Thursday, December 31, 2009

A New Year in New York

At the changing of each year, I put my own little spin on tradition and instead of making resolutions, I set goals. To me, a resolution is rarely successful. It's too vague. It's too over-reaching. And at this point, I think a lot of people don't take them seriously because of their high failure rate.

Now that's not saying that there's no value to be had in reflection and trying to improve in a new year, I just prefer goals as a means to that end because they seem, well, more accomplishable.

I just dug out my goals for 2009 and was a little disappointed in myself, though. I had about a 50% success rate, which is okay, but I don't usually strive for 50%. I guess goals can be a bit unmanageable sometimes, too, but I will say that I made at least some progress towards almost all of my goals, so I think that my time spent making them wasn't wasted. I also didn't really appreciate how much time the wedding was going to eat up to the point that it made me have to cut back in how much time I spent working on my acting career, but the wedding fun is all over now, so that excuse is eliminated for next year :)

In 2009, I succeeded at many of my goals like creating more showbiz industry relationships, spending at least one morning/afternoon/or evening out of the apartment on a date with the mister, getting a new pet (we got two!), and making sure to visit with at least two friends a week, to name a few.

I also failed at some like joining one of the acting unions, getting onto a soap set, and putting more money into savings (uh, I blame the wedding for this one, too).

Although I am a very ambitious and goal-oriented person, I also think it's important not to get too wrapped up in where you didn't quite meet your own expectations, because sometimes, things change. I could never have predicted a year ago that I would be a Weddingbee blogger, would have started my own dog boarding company, or would be celebrating the opening of my own Etsy shop. None of these things were on my list of goals for 2009, but I wouldn't take them back for anything.

That said, I will be sharing with you a partial list of my goals for 2010 (you'd be bored by the whole thing, I promise) :

Acting -- Join AFTRA, put together a reel, perform in another musical, use up my Network credits

Family and Friends -- Continue once-a-week date night with Hubby, make 3 new friends to hang out with, teach my sisters something new

Home -- Finish decorating to-do list, start gardening on the balcony, finish wedding recaps, blog at least 3x a week on my personal blog (that's here!), start acting blog and recruit other bloggers for it

Businesses -- Build up to making at least two Etsy sales a week, Board a dog at least three times a month, replace at least 50% of babysitting income

Maybe sharing my 2010 goals will help keep me even more accountable in the new year.

How successful were you in 2009 by your pre-2009 self's standards? What are your goals or resolutions moving forward?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The WINNER of the Redheaded Actress Etsy Shop Giveaway is...

...Katie, from The Indecisive Bride (or Latte Love, from Weddingbee) !

She has selected the MANHATTAN from the Redheaded Etsy Shop as her prize.

Thanks so much to everyone who entered and helped spread the word about my new Etsy shop. It was so much fun that I will definitely be doing another giveaway at some point, so please come by and enter again!

And if you really can't wait that long, feel free to head on over to our shop and make your own luck ;)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Redheaded Actress Etsy Shop Giveaway - ENTER NOW!

To celebrate the opening of my new Etsy shop, the Redheaded Actress, I've decided to give away one free item* from the shop of the winner's choosing!

Entries will be accepted all this week until midnight on Friday, December 18. The winner will be announced by Monday, December 21 and will get a one-of-a-kind hairpiece as a Holiday gift from me!

Ways to Enter:

1. Go check out the shop here and then come back and comment about which piece is your favorite

2. Add the Redheaded Actress Etsy shop to your Etsy favorites by "hearting" it and then comment here to tell me that you did

3. Become a fan of the Redheaded Actress Etsy shop on Facebook by going here, then come back and comment to tell me that you've done so. Already a fan? Convince one of your other facebook friends to become a fan!

4. Retweet on Twitter the following text -- "The Redheaded Actress Etsy shop (@beeingmissstar) is giving away a beautiful hairpiece! Check out the giveaway at:" and then come back and comment to tell me that you've done so

5. Write a blog entry about the giveaway that includes a link to the Redheaded Actress Etsy shop and come back here and comment with a link to the blog.

6. Make any purchase at the Redheaded Actress Etsy shop and comment here that you've done so. You'll get two entries for this one!

--Remember to leave a separate comment for each entry that you complete! Winner will be chosen randomly from eligible comments.--

Thank you for competing and good luck to all of you!

*All non-wedding pieces are eligible to be won

Sunday, December 13, 2009

If Harrison Says So...

As I was wandering the VIP Section of the Midtown Public Library -- most of you probably know it as the "reserved/holds section" -- I noticed a particularly compelling poster:

I mean, I already love to read, but now that I know that Harrison wants me to? I will definitely be sure to keep reading :)

Am I the only one with a special place in my heart for Harrison Ford? Who on a poster would compel you to spend a little more time at your neighborhood public library?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Human Balcony

Lucky for all of you (or unlucky?), my whole family just upgraded the iPhones (eeee!) and so capturing and sharing the wackiness I come across in the city has never been easier.

Just the other night, I was running to an interview on the Upper West Side and looked at this sign at least three times, wondering what a human balcony could possibly be...

So I guess you could say this picture isn't so much a picture of the wackiness of NYC, as it is evidence of the wackiness inside my head. Hunan Balcony makes a LOT more sense...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Death of My Favorite Eye Candy

As I walked to the gym yesterday, I noticed a very sad sign in the window of one of my favorite Garment District wholesale dress stores:

Not that I've ever actually bought anything in there because they don't have any small sizes for some strange reason, but the dress displays in the windows are always the most ostenatious and fun to look at on the block. I'm definitely sad to see my favorite eye candy dress store close. 

But also excited to see what could possibly open down there...something more useful in my life, perhaps? 

P.S. We do not need another bank or a Duane Reade, New York!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

As I was working on adding new items to my Etsy shop and writing wedding recaps for Weddingbee, I heard strains of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" seeping in under my door and realized that there were, in fact, Christmas carolers making the rounds in my apartment building! How festive! I was especially in need of such a surprise, since I've been finding it particularly hard to get into the spirit of the season this year, inexplicably.

I smiled to myself and thought, "Only in New York would there be Christmas carolers in an apartment building." Just another reason to love New York.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Redheaded Actress Etsy Shop Launched!

Hi All!

Sorry posting has been light lately. I'm still so burnt out on blogging from the wedding and have been keeping myself very busy with auditions, shoots, and...starting my own Etsy shop!

I knew I needed a crafty creative outlet post-wedding and have been tossing around the idea of opening a shop on Etsy for awhile now, and I finally got the nerve up to do it! It was surprisingly time-consuming, from writing my shop policies to creating a shop banner to learning how to use Etsy from a seller's perspective -- not to mention, actually hunting down all the supplies in the Garment District and making the pieces!

I've had a lot of fun doing it, though, and have already made a few sales, which I'm VERY excited about! Please take a second to check it out. I hear the headbands and rings make great Christmas gifts ;)

Oh, and comment to tell me what your favorite piece is, if you don't mind! I'd appreciate the feedback.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy Mashed Potato Day!

To celebrate our first Thanksgiving as a married couple, we were able to watch the famous Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade right from our balcony. It was quite the sight and we were thrilled to have such awesome seats without fighting the crowds!

Seeing such a famous and impressive parade from the perfect bird's-eye-view spot was truly one of those "you may never get to do this again!" New York experiences. We hope that we get the same thrill next year, but who knows if Mayor Bloomberg's new pedestrian malls will stay in place so that the parade can't go down Broadway again? Keep your fingers crossed for us!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Realistic Determent

I saw this sign posted in the window of a big commercial van yesterday:

I had to laugh because

1. It's so true and
2. Is that a threat??

Only in New York...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Craving Crafting

As I've mentioned here before, one of the hardest things about living and crafting in Manhattan is that you can't just go into a big box store and find what you need. You have to seek out a specialty store for just about everything. Specialty stores are fabulous and full of gorgeous eye candy, but often the prices make shopping for my everyday crafting needs inaccessible.

(Source )

There has long been a Michael's in Queens that is reachable by subway, but the selection there is very poor and the shelves are often half empty, which is disappointing after a 30 minute subway ride to get there.

Good news, though, my Manhattan friends! A new Michael's has just opened on the Upper West Side in Manhattan!!

The store is much larger than the one in Queens and certainly closer to Midtown, especially with cruddy weekend subway service. It's clean, brightly lit, spacious, and full of fabulous crafty goodness! I can't say the high-school-aged staff is particularly helpful or that the selection rivals suburban Michael's stores, but it certainly is a welcome Manhattan addition to me.

New York purists may say that makes me a traitor, but c'est la vie. I certainly don't wish the specialty stores gone by any stretch. They have their purpose and are a wonderful strength of the city. But I don't mind them sharing the city with Michael's, either ;)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Weird Ass Audition Notices: Volume I

From time to time, we all see the strange audition notice. "Seeking women 25-35 with bald patches" or "Looking for men with partial erectile dysfunction." Yeah, they're out there. So when an audition notice actually makes me stop in my tracks and think oh, man, I have to share this with my friends and blog readers, you know it's gotta be weird.

I occasionally scour good old Craigslist looking for auditions, despite the fact that there are a lot of scams on there and people looking to waste gullible actors' time. Sometimes there are actually legitimate auditions or background calls on there, though, so I look when I have the time. Today, though, I came across this audition notice that actually made me squirm in my seat:

Casting call for two female leads. Color 16mm thesis film

Asking for 18-25 yr old females to act in a Pratt student’s senior thesis film.
The film will contain on screen sexual intercourse and the actress must be willing to perform sexual acts on camera with male actors. 

The shoot will consist of two weekends in February. Shot on color negative 16mm (sync sound)
Compensation: non-paid, copy for reel, on set food and transportation to Brooklyn will be provided. 

Actors must be comfortable improvising, as this experimental narrative will be driven by intuition and actors cannot rely on script. It’s a creative nonfiction piece about two 21 yr old males writing science fiction stories and their two muses. The film will be about the creative process and show how they obtain the ideas in their stories as well as fever dreams of their stories coming to life. The film will contain new approaches to filmmaking and try to define a new space in the world of narrative. This will be a rewarding experience with unlimited creative potential. Think of it as a collaborative making of a 'Pink' science fiction film. 

No experience necessary, disease free mandatory.
This film will be submitted to festivals.
If you are interested please send a headshot and resume

I feel dirty just reading that. Sure, I'll have sex on camera for no pay because it's *creative* and I'll get festival exposure!, thanks.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

We Promise: No Lost Underwear!

First off, let me apologize profusely for my extended blog absence. I have been a very bad blogger. Well, that's not exactly accurate. I have actually been a very good blogger as Miss-turned-Mrs. Star over at Weddingbee. Blogging 3-4 times a week for a site with such a large readership has been an amazing experience, but it's also a lot of pressure and very time-consuming. Hence, my big, gaping absence way over here at my modest little New York blog :)

We're married now, though (hooray!) and the wedding planning void is begging to be filled. I have time to get back to exploring this amazing city that I am so lucky to live in, and to look for funny, interesting, or random things in shop windows or stores that don't sell big, white dresses.

On my way home from an interview on the Upper East Side the other night, I couldn't help but giggle when I saw this cleaner's sign outside:

I've gotta be honest, the chuckle it gave me would be enough to get me in there if I lived in the neighborhood and needed some washing done! I'm all for advertisement that brightens my day.

I promise to stop neglecting my New York City blog from here on out, so stick with me, ladies and gents. I haven't shown you our new digs yet (yes, we are crazy and decided to move a month before the wedding!), and I'm getting up the nerve to blog about why we left our old place.

For now, I'll sign off, as one recent bride who really does love New York:

Saturday, September 19, 2009

To My Reubie Kitty

This past week, I had to make one of the most difficult and emotional decision that a pet owner will ever make: the decision to put my 20-year-old family kitty to sleep.

He had overcome health issue after health issue in his long life, including kidney trouble, biting a poisonous lizard, and hyperthyroidism, but when faced with a possibly cancerous abdominal tumor, Reuben decided he had lived the life he wanted.

I have been wanting to tell him a few things, so humor me while I write him a letter and do my best to heal.

Dear Reuben,

I am so glad that I was able to hold you in your last hours and hopefully bring some comfort to your fuzzy, gray self. I know you were suffering immensely, which is why I made the decision I did. Believe me, if my own selfishness had won out, you might still be here with me right now. I'm pretty sure I made the right choice, but I suppose one can never be altogether certain.

In those final emotional moments, I said everything kind that I could possibly think of to try to remind you of how loved you were and still are. I told you how much we all admire you, how Mom loves you so much too, and what an amazingly good kitty you are -- the best I've ever known.

I wanted to be strong for you, but somehow the tears kept falling. I did the best I could to be your rock, Reuben, and I truly hope it helped. But there were things in those crazy last moments that I was feeling, yet couldn't put words to. I want you to know all of them, which is the point of this letter:

When I say you were the most amazing cat I've ever know, I'm not exaggerating one bit. After fostering kittens for almost a year, I was only more certain that you were oh-so-special. None of the other cats in this world can hold a candle to you, buddy. You had so many qualities to admire, and were so many things that many people can only aspire to. You loved everyone. Instantly. You were seemingly always wise. You were steadfast. You were firm, but kind. You were regal, but still humble enough to have silly fun. You were simply amazing.

You have been my rock for nearly my entire life, sometimes the only thing I felt to be a constant, and it's hard to imagine that the world has gone on turning since you left it. True, there are some things that are easier since you left: I have all the cream to myself and I don't have to worry about your stealthy door escape tactics. I feel a twinge of guilt when I realize that these parts of life are now simpler. But I tell you this quite honestly: I would never drink cream again if you could still be here. You know how much I hate milk in my coffee, but if I could always have your warm, gray, fuzziness in my life, I would never resent the cream of mine that you were slurping.

I also want to apologize for all of the times when I didn't treat you as well as you deserved. For the times when I accidentally stepped on your begging-for-food-in-the-kitchen self, for the times when I yelled at you for incessantly meowing in my face, and for every single time that I left and didn't hug and kiss you goodbye -- because I would give just about anything for a Reuben cuddle in this moment.

I'm so glad that Dan was lucky enough to get to know and love you in your last few months. I believe that you trusted him with me enough to let go. He keeps telling me that you'll always be around as long as I remember you and hold you in my heart, so now I just need to heal enough to be able to do that. They say that the more you loved, the stronger the grief. I definitely believe that after this weekend.

Mom suggested we get a potted evergreen tree and put it out on our balcony in your honor, so Dan and I did just that. It's a wonderful little tree, very strong and loveable, just like you. I put your collar out there on it so that a little piece of you can enjoy the "fresh" New York City air without having to be tied up for safety ;)

I placed it in a spot of honor and where I can see it from the couch. I will always think of you whenever I see the Reuben Tree.

In case you can't tell from this letter, I miss you ever so much, Reuben. I tell Dan that several times a day when I can't hold it in anymore. We both love you so much and promise that you will always be a part of our little family, as well as part of the family that is me, Mom, and Theo.

Visit me in my dreams every once in awhile, okay? Sometimes it gets scary in there and you never know when you're going to need a kitty to chase away the dinosaurs. To the moon and back, Reubie Kitty.

-Your Katie

Monday, August 31, 2009

Intolerance on the Megabus

Every discount bus line seems to have its horror stories. The Fung Wah is plagued by bus breakdowns and drivers being pulled over for traffic violations, Greyhound has creepers cutting off random people's heads, and Megabus, well, Megabus has passengers blithely reading pro-racial segregation and anti-caucasion faux-textbooks with such gems of wisdom as, "negroids should not mate with caucasians because the caucasian race is only trying to infect others with their leprosy." WHAT? What does that even mean?!?

I was able to snap a picture of the book he was reading after catching a few horrifying sentences. I guess the (caucasian) woman next to him didn't notice what he was reading because I saw them animatedly chatting later on. My only hope is that he was reading along in that book out of some morbid curiosity and was just as disgusted as I was.

In more pleasant news, I was recognized on the bus by two girls who read my blog! Hooray for random internet connection encounters :)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

We Won Because You All Rock!

So the results of the New York Love Story film contest are in -- and we WON! We couldn't be more thrilled or more thankful to all of you for helping us win something so special. Your voting, tweeting, re-posting, and comments of support meant so much to us.

We can't wait to get started filming and share our hard work with you! It really is a dream come true for two actors getting married :)

Thanks also to Kat for hosting the contest and to Todd (whom we can't wait to meet!) for this incredible opportunity. Oh, and of course I can't forget the amazing Jenna of That Wife Blog, for finding the contest and pushing me to write our story for it!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Vote For Us To Win a Free Love Story!

Hi All!

We're one of the top three finalists in a contest at Rock 'n Roll Bride to win a free love story film about us and I'd love if you could swing on by there and help us out by voting for Kate and Dan!

Hope all is well with you NY'ers :)

Friday, August 7, 2009

There's a 10-foot tall chicken at my subway stop...

Nothing gets noticed like a man in an inflatable 10-foot tall chicken suit. Not only was he dressed like a chicken that was practically the size of the stay-puffed marshmallow man, but he was clucking and dive-bombing people as they walked by. Look at the fear in this lady's eyes as he went in for the kill:

It was pretty hysterical, actually. Either that, or I'm easily amused, because I sat there on a bench outside the subway station for a good ten minutes watching him chase people. I think he was advertising a fried chicken place, but I couldn't even tell you where.

The things you see in NYC :)

Friday, July 24, 2009

What $70 buys you in NYC

Got my groceries the other morning and as I unpacked all the bags onto my kitchen table, I was suddenly very sad. THIS is how much food $70 can buy you in Manhattan:

Not much, right? Pretty much just the bare essentials to get us through about 8-9 days at a time. It's a good thing we're both small people and light eaters!

Just in case you were wondering, there's a fruit and veggie stand on our corner, so that's why my grocery store purchases are light on the fresh stuff :)

Sunday, July 19, 2009


This just tickled my funny bone today:

I guess that makes me immature ;)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Wonders of Wo Hop

I have to take a few minutes to share with all of you the magic of my favorite Chinese food: Wo Hop

Located at 17 Mott Street, two blocks downtown of Canal, this is simply the best Chinese food imaginable. The place is tiny, usually crowded, and the service is hurried (although that means you get your food FAST!), but it's worth every inconvenience. They're open 24 hours, and although I've never done it because it's too far from our place, I hear it's great 3 AM post-bar food. I personally want to be sober enough to remember every meal I have at Wo Hop. You can get a huge serving of delicious food for easily less than $10, which is practically a miracle in Manhattan. Make sure you go to the downstairs dining room for the true authentic experience. Cheesy headshots line the walls and make for great conversation starters. Truly, if you haven't been here, you haven't experienced New York yet, but that's just my opinion.

I always smile like this at Wo Hop. That's how good it is.

Check it out. Expect a skeevy diner-like ambiance and amazing, fast, cheap food.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Us New York Girls, We Stick Together

Yesterday, while riding the 6 home from work, I thwarted a crime. Yes, you read that right. I am a real-life crime fighter. Okay, so it wasn't that big of a deal, but it did shake me up a bit.

I was sitting on a crowded train heading back to Midtown when I noticed that the man next to me was taking pictures with his camera phone. Since I am often one to take camera phone pics of outlandish fashion or strange happenings, I nosily looked over to see what he was noticing.

Little did I expect to find that he was trying to get a crotch shot of the girl sitting across from us wearing a short skirt! I stared for a second, flabbergasted and not knowing what to do, before saying as loudly as I could, "Woah, THAT's inappropriate."

He got really mad at me and started yelling that he wasn't doing anything and I could check his phone. I just looked straight ahead until he stormed off at the next stop.

The woman started getting teary and thanked me profusely. I was honestly a little shaken because I wasn't sure how he would react to a little redhead calling him out, but I wasn't about to let him get away with that nastiness.

Once I calmed down, I was really proud. To paraphrase a man wiser than I, Evil is allowed to take hold when good people stand by and do nothing.

You mess with one of us New York ladies, and you mess with us all!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Jumpin' Jiminy!

Today, while my sweet fiance was walking me to the subway stop, we had quite the bizarre experience. 

We had brought out little dog along for the walk and he's the sweetest, most gentle dog ever. He weighs 15 pounds and is all furry. How threatening is that?

This woman walking in the opposite direction of us on a crowded sidewalk jumped so far to get out of the dog's way that she ended up grabbing my arm tightly enough to scratch me with her fingernails. After babbling something in another language that I couldn't understand, she kind of scurried away as fast as she could.

This has happened a couple of times before to us when walking our dog (although I've never been injured from it before!) and I always wonder why these people are scared enough to visibly jump. Maybe it's a cultural thing to not be used to dogs? I don't get it.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Bryant Park is Movin' On Up!

Has anyone seen the new Southwest porch in Bryant Park?

It's gorgeous! It's got porch swings, rocking chairs, cushioned benches, white lights overhead and outlets!

I've been watching them do construction for weeks and it was totally worth it. This is my new fave Bryant Park hangout.

It's perfect for a lazy afternoon blogging (yay!) or for an evening glass of wine with your honey (imbibed from an unmarked water bottle, of course).

Props to Bryant Park and Southwest for making this happen. Just one more reason why Bryant Park is the best park!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Dirty Baby

Today I saw a saw a young woman let the baby she was taking care of (it didn't seem like her daughter) sit on the floor of the subway car and roll around. Umm...gross, anyone?

I get all paranoid when I touch the pole in the subway, nevermind wanting my child to roll around on the floor!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Fresh versus...stale?

Yesterday, while riding on the Q train downtown to Canal, there was a stereotypical empty vomit-covered seat in the corner. No one was sitting there until we stopped at 14th Street and a young couple walked on and made a beeline for the seat. The woman sitting across from it politely volunteered, "Oh, I wouldn't sit there. Look..." and pointed out the dirty trail of what could be anything covering the seat and surrounding floor. The young woman about to sit down then asked, "Is it fresh?"

None of us knew how to answer this question.

But more importantly, does it matter? It's still vomit. Only in New York.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

An Authentic NYC Experience

I walk by this billboard in Times Square quite frequently, and it never fails to surprise me that a ubiquitous chain restaurant (which was founded in Atlanta, in case you were wondering) could in any way be a true representation of the "New York Experience".

I just. Don't. Get it.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Reason #38,601 why I love New York

Because even though there are 8 million people living here, I still manage to run into at least one friend on the subway every week :)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

No, I won't come visit you in the purple part of Queens!

I discovered this really cool "heat" map for the subway system today. You enter in your address in New York, and it tells you by color how long it will take you to get anywhere else in the city. Very neat!,+new+york,+ny&t=&z=13&lat=40.74257499754292&lng=-73.90485763549804

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Wedding Reception Location!

Well, first off I should probably apologize to all of you for being so absent lately. Wedding planning has been eating up any and all of my spare time!

I have a few seconds (very few!), so I thought I'd share with you where the reception will be held:

We just put down the deposit and signed the contract on the Midtown Loft and Terrace yesterday! This gorgeous loft is located on 5th avenue and was originally waaay out of our budget, but after the fall of the economy and with some artful wheeling and dealing, we've been able to afford it!

Now everytime I walk down 5th avenue around there I get chills. I can't wait for October.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Signs of the Recession Part 3

I give to you: one photograph taken right near Grand Central of a line that extended out the door and nearly to the next corner for free KFC grilled chicken. 

For starters, a normal KFC meal is only about $5. I'm not saying that's nothing, but still (in my humble and empty-pocketed opinion) not enough to wait in a 45-minute line for. Not to mention, they were offering their gnarly-looking grilled chicken. This from a place called Kentucky FRIED Chicken.

I think this shows just how bad the economy is affecting people.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Preemie Walk recap

Just a quick note to let you all know that the 2009 March of Dimes Preemie Walk was a big success!

It was beautiful weather for a walk through NYC with baby-lovers. We were lucky enough to have friends and family (and our puppy!) walking with us for support.

There's nothing like walking through Manhattan with no cars trying to run you over and the sun shining brightly. Nothing.

It sure as hell beat last year's walk, when it was in the 50's and raining all morning. Either way, we raised lots of money for babies and had a great time!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Playing Tourist : Love Sign

The mister and I had his parents in town this weekend, and so begins our excuse to run around NYC behaving like tourists.

We've always wanted to take a picture in front of Robert Indiana's LOVE sculpture that stands on 6th avenue at 55th street, just a few blocks from the park. Well, we got our chance.

Even though it's such a stereotypical place to take a picture and it's such a touristy thing to do, we had fun sitting amidst the big, red block letters and posing, as if merely the fact that we were taking a picture underneath the word "love" could prove that we were in love. No, it takes a lot more than that. 

But it can't hurt, right?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Wedding planning in NYC

For those of you who are at all interested, I thought I'd share this wedding inspiration board I dreamed up. We're deep in the throes of wedding planning on what would be a lavish budget in any city but this one, and I plan to start sharing a bit more of how we're accomplishing an affordable and yet still elegant evening wedding in Manhattan. Stay tuned for more!

Image hosted @

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Preemie Walk: Year Three

As most of you probably don't know, my sister was born at 32 weeks (two whole months premature) and as a result, she spent over a month in the NICU fighting for her life. She's now three and a half years old and perfectly healthy and I participate in the March of Dimes Preemie Walk every year to honor both her fighting spirit and my Mom's bravery. This is my third year doing the walk and I have raised over $2000 in total so far! Please help support me and all of the world's tiniest babies.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Shoe heaven

Yesterday, my friend Christina and I had the great fortune of stumbling upon one of the best reasons to love living in New York: wholesale shoe showrooms. Let me explain.

So she finds these perfect shoes, but the biggest size they have left is a 5 1/2 and I wear a 7. Damn. I checked on the website, still only tiny ones there, too. I called all three DSW stores in the city and nothing. I finally took to scouring the internet for any reference to "Caparros" shoes and couldn't find the exact pair anywhere, but did find a bare-bones website that vaguely reference their warehouse in L.A., their showroom in N.Y., and the fact that Caparros shoes are sold at Lord & Taylor (which is right around the corner from my apartment). After striking out again at Lord & Taylor, Christina and I decided to venture into the unknown of the shoe showroom.

We had to search to find the building up on 57th street and then were told that the showroom was on the 10th floor by a security guard who definitely didn't believe we belonged there. The elevator opened onto a 10th floor filled with offices of well-known brands and we contemplated turning back because, indeed, it didn't look like we belonged there. But we bravely ventured forth into the Caparros showroom! When we rounded the corner, there it was: a BEAUTIFUL room filled with huge windows and shelves and shelves of beautiful shoes. It was like a more spacious and light-filled version of this:

There were two people inside working, a man in an office and a shoe designer named Mo, who immediately greeted us and seemed puzzled at us being there. As soon as I got through my story, they both beamed and immediately offered to help. The man got to work on the computer trying to find the specific style number and Mo showed us around the showroom and let us look at the newest season's ivory shoes. She was delighted at how much we loved all the shoes in the room and eager to hear our opinions on each of her designs (keep in mind there were about 200 shoes in there!). Soon after, the man came out and told us that DSW would be getting a new shipment of my shoes on June 1st, so I should stalk their website for about two weeks and I would be able to get them! What great news! After we spent about half an hour talking to Mo about her designs, they both wished us well and Mo gave me her card in case I wasn't able to get them in June.

What a great (sort of) accidental discovery and great news!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Porno pickup line

Just had to take a quick moment to share with you my new favorite creepy New York guy pickup line:

I was riding the subway out to Brooklyn this past Sunday morning to work on an independent film I've been shooting for awhile now and since it's been a long time since I've worked on this particular film, I was studying my lines that I had previously learned and forgotten before I had the chance to use them.

My focus was broken by a very average-looking middle-aged man who tried to lure me in with, "You know, the great thing about porn is that there aren't many lines."


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Subway seat chivalry

This morning on an uptown 6 train I was able to get up and give my seat to a very pregnant woman and that, for some reason, made my day.

This was the first time I've ever given up my seat for anyone on the subway (although I did once on the bus) and not because I don't want to. I have a couple of problems with doing it. For one, when I'm riding the subway, it's often early in the morning and I'm barely conscious, much less looking around the train to see who I'm riding with. And two, I struggle with being afraid of offending people who are borderline old enough to need a seat. I sometimes see people in their late fifties or sixties who I think should be sitting down, but whom I think are still active enough to potentially be offended by the implication that they're too "elderly" to stand for a few minutes.

I've seen many a seat given up for someone else, be it an older person, a pregnant lady, someone with a cane, or even sometimes just because a man wants to be chivalrous towards a woman. 

I love seeing it because it's a quick reminder of how good people in this city can be.

Monday, April 6, 2009

A day in the life of an extra

Great article in the Times about what it's like to be an extra:

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Tragedy on my block

I'm sure many of you have heard the story of what happened to Ysemny Ramos on Friday afternoon. If not, I'll fill you in: she was a pregnant mother of three on her way home from work and walking on the sidewalk minding her own business when she was run over by a man driving a Gristedes van. This all happened on the very corner where we live.

This incident has really touched me. First, it happened no more than 500 feet from where we live. Second, this woman was a beautiful young woman with a family who was on her way home to celebrate her wedding anniversary; it doesn't get sadder than that. And third, she had no warning and did nothing wrong and she was suddenly struck down from behind -- it could happen to anyone at any time, which is a thought that scares me not a little.

I keep thinking about her and her family and how they must be feeling. I brought her a calla lily today and was pleased to find that a makeshift memorial has been set up on the spot where she laid, complete with candles and flowers and other trinkets, which made me happy. I'm glad people will see it and remember her and want to know what happened. I cried when I brought her the lily because it just seems so unfair. People were walking by and stopping to read the newspaper article that had been hung up, so at least attention will be paid.

It rained this afternoon and some of the candles went out, so Dan promised to go re-light them when he walks Duncan later on. We're thinking of you, Ysemny. And we're thinking of your husband and beautiful children.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Another reason to hate the MTA

The "doomsday" budget plan was approved by the MTA today, which calls for an increase in fares from $2 to $2.50 and service cuts, including cutting over 30 bus lines and the W subway line. 

This is dire news for people like me, who can barely afford to take the subway as it is. It bothers me to see MTA employees standing around on platforms not doing anything, while I'm being squeezed for a fare hike. The colossal waste in MTA operations is staggering to me. Case in point: the other day, I had friends in town who wanted to buy a Metrocard. They put their cash in and the machine didn't spit out a card. They took it to the man in the booth, who told them to call the 1-800-METROCARD number. Well, we got home and called and they spent 10 minutes asking us questions about what happened, only to tell us to go BACK to the station and get an envelope from someone in the booth so that we could mail in the receipt. Was this really necessary?? Poor organization and employees who don't give a shit about their jobs conribute immensely to the fact that I'm now going to have to pay $2.50 to ride the subway.

Some people argue that NYC has one of the cheapest mass transit systems in the world, so we shouldn't be upset about paying more. My feelings on this are many:

1. We also have by far the dirtiest mass transit system I have ever seen. That's gotta count for something. Yeah, we pay about 40% less than Metro riders in Washington D.C., but have you ever seen how clean their system is? I never smell pee there.

2. NYC is also the least car-accessible city I've ever been to. Living in Midtown, I effectively have no choice but to ride mass transit because there's no way I can afford to garage my car and it's illegal to park on my street about 75% of the time. If the city is going to make it illegal for me to park a car on my own street, then mass transit needs to be as accessible as possible.

3. There should be no free bridges with access to Manhattan if the MTA doesn't have enough money and it's quite clear that Manhattan doesn't need any more cars coming and going.

If I didn't think I'd get flattened like a manhole cover, I'd start searching Craigslist for a bike.

Monday, March 23, 2009

What a sight!

Today I caught sight of a man with yellow highlighter-colored hair biking down my sidewalk singing songs as he went. I couldn't help but be a little jealous of him for really and truly not caring what anyone thought of him.

P.S. Where did spring go??

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Pick-up doozie

Tonight, while walking home from the gym, I was reminded of why I started this blog in the first place: to share all the nasty pick-up lines with someone other than my fiance.

Tonight I got "Hey beautiful, can I eat your p*ssy?"

How offensive and disturbing.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Good weather guilt

The past few days that I've been to the gym, it as literally been overflowing with people. I usually go at around 10 or 11 in the morning or 2 or 3 in the afternoon (you know, when "normal" people are at work!) so that I can avoid the crowds. For some reason, I just can't work out when there are tons of people around. I start to feel like everyone's watching me and judging and I don't enjoy myself. Anyways, I've been heading to the gym at the same times I usually do, but even on the weekdays, it's been crazy in there for the past 3 or 4 days. I couldn't figure out why.

Until it dawned on me. The weather.

Saturday and Sunday were so gorgeous out here that I wore a sundress both days and we kept the windows to the apartment open for hours and hours.

The weather. That must be it. Everyone's suddenly starting to feel like they need their beach bodies back! I don't know if it's subconscious or not, but I think it's really interesting that even in this day and age, even in this ultra-modern and ultra-urban lifestyle of New York City, humans' actions are still so dictated by nature.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Signs of the Recession Part 2

The sheer volume of empty stores and shops having their final closing sales and steep discounts on places trying to save their skins is overwhelming.

This particular space for rent is on the ground floor in Midtown on 5th ave. Except for a brief interlude during the holiday season, this space has been empty and looking for a tenant since the fall.

What kind of world is it where ground floor space on 5th ave won't move? It's scary to me, and it's scary to a lot of other people, too, from what I can see. I hope we can turn things around soon, but right now that's not looking too likely.

Monday, March 2, 2009

New York City snowstorm

When I'm not forced to go out in it, there's nothing more beautiful than New York City in a snowstorm...

Photo taken by Jan Wandrag 03/01/09

Thursday, February 26, 2009

NYC apartments: Jetsons Style

I came across this very interestingly-designed apartment building on my way home from work tonight. As I was walking on 71st street between 2nd and 3rd, I looked up and saw one building that was quite different from all the rest .

It kind've looks like something that belongs in a space city. I wonder how the neighbors felt about this remarkably different building being constructed on their block...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Signs of the Recession Part 1

I've decided to start a little ongoing series entitled, "Signs of the Recession" because I've encountered many images that so perfectly capture the spirit of the times. For now, I'll start with actual signage, but I may branch out later to other images, so stay tuned.

To start with, I've chosen this quite poorly-photographed, but perfectly exemplary image you see here.

This was a sign posted on the outside of a dry cleaning establishment on E 72nd st and it reads, "If you are unemployed and need an outfit cleaned for an interview, we will do it free of charge." 

I thought this was both awfully magnamimous and also such a powerful example of how deeply the troubles of the economy are hurting the city. It really made me stop and think and so I was compelled to share it with all of you. Hopefully, you're all doing okay and are gainfully employed, but for those of you who are on the job interview circuit, this place is on 72nd street between 1st and 2nd.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Some things are worth leaving New York for

And sleeping next to my three-year-old sister is one of them :)

On NYC hiatus until Wednesday!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

When the evil Shredder attacks...

Only in New York can you run into these sorts of things as you leave the train station on your commute home...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Living and breathing NYC

I apologize for the lack of entries as of late. The camera in my phone hasn't been working, so I haven't had a good way to share pictures. Hopefully it will start working again soon.


I was thinking today about how New York City really has a strong presence in my life, as if it were a close friend or family member. And I treat it that way. I can sense its moods and its feelings and its needs. I feel like I can talk to it and like it either has it out for me some days or is in my corner on others. I can feel its pulse and appreciate its diverse neighborhoods, like they were birthmarks or a unique eye color.

I've never felt this way about the place I lived before, and I'm not sure why that is. I don't think most cities have such a distinct personality or such a strong personified presence.

By the way, New York is definitely a woman. Just in case you were wondering.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Packed like purse-less sardines

Yesterday, while waiting for the correct train to take me home from an audition in L.I.C. Queens, I witnessed an instance of train crowding that truly made me laugh.

One woman was so insistent upon getting on the front car of this Jamaica-bound A train, that she shoved herself into an already-packed train that was literally so full that she couldn't get her purse inside with her. The doors closed and the straps of the purse were caught in them, leaving the woman on the inside of the train and her purse hanging outside. It was quite a sight; I really wish I had been able to get a picture.

She seemed pretty unperturbed, considering her valuables looked destined to make the trip flapping in the breeze. I had to laugh and wonder A. how often does this happen? and B. did everything she owns make it to the next stop in one piece?

Props to her for not caring what happens to her purse, as long as she got home from work on-time.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Urban treehouses

Has anyone seen the urban treehouses in Madison Square Park? There are something like a dozen of them, scattered throughout the trees, along with little signs explaining that they're somehow supposed to be considered art.

Now, I'm not sure how treehouses = art, but what I do know is that, come spring and summer months, those treehouses could fetch quite a premium rent. Throw a rope ladder out the door and you've got yourself quite a little financial investment there.

I mean, really! They look like pretty spacious studios for Midtown and they're in a great location. Park views, right across from the Flatiron building, no upstairs neighbors, a little private deck...I bet they could even have pets there!

I like to think of them as the new "it" summer places for all those investment bankers who can't afford the Hamptons this year.