Monday, April 25, 2011

xoxo Gossip Girl

The weather hasn’t really been that nice in NYC but that has not stopped me from putting away my winter coats and donning my *bright* blue trench which I am in lurve with. Girls usually compliment me by saying they love it, and boys usually compliment (?) me by saying it is really bright and giving me a weird look. I then proceed to brag about how it inspired a look on Gossip Girl.  

It was a true New York moment two falls ago. One Monday, I saw signs on lightposts near my work that said "No Parking - Gossip Girl" so I arranged the following day around how I was going to leave work a few times to spy on the film shoot and see if I could spot any celebs/potentially be discovered. New Yorkers are supposed to be cool when it comes to seeing celebrities and they are supposed to act like it’s no big deal, but at that point, I had only worked in the city for four months, so I thought it would be acceptable to be myself (aka really UNCOOL when it comes to seeing celebrities). Honestly, I've never even seen an episode of GG, but I was still pumped about it.

On Tuesday, my coworker and I walked down the street, saw the film crew, and got excited. I got my camera out (which I *never* leave home without, on the off chance that one day I run into Justin Timberlake – true story) and started zooming in. We watched Penn Badgely film a scene where he was talking on the phone. Apparently we had just missed the crew filming a scene with Hilary Duff (who I will always think of as the great and powerful Lizzie McGuire).

When the crew was finished filming that scene, my coworker and I turned the corner and noticed some trailers for the stars. We saw Chace Crawford walking into one, waited for a few minutes, and then saw him walking out and I took some more paparazzi pics and admired his beauty from just a few feet away.

A woman walked up to me after I calmed my basically thirteen-year-old self down and said, “Hey, I work in wardrobe.  Do you mind telling me where you got your jacket? It’s beautiful!” I’m sure I turned beat-red and stammered a little before telling her that I got it at a boutique in Jersey City which I could not remember the name of (Kanibal Home) and that it was a bargain at $40. She then talked to the woman next to her and said “I could see Blake in that”. And because never am I one to shy away from attention / potential stardom, I asked her, “Does this mean I can be on the show?” She shot me down with a “I don’t know about that” and a smile that said “Psh yea, in your *dreams*” (which she was right about…it *is* in my dreams…)

My friend Caitlin told me a few months later that Leighton Meester was wearing a coat like mine on that week's episode of GG, so it was clear that I had made a great impression on the cast and the crew. Although I haven't actually seen it...but I'm sure it's the exact same coat and that they have all been talking about me since. Right?

Gossip Girl

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Save the drama for your MoMA

No, I probably won’t get ever sick of what I think are incredibly amusing MoMA/Mama related jokes (please see my last post about the MoMA, here: "Yo' MoMA is so fat"), and I probably won’t ever get sick of the MoMA itself.  I lurveeee the MoMa and have already been there three times this year.  What I really like is that each time I go there, I have been able to see something different as the special exhibits are always changing.  Maybe I also like that it is walking distance to my apartment and that I can skip all the lines and get in for free with my corporate discount.  Or maybe I just like pretending I’m artsy, as discussed in this post.

In February, Mendy, Nicole and I decided to meet at the MoMA after work for drinks.  What?  For drinks?  Clearly I assumed that we were meeting at the Modern, the bar/restaurant by Danny Meyer (of SHAKE SHACK fame) which is in the same building as the MoMA, because you couldn’t possibly be able to drink *in* the Museum of Modern Art, right?  I can’t imagine what would happen if someone (me?!) spilled vodka on Van Gogh or whiskey on Warhol.  So when I got to the Modern and I didn’t see my friends, I called and then we were all thoroughly confused.  It went something like this:

Me:  “Hey, I’m here, where are you guys?”
Nicole:  “We’re right at the entrance”
Me:  (looking around again, not seeing them) “No, I’m at the entrance, I don’t see you”
Nicole:  “We’re right by the entrance”
Me:  (asking the waitress) “Is there another entrance?  My friends say they are right by the entrance...” (being told no, then to Nicole) “Are you at the Modern?”  (thinking the restaurant)
Nicole:  “Yea, we’re at the Modern” (thinking the museum)
Me:  “You’re at THE MODERN?  Getting drinks at the MODERN…?”  (thinking the restaurant)
Nicole:  “Yea, we’re at the Modern” (thinking the museum)

Repeat for ten minutes.  But we finally figured out the confusion and I walked into the MUSEUM and saw that they *were* serving drinks in the lobby of the Museum of Modern Art.  Apparently, it’s this event they do on the first Thursday of every month, which for some reason I was not aware of.  There was music playing, and tons of people sitting on the steps, just sipping their gin and juice, with their minds on modern art and modern art on their minds.  Of course, you could not bring your drinks upstairs with you, but I still think it’s kind of risky to have tipsy or drunk people around priceless pieces of artwork.  I mean, vodka on Van Gogh is pretty bad, but puking on Picasso?!  Disaster.  

My parents visited this past Saturday and I obviously couldn’t resist the corniness of being *at* the MoMA *with* my Mama, so we decided to go there on the rainy afternoon they came up.  One of my favorite things on display right now is “Wishes” by Yoko Ono, in which people just wrote down wishes on cards and she arranged them in a glass box for everyone to read.  The best - and most ironic - is below:

We checked out some of the newer exhibitions, I Am Still Alive:  Politics and Everyday Life in Contemporary Drawing (until September 19th), Impressions from South Africa, 1965 to Now (until August 14th), and Looking at Music 3.0 (until May 30th), where we found Jay-Z himself.

The special exhibit I most wanted to see this time was Picasso: Guitars 1912-1914 (on display until June 6th), since I recently started playing the guitar (ahem: shameless self promotion to put me as the opening act for Rihanna right here), and have always felt a connection with my main man Pablo.  Picasso was obsessed with the shape of the guitar for some time and created both a paper sculpture and a sheet metal sculpture of his obsession and featured it in dozens of his paintings.  In some paintings, you could only see the neck, the soundhole and some strings, or just the curve of the body.  No photography was allowed inside, but don’t worry, there is proof I was there and can look really cool (?) playing an invisible guitar.

And check out how cute my parents are:


Sunday, April 17, 2011

I'd Catch a Grenade for Ya

This past Wednesday, I found myself with nothing to do after work (gasp) and I couldn't just come home and relax so I looked on StubHub to see if anyone had any theatre tickets for sale.  I did still have to see three more Broadway shows (as per my 26 things to do before I turn 26 list) and I am running out of time before my birthday.  I ended up finding a $60 third-row orchestra ticket to "Catch Me If You Can" which just opened up last week.  It's one that I've wanted to see so I went for it.  "Catch Me If You Can" is based on the movie of the same title, which is based on the story of conman Frank Abagnale who posed as an airline pilot, a doctor, and a lawyer, and passed $2.5 million worth of forged checks in the 1960s.

I enjoyed the show because I think the story line is just so engaging.  The production itself was entertaining, but the songs were nothing special.  I had never been that close to the stage before so it was a really interesting experience for me.  Since I was on the aisle, the actors ran right by me a few times as they were running up or away from the stage.  I did get a little distracted because I could see the spit from the actors while they were singing, which was kind of weird.  But luckily, only the people in the first and second rows actually got spat on.


Monday, April 11, 2011

America's Next Top Model

I've had a little bit of modeling experience in my life.  My dad's newspaper was always looking for cute kids to illustrate stories about the first day of kindergarten and the 100th birthday of peanut butter, so my stage parents put us in the paper a lot.  Check it - I'm the one with the sweet pigtails.  

I look like I *hate* peanut butter!
So I haven't had a ton of modeling experience since my Press of Atlantic City days, although I did do an event for a friend who worked at Seventeen Magazine one summer and I did walk the runway at work for the "What Not to Wear to Work Fashion Show" when we did "Take Your Child to Work Day" a few years back.  But modeling is something that I am interested in and I think would be really fun to do more.  I think I'm past my prime and I'm not actively pursuing it, but I do still think about it once in a while.  So when Nicole, Dave, and I went to brunch one day at City Lights Diner (52nd and 10th) and saw two photographers setting up for a shoot and a model sitting in a booth sipping coffee, I knew I had to make some moves.

We talked to the photographers and asked them what was going on.  They explained that they were taking "stock photography" which could really be used by any company or entity who wanted to use it on billboards, taxi tv, magazine ads, etc.  They were taking pictures of generic city scenes to be used anywhere in the country.  I half jokingly said to one of the photographers, "Do you need any extras?" and then when I saw him actually think about it, I added, "Seriously."  He said that would be great and came up with the idea that I would be walking outside on the phone with the model and I would see her in the window and we would wave "hello" and then I would walk inside.  Simple enough.

For the next couple hours, I was outside walking (sometimes running) back and forth to the window of the diner, tapping on the glass and waving while being videoed and photographed.  It was pretty funny to see everyone's reactions while they were walking by.   I had a fun afternoon and I talked to the photographers about doing another shoot with them soon.  They are filming something the next two weekends but I will be unavailable for both, but they are also doing some shoots this summer.  So look out for me on any billboards and let me know how I look.  Also I'm totally available for other projects.  :p


Friday, April 8, 2011

All That I'm After, Is a Life Full of Laughter

Last Thursday, on our second official Hoboken Crew Ladies Night, the gals and I decided to take in a comedy show.  This was partly inspired by the comedian who we encountered on our first official Ladies Night.  He shall remain nameless, but I think it should be noted that on his official website, there are three images of him dancing back and forth like a metronome, and his events calendar was last updated in 2009.

CK suggested we take in the comedy show at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street) for only $14 (plus the purchase of two drinks or food items) and all the girls were interested.  About a week before the show, the names of the comedians were revealed, and we all became pretty excited.  We were going to go see Aziz Ansari, Tom from "Parks and Recreation", also known in some circles as Raaaaaaaaandy, and one of my favorite people to follow on Twitter because I think he is hilarious.  The other comedians on the lineup were Max Alexander, Lenny Marcus, Colin Quinn (from "SNL", "Tough Crowd", "Long Story Short" on Broadway), Tom Papa (host of "The Marriage Ref"), and Keith Robinson (from "The Wanda Sykes Show").

We met at the Olive Tree Cafe right above the Comedy Cellar and got some cocktails and wrote our names on the table with chalk.  I tweeted @AzizAnsari a few times to tell him how excited I was to see him.  I knew he was going to be just as excited to see me and would probably try to find me in the crowd and hang out with me after the show and then offer me a part in his next movie.  The ladies and I walked downstairs around 8:45 as the show started at 9.  The club was really tiny, so every seat had a good view, and in true NYC comedy club fashion, there was a brick wall behind the stage.

One of the 1,000 things I tweeted @AzizAnsari
William Stephenson, the MC for the evening, came out and immediately started making fun of people in the audience.  I tried to catch his eye, but I must have been in a shadow or something because he did not even address me.  Max Alexander was the first comedian in the lineup and I definitely recognized him from somewhere (perhaps from "The Tonight Show" with Carson, Leno AND O'Brien or from "Forgetting Sarah Marshall").  He was the most awkward of all the comedians and I found myself laughing a little out of embarrassment for him rather than for thinking he was actually funny.  I think the next comedians, Lenny, Colin, and Tom did excellent jobs - and I'm not going to do any of their jokes justice by trying to write them here.  Then, Andy Hendrickson came out to do his act.  This is when I began to get concerned.  Aziz Ansari was supposed to be next in the lineup according to the website.  "Okay, maybe since he's like AWESOME, they just switched it up and they are saving him until the end," I tried to convince myself.  I mean, yes, the website did say that sometimes the comedians are unable to appear on the nights scheduled, but no, that couldn't be happening here, right?

Aziz-less stage :-/
But when the last performer came on and it was not Aziz, I was saddened.  All of this anticipation just to be stood up.  I can't even tell you if Keith Robinson was funny because I was sitting there with my arms folded wondering what I could have done for Aziz to not be there.  Maybe I tweeted him too much.  Maybe I came on too strong.  Maybe he came into the club, saw me, and left.  Sigh.  I just have to remember there are other comedians in the sea.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Your Body is a Wonderland

Yesterday, Rod, Amie, Ravi and I decided to go see the Bodies Exhibition at South Street Seaport. 

The exhibit shows actual human bodies and parts all cut up to see the insides.  The bodies are preserved by a process that removes all of the water from the bodies and replaces it with some sort of rubber.  The rooms in the exhibition traveled through the skeletal, muscular, nervous, respiratory, digestive, urinary, reproductive, endocrine, and circulatory systems.

While it all was incredibly interesting, parts of it made me feel a little weird.  I knew that these were all actual humans with actual human lives at one point or the other.  It was a little strange that all of the bodies still had eyebrows and lips and belly buttons on them.  The most jarring part for me was to see the difference between a healthy lung and a cancerous lung, or a healthy brain vs. a sliver of brain that had a stroke.  There was also another section of the exhibition that showed fetuses at different stages of development.  This was also pretty shocking to see, but at the same time, incredibly interesting.

After we got our science fix for the day, we decided to travel into Brooklyn to grab something to eat.  Ravi had his car so we drove over the Brooklyn Bridge, and then five minutes later accidentally drove *back over* the Brooklyn Bridge.  We then traveled back into Brooklyn via the Williamsburg bridge this time and proceeded to pretty much ran out of gas.  After driving around in circles for a thousand minutes trying to find a gas station, we finally googled and found one.  We all got out of the car as if we had been on a road trip for seven hours and stretched and actually got beverages from the gas station soda machine.

We used Ravi's Urban Spoon application with rad sound effects to find an Italian restaurant in DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) and found three places right around the corner from Grimaldi's (the most wonderful pizza place in the universe).  We walked to the water and realized that we were *directly* across the river from South Street Seaport, where we had started out our journey, an *hour and a half* later.

Pete's Downtown had the most appetizing menu to me so we went there and everything was fantastic.  Plus, there were mirrors everywhere so I could stare at myself while I was eating, which I just really enjoy.  We got two lobster bisques for the table and - get this - it actually had lobster meat in it, not shrimp meat (that's for you, my former OB crew).  I ordered the Shrimp and Mussels Fra Diavolo.  It actually came in regular tomato sauce, so I asked for the Fra Diavolo on the side, but it turned out that I liked the accidental  regular sauce better. 

Amie and I were craving ice cream and both got a treat at Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory.  I was glad that we resisted - or were denied - getting Mister Softee when we were in Manhattan earlier.  Amie got vanilla chocolate chunk (the most popular flavor according to ice cream scoop man) and I got vanilla chocolate chunk, chocolate chocolate chunk, and an extra surprise half scoop of strawberry from ice cream scoop man.  It was fabulous and super creamy but it really was way too cold outside to eat.  But no worries, my muscles were warming up my body by making me shiver (yes, I learned this in the Bodies exhibition).

On our way home, we decided it would be fun to follow a CitySights tour bus and kind of ride the tour for free: stopping behind the bus when it stopped, guessing what the tourguide was saying, and trying to figure out what the tourists were taking pictures of.  Eventually, we ended up passing the bus and realized the bus driver was giving us the death glare so he must have noticed we had been creeping for a while.  Luckily we were stopped at a light so the driver got to glare at us for what seemed like twenty minutes.  We sped off quickly  back to Manhattan before the tour became a tour of our route home and to our apartments.


Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Fastest Way to get Bed Bugs in NYC (?)

When Nicole and I moved in together in August we discussed how important it was to make sure we did not have any uninvited guests like rodents, Bronx Zoo cobras, or bed bugs.  Therefore, instead of actually *participating* in today's NYC Pillow Fight Day 2011 in Union Square, I just watched from behind the barrier. 

After inviting everyone I knew to go see this with me, I found only one taker, my new friend Megan.  We went to Whole Foods and got some salad and weird-tasting potato chips and ate out on the benches inside the park while we waited for everything to unravel.  There were probably about 80 NYPD officers on point at this event and there were police barriers and everything.  I didn't realize this would be an organized event, but of course, I could see the city's concern for something like this to get out of control.

Soon we started to see people lining up with pillows in hand, some of which had been decorated with faces, designs, or vulgar drawings.  Some of the people were dressed in pajamas, some in tights, some as super heroes. This was going to be intense.

Megan and I moved up toward the front of the police barrier and soon afterward, the action began.  It was hilarious.  There were hundreds of people just smacking each other with their pillows.  Tons of people taking photos.  Tons of people stopped on the street wondering what the heck was going on.  And inevitably, feathers started to fly everywhere.  Check out this video:

And these shots:

It was awesome.  Another reminder of the incredible energy that this city holds.  Love it so much.

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