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It's official!
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Monday, January 28, 2013

Sex and the City Hotspots Tour

I don't remember what I scored on the SAT in high school, but I do remember thinking it should have been much higher for a loner who had only recently ditched the metal mouth. I also know when I took the GRE to get into grad school, Mike and I had a good laugh about my ridiculously low math score that pretty much ranked me next to a walrus in terms of algebra knowledge.

But I can tell you there is one test that I will always score a 100% on: Sex and the City trivia.

This weekend, I talked my girlfriend Whitney into doing the Sex and the City Hotspots Tour. For 3 1/2 hours, a large tour bus drove us around New York City, showing all the filming locations from the greatest show that ever aired. (Fact, not opinion.) From the New York Public Library where Carrie planned her wedding to Mr. Big, to the New York Sports Club where Miranda worked out, the tour took us from Midtown to SoHo and everywhere in between. It was very well planned too...the tour guide showed a clip from any of the six seasons or the two movies, and then the bus drove by that location. As I told Whitney...that was my idea of the perfect city tour in 9 degree weather.

There are also four times the bus stopped and we got out and toured, which included:
* The Pleasure Chest. Remember when Charlotte bought a "rabbit?" It's a sex store in Greenwich Village that makes girls like Charlotte (and Jeannie) blush. There were no photos allowed inside, for obvious reasons.

* Magnolia Bakery. The ladies loved their cupcakes like they loved their men.
I will tell you, however, that I have found an even better cupcake in NYC. I should know, I ate four this weekend alone. Details coming soon...

* Buddakan restaurant. It's the restaurant where Carrie and Big had their rehearsal dinner. Remember this long table where everyone sat and Samantha did her toast?
We found out this restaurant also doubled as a second location in the movie when Stanford and Anthony kissed during their New Year's Eve celebrations. Apparently each time they shot on location, it cost $10,000 or more, so the producers got savvy with picking spots with lots of great backgrounds. Whitney and I also got a picture in the Buddakan bar where Carrie had her last "single girl's kiss" with Big. 
* Onieal's Bar- a.k.a Scout Bar, which Aidan and Steve owned. Remember when Carrie brought Aidan a Mulberry bush as a gift because the bar was on Mulberry Street? Funny enough, the bar is about a block away from Mulberry but the producers "borrowed" the street sign while filming the show.

But the coolest part of the tour was when the tour guide asked the group trivia questions and I knew the answer to each and every one. Yep, those 20's something girls had nothing on me. It's just too bad my grad school exam didn't include listing the names of men Samantha had slept with. I would have nailed it (pun intended).

For more information on this tour, click HERE.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Texting early in the morning

One of my biggest pet peeves in life (and trust me, there are many) are people who either call or text early in the day or late at night. I have a girlfriend who inevitably shoots me a text at midnight on a Tuesday. Since she's about 10 years younger than me, I've never asked her to stop, fearing she'll see me as a cranky, old lady.

But seriously, I think there should be rules to our instant communication. I propose that no one calls or texts...
  • Before 8 a.m. on weekdays
  • After 10 p.m. on weeknights
  • Before 10 a.m. on weekends (And really I mean 10 a.m. for you people, and noon for me.)
Who's with me?

A couple of months ago, my phone pinged with a text message at 6:11 a.m. on a Thursday morning. 6:11 a.m.! Because my phone was plugged in across the room, I had to drag my butt out of bed to stumble over and read the dang thing. Instead of being something important, this is what it said...

"Sorry, but I'm changing phone numbers and [I'm] wondering who this is."

Really? You just HAVE to have this information at 6:11 a.m.? I quickly realized this was a person I had to deal with exactly one time in's the man I had to turn our apartment keys into when we moved from Chicago. And since this person lives in Chicago, that means he sent the text at 5:11 a.m. his time. Sheesh. And of course, I couldn't fall back asleep after this blood boiling message.

Later that day, Mike and I were talking about what I should do to get back at him. We came up with some pretty fun scenarios like pretending that I was his baby mama, only he didn't know he had a baby, but I would break the news to him via text! Or I could say he gave me some terrible disease and I wanted him to know, via text! Eventually, this is what I texted back...

"I'm so glad you reached out! The test results came back positive :-( "

Haha, sucker. I thought this was perfect. Vague enough to create wonder...yet not mean enough to create problems. When I later told Mike about what I sent he laughed and said, "I thought you were only joking about sending it!" Nope. No one wakes Baby up at 6:11 a.m.

Sadly, I never heard back from this man. Perhaps he eventually realized who I was, or perhaps he decided he was too scared to find out what those test results were. Either way, he hasn't woken me up since.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

NYPD encounter

Well, it was bound to happen. Mike and I had our first run-in with the NYPD. (Okay Mom and Dad, I'm going to need you to stop reading now.)

Yesterday morning, we were getting ready to go to brunch when our doorbell rang. First of all, it cracks me up that we have a doorbell in a 500 sq. foot apartment because are we really not going to hear someone knocking if we're in say, the bedroom? Secondly, we didn't buzz anyone in the front door, so it took us both by surprise that someone was at our door. The dogs were also going nuts with barking, so they clearly weren't expecting anyone either.

Mike looked through the peep hole and saw two men he didn't recognize. Acting in a very smart city way, instead of opening the door, he just yelled, "Can I help you?"

One of the guys said back, "Ugh, we're the exterminators."

Okay, this was strange for several reasons...
  • First, and most obvious, we didn't call exterminators. 
  • Secondly, our landlord doesn't work on weekends, so we know he didn't either. 
  • Third, it's winter in NYC, so there aren't a ton of bugs running around. 
  • Fourth, these guys were wearing winter puffer coats and gold chains, not what you'd think of for typical exterminator gear.
  • Fifth, they didn't have any equipment with them.
Yep, it's the oldest trick in the book. They say they need to get into your house to kill bugs/check the water heater/check your cable, and when they get in, they rob you blind. Mike yelled back, "We didn't call the exterminators." They said okay and left. After we turned them away, we could see them go to every apartment on the floor below us with the same story.

In a total reversal of typical behavior, Mike suggested we call the cops while I said, "Nah, I don't think we should "bug" them. (pun  intended) They are sooo busy." But fearing one of our neighbors might get robbed, I decided to call.

Let me just say when New York's finest showed up, they couldn't have been nicer. The officers confirmed that the gentleman were likely there to rob someone. They also checked every floor, and said many of our neighbors were "idiots" who kept their doors unlocked. Here was my favorite encounter...

Officer: "Dude, you need to lock your door."
Third-floor resident: "It was locked."
Officer: "No it wasn't, I just opened your door."
Third-floor resident: "Oh. I'm so sorry!"

Unfortunately, the men were long gone. But in a totally surprising move, instead of getting after us for wasting their time, one of the officers praised us for calling the police. He said it's important that people keep their eyes out for anything suspicious and said how alarming it was that the "exterminators" knocked on every door, but we were the only ones who did anything. He told me that's exactly what they are here for, and to never hesitate to call. Isn't that awesome?

Bravo NYPD, bravo.

And to the "exterminators": you might have a more convincing story if you at least wear a Ghostbusters backpack.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Doing laundry in New York City

Do you remember the episode of Sex and the City when Miranda is doing Steve's laundry? While folding his underwear, Miranda quickly discovers Steve's dirty little secret-- he is "skid marks guy."

To me, the shocking part of this scene is not that Steve isn't properly wiping, it's the fact that Miranda has a full-size washer and dryer. In Manhattan. 

Ironically enough, in another episode when Miranda's ordering Chinese food from her favorite local spot with delicious cold noodles, she gives her address, which is only seven blocks away from ours on the Upper West Side. And honey, let me tell you, their ain't no full-size in-unit washer and dryers anywhere near us.

Before we moved to New York City, I was talking on the phone with our broker. I told him our "must-haves" which included a dishwasher, outdoor space, direct sunlight and a washer and dryer. He laughed and said, "Um yeah, we're probably not going to find you a washer and dryer." He explained that they are a rare gem in the city, saved only for those with a lot of money. In fact, I read somewhere that only 7% of Manhattan apartments have an in-unit washing machine. That means there are people with a whole lot of money who still have to schlep their unmentionables to the nearest laundromat.

The weekend before last, Mike and I decided our pile of laundry was simply out of control. Literally, our laundry basket broke from the sheer weight of a month's worth of towels, jeans and undies. So we packed up all the quarters we could find, and hauled our dirties to the local laundromat. And when I say "we," I mean that Mike carried the Santa Clause looking bag of crusty clothes down floor flights of stairs while I carried the laundry detergent. It took two trips to get all of our stuff there.

The nice thing about our local laundromat is that there are many different sizes of machines. So if you're willing to fork over 16 quarters at once, you can stuff most everything into one (Sorry Mom, sorting our darks and lights is not really a priority anymore.) The machines are pretty clean too. I noticed most people wash their clothes on "hot"--I'm guessing that's so they don't share fluids with the person before them.

While people are waiting, some leave to go eat or run other errands, and others just hang around and read a magazine or talk on their cell phones. The dryers are also super large, so once again you can stuff just about everything into one.

Then when everything is done, you dump your clothes out onto a large table and fold it. I realized just how embarrassing this can be when a large, sweaty man walked right by me as I was folding my underwear with cute little angel wings on the butt. Luckily in NYC, no one really makes eye contact, so we were able to both pretend that nothing happened.  

After we had spent about two hours there, we finally looked up and read a sign on the wall that said, "Free pick-up and delivery." We discovered that the laundromat offers a service where they do all your laundry for just about the same price as doing it yourself.


Looks like somewhere else is going to be washing my angel wing panties after all.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Top 10 blog posts of 2012

Happy New Year everybody! Do you have a new year's resolution? Perhaps it's to quit smoking, cuss less or lose weight. But man, those sound really tough. That is why I make a resolution that I know is easy to attain (maintain), like being awesome. 

In honor of 2012 having come and gone, I'm taking a look back at my favorite blog posts from last year. If you've got a moment during your morning commute or while you're taking a little time in the loo (because let's be honest, who doesn't have their smartphone with them in the bathroom these days?), then enjoy some of my faves.

My Top 10 Favorite Blog Posts of 2012
  1. New York City Apartments- Crying. Rejection. Calling out Jay-Z. This blog about looking for a NYC apartment has it all.
  2. Kristen Stewart Cheating Scandal- After you read the post, be sure to check out the comment at the end. You might think, "I didn't know Kristen Stewart's publicist read this blog."
  3. Time Magazine cover of breastfeeding mom- I created a Top 5 list of when it might be time to stop breastfeeding your kid. It will make you giggle.
  4. What to expect with hot yoga- We then moved into one pose after another, and I tried to take deep breaths, but there was nothing to breathe. Just the smell of sweat, body odor, and wait, is that garlic?
  5. How to waste time- Ever find yourself watching Milli Vanilli videos instead of studying for grad school?
  6. Living in Chicago- Finding out your neighbors are "swingers" is well, interesting.
  7. Bruce Springsteen at Wrigley in Chicago- The Boss speaks for himself.
  8. Chicago is one expensive city-  Two tickets from the city in one weekend. Really??
  9. Miss USA 2002 reunion- Just living in my glory days. That's all.
  10. Getting on the wrong L train- It's an art form.