Location | New York, NY
The morning began with the alarm blaring. 9:20am. Too early to wake up when you have the week “off” during a power outage. At 9:30am I had already dialed into a conference call for work. Sitting on the floor with pen and paper in hand, I diligently took notes on the upcoming projects.
After the call, I lounged around and headed up town to meet Lindsay and Carly for lunch. We headed over to Pasta Lovers and had an overpriced pasta meal. Then off to the Rockefeller Concourse for my caffeine fix at Blue Bottle.
Back to the safety of Lindsay’s apartment, aptly supplied with wifi, I spent an uneventful afternoon until Lindsay returned. Then we were off to dinner, when I received a call from Christine. Princess Ellie was stuck in her tower and needed to be brought down to pee.
So off to Princess Ellie’s tower, 12 flights up. Ellie in a harness. 12 flights down. Walking Ellie back and forth and back and forth pleading with her to pee. Finally, around the corner and there was some pee action. Then back up 12 flights of stairs… Ellie panting like crazy… me panting like crazy. Then back down on my jelly legs, back to the dark and into a cab to home!
Location | New York City
July 21st marked my 5th year anniversary since moving to New York. I made it! From the way I feel now, I know that it’ll be another 5 years until I move away. I love this city and hope that when I do decide to move away, I’ll feel like I’ve ended a wonderful and memorable love affair.
I love the variety this city brings and the neverending heartbeat that beats on even when you’re done for the night. Of course, I’m not crazy about every aspect. So I’ve decided to list the top 10 things I hate about New York, and then close it off with a positive note of the top 10 things I love about New York.
Ten Things I Hate About New York City
- The Smell – New York smells, and I don’t mean that lovely maple syrup smell you sometimes catch a whiff of in random parts of the city. I mean the smell of trash, urine, and wet trash, and sweat, and poor hygiene. It’s what you get when there’s 8 million + people crammed into such a tiny space.
- Trash on the Streets – This contributes greatly to the smell. Growing up, I always thought that there were alleys in New York… dark, dark alleys that people got killed in… but nonetheless alleys. Alleys where trash would inevitably go in dumpsters. Sorry kids, I hate to break it to you, Manhattan (at least), does not have alleys. Trash bags go in piles in the street. You have not become a real New Yorker until you’ve run into one of these walking hazards.
- Rodents & Pests – Mice may be cute (to some people), but they do not make welcome house guests. It’s said that no restaurant in immune to rodents or pests, so don’t let that gleaming blue “A” pasted on the doors fool you. Not that the restaurant isn’t a place you’d want to go eat, by all means, I even frequent “C” restaurants, but just don’t trick yourself into believing that they are immune to rodents and pests. After battling cockroaches in my first apartment, and now mice that just “pass through” my place (they don’t live in my apartment, they just explore my apartment, gee thanks), I feel as if I’ll never be immune of these issues. Then again, having a disgusting Thai restaurant below my apartment does affect how “clean” my building is and how bad this rodent issue is. At least they’re mice… and not rats.
- The Noise – If you’re looking for a nice quiet place to live, New York is all wrong for you. I did live in one semi-quiet apartment, I’d only hear the occasional “backyard noises” when I opened my window (someone playing a saxophone, or music loudly). Now I live in a street-facing apartment on the front of a building. If I had a quarter for every time I could hear every word of a conversation on the street, I’d be a very very rich girl. From the dump trucks, delivery trucks, construction, drunk people yelling loudly, domestic disputes, barking dogs, noise from the neighbors upstairs, loud music, the club that used to be below, and everything else, I can now successfully sleep through anything.
- The Skyrocketing Rents – Hi, I get that I make nearly 100% more than my peers for an equal level job in the midwest (then again, my job wouldn’t exist in the midwest the same way it exists in New York), but proportionally, I am making less than them due to the lovely insane rent I pay for my 400sq foot shoebox. For the same amount, I could be living in a 2 or 3 BR in Chicago. Not only that, I live in a non-doorman building, facing the street (see above for “The Noise”).
- Dating – You’d think when you cram 1.5 million into the island of Manhattan, you’d get enough singles to be ripe of the picking. WRONG. You get a bunch of people who think they can all do better, so dissatisfaction runs rampant. Furthermore, bars are not the place you want to meet someone. Anyway, this could end up being a long rant, so I’ll save it for a future entry.
- Tourists – People who can’t walk straight, take up too much space, believe that the large sidewalks are meant to be 2 lanes (sorry, the sidewalk is big because it needs to be that size to accommodate the large mass of people who are trying to get BY the tourists).
- B&T-ers – These are almost as bad as tourists… actually no, they are worse. They believe because they live in close proximity to New York, that they UNDERSTAND New York. So they walk around, strutting their stuff like they own the city. I’m sorry, but we (I know, obnoxious right, I’ve only been here 5 years) can tell that you’re from Jersey or Long Island by your atrocious dress and theatrical make-up and skyhigh heels not made for walking New York City streets.
- Waiting – When you’re in a city this large, you have to wait for everything. Lines for coffee, a table, drink. Not saying this problem doesn’t plague other cities, but when it comes to getting to the movie theatre over 30-minutes early just to get a good seat, you begin to wonder what the draw is of living here.
- The Weather – Hello atrociously long winters, and steamy summers. Ah, the 1 month I get for Fall, and the 1 month I get for Spring are coveted. The hot weather brings out the smells and rodents and pests; the cold weather brings horrible conditions to get out of the apartment, very bad landlords who don’t properly heat their buildings, and so much more.
Ten Things I Love About New York City
- The Food – Yes, there are many places where you’ll find great food you can’t find anywhere else, but every major chef comes to New York to open a place to say that they’ve “made it” or have a place in the city. There’s always a new place to try, a new flavor to taste, it’s so diverse here.
- The Variety – There’s always something going on in New York. One day you could be at “Sleep No More” and the next you’d be watching the Mets play. Or even gallery hopping in Chelsea, or doing yoga in Bryant Park.
- Convenience – You can’t beat the late hours, millions of stores within proximity of your apartment (or office place, or frequent hangout) anywhere else. Plus with the following topic…
- Public Transportation – Subway and buses are everywhere. They’re something you love to hate too (cursing the train or bus when they aren’t on time or aren’t working); but without them, we’d be stuck in Carmageddon forever.
- Architecture – You can’t help but be awed y the amazing architecture that is in the city. Hell, they have a whole weekend dedicated to exploring the cool things this city has to offer architecturally (Open House New York, check it out)
- The Intellectual Elite – Incredibly snobby, but I love that there’s an intellectual elite in New York. Smarts have always turned me on and I’m excited when someone can respond when I say “They have have discovered Higgs Boson” and someone can go into deep conversation with me about it.
- Fashion – As much as fashion is snobby, I LOVE fashion in New York. You find the most well dressed people (and often the most poorly dressed or strangely dressed people); but the style is svelte.
- Cool Jobs – People come to New York to build their careers (or leave completely dejected); but it is the place where some of the coolest jobs are… I have to say that I’m extremely proud to have had and still have cool jobs.
- The History – So many amazing, pivotal events have happened in New York over its long history, everywhere you go, you are touched by something amazing that has happened in that space.
- Being Able To Say “I Live In New York” – THIS IS AWFUL, but I love saying “oh I live in New York” and be the envy of everyone who doesn’t live in a cool metropolitan city. Don’t roll your eyes at me, I’m sure everyone enjoys doing this every once in awhile.
Phew, that was the longest blog entry I’ve written in a very, very long time. I hope I’ll be writing much more as I travel around the country (and world) in the next upcoming month to a year!
En Japanese Brasserie is a little bit off the beaten path (it’s not near any subway stations), but well worth the trek out to the far side of the West Village. I have heard their salmon stone bowl – only served during dinner – is hands down one of their best menu items!
Location | New York, NY
Jiye and I wanted to catch Big Bambu at the Met before it ends this week
The big mess of Big Bambu
So we headed up to the rooftop and it was a really crazy exhibit. It was amazing to see how far they had come after many months of working on this thing. Bamboo was everywhere, was were the ropes to tie the pieces together.
View from the rooftop
We stayed on the rooftop for a bit. The view of the city and Central Park is really nice and well worth a visit if you just want to chill. There’s a cash bar on the rooftop too, so good for a chill get together if they have a nice exhibit.
Location | New York, NY
The New York Brewfest was on Governors Island. The website describes the event as:
NY Brewfest is a craft beer sampling event sanctioned by the New York State Brewers Association. A commemorative 4-ounce glass is given to all attendees at the Information Booth/Entrance. Admission allows samplings from over 300 styles of handcrafted beers from more than 100 breweries. Great local foods will be available for purchase, and New York bands will perform throughout the evening. The event is a venerable gumbo of the Empire State’s creativity.
Needless to say, I was sold. I actually had a “Connoisseurs’ Pass” which allowed an extra hour entrance to the event (well worth it). We had free reign over a lot of booths and A LOT of beer.
View from the Governors Island Ferry
Now, I am not a very large person. Drinking a lot of beer, even out of a 4oz cup, was probably not a good idea for someone with little to no tolerance. I became incredibly hyper during this event.
At least we ate some food...
So, Greg decided it’d be good to feed me. What’s good at a Brewfest? Well, spring rolls, burger, and homemade chips. We even had some ice cream after. Well, after an hour or 2, Greg decided it was time to go so I followed him out as I was feeling pretty tipsy from all the alcohol coursing through my veins.
View from the island
I actually let him go home, while I stayed on the island and laid out on a blanket… and took a nap. I woke up later and actually took a long walk from Wall Street to SoHo (after getting off the ferry, that is).
Location | Flight from JFK to SFO
One of the coolest things in regards to NYC are how many historical sites there are on one tiny island. There’s so many random things to find and I love discovering something new.
After an amazing (and very filling) lunch at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que on 131 & the West Side Highway.
My plate from Dinosaur Bar-B-Que!
After that, Drew had told us Grant’s Tomb was only down the way, so we headed over there (in the cold) and walked up a hill. Greg’s poor friend Jake must’ve been wondering where we were taking him!
The area is a little obscure, but very nice (and quiet). The Tomb is HUGE! It’s just sitting there in the middle of the park.
President Ulysses S. Grant was the 18th President of the United States and a decorated and much celebrated Civil War General. Despite is general unpopularity when he left office in 1877, his tomb is considered the largest mausoleum in North America (crazy!).
Near/next to Grant’s Tomb is the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. It’s MASSIVE. That’s really all I have to say about it. I’d seen it before when I went up to the Cloisters, but this was the first time I actually stopped to take some shots.
Cathedral of St. John the Divine
After all of this, we walked through Columbia… which isn’t very large (nor exciting). I was kind of surprised about how small their campus felt. I guess that’s the problem with going to a large school, everything else feels small.
Hopefully I can get some more shots of the city this summer. So much more to explore!
Location | New York City
I went to the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx this past weekend. This was my first time there, but it’s 250 acres of land dedicated to one of the best plant collections in the world. (Yes, I was listening when they were giving a tour).
Inside the conservatory
The conservatory was amazing. It was a giant greenhouse filled with a ton of exotic plants/flowers. I loved how they tried to let you see every inch of their jungle of plants. In the rainforest section, you could climb up into the canopy and in the dessert, they tried to give plenty of examples of plants that look like rocks.
Outside we went to the rock garden & the children’s garden. There were a lot of beautiful tulips (a lot of them were past-peak). We also walked through some marshy wetland then to take the trolley around the grounds. There’s a lot of forest, but I wouldn’t walk through it (unless I was maybe jogging?).
Anyway, it was a lovely day and hopefully I’ll return once the chrysanthemum festival occurs.
Location | New York City
The weather was amazing this weekend. After a crazy night out with some good friends, I woke up early and headed to Brooklyn for brunch at Buttermilk Channel. I met up with Jiye and Christine and we were easily seated.
I actually didn’t know what Buttermilk Channel was known for, but their eggs looked amazing. I ended up order a spinach, goat cheese and mushroom scramble. It came with a biscuit and hash browns. I also ordered some bacon-encrusted almonds for the table (which turned out to be not so great).
Salmon & cream cheese scramble
Christine ordered the salmon & cream cheese scramble. Jiye ordered the salmon platter. There was also a (terrible) coffee cake.
After brunch, we went to Jiye’s neighborhood and hung out at Tazza and had something to drink.
Then I met up with Winnie at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. It’s currently cherry blossom season and we wanted to see what all the fuss was about.
Winnie & me in the cherry blossom promenade
They also had some beautiful tulips, especially the double tulips (which looked like a few tulips within each other).
The gardens didn’t take too long to get through, about an hour and a half. After that we decided that we wanted to eat dessert – at Junior’s! So we took the subway and went to try out the famous Junior’s cheesecake.
I love cheesecake!
Winnie got the Devil’s Food Cheesecake and I got the Strawberry Cheesecake.
Overall, it was great weekend. May 1-2 is the Sakura Matsuri at Brooklyn Botanical, but I don’t suggest going (it will be PACKED). This weekend was packed… craaaazy. If you do go, enjoy!