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