Monday, August 23, 2010

The Usual, Please.

What does it mean to be regular? In my own opinion, it’s not always a great thing. Who wants to be average or predictable? Not I.

But a regular is something completely different. If you are a regular customer at Bloomingdales, you get discounts and all sorts of special attention.When I was working at Marriott, if you were a regular you earned money off your room and could even receive free dining.

In college I was a regular at the dinning hall, but often times this just meant I needed to be a regular at the gym – which, by the way, I was not.

I want to be a regular somewhere. I want to walk into a place, smile at the waiter, and say oh-so-casually, “The usual please.”

It’s always been a life-long dream.

Every sitcom and movie has “that place” or “their favorite spot.” And remember? I often imagine life as a movie. "Saved by the Bell" had The Max. “Friends” had Central Perk. The Gilmore girls had Luke’s Diner. And I have….

Well I’m working on it. And the last two days, I’ve made great progress! Maybe you think I’m getting excited about nothing, but this is a LIFE-LONG dream here.

Rules for being “a regular”:

1. You know the name of the waiter/waitress/bartender, etc.

2. They know your name, or at least recognize you when you enter the building.

3. If you’re a true regular, the server will know your order… or at least how you like your coffee.

I know – these rules are tough on both parities. But for example, I love Panera, and have visited the one by CNU often. Yet they don’t know me and they certainly don’t converse with individual customers much. And that’s okay. They are very corporate establish that give me good food and free wi-fi. Love it.

So I’ve discovered if I going to be a regular, I need to frequent places that are known for being neighborhood spots.

Skip forward to last night when I was headed to the Spring Lounge after work with a friend. She and I have been here at least 3 times in the last month and wanted to keep up the tradition. The Soho spot is a little off the main road, with wooden paneling and sharks hanging on the walls.

She put her card on the bar to start a tab.

“You know the drill…” the bartender said.

“Twenty dollar minimum,” she replied, as calmly as possible. “Two Guinness please.”

He smiled and began preparing the drinks.

Once out of the bartender’s sight we jumped for joy and started saying we would come to the bar every couple nights! And then we realized that was excessive and changed our quota to something more like once every week or two.

No. We aren’t regulars. Not according to my rules.

But we’re on the right track ;)


Another “regular “story to come soon… You know my boyfriend? Those bagels? They are giving me a little bit of a regular status too.

Top 3 Places to Eat on TV:

The Max

Luke's Diner

Central Perk


Saturday, August 21, 2010

In Love

I’ve finally done it. It’s finally happened.

And I know it’s only been a week since my more permanent move to Astoria. I can hear you cynics now, out there saying, “how can she know?” But I do. There is nothing I have been more sure of in my life. I thought we were just close friends, or maybe just partaking in an infatuation of sorts. Never the less, ever since that fateful day in a coffee shop last Sunday, I haven’t been able to get him out of my head.

Can you believe it? Just like that and I knew! I knew I was going to be swept off my feet. I tried to resist, and was even a little terse with Mr. Mysterious. Still I thought of him day in and day out. So I am making a bold declaration of undying love over my blog.

Here is a letter I wrote to him during a subway ride when I knew I could no longer consider my heart unclaimed:

Dear Mr. New York Bagel,

You are too fabulous for words. I don’t understand how the bakers create something so much better than any other bagel in the world; some say it’s the water, some say it’s the boiling, some say in the ingredients… but it doesn’t matter to me. I tried to resist, even though I saw you on every corner of every street – literally. So to borrow a quote from an old chum of mine “you have bewitched me, body and soul, and I love, I love, I love you.”



I'm going to look like a bagel by the time I leave here.

Bagels in the freezer waiting to be devoured...


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Setting - Revised

Guess what?

Yes. I have a bed. An actual, real-life mattress and boxspring and metal frame, with pillows and sheets and blankets.

It’s beyond perfect to fall asleep at night with the humming breeze of an AC unit on soft layers of linens.

Goodbye random couches and blow-up mattresses. You were fine, but this is better. So long hardwood floors and people’s apartments on Wall Street where I didn’t even know whom I was staying with. You were not so fine and now a thing of the past.

I have a bed!

Below are some pictures of the apartment. My wonderful parents drove to NYC with me to help piece together my room (however the journey up here was less than enjoyable) and now I really do feel as though I live in Astoria, New York.

Thanks to everyone in Newark who let me crash in their room, on their rooftop, or helped me acclimate to city life. And a big thanks to the parents for helping me move a bookshelf, desk, and mattresses up three flights of stairs ;)

Kitchen table

One side of the kitchen...

...and then the other.

The books I just haaad to bring.

All these little details were gifts from fabulous people.

The media center... and of course the heels.

Please step over two steps into my office.

Couldn't get rid of those gals.

Can you believe it all fit? Nope, neither can I.

There is still one blank wall over my bed to decorate, and I really want a plant as a pet. But after that, I'm done with this move!


Monday, August 16, 2010

The Journey Best Forgotten

Do you know how long it takes to get to NYC?

Well, have a seat and let me tell you about my journey.

First we left Virginia at 11am

With coffee and bagels and a big grin.

But our moods were very quickly changed

When 45 minutes into the trip, the highway looked deranged.

There were vehicles in a long red line,

Still we had good music so we didn’t really mind.

Do you know how long it takes to get to NYC?

Well, Washington was as messy as messy could be.

And when one GPS says I-395 and another I-495,

You can imagine where we might arrive…

Our cars were all miserably turned around,

And I sat angrily in the passenger seat not making a sound.

Because I knew my directions were right

But alas, I was told to keep my lips tight!

Do you know how long it takes to get to NYC?

Well, it seems a whole lot longer when you have to pee.

In fact I don’t remember much from Baltimore


We made it to the Maryland House restrooms just in time,

After taking “the scenic route” through D.C. in it’s prime.

So then we thought maybe that was the worst of it,

Of course we never could have guessed how much traffic we’d hit.

Do you know how long it takes to get to NYC?

Well, it was a RIDICULOUSLY long time for me.

The New Jersey turnpike wasn’t so bad,

But the George Washington Bridge made me so flipping mad.

We waited for THREE HOURS for who the heck knows,

And then there were crazy tolls and horn blows,

And six lanes merging on one lane of a road

And curse words and cops… everyone was about to explode.

(Oh and if you think I will EVER use this bridge again

You are FREAKING CRAZY, my friend!)

Do you know how long it takes to get to NYC?

Well, if you’re coming from Richmond like my family,

12 hours and 30 minutes seems to be normalcy.


Monday, August 9, 2010

Sweatfest 2010

I have never sweat so much in my entire life as I have in the past 4 weeks. But today – today was an epic sweatfest.

And don’t you dare cringe; you sweat too and I know it.

So Sweatfest 2010 started with moving the old roommate out. Boxes and appliances and a television and mattresses… etc. You get the picture. May I remind you we’re on the third floor of a pre-war building? Oh yes, and this means no elevator, and certainly no AC (if you know the Fitzgerald’s then you realize how much this hurts).

Still, I’m not going to whine too much. The apartment is great, location is ideal, and the price is just right.

The view from my window

But the car situation… Here’s a helpful hint. Do NOT bring your car to New York.

Poor Lucile. She has been through it! First we drove to Queens, and the GPS completely freaked out when we entered the city. Because there are so many ways to get to the same place, the little woman constantly says “Recalculating. Recalculating.” This may have stressed me out… but only a little.

Finally, I arrived in Queens. So I parked my car on the street in a spot that looked acceptable. No signs saying, “Parking Not Permitted," no yellow lines, and no fire hydrants.

I went back to check on Lucy the next day. All was fine. Another day passes and I think “Hey, even though I know everything’s going to be alright, I’ll check on my car one more time…”

And BAM. Ticket. A big old, blaring orange, you-are-obviously-new here ticket is scarring Lucy’s windshield. And this ugly blemish cost me $45 bucks!

This may have stressed me out… but only a little.

I have since learned the street-cleaning schedule and now understand my car must flip flop sides of the street every three days.

But of course my car is not always on my mind…, which is why on Sunday evening when I was in the city with some friends, I realized quite suddenly, that Monday was occurring in a few brief hours.

Blasted Monday… any idea what Monday is? Yes – street cleaning day. And darn it, I was NOT going to blow my commission on another ticket!

This may have stressed me out… but only a little.

So I marched home at 2:00 in the morning and snuck into the apartment as quietly as possible. I grabbed the keys to Lucy and stormed back onto the street. Determined to not be burned by the system again, I walked to the car and hopped inside.

And then the most unfortunate thing happed.

Lucy would not start. The keys wouldn’t turn and the wheel was locked up.

Okay, it’s now 2:30am and I’m in New York and my car won’t start and the little traffic cop will give me a ticket in a few hours time.

This may stressed me out… but only a little. Well, maybe a little bit more than a little.

Lucy's antics are making it easy for me to send her home.

After some frantic calls on a low-battery cell phone, I was finally able to get some help from the ever-reliable Mr. Stephen Labelle.

“Just keep turning the key… back and forth… just keep trying…” a very sleepy voice said on the phone.

“Ahh… I am. But it’s not wor…” Just then the keys popped into place and Lucy, that little trickster, lit up and roared like some caged animal.

“Oh. Yep. That worked.” After several extremely sincere “thank you’s” I hung up the phone and found a new parking place for my needy vehicle.

But today… definitely was the strangest day with my car.

I walked to the spot where I had parked Lucy the night before and she was GONE. You remember Sweatfest 2010!? Yeah I was sweating. Big time. Where was my Lucy! And why was she such a problem!?

This really stressed me out – and not a little, or even an average amount. This really stressed me out.

Oddly enough, I just kept walking. I strolled past the construction workers that now inhabited Lucy’s parking spot. I walked… frustrated and confused. But I was going to walk it off.

And then, there. A few parking places up the street, sat the lovely Lucile. She was unharmed and only a little dirty. Luckily enough, all my black garbage bags of clothes were still piled in the backseat.

My car was towed, but not towed away and not ticketed. Just simply towed.

What the @#$% New York?

The day ended with me lugging 6 bags of clothes from my car to the apartment three blocks away.

Yeah… so that was Sweatfest 2010. And you no what?

I loved it.


Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Setting

I’ve always imagined life to be a movie.

Not just my life. Everyone’s. All of our stories just happen to intermingle and sometimes the directors of our epic films take on joint projects.

So I’ll explain to you the new filming locations of the current scenes. The past several shoots have been in Richmond and Newport News, VA. Now we’ve moved to the Big Apple for a two-year stint.

New York, watch out. This movie is going to blow you away.

The Setting:

Home – Astoria, Queens

My walk to the subway from the new apartment.

Cute little market place in Astoria.

My apartment! Right in the middle.

One angle of my room - and yes, there is a closet (hallelujah).

My room. The current roommate is in there now, but more pics to come when I'm all moved in.

Part of the kitchen - there are more cabinets on the the other side but I neglected to take that picture. Ops.

Bathroom. Love the tile.

Living room. So lucky :)

Work – Bloomingdale’s SOHO, New York

Working at "Bloomies" on the 3rd floor.

The lovely Soho area - so glad I'm working here. One of my favorite areas of the city

Only about a 30 minute subway ride from Astoria.

School – Pace University, Midtown New York

The Fred French Building, where my classes will be.

It is located in Midtown Manhattan, around 45th street and just up from Times Square.

Awesome 1930's art deco look.

Where is your next setting going to be?