to Simon Pegg (love him) and Kirsten Dunst (hmmm, not so keen) are filming the final scenes of "How to Lose Friends and Alienate People" today, the movie based on Toby Young’s book; Cameron Diaz is apparently lurking in Chelsea filming “What happens in Vegas” and a bearded Adam Sandler was recently spotted shooting scenes for some movie on the Upper East Side. You almost can’t walk 10blocks without coming across a convoy of Haddad’s location trailers and a gaggle of crew and extras huddled around the catering truck and scoffing bacon sarnies.

While the experience of actually seeing New York on the big screen always gives me the chills - pinch me! I can’t believe I live here - it can also be something of a distraction. For me watching a movie set in New York is a bit like watching a film where someone you know, say your aunt, is playing one of the peripheral characters. They’re playing a character that isn’t necessarily critical to the plot, but each time you see the person on screen it distracts you from the action. You can’t help but ignore what the main character is doing, because you’re thinking “hey, that’s my aunt over there in the background.” When I see New York on screen I can’t help but start scrutinizing the location to try and work out which neighbourhood the scene was filmed in. As a result I usually end up missing critical pieces of the plot.

The other thing I find distracting about movies filmed in New York is when the streets I know so well are rearranged for movie making purposes. For some reason I find this incredibly irritating, although why it should matter to me I don’t know since on the whole I'm really very good about suspending my disbelief when watching a film. Realism generally matters not a jot. Take the recent Bourne Ultimatum movie for example - no spoilers here – where I found it perfectly acceptable that Matt Damon (phwoargh) could walk unscathed from a car which had been squished flat by an articulated lorry after a particularly violent car chase. In fact I wouldn’t have batted an eyelid if a T-Rex had suddenly appeared on screen and chased him up First Avenue. Perfectly acceptable. However when Matt walked along 3rd Avenue, passing 48th street and then turned a corner and ended up at Port Authority bus station, well I was ready to throw my shoes at the screen.

"Pht! That’s sooooo unrealistic" I scoffed –"there’s no wayyyyyy you can get to Port Authority from there. You've got to go south 5 or 6 blocks to 42nd Street and THEN go west for 7 avenue blocks before you’ll get to Port Authority Bus Station. It would take at least 20minutes, but they expect me to believe that he can walk one block north on 3rd avenue and arrive there? It’s completely ridiculous. These film people must think we’re idiots."


....And don’t get me started on that scene in Spiderman 2 – a movie clearly set in New York, Peter Parker lives in Queens for God’s sake - where Spidey stops the runaway train which runs along elevated tracks which the uninitiated no doubt assumed was downtown Manhattan. Errr no!!! In fact there was a collective “WHAT THE …” during that specific scene from me and my fellow New York movie patrons, since although there is indeedio an elevated subway in New York, there is NOT an elevated train that runs between the downtown skyscrapers. THAT particular train my friends would be in Chicago. I may be taking my locations a little too seriously, but folks; I kid you not, that geographical snafu almost ruined the entire movie for me.

Maybe I should see if I can get a job as a New York location scout and sort these movie people out once and for all. Hmmm, now there’s an idea :-)

Photo Credit: Jenny Vee @ Flickr

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

And to that I say...COBBLERS!!!

So recently I’ve heard a lot of chit chat about this NY Times article which talks about the increasing number of women who order meat as a “strategy” on a first date to impress a man.

What is wrong with these people?

I can understand that there are certain foods to be avoided on the first few dates…Spaghetti Bolognese for obvious reasons – in fact I’d err on the side of caution and avoid anything in the long stringed noodle family entirely. I’ll also concede that it’s probably sensible to avoid garlicky foods, and sushi rolls are not the best, because a) your breath will stink of fish and b) you’ve little choice but to pop those suckers in whole and there’s just no way of looking attractive while chowing down on a sushi roll unless your mouth is the size of Carly Simon’s.

…But choosing to eat steak as a STRATEGY for snaring a man!!!

Purleaze!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm guessing these are the same women who bought "The Rules."

Sadly there are men who are apparently suckered. Francesca confessed to reading the wedding pages of the Sunday Times this past weekend – Why oh why? I’d have to be really bored to resort to the wedding pages. Francesca and I may have to have words – and she mentioned a guy who said he was impressed by his new wife when she ordered steak on their first date. He claimed it showed she was adventurous.

Steak = Adventurous!! Uh huh!! Right!!

If this numpty thinks adventurousness is encapsulated by the ordering of a steak then thank God he’s spoken for. Sorry folks, but ordering steak doesn’t say adventure to me, it says you eat meat and potatoes. My Irish ancestors have been doing for years. I’ll tell you what says gastronomic adventure to me….ordering the sheep brains. Now THAT’S adventurous. Of course I may not want to snog you after dinner, but hell I’ll be assured of your pluck!!

.....And the Times PAYS people to write this nonsense??? Tiresome!! Seriously someone at the Times could do to read Witty Writer Gal’s
post on common sense. I think someone there might be in need of some. Sigh!!

Adventures in Culinary Education

Bit of a head this morning. I had something of a large night last night – well large for a Monday at any rate. A few of us from the office left work on the dot of 5pm and headed down to the Institute of Culinary Education for Megan’s - our former colleague - graduation into the world of pastry chef-ing and baking.

I knew the evening could be trouble when I read Megan’s email invitation, in which she wrote “it will be fairly short and sweet, so be ready to have several glasses of wine in a short amount of time.”


And then…

“I was thinking of going out after for a little bit, unless people are opposed to a restaurant, meaning we could instead come to my apt to open some bottles of wine.”

There speaks a woman, who didn’t have to get up for work on Tuesday, however she did deserve to celebrate and I’m always up for a challenge. Suffice to say I ate a lot of carbs for lunch yesterday. It didn’t help that much. Poor me!!

…but enough about me and my self inflicted hangover. Just look at how talented Megan is…

...isn't it just FABULOUS?? This was her final exam, to make an 8" by 12" chocolate sculpture with a Holiday theme. Megan plumped for “The Rockefeller Center at Christmas.”

Look at the tree made of chocolate!! She’s so clever! I’m so proud!!

…So should any of you ever be in the market for an extraordinarily talented Pastry Chef, I’m willing to broker all offers :-)

Sunday, 12 August 2007

A shot of the Scissor Sisters

I LOVE this song. Hate the video, but the song is fabulous and listening to the Scissor Sisters has got me through some tough times at work this week. Five minutes blasting the Scissor Sisters through my headphones is better than an espresso shot when it comes to pepping me up during the late hours I’m stuck working in the office and need to keep going.

A few years ago I almost met them. Almost. In fact I kick myself to this day for not answering my office phone when it rang at 6pm that Friday night. I ignored it thinking it must be someone calling to ask me to do something work related and at 6pm on a Friday night when I was already slammed and trying to get something done there was no pigging way I was picking up and landing myself with more work. Whatever it was could wait until Monday. I almost smacked myself up the side of the head when I finally listened to the voicemail and discovered a message from my colleague P asking me if I wanted to meet him and his old school friend Patrick for drinks that evening, Patrick being Patrick Seacor, otherwise known as Paddy Boom, the drummer for the Scissor Sisters.

At the time, 2004, the Scissor Sisters were already HUGE in England, going on to have the UK’s best selling album of the year and P delighted in telling me I’d missed out on a great night when I saw him on Monday morning. Apparently singers Jake Shears and Ana Matronic also turned up for drinks and P spent the evening partying with rock stars.

Unfortunately after hearing Patrick’s salacious stories from the road P vowed to me that hell would freeze over before he’d ever invite me to join him for drinks with Patrick in the future. He claimed he didn’t want Patrick corrupting me with his evil ways.

Dammit Dammit Dammit!!

Celeb Spots & Moustachioed Men

Unfortunately there’s been little time for blogging recently. Work has been pure craziness since I started on a new account about a month ago and last week I clocked up 63hours at the office. Whimper!! I’m so tired when I get home I can barely think straight, nevermind post on the blog. My brain is so scrambled I’m only capable of collapsing in a heap on the sofa in front of a CSI rerun.

This weekend I was planning to spend another 4 or 5 hours on Saturday finishing a few bits and pieces off, but that was before I stepped out of my apartment at 9.30am to walk down to yoga class and was greeted with the most phenomenally gorgeous day. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky; the temperature was a pleasant 80-odd degrees and the humidity was low with a refreshing breeze and I thought, “Work??? Today? Are you kidding me? Fuck that for a game of soldiers.”

Work could wait…at least until Sunday.

Instead I met Francesca for a late lunch and we had a lovely afternoon pottering around the West Village and Chelsea before meeting Jacqui for dinner. We even had a celeb spot when Francesca stepped out a little too far into the street whilst waiting to cross Seventh Avenue south and didn’t see the very tall and rather scrumptiously distinguished grey haired man bearing down on us on rollerblades. I pulled her back to avoid her being squashed and the man beamed at us as he whizzed by clutching a hockey stick. It was Tim Robbins. Tim Robbins!! Francesca was almost squashed by Tim Robbins. I'm a fan. I was THRILLED. I looked for Susan Sarandon to come hurtling around the corner after him, but she was nowhere to be seen. I’m guessing roller-hockey is not Susan’s thing.

After our near miss with Tim we walked down to Employees Only bar on Hudson for a restorative Kir Royale to aid our recovery. I’m rather partial to Employees Only, although not so partial to the mob scene it becomes each weekend. They have fabulous drinks though – albeit for $12 – and cute moustachioed bartenders. The “ironic ‘stache” has been big among New York’s hipper men folk for some years now. At the Blonde Redhead gig at McCarron pool last week you couldn’t have thrown a rock without hitting at least 6men sporting 1970s porn star style facial hair. I've never dated a man with a 'stache, but I'm kind of liking the look. At EO there's one cutie who waxes the ends of his lustrous specimen, giving him the air of a silent movie villain. He seems like a lovely man, I'm quite smitten - GBF Miles feels I have an unhealthy obsession with men in the hospitality industry - and he certainly mixes a divine Pisco Sour - something I've been drinking a lot of in the last few months, in practice for my trip to Chile with Melissa and Francesca in November - but I do worry that maybe he spends his weekends tying women to railroad tracks :-)

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Summer Subway Fun

Fun and games getting into the office this morning on this extremely humid day of all days in New York - 75F at 8:40am and 94% humidity. Ugh!!! - the subways are out, at least from uptown anyway, although the office is like a ghost town - in fact I think I just saw a tumbleweed blow through - so I'm assuming it's a widespread issue.

Fingers crossed this could be my lucky day and I'll have some meetings cancelled. I was in for a crazy one at work, back to back meetings from 10am-5pm and then of course I'd have to find time after the meetings to actually do all the work that will have been piled upon me during those 7hours. Sob!! Y'see how much fun it can be working in New York?

I can't get onto the MTA website to try and find out what actually happened, but I suspect there's been some flooding from the fierce overnight storms we had. For some reason I had an inkling something might go wrong and decided to pick up the bus on the far east side with the intention of getting a 1, 2 or 3 train to midtown instead of using the 4,5 or 6 trains. It was a good move. As the bus passed the 86th street stop at Lexington Avenue I saw scores of bleary eyed New Yorkers clustered by the subway entrance looking bewildered as an MTA employee explained the lack of trains. The news was too much for their pre-caffeinated brains to handle so early in the morning and it took them a few moments to process the information...and then it registered and they all made a run for the bus I was on!! Yikes!!!

Fortunately the driver managed to tame the unruly crowd and got us all safely across town to the A,C, B, D subway stop at Central Park West where about 75% of people got off the bus. Then almost immediately go back on again as news reached them that there were no trains there either. It was the same story when we reached the 1,2,3 train a 86th and Broadway. I decided not to bother with trying to find transportation into the office at that point since it had stopped raining and set off to walk the 40 or so blocks down Broadway with 100s of other New Yorkers. Thank heavens I was wearing trainers/sneakers - like many New York women I keep a stash of about 8pairs of shoes in my filing cabinet at the office - I felt for the poor women who were walking in heels. Ouch!!

Thankfully I also keep a stash of deodrant as, given the humidity, it wasn't the best of days to be walking 40 blocks. By the time everyone stumbles into work it's going to be one sweet smelling office today folks. Phew!!

News just in. Someone just told me the entire subway system is down. Crazy!!

Monday, 6 August 2007

Hanging with the hipsters

Melissa and I had a lovely day out on Sunday hob nobbing with the hipsters at the free Blonde Redhead gig at McCarron Park Pool in Brooklyn.

McCarron Park Pool is a giant empty public swimming pool in Greenpoint, supposedly one of the largest pools in the world - the size of three Olympic pools - which, in its day, boasted a capacity of 6,800 simultaneous swimmers according to this article on 6,800!!! Can you IMAGINE!!! I can attest to the size of it, it’s bloody enormous!!! It must have been hell to clean.

After falling into disrepair the pool was closed in the mid eighties and was pretty much left to rot due to lack finances to repair it, that is until the last couple of years when it found a new lease on life as an outdoor performance venue gaining recognition for the phenomenally popular
pool parties each Sunday in summer.

It had been on my list of places to check out, but I always found myself in a bit of a dilemma about going since, being on the fairer side, I didn't want to be stuck in what seemed to be such a suntrap for hours and end up frazzling my bits off, however Melissa twisted my arm this weekend and wow, am I glad she did.

Words fail me at expressing what an amazing music venue McCarron Park Pool is, hard to believe I know. Telling people I spent my Sunday afternoon standing in a giant abandoned swimming pool in Brooklyn listening to live music earned me a few funny looks from my co-workers today. I’ll admit, it doesn’t sound like an especially fun thing to do, but it's fan-bloody-tastic. It has an amazing atmosphere, very chilled out and despite the 80F temperatures it was pleasantly breezy and cool. Not a snifter of a sunburn. It’s easily one of the best concert venues I’ve ever been to...and Blonde Redhead - one of my fave bands - weren't half bad either :-)

Alas I've heard 2007 is the last year for the pool parties. Renovations are coming and they are going to spend trillions turning it into a leisure facility. Great for the community, but I shall miss it as a venue. I'm just glad I got to go. I highly recommend it if you ever get the chance to go!!

From this....
Image c/o Brownstoner

To this...

Image c/o

And back again???

Sunday, 5 August 2007

In need of the fashion police

There are few people who can carry off a skinny jean with panache in my opinion and I can honestly say that Sting is NOT among them. Yes he does look amazing for his age – Botox Botox Botox. That forehead, it’s smoother than a baby’s bum – and his body is in phenomenal shape, but that doesn’t mean he should be running around town in drainpipes and a cut away white t-shirt. There’s nary a teenage girl that can work that look, so it was a particularly ill advised ensemble for a man of Sting’s years.

Francesca: My word what IS he wearing?

Me: Hmmm it’s not a good look. It just screams mid-life crisis

Francesca: Seriously. Those pants are wayyyyyyyy too tight and the t-shirt is too short. The proportions are completely wrong. He should be wearing something looser, something that would accentuate his muscle tone, but in a less painted on manner. Linen pants maybe and a fitted t-shirt.

Me: You sound like such a fashionista, have you been watching “What Not to Wear” again? You’re completely right though; he'd look much better in something looser. He reminds me of Max Wall in that outfit (see top photo). Stage wear seems to be a problem for your average aging rock star. I remember when I saw U2 here a couple of years ago and Bono came out for the encore in a military style jacket and hat that made him look like a bus conductor. Dreadful!

Francesca: But then again Sting can apparently go at it all night.

Me: What’s that got to do with the price of fish? We’re talking about his fashion sense here, not shagging ability.

Why is it that every conversation about Sting eventually turns to his supposed tantric shagging? Sara said the same thing when I was relaying my story of his dire fashion sense to her at the movies yesterday – The Bourne Ultimatum. Sigh, Matt Damon as Jason Bourne. One word…phwooaaarggggghhhhhh!!! Now there’s a man than can get me thinking about sex. And do you know, I never thought that much of him until he did the Bourne movies, especially not when there was that whole episode of him supposedly dumping Minnie Driver live on Oprah a few years ago, but he's redeemed himself in my eyes and he’s definitely improved with age. Sigh. I’m sorry, just give me a moment will you while I go and fan myself down, maybe take a cold shower.

…that’s better, where was I? Oh yes, Sting and his tantric sex nonsense. Why are we so obsessed by that? All nighters/dayers are fine every once in a while, but it's something to be enjoyed as a treat and seriously who has the time. I bet Trudi Styler’s sick to death of him pawing her for tantric sex, I imagine the scene in their house goes something like this, “Gordon for fuck’s sake will you leave me alone, I’ve got to sort out the laundry, do the ironing and get to Pilates class. I've told you, we’ll have tantric sex at the weekend.” :-)

Friday, 3 August 2007

Zenyatta Mon-What????

Lord I feel old. I just told my 25year old co-worker that I am going to see The Police at Madison Square Garden tonight - Francesca gave me her spare ticket. Wasn't that FABULOUS of her? What a friend. I'm taking her to dinner as a thank you - and she responded, “you are going to see who?”

Me: The Police. You know The Police. Sting's old group?

Co-worker (looking at me blankly): Erm…no.

Me: Yes you do. You must do. Y'know....Roxanne? Can’t stand losing? Don’t stand so…(continue to receive blank looks)…ohhhh forget it!!

Kids today!! Pah!!

Help me I'm melting...

Omigod it’s hot!!!! Its 77F right now (26C) at 8.36am, with 69% humidity and due to shoot up to 93F come lunchtime. It's not the heat so much, but the humidity is KILLING me and after the subway ride into the office this morning I feel as if I need another shower. I couldn’t believe it when I noticed the woman sat next to me – yes I got a seat!!! - was wearing sheer tights (okay okay, I’ll say it, she was wearing ‘pantyhose’ – oh how I hate that word). Can you IMAGINE the hell of that in this weather? She’s just asking for a yeast infection that one. Ewww, I can’t believe I just said that.

All in all, I pretty much like the weather in New York; I like the fact that we have clear seasons and I love it when we get snow, however the last week in July, first week or so in August is not my favourite. (I’m not so keen on the tail end of winter either, but since that leaves me with roughly 10months of the year I don't mind the NY weather I think that’s pretty good going). The heat and humidity is oppressive and I'm often forced to decamp to the futon in the living room to get a decent night’s sleep, since it's the only room in my apartment with air conditioning. It's a fire hazard to have a unit installed in my bedroom window unfortunately since the fire escape runs by my window. Ahh I remember the halcyon days when I first moved here and I shared an apartment in a doorman building which had centralised air conditioning. That would be utter bliss right now.

As for dance classes, forget it. No salsa classes for me in the month of August, it’s too damn hot in those tiny studios. My friend Jacqui is in agreement and called me last week to let me know she wouldn’t be signing up for classes in August. “I’ve had enough. I’ve been dripped on by my last sweaty man for the summer. I’m not signing up for any more dance classes until it’s at least 20degrees cooler.”

The only good thing about the weather being this hot is that it curbs my appetite, so I usually manage to lose a couple of pounds. The year I moved into my own apartment I couldn’t afford to shell out $300plus for a decent air conditioning unit and instead I made do with a couple of fans. They are no subsitute for a 5000BTU air conditioning unit let me tell you. I was permanently taking cold showers to cool off and I couldn’t eat a thing. I lost 6lbs that summer. Although of course the impact of any summer weight loss is usually negated by all the water I retain so despite not eating as much my clothes feel tighter and I feel fatter. WTF!!! That’s not fair now is it?

So, some advice for any English people who may be reading this who have also been eyeing that oh so favourable exchange rate and thinking "Hmm that flight to New York looks a bit of a bargain for the August Bank Holiday" I implore you, DON’T DO IT!!!! You'll either spend your time walking around in the sweltering heat and bickering with your loved ones, or hiding out in your hotel room with the AC blasting. Better to spend an extra 100quid on a flight over in September when you can actually walk the streets plus you’re not greeted by the aroma of hot fetid rubbish everywhere you go. Trust me on this one folks, there's a reason that flight is so cheap.