Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I'm Going to the Hahhhhmptons, Dahhhhling

Pretty much anybody who is anybody (except for me) in New York City has a summer home in the Hamptons.  This past weekend, I got my first taste of the Hamptons when I rented a cottage for a few nights with three of my friends.  In the spirit of the trip, which was scattered with games, games, and more games, in my post today I tried to think of something for each letter of the alphabet that related to the weekend.  Yes, some of them are stretching…by a lot.  Enjoy!

A – Air comma fresh – The fresh air of Southampton was all I needed this weekend.  Don’t get me wrong, I clearly LOVE New York City, but in 100-degree weather, the subway smells like a bathroom, and any garbage bags left on the sidewalk stink up entire blocks due to their rapid decomposition.  It was great to be outdoors and by the ocean.  Coastal air is really refreshing.  Probably because it reminds me of home.

B – Beach – Our cottage was closest to Cooper’s Beach.  On Saturday, it was pretty foggy but we went to the beach anyway.  It was a little chilly and not sunny but it was still nice and relaxing.  On Sunday, it was beautiful out, and turned out to be a perfect beach day. 

C – Charades – On Friday night after dinner, we engaged in a ton of different games.  One was playing Electronic Catchphrase as having to demonstrate the word with actions and motions a la Charades rather than having to explain the word a la traditional Catchphrase rules.  The funniest moment was when Lesley spent ten minutes trying to act out “TriBeCa” – think about it, what would you have done?!

D – Driver’s Seat – On Saturday night, we went to this restaurant in town mainly because they had a bread basket (I kid you not).  All I wanted the whole trip was seafood, so I got the lump crab cakes on a salad.  They were delish!

E – ErFer – my name in Words with Friends and what Lesley referred to me as the entire trip.  She and I had been playing for a few months and she was constantly beating me by at least 100 points.  I told her it was on my bucket list to beat her and I ended up winning the game that we started over the weekend, although only by 5 points.  I still think she was taking it easy on me.

F – Fire – We had so much trouble on Friday night trying to get the grill to work to make our cheeseburgers that Lesley, our resident pyrotechnic, was lighting random items on fire and throwing them in and sticking her hands completely in the heating elements of the grill.  I’m not sure what worked in the end because I took a step back and covered my eyes in anticipation of an explosion, but somehow our burgers were a success.

G – Gelato – After dinner on Saturday, we went into the Sant Ambroeus “pasticceria and confetteria” to get gelato.  I ordered coconut and passion fruit.  The coconut was just like a piƱa colada and fabulously refreshing but the passion fruit was way too tart for my tastes.  Tracy was the definite winner (as in all the games) with her pistachio order.

H – Hunger Games – the book series that I am reading and Lesley has already finished.  She asked me every two pages what part I was on while I was reading “Catching Fire”, the second book in the series.  If you haven’t read these yet, you probably should.  They are excellent!  Hoping to read the third book this weekend.

I – Intermix – Just one of the crazy expensive designer stores on the main strip in Southampton.  It’s basically like every Fifth Avenue store’s “Summer Collection”.

J – Jamaica – Our train from Penn Station on the way out stopped in Jamaica and we had to transfer.  Almost everyone on our train was going to the Hamptons, I think they should have a direct train at least in the summer.  On the way back, our train from Jamaica to Penn Station was cancelled and we had to hop on the subway instead which was kind of annoying, but more crowded than anything.

K – Kebbler Elf Cookies – I haven’t had one of these in about nine years but I have been craving one since last week when someone mentioned them at work.  When I saw them in the grocery store I threw them in our cart immediately.  I may have shared three or four with the other girls, but I basically devoured the whole package myself.

L – Logan – The nice gentleman at the grocery store who sliced our meat for us.  He gave us samples of the turkey and salami and totally disregarded the fact that Caitlin had shoved 40 packets of ketchup and mustard in her bag from the deli counter.

M – Moses – One of our games was “Celebrities” in which you go around and the first person says a celebrity’s name and then the next person has to say another celebrity’s name whose first name starts with the first letter of the prior person’s last name (Tom Hanks => Heather Locklear => Laura Bush).  We had a fit of laughter when Caitlin called out “Moses”.

N – Nature – There were quite a few bugs in the house, which were all normal for any beach house, but who we still didn’t want as guests.  I had to show a lot of these guys who was boss.

O – Obnoxious Hat – There’s really only one way to describe my new sun hat and that is “obnoxious” but I’m trying to own it.  Point blank, I need to protect my face / shoulders / chest better after tons of severe burns I’ve gotten over the years.  This hat totally does it, even though it’s a pain to carry around and I look pretty silly in it.

P – Physical Fitness – I thought I walked a lot in NYC, but I walked a ton more in Southampton, or maybe it just seems a lot further since it is suburbia instead of blocks.  We walked at least 3 miles a day, and Tracy and I actually cabbed back a few times when Lesley and Caitlin wanted to walk instead.

Q – Qatar – This is a stretch, but on the way to Southampton, we all did the New York Magazine crossword puzzle, Caitlin and I using her copy of the magazine and Tracy and Lesley using my copy.  It turned into the first competition of the weekend and Caitlin and I got completely dominated.  One of the clues was “capital of Qatar” – the answer is obviously Doha.

R – Red – Our driver for the weekend.  Not our personal driver, per se, but the taxi driver we used a few times.  He claimed he had no idea where our street was but then when he pulled up to the cottage where we were staying said, “Oh, my aunt lives right there” and pointed next door.

S – S’mores – We made lots of S’mores over the weekend, not in the fire pit thing that came with the house, but rather on the burner of the gas stove.  We used sticks though, so it was close enough to the real thing.  They were magnificent!

T – Tate’s – This famous bakery in town where we went multiple times.  I’ve had their cookies at Whole Foods before and I wanted to eat everything I saw but I only ending up buying cheese danishes.  Mostly because this is what Peeta made for Katniss in “Catching Fire”.  I also got a Vanilla Chai Iced Latte on Saturday and sipped it up on our walk to the beach.

U – Unashamed – that we listened to songs from Glee the entire weekend.  My favorite: “Fat Bottomed Girls” by Queen (via Noah Puckerman).

V – Vodka – Tracy brought a fabulous cherry flavored vodka for us to mix up with seltzer and Sprite.  Unfortunately, there was some leakage in transit and she ended up with some vodka-smelling items in her suitcase.

W – Water – The ocean was way too cold to run into and play in the waves, but it was good enough to stand in to cool off a little bit while we were roasting in the sun on Sunday.

X – X chromosome – This is the biggest stretch.  X chromosome because it was a girls’ weekend?  Yea?  Does that work?

Y – Yearly – I would love to go again on a trip like this and hopefully we can make it a yearly event.

Z – Zarin, Jill – I thought it would be a good idea to each pick a “Real Housewife of New York City” and be her for the weekend, since they are always in the Hamptons.  I wanted to be LuAnn so I could wear my obnoxious hat and say “Dahhhhling” all the time and Lesley said she would be Jill.  Unfortunately it didn’t quite catch on.

Maybe in about 10 years, when I am on the Real Housewives myself and have my own house in the Hamptons, people will be wanting to imitate me!


Friday, June 24, 2011

I'll Follow You Until You Love Me

This week, I pretty much should have worked for US Weekly.  I don't know why, but I was stalking stars all over the place.  And like I talked about in my Gossip Girl post, I am *sooooooo* not a cool New Yorker when it comes to celebs and I really don't care.

Last Thursday at happy hour, I saw two stars from the Sopranos walk into the bar.  I had seen Steve Schirripa (Bobby 'Bacala' Baccalieri) there before, and I got a picture with him last summer.  The funny part is that I never actually have even seen one episode of the Sopranos, and I more recognize Schirripa from his role as Ben Boykewich's dad on "Secret Life of an American Teenager".  Yup, I just admitted that I watch that show.  Totally unashamed.  A girl who works with me was trying to take a picture with him and Vincent Curatola (Johnny 'Sack' Sacramoni) with her Blackberry but it wasn't working, so I pulled out my camera (which, as you know, I always have) and helped her out.  Of course I took one too and called Schirripa Mr. Boykewich and talked to him about last week's "Secret Life".

On Tuesday I was taking a quick walk in the afternoon outside of work and I saw a group of paparazzi outside of a hotel nearby.  I lined up right along with them and tried to find out who was in the hotel but they were being such losers and wouldn't answer anyone's questions.  Somehow we all found out that Cameron Diaz was in there and I decided I would absolutely wait for her to come outside.  A few minutes before she came out, Charlie Day from "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" exited the hotel as well.

On Wednesday, a coworker and I were walking across the street to another happy hour and we saw a paparazzo running down the street.  We looked at each other, shrugged, and started running after him to see who he was chasing.  We saw a man who kind of resembled Lenny Kravitz walking a dog down the block, but we weren't really sure if it was him or not.  We finally recognized that it was not him AT ALL and felt kind of stupid for running after him.  No clue who the paparazzo was chasing though, it could have been JT for all we know.  Can you imagine if I had *just* missed him?!

Today, I took a late lunch and went to the Macy's in Herald Square to see if we could get into Justin Bieber's perfume launch.  Yes, you read that correctly.  I am 26 and wanted to see Justin Bieber AND Justin Bieber has a line of perfume.  My friends and I entered the cosmetic floor at Macy's and saw some crowds of people up ahead so we went to check it out.  We ended up behind a blockade and were just kinda looking around when we heard girls SCREAMING.  They screamed for about 2 minutes, we heard a voice on a microphone, then more screaming, and then he was gone.  We don't know what he looked like.  We don't know what he said.  But we do know, that for that five minutes, we breathed the same air as Justin Bieber, and all was good in the world.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I Had a Barbecue Stain on my White T-Shirt

Kat and I may have broken two records this week.  One, for hanging out twice in one week which we sadly haven't done since college.  Recently we've been keeping in touch mostly through our Words with Friends game, but we are luckily changing that!  Two, for the amount of food we ate at Big Apple BBQ yesterday.
The Big Apple BBQ is a yearly event put on by Danny Meyer, the creator of Shake Shack, who I clearly already was in love with,  and yesterday I fell even more in lurve with him.  The BBQ is a giant block party held in Madison Square Park and it is just delightful.  This year there were sixteen barbecue places from all over the country represented, including New York's own Rack and Soul, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, Hill Country, and of course, Danny Meyer's Blue Smoke.  Food was $8 a plate so Kat and I split a few different ones.

Highlights of the afternoon:
  • On the way to MSP, being offered a six-bedroom, $1,000,000 house in Westport, Connecticut if I had gone to dinner with my cab driver.  Unfortunately, I had to decline because I really wanted to enjoy myself at the BBQ.
  • Meeting up with Kat's friends for five minutes who were leaving and inheriting their fast passes which let us skip all the lines.  We really lucked out because apparently these passes cost a few hundred dollars (which is pretty crazy but they are also loaded with money to use at the food stands - of course ours were used up already).
  • Randomly running into a friend from work and hanging out with him & his friends in the "beer garden" outside of Shake Shack.  Having them take our fast passes and provide us with beer and food on multiple runs for the rest of the afternoon.  Getting yelled at every five minutes by a miserable woman who shouldn't have even been in public, much less at a crowded event in Manhattan, for how much she hated being around people.
He wanted to be famous
  • The most embarrassing moment of the day:  Getting completely rejected by one of the guitarists in the last band of the event, Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears.  They were really good, they are on Letterman tonight, and my ultrahip dad has even heard them on his college radio station he listens to so he can have something to talk to my cousins about on Thanksgiving.  The guitarist was probably a little freaked out because I was waving and yelling at him and maybe tweeting the band about him, but I really just thought I was being funny, one of the perils of me plus day drinking.
  • The most proud moment of the day:  Finally getting my hands on a set of paper pig ears - in the spirit of Burger King crowns - that they were giving out.  I guess they mostly ran out yesterday so these ears were few and far between.  At first, I accepted that I would not succeed in my mission so I instead asked a few people if I could wear theirs just for a photo.  I put on my best sad puppy face and whined about how I really wished I could have a pair, but no one gave theirs up for good.  I was even looking around on the ground to see if anyone had dropped theirs.  I finally saw some hanging out on the top of a speaker stand and asked the man in the speaker booth if I could have them.  Victory.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Life is a High Line

To answer your questions, YES I am still here.  YES I still love New York.  YES I did let life get in the way of this hell LOVE a town the past few weeks.  Don't worry, it wasn't all "real world" related, I did get to spend a beautiful Memorial Day Weekend at home with my family and friends and a ridiculously entertaining weekend back at alumni weekend with all my college friends.

In lieu of me doing anything fun in New York in the past few weeks, I was going to post a "fake" entry which would have presented my brand new list of - drumroll please - "27 Things to do in New York before I Turn 27".  Avid readers are very familiar with my to-do lists and I decided to make this next year's birthday list more focused, which would also give me more to write about, which I know is important to all of you.

Lucky for you, I actually got a chance to get out today and do one of these items on my list, which I will probably reveal in full on a later date, don't you worry your pretty little head about it.  My friend Kat was my next door neighbor senior year of college and it was about time to catch up with each other so we decided to "1. Explore the High Line" tonight.

For those of you who are unfamiliar, the High Line is a relatively new park on the west side in the Meatpacking district built on old elevated train tracks from the 1930s.  Kat and I had both actually read today that the second of three sections was opening up tomorrow, but luckily, the ribbon-cutting ceremony was actually this morning.  The first section runs from Gansevoort Street to 20th and the second runs to 30th. 

Some of the cool features we discovered on our walk:
  • There are seemingly hundreds of places to sit down and relax.  There are benches, wooden seats in the reclining position, tables, steps, Bryant Park chairs, grass, everything.  The park also branches off into so many different look-out points that there is definitely room if you want your own little area of the park or if you just want some quiet time.
  • The train tracks are still there (or new ones were installed for the theme?) and are covered in plants.  It's a pretty cute touch.

  • Tuesdays are "Stargazing in the Park" nights.  The Amateur Astronomers Association of New York brings high-powered telescopes to check out the moon and the planets.  The term "stargazing" is a misnomer since you can't really see the stars around here - which is one of the things I miss from home, but tonight the moon and Saturn were out.  Kat and I checked out the moon and all its craters, but we were already halfway up the park by the time Saturn could be seen.  According to the events calendar, Wednesdays are "Wild Wednesdays" where you can get a tour of some of the wildlife around, there are tours on Saturdays, and Trisha Brown Dance Company performances on the rooftops nearby some days.

  • The water fountains talk to you in creepy computerized voices when the water button is pressed.  The most southern one is my favorite because it performs the Elizabeth Barret Browning sonnet which begins "Oh how I love thee, let me count the ways."  The rest of them are just kinda weird.  One talks about how you are perfectly safe at that water fountain, but then gives reasons why you shouldn't feel safe; one talks about how important it is to hydrate and mentions that men sweat more than women (duh); one talks about how you are so hot that you deserve some water (ok, I like that one too).  I think it would have been more cool to have them all be love poems, but I guess it keeps people guessing more to have them be random.
  • There are some really cool views, like the traffic rushing under you on 10th ave, the sun setting over New Jersey, and the Empire State Building, but there are also some odd views, since you are, after all, in an elevated park in Meatpacking.  You are right next to some run-down, abandoned buildings and some apartments being developed where you're going to be able to see *directly* into the windows and you get a bird's eye view of lots of auto repair shops.  I could imagine some of the views getting pretty sketchy later in the night, but the park closes at 11 so maybe it will be okay.


So you should probably go explore the High Line as well if you haven't yet.  And please let me know if you have any items to add to my "27" list.  For realzies.

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