Thursday, June 7, 2012

This year, I'm gonna have fun.

I have several blogs I'd like to do -- My Workplace, My Perfect Sunday, My Extended NYC Life, What I've Been Eating -- but I don't seem to have the proper pictures to complete any of them.  Take yesterday -- I stopped for a couple of hours at one of my favorite cafes to write over a slice of cheesecake and cup of chai but forgot (again) to take a picture on my way home.  So why don't we just catch up over some pics I do have.

January 2012
This was the first (and only major) snowstorm after Halloween.  It left snow on the walls.  The WALLS.
For a friend, we visited the Lady Gaga Workshop at ... a fancy store ....  I forget where it was -- wait, it was at Barney's NY, I think.  Anyway, Carlos and I went, and it was a bit wacky.

February 2012

Central Park.
These Mad Men posters were all over the subways.  This was my favorite imposed art.

A rooster in a community garden on 117th Street. 

It's hard to tell, but the street is blocked off by no less than ten police vehicles that came screaming out of nowhere like something from Law and Order.  Each car comes with at least two cops plus there were beat officers so the scene hosted a minimum of thirty cops.  I stopped to watch for a few minutes but couldn't see anything specific or juicy so I kept walking home.  At the next block, I turned around to see what was still going on, and every car was gone like nothing had ever happened.  Creeeeeeeepy.
At the end of the month, I got to visit California.  My favorite flowers were in bloom, and there was sunshine abound.

March 2012
March ushered in the heyday of a time-sapping, magical app called Scramble With Friends.  It is basically Boggle in an app!  After much cajoling (ie, "YOU HAVE TO GET THIS AND PLAY EPIC GAMES WITH ME!"), Carlos downloaded the game, and the battle was on.  

For anyone who doesn't know, Carlos and I are fierce competitors in the realm of online wordgames.  Two summers ago, we started a  Words With Friends tournament and agreed to play the best of three -- it became a three week saga and lasted twenty-one games.  I shall not tell you who won (because it wasn't me, grrrrrrr).

Back to Scramble With Friends.  It's a game that takes some time to master, but once we did -- I'll let the results speak for themselves.

Three rounds, dozens of words each, and it was a tie?!  How does that even happen!
By one point!  Again, how does that happen?!
The first game he won.  I took a picture to celebrate.

A crew filmed a zombie apocalypse commercial outside my store one day.  Everything happens in New York first.

More subway art.

April 2012

April is Starbucks Global Month of Service.  As part of several park cleanups in New York City, over 100 Brooklyn partners gathered for a cleanup at Columbus Park, where we painted weathered railings, planted new trees, and cleared fallen branches.

Amanda (ASM) and Omar (DM).  Everyone looks ten pounds heavier than they are because it was freezing (literally) that day, and layers are key.
Brooklyn partners waiting to start the day.
One of my partners, Sasha, and me.
Don't you love this logo?  Delicious hole-in-the-wall sandwich shop on the Lower East Side.
Pretty day in Brooklyn.

May 2012
A plaque outside an apartment building on the Upper East Side.  I had to pause for a moment.
Lincoln Center, all pretty and lit at night.
A view from the Highline, a tracks-to-parkway walk on the West Side.
My brother graduated from law school (congrats, Trav!) in North Carolina, and my whole family got to be there!
(He's the one waving.)
We celebrated Mother's Day too, with delicious gelato and cupcakes from the famous Sugarland Bakery.

That's been my year so far.  How's yours?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Saturday night in Harlem, ahhh everything's all right.

Oh, how time flies -- anyone miss me?  I've been a slacker in the past, but seriously, five months sans any updates?  No bueno!  And there's so much to share!  We'll take it one day at a time.  That's right -- there will be a new blog post every day for the next week.  Are you ready?  We're going to explore NYC together.  Here's the place I call home ....

New York City is divided into five boroughs -- Manhattan, The Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island.  Manhattan is the New York that most people associate with the city (and the glitz and the glamour ....) -- so much so that often, when someone refers to "the city," he means Manhattan, even though all five boroughs are technically the city.  When I first arrived, I tried to avoid that trap ("we're all living in the best city on Earth, c'mon!") but alas, I too have fallen.

Then there are the neighborhoods.  Each borough is known by its neighborhoods because they're all so big that just the borough name can only be so telling (Brooklyn alone is home to 2.5 million people!).  My little slice of heaven?  Central Harlem in Manhattan.  Are your feet quivering in your boots?  They shouldn't be; with an alert eye and a don't-take-nothing-from-nobody attitude, my area is pretty safe.  Ready to see some pics?

My building entrance -- apparently I live in the Smithsonian.
The cute cafe next door.
Literally next door!

Laundry on the first floor.  The building faces west; my apartment entrance faces north on the street with the vehicle.
Across the street -- groceries.

My subway stop.
Looking north by the subway.  Just a few blocks in this direction, and I'm home.
It's a pretty small slice, but that is home in thumbnails.  Harlem isn't a ritzy area or a hotbed of couture living, but it is a vibrant neighborhood with character and history.  But that's another blog!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Happy holidays, Pt 4: All is quiet on New Year's Day.

Last but not least -- New Year's Eve!  Cristiane, Chris, Carlos, and myself (the three Cs, huh!) planned to dance the night away at a rooftop party on the Upper East Side.  Sounds great, right?  Welllllllllll, we arrived too late to get into the party (must have been a great place to be, oh well!) so we caught a cab and tried to get as close to Times Square as possible.  That ended up being 6th Ave & 43rd St.  We couldn't see the Times Square Ball, but there were people everywhere and celebration was in the air!  Cell phones struck midnight and, wooooo, happy New 2012!

The following photos were all taken by my friend, Chris -- kudos to him!

Waiting to get into the rooftop party.

Should we have taken it home?

I sat on her finger getting in the cab! :(

She couldn't move it, and it started to swell.

But who cares, it's New Year's Eve! :)

Lights over Times Square.

Happy New Year!


What other way to round out the evening?  Yum!

Happy holidays, Pt. 3: It's the most wonderful time of the year.

Heading into December, I was pretty bummed not to be near friends and family for Christmas.  What this place needed was a little mistletoe and holly!  With my roommates' blessings, I went a little crazy decking the living room with some holiday cheer.

Festive, no?  Candy canes and twinkling lights and stockings, oh my!  

Christmas Eve, Cristiane, Carlos, and I went to Midnight Mass then hung out at home until the wee hours of the morning.  Unfortunately for me, there "arose such a clatter" around 630a Christmas morning -- a store I'm overseeing in Brooklyn needed me to come in and fix a problem.  Merry Christmas!  Ah, well.  I headed down there, played hero, visited my own store to wish them a merry day, and decided to take advantage of the quiet morning.  Little did I realize that I am only a ten minute walk from the Brooklyn Bridge!  It was a cold but beautiful morning and walking across the bridge into Manhattan was the perfect way to reflect on being a little lonely but not alone on my first Christmas way from home.

So now what for the holiday itself?  Roommate Kristen was heading home for Christmas so Cristiane, Oz, Carlos, and I decided to stay in and have a homemade holiday.  We cooked (egg toast, roasted veggies, blueberry bake), watched a movie, and opened gifts.  It was a simple yet lovely day, and while it wasn't easy to be away from home, it was a great way to spend Christmas in New York.

Wearing the scarves that Grammie made for me!
Merry Christmas from NYC and Kristen, Carlos, Cristiane, Oz, and Erica. :)