Topics of conversations around all things girly!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

TOPSHOP has US Online Store!

Hello Ladies,

Topshop, UK's premier cool store, has a US online store available now! Go to:

to see all kinds of cuteness. Their shoes are uber cute, but a little on the expensive side. Anyways, very cute stuff here. I hope to make a purchase soon.

They are also opening up a NYC store, but it's been delayed. Boo. Maybe next time?


Sunday, September 7, 2008

A La Art

I finally found something worth me posting. I went to the Mountain View Art and Wine Festival today and stumbled across a great new, sassy artist: De La Nuez. His work is fairly unique and a little cheeky. I found myself wanting to buy a few delectable print for our retro style kitchen. I say prints because the actual canvas's run a few honey's.

Here's the addy:

Enjoy Ladies!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

NYC: Day Five!

Rise and shine! It's shopping day! I wake up early - yes 8:30 am on a Saturday is early - and am happy to see that the rain has subsided. Excellent. I eat some yogurt and get ready for the day. I have picked out a very cute summer dress to wear with my flip flops today. No mustard cord skirt for a change.

I step out the door and notice that the day is extra balmy. The street is different, too. It is has been blocked off and is lined with vendors - a farmers/flea market of sorts. Lovely! I peruse their wares and specialties but am really just excited to go to SoHo. So, off I go. I decide to walk because I want to enjoy the weather and scenery.

I know I've arrived in SoHo when I see the cobblestone streets. At last. I'm not sure where to begin but I trust Broadway might hold the answer. Sure enough, I find SoHo's sweet spot. It quickly begings to remind me of Haight Street. While there are more 'high end' type stores here (Ben Sherman, A/X, Prada), there are several boutiques exactly like those in Haight. Let the shopping begin. I go around up and down Broadway and in everywhere in between. I am a thorough shopper. Soon, though, I am hungry. I remember seeing an awesome donut/muffin bakery on the way there and wished that I had purchased something because I can't seem to find a cool place like that around SoHo. I settle for a Dean and Deluca cinnamon sticky bun. It goes down fast because I am hungry and because I don't want to waste precious shopping time. After D&D, I'm off again. This time I am entering different territory.

Chinatown. Crowded, dirty, stinky, hot. There are rows and rows of vendors all selling the same wares. Here is the ethnic breakdown in these parts: asians and hispanics sell the wares from the tiny stores, blacks sell fake Rolexs from the sidewalk, and whites are suckered into purchasing everything. I am constantly asked if I want to see Coach and Gucci purses in 'the back room' I say, 'No thanks.' Don't they see the Juicy I'm carrying already?

Anyways, if you keep walking down Canal Street, you will eventually see Little Italy. Of course, I will pay homage to my personal ethnicity. The streets are lined in garland arches of green, red, and white. Some of the apartments are also decorated in similar color schemes. The main street, Mulberry, is lined with vendors and restaurants. Like Canal Street, people are constantly in your face. Except instead of purses, they are trying to sell you reservations to their restaurant. I would like to eat there, but have to keep moving on. I rest for a bit on the sidewalk next to 2 French girls who are apparently lost. After a while, I get up and decide to head back up through SoHo and into 5th Ave/Madison Ave territory.

It's then when the torrential rain starts. I'm talking windy rain. Makes you wet all over. So much for my flip flops and sun dress. I'm soaked! The rains here (at least in the summer) are like those in Hawaii, very warm. I'm not cold but the wet feeling is uncomfortable. I remember seeing a Pearl River market store and quickly run to it. I know they will have a cheap umbrella. I also need to get a plastic bag to keep my CB2 items dry. Luckily, they have both for under $6. Bargain here, trust me. I head up with my newly acquired items. Ok, not so bad.

Until about 2 minutes later when the rain decides to come at everyone from all directions and winds are whipping umbrellas up faster than you can blink an eye. Ok, where's the closest subway station? I spy an entrance on Prince. I get over as soon as I can.

Obviously, everyone and their mother is down here as well. It's raining. I catch the N/W train to who knows where. All I know is that it's going Uptown which is where I'm headed. Unfortunately, this train goes a funky way and I'm closer now, yes, but not close enough. Sigh. It's okay, as long as I'm not cold, I'll move along. I keep making my way and stopping into shops every now and again to dry and rest. Pretty soon, I reach home. It's been a long day but I get ready to go out for dinner.

Dinner is at Tartine restaurant in the West Village (11th Ave at 4th Ave.) It's a tiny French place on the corner. Food was incredible and I made friends with my table neighbors, Mary and Hunter. The restaurant is small so it was easy to make friends. Plus, I had to endure them talking about how awesome each one was when he/she was young. My beet salad was topped off with a wonderful raspberry tart. Ce magnifique! I ask Hunter for a good local bar - he recommends the White Horse on Hudson. Ok, so I stroll over there only to find that the place is dead. Is it because of the weather?

I continue along Hudson hoping to find something cool. I think, though, that the weather makes everyone stay inside. I head back to Chelsea, back to my gay, gay neighborhood. This time I stop in at the Viceroy. It's a cool San Franciscan looking place. The bartender, gay but super nice, serves me a Greyhound with Ketel One. Delicious. Soon, I'm on another and...

I'm back at the apartment. Again, another bath is drawn. The whirpool jets make it so nice, too. I assess my financial damage for the day and start organizing to pack. Tomorrow is my last day in New York (well, pending my plane can fly during this weather.) I will be sad but want to continue to make the most of my trip. If it's raining tomorrow I will hit up the Whitney Museum. If not, I want to go to Central Park again (they have a zoo!) and then Barney's and Tiffany's. Pretend I'm filthy, stinking rich.

In the meantime, sleep calls. Good night.


Hello, did you even read my comments?!. The Anthro in RFC is much bigger and better than in SoHo, but anywho...When in Soho, some little asian ladies may try to rush you off to the side, they will want to sell you a 'real' couture bag. Don't know if they are real, but I've heard they are.
Also, you must go to ground zero first. Take the E from Prince Street and it ends at the WTC. Also, skip Canal St, its dirty. If you get to ground zero, take a stroll through NY's oldest cemetary, then head to Century 21...tons of designer everything for super cheap. The jeans are on the third floor...Hopefully you read this before your morning bagel...


Friday, September 5, 2008

NYC: Day Four!

Hello, hello.

Today started off with sleepimg in, well, just a bit. When I awoke, Becky wasn't there. I thought she had gone to the office already. Ten minutes later I hear someone walking up the stairs, open the door, and walk to my room. It's Becky and she has a ginormous Frappucino. She looks at my unapologetically and says, "I was desperate." As I mentioned in my previous blog, sleep has been scarce.

Mahin is going on a tour so Becky and I get ready and head off to the Goog at 9th Avenue, a few short blocks from the apartment. Becky and Mahin are leaving tonight and are very sad to go. I know that I will feel the same way (perhaps magnified?) on Sunday.

The Google NYC office is quite different than good ol' Mountain View. For one, the security is much tighter. We are directed to the Visitors entrance where we are checked and photographed. We get temporary badges, even though we are full fledged employees. We head to the elevators and quickly arrive at our destination. Wow! The NYC office. Upon moving to the front desk to check in, we are greeted by Jesse, a fellow MV-er. He asks us what we are doing here. I think in my head, 'Probably the same thing you are doing here - client visits.' Anyways, it was nice to see a familiar face.

We get our desks and walk and walk and walk to Section F. Jazzy Fresh! gets their own office. Or so we think. Jaime, an engineer, is also there. He, like most engineers, is an awkward turtle. It is hard for Becky and I to concentrate on our work - we are tired and are not looking forward to returning to the hum drum of the office rhythm.

Since I did not eat breakfast and I knew of the bomb cafe on the 8th floor, I lure Becky into going with me. We take the express elevator and are let out on the 8th floor. We are greeted by rows and rows of beverages. I strategically grab an Olde Brooklyn root beer - free souvenir! Unfortunately, breakfast is being cleared and I have to settle for a giant cookie and cereal. As we walk along, we see that there is a terrace. We walk out and are fixed on the beautiful view - the NYC skyline right there, Empire State Building and all. Really, truly awesome (makes the SF office's view of the GG pale in comparison.) Obviously, this is where we'll be having lunch.

We go on to our Snippets meeting. I heart VCing. When we return, again, motivation to do work is low. That's when Jaime asks, 'Are you going to the picnic?' Come again? 'Yeah, are you going to the picnic at Coney Island?' Well, now I am! I race to the receptionist who gives me a wrist band and tells me that people are taking the subway there. Ok, I can do this.

Becky and Mahin are unable to attend but I make a point to go. First, it's a Google picnic - it's gonna be good. Second, Coney Island will be torn down the following day ( This truly is my last chance to see a very historical site. I research the subway trains and am on my way. Take the A train and transfer to the F train at Jay Street. The F train takes you through Brooklyn. I take the opportunity to take pictures. There is a huge graveyard with rows and rows of tombstones and mausoleums. It's right next to a baseball field. Little leagers are playing. I think that the juxtaposition of the cemetary with the little boys baseball game is mildly amusing. I also notice that the subway stops in Brooklyn are considerably worse off than those of Manhattan. Tiles are frequently missing, chipped, bullet holed and some stations are nothing more than awnings on a cement block. I can't help to think how miserable those would be in the winter time. Amazingly, I reach my destination without a glitch.

As I emerge from the Coney Island station, I see a familiar landscape. Coney Island is like the Boardwalk only older and more ghetto. I walk across the street and see Nathan's - the famous hot dog place. I cannot stomach a dog right now so I just take a picture. I mosey on down to the beach and let the glass and cigarette ridden sand go between my toes. Aww, I love the coasts. I walk towards the ocean and the wind is whipping my hair. Great, snarls. I make my way to a rocky area and take some pictures. I stick my feet in the Atlantic. Super, that's three oceans to my feet! I walk along the shore and collect some shells for Miss Phoebe. She likes that sort of thing.

I continue to walk and am taken aback by the clientele at this here beach. Have you no shame? Or are these Jersey Shore peeps? I have never seen so much shake at a beach before. Deciding I've had enough of the overexposure, I walk along the wooden deck and look at the old skool food stands and shops. One catches my eye. I'm suckered in and buy some Coney Island merch for the folks at home. I eventually make my way to the ride area where the other Googlers are. First up, bumper cars! Seriously, I don't think I've been on bumper cars that rough. I'm definitely going to have bruises. But worth it for the fun! Next up, a crazy ride called 'Break Dance.' Basically, you sit in a car that twirls rapidly while you spin on a platform. 5 women got off the ride before it even started. It was me and the rando Googler guy. Again, fun. Last up, and a lame way to end my rides, was Dante's Inferno, or Coney Island's pathetic attempt at a haunted house. It was sad really. I didn't make it to the Cyclone, but did get pictures. It was getting hot and late and I knew I would burn. I made my way back to the station and got on the F train.

This ride, however, was entertaining. A crazy, cracked out lady was on the train talking smack to herself. Pure comedy. It made me feel like home, like I was on BART. The F train took us through Brooklyn again and was sure to sit on the other side to see more views. This time I take notice to the distinct, ethnic boroughs. I notice a Russian district (and I think of my friend Eddy) and I again see Borough Park, the isolated Hasidic Jewish community. I take out my Access NY book and read about Brooklyn. In addition to Russians and Jews, there are large Italian, Polish, and Hispanic communities there. If time permits, I would love to go explore more of Brooklyn on Saturday.

I make my way back to the Google office in time to see Mahin off. We take scooters through the building. Becky calls and they are off. I sit in the office and start to feel nervous/excited that I am now officially on my own in NYC. Excellent. I do some more work and make sure to stock up on free food and beverage. I exit and walk home.

I get to the apartment to find that it's mine and only mine for the weekend! Hot diggity! Damn, I wish I had some people here now! So I freshen up and make it a point not to plan anything. I will go out and let the night lead the way. I end up walking quite a bit - through Chelsea, Greenwich Village, East Village, SoHo, you name it. I am so excited I don't stop for dinner. I keep walking, exploring, observing, smiling. Happy to be there, free of any cares in the world. It's an amazing feeling, one that I don't experience often enough. It's almost midnight and I decide to stop in for a drink. I choose a place across the street from the aprtment, it's called 'Check In.' Very chic, very gay. As a woman, I am a mere 3% of the total female population in there. That's okay, I don't mind. Gimme a Ruby of Siam, stat! It goes down smooth, and it goes down fast. I have a busy day tomorrow so I head back up to plan subway trips to fabulous destinations. I decide to relax and draw myself a bath. Ahhhhhhh.

As I blog, I hear the pitter patter of rain on my sky light. It soon picks up to a faster pace. I look outside the window. No matter the weather, the city is still buzzing.

Good night!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

NYC: Day Three!

I am writing to you earlier tonight. Yes, my dears, I've had too many cocktails. Apologies in advance for any misspellings or general oddity.

Today we had our second client visit - this time in Midtown, off of 55th street. Jon, our client, actually has a retail store. Very exciting for us as most of our clients do not. Just as we did yesterday, Becky and I get up and walk around. We stop at the corner bakery but decide against their bagels. Becky does, however, get her yogurt and granola cup. Becky must have her yogurt. It's true.

We stroll back around to Murray's bagels and get our NYC bagel on. This time I am good and get a spinach with low fat cream cheese. Becky gets multi grain with strawberry. I also get some fresh squeezed orange juice. We head back home and eat our deliciousness. We are cautious not to send ourselves into a bagel coma (as we did yesterday) by eating the whole thing. Two-thirds will do just fine. Becky, ever the homemaker, makes us tea. There are Lipton tea packets conveniently placed on the counter. We watch more of the Republican convention, Sarah Palin this and Sarah Palin that. Is there not anything else happening in the world? Becky asks me to taste the tea. I do and agree that it tastes funny. Arsenic. Just kidding...but maybe? We dump the contents of the mug. Tap water will do just fine this morning.

We get ready. Hmm, wonder what Michele is wearing? Could it be that mustard yellow cord skirt? Well lookey there, it sure is! This time I pair it with my ivory Anthropologie shirt and a beaded necklace. On go my Faryl Robins. Our car is ready at 9:15 and we head out. Traffic is especially bad today since the NFL Kickoff show is in NYC and they've blocked off ten blocks to accomodate the large crowd. Ugh. Nevertheless, we arrive in just enough time to grab some caffeine (desperately needed as sleep has been scarce.) We enter a store next to our clients and notice the sign: 'Gluttony makes you unbuttony.' We laugh and drink our tea.

Our client is actually legit. They have a sign and are located in a prominent area of NYC - in stark contrast to yesterday's client visit. We ring the bell and are buzzed in. Up the stairs we go to the 3rd floor. We knock and wait, and wait. (Kinda like on the subway.) After not getting a response, Becky mentions that she noticed an elevator on our way in. We truck down the stairs and get into the elevator - again, another stark contrast to yesterday's meeting as there was no Spanish profanity on the inside. 3rd Floor dings and we arrive in the retail space for our client. Impressive. We are greeted by Jon who leads us into his meeting area. Carpeted...nice. He introduces us to his SEO, Brian. Mahin sets up the cute little projector. We begin.

After our meeting ends, we explore the retail shop. It's a small but appealing showroom. The many kinds of hidden cameras, gps devices, and hiding devices are interesting to look at. Bluetooth devices, ties, baseball caps, alarm clocks, wall clocks, fans, and mirrors all contain tiny, pinhole size cameras. It quickly makes us paranoid.

We depart for La Bonne Soupe ( where I've made reservations for 4. Jon, helping a customer, will join us later. I head up with Becky and Brian. Small talk goes on while we wait for Jon. Becky and I get the soup/salad/bread/dessert/beverage selection. The men get ginormous salads. Brian is a vegetarian. More small talk continues and we get onto the topic of politics - usually a no-no with clients but it's such a hot topic right now. Sarah Palin's speech is all over the place. We manage to artfully dodge the awkwardness and get through the conversation with finesse. Nice job team. We depart.

Becky pays the bill and we are off to Rockefellar Plaza. My Faryl Robins are starting to ache, but they look so good with my fit I trudge on. On our way, we see the famous 'LOVE' piece and take pictures. Such tourists we are. On our way, we pass by St. Patrick's cathedral. Like the good Catholic girl that I am, I take a picture and go inside. It's really quite beautiful. It rivals Grace Cathedral in beauty and beats it in size. I capture a few crappy pictures with my camera. I want to show Grandma. Becks and I walk around and are entranced by its beauty and creeped out by the crypt beneath us. Becky, who is Lutheran, or as she describes it, 'Catholic Lite,' does not know what a relic is. I explain and tell her that Presentation has Nano Nagle's finga in the church. Uh huh, it's true.

After walking the length of the church, I decide to light a candle (a suggested $2 donation is given.) I choose the shroud of Turin looking place to pray. I think of Grandma and how often she goes to church. Guilt sinks in but I smile as I see Becky waiting for me. We call Mahin to see where she's at. Close by. We sit on the steps and cool off. Traffic, however, is still being disagreeable and Mahin is not very close. We decide to meet in Rockefellar Plaza. My feet, puffy from the heat, are starting to blister.

Trudging along, we view Rockefellar Plaza (the place where the ice rink is at Christmastime). Flags galore. But I spy an Anthropologie store! Holla. I make Becky enter with me. She's hesitant as she's not a big shopper, but in the end she is the one who ends up buying itmes (2 darling tops) and not me. Alas, I am saving myself for SOHO - which, by the way, is South of Houston (like SOMA, South of Market for you San Franciscans). Houston is not pronounced like the Texan city, no sirree. It's pronounced like Howston. Tip for you amateurs out there. Anyways, Mahin eventually makes her way there. Excellent - Jazzy Fresh united!

The three of us make our way to Banana Republic and Crabtree and Evelyn (Becky gets a lavender hand scrub.) Suddenly, I hear music and I know. I know it's what I wanted to see: Bboys! Quickly I follow the sound of the beat and see a line of bboys getting down amongst a crowd of people. Air chairs, popping, locking, and upside down bicycles all entertain the crowd. I cheer them on, wanting to see more. Impressed and satisfied with today's viewing, we move on.

We keep going, making our way to Bryant Park, the scene of this year's Fashion Week 2008. My cousin, a freelance photographer for Conde Nast, will be working there next week. I will try to connect with her. It's all tented up but we can still see this year's theme: Vote for Fashion. Ok, I will.

Tired, we hail a cab and plop ourselves down. Visons of Pinkberry dance through my head. Yes, we will cool down with some Pinkberry and showers. Becky takes our belongings up and Mahin and I walk across the street. Gimme, gimme. We take it back and enjoy every bit of deliciousness it offers. Showered and refreshed, we rest and catch up on email and the like.

Becky is meeting her friend RaeAnn, I am meeting Mark, and Mahin is meeting a friend. We dress and get ready and head out one by one. Mark calls me to let me know he's about 2 minutes away. I wait for him on the streets and invite him up to view the awesome palace we are staying in. He's blown away. We decide to fly by the seat of our pants and choose an area and restaurant completely on whim. We go to the Village (near NYU) and walk around. The place we like to go, Bar Pitti, is jam packed - it's a popular celebrity restaurant. We decide to keep walking.

Garage, a hip restaurant and bar, lures us in. Let's eat! But first, drinks! I order a strawberry martini and get a funny look. What? It looked good. Conversation about the good ol' publishing days begins and we laugh and reminisce about the golden era. It's nice to see Mark. We eventually head back.

I am the first home and Mahin comes right after. Her night went well. Becky and RaeAnn come home after that and girl talk starts in the hallway. Politics and voting and womens issues come into play. We discuss and voice our opinions, yes, the four ladies in the hallway. Go Sandra Day O'Connor! Mahin retreats to bed and I do the same after some picture taking (this album is gonna be memorable.)

The night, again, is late and we just can't seem to get to bed at a decent hour. Alas, I continue to blog and drift off into sleep.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

NYC: Day Two!

I am clean and eating an apple. My day has been long but incredible. I'll begin from the top.

Becky and I woke up early to do some morning walking and get breakfast. Since Mahin is celebrating Ramadan, she is currently fasting and can't join us. We let her sleep. Becky and I head out toward 19th Street and enjoy an NYC morning full of fast paced walkers, scaffolding, stench, and humidity. Becky and I noticed an authentic bagel joint the day before and decide to go there. I get a spinach bagel with sun dried tomato cream cheese. She gets a whole wheat with strawberry cream cheese. Both of our bagels have cream cheese 2.5 inches thick. Mmm, so good. We stop by a crappy Rite Aid to pick up Sudafed for Becks on the way back. I get a much needed bottle of water.

After hoovering our bagels, we get ready for the day. The Elite Limo is to pick us up at 9:00 am sharp. I bust out my honey corded skirt from J.Crew (it is my official NYC skirt because I have a different coordinating top to wear with it everyday I'm here...yes I'm getting my $50 worth.) The crew is ready at 9:05 and we head out to Brooklyn. But wait! I forgot my sheet. U-turn that car and it's all good. Leaving for Brooklyn, take 2.

I anticipated taking the Brooklyn Bridge there but our driver took the Brooklyn/Battery tunnel instead. Boring. We arrive in Brooklyn. It is noticeably quieter and roomier. There are not any speeding taxis flying around nor are there many pedestrians. We finally arrive at our, uh, or do we? Can this be it? Can this decrepit old brick and glass building be our final destination? It must be - the address is correct. We walk the perimeter and find an entrance that looks halfway inviting. We address doesn't match but it's the same building. We look at the specific floors. No sign of our client. While Mahin tries contacting Jack, I volunteer to go up to the 6th floor where we know our client supposedly resides. I take a crickety old elevator that is full of Spanish profanity. As it lets me off on the 6th floor, I am amazed. The sixth floor is nothing more than dirty concrete and cracked glass fixtures. There are hand made signs with arrows pointing to the various 'offices' located there. I take a right to see a wood paneled foyer with a boarded up sliding window (similar to those found in doctor or dentist offices). The next room is dark and painted an orangcicle color. The doorway out of the orange room leads to a hallway with another glass window. This overlooks a giant, dusted warehouse full of piled boxes. The warehouse is empty and I wished that I had had my camera. I notice a bullet hole in one of the windows. The place is starting to remind me of a murder scene from CSI. I quickly walk around to the other side only to find the same, creepy surroundings. Time to walk down the stairs to meet up with Becky and Mahin. Good news, Mahin knows the way.

We walk around the back (past the 4 yellow poles) and up to another elevator - 6th floor. It is then that I notice that the place is occupied by Hasidic Jews. Little curly cues and black velvet skulls caps. White shirts and black pants. We finally arrive at the 6th floor (I'd love to see the blue prints on this building) and are buzzed in. Walking inside we immediately feel the hot air of the warehouse. To our right are bins and bins of cell phone accessories. Jack, our client and Hasidic Jew, introduces himself. Becky and I make the mistake of shaking his hand which is not, evidently, customary in their culture. Faux pas.

Jack leads us to meet Jacob, the owner. We are seated in their little two-desk office of pale yellow which is, thankfully, air conditioned. Jacob is also a Hasidic Jew and we do not shake hands. We brought along a little projector so that they could see our presentation but the three of us searched for a wall with ample space to fit the screen. We looked like little birds with our heads twitching in every direction trying to find a wall big enough to accommodate the projector. No such luck. We decide to move on with just the print outs. The client meeting starts off like any other and we are soon joined by Jacob's wife. She is not at all what I had imagined her to look like (purely based on her voice over the phone.) She is young, dark haired and quite pretty. We proceed with the meeting. The meeting takes into lunch time. Jacob takes us to Coney Island Avenue in his Honda Odyssey with his wife. The whole row of shops, schools, and restaurants are all Jewish. The food is all kosher. We arrive at a very nice cafe. Jacob orders everyone kosher mozzarella sticks...mmm, deep fried cheese. Mahin, bless her, endures not eating while delicious food is served in front of her. I get a delicious arugula salad with feta cheese and vinaigrette. Jacob tells us he has 4 boys and they all started school that day. They just got back from upstate NY on vacation. Jacob is surprised when we take the bill, so he orders more food.

We drive back and wrap up the meeting. I am a speed demon at getting those pages flipped - this is now turning into a 5 hour client meeting (still not my longest, ahem, Michigan.) All in all, a great meeting with a splash of Brooklyn Hasidic Jew culture. They were sweet really, adorable even.

Jacob calls a car service for us and we are off. This time, we are sure to specifically request taking the Brooklyn Bridge. My oh my! What a beautiful bridge. Not as big as I had imagined and certainly not as long (the Golden Gate has it beat.) But, what a sight. So cool. Did you know that there is a secret waterfall underneath? Got a picture to prove it. As we head off the Brooklyn Bridge, I take some more pictures of the city and we are dropped off in Times Square. Our mission: to get Broadway tickets. Our destination: the red 'tckts' area. On our way, we take pictures of the Hershey and M&M buildings, the lighted marquees, and eventually get a Jamba to refresh ourselves. We stop off in the Renaissance Hotel in the hopes of finding a bathroom. This nice guy, Matthew I think, tells us to go upstairs where they have individual ladies rooms. Whoa, talk about luxurious urination. Yeah, each stall is equipped with its own fancy sink and mirror area. It's then that Mahin lets us know that she can now eat (I won't go into details.) That's actually when we decide to get the Jamba. Match green tea mist holla.

We quickly find the 'tkts' area and see what tickets are discounted that night. We narrow down our choices to Gypsy and Stomp. Mahin had already seen Stomp and I had already seen it on TV. So, Mahin and I get Gypsy ($65) and Becky gets Stomp ($40). Not bad. Becky, still feeling crappy from her sinus, decides to head home. Mahin and I head straight for 5th Avenue!

There we seek out the Saks 5th Avenue and raid their designer and couture sections, picking through Steve McQueen, Gucci, and Dolce and Gabbana clothes. We also look at the formal evening attire and drool over the pretty, pretty dresses that neither of us can afford. As we make our exit, the jewelry department is having a champagne and appetizer social. We are offered several times but decline. Off to Macys!

En route to Macy's, we stop by H&M and M&J Trimmings. We also get kicked out of a private building by a very cranky man. Macy's is in Herald Square and is supposedly the largest store in the world, at least that is what the sign claimed. We were sorely disappointed but it looked like every other Macy's. The only cool thing was, what appeared to be, very old elevators. We are talking wooden slats, not metail. The wood was worn down on each side near the hand rails and it moved just a little slower. It's getting close to showtime so we decide to leave.

We find our way to St. James theater and discover we have just enough time to get a slice of authentic NY pizza. We find Pizza Famiglia, evidently one of NY's favorite pizzas. I get a mozzarella, basil, and tomato and Mahin gets veggie. Unfortunately, this place was a Pepsi establishment and I had to suffer through a DP. God, how I wanted a DC right then and there. We eat our pizza and the friendly NYPD cops next to us ask us to take them with us. Not a chance buddy. We make our way back to the theater and get seated. Our seats are quite close to the stage and we are very excited.

The show was absolutely amazing! Patti LuPone is dynamite and my favorite number is 'You Gotta Have a Gimick.' My first Broadway musical was everything I could have hoped for! Bravo! Bravo!

Mahin and I walk back to Times Square and she urges me to take the subway. I am hesitant because of my track record of getting lost, but eventually agree to be adventuresome. We find the Times Square entrance and check the map and the man. Take the A line to 14th. Ok, sounds simple enough. So we buy our tickets, go down to the platform, and wait. And wait. And wait. Eventually, the A line comes but is on the other side of the platform. We get on anyways. Only to find we are going the wrong way. Ok, off at 59th Avenue. Wait for the A train going the opposite direction. And wait. And wait. Finally, Mahin decides to ask a nice woman if the train has stopped for the night. She says no, but if we are going uptown (which we are) we need to be on the platform above us. Der. This ain't San Francisco, ladies! We make our way up to the uptown platform and eventually get on the right train. The subway is hot and stuffy. Even though it's midnight, it's still filled with many people from all walks of life: business men, homeless people, old people, young people, gangsters, thugs, and smugglers. Finally, 14th street arrives and we exit back up to the streets for some fresh, well as fresh as NYC air, can get. Three blocks up and we are home again, home again.

Becky admits that she was worried since we weren't back in time, but we explained ourselves and she is not surprised that I got lost. Knowing me, it's not that unusual.

I shower and rub off the sticky film that has accumulated on my body and hair. I feel better. I blog, eat an apple, and fall asleep.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


My first trip to NYC.

On Labor Day, I took a red eye out to NYC. First, though I had to endure a 2 1/2 hour layover in Boston. Nice city, from what I could tell. I flew JetBlue for the first time. Nice that they have free TV and that I happened to remember my headphones. I specifically tried to keep myself tired for the day so that I would fall sound asleep on the plane. Alas, that never happened. I blame two things: the fact that I got a middle seat and the fact that A&E was running a marathon on meth addicts. I was completely fascinated. Why, don't ask, don't know really. Plus I think the stinky B.O. man to my left wasn't helping the situation, either.

JetBlue served little animal crackers and mini bottles of water. Reminded me of 3rd grade recess. In Boston, I got a Starbucks tea and chocolate chip scone. While I ate it, I saw a boy start to cry because they called his row but his mom wasn't back from the restroom yet and he thought that they had to board without her. Personally, he was far too old to be crying like that and to have logic like that. Nevertheless, we all boarded for Boston: mom, family, and me.

The plane ride was short (around 45 minutes) and I could just feel my excitement grow. The sun was up and I was able to see the glory that is New York. I distinctly remember the Empire State Building (I know, not too hard to miss.) I chugged an orange juice and I was on my way to baggage claim.

One of the great things about my work is the Elite Limo service. Nicely dressed men come to the baggage claim with your name on it (yes, like you are some sort of celebrity of VIP) and escort you to a clean, black Lincoln Towncar. It's the smoothest ride in town. So, mine eventually came around and my 15 seconds of fame at JFK was had.

The ride into the city was overwhelming. I was so excited to be in NYC. I couldn't believe all of the housing projects, rows and rows of them. Shortly thereafter, we took a tunnel into the city. At the end of the tunnel, the road splits three ways: uptown, midtown, and downtown. We went downtown. Picked up the keys at the Chelsea and was dropped off in front of our apartment...or so I thought.

The address is 163 8th Avenue between 18th and 19th Streets. When I got out of my limo, I saw that there was a transportation business there. Confused, I went in to ask. Very quickly I was introduced to that New York attitude because the lady retorted, "This a transportation business not a hotel!"

I went back outside and looked around, again, confused. Upon further inspection there was another 163 8th Avenue address (yes, two, I guess NY can do that). It was a small, inconspicuous door. Sure enough, the keys opened it up: a tall, narrow staircase awaited me and my heavy luggage. Up the stairs we went into a narrow foyer. Apartment #2. That's me. I walk in and realize that my place of current residence was smaller than this comfortable abode. Hot dog! Score one for Jazzy Fresh!

I scan the place: a newly renovated (and fully stocked) kitchen, a dining room, living room, bathroom, two bedrooms, and a master bedroom with bathroom. Sweet! Quickly, I unpack my belongings and ponder showering. That's when I conk out. Gone, tired little miss needs her sleep.

1:00 pm EDT. I walk up. Shower. Mahin greets me at her door (I didn't know she was napping too.) We agree to meet up at the Guggenheim later that afternoon. Using Google Maps, I see that indeed I could walk to Le Gugg from my apartment. So I set out in my new Faryl Robin red criss cross shoes. Hot. Sassy. Down 8th and a right on W. 35th. I walk, and walk, and walk, and walk. I see Madison Square Gardens, Harold Square, the ginormous Macy's, and all of the beautiful and unique fabrics in the garment district. Neato! So, ok, where's the Gugg? No where to be found!

I find myself getting suckered into the souvenir shops and pick up some goodies for the peeps while I'm there. I call a cab (it's so easy in NY, SF should take notes) and head all the way across town to the Guggenheim. What was Google Maps smoking?? Anyways, they have several cool exhibits: Kandinsky, Louise Bourgeous, and NY in the 1940's, amongst their usual Van Gogh and Picasso fare. I find Mahin by the French countryside painting. We shall meet up again when we are both through.

When we meet again, we decide to walk through Central Park since it is across the street. She leads me to this view of the reservoir and it's simply gorgeous! Pictures, yes I have them. The skyline is cool and the sun is setting in the most awesome way. We walk along the trail and see a very 'romantic' type bridge. We both think it's from the movie 'Enchanted.' Also took advantage of this photo op.

I let Mahin know that my Faryl Robin's are starting to ache so we catch a cab back to the apartment. Dinner with Mahin's friend, Lai, and her boyfriend Gabe, will be at 8:00 pm sharp. Meet at Right next to Little Italy. Evidently this restaurant was in an episode of Sex and the City and was renamed 'Scout.' Right as we are finishing up emails, calling friends/family, Becky arrives! The trio is complete. Becky showers and we are on our way.

Our cab driver is from Ghana and is very conversational. He defines the different districts for us (as we are driving through SOHO - South of Houston.) He also lets us know if his dislike of soap operas but love of the History channel. Chatty bombatty.

We arrive. Are seated. Deliciousness ensues. I ordered the mustard encrusted chicken with steamed spinach and potatoes. Oh, and a glass of chianti. This meal hit the spot (I neglected to have lunch earlier because I was so excited). Great conversations top off the evening. We cab back and prepare for the night.

I write a blog and drift off into sleep...