Archive for the ‘new york’ Category

sf versus nyc
June 8, 2013

 I have this theory: San Fran is this great guy who is super sweet, brings you flowers, asks you on a Saturday date on Wednesday, your mom likes him and you should totally be with him, but he’s kind of boring. All your friends are like, “Oh, San Fran is so great,” and you’re like, “Yeah.…” Then New York is a fucking dick who owes you money and never calls you back, but you have the most amazing sex. He’s such a sexy badass and every time you’re like, I’m never going back, then he calls you at 3am and is like, “Hey girl,” and you’re like, “I’ll be right there.”

Allison Davis, Time Out New York, 4.9.13


regrets from 2012
January 7, 2013

-Not professing our support of gay marriage in our wedding programs

-Not getting tickets to see Jay Z at the Barclays Center

-Agreeing to watch an episode of GIRLS with my mother

proof of awfulness
October 9, 2012

Friday night was supposed to be a date night.

It was supposed to be fancy and romantic and take place downtown, across the Brooklyn bridge, over tapas, somewhere other than my living room.

There were plans. But, then again, plans are really always hypothetical, especially when brainstormed in front of your office computer at 4 p.m. on a Friday. And plans don’t take well to hefty home-bound pours of hard cider and the nachos that inevitably follow.

By 7 p.m. I was spinning around my living room in short shorts and an Oxford shirt just one (ok, maybe three) buttons shy of propriety, boogying down in the exuberant yet thoroughly awkward  way that is my jam, belting out Robyn and beckoning Meg over to help me finish the bottle.

By 8 p.m., Dave was shlepping his thoroughly sloshed wife (life-long commitment is even more adorable when there’s booze involved, people) not down to Tertulia or Marlow & Sons but up, five flights, to the place of a guy that he works with.

Fun fact: said guy, and his girlfriend, are friends with a former Bachelorette (the ABC kind, not the “we ate some Mexican apps and went to Rubix Cube kind,” though the latter was, indeed, a blast) and they had just been invited to said Bachelorette’s wedding. To the winning contestant! Complete with confidentiality agreement! Which clearly conflicts with the purpose and title of this blog. I will tell you, though, that the female half of the duo upstairs totally looked like Bachelorette material: skinny, peppy, wearing a sheer beaded top that tastefully whispered “Vegas,” instead of screaming it. Apparently, people like this exist in real life.

Anyway, the evening was to be a game night. It kicked off with drinking games, which, already being thoroughly bombed, I didn’t do so well at. In the first game, the main task was to remember the value of two cards that were then flipped upside down. This proved  difficult for…only me. The second game had something to do with getting rid of all your cards, a task at which I once again failed.

The third game – while not technically tied to drinking – also threw me for a loop. Apples to Apples? Have you guys ever played? I found it beyond lame. I hated the annoying attempts at humor woven into the descriptions on the cards. Also, I lost. Badly.

But then, Bill, another friend, pulled out his contribution to the evening: Cards Against Humanity.

Look, it was clear from the very beginning that this game was not meant for church, children or people with weak stomachs. It’s like Apples to Apples, but super inappropriate. Many of the cards I was dealt had me running for Urban Dictionary. And then grimacing. And then smacking down phrases like “German dungeon porn,” “micropenis,” and “picking up girls at the abortion clinic” with aplomb. Joyful, joyful aplomb.

I fucking loved this game. I won round after round after round. We’d play until five wins, and I’d reach that, and then we’d play until 10, and I’d hit that, and then we’d have to keep moving the milestone up and up and up, but I was still unstoppable. This is it, I thought. My calling. Something in which I finally excel. Proof of my excellent sense of humor, my wit, that my freshman year roommate was patently incorrect when she said I wasn’t funny enough to write for 34th Street? Yes. Yes to all that and more.

The only other time this had happened to me was in a junior year physics class where I was revealed to be shockingly good at solving electrical circuit problems. “What does this mean?” I had asked our teacher, an ornery scientist who I’d barely spoken to despite having had for homeroom for three years. “I guess you could be an electrician,” he said.

My fellow players’ reactions to my newfound game talent was fairly similar in tone. Even the Bachelorette’s friend/potential one-day contestant stylist was unimpressed and mildly annoyed that I was dominating. Dave – so competitive he’s been known to turn over a Scrabble bored if he’s not winning – was livid.

I was still on top of the world.

Eventually, the game died down (and by eventually, I mean, I made it to 20 and everyone else had had enough) and Dave and I headed back downstairs. Instead of drinking a massive glass of water like a responsible adult, I made a beeline for the computer and promptly hit Google to find out more about my soulmate of a game.

Which is when I discovered that 1- it’s currently sold out. And two – that it has a tag line, which very clearly lays out its purpose:

“Cards Against Humanity: A party game for horrible people.”

Friends, that was why I had been so good at it. Not because I’m smart or funny or vaguely hip enough to have written for my college’s arts and entertainment magazine. I’m not. I’m just a horrible human being with questionable values and little to no conscious.

But you know what? It turns out I’m more horrible than your average person. Which is something! Definitely a party skill worth showing off at a future shindig.

I signed up for the waiting list immediately.

September 1, 2012

I don’t usually like poems; that is, they often don’t speak to me as sharply and haltingly as so many short stories – and, more rarely, novels – do. But I heard the brilliant David Rakoff recite this Elizabeth Bishop piece to Terry Gross on my morning walk to work yesterday, and I haven’t been able to shake its lingering mood, lingering images from my head since. Maybe I’ll try to memorize it, too, so that I can keep it close by at important times, just like he once did.

I know he’s missed by many, but after hearing his voice buzz inside my ears for the better part of this month, I have no choice but to add my silly little name to the list.

Letter to N.Y.
For Louise Crane 

By Elizabeth Bishop

In your next letter I wish you’d say
where you are going and what you are doing; 
how are the plays, and after the plays 
what other pleasures you’re pursuing:

taking cabs in the middle of the night, 
driving as if to save your soul 
where the road goes round and round the park 
and the meter glares like a moral owl,

and the trees look so queer and green
standing alone in big black caves 
and suddenly you’re in a different place 
where everything seems to happen in waves,

and most of the jokes you just can’t catch, 
like dirty words rubbed off a slate, 
and the songs are loud but somehow dim 
and it gets so terribly late,

and coming out of the brownstone house 
to the gray sidewalk, the watered street, 
one side of the buildings rises with the sun 
like a glistening field of wheat.

—Wheat, not oats, dear. I’m afraid 
if it’s wheat it’s none of your sowing, 
nevertheless I’d like to know
what you are doing and where you are going.

More David Rakoff: This American Life’s tribute (my favorites are his blistering Rent piece and his rhyming wedding toast); Fresh Air’s tribute (you, like me, might have to replay (and replay and replay and replay) that moment when Terry Gross asks him if he really feels like he’s “beloved by all but loved by none” — it took me four listenings to really understand what that “lasagna” of a sentence was saying, but I think I get it now, and I think I see myself in it too); this performance, which might make you cry.

things I do when you’re not here
August 27, 2012

Change into that huge, unflattering, washed-out blue T-shirt advertising the Vermont forestry department, stolen from my brother’s dresser years ago immediately upon coming home from work. Or a wisp of a nightgown, should I miraculously resist my afternoon chocolate croissant and not feel terribly gross. (Note: this has happened precisely once. And it was maybe because Pret was out of chocolate croissants.)

Prance in front of the living windows scantily clad. You hate it when I do this, but then again you’re currently at the hospital, which our windows face. Regretting that whole modesty campaign now, aren’t you?

Eat whatever I want.

Ok, the above is nearly always true but now my meals are bent even more to my whims, which are decidedly bipolar in their range and unquestionably manic in their intensity. A pile of roasted eggplant and sliced radishes over arugula one night; half a pan of blackberry crumb bars another. Preferably eaten while standing up at the kitchen counter.

Rock out in the living room to Robyn (Look! I really am dancing on my own!)

Linger extra long on our friends’ couch upstairs like some sad orphan they haven’t even agreed to take in, long after Franny and Madeline are collapsed in opposite corners of the room, all play-dated out.

Recklessly decide to head out to a college friend’s place on 86th after 10 p.m., because all of a sudden, the comfort or novelty (post Philadelphia friend wasteland) or nostalgia or simple pull of having someone who in 2003 lived one floor above you now less than a mile away seems too much to resist. Also, he has the next disc of West Wing that we’re missing.

Write precisely one paragraph of awful fiction, though that’s one paragraph more than I usually get out when you’re around and there’s television to watch.

Sleep diagonally across the bed, utilizing all five pillows.

Enjoy that last step very, very much but think: “It’s still totally not worth it.”

happy birthday, husband
August 20, 2012

Dave has had to work the overnight shift on his birthday for three out of the last four years.

The first year, I took peach cupcakes across the bridge to Camden and then watched as my medical student helped a very pregnant woman into a wheelchair.

“Is this your first child?” he asked her.

“First three, yes,” she said.

I waved goodbye to the newly 24 year old with the terrified look on his face as he scurried off to handle the forthcoming triplets.

Last year, he was just switching to overnights. This meant that if I took the day off from work we could spend it together, because he hadn’t yet fallen into the nocturnal rhythm of the rotation.

Last year, we had just moved to New York. This meant that we were itching to try new things in the city; and also, that nearly everything in the city was new to us.

Last year, we had just started getting adjusted to his residency schedule. This meant that a day together felt like fucking Christmas. (But not residency Christmas, because you work then. And not Jewish Christmas, because that doesn’t involve presents or Jesus. So, ok, that was officially the worst simile ever.)

Anyway, the point is, all of these circumstances led to us celebrating Dave’s birthday by swinging on a trapeze on the roof of a building overlooking the Hudson River. It was kind of gorgeous but mostly terrifying (“Check out that girl shaking,” people would say when I was up on the platform, knees banging together, refusing to jump.) Our post-class Shake Shack cheese fries were arguably the best part of the day. No, the best part of the day was triumphantly somersaulting down from the net after I landed the first catch of the class (the shaking girl pulled it off!) or maybe walking along the river in the sun or probably just being together, but still. No need to face your greatest fear just to commemorate your significant others’ birthday, you know?

So this year, I wised up. I took the day off but we made plans only to sleep in, laze about in bed and walk to midtown for a nice little lunch.

I think it was our best celebration yet.

So happy 27th to that guy who’s been my greatest happiness for the last six August 20ths. I love you, day and night.

and again with the honesty
August 18, 2012

I’ve been feeling a little bit down recently.

I’m confident it will pass soon.

Occasionally, I get these moments – zooming home in a cab through the lights of the city, laughing at a great joke over dinner in Brooklyn, lapsing into gossip with Meg, feeling Dave’s hand on my back after a few glasses of wine – where it feels like I’m coming up for air.

I’m confident you’d rather hear about those than the ones where I feel like I’m drowning. (From what I gather from Dave and my mother, I get kind of annoying when I’m sad.)

Fortunately, I have some photographic proof from today’s traipse through Central Park, which fell squarely into the Very Happy To Be Here category.


Life really can’t be that awful with that blonde around.

beach day
August 15, 2012

It’s gotten to that point in August where it feels like each and every New Yorker is dashing off to the Hamptons or Newport or, for the ambitious, the few, the Red Sox fans among us, the Cape, leaving only hot stretches of pavement and dripping air conditioners and me behind. After weeks of crying over the parade of beach shots popping up on my Newsfeed, Dave and I finally got our act together and took a day trip to Sandy Hook.

We gathered up two New Yorkers’ idea of provisions (two everything bagels with lox spread) and headed downtown on the 6.

It’s a fun little walk from the subway to the ferry dock, especially if you don’t get down to Wall Street much. Dave, for example, had trouble identifying the stock exchange and mistook the crowds of Asian tourists photographing it for Occupy Wall Street protestors. There’s a chance he hasn’t left the hospital, or at least read a newspaper, since November. Getting him far away from York Avenue suddenly seemed crucial, though I admit fleeing to Jersey did strike me as a bit ironic and disturbing.

I chose to ignore that feeling and board the ferry, which proved surprisingly nice and super convenient (although for $45 for a little chug down the coast, it better be.) In about a half hour we were pulling up to that slightly sunnier, slightly tackier state to the south.

We packed onto a school bus that chugged down a little coastal road. A scenic bike path weaved in between the street and the ocean. Next time, I’d definitely rent bikes…but then again, I would have missed bus conversations like this gem:

“Is this bus going to Gunnison Beach?” – guy who would in five minutes prove himself to be a major creeper

Crucial background info: Gunnison Beach is the “clothing optional” beach at Sandy Hook.

Five minutes later:

“I was told this bus was going to Gunnison Beach.”

“You have to stop at Gunnison Beach.”

“Gunnison Beach is the best beach.”

Fellow, less creepy looking patron: “Why is it so good?”

“It’s just the best,” the creeper said.

I think by “the best,” he means “has lots of tits.”

Sadly, this pair did not make an appearance, as we hopped off at the island’s South beach. It was beautiful and packed and man was I happy clothing was required.

We napped on our towels (which are super gender normative, I know, but whatever) and floated in the cool water and I felt more relaxed than I have in a long time.

It wasn’t East Hampton, exactly. But it was just fine by me.

honesty is the best policy
July 31, 2012

That last post was kind of a lie.

I mean, not the part about being really thrilled that my life involves things like watching Regina Spektor’s painted red lips hover near a microphone in a studio crowd of 20. Not at all. That part really does make me more tired and more happy.

But the truth is, it’s been a rough few days — so rough and tear-sodden that I feel silly painting hearts and rainbows onto my little corner of the Internet. There have been a great many public cries (you probably saw them, if you dared walk down Sixth Avenue or take the 6 train or stop in any Duane Reade in the city yesterday) and a great many hours spent reading Jane Eyre by flashlight when all normal people on this side of the Atlantic were sleeping soundly. I wish my secret sleep trick was potent enough to hush up those waves of anxiety and fear and generally-awful-feeling-in-the-pit-of-your-stomach that seem to accompany every jolt along my futile little effort to figure out what I want to be when I grow up, but alas, it seems you need prescription medicine for that. And stronger stuff than I’ve got.

Anyway, I’m getting on with it, and by that I mean, listening to a few things that make me cry harder (in a good way? maybe?) and reading a few things that make me say “buck up, Rach. this life really isn’t so bad.”

Here’s one of the former. (Oh Regina, your full, unafraid singing voice and your gentle, meek speaking voice and your hair were so, so lovely last night.)

And here’s one of the latter. (“Never believe that an hour you remember is a better hour…Passed years seem safe ones, vanquished ones, while the future lives in a cloud, formidable from a distance. The clouds clear as you enter it.”  Beryl Markham, West With the Night.)

PS – Yup, still reading blogs from 2009. Told you I’m always the last one to the party.

PPS – On with the wedding stuff soon, I swear. (Who knew you would be so desperate for me to babble on about flowers? Anything’s better than this whining, you groan. Bring on the marital bliss for chrissakes. And now I have you right where I want you, and I’m happy to oblige.)

how it works
July 30, 2012

“This is how it works

You’re young until you’re not

You love until you don’t

You try until you can’t

You laugh until you cry

You cry until you laugh

And everyone must breathe

Until their dying breath”

Off to see a little impromptu (to me) Regina Spektor performance.

That whole “do less shit during the week so you don’t feel like you’re going to scream every Friday” vow I took yesterday is working out really well for me.

But honestly, I’m not complaining. I think the difference between my life in Philadelphia and my life in New York can be summed up in four words: more tired, more happy.

Here’s hoping she plays my favorites.