Archive for the ‘Rantings and Ravings’ Category

Dirty Glass of Water – OK’d by 311

Dirty glass of water

Dirty glass of water

This dirty glass of water was OK’d by 311 when we called them this morning, to drink.

My dad found out early that all the water coming out of our taps in Queens was soiled. Apparently there’s some “work being done in your neighborhood, but all the water is OK to drink.”

Really, NYC Helpline? Really?

Take a freaking look at the muddled water. What the heck is OK to drink about that? Also, once I drank the water, I passed out for 2 hours. JK! I didn’t drink it. Anyhow, it smells strange too. A bit metallic, a bit like watered down waste . . . too graphic? Well I hope they fix it soon because otherwise I’ll be roaming the streets unshowered. And that’s a hazard in itself to New Yorkers.

Spread the love, NYC

Spread the Love, NY

Spread the Love, NY

Attention lovers of NYC. Today was a long day of love exchanges of the material kind.

I’d like to reflect upon the day and hope that we can extend this essential character of ourselves that is known as LOVE to those around us on a daily basis.

Here’s a small list of things that New Yorkers can now do to show more love to one another each day. Practice one on the next day you’re out:

  1. Wait for the next train if it is too packed.
  2. Hold the door open for the person behind you.
  3. Smile at tourists + strangers who stare or smile at you.
  4. Give proper directions to those who need it.
  5. Greet your bus driver.
  6. Strike up a conversation with someone at a coffee shop.
  7. Thank everyone who helps you directly or indirectly on a daily basis. (doorman, delivery person, janitor, spouse, friend, relative)
  8. Help anyone who obviously needs it without expecting anything – not even a thank you.
  9. Refer a friend to a job you know they’d be good at.
  10. Curb after your pets.
  11. Don’t honk the horn . . . as much.
  12. Give back to your community – volunteer your time to a local charity, be involved in something bigger than yourself.
  13. Meditate – be aware of your self as you walk, talk, think and exist.

In a city focused strongly on finance, money, and the art of insomnia, these tips above give you an alternate life. One that is more fulfilling, gratifying and rewarding than anything a job can give you.

At a time when unemployment continues to rise and tougher times face us, I find that these small ways of giving back make each day a better one for your self and those around us. Let’s truly make our city (and state) slogan of I <3 NY mean something.

With love, from me to you.

Hard to find in NYC

Some places in NYC are hard to find.

In fact, I can say with full confidence that half of the places I frequent today, it had taken me a while before finding exactly where they were located. Addresses in NYC are easy for many to follow, but I always, even as a native, seem to have trouble navigating.

For example, it took me 3 years before I found the famous Dosa Cart guy of Washington Square Park. I just saw, for the first time today, after 2 years of searching, Una Pizza Napoletana.

My current favorite ice cream shop, Lula’s Sweet Apothecary is easy to find but their winter schedule is like Wednesday-Saturday. They’re having new hours starting the 21st of January.

Abraco was also tricky. I had actually been to the location before it became the best espresso shop in New York City. But, for the life of me, I couldn’t remember what street it was on. So I clearly remember walking up and down 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 6th and 9th streets between 1st and 2nd avenue…until finally going up 7th and finding the spot. It was at least 3 trips until I found it.

The trouble is that even with Google maps some places like 9th street Espresso (which you’d think, duh, easy) will escape you because they are located inside the block where you don’t expect them to be. And the trouble with the way addresses are written for NYC, it’s like you have to guess all the time.

I wish I had a trick to tell you how to get around this – the best bet would be just to ask someone. But the other point is that many of these places are actually open, but they don’t show up when you think they would. Una Pizza Napoletana is the perfect example. Their elusive and bare bones Web site says that they’re open from Thursday – Sunday from 5 pm until the dough runs out.

The Dosa cart guy may have been there during the day when I went and visited and may just have left because he ran out of his Dosa batter.

Lula’s was closed earlier this year after it received unexpected demand and they couldn’t churn out enough ice cream to feed the hungry vegans. Abraco is tiny and so sometimes people may pass by it and miss it. 9th street espresso needed better signage which I think they got, unless they’ve had it all along and I just found it this year.

I would commend places like Veniero’s bakery for being inventive and creating huge signs with neon arrows pointing lost folks like me in the right direction. Sure, I don’t eat/buy anything from them but at least I know that they exist.

Melissa’s Tough Love: Stop Flirting with Your Neighbors

In a city like ours, there are times that our neighbors are a little too close for comfort.
I have one that I’m going to have one of those “not so comfortable” conversations with.

In the last 2 years, I’ve run into a neighbor of mine on more than one occasion. Yes, I know that’s normal, but I also know that it’s not normal to take someones friendly behavior as an invitation for flirting. Sometimes, nice is just nice. Some would call that being neighborly.

He’s invited me to his place for parties, but I’ve declined. Once, I did accept an invite for a drink, but as soon as I figured out that he was flirting, I made a point of stating that I wasn’t looking for any type of companionship of any kind. Seems that wasn’t enough to let him know that I wasn’t interested. One other time when I ran into him, I remember telling him that we shared a wall and that I wasn’t going there.
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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??

Melissa’s Tough Love: What Happened to Good Service?

Since I’m one of those people that likes to find new places to eat and drink, I subscribe to sites like Rare Daily, Thrillist, Urban Daddy, etc. to help me along.

Sadly, they review these places so early on that it’s hard to get a feel of what the place is really like. For me, it’s more about the entire experience than the food alone. After my recent visit to Via dei Mille, I was not only disappointed in the sites that I so often count on, but the service at the restaurant as well.

I set up a dinner for a friends birthday and because she wanted to wear the Tadashi dress that she won at the silent auction when we attended the GMHC Fashion Forward Event (I got to play spokes model for Hanne Apparel that night), I thought we should go someplace a little dressy. That’s when I consulted New York Magazine, Thrillist and Rare Daily and found Via dei Mille.

Here’s where they went wrong… and right. I don’t want to be completely unfair.
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Melissa’s Tough Love: Stop peeing on us!!!

No matter how many times you guys have heard that you sometimes act like dogs, it doesn’t mean that it’s ok for you to pee on us to mark your territory.

What I have witnessed – actually, what I have experienced recently is some seriously bad behavior.
Let me start by noting that most of the worst territory marking comes from our guy friends who do NOT know how to share.

I have a few friends that have been around for quite some time. The amount of time ranges from 20 years to 3 years. They are all quite different and like most friends, we’ve had our share of ups and downs, but recently a few of them have done their share of peeing. Is it the weather, the holidays, what? Well, whatever it is, you guys need to knock it off.

Do NOT think that just because you’ve known someone for a long time, that you’re owed something. Like some form of physical payment, or some help cheating on your wife/girlfriend. It’s not happening and you should be THRILLED that she won’t help you. Besides, it’s not her job to give you some form of momentary happiness or to save you from the relationship you are currently in. That’s your mess, fix it.
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Police brutality continues in NYC

One of the longest fought battles over time is that between cops and citizens. We are always afraid of them, even if we haven’t done anything wrong.

A long while ago I was pulled over by a bunch of cops who accused me out right of having taped buildings and other NYC landmarks with the intent to terrorize. That skirmish was followed up by a visit to my house from 2 extremely burly cops part of the anti-terrorism squad of New York City.

Your tax dollars at work.

Recently, three officers were indicted in a Subway brutality case. These officers sodomized a 24 year old man on the subway.

Powerful police officers will do nearly anything to get their way. Their doubts are often unfounded, their abuse of power is rampant and their racial profiling an every day reality.

The worst part is that even with this indictment this behavior will continue. I’m suggesting that there be an advanced course given to all police officers in training on quick-judgments, anti-substance abuse and medtiation and yoga. Hey, if it could work for prisoners, I’m sure that their aggressive counterparts could benefit from the same.

All I want is some responsible police officers who are not just a glorified fraternity with pistols.

Black Friday Confessional

Black Friday brings out the worst in New Yorkers and shoppers everywhere. We forget that all of us have the same essence running through ourselves. Just because we’re not related to one another, we forget common decency.

Today, I was guilty of letting my ego get the best of me. Large crowds, lots of noise, very few items with deep discounts and the rush of making sure that you get everything on your list completed drives Black Friday to be one of the most stressful days of the year.

So, this is my confession…I cut in line today, twice. Once at the Best Buy in Westbury and the other time to get into the busy parking lot of the Best Buy in Westbury.

I turned left from the right lane, nearly crashing into oncoming traffic. Then I went into the right lane again and entered the busy Best Buy parking lot, again nearly crashing into oncoming traffic. Once I found a parking (luckily, no illegal actions had to be made here), I rushed inside and perused through the merchandise.There was a man who was playing street hawker and yelling “Get your Bluetooth headsets here, $25. Get ’em here.” He was quite good and got a lot of people’s attention and sold a lot of merch.

I found the digital camera I wanted to get from the store and noticed that the line spanned the entire length of the store and went up and down several aisles – 5 or 6 to be exact – I was going back to put away the camera and just purchase it from another store when the opportunity presented itself. . . there was a barricade and the only place to turn was onto a register. Behind me a Best Buy employee yelled something and I thought I had been caught, but she yelled again, “ED!” She was calling for Ed. Not me. I was safe. So after the family ahead of me finished making their purchase, I made mine.

I saved 59 minutes worth of waiting time. I feel guilty. I am sorry to all those that waited in line like decent human beings. I will try to improve, I promise…

Do you have any Black Friday confessions?

Melissa’s Tough Love: How NOT to Meet a Woman at a Bar

A friend of mine and I were given tickets to the Knicks game last night. Yes, I know… they suck, but I’d be silly to turn down a night where I am going to be in a stadium full of men!

After the game was over, we stopped by Stout for one last drink. That’s when Jay and his friend Kevin came by to chat us up.

Kevin was fine, but this is the Top 10 list of things that Jay did and what you guys should avoid:

1. Keep the comments about her legs to yourself. You JUST met her. Tone it down unless she’s flirting with you and purposely showing off her legs.
2. When you “think” you’ve said something clever, don’t hold up your hand to give her the fist bump. It’s just as bad as the high five and trust me… you’re not all that clever.
3. If she lives in NYC and has stated that she loves it there, don’t try to convince her that Hoboken is better. NOTHING you say will convince her.
4. Do NOT chew gum while you’re talking to her. There is no need for anyone to watch you chew when you’re not in the middle of a meal. Have a mint if your breath is stinky.
5. Don’t drink out of her glass of water. It’s gross.
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