Thursday, February 20, 2014

Ah, Winter. I Can't Quit You. But I Want To.

At least the snow is beautiful.  For like, a day.  Then it's gross.  No pictures necessary.

Harlem, with some cool filter.
Columbus Circle
Columbus Circle
Central Park
Central Park
I just keep telling myself that because of all this snow, I get to have a green summer.  Right?  RIGHT??

Laundry Is The Worst.

Let it be known that laundromat living is totally for the birds.  It is definitely one of the worst aspects about living in New York, if you don't have laundry in your apartment or building.  Those places are always more expensive, so it is to the laundromat I go.  I take my huge bag of clothes in my arms, with my detergent and bag of quarters (ughhhh....) and walk down from my fifth floor apartment (that's four flights of stairs), trek one avenue block (those suckers are really long, fyi) and enter a laundromat that has signs like this: 
This.  This is living.

Sometimes I wait there, and sometimes, if I am trying to really multi-task, I go back and forth to my apartment.  Then the whole journey reverses itself.  Huge bag, one odyssey-length avenue block, up the stairs to my fifth floor apartment.  Is it any wonder that I have enough pairs of underthings to last me a few weeks? And that I hoard quarters like I need to be on that gross TV show?

And, is it any wonder that I then have to entertain myself by taking lame selfies and pretending I am practicing head shot poses?  No. No wonder at all.  And honestly, I was laughing really hard.  Sometimes I'm really funny.

So I Worked For The NFL For A Hot Second.

Sometimes the jobs I get through my temp agency are really unique and kind of interesting.  Like when I worked for the NFL for the week leading up to the Super Bowl.  Oh wait, that just happened.  Yeah.  I worked for the NFL.  It was kinda cool, if you are into that sort of thing.  Me?  I was just there for the paycheck and the food.  Kidding.  Only kind of.

New York and New Jersey were the hosts of the Super Bowl this year, and so New York City went crazy. Times Square was renamed Super Bowl Boulevard, with all kinds of paraphernalia, including a huge toboggan run and the Lombardi Trophy on display in the middle of the street.  (I literally just had to Google the official name of said trophy.  That's how little I know/care about the Super Bowl).  There were a million other publicity festivities up and around Times Square that I didn't even get to see, because I was in the NFL House the whole time.
Sometimes you need a little Starbucks to get through training.
What's the NFL House?  I'll tell you.  It's a VIP hospitality event that starts a few days before the game and provides a place to relax, eat, hold meetings (for sponsor corporations) and hob nob with really important people involved with NFL. It was held at the Marriott Marquis hotel in Times Square.  Everything down to the tiniest detail was seen to.  I was literally fluffing pillows in the main room, and the huge seating area at the bottom of the picture is of the Roman Numerals for forty-eight.  I hope people were suitably impressed, those ingrates! 

The full view of the main room.
Tickets to the event are by invitation only, and are insanely expensive.  But the food is free flowing, there are amenities to be had (spin classes, chair massage, manicures, hair, shoe shine, etc.), tons of alcohol (if you are in to that sort of thing) and just a fancy feel of excess to all of it.  And, charming, attractive people like me to tell you, "the bathroom is down the hall to your right."

But seriously, this was a pretty exclusive event.  Not even NFL players had a free pass in, and our security was really tight.  We turned them down by the droves.  (Sorry 'bout it).  This was for certain players, owners, sponsors, and other what-have-you various and sundry fancy people.  I did see a few notables, and was pointed out to a few more that I had not recognized.  I am sure I saw more than I would know.  It was fun to be surrounded by all of it, and it was fascinating to see this part of life and society.  I'm not saying I don't care AT ALL about the Super Bowl.  I can get into it when I want to.  But I have tons of sports geek friends who would have been freaking out to be there.  Maybe that's part of why it was fun for me; I know so many people who would have loved to have been there, and that made me appreciate it more.  But it was genuinely fun for me too. I just would have geeked out more if I was working at a Tony Awards event.

And yes, the food was incredible.  We did get to eat.  And thank goodness.  The event staff were very kind to us and treated us well.  So that's always really nice.  And as we parted, we all got this box of Super Bowl Swag (a technical term).  Bonus!

So basically, ask me if I watched the actual Super Bowl.  Go ahead.  (Answer: nope.  Nope, I didn't.  But I heard it was a catastrophe anyway, so...)

Friday, February 7, 2014

Beautiful Moments in the NYC

A bus stop marker, complete with the names of the buses that stop there

Tonight I was on the bus.  As we stopped at 116th Street, I looked out my window to notice a woman completely freaking out on the bus stop pole (see the above image as Exhibit A).  She was shaking it with all of her might, and that might was considerable.  She was shaking it so hard it seemed as if she were trying to uproot it from the sidewalk.  I looked over at the two girls who were sitting across from me; they were transfixed, just like me.

After a few minutes I saw her change her position and start shaking the pole from another angle.  I looked up as I heard the BUS DRIVER CACKLING.  Then the woman started to smack, open-palmed, the pole with all of her strength, all the while keeping up a steady barrage of who-knows-what coming out of her mouth.  Just screaming and smacking a pole.  It's fine.

Then, as we started to pull away at the green light, she backed away from the pole into the middle of the sidewalk, all the while waving her arms every which way and shouting, twisting this way and that, and basically throwing a huge tantrum.  At which point the man behind me on the bus said, "What is she on and where did she get it?!"

We all continued to watch as we pulled further down the street, all four of us that were on the bus.  As we got far enough away that I was about to turn around, I saw her get down on the ground, in the snow, and start rolling around in the snow, almost as if her clothes were on fire.  Maybe she thought they were; who knows?

Whether this happening was drug-induced or just a general anger-management issue, it is part of why I love this city.  The Crazies are always out.  And there is nothing like a Crazy to bond strangers on a bus together.  It was horrifying and amazing at the same time.

It was beautiful.  (Throwback to the title.  See what I did there?  You're welcome).