Thursday, June 30, 2011

Week Late Weekend Update

  I apologize for my tardy post about my last weekend, but I have been beyond busy.  My weekend started off on Friday, as work came to a close at 4.  After work, I went out to eat at a great Italian restaurant called Pescatore with my friend Mona. I highly recommend it. After stuffing my face with grilled mahi mahi and chocolate molten cake, we went to see Midnight in Paris. I also HIGHLY recommend it. For anyone who has a knowledge of art history, Paris, the 20's, or even English writers, you will love this movie. Woody Allen has still got it. After dinner and a movie with my gal pal, we went back to her apartment and enjoyed a much needed, restful nights sleep.
  Friday may have been a relatively mild night out, but Saturday night definitely made up for my lack of adventure. I began my Saturday with a morning swim practice at Columbia, went home to shower and change, and then made my way back into the glorious NYC. I walked by the dyke parade and met my friend Emma and her friend Moe at the NY Public Library. We walked to Qdoba and they used their coupons to buy copious amounts of cheap tex-mex. After some food we went to Moe's apartment in Brooklyn.

  For $500 a month, Moe has got an amazing apartment, so jealous. Not to mention, the view form his roof is breathtaking. Just look at my facebook pictures for further proof. As the night went on, lots of Moe's/Emma's friends showed up and we all hung out on the roof. Around 12:30, we left to go to a gay club called Sugarland. I have never been to a gay club before, but it was an experience. Not to mention the gay marriage bill had been passed the day before... We didn't get home until 5 AM. I can't remember the last time I stayed up that late; at W&L we go out at 8 and I'm usually in bed by 12!
  4 hours later we were waking up and getting ready to head to the gay pride parade! One bacon egg and cheese bagel and a quart of ice cream later we had made our way to 5th ave. I had on idea what to expect from this parade, but it far exceeded all of my expectations. I even got to see my swim team march by in their Speedo's and water guns! Next year, I am going to be IN the actual parade, preferably on top of one of those party busses...

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

To the Point of Frustration

 For those of you who follow my blog, sorry I have not updated in a while. I promise a full re-cap of my past super-gay weekend. But tonight I am just too tired to write more than a paragraph. This whole 9-5 job is really starting to take its tole on me; I wake up at 6:15 every morning in order to catch the 7:47 train into the city, and then after work I either go to swim practice or come home to the gym. My days don't end until at least 8:00, at the earliest. And I know that some people have jobs that require them to work until 7 or 8, or even 9, but working all day in the office, and then having to work out in the pool or gym is just exhausting.  
  But anyways, so today after work I went to John Jay for swimming--tonight I also needed to go to the gym and lift because I will be gone most of the weekend for festivities (and coach wants me lifting 3 times a week and swimming 3 days a week). I looked up before practice the subway schedule, and in order for me to make my LIRR train home leaving at 8:19, I would have to catch the #1 leaving at 8:00. So just as the clock struck 7:45 and practice ended, I sprinted to the locker room, stripped, and threw on my gym clothes, still soaking wet. I then proceeded to run the 4 blocks to Columbus Circle and literally swiped my metro card just as the subway arrived. So there I am drenched in sweat on the subway, panting, but happy that I would make my 8:19 train home. I arrive at Penn with a few minutes to spare and snag a good seat on the train. I have my backpack and purse in my lap, and on the train I usually close my eyes and doze in and out of a light sleep, always waking up when they announce the stops. Well tonight, I just so happened to enter into my freaking REM cycle as we passed by my stop for Great Neck and I woke up in Manhasset. I guess it could have been worse, I could have fallen asleep on the weekend when the train only runs every hour and I could have ended up all the way at Kings Point, but still, I missed my stop. If I had only woken up 2 minutes earlier, I would have made it!
  So now it is 10:50 and I am beyond ready for sleep. Thank god we have a 3 day weekend coming up...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Adventures of a Shoe Lover

  This weekend, while perusing up 5th Ave, I decided to stop in Ferragamo, one of my favorite designers. I have always admired their iconic buckle, high quality leather, and simple bows. As the shoe-obbsessed-paid-intern-living-in-New York that I am, I of course wanted to spend my first paycheck on something nice, something designer. So I go into the store and pick three pairs of shoes to try on; after the sassy sales girl helped me for half an hour, I decided to buy the pair of dark salmon flats with the simple bow on top, lined with a thin gold trim. They were very comfortable and the color was easy to match with many of my outfits.
  I was literally about to hand my card over to the sales associate, when I asked to make sure that they would bring me out a fresh pair. The clerk told me no, that they were the last pair and unique to the store. Well, I had noticed a small dark stain on the top of the shoe and there is no way I was going to pay $400 for a pair of stained shoes. I asked them if there was anything they could do about it; the sales girl attempted to rub it off, then told me, "well, when you are wearing them, you can't really see the stain from far away." Ha. You have got to be kidding me! I asked again if they were sure there was nothing they could do but they would not lower the price.  I must say, for a high end store, I expected better customer service. But I still love them of course, I guess I will just have to go back another day to find my perfect pair...
  I may have left Ferragamo empty handed, but there are so many other stores for me to enjoy in this great city.
  Their 2010 ad campaign with Claudia Schiffer...I guess we have the same problem.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Weekend with Allie

     This past weekend my sister Allison came to visit. And since she hasn't been to NYC nearly as much as I have, there were lots of touristy things she wanted to do; not that I am complaining, I love visiting iconic New York landmarks and taking pictures. Friday, she came into the city al on her own, and easily navigated her way to H&M and Forever 21. When I got an e-mail from Mom later that day asking if I had heard from Allie, I freaked out a little because to be honest, I hadn't heard from her for a couple of hours...but not to worry, she was alive and shopping her way through Manhattan. After work, I met up with her on 5th ave and we made our way down to Little Italy for some tasty Italian food. I chose Vincent's since it is the oldest restaurant left in Little Italy (all 4 blocks of it), and to be honest, I was quite disappointed in the quality of food. I guess just because it has been there for over 100 years doesn't mean its still good... Well, our dinner may not have been outstanding, but our desserts at Ferrara were superb. See my Facebook album to admire the deliciousness. After stuffing our faces with chocolate, we went to the Empire State Building and watched the sunset from both the 86th and 102nd floors. If you happen to go, I would advise not spending the extra money to go all the way up, it wasn't really that much of a difference.

  Saturday we woke up early, an by early, we took the 6:50 train into the city to catch the 8:30 ferry out to Liberty Island. It was amazing to see the statue so close up--the air was nice and cool and there was a mysterious mist on the water. After walking around the statue, we took the ferry over to Ellis Island and explored the museum there.  They have done a great job there with artifacts and and displaying facts. Allie and I tried to look up our ancestors but could only find one on our mothers side--its hard when so many people back there changed their names upon arrival.
  After our morning of island hopping, we made our way to Broadway to have lunch with our Aunt Margaret and watch the Lion King. The last time I saw the movie, was probably when I was 10, and so I did not remember the plot line entirely. It was exciting to watch the show in a new view, especially since I could not remember all the details. That was until, I was standing in line for the bathroom at intermission, and the little girl with her grandmother, explained the whole end of the story to her g-ma: thanks a lot little girl. The show ended up being breath taking and I hope to watch another soon.

  Sunday, for fathers day, we took grandpa with us out to Rockaway to visit our cousins. It was beautiful beach weather and a good end to the weekend. I turned a nice shade of reddish-brown and enjoyed a chocolate mousse cake made by my aunt (the pastry chef). After an hour of cursing and struggling with my iPhone, Allie and I were able to locate Laguardia and drop her off to fly home. All in all, a quality weekend. And I knocked off 4 things from my NYC bucket list!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Perks of Working

  I haven't talked much about my internship yet, but that is probably because it took a few days for me to actually be assigned a substantial amount of work. The days of not having anything to do though have vanished and been replaced with project upon project. My current project involves me deleting every single document off of our online database (the documents are currently being uploaded with a URI, which is broken when people change the documents on their desktop) and then re-uploading them all as document files. There are 20,000+ documents that I have to re-upload. Uploading them isn't the problem though, its gathering all the data about them (file name, ID number, and location) that is taking my forever. I am using excel to store all of this data, and although I am familiar with excel, I have never learned complex equations. My supervisor, as a way of making me think and not have a totally boring task, has me figure these equations all out on my took me 3 hours to figure out how to cut the URI link so that only the document title came out. I will soon excel at excel... ha ha
  But, aside from the intensive projects I am involved in, the company I work for has some great perks. First off, as opposed to many large firms, I finish my work day at 5:30 (I have a friend interning with a marketing company who is in the office till 9PM some nights). So I have a good work schedule (I don't have to be in until 9AM), thats not really a big deal right?  Well, if you add in the fact that they always have Greek yogurt, cereals, fresh fruits, coffee, tea, sodas, and other snacks for us, you may start to get jealous. Just to make sure you are actually jealous, I have my lunches paid for me every day. We use this website called to order from hundreds of restaurants around the city that have joined this site. We simply place our order online, and then the restaurants deliver to our building.
  Incase you can't tell, food is a priority for me. Today when my supervisor called me into his office, he told me he had a "typical intern task" for me to do; I'm thinking great, I am going to have to make a million copies, fetch coffee, or seal hundreds of envelopes. "Would you mind picking up 30 cupcakes for me?" All you had to do was say "cupcakes" and I will do whatever you want. If these are the kind of tasks he wants me to do, I will be an intern for the rest of my life!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Weekend Update

  So aside from starting off my weekend by locking myself out of my room, I did a few other things. Friday after work I wandered around 5th ave for a while, staring into stores I only dream about shopping in one day (Fendi, Ferragamo, Chanel...the list goes on). After some casual day dreaming I walked to John Jay College to swim with TNYA. I will note, that this is New York's only gay and lesbian swim and water polo team. BUT, not everyone on the team is gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. I love the team so far--they are all very friendly and actually a pretty funny group of people. I plan on continuing to swim with them.
  Saturday morning, I went to the gym and then went out to Brooklyn to visit my Aunt Helen. Aunt Helen is my Mom's Mom's sister-one of the last relatives I have from my Italian side of the family still in NY. It was actually really great to visit her-I haven't seen her in at least 7 years and the smile on her face made the trip all worth while. I plan on visiting her again this summer. While in Brooklyn I stopped in an antique furniture store--and I have decided that once I get my first apartment, I will furnish it with vintage. The stuff is all so intriguing and packed with history; I love it.
  After wandering around in Brooklyn for a bit, I made my way back to the city. The weather was pretty awful all weekend, although I can't complain about the temperature being cooler. I actually love the rain, it it was perfect for going to a museum. I have a whole list of museums I want to visit while here, and so Saturday I took on the MoMA. I had a great time. Walking through the museum was like taking my Arth 263 class all over again. Seeing paintings in person are much different that seeing them on slides in a class room.
  After the museum, I went back to Great Neck and Seymour and I ordered in Chinese--he proceeded to eat the entire entree I ordered for him. I have honestly never seen an old person eat so much food.  Anyways, I had a great weekend, and have learned that often times I have the most fun wandering around the city all by myself.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Living with Grandpa part deux

  Friday morning, I'm excited because, well, its Friday! When I was pouring milk into my cereal  that morning I noticed a strange smell, and upon smelling the milk carton, I almost vomited; Grandpa Seymour must have left the milk out last night. In frustration, I poured the milk out and skipped breakfast, then finished getting ready for work.  I lock my bedroom door as I leave, (as previously mentioned, I put a locking doorknob on it to keep g-pa out) and go to walk out of the apartment, when I realize I forgot something in my room; too bad I locked my keys inside! So I have started out my weekend by locking myself out of my bedroom and eating dry cereal (I will also note that I love milk, and breakfast, so having neither does not make me happy). Great.
  Anyways, I had a great day of work as I was assigned a huge project that involves me deleting every document off of our funds database that is currently attached with a URI, and then re-loading them all as documents. There are 107,399 documents. At lunch a bunch of the younger employees took me and my co-intern out to lunch and I had a good time getting to know some of the people to work at E&E in a different setting.
  As the day came to a close, I found myself back at the apartment, standing at the intercom calling Seymour to let me in (remember I locked my keys in my room). In sum, I spent 10 minutes yelling at an intercom because grandpa didn't seem to have his hearing aide in--Grandpa, why else would I call you other than to let me in?!?! What you think I just wanted to have a conversation over the intercom? Jeeze. Luckily, someone happened to be downstairs as I conversed with the wall, and let me in.
  Oh, and so I stopped at the grocery store to buy new milk since Seymour spoiled the old milk. The grocery store had 2 for 1 and of course, as a cheap college student who loves milk, I got two. I am about to put the new milk in the fridge and Grandpa says, "oh you got milk? So did I!" AWESOME- Now we have 3 cartons of milk in the fridge; guess we will have some super strong bones by the end of the summer... or maybe have a great body like Beckham...

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Even though I’m technically not from New York, having two parents and all of my extended family from there, I often feel like I am one.  So as a converted New Yorker (I was born and raised in North Carolina), it is in the contract that I attend a Yankee’s game. And what better game to attend than Yankees vs. Red Sox? I was able to snag a pair of tickets in the grandstand for $20 each, and luckily my best friend Natasha was back in NY (after only 1 day in DC for her new internship…) and so we took the #4 all the way up to the Bronx. Side note: If you ever want to feel like your personal space is being violated, hop on a train going to a Yankees game.
                Generally speaking, the temperature drops at least 10 degrees up here once the sun goes down, but let me tell you, the past two days, mother nature wanted nyc to sweat. Upon sitting in our seats for the first inning, we were so drenched in sweat that we could slip and slide back and forth on the seat... I’m just glad I bought tickets on the shaded side! So there I was, sitting with one of my best friends, watching a Yankees-Rex Sox game, and eating a foot long Nathan’s hot dog. It doesn’t get much better than that; except of course if it were 20 degrees cooler and the Yankees were actually winning…  But hey, it’s only pre-season!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Living with Grandpa, Part I

I will precede this entry with a statement about my grandfather: I do love and care for him very much. But, just as any roommate can become  annoying over time, an elderly one has an even higher tendency to be bothersome.
For the summer, I am living with my grandpa (Dad’s side of the family) in Great Neck, Long Island. Contrary to what my friend Catherine thought, I did not simply Google “safe places for Jews to live in New York” and then voila, I moved to Great Neck. My Dad grew up in Great Neck and his parent’s never left. So, when I was trying to decide on where to live this summer, I had a few options: a $400 a month apartment in Brooklyn (great deal, I know), with a hour commute into the city; free stay with my Aunt (who is a pastry chef) in Rockaway with an hour and a half commute; or, free stay with my Grandpa in Great Neck, with only a half our train ride into the city… Although the idea of homemade pastries every day is quite tempting, the long commute negated that (and let’s be honest, I don’t need those extra calories). Brooklyn would be fun, but a much longer distance from work. Great Neck fit just right; although there is no real scene for young people here, I have my own bedroom and bathroom, complete with an air conditioner and a full size bed. Did I mention I get to stay here for free? (Oh and my Aunt does stop by to check on Grandpa, and when she comes, she always leaves us food!)
                Now, although the set-up I have is pretty awesome, I am still living with my 88 year-old grandfather, who daily provides me with a new story to tell my family. For now, I will just tell you a couple. First off, my parents bought me a TV to put in my room, but I was waiting for Verizon to send me a cable box. In the meantime, I took the cable box out of the kitchen (A small 1999 box TV sat on top, which I may mention, my Grandpa only watched when eating meals) to use until mine arrived. I told Grandpa that once my cable box arrived, I would hook the kitchen back up; I will also note, that he has a large plasma screen in the living room, which is where he spends his days, watching movies that he rents from the local library. Well, it took a few days for my new box to arrive, but every single day he asked me when I was going to fix the kitchen TV! Seriously? It is a 8 inch screen, and you watch it for all of the 15 minutes it takes you to eat a meal! Well, his questioning progressed, and one morning, as I was about to leave for work, I looked up at the grocery list, and what do you ask was number 6? Well, he had written in: 6) “Fix (?) Kitchen T.V.” Needless to say, when my new cable box arrived that day, the first thing he told me as I walked in the door from work was that he put the box in my room and that I could now fix the kitchen TV.
                I will also note, that I am now a handyman as I have learned the trade of installing TV’s and changing doorknobs (I put a lock on my bedroom door because Grandpa tends to snoop, which is a whole different story…)
                I will try to make this next tale a bit shorter, since that last one took a lot of explaining. When I moved into the apartment, I made a point of cleaning out the fridge (I’m a bit of a germ freak). Aside from throwing out 6 containers of moldy food, I also discovered a jar of jelly from 2003… Last weekend, I went to Magnolia Bakery (yes the one from Sex and the City) and bought their delicious banana pudding. I didn’t finish the whole cup of it, so I brought the rest back home. I made a point of placing this coveted dessert all the way in the back of the fridge. Well, it appears that although my Grandfather cannot seem to notice the moldy months old food in front of his face, he can seem to find my $5 banana pudding, and finish it without even asking. I was, to say the least, a bit upset.
                Okay, that’s enough venting for now. And as always, if you are in NYC, let me know!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Having watched numerous movies set in NYC, I and I'm sure everyone else has come to recognize those iconic scenes of New Yorkers running to catch the train. Well, I must admit that I thought these were just exaggerations, who would actually run, push, and shove through crowds of people just to slip onto a crowded train. Let me tell you, those scenes are for real. After my first day of work, I caught the subway to Penn Station as soon as I could so that I could take the express train home (express meaning it doesn't make any stops other than my final one). The express train was leaving at 5:44, I finish work at 5:30, I arrived at Penn Station at 5:44 and a half, sweaty, out of breath, and exhausted, only to watch that train pull away.

As my mother says, the train doesn't wait for anyone. I guess one of the plusses of not living in a metropolitan area is that I can drive my car everywhere and not have to worry about it leaving me behind...