Thursday, October 9, 2014

SoHo SoFun!

I like the city, my brother is a history teacher, and Eddie enjoys a quick walk over a long walk, so we all had a good time completing the StrayBoots scavenger hunt in Soho.  While we had a pretty easy time finding almost all the things we had to, we had a very difficult time finding a pretzel vendor.  We met up near the blue building, and we found what we needed to find next, but then, we wanted a pretzel and all that was there was an empty cart.  Are we supposed to get one ourselves? we asked aloud.  A woman standing nearby agreed, Yeah I know!  So instead of moving on, we stood there for a while.  No one showed up.  We continued with the search, and lucky enough it brought us right back to the pretzel cart where the vendor finally appeared and we were able to get a snack.  For joy!

We found a lot of really cool things.  My brother, who should be a city tour guide, found somethings he didn't already know about, but mostly, Eddie and I found that we didn't really need StrayBoots or their extra fun facts because as soon as we arrived at a destination, my brother was all, Yes sure back in 1883 there were applecarts and Sirus O'Neal was the first man to discover iron and blah dee blah dee blahdee.  Basically, Mr. History knows his shit, and I was banned from looking things up on the Google "just to doublecheck" that he was right.

Cat? Ferret? Lizard?

This made me happy.

Guess who took a picture of this.

Old Timey Ice Cream
The only downer was finding one address, typing it in, and getting the screen that said we were wrong. Bummer.  I tried again.  Wrong.  Bummer.  Then it told me that the correct answer was the exact answer I'd typed in.  I immediately declared that I would write a very strong letter to StrayBoots.  I actually did write an email a few days later, and they wrote me back to say thanks and they'd check into it.  Hey! Where's my free stuff?  Why else write a very strong letter?  It's the only reason to write a very strong letter.  My very strong letter was not in need of a thanks, but in need of a here's a free t-shirt. (I do not want a free t-shirt.  The t-shirt is a symbol for any cool free thing except for an actual t-shirt).

My favorite part was the end because nothing happens in the end.  When you go on a scavenger hunt, you build a lot of momentum and anticipation.  However, unlike games or mazes, when you're done, you're done.  The app gives you a few restaurant suggestions nearby, but really, the whole experience is very anti-climactic.  You all just kind of look at each other and go, okay well that's it now.  As we walked back to the subway (Read: as my brother led us back to the subway) and as the sun got to its highest and we started to realize, hey it's really hot out (Read: I was sweating profusely), we figured out ways to be less anti-climactic and decided that at the end, if you earn a certain amount of points, you should get a voucher to use at one of the restaurants nearby or for one of the places you found along the way.  StrayBoots, this means you.  Get on that.  Thanks.
Me on the train platform's waiting room

 So we learned a bit, had a whole lot of fun, and then got nothing tangible in the end, but the experience was priceless, and I can't wait for the next one.

Oh, did I mention we went for my birthday?

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Book Launch Success!

A big thanks to everyone who came out to hear me read and buy my chapbook.  The night was simply wonderful.

I read and people listened.

I kept track of what I read.

Peter V. Dugan introduced me on the fly.

Moms are great.

People listened intently.

I stood in this pose which made me look like I had to pee.  I did not have to pee.

These are the most amazing personalized cookies ever by Southpaw Sweets.

A reserved table for the amazing cookies

Me and S and her cookies

I read more.
And if you missed it, no worries.  I'll be reading again hopefully sooner rather than later.  If you don't want to wait for a reading and really need to read the book like right now, then check this out. Us writers, we're pretty good self-publicists, too.  Speaking of...a few journals are looking for reviews of the book, so if you've read it and want to review it, drop me a line.  See?  Self-publicizing. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Top O' The Rock To Ya

The summer was time for the long awaited bday gift from January to finally come to fruition.  I'd promised my mom a trip to the Top of the Rock.  I bought the tickets online for a specific time and somehow also bought vouchers for pictures and also a view finder thingie.  While the picture vouchers came in handy, I never figured out what the heck the view finder thingie was.

We took the E train and got out of the subway to find Rock Center but not Top of the Rock.  We walked all the way around where the skating rink is in the winter and saw the Jeff Koons venture into topiary-dom. We walked up and down steps.  We found a security guard to ask where we were going, and he said quite magically,  Find the red carpet around this corner.  Ooooh.  Fancy!

We found it very easily, went right inside, and the guy tells us to take the stairs because it's easier and faster than the elevator.  That's true for people who can run up circular staircases, but not for people who can receive senior discounts.  We did make it up the stairs before the elevator did, though, and we breezed through the security line.

Then came Photo Op 1.  While waiting on line, you can sit on a bench in front of a wall sized photo of the city as if we were those construction guys sitting on a beam.  You know the one.  The photograph has the greatest job ever.  These were his instructions: get together like you like each other! Okay, okay, now be Charlie's Angels girls!, yes, yes, now act like you're falling! One two three ahhh! Okay, there you go thank you.

He zipped through it really quickly and later on, we saw in the first picture we weren't even ready to take the picture, but it was really funny.

Pretty soon, we go on the elevator up to the roof. It takes somewhere in the 40 second range to shoot up many many floors.  As we went up, there was a movie show on the ceiling of the elevator.  No joke.
We got out of the elevator to enjoy three levels of oohing and ahhing. 

And tourists pushing people out of the way.  Not to be one to be pushed, my mom very loudly said, Excuse you!  To which the tourist responded, excuse me.  Heh heh.  Little lady is a firecracker.

Around and around we walked, taking in the city as it lit up, orienting and reorienting ourselves as to where we were and what we were looking at.  Really, it wasn't that crowded, yet people have a way of making it seem that way, like setting up a tripod when they are forbidden or staring at the same building without moving or allowing other people to see.  Also, some people were holding their iPhones out between the safety glass and hoping not to drop them as they took selfies.  People?  Are dumb.

Photo Op 2 came. This photograph was on the very top of the top.  She asked where we were from.  We laughed and said, New York.  She was from London.  She had us do a whole lot of poses.  Once she told me to hold my hand up high and pull my fingers together.  I figured she was trying to make it seem like I was holding the Empire State building from its spire, but upon seeing the photos later, as I'd figured, I wasn't tall enough to do so and it looked like I simply have an odd way of pointing.

We'd went around and around and decided we'd had enough, so we went to redeem our photos and then got on the line to go down to the street on the elevator.  We were jostled into a line on which there were some very nice people but also some people who were very annoying and somewhat loud.  They were speaking German, so I kept asking my mom if she knew what they were saying.  But because they were tall and murmuring, she couldn't even hear them. 
Too close for comfort

For two New York gals, one who's lived in the city, Top Of The Rock is still an amazing experience.  Sometimes it's fun to be a tourist in your own home state.  You have to be ready, though, for some people to break basic ettiquette of the public transportation system.
No.  Just, no.

A middle seat taken up by a drink?  Really?  (This is my mom breaking the rule).
A great time fulfilling a birthday wish.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Will Cotton and Milk Shakes

On a day when we were both finally free, S and I decided to meet up at a gallery to see Will Cotton's artwork.  I found her on the street about to cross, wearing a "look at my rib shirt."  It's all the rage in Europe, you know.  (I'm completely making this up). Later on, we saw a girl wearing the same kind of shirt with only a bra under it.  Now, that's really what the rage is in Europe.  (or not. whatever).

Will Cotton had one piece in the show called Look At Me. That's exactly what Eddie's neice always says, so I walked around the entire exhibit repeating, Look at me! Look at me! in much the same way.  It's fun to say.

In addition to the Will Cotton piece, there were a bunch of other portraits and one short film of a naked lady getting water sprayed at her.  We caught it midway through, so we waited for it to loop around. She never looked very happy about the whole water situation though we could not figure out if she was walking through water or getting it sprayed at her or dumped on her.  It looked cold.

A while back, we went to see an entire Will Cotton exhibit, and we weren't supposed to take pictures.  When S was admiring one of the paintings, I stepped back and got a shot of her looking at it, and that became the best picture ever.  So here, where photograph was allowed or at least no one cared enough to tell us not to take pictures, we recreated the moment and I can actually show it now without fear of copyright infringement. Hopefully.

Since we were in the neighborhood, we stopped by Dylan's Candy Bar when we were done looking at the me's.

Then, because I had two free gift cards to Big Daddy's, we walked down to Big Daddy's.  S noted, "This is kind of like us doing a 5 K."  Yes, yes it was.  From all the way uptown to all the way downtown, walking through that weird area of  Park Ave where it stops and starts and cars are overhead, block after very long block, by the time we got there, we were hungry.  It was good timing because all the apps were half price so we split 'em, I got a salad, and we wound up paying for only the milkshakes.
This is the "look at my rib" shirt. S wears a tank top under hers, which is all the rage in the land of being appropriate.

And of course, I not only noticed but found the need to point out this grammatical error on the menu.

Just like sounds! I'm an asshole!

 Once rested and full, we took our milkshakes to go and headed out to some subway station or other.  We passed by Madison Square Park and I remembered, Free public art!  I'd wanted to see some sculptures, and as an added bonus we also saw fake pigeons because NYC doesn't have enough real ones.

Rachel Feinstein: Folly

Rachel Feinstein: Folly

Rachel Feinstein: Folly
These are not real!

From there, S found her subway and I walked to Penn to

1. take an off-peak train


2. to walk off the milkshake.  I'd hadn't had a milkshake in years and years, and it took all my willpower to not curl up and roll myself back to the station.  So worth it, though.  So totally worth it.