Thursday, November 3, 2011

#OccupyWallStreet is going to ruin my Christmas

I know it's a bit early to be thinking about Christmas. But it's been on my mind lately as downtown NYC starts to sparkle with Christmas lights.

And you better believe NYC does it up right. Carefully wrapped branches result in beautiful twinkling trees. None of that throw-it-in-the-branches-and-call-it-a-day stuff.

But one of my very favorite places at Christmastime is currently "Occupied."

Zuccotti Park, where the Occupy Wall Street movement is camped out, is a block-sized, understated park you really wouldn't think twice about walking through. In the daytime, it's full of people sitting on its stone benches, eating lunch from the nearby food carts. Tourists take pictures from here of the WTC site.

But the real magic of this park is at night. We often walk through Zuccotti Park on our way home from work. (Well, we did, before the Occupiers arrived.) This particular park has light bars built into the ground every few steps, making it a really beautiful, peaceful, ambient place to be at night. I love it. I've even told my husband that if things had been different, I would love to have been proposed to in that park.

And the beauty of the lights is only magnified at Christmas, when each bare tree is painstakingly wrapped with strands of white Christmas lights. And the planters in the park are taken over by huge, perfect Christmas trees.
A little natural snow never hurts

So I'm a bit sad that it's looking like I won't be enjoying my favorite Christmas spot this year. I wish I had a picture of it at night to show you. But if I took it now, it'd be full of plastic tarps and unshowered protesters.

{This is not meant to be a political statement. Let's keep it that way.}

Friday, October 14, 2011


Neither my husband nor I had ever been to Seattle, but we remedied that last week.

See the photos on my Flickr page!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Stuck in an elevator

I knew it. I just knew those rickety elevators in our office building were going to let me down someday. Amazingly it took more three years for it to happen. But on our way home from work tonight, we didn't make it past the elevator. At least not for a while.

I'm glad Scott leaves at the same time as me and I'm glad we were the only ones in the elevator. As we descended, the elevator gave a little jerk when it reached the first floor. We looked at each other. We looked at the doors. They didn't open. We looked at each other. I tried pressing the door open button. Nothing happened. I pressed it again, harder. And again. Nothing. Should I press another floor and see if it will go up? I ask. Sure, he says. So I do. Nothing. So I press the alarm button and the front desk security guard asks if we are stuck and we say yes. Are we fine? Yes, fine. Okay, he says, I'm calling the elevator guy. A few minutes later he is on the intercom again. The elevator guy will be here in a few minutes, just stay put. Where else are we going? We sat on the floor and played games on our phones. No signal to post our misfortune on Facebook. Drat.

Thankfully we were stuck less than 20 minutes. And we really were fine. The elevator didn't plunge to any depths and neither of us is quite that claustrophobic. So we survived.

But I might take the stairs tomorrow.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Arizona observations

The first week in July, Scott and I spent some time in Tucson and Phoenix. Here are a few observations I/we made while we were out there.

1. Once you turn the cold water into hot water, you're not getting it cold again.

2. Hair dries really fast.

Do not touch

3. Entering Millie's Pancake Haus lowers the median age significantly.

Sedona at sunset

4. If you're waiting for a left turn arrow, it won't happen till after the people who are going straight.

In the foothills

5. Flash flooding is no joke.

6. Palm trees are not just for the beach.

7. Every time I see the word desert, I think dessert.

8. The Metro is something you ride, not something you publish.

It was storming on our way to Sedona, but never on us. If you click on this photo to enlarge, you can see the rain coming down.

9. Arizona is greener than you'd think.

10. Dust storms are no joke. Of course, we were in the middle of the biggest one Phoenix has seen in decades.

Truck in the parking lot after the storm

11. Sunscreen is a way of life.

12. A Camaro is the car to have, apparently.

Sunset in Sedona
13. You can walk down the sidewalk without bumping into people.

Sunset from the hotel

14. You can walk down the sidewalk without breathing in cigarette smoke.

15. There is a mountain view anywhere you turn.

16.  The food can, in fact, give New York a run for its money. (Seriously. So good. So cheap.)

Grilled ham and cheese covered in Gruyere

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Sailing on the Hudson

Yesterday, we went sailing on the Hudson River. Like, on a little tiny boat. Okay, they do get smaller, but there were five of us and it was, uh, intimate.

Scott's been talking about wanting to learn to sail for as long as I can remember. And with the river just steps away from any part of NYC, this is a good place to get the opportunity. Thanks to Groupon (if you decide to join, please use that link, cause it tells them I referred you) we got a half-price "Taste of Sailing" outing from Hudson River Community Sailing, which they call a "two-hour recreational, hands-on sail."

And it was a blast! (Except for the whole getting smacked in the head by the sail part. But I survived.)

The weather was absolutely gorgeous. Warm but not hot, and fairly windy. The water was a little choppy because of the wind, but nobody got seasick and we didn't fall in.

Scott got to hoist the sail, and I actually steered the boat for a while. And I didn't even 1) run us into anything or 2) capsize us.

The life vest adds 10 pounds.

What goes up, must come down.
It was fun to actually be on one of the sailboats we so often watch from our window. Not sure if we'll do it again, but it's something I'm glad we did.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Judgment Day

I know I know, months without posting and now two in a row. And no, this is not an attempt to hide my sex post. You can still read it. I just have other stuff to say.

Surely you've heard — or seen — lately the people who are warning us about Judgment Day on May 21. People all over this city and many others have been handing out fliers and wearing signs on their backs that the Rapture is going to happen in two days. It's been big in the news, even people on the subway are chatting about it.

Working in a newsroom, this Judgment Day thing has come up a lot. Stories. Quotes. People are asking a lot of questions to the open air. "So good people disappear and sinners stay?" Not quite.

I've been thinking the last few days that all this talk about Judgment Day is such a huge opportunity to share Christ. To explain what the Rapture really is (not that I'm an expert). Because people are ASKING. I'm not someone who is just going to open up and start talking about God. But if you're asking a question, yes, I will answer.

Today I stepped into a conversation in the office involving about seven other people to explain that it's those who are saved who are taken. And how you can become one of those who gets taken. And how being a believer doesn't mean we're not sinners. And that it's heaven afterward and not some big dark void.

Yeah, I'll admit it. I'm proud of myself for saying something. I know I sound just about as crazy as those people saying it's all over in two days. (For the record, I don't believe they're right. "But about that day or hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." [Matthew 24:36])

But even though I think we'll all be here well past Saturday, I do know one thing:

If it happens, I'm ready. Bring it on. Take me.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Museum of Sex. Yep.

Me to Scott: "I want to blog about this but I'm not sure what to say except that we went."

There are a lot of museums in New York City. This past weekend we went to the Museum of Sex. And yes, it is exactly what it sounds like. And if that makes you want to giggle, go right ahead.

Like I said, I really don't know what to say about it except that we went. It was fun.

This is the only picture I took. It was the only thing I was comfortable posting here on the blog.

Please do not...

One thing I can say for sure, the Museum of Sex will change your perspective on things. (This was right after we left the museum.)

The famous Flatiron Building

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Hipsters and a house show

Are you familiar with the term "hipster"?

"Hipsters are a subculture of men and women typically in their 20's and 30's that value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter. The greatest concentrations of hipsters can be found living in the Williamsburg, Wicker Park, and Mission District neighborhoods of major cosmopolitan centers such as New York, Chicago, and San Francisco respectively. Although "hipsterism" is really a state of mind,it is also often intertwined with distinct fashion sensibilities. Hipsters reject the culturally-ignorant attitudes of mainstream consumers, and are often be seen wearing vintage and thrift store inspired fashions, tight-fitting jeans, old-school sneakers, and sometimes thick rimmed glasses."

Yes, well, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, (aka hipster haven) is where Scott and I spent some time this weekend. And I could not stop giggling. Because every. single. person. who walked past us was wearing a vintage-inspired look and thick-rimmed glasses.

We went to Williamsburg to see Dave Bazan play a house show. We've been to one of these before, and enjoyed it so much, we did it again.

You know that saying, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do." Well, when in Williamsburg, you gotta pull out the Hipstamatic camera.

Dave Bazan's new mahogany Martin guitar

Wooden swing in the "living room" of this space

Bazan doing his thing

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Holy page views, Batman

Blogger does this neat thing where you can see stats on your blog. How many page views you've gotten today, this week, all month, etc. Which links sent them here. What countries your readers are in. Pretty cool stuff.

So tonight I go check it out, and for whatever reason, March 18 was a good day. 147 page views, 91 hits on the Georgia Peach entry. Which was 17 days after I posted it. To put that in context, in the last 30 days, the next highest day was 31 page hits.

It is a bright spot in what admittedly has been a decline in the blog in the last six months. Most of my free time outside my day job is spent keeping up with RLPCo. I love it, but sometimes I miss the simple life of LPBA. I need to get back to writing more often.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Not so peachy

There was an article in the paper today (well, tomorrow's paper) about a writer from North Carolina who moved to New York and wrote a book. As I was scanning through the pages when I got in, the headline caught my eye: "A Southern peach in the Big Apple." Can't imagine why that would've piqued my interest.

But more importantly, can you be a peach if you're not from Georgia? I mulled it momentarily and ulitmately voted no. As the resident Southerner, I made them change the headline. (It wound up being, "A Southern girl in the Big Apple.")

But what do you think? Can you be a peach if you're not a Georgia peach?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The littlest Darth Vader

By now, you've probably seen the Super Bowl commercial featuring a diminutive Darth Vader. If you haven't, you must.

The reason I think this commercial is so great is 1) It's totally adorable. The kid is just so believable. But 2) It's wholesome. It gets laughs without anybody getting hurt or insulted. Nobody's yelling. It's a family. A dad who is helping his son to dream big.

Of course they're trying to sell 2012 Passats. But I think the beauty of this commercial is that it sells a whole lot more than just a car.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Outside in

Our mission this weekend is to clean our apartment as though we were going to have company. There's no company in sight, of course, but this place looks like, oh, two blizzards and four snow storms blew through it. (January's equivalent of a tornado, I suppose.) Anyway, it's a wreck. We were traveling for Christmas and then traveling again last week (more on that later), so there were bags still unpacked, laundry to be done, floors to be swept, mail to be sorted, etc etc etc.

The bathroom is the room that got most tackled today. Toiletries put away, gels and creams consolidated, tub, toilet and floor scrubbed. But for the last few months, we've had nothing on our shower except a clear shower curtain. We'd bought one a few weeks back, but hadn't put it up yet. Today, we remedied that. Today, we brought the outside in.

Nice, huh? But I haven't really shared here on the blog WHY we had to get a new shower curtain. It's a bit of a traumatic event involving an early morning and a snake...

So, a few — I guess months — ago now, Scott had a morning appointment and so he had left the apartment. I don't remember exactly what time it was, something like 9ish. Which is early when you don't go to bed till 3 a.m. I was awakened by a weird sound coming from the bathroom. It sounded like metal in the pipes. I begrudgingly got up, closed the bathroom door, and went back to bed. 

No dice. I could still hear it. So I got up again and went into the bathroom. There was no evidence of anything except a metal clanging in the sink pipes. I went out to the living room to try to find a number for our apartment building management to call and see if they knew what was going on. Then I heard POP! CLANK! from the bathroom. So I went back in, and the stopper in the sink — not like the cheapy metal ones you buy to collect hair, no, it's the kind that actually goes up and down when you press the lever on the back of the sink — has been popped out and is now laying in the sink. Weird. So I go back out to the living room to make a more earnest effort at finding that phone number. (All the while, weird noises still coming from the pipes.)

I'm sitting at my computer, and all of a sudden, I hear a CRASH in the bathroom. I run in there to find my SHOWER CURTAIN BEING PULLED DOWN THE DRAIN OF THE SINK. It's been pulled so hard the whole tension rod fell into the bathtub. I immediately begin a tug of war with whatever is pulling the shower curtain down the sink (you can see how far away it is!) and realize that a MECHANICAL METAL PIPE SNAKE has come UP OUT of the sink, GRABBED the shower curtain, WOUND around it, and PULLED IT BACK DOWN THE DRAIN. I am tugging in vain on my shower curtain and the snake is fighting me hard. I'm screaming "STOP IT, STOP IT!" at the top of my lungs, but no one hears me. After what felt like an eternity but was probably more like a minute, I manage to get what was left of my gauzy shower curtain unwrapped from around the snake and the metal tube retreats back down the drain. (You really have to picture it like a tug of war. Back and forth, back and forth, the whole time.)

By this time, I and my bathroom are covered in dirty water. My shower curtain is in shreds. I march straight down to the management office and demand to know what the heck is going on. I'm sure I'm a sight to see. They get a maintenance guy on the phone who is, lo and behold, snaking out the drain between our neighbors and us. Well DUH. The apartment manager nicely apologizes and offers to reimburse us for a new shower curtain. He also sends up the cleaning lady who does an amazing job scrubbing down the entire bathroom.

So, yeah. I am slightly traumatized by my horror movie-like morning, but in the end, we got an expensive shower curtain we likely would never splurge for ourselves (hey, they're paying for it) and a sparkling bathroom. And a heck of a good story. If you didn't have to live through it.

(Disclosure: Curtain seen here is not the expensive one. I'm not putting that one up with snakes in drains on the loose. We found the current one for $15 at Target, on a whim after we had already bought the other one. Photo of expensiver CB2 curtain is below.)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Go on, read it!

I know many of you — whether you got to my blog from hers or vice versa — enjoy reading my friend Kari's blog. Well, she just celebrated her 1000th post on C'est la vie, and I really think you should go check it out. Make sure you click on her link for more details :)

Congratulations, Kari, on your 1000th post, and its contents!