Archive for the ‘City Life’ Category

Finally some snow…

Finally New York City gets a proper snowfall. And we don’t have to just look at it in pictures and on TV.




Beards are in, especially for the ladies

Everyone’s doing it doing it it doing it.

Growing their beards and not trimming it.

Some people trim non-facial hair parts in the restroom at my workplace – and that is grossing me out.

What the point of this post was that everyone and their mothers has a beard. It’s like beards are so in that it’s time for them to not be so in anymore. People say it’s to keep warm, but seriously, it’s just like a space for water to get caught and then freeze while you’re walking.

I know our friend Atom has had a beard for a super-long time. Everywhere I turn in the East Village, people have some scruff or a full-on beard. I do too. It’s really alright by me but I’m always thinking like why such huge groups of people – especially in a big city like NYC – grow beards at the same time.

Fashion is weird. Beards are in. But who knows what ’09 will bring??

Lemme’ touch your stuff, k?

I was out and about this evening getting some cat food from my favorite local pet store The Natural Pet, when I found out the management had changed hands! Rats, I said as we walked into the wine shop next door. My wife was deciding on which wine from Orvieto she wanted when a gentlemen came through the door. He seemed like your average middle aged New York City man. He saw my Leica hanging around my neck and this is how he interacted with me. (more…)

Gramstand closes its doors—after 5 years of serving the East Village

The note below was sent to me by Gramstand today. I went there and took memorable photos, videos and conducted business. The place was very packed a lot of the time. It just goes to show you that times are tough.

I wish them tons of luck and love for the future.

Dear Friends and Customers,
The Gramstand is closing today and will host a farewell garage sale through the day. Please do stop by and purchase some odds and ends from us. We apologize for the short notice, but it was short notice for us as well.
Due to the rising cost of doing business and an overwhelming financial situation, the Gramstand has been forced to close it’s doors. Nearly five years ago, the Gramstand began serving customers by selling grams as a tiny, closet-sized stand in the Gramercy area. Less than three years ago, we moved to the East Village and began to bud. This past summer, attempts to expand at a new Upper East Side location, exacerbated our crunch and stunted our growth.
We are hopefully that there is a future for the Gramstand and would like to keep you posted on our evolution. The Gramstand staff has become very attatched to our community of patrons and supporters and we appreciate all the passionate, save-the-store responses. We cannot thank you enough for supporting us. And whatever our future is, we promise to keep building chill spaces that attract good people. Please look to our emails and website ( for updates.
Hope to see you today for the sale!  We got mini-fridges, counters, tables, chairs, coffee tables, speakers, glass-ware, jasmine soap, etcha-sketches and lots of wicker among other things. So come buy or just say hi!
Success is not in profitability, success is inherent in giving it all you’ve got and maintaining an emotional balance in the good times and bad.

Melissa’s Tough Love: Meeting a Potential Date on the Street

If by some chance you have the guts to chat up a woman on the street, talk the talk, and be charming enough to get her number, here are a few things you should NOT do if you want to actually see her again.

1. Don’t call her the same night at 11pm to see if she wants to get together – especially if you have a tone in your voice that sounds like you’re looking for some action.

2. When she doesn’t call you back, it’s because she didn’t appreciate your gesture so it’s best to just lose her number.

3. Don’t call her a month later (clearly drunk) at 5am and leave a message telling her that you just had a dream about her and describe the dream in detail. Remember, you had a 5 minute conversation in the street… A MONTH AGO! You’re strangers.

Idiot. No self respecting woman will think that ANY of that is cute and she won’t call you back and waste an ounce of her breath on you either.

Clearly, this guy doesn’t have a clue. However, if you do meet a random woman on the street and want to increase your chances of seeing her again, think about calling her the next day (don’t send her a text, it’s cowardly) tell her it was nice to meet her and ask her if she’d like to go out sometime.
Simple, but it works.

Evening Light

Now that the time has changed we are heading straight on to the end of the year. I find the light to be absolutely beautiful this time of year.

Village Halloween Parade Pics

If you want to see a great picture gallery of this year’s Village Halloween Parade, click here.

Photo credit: Jeanne Fleming/Wikimedia Commons. Picture from the 1998 Village Halloween Parade. Notice the Twin Towers lit up in the background.
Jeanne Fleming/Wikimedia Commons.  Picture from the 1998 Village Halloween Parade.  Notice the Twin Towers lit up in the background..
Thank you Pamela Skillings,’s Manhattan guide.

On the Expressway

Having just flown back from a trip to CA, I was not in the mood for a trip to the DMV. But I had the rest of the day off and I forced my jetlagged self to the License Express. I’ve been living in NYC for 5 years now and still had a Jersey driver’s license with my parents’ address. Now that it was expiring, it really was time to make my NY residency official.

Located on 34th between 8th and 9th, the License Express is an easy commute for most subway lines. When I arrived shortly before 4 (when it closes!), I found the office busy, but not packed. There’s a station for everything. Station 1: you go to the Information booth, get a form, and get a ticket. Station 2: you get your vision checked, your forms checked, and get a number. Station 3: Here’s where it gets fancy. A digital board displays which counter is serving which number and a computerized female voice announces “Now serving number —- at counter —-.”

The lines (which are unavoidable) move fast and the multiple stations make the process seem speedier. The workers were oddly pleasant, something I don’t recall from prior DMV experiences.  The woman at station 2 actually told me “Good job!” when I’d successfully completed my vision test.  I’d say the full experience took maybe a half hour.  It probably differs with days or times, but if you come prepared you might find the License Express to be a pretty smooth ride.

Street Fairs in October — Where to Stay Away

I share the view of many New Yorkers re those street fairs. They’re a pain in the ass! I’ve eaten the last of those sausage sandwiches and funnel cakes! There was one last Sunday in my Forest Hills neighborhood, and I avoided it like leprosy! Just when you thought street fair season was over, Pamela Skillings, the Manhattan guide at, offers a schedule of the last installments of these banes of our existence. But, hey, if you still like seeing demos of must-have household gadgets, or yearn for more pad thai cooked on the street, check it out here

The Loisada Street Festival.  David Shankbone/Wikimedia Commons

The Loisada Street Festival. David Shankbone/Wikimedia Commons

Is NYC a bicycle-friendly city?

Not according to some cycling advocates, who say that though the city should be commended for putting in more bike lanes, they should do a better job of enforcing traffic laws. The outcry comes on the heels of two recent cycling deaths in Brooklyn, one of an 8 year old boy and one of a 50 year old man. That brings the death toll for cyclists in NYC for the year to 9.

As the wife of an avid cyclist and friend of many people who commute on bikes, I’m always concerned for their safety while they bike in the city. Though some cyclists disobey traffic laws themselves, the key thing to remember is that cars are large, made of steel and glass, and weigh thousands of pounds, and bicyclists are small, unprotected, and weigh a couple hundred pounds at most. In a contest of car vs. bicycle, guess which one will win?

I think that cyclists should obey traffic laws, and so should drivers. I see plenty of cyclists on the road doing irresponsible things, but that doesn’t mean they deserve to be hurt or killed. They deserve traffic tickets. So do drivers – and during an average cab ride or stroll around town, I see tons more vehicular traffic violations than I do cyclist traffic violations. I know everyone wants to get where they’re going as fast as possible, but at what cost? The cost of someone’s life? I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be late.

What do you think the city can do to make NYC more bicycle-friendly?

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