Posts Categorized: Life in New York

Dec 19 2008
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Necessary footwear

Outside at the moment it is like someone has tipped a massive slurpee over the city. Slush everywhere.

As soon as I heard about the impending snowstorm, I ducked up to Century 21 (it is very dangerous that this place is in such close proximity to work) and picked up the most comfy pair of gumboots for $20! The main thing I love? TREAD! I realized last night that the only footwear I own that has any kind of tread is my very old Nike runners that I bought back in 2001 when I was here. Eeeek!

Anyway here are my brand new gumboots that I am so very happy with! May the force be with us!

gumboots
Dec 18 2008
1

The Christmas Post

Everyone has read/heard/seen stuff about Christmas in New York. I have to say it is as magical as you can imagine and more.

The lights everywhere, the darkness at 4.30pm, the stores, the Christmas Carols everywhere, the excess of Christmas parties and also, the possibility of snow.

I started Christmas on the 1st of December with a trip to the 99c shop around the corner from my apartment. I sent myself a challenge to set up my tree from that shop only – mainly because I could honestly not be bothered carrying decorations and a tree on the subway then the walk home.

$26 later I left the store and within one hour I had this set up in the lounge room –
treelounge

I accidently bought white wired lights instead of green so it looks even more cheapo than I paid and the replacement green set I accidently left on the train when I was engrossed by my iPhone so I am seeing that as fate and that they were electrically faulty. Or something like that. 😉

The whole Christmas tree ‘thing’ is exactly as you see on tv/the movies with someone buying them off a guy selling them on the footpath. Here is a scene from a couple of weeks ago on the Upper West Side. I had to walk through what felt like a wall of Christmas trees.

upperwesttrees

Christmas Party wise it has been in full swing this year. The first was at the Australian Consulate where I was required to work… but after a couple of hours we got to stop work and enjoy the party! The catering was by the guy that owns the Sunburnt Cow and while I missed out on the party pies, the sausage rolls weren’t bad. It was a good night and reminded me of a larger version of our classic ALIA Victoria Christmas Parties! Look – I even had the Santa hat AND name tag (it was SO nice to wear a Santa Hat in non-sweltering weather!)

festive

The other Christmas Party was one that the Association hosts for our corporate supporters. It was in the penthouse of the Sherry-Netherland Hotel and is the Pratt family apartment. The view was absolutely gorgeous. You look right along Central Park South to Columbus Circle from one window, then up 5th Avenue from the other window and from the far window you can see down 5th Avenue. That is if the gargoyles don’t get in your way! What made the evening even more interesting was it was snowing – so while it did make our view a bit more clouded… to see Central Park with a dusting was just lovely! That was until panic set in about having to actually walk in it. Eeeek.

On Monday at work also we had a Secret Santa and a group lunch. I contributed home made sausage rolls, Camille made lamingtons and Deb made the nicest Rum Balls and cheese sticks. As you can see from this pic there was even the obligatory bowl of tomato sauce. The Sausage Rolls are getting their own solitary post because it is bizarre making them here.

lunch

So with all this Aussieness I am so excited about utilizing my Green Card and being totally American when it comes to Christmas Eve/Christmas Day and the sad-that-it-is-missing, Boxing Day! As you can see from the post below – weather wise you could get any more opposite to what will be happening in Melbourne but… yes… some things never change. Trifle will be making an appearance!

Dec 08 2008
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Random great things about NY

SEAMLESS WEB!

Basically you –
Log on
Have the choice of hundreds of restaurants
Order
30 minutes later… food

This is the perfect solution to having to fake an American accent in order to be understood over the phone.

On Saturday after the movies, we used Seamless to order from Supermac.

Which is another random great thing about New York.

Their menu is all about macaroni and cheese and to make it even better… it was GOOD mac cheese!! Oh seriously – I could eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This place is dangerous.

Dec 08 2008
2

The ‘Ohhh how sweet!’ moment

Ever since I saw the preview for Four Christmases when we went to see Ghost Town, I have been telling Bill “We must see Four Christmases!!!” From that day he had said a firm “No – I’m not seeing that!”

Earlier last week he told me he wanted to go and see the new Bond flick. I had never seen a Bond movie so thought it would be perfect timing to see one. Then mid-week he told me we would now be seeing the movie ‘The Punisher’. I checked online and saw this movie was getting absolutely horrid reviews – I kept exclaiming “What about Four Christmases?!?!?!” but this was to no avail. There was even a tumblr post warning about how bad this movie was. Bill wouldn’t budge.

I think I just about groaned to everyone about having to put up with these boy movie selections. Groaned and moaned. Moaned and groaned. Then Bill said we might as well do a double feature of the Punisher and the Bond flick. Double boy movie overload. While I didn’t mind, I could think of other movies I would prefer to be watching. Like Dirty Dancing, Bring it on, Clueless, The Breakfast Club…! I realized that Four Christmases seemed like it would be one movie I’d be seeing on my own.

But being the lovely person I am I went along with the plan of lunch followed by this double feature. At lunch he proceeded to give me my prebooked ticket to The Punisher. It wasn’t that dreaded movie at all…. it was Four Chirstmases. Awwwww! And he had known all along and heard me sulk about it all week.

So to everyone I complained to about having to sit through such abhorrent movies – let me hereby declare Bill’s innocence and make this post a reason to celebrate his thoughtfulness! 😉

Although – I was not immune from boy movies forever. We walked out of Four Christmases, stepped out on to 42nd Street and then walked straight back into the cinema and booked tickets for Quantum of Solace.

For my first Bond movie, it wasn’t too bad. I fell asleep for about 5 minutes in one part, just due to the fact I was tired – it had nothing to do with the movie.

One interesting aspect was the difference in previews for the two movies.

Four Christmases has previews to upcoming movies like Marley and Me, He’s Just Not That Into You, some chick click with Renee Zellweger and Harry Connick Jr and a Jim Carrey flick. For Quantum of Solace the previews included the Fast and the Furious and… oops a couple of others I can’t even remember. Except they had lots of car scenes and explosions and other… stuff like that.

One of the most hilarious aspects of the day (of which I forgot to take a photo of) was the size of the drinks at the cinema. We got a medium coke. I am not joking when I say I reckon it was a 1.5 litre cup. It was massive and SO HEAVY. Yes, that was medium. Just like Maccas coke where an Australian ‘medium’ is the size of a small here.

Also, another point is that cinemas here don’t tend to show the advertising we are used to in Australian cinemas. One thing they do excel in here is telling people what feels like fifteen times over to turn off their mobile phones… and it still doesn’t work.

Dec 08 2008
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Mr Bracks, I will be watching!

I was excited to read this article this morning on The Age website.

I especially loved this quote from Mr Bracks –

“I’m not sure who’ll be watching â€Ļ the Australian Parliament at 2am in the morning in New York, but I’m sure there are some people who will be doing it.”

In fact, I think that would be me he was referring to. So very happy that I will probably end up seeing more of Question time here than I ever saw back in Australia.

Nov 27 2008
3

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, 2008

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 2008

Last night I was still awake at 12.30am, knowing full well I had to be up very early to get into the City to get a good viewing position for the Thanksgiving Day Parade. The worry of sleeping in resulted in me waking up every hour on the hour to make sure I would make it in. The parade didn’t start until 9am but I wanted to be in the city by 7.30 because I had no idea what to expect.

I woke up at 6am and decided I should not go back to sleep because if I did, there was no way I would get up. So, I had a quick Skype call to mum while I was still all cosy under the covers and before long I was on the train and looking at the skyline on a beautiful and brisk (make that very brisk) Thanksgiving morning.

When I got to the Times Square station, I tried to get the 1 train up to the 50th street stop – being a Sunday (holiday) timetable the trains were few and far between for the number of people that were waiting so I shelved that idea and decided to walk as I really wanted my viewing position to be between 50th and 55th on Broadway.

Walking was a bad bad idea. The traffic/pedestrian control that was in place made it virtually impossible to get anywhere easily – I had to walk two blocks back from where I wanted to be in almost a single file line. It was very reminiscent of what was organised for Halloween to control the flow of the crowd. Approximately 3.5 million people turn out to watch the parade… so you can tell it isn’t just a small crowd issue! Once I walked down to 6th, I then walked 7 blocks down then another 2 blocks in and got to Broadway. I found myself with a not-too-bad viewing position at 48th and Broadway at 8am. Now all that was left to do was wait. And wait. And wait.

With everyone jammed together it wasn’t that cold at first. At first. I was still warm from the walking. By the time the parade made it down to where I was (at about 9.20am) I was positively FROZEN. I looked back and couldn’t believe the crowd that had collected behind me – I was actually so close to the front – so lucky! The little kids around me were really well behaved considering they had to wait so long, could hardly see anything and it was so cold. As for the adults… ugh some of the most annoying tourists ever! I had to keep my iPod on while I was waiting for the parade to begin to stay sane.

As the parade started it was just awesome to see my favourite ever childhood toys/cartoon, The Smurfs, seemingly come to life! Also, the other highlight was seeing Big Bird and Mr Snufalupagus on the Sesame Street float. The huge balloons are fantastic because wherever you are, you can see them. Another awesome part was the fantastic marching bands. I really could listen to them all day. By about 11.15 my feet were actually hurting they were so frozen and all the kids were getting restless and grizzly, so I called it a day. Standing on cold concrete, in one position for so long meant that walking one block took a long time.. my feet just could not work properly!

I was home just in time to see the end of the parade on TV and I must say – it was a better experience simply because you could see the detail of the floats, understand who was on them and also, see the performances that were taking place out the front of the Macy’s store (where the parade ends).

Here are all the photos I took – crowd favourite would have been Buzz Lightyear.

It wasn’t long before I was spending Thanksgiving in true Australian style. A long nap. I didn’t even get changed – straight into bed to defrost and gosh… what a good sleep it was!

Nov 26 2008
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Just for you Miss Georgina!

Look at what mum sent us just in time for the Book Club party! 😉

We can hide these from the fancy ‘we-are-cool-New-Yorkers’ hors d’oeuvres while we take the obligatory food shots for Tumblr. 🙂

Nov 17 2008
1

Random great things about NY

Books on DEMAND!

Our latest book club selection is The Secret History by Donna Tartt.

Having given up on the local library and with books being so cheap here, I thought I better buy it today and start reading it as it is quite a long book.

As Borders is two blocks away from work, at 11.30am I went to the Borders website to see how much the book would be there. There was an option to reserve the book. I thought I would do so, just to see if it works, knowing full well there is no way that I would get a reply within the next five days! 😉

Surprise, surprise at 12.08, I received the following email –

Customer service here is SO good. I was so excited – all I had to do to pick it up was line up at the registers. Which, at lunchtime, were all fully staffed. Love it!!