Archive for August, 2007

moving sale

There are many great ways to move furniture in NYC. The best way is to not move it, that is to leave it in the apartment for the next tenant to use. This benefits everyone, but is not always feasable because management companies are notoriously annoying about connecting you to the future tenant.
The second best way is to sell the furniture on craigslist. All you have to do is register your e-mail address and put up a free ad for all cheapies to see. The cheapies then e-mail you, arrange a time to pick up the item, and then not show up. Or they show up and give you $9 for your awesome futon. You think about how long it took you to get that futon into the apartment, assemble it together, wash the stains off of it, move it out, etc. Then you hold the $9 in your hand and silently curse Craig the Hippie.

So instead of hiring movers or begging strange Yugoslavian men to lift your dresser, I suggest you start a yard sale. First, empty your apartment of all the stuff you kind of like but don’t have the energy or space to move. Place it outside of your building. Stand on the stoop and watch strangers grab your stuff like it’s San Francisco in 1849. They’ll even carry a shelf to a 6th floor walk up, just because it’s free! Profit: zero. Entertainment: priceless.

Flowering Possibilities

Photo from

After making the big wedding plans (finding the place, the dress, the groom), I’ve started trying to get ahead on the rest of the planning.

So I recently had my first appointment with a florist. His name is Louis Guerra. We’d actually seen his work, since he did the flowers for a wedding that was being set up during our tour of the reception site. With an office located in Chelsea, it was very convenient to set up an appointment (though he was booked for two weeks beforehand). His office, more of a workspace as he said, was in a warehouse type building. We sat among shelves of vases and fake flowers to discuss the upcoming nuptials. I had come prepared with photos of bouquet examples, which was definitely helpful for our conversation. He totally understood what I wanted (which will be something involving irises) and seems to be a great choice for a florist.

When he asked me about center pieces, I told him how we had hoped to have low glass bowls of water with floating flowers as our center piece. Immediately, he got into the idea, getting out some bowls and vases, along with votive candles that he had in his workspace, showing me how it could look.

It was great to find someone who clicked with my flowery ideas for the wedding. Definitley a good vendor experience.

Two Munchkins, Due Restaurant

Photo from

Despite my former life as a preschool teacher in the city, I’ve realized that I know nothing about where to take children to eat in the city. I made lunch plans with a woman I used to babysit for, her two kids, and their nanny, but I had no idea where to go that the children would enjoy. She suggested Due, saying the boys always liked it there.

Located on the Upper East Side, Due serves a variety of standard Italian dishes. When I got there today for lunch, the place was pretty much empty, except for the children and their caretakers. This made for a nice, quiet place to catch up with the family. Having known the kids for a couple years now and not seen them since spring, I had really missed them. I chatted wedding plans with the mom in between playing with the boys and eating my Mozzarella Tomato Salad.

While the restaurant did not seem particularly kid-oriented, the children definitely seemed to enjoy the food. I enjoyed the company. I wonder what the dinner crowd is like there.

Death by Detector: Part 2!

Since I wrote my original post on this topic fading batteries in CO2 detectors have reached epidemic proportions. There are now two going off in my own building, (which I can’t hear inside my own apartment thankfully, just the hall), there is a second one going at my boyfriend’s place, (as well as the original still beeping), and I heard them in two different buildings when visiting friends in the past few days. Then… my own started going off. My first thought was… “This is happening to the whole city! What’s going on?!” and it dawned one… this IS happening to the whole city. In 2004 a new law was enacted requiring C02 detectors along with smoke detectors in every apartment. The final date for compliance was June 2005. So if most building owners are like mine… a goodly portion of the city got CO2 detectors installed on or around June 30th, 2005. I’m betting the battery life in a CO2 detector is about… 2 years. So… for your own safety, and the sanity of your neighbors, check the battery in your detector and get them changed. Please?

Emergency Exit Only

When you read this sign on the door inside of the subway, it means that you should use the doors only in case of emergency. People at 34th Street on Penn Station do not follow this rule. The only trouble I have with them using this door is that in the case of a real emergency, the attendant will think it’s just some dick who doesn’t want to stand on the line to exit the back of the platform.

There are a few ways to solve this problem. Start to issue tickets to offenders or try to open up the back of the platform and add more turnstiles for exit. Currently there are no turnstiles and only revolving gates.

I know as I’m finished writing this, I’ll be welcomed with another siren blare of the improper use of the emergency exit door. If someone stood there even the problem could be solved.

The cat on the hat

Today I was out and about, enjoying the cooler yet still humid weather, and I ended up in Union Square. I called my roommate to see if he wanted to meet up at one of our favorite guilty pleasures, Big Daddy’s (full post on their yummy comfort food to follow). He agreed, mainly because they have tater tots, so I headed up Park towards the diner. As I crossed over at 19th Street, I saw a man standing in the middle of the block. He looked like some regular guy, shorts, tshirt, hat – but he had a cat sitting on his head.

That’s right. I said cat. Sitting on his head.

The cat was sitting upright, haunches down but front legs extended, just kind of looking around, like cats do. He had a leash on, and crazy cat man was holding it, but that was it – he wasn’t holding onto the cat or anything. And this wasn’t a tiny cat. It had to be at least a 10+ pounder.

I walked up to the diner, lamenting my lack of camera, and was seated to wait for my roommate. And then crazy cat man came and sat down in front of the diner, extracted the cat from its perch, and took a little break. After a group of ladies with kids left the diner, he got up, showed the cat to the kids, and then put it back on his head, and walked off with the cat happily perched atop his hat.

I have never been so bummed about not carrying a camera in my life.

Death by Detector

img_co2.jpg 5 Days. For 5 days at my boyfriend’s apartment the neighbors’ CO2 detector has been chirping. Once every minute. For FIVE DAYS. The bedroom faces an alley, as does the kitchen, where the building’s detectors are located. So every time it chirps the sound rebounds through the windows, all around the alley and is clearly and distinctly audible in his bedroom. So all weekend I was treated to… chirp… chirp… chirp… chirp… it’s more annoying than a water drip. We’ve determined that it is the neighbor directly below him. I am fairly certain that they are at home. Why can’t they hear this? Why haven’t they stopped it? What the hell is going on down there?!? I’ve never been happier that the weekend was over and that I would be sleeping in my own bed again. How sad is it that I’ve been driven from my boyfriend’s arms by the lack of a 9 volt battery? Would it be rude of me to tape a note and a fresh battery in a ziplock to their door?

Look Out! Oprah’s Coming!

OK, I admit it. Ever since I started teaching 10 years ago and found myself home some days at 4pm, I have been watching Oprah. When I could no longer stand Judge Judy shouting “Shut up!” or “You’re not too bright!”, I turned to Oprah for after-work wind-down. We teachers go to the local watering-hole after school on Fridays, so on the other days I took my test-papers and lesson-plans home with Oprah as my background noise. And now that I am home on disability, I tend to put her show on every afternoon. When she’s not tooting her own horn about her philanthropic activities, or touting her “favorite things” that most of us can’t afford, her show can be enjoyable and educational.

Oprah tapes in Chicago, but for her first few season-openers in the Big Apple. Don’t try to get tickets, though. They’re all gone. 6,000 tickets were gone in 6 hours and her website crashed from all the Oprah-maniacs requesting tickets online. Because, after all, she may never tape in New York again, even if her best friend and Oh! Magazine editor Gayle King is based here.

So, The Great Oprah will conquer New York City for a few days. And thousands of viewers will walk away with those coveted goodie-bags. And although I wish were one of them, alas, I didn’t have enough persistence (and no connections) to get a ticket.

Ground Zero Air Quality– Long-rsnge Effects

I submitted an application recently to a new building going up near Ground Zero. Which started me thinking about my asthma.

Every night on the news, there seems to be more and more coverage of first-responders of 9/11 with all these respiratory issues. Not all respiratory illnesses rear their ugly heads immediately. They can wreak havoc years after the fact. My dad has a friend who was a plumber for many years. After retirement, he was diagnosed with asbestos poisoning. It seems that all those years working with pipes in pre-war buildings, took their toll on him.

I know the city says the air quality is safe there now. But for someone like me, already struggling with asthma, it seems like a risky area to settle in. But, then again, I probably shouldn’t be living in New York City altogether.

Catty shoppers

This weekend, I decided to head over to Chelsea for the legendary Barney’s warehouse sale (warning: sound in the link!). Twice a year, Barney’s opens up its warehouse and sells off previous season merchandise at ridiculously reduced prices. I wanted to avoid it during the first few days because I’d heard stories of women fighting over clothes, trying things on in the aisles and just general psychotic shopping behaviors. So, since the sale started over a week ago, I figured this weekend would be semi-safe.

Not so! When we first entered, we were behind two young eastern European women who cattily commented on our tattoos when they thought we couldn’t hear them. After that, one proceeded to shove her bag in front of my fiance at the bag check area so she could… shop 3 seconds earlier than him? and the other elbowed me out of her way in the shoe section. There were a slew of shoe hoarders that grabbed 10 or more pairs at a time, and the scene in the clothing area… well, let’s just say I didn’t want to go in there unarmed. (However, there were women trying things on in the aisles due to the lack of dressing rooms, so… voyeurs, run on over there.) I did manage to pick up a pair of shoes for a friend that she’d been lusting after since she saw them in the regular Barney’s store. They were over 75% off. So maybe it was worth it.

The sale continues until Sept. 3. The warehouse is at 255 W. 17th Street between 7th and 8th Ave.

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