Monthly Archives: November 2008

Post-Turkey Wrap-Up (aka Leftovers)

I was reluctant to leave the city the on Wednesday night. My original intention was to head up to the Museum of Natural History after work, grab a drink with friends, watch the balloons inflate and head back downtown to a party in my ‘hood with another friend and her six sisters. Unfortunately, come 9pm, I was still in Brooklyn, at work, plans foiled and just gunning to make it to the last ferry out of town. After finally home-holidaysheading out the office door at 9:30, I took the G train, L train, taxi to 39th and WS Hwy, ferry to Weehawken, NJ, and finally car to suburban NY, where I made it home on time to catch the tail end of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 with my 12-year-old neighbor, who was hanging out at our house with my parents and sister — her mother would show up at our door Thanksgiving morning with coffee and bagels, thanking us for allowing her daughter a break from their household chaos.

As I think I’ve mentioned in past posts, we really don’t have any family to speak of (or that we speak to). All of my “relatives” are basically old family friends who were christened Aunts, Uncles, Godparents and cousins, save for my maternal grandmother. So, our actual Thanksgiving festivities included my Godmother, Uncle and cousins, our neighbors and their daughters and our neighbor’s sister, her husband, and son, 20 people in total (and three dogs!) and a surprise guest, another family friend’s son showed up for dessert and Karaoke after attending his father and Step-mother’s “lame” (his words) Thanksgiving dinner.

We were all mostly thankful for the fact we were having Thanksgiving together, not with crazy relatives, not alone, and definitely not without laughter and 20-plus years worth of stories (from hospital rooms to hotels, summer vacations to Sunday dinners) to prove that these people are not just our friends, they are our family.

Giving Thanks

Horton is one of two new balloons in this year’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The uptowners got a glimpse of the elephant who was tied down behind Shrek. Who knew Shrek wears plaid pants?

Horton meets Shrek

Horton meets Shrek

Meanwhile, in the news, Mumbai, India’s financial center and largest port, was rocked by terrorists who killed early Wednesday. Om Malik comments here: He points out that though the country and the city have been terrorized in the past, the target this time is five star hotels.

A classmate of the 11-year old’s are in Mumbai this week, celebrating the 70th birthday of the boy’s grandmother… we wish them safety and peace. Chilling really and a brazen reminder of the reality of the world, flat as it may be.

On this day, and always, I am thankful for my children, my husband, our good health, friends and extended family, deep breaths and silence.

Oooo. Creepy Social Networking.

Hi Downtown,

Whereas yesterday my heart was warmed as I networked with a group of four or five unknowns with respect to working on a startup weekend, we shared common interests yet our strengths complimented each other, today I took a peak at my twitter followers and am feeling less cozy. A few new followers are downright spooky as in Breast Implants or Body Building. Suggestive selling, maybe? But still. I’m not sure I like having strangers know what I’m thinking or reading.

The cool thing about twitter is that the user can block the follower. In the case of the Body Building, he or she is already busted. I clicked through to see who was behind the thumbnail, this is what I got:

This account is suspended.

This account is currently suspended and is being investigated due to strange activity.

It is a weird world out there… stay safe. xoxo Uptown.

All the Leaves are Brown

dt, fall is upon us as the green leaves turned to vibrant yellows, reds, brick and current colors. Earlier in the season, we hiked up Bear Mountain – sublime.

Bear Mountain Yellow

Bear Mountain Yellow

Bear Mountain Red

Bear Mountain Red

Bear Mountain Red Orange Yellow

Bear Mountain Red Orange Yellow

The Future of Humanity: Invest in a Girl

The Popular Tupperware Party Plan

dt, I’m being domestic these days. But what is it with plastic containers, you know, the 50s era invention of tops and bottoms that never seem to be in tandem, no matter how often I try to organize. Honestly, trying to find a match reminds me of what happens to socks when one from the pair disappears in the dryer. Why not create a set that doesn’t separate?1959 Catalog I know, the ladies got together to mix and match their plastics…even back in the day the darn things missed their mates.

The Sexual Neuroses of Our Parents

I’ve been seeing a lot of theater lately, but hadn’t really been impressed by anything. I wasn’t carrying a tune with me when I left a preview of the new Sondheim musical, ROADSHOW, nor was I leaving a theater still thinking about what I’d just seen (THE SEAGULL; A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS) … until tonight, when I saw The Sexual Neuroses of Our Parents at The Wild Project.

A little synopsis from the producers: After ten years on tranquillizers, Dora emerges with an adamant sexual hunger that pits her violently against a secret and deviant adult world…not your normal coming of age story; not your everyday sexual awakening.

The play is a beautiful meditation on our relationship — as both individuals and a society — to sexuality and the act of sex, no matter which adjective one uses to describe it. As viewed through the eyes of the protagonist, Dora, it makes you wonder, for a moment, why it’s such an uneasy subject matter between parent and child.

There were several elements of the story that are reminiscent of the 1996 film, Citizen Ruth, (minus the campiness). The play is more like peeling back layers of an onion and not just because of the moral, ethical and political questions that arise, but the sheer emotional levels you go through, as if each scene opens up a trap door to a new depth of feeling.

The production of Sexual Neuroses is elegantly directed by Kristijan Thor. The cast is hard-working and I adored them all, but the two biggest standouts, who make it seem effortless, are Grace Gummer and Max Lodge. Both these young actors have that innate, instinctual acting qualities which allow their power to quietly unfold through their characters. It makes me feel confident both will have big, bright futures ahead of them. And, I’m glad I’ll have the privilege of saying “I saw them when …”

P.S. Based on what I read about the play in NY Magazine, Miss Gummer never had the intention of being on stage, rather she was “doing costume design in Rome.” I hope after this experience she’ll reconsider, or at least pursue both.

– Downtown

But Alive

It came back, my creative fire. I don’t mean the fire that strikes when I sit down to write, that’s more like a spark. This is a feel-it-in-your-gut, burning-desire kind of creative fire. And, all it took was one little offer to work on a project that sounds both crazy and amazing, with six people I know and love, and about 50 more who I will soon meet.

For the next five-and-a-half months, the job will keep me up at night with worry, make me anxious during the day, have me triple-checking my work for any screw-ups and won’t let me have much of a life outside of work. But I will be miserably, sickeningly, happy and proud. Proud that I got back up, back in, and am starting over again, but not from the perspective of a 22-year-old who doesn’t know what to expect. This time, I am a wizened 27-year-old, with many character-building moments under my belt and a confidence I most definitely did not possess at 22. A friend once told me, “you know you’re doing the right thing with your life when you feel equal parts excited and scared to do it. If you don’t have that feeling, then it’s not worth doing.” I feel it, and I am sooo ready.

And I so totally feel all of these things:

btw, vid is seriously campy, so close your eyes while you listen or you can keep them open for a good laugh.



UPDATE 4:35p

The street is up to 11 police cars, 12 black vehicles and assorted vans of varying hues of beige. The diplomat van turns out is leased and when I walked by a police dog was sniffing high and low and two tall thin guys with matching blonde buzz cuts were looking over every nook and cranny with mini-flashlights.

The police within the barriers are wearing bullet proof vests. I’d tell you more but someone might kill me.


Last week it was lines around the block at The Pierre, yesterday and today there’s some big deal at The Regency. Never before have I noticed cement barricades along Park Avenue or 61st Street but for the past 48 hours they’ve been in place. As are two police doggies and their masters. One walks the block while the other inspects cars entering the 61st Street garage. I noticed a group of men outside the hotel looking skyward Monday afternoon, assumed they were some sort of security detail or looking at real estate. Upon entering our building, I was told that the metal barricades along the 61st Street sidewalks were set up for a “Veteran’s Day Parade.” Nice idea but not quite accurate.

At any given time there are ten black cars on the north side of 61st street with two police cars in the lead. An array of non-black vehicles, including a pea green colored van with New Jersey plates, another bland colored van with diplomat plates and a NYFD emergency truck on the south side. Another one is on the southern corner at Park Avenue. When the guarded guest is in residence, the “get-away limo” is parked with the other black cars, accessible through the staff/celebrity entrance. Otherwise, the street is empty of vehicles.

The crazy thing is that when he or she is about to exit the building, we, the neighboring residents were locked inside until said person made his or her way out, into the vehicle and down the street…a helicopter flies overhead and supposedly snipers are posted on rooftops. I didn’t see anyway, perhaps it’s just as well.

Security On High

Security On High

Pedestrians are free to roam the street though trucks have to stop and show their bill of lading before they enter the street. The flow of traffic is smooth and of course, this gawker wonders who warrants this attention. Rumors range from Obama (surely not), the Israeli Prime Minister and the Israeli Foreign Minister.

Meanwhile, there seems to be an official “guy” straight across from my window, he’s monitoring the scene below.

As am I.

Police Officer
Police Officer

Regardless of whose safety is at risk, I’ve got the lowdown on the security detail. Despite ALL of the precautions outside, I feel less safe given the number of weapons that the officers bring to the neighborhood.

You Are Invited, Ouch.

New York City’s Pierre Hotel invited guests to an open house this morning. The luxury “destination” seeks to fill positions in customer service, the concierge and front desks. By 9:30 am, a long line of applicants wrapped around the block from the Southeast corner of 61st Street, past Barneys on Madison Avenue, West on 60th Street and back again along Fifth Avenue.

“People began lining up at 6 am,” said a Pierre employee who minded the 61st Street door.

Overall, the mood was calm but a recent college graduate, dressed in a dark suit and silver silk tie, was less than hopeful. Judging by the sheer numbers of people in line, he didn’t think he’d be working anytime soon. He withheld his name for fear of jinxing his application.