Sunday, April 28, 2013

When New York is Most Splendid

Occasionally, it’s nice to be home before 3AM.

On more recent weekends I’ve enjoyed hitting the hay by 2—but only after traipsing around the city for hours on end, using my precious liveliness to its full advantage and checking out “this or that.” (Being an energy-filled extrovert is probably quite a handicap for a writer, so I appreciate your graceful understanding.)

Except, now May is right around the corner. With this month comes boozy brunches and freckles; Central Park picnics and visiting vacationers; open windows and exasperated AC units. There are broken sunglasses, broken sandals, lazy naps, the long, extended night, and the seemingly endless light.

Our prologue of summer embraces New York City, and, if you’re perceptive enough, you can feel a tangible change in the reckless air. That electric pulse I crave all winter creeps slowly out of hibernation and explodes by mid-June.

The unfortunate thing about summer in New York is that you move so quickly for months, and then one morning you wake up and the electricity is gone. Spent. Fizzled out, like the broken streetlights on the corner of 41st and Steinway.

Now, of course, this energy I speak of does bleed slowly through some of autumn, and yes, the holidays possess their own specific spirit. But nothing taste and feels (or smells) like New York City in summertime—and I’m hopelessly addicted to this season, for better or for worse.

So maybe I’ll be home before 3AM.
Or maybe I won’t.
Or maybe we'll sit on rooftops for hours and count barely visible stars as the sun disintegrates into the moon. Time is about to blur, as it always does during this part of the year, and I’ve been waiting not-so-patiently since last October.

But a few moments ago, in the midst of a glorious late-April Saturday, I began to feel that buzzing, buzzing, buzzing pulse of the city once more...

"I love New York on summer afternoons when everyone's away. There's something very sensuous about it - overripe, as if all sorts of funny fruits were going to fall into your hands."
- F. Scott Fitzgerald


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

When You Fall In Love

You never know when love will strike.

And what a perfect descriptive word that is—strike. Verb. “To hit or dash, to inflict, to collide.” It’s sudden and sporadic but overpowering, almost forceful. 

I could tell you exactly when it happened, what I was wearing, and how the city smelled (like hesitant spring, if you must know.)

My love story unfolded like this: A friend and I were weaving in and out of the East Village’s community gardens. It was warm enough for a leather jacket, but sitting in the shadows would give you a shiver. As we exited the little rough-and-tumble park, there he sat—my one and only.

I laughed with the couch.
I took pictures with the couch.
I even inquired about bed bugs from the couch’s previous owner. (There were none… finger’s crossed.) But ultimately I had to walk away from him. How would I bring my love to Queens?

Maybe he didn’t have to make that journey… I quickly texted two guys I knew who lived on that block. Wouldn’t they just love to have a couch from the side of the road?

Those poor gents—I do feel a bit bad for what happened next. I didn't really ask to keep the large piece of furniture but... but you should understand I was blinded by love! This couch was the urban form of that lost puppy you begged your parents to keep.

And they must have seen some persistent glimmer in my eye. There’s no other way to explain why two men would lug a golden chaise lounge down the block, and up four flights of stairs to their fully furnished apartment.  

It happened all too quickly. But we were bored and the weather was warm, so that’s how the story goes. That’s how a large retro couch made a new (albeit understandably brief) home in a random living room on 6th Street.

I won’t claim to know the fate of my love. As far as I’m aware, he currently sits in his Alphabet City apartment, probably uncared for and utterly degraded. I’m fairly certain he’ll be forced back out on the street any day now, waiting in golden desperation for the next idealistic passerby. (In fact, his tragic ending may have already occurred!)

The moral of this story, my friends? Love can strike at the wrong time, and passions may become fickle as they’re tainted with practicality.
(Also, never answer a text from me when I’m looking at bulky furniture on your street.)

But, oh, isn’t parting such sweet sorrow?


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Why We Should Never Shower

Today greeted me with a new experience. 

I was rushing to get ready Sunday morning; frantically figuring out what jacket/dress/shoe combination was going to get me through the day. When leaving my apartment in Queens, I most likely won’t be back from Manhattan for another 10 to 12 hours—and in spring that means NYC could have experienced 4 different types of weather. (Oh, you fickle season!)

After finding the magic outfit, I began blow-drying my hair, brushing it repeatedly to get the right poof, puff, and part. As I worked, I contemplated about maddening morning tasks: Think of the time wasted perfecting how much blush is on each cheek; which strand of hair should be pinned up?

I flipped my auburn locks over my head and continued the process.
Brush, dry, brush dry.

At one point I held the blow dryer against my brush, trying to dry the long pieces of hair near my eyes. Maybe I should have just curled my hair… How long had this taken… What time was it anyway? I moved the brush, hoping my bangs were dry.

And BAM.

5 inches of hair fell from my head.
Let me repeat…


“NO!” I yelled at the hair dryer. “No, no, NO! How did you DO that!?” What smelled like tragically burned popcorn leaked from the bathroom into my apartment. Fused pieces of hair stuck to the brush and bathroom floor, while a stream of curse words clouded my brain. DAMNIT.

Looking in the mirror suddenly seemed like a horrifying endeavor. I stood slowly, with both eyes closed. First the right eye squinted open to assess the damage. When he was confident my left eye could handle such trauma, I opened both baby blues and began plucking at the fringed pieces with a grimace.

All these years blow-drying my hair and not once have I burned it off. Still confused, I gathered a clump from off the ground and held it up to my head. Could I glue it back on?

After deciding that was not practical (and probably more messy) my hands worked quickly to tuck, spray, and hide the new, eye-length DIY haircut.

This is why we should never shower, and instead, live like cave people.
Getting dolled up is just too much effort.
In fact, it’s downright dangerous.
Case closed. 

Part of the damage... May my bangs rest in peace.

PS - Enjoy the cliche mirror/bathroom selfie. I assure you they don't happen often. Alas, this was the necessary documentation.