Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Two things:

One, I finally corrected Jennifer's last name over in the links list there, and got rid of Treacher, which I haven't read in at least a year;

and Two, I am in love with this project/idea, because I am a huge nerd.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Hello. How are you? I am fine. I had a busy weekend. I don't know what the weather was like where you are, but here in the city it was like moving through hot soup. And still is, actually. Man.

I did a fun thing on Saturday: I partook of an organized amazing-race-style hunt through Central Park. It was organized by a social club that I don't want to name (and make it easy to google), but it's an affinity group for the meal between breakfast and dinner. The whole point of this group is to make new friends; it's not a singles club, though it sort of seemed like some were hoping that it was. I went into it with no expectations. I got put into a group of 7 people; two other women and four men. My team was very bent on winning, and I like to win, so it was actually pretty damn fun. As soon as we got the map and the packet of questions and puzzles, we sat at a table and figured out our route through the park. An Indian woman saw us with our maps and said, "Excuse me, can you help us find something?" and one of the women in the group said "I'm sorry, we can't help anyone - we're in a race." Whoa! Later, at the finish line (a bar on 55th), she made fun of herself about this. It was interesting to talk to her, because I try to avoid competition, and she admits she's overly competitive and it often makes her crazed.

I know little to nothing about where stuff is in the park so I mostly let them take the lead. There are some gorgeous parts of the park that I've never explored, or haven't seen in years, like the Ramble and the whole Shakespeare's Garden area with the castle. I'll have to go back when it isn't 85 degrees and 110% humidity.

We got to the finish line a half hour before the deadline and we discovered we were first! We all sat down and had beers and chatted until the other teams arrived. One of the guys on my team works on The Daily Show and knows my friend-quaintence Eric very well. They've spent the last week getting a video ready for the Montreal comedy festival, about "behind the scenes at The Daily Show." It appears to be mainly Eric's project. This guy had also seen The Chipperton Family Vocal-tainers' Shooby Dooby Dooby Hour, and so I told him about my sister's involvement (building a fetus puppet that sings "Memories" in the show ... don't ask). So that was a cool bit of small-world-ness.

After everyone had shown up, the organizers checked everyone's answers, and declared us the winners. Yay! High-fives. Our prize? Five dollar gift certificates to Starbucks (insert defeated 'whah-whaw' horn sound here). But it didn't matter. I had to be somewhere at 7 so I left even though my teammates were all, "Stay and get drunk with us!" which was nice.

Later that night I ended up in Tompkins Square Park, sitting and watching the fireflies. I'd never been inside the park before (besides walking through it the previous night) because when I was in high school/college it was filled with squatters who had pretty much taken over the park completely, and sane people didn't really head anywhere near it. Now it's very nice and genteel. Plus, fireflies! Seeing fireflies in Manhattan made me feel a lot better about potentially living here.

Other city things I did/learned recently: I walked past the building depicted on Led Zep's Physical Graffiti album cover. I went to CB's (the attached gallery club next to CBGB's) where the Jack and Cokes are tiny and $7.50. (In Manhattan, Jack and Cokes are all made in these tiny juice glasses. What's up with that?) I walked through the West Village at night, which was beautiful and quiet. While I was there, some rich preppy people who looked straight out of an 80's teen movie asked me where Christopher Street was. I went to 15th Street meetinghouse, which Quakers have been meeting in since it was built in 1860. I and two other subway patrons argued with an MTA worker about being locked out of the 16th street exit five minutes early (the guy was in the middle of locking up the turnstiles, but it wasn't midnight yet, so we had walked out of one that was still unlocked) and forced him to unlock the exit gates so we could get out (pay another two bucks just to walk through to another exit? No way, man). I also tasted Tasty D-Lite for the first time; it's a very-low-cal soft serve chain that's everywhere in the city.

So that's what I've been doing, mostly.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Hey! Overheard in Manhattan published my overheard thing! Now I am a true New Yorker.

Monday, July 11, 2005

This might be kinda cool. Today is one of two days of the year when the sun aligns with the canyons of Manhattan.
I went to the Museum of Modern Art on Saturday, because my company is a corporate sponsor and I can get in for free (it's $20 normally). I saw some great stuff that was new to me, mostly in the drawing and photography galleries. But guess what? MoMA is a family destination now! Bring the kids. Challenging and obtuse art is fun for all ages! Step into a hushed viewing room and watch a few seconds of a weird video, and say in your outside voice, "What are they doing? I don't get it!" Show your six-year-old daughter the animated video of Henry Darger-esque people fucking in all different positions! Your son will delight in reaching his hand into the display of video monitors showing parts of the artist's nude body in order to point at the one with the penis!

It was seriously so crowded and the crowds were so noisy that by the time I made it to the top floor - where the Cezanne and Pizzaro exhibit is - I couldn't find the mental stamina to continue. I haven't been to a big-ass museum in a while, but I think touring one used to be kind of a quiet affair, like visiting a library. I blame tourism. Bring back a few more crack whores and make the city unfriendly to outsiders again!

Friday, July 08, 2005

Know what I hate? Getting dumped.

Could we make that stop happening? Thanks.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

So the Countdown Clock to the 2012 Olympics Host City Decision in Union Square Park is now at 00:00:00:00. Thank god NYC lost the bid. The extra traffic, the tourists, the public money spent on dubious things, the terrorism fears, the security nightmares - all gone (for now, at least).

On July 4 I was back in the city, so I decided to try to go see the huge Macy's fireworks spectacular over the East River, for which they shut down FDR Drive. I joined a mass of people at the bottom of the on-ramp at 17th street and waited, shuffling forward ever so slowly, as cops searched everyone's bags. On the sidewalk was a large collection of glass bottles siezed as contraband - mostly Snapple, but some wine. Wine would have been nice! So unfair. I was about five people away from the bag checker when they suddenly shut it down. "This entrance is closed!" the cops yelled. Man! So I went walking some more, looking for a place near the water (and under the FDR) to watch, but the cops weren't letting anyone get near there, either. I walked north until I reached another barricade, at which point I turned around and picked a nice-ish spot below the FDR (along with many other people) just as the fireworks began. The highway obscured a good third of the action, and of course we couldn't really see the barges themselves, but what made up for it was the kid yelling things like "DAA-AAAAMMN!" and "I love you, America!" whenever there was a really good one.

I gotta say, the Easthampton fireworks were better, though I did appreciate not having to listen to Taps, God Bless America, and the Star-Spangled Banner before the NY show.