Monthly Archives: February 2009

The City

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Somebody stop me now. Ok don’t, I’m enjoying this.

 

As pathetic as it is to admit, I spent all of yesterday glued to mtv.com catching up on the new series The City which stars the loveliest LA gal Whitney Port as she embarks on her new life as a fashionista in NYC working for Diane von Furstenberg. How sick is it that this stuff actually has the power to turn my brain to mush and let me sit like a vegetable for five hours straight on a Saturday when I have a million other, way more important things to get done? It’s nonsense. Oh but such good nonsense, if such a thing exists.

 

Years ago when I was living abroad I got such a kick out of chatting with my British flat-mates, trying to convince them that my life in New York City was really nowhere even remotely near Carrie’s from Sex and the City. They just figured it was. Hilarious! I consider myself stylish enough, keeping up with trends (to a minimum), checking out the latest city hot-spots, showing up at a cultural event or opening at least once in a blue moon, but no, I do not live a life like city gals Carrie, Samantha, et al. I don’t have the luxury of shopping all day in stores like Barney’s and Chanel. I don’t own even one pair of Manolos and I am definitely not getting into VIP parties where I might run into Anna Wintour or Tom Ford. And if I did they wouldn’t notice me any more than one of the bar-backs shoveling ice.

 

At least Carrie was in a different age bracket than me. She’d been a career woman for a bit longer than myself and as a result had a greater social network and a way to justify (?) $600 shoe purchases. What’s really hilarious to me though, are the girls that star on The City. In the thirteen years I’ve lived here, I have never known a 24-year-old that lives alone in a brand new apartment that measures over 400 square feet, has a balcony with a killer view and just happens to be located in one of the hottest neighborhoods downtown. It makes me feel a little better that this is TV after all and nothing is really real…but still, readers, take note: life in NYC for all of us regular people is NOT like it is for Little Miss Whitney. So if you’re planning on moving here, be forewarned: this isn’t how it really will be…unless of course you’re an heiress.

 

So the apartment issue— I spent my college years perplexed, watching episodes of Felicity, not sure how it was that they were also in school but living in a spacious 3-bedroom with floor-to-ceiling windows, exposed brick, the whole nine yards. Uh huh. On TV it seems everyone in NYC, no matter how young, has a sprawling apartment on the best block. That myth is nothing new. Let’s move on to Whitney’s hot new boyfriend—Jay the musician with the adorable accent. Whitney met him in the first week that she was here. Ok, yes, I realize she is rail thin and has legs for days but please. Does this really happen? No. Meeting men that are truly worth our while, is not that easy. If you don’t believe me, check in with my dozen intelligent, attractive, charming girlfriends who are all—you guessed it—single!

 

After reading this far you’re probably think I’m just jealous. Actually, I’m not. In all honesty, I say great for Whit. I think she’s lovely. Awesome for her and her friends that have fabulous parties to go to every night; that have wardrobes that amount to ten times what hangs in my closet– in terms of quantity and quality, that have gorgeous boyfriends that adore them. I just have to make it clear once again, that this is not real life! I’m astonished again thinking back to yesterday when I sat there watching episode five and counted on my fingers that I’m one, two, three…seven years older than these girls. Oh wait, eight, I realize, remembering my recent birthday. And I laugh to myself at the cramped quarters I call home. The sink/stove/counter combo that calls itself a kitchen, where I do my best to cook for myself. (Yesterday, by the way, it was an awesome ham and cheese quiche). Then there’s my refrigerator that leaks pools of water, the toilet that gurgles, the two windows I have and my awe-inspiring view.

 

Uh, huh…this my friends is my life in the city.


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So What’s It Gonna Be Mr. Phil?

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I’m sure I speak for many when I say how hard it is, despite these challenging economic times, to ignore those giant red letters that seem to be in every shop window along just about every street on this commerce-driven island of ours. You know the ones– S-A-L-E. The other day with a virtual pad lock on my wallet, I wandered into Banana Republic and accidentally stumbled upon an adorable black, puffed sleeve coat that was marked down to $39…from $225! It was a deal I couldn’t pass up. So, the virtual padlock was consequently unlocked.

As I pranced home with that feeling of glee that comes with the acquisition of shiny, new, pretty things, I couldn’t stop thinking about my wonderful new garment and how perfectly it would brighten my winter uniform of jeans and boots that has in recent weeks begun to feel rather lackluster. I realized though, as I cringed at the icy wind on my face that I might be waiting some time to actually snip the tags and wear it, as it’s a bit too light-weight for anything less than 40-degree temperatures. So upon getting home, I took the coat out of the bag, admired it once again and tucked it in with my other pieces of lightweight outerwear where it would wait, until warmer days arrive.

But what do you know, I didn’t have to wait very long at all. When I stepped out the front door of my building at three this afternoon bundled up, as if headed for Siberia, I nearly choked it was so warm. And with a spark of genius, I turned right around and hiked back up the fives flights of stairs in my building, dashed straight for my closet and reached for the new beauty. Perfect indeed. But what was more lovely, was in fact the weather. The sky was glowing a soft azure and the bright, white sun warmed the cold air. It certainly felt like the first day of spring, which every New Yorker knows feels like the best day on earth.

A pleasant stroll along crowded Sunday streets led me to my destination on Mott Street where I met friends for afternoon dumplings to celebrate the Chinese New Year. And on more than one occasion the talk of the table centered on the beautiful day. But as happy at the thought of spring was, it was obvious none of us had our hopes up. We all knew the sunny warmth would leave as quickly as it came, because winter in the northeast typically runs well past February 1!

Tomorrow, we find out for sure when Punxsutawney Phil comes out of his borrow for Groundhog Day 2009 to predict the weather for the remainder of winter. If he sees his shadow we have six more weeks (ugh), and if he doesn’t, we’ll get an early spring (fingers crossed). So what’s it gonna be? I don’t know, but I’d really love to switch out my heavy coat for the cute new one. So, work with me Phil, will ya?

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